When Marriott announced that they were introducing peak and off-peak awards for all reservations made on or after September 14, I got a little nervous and speculatively booked a bunch of award stays for the next year. I wanted to lock in standard point reservations and did not want to get hit with peak pricing, just in case.
In 2020 our family has a trip to California penciled into the calendar. Although we do not have our plans set in stone, we know that a one or two day trip to Disneyland is absolutely on the agenda. It is my kids Spring Break and although it is a very peak time for New England families, it is a very off-peak time for Disneyland (since it is after Easter). We are hoping for a not as packed park which means shorter lines (fingers crossed!). Typically when we visit Disneyland, we stay at a nearby TownePlace suites, a Marriott brand hotel, as the location and room set up works well for us. Not to mention the property is only a category 4 which means it is just 25,000 points per night (for standard point pricing).
Although I already secured the hotel room a few weeks ago, I double checked the point pricing this morning to see if the points stayed the same or in fact got more expensive. Never did I expect it to actually go down in the number of points required! The hotel is now pricing out as an off-peak date at just 20,000 points a night. As a matter of fact, almost all of the Marriott properties in close proximity to Disneyland on this particular date are pricing out as off-peak awards.
Check the Number of Points Calendar View
If your dates are flexible and you want to check to see the number of points required per night, you can check via Marriott’s calendar view. To do this you’ll need to first enter your destination and then when you click on the dates, swap over to “Flexible Dates” (rather than “Specific Dates). You’ll then select the month you are looking to travel. I’d keep the number of nights at “1” for now so you can see the points required per night.
For example, when I do this for the hotel I am looking at in Disneyland, the monthly view shows me four peak nights and seven off-peak nights which is quite nice. Although I know many aspiration properties are not in the travelers favor at all.
If you already made Marriott reservations, make sure to double check to see if the number of points required for a free night stay have gone down in price. If they have, you can just cancel your reservation and re-book (assuming you are within the cancelation timeframe). Keep in mind though that Marriott is going to adjust their peak vs. off-peak calendar on a monthly basis, so you’ll want to lock in that lower rate sooner than later just in case the number of points required goes back up. Now, if the points required did not change, keep on checking monthly as you never know when the calendar will change and you could possibly be pleasantly surprised with a lower rate in the future.
While I wish that peak vs. off-peak pricing was lever implemented as I am sure I will be burned in the future, I am pleasantly surprised that I am benefiting so quickly by this new award chart.
How have you been affected by Marriott’s new award chart and the peak and off-peak pricing?