Well, it's finally here: Marriott switched to dynamic pricing late last month.
Gone are the days of predictable pricing with the program. The hotel giant has removed the award tables from its website and the price of award nights can now vary from night to night.
Fortunately, Marriott opted to keep 97% of its hotels in low- and high-season price ranges through the end of the year. But the 3% of hotels that now operate outside these ranges can be significantly more expensive.
In some cases, this can be 30,000 points more per night compared to the rewards table prices above. And, unsurprisingly, many of the out-of-range price hotels are desirable redemptions, including many Ritz-Carlton, Edition and JW Marriott properties around the world.
But how much does Marriott's dynamic pricing affect your points value?
Marriott did not provide a detailed breakdown of much of its more than 8,000 hotels. While some examples have been provided, we wanted to conduct our own analysis on a cross-section of the portfolio, which we believe represents a wide range of hotels across the 30 Marriott brands in countries around the world.
This includes the 20The Most Redeemed Marriott Hotels in the World, 11 TPG Favorites and 22 hotels in other destinations open to US tourists at varying prices, giving you a realistic sense of how much value you are now getting with your points and miles.
Here, we'll break down the data and show you how much your points are worth in different regions and at different price points, and then provide a total value for your Marriott Bonvoy points.
But first, let's look at our methodology.
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We began our quest to rank Marriott Bonvoy points by selecting hotels to look for after-tax cash and award fees.
As already mentioned, 20 of the properties surveyed here come directly fromMarriott's list of the most popular hotels to redeem points around the world. This includes many well-known Marriott properties such asWailea Beach Resortem Maui e noWalt Disney World Cisnein orlando Next we added some team favorites likejThe Bodrum Edition.
But not all are luxury hotels. To round out the list, we've also added some humble properties like Moxy Paris Bastille,SpringHill Suites Parque Nacional Springdale Zionand Courtyard Agra in India. To our surprise, many budget hotels also appear on Marriott's list of most redeemed hotels.
Once we had a list of accommodations, we extracted cash and award rates for all available dates in May, June, November, December and January to determine the value of points during some of the busiest travel periods. This means that over 150 dates were searched for each property, totaling over 15,000 data points.
This is not a complete analysis, but it does give us a first taste of the impact of dynamic pricing. Extracting this relatively large range of data also helps us to find an average value for different seasons.
We use this data to calculate an "average" foreclosure rate for each property we list. And from that we calculate the total average value by region, type of hotel and season. We also calculate an overall value of Marriott Bonvoy points, which we'll share with you later in this article.
Again, this method does not capture all of the data and objects, but it does help us calculate the initial impact of Marriott's dynamic pricing and get an approximate value of Marriott Bonvoy points.
Hotels and resorts in the continental United States
From home, we researched 20 hotels across the continental US, spanning multiple states and cities.
Here's a look at the properties we're looking for and their average redemption values in cents per point:
- JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa em Scottsdale, Arizona- 1.08 cents per point.
- The West Hollywood Edition em Hollywood, Califórnia— 0.58 cents per point.
- Westin Denver International Airport in Denver— 0.66 cents per point.
- Sheraton Sand Key Resort em Clearwater, Flórida— 0.67 cents per point.
- Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center em Kissimmee, Flórida— 1.05 cents per point.
- JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort in Marco Island, Florida— 0.64 cents per point.
- Moxy South Beach e Miami Beach, Flórida— 0.61 cents per point.
- Walt Disney World Swan in Orlando— 0.62 cents per point.
- Orlando World Center Marriott em Orlando— 0.82 cents per point.
- Courtyard in Downtown Atlanta in Atlanta- 1.06 cents per point
- Residence Inn Oak Brook e Oak Brook, Illinois- 1.24 cents per point.
- New Yorker Marriott Marquis em Nova York— 0.82 cents per point.
- Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel em Nova York— 0.66 cents per point.
- JW Marriott Essex House New York em Nova York– 0.66 cents per point.
- The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Autograph Collection in Las Vegas— 0.42 cents per point.
- TownPlace Suites Portland Beaverton e Beaverton, Oregon- 1.03 cents per point
- Gaylord Opryland Convention and Recreation Center in Nashville- 0.73 cents per point.
- SpringHill Suites Parque Nacional Springdale Zion und Springdale, Utah– 0.75 cents per point.
- Sheraton Grand Seattle em Seattle— 0.48 cents per point.
- Fairfield Inn & Suites Tulsa Downtown Arts District em Tulsa, Oklahoma— 0.92 cents per point.
- Fairfield Inn & Suites Chicago Downtown/Magnificent Mile em Chicago— 0.69 cents per point.
- Le Meridien Dallas, by Stoneleigh in Dallas— 0.97 cents per point.
- Four Points by Sheraton Anaheim in Anaheim, California— 0.52 cents per point.
Overall, our median for US real estate is slightly lower at 0.77 cents per pointour current ranking0.8 cents towards Marriott Bonvoy points. That said, there are some standout values here. For example, the JW Marriott Camelback and Gaylord Palms Resort can fetch just over 1 cent per value point, which is solid for Marriott exchanges.
On the other hand, you should avoid using your Marriott Bonvoy points in Orlando, as both the Walt Disney World Swan and the Orlando World Center put it below average. Of course, this does not apply to all dates, but it must be remembered.
Hawaiian hotels and resorts
We are also looking at four properties in Hawaii, including:
- Wailea Beach Resort Marriott em Maui- 1.18 cents per point.
- The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Waikiki Beach em Oahu- 0.73 cents per point.
- Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa em Oahu— 0.78 cents per point.
- Residence Inn Oahu Kapolei in Oahu— 0.62 cents per point.
While it's a not-so-extensive dataset, you'll earn an average of 0.82 cents per point when redeeming it for hotels in Hawaii. That's slightly higher than our current Marriott ranking, and it shows that you can get solid value by redeeming Marriott Points in Hawaii.
It can be difficult to find vacancies at these hotels during peak hours, so you should start planning your trip well in advance.
A popular way to redeem Marriott points is at luxury resorts abroad. Historically, these redemptions have provided an enormous redemption value, and as such, we feared that some of the hotels would be significantly impacted by dynamic pricing. This is what we found:
- Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino em Palm Beach, Aruba— 1.01 cents per point.
- Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino e Oranjestad, Aruba— 0.92 cents per point.
- The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman— 0.89 cents per point.
- Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay in Nadi, Fiyi— 0.51 cents per point.
- St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort nas Maldives- 1.8 cents per point.
- Bodrum Edition in Bodrum, Turkey— 0.79 cents per point.
- Al Maha, a collection of luxury Desert Resort & Spa in Dubai- 1.2 cents per point.
This shows that you can still get great value with your Marriott Points at luxury resorts abroad, with these hotels averaging 1.01 cents per value point. But just like in Hawaii, you might have trouble finding vacancies at some of these properties during peak season.
If you really want to drill down and see the average redemption values for all the resorts we tested, including resorts in the continental US and Hawaii, we ended up earning an average of 0.92 cents per point redeemed, which is further proof that resorts are great A way to get more value from your Marriott Points in a world of post-dynamic pricing.
Marriott has a strong presence in Europe, with most major cities having at least one hotel. We pulled prices from 11 European hotels and this is what we found.
- Vienna Moxy Airport in Vienna- 1.20 cents per point.
- Courtyard Brno in Brno, Czech Republic- 1.24 cents per point.
- Moxy Paris Bastille em Paris— 0.41 cents per point.
- Residence Inn Frankfurt em Frankfurt— 0.87 cents per point.
- St. Regis Rom em Roma- 1.21 cents per point.
- W Amsterdam in Amsterdam— 0.81 cents per point.
- AC Hotel Krakow in Krakow, Poland— 0.45 cents per point.
- Bodrum Edition in Bodrum, Turkey —0.79 cents per point
- Londres Marriott Hotel County Hall em Londres— 0.61 cents per point.
- London edition in London- 1.15 cents per point.
- Madrid edition in Madrid— 0.94 cents per point.
Based on our sample surveys, you can expect 0.88 cents per value point. This is a relatively small dataset, but we tried to include a mix of upper- and mid-range Marriotts to get an average score.
Focusing on Asia, we researched the prices of eight hotels in Asia. This limited subset is largely due to the fact that most of the region is still closed to American tourists. As in Europe, we look for a mix of high-end and mid-range hotels.
- Agra-Hof in Agra, India— 0.85 cents per point.
- Element Bali Ubud in Bali, Indonesia— 0.78 cents per point.
- The St. Regis Bali e Bali, Indonesia- 1.0 cent per point
- West is Tokyo, not Tokyo— 0.47 cents per point.
- Courtyard of Iloilo in Iloilo, Philippines— 0.89 cents per point.
- The Westin Singapore em Singapura- 1.17 cents per point.
- Aloft Bangkok Sukhumvit 11 en Bangkok— 0.62 cents per point.
- W Koh Samui and Surat Thani, Thailand— 0.67 cents per point.
While these eight hotels cannot provide a complete number for the exact ranking of all hotels in Asia, our search for hotels in Asia returned an average of 0.81 cents per value point. This approaches our current Marriott Bonvoy point rating of 0.8 cents per point.
How much are Marriott Bonvoy points worth in 2022?
So... when the 15,000+ individual data points are combined, how much are your Marriott Points worth?
If we average all properties together, we end up with an average value of 0.84 cents per point.
This is actually higher than our previous rating of 0.8 cents per point. And it shows that there is still value to be realized based on these 50+ properties.
With that in mind, it's important to note that many properties fall below this average. In particular, mid-range properties in Europe and some high-end properties in the US had lower averages than the overall average.
Additionally, further changes are on the horizon for Marriott in January 2023. While our initial test shows a slightly higher rating, we're putting a large asterisk next to it and will be conducting more tests in the coming months.
It is important to note that the values we found varied greatly. For example, the highest value European property was worth three times as much as the lowest value.
Aside from that, there are still positives to the Bonvoy show. Based on our tests, luxury resorts outperform in many cases. And while some of them might not be as good as they were in the pre-dynamic era, they still present an opportunity to get solid value for your points.
But remember, our tests aren't everything. We could not test all data in all houses. The best bet is to look for properties where you want to redeem your points, and if you're flexible with dates or destinations, you're more likely to find a good redemption.
For example, look for high-end properties during the off-season, or book midweek nights instead of weekend nights if your schedule allows.
Regardless, one thing is for sure: Marriott's premium pricing is more variable now than it has been in the past, and we don't know how much that will change when price ranges completely disappear next year.
The loss of a published rewards schedule can make planning a specific redemption goal difficult, and there were concerns that Marriott's move to dynamic pricing would represent a significant downgrade. Based on our data, that fear did not materialize at this point, as we saw an average value of 0.84 cents per point across the 15,000+ data points we analyzed. This matches our previous rating of 0.8 cents each.
Of course, this example doesn't mean that Marriott points haven't changed. Dynamic pricing means award rates can vary from night to night across the Marriott portfolio. And while only 3% of participating hotels can be listed outside of the above categories, all Marriott hotels will have that opportunity in 2023.
Only time will tell if the next development will have an even greater impact on the value of Marriott points.
Editorial disclaimer: The views expressed in this document are those of the author alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.