Marriott is making the switch to a dynamic pricing model for award bookings. Marriott Bonvoy members should be prepared for the switch when it takes place in September of this year. Marriott Bonvoy members will need to get used to the idea of paying rates with points based on demand across all three tiers of the program. Unfortunately, that means that members could pay between 14 percent and 33 percent more for award nights during busy times of the year or when peak travel days hit. It's not all bad news. The new dynamic pricing model means that guests could scoop up some lower-than-average rates during off-peak times.
How will guests know how much their reward stays will cost going forward? Marriott just published a new redemption chart that spells everything out. Rooms are divided into eight categories and prices are broken down by peak rates, off-peak rates and standard rates.
Marriott's move toward dynamic pricing isn't exactly shocking. More and more brands in the travel industry are embracing this model when it comes to reward bookings. Hilton changed up its Hilton Honors program back in 2017 and introduced a flexible version of dynamic pricing that allows guests to use a mix of cash and points when paying for stays.
The move toward dynamic pricing is also happening in the airline world. Both United Airlines and Delta Air Lines now utilize dynamic policies that place award seats in different tiers and adjust ticket prices based on demand. It is expected that more airlines will be following this trend in the future.
It's likely that Marriott Bonvoy members are going to see fewer deals during high-demand seasons of the year. However, Marriott's formula for determining rates for reward rooms won't be based strictly on the season. Rates will adjust accordingly whenever booking volume is on the lighter (or heavier) side.