Value of Marriott points after a year of dynamic pricing


About a year ago, Marriott Bonvoy scrapped its eight award categories and moved to dynamic pricing. Instead of award categories (which had a range for the number of points you’d have to use for a night), dynamic pricing gives the hotel megachain the ability to charge at its discretion for award stays.

Since other travel providers have often used dynamic pricing to devalue their loyalty programs, we feared the worst when we learned Marriott would follow suit.

Marriott committed to keeping 97% of hotels within their previous category pricing bands through 2022. But now that we’re well into 2023, what’s happened to the value of Marriott points?

Over the last year, we’ve run three data collection phases for various hotels in the Marriott Bonvoy portfolio. To calculate how many cents per point members can redeem them for, we removed the taxes from the cash stays (since you don’t have to pay taxes on award stays) and divided the cash rate by the points price. We’ve run tests for each night for the next five months.

While our sample size doesn’t account for Marriott’s massive portfolio, we can numerically back up our valuation of Marriott points at these properties.

This is what we’ve found.

You’ll need more points for an award night


When we ran our second data collection in July 2022, we observed that Marriott stays required more points than in April 2022. At first glance, it’s easy to assume an increase in award prices is synonymous with a devaluation.

But rather than a straight-up devaluation of Marriott points, the increase in award prices largely resulted from soaring hotel prices as leisure and business traffic rebounded from the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic. As cash rates increased, award rates followed. This trend has continued in our most recent data collection. Most importantly, our average cents-per-point redemption data remained similar across the three samples.

With award rates increasing with cash prices, former Category 8 Marriott properties routinely price over 100,000 points per night. Finding rooms for under 120,000 points per night at The St. Regis New York during peak fall travel dates is difficult.

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Assuming this trend holds, we can expect Marriott award nights to rise if cash rates continue to increase.

Related: Award program devaluations are hitting premium and luxury redemptions the hardest — here’s how

Marriott points haven’t been devalued


While some properties have been disproportionately appreciated or devalued by dynamic pricing, as a whole, the value of Marriott points remains unchanged.

Here’s a look at the value of Marriott points for five months, based on data from 17 hotels. The data is shown in terms of cents per point:

April 2022 July 2022 February 2023
JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa 1.08 1.26 1.09
The West Hollywood Edition 0.58 0.59 0.76
The Westin Denver International Airport 0.66 0.61 0.70
Moxy Miami South Beach 0.61 0.96 1.03
The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort 1.80 1.63 1.51
SpringHill Suites by Marriott Springdale Zion National Park 0.75 0.41 0.67
Sheraton Grand Seattle 0.48 0.47 0.52
Residence Inn by Marriott Chicago Oak Brook 1.24 0.84 0.96
Le Meridien Dallas, The Stoneleigh 0.97 0.94 0.91
Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa 0.78 0.60 0.72
Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino 1.01 0.88 0.89
W Amsterdam 0.82 0.88 0.74
The London Edition 1.04 1.00 0.73
Moxy Paris Bastille 0.41 0.75 0.49
The Westin Tokyo 0.47 1.17 0.64
The Westin Singapore 1.17 1.17 1.73
The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman 0.89 0.99 1.35
Total average 0.87 0.89 0.91

Related: The 26 best Marriott hotels in the world

Bottom line

The nature of dynamic pricing is volatile — your Marriott points might be worth x today and y in a few months. Moreover, their value will vary by property.

In the case of these properties, our cumulative average shows that Marriott hasn’t devalued its points. Still, be prepared for sticker shock when you see the cash and points prices for your next tropical vacation.

Even though Marriott hasn’t devalued its points overall yet, our data points to a lot of instability in Marriott redemptions. For example, Marriott points at The Westin Tokyo are worth 45% less in February 2023 tests than in our July 2022 tests. Meanwhile, at the Moxy Miami South Beach, they’re 70% more valuable in our February 2023 tests than in our April 2022 tests.

The unpredictability and degree of these redemption changes leave me pessimistic about the long-term prospects of Marriott points.

Put differently, if you’re holding on to a large sum of Marriott points, now is the time to redeem them.


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