Marriott announced today that the Points Advance feature of the program, where you can book an award without having enough points provided you earn them within 2 months or within 14 days of the stay, whichever comes first.
The program will be discontinued after March 27th, 2023.
Marriott previously gutted the Points Advance benefit in 2021, limiting you to 3 Points Advance reservations (total) and eliminating the feature that held the points rate, meaning all you were doing was making sure you had a standard room award, but the price could increase while held.
Members that have points advance stays booked from March 28th on will still have them honored provided they earn the points in time per the policy. However, after the 27th, you’ll no longer be able to make a new Points Advance reservation and you won’t be able to modify an existing one either. You’ll have to either get the points to complete the reservation or book anew.
They claim the benefit is being renewed due to a lack of member interest. That may actually be true, given that after the benefit stopped holding the actual award price, it became far less valuable.
And I’m sure it’s also true that many members would hold rooms they has close to no chance of using “just in case” and cancelling at the 14 day window, leaving hotels to resell the rooms on short notice.
The only other program that has a Points Advance feature now is Hyatt, which offers the benefit only for its top tier Globalist members. Globalists can book as many reservations as they want without points, though only 3 for the same dates. They do need to be mindful of a hotel cancellation policy though. If the hotel has a 60 day cancellation policy and they don’t have the points 7 days before the stay, it will get converted to a paid rate. And you’d be subject to the cancelation policy despite having never completed the reservation with the actual points since it’s considered a confirmed reservation.
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