Marriott today announced several changes to the Bonvoy program, of which some are temporary while others are permanent.
Marriott Bonvoy will extend member tiers by an additional year through February 2023. Points expiry is paused through the end of 2022, Suite Night Awards are extended through June 30, 2022, Free Night Awards expiring in early 2022 are extended through June 30, 2022 and there is more flexibility to combine Free Night Awards with additional points from early 2022.
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READ MORE: Marriott Bonvoy Rate & Bonus Points Offers
Here’s the announcement from Marriott:
Members’ 2021 status will be extended for another year through February 2023. Whether status was earned in 2020 or earned in 2019 and extended for this year, members’ 2021 status will be extended for an additional year.
Several hotel and air loyalty programs have already announced additional status extensions for a year. Many business travelers have been mgrounded for most of the year and it makes sense for loyalty programs to try to retain them once the corporate travel slowly picks up.
The current pause on points expiration will be extended through December 31, 2022.
Members will have an additional year to use or earn points before they potentially expire.
SNAs set to expire December 31, 2021, will be extended six months through June 30, 2022
Members can use Suite Night Awards to upgrade their stays, based on property availability. These are extended by six months.
Members who currently have FNAs that will expire between January 3, 2022, and June 29, 2022, as part of as part of the cobrand credit card benefit, annual choice benefit, or promotions will be able to redeem them through June 30, 2022. The system will automatically update accounts in December.
Marriott Bonvoy is not extending Free Night Awards that are expiring this year, but only those in early 2022 through June 30.
In addition, we know members want more flexibility when it comes to cashing in their FNAs. Beginning in early 2022, members will be able to combine their FNAs with up to 15,000 points from their accounts, so they’ll have the option to explore even more of our portfolio.
This is a very welcome change that many members have been critical of. It has been increasingly challenging to use Free Night Awards that are capped at certain point levels.
Properties can often be 45,000 points per night when the certificate is capped at 40,000. You cannot currently use the award for these stays but can in early 2022 by using up to 15,000 extra points top of the certificate’s maximum value.
These are welcome changes, unlike Marriott Bonvoy’s move to dynamically priced hotel awards partially in 2022 and entirely in 2023 (see the separate article) that makes aspirational awards unaffordable for majority members.
Loyalty programs don’t have much choice other than extending member tiers for the last time and perhaps slightly lower requirements to qualify in 2022 if they wish to retain most business travelers.
You also need to keep in mind that many markets in which Marriott operates have had various levels of travel bans in place for part or most of 2021 and have just begun to relax them.
It certainly will be exciting and interesting 2022.