Marriott lowers points redemptions, gives free elite nights

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Marriott Bonvoy will exclusively offer off-peak redemption rates at more than 5,500 properties, and award free elite nights to elite members.

Marriott Bonvoy has announced two initiatives aimed at getting members travelling again.

Marriott Bonvoy your welcome awaits

For a limited time, more than 5,500 properties worldwide will exclusively offer off-peak redemption rates. Elite members will also receive free elite nights equivalent to 50% of their current tier. 

Marriott Bonvoy’s off-peak promotion

Westin Singpaore
Westin Singapore will cost just 30,000 points a night

Marriott Bonvoy introduced peak and off-peak redemption rates in 2019, which meant that hotels could charge three different prices depending on when you were staying.

Category Off-Peak  Standard Peak 
1 5,000  7,500 10,000
2 10,000 12,500 15,000
3 15,000  17,500 20,000
4 20,000  25,000 30,000 
5 30,000  35,000 40,000
6 40,000  50,000 60,000
7 50,000 60,000 70,000
8 70,000 85,000 100,000
⚠️ Unlike other programs, Marriott’s peak and off-peak dates are not fixed. That’s to say, a given date could be peak at the time you booked it, but change to off-peak by the time you stayed. You won’t get an automatic refund of the difference if your dates reduce in price, so you’ll have to monitor and rebook as necessary. On the plus side, you won’t be charged more if your off-peak date later becomes peak.

For bookings made between 15-30 June 2020 and stayed by 31 July 2020, Marriott will exclusively charge off-peak prices at more than 5,500 properties. Note that this is not all properties, as some blogs are reporting. I’m still seeing standard/peak rates at selected hotels for this period. 

It’s a great promotion, but the bigger issue for us in Singapore is where we can realistically go by 31 July 2020. We’ve just started Phase 2 of the post Circuit Breaker measures, but I think we’re still a long way from Phase 3, much less leisure travel. 

If nothing else, this could mean some cheaper staycation options. Here’s the list of Marriott properties in Singapore, their cost in points and cash rates for a random weekend in July. 

Property Points Cost Lowest Cash Rate
Vagabond Club 27,500
(PointsBreak offer)
S$262++
Four Points by Sheraton Riverview 30,000
(Off-peak)
S$144++
Courtyard Singapore Novena 30,000
(Off-peak)
S$207++
The Warehouse Hotel 30,000
(Off-peak)
S$256++
Le Meridien Sentosa 30,000
(Off-peak)
S$288++
The Westin Singapore 30,000
(Off-peak)
S$332++
Sheraton Towers Singapore 35,000
(Standard)
S$162++
Singapore Marriott Tangs Plaza 35,000
(Standard)
S$264++
W Sentosa Cove 40,000
(Off-peak)
S$361++
JW Marriott Hotel South Beach 40,000
(Off-peak)
S$390++
St Regis Singapore 50,000
(Standard)
S$390++
I’m comparing points cost (refundable) to the lowest cash rate (may include non-refundable rates) because Marriott’s global Covid-19 policy allows all reservations to be cancelled with no charge up to 24 hours before arrival, with no penalty.

But given the cash rates, is it worth using points?

Marriott Bonvoy is currently selling points at its lowest cost ever- 0.78 US cents (1.08 SG cents) each. If you take that as your valuation, then the only property worth redeeming would maybe be The Westin Singapore (S$390 cash rate, vs S$324 with points). 

That’s not even taking into account the deluge of cheap deals we’re likely to see once staycations are permitted again. Given this, I’m personally not in the market to redeem points locally. 

Marriott Bonvoy giving free elite nights

JW Marriott Singapore
JW Marriott Singapore South Beach

Marriott Bonvoy has already extended elite status for all members until February 2022, so requalification for status in 2020 is no longer an issue.

However, if you wish to upgrade to a higher tier or earn Marriott Choice Benefits, Marriott is automatically awarding a bonus credit equal to 50% of the elite nights required for your 2019 tier. In other words:

  • Silver members get five bonus elite nights
  • Gold members get 13 bonus elite nights
  • Platinum members get 25 bonus elite nights
  • Titanium members get 38 bonus elite nights
  • Ambassador members get 50 bonus elite nights

These elite nights will be deposited into your account by the end of July. View from the Wing has confirmed with Marriott that these elite nights will count towards lifetime status. 

Marriott is also allowing Ambassador members to nominate a friend or family member for Platinum status. Qualifying members will receive an email with the details from late July onwards. 

Conclusion

These are two nice promotions from Marriott, but unfortunately I don’t think they’ll be very useful for us in Singapore. 

It’s one thing if you live in the USA or some place where domestic travel can make a quick return, but the equation is pretty different here. I’m certainly not going to make sufficient staycations to level up to the next elite tier, and even with the off-peak redemption rates, cash prices are likely to be more lucrative. 

Does anyone see any potential use cases for members in Singapore?

Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion with the intention of helping people travel better for less and impressing chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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Christ

Small correction: “Marriott is automatically awarding a bonus credit equal to 50% of the elite nights required for your current tier.” They’re actually giving a bonus credit equal to 50% of the elite nights required for the tier we achieved in 2019, not our current tier. I’ve achieved Platinum this year but was Gold last year, so I’ll get 13 bonus nights, not 25.

Lee

Wonder if can stack the platinum challenge and the free elite nights 😛

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