Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Is there any link between Marriott Bonvoy peak and off-peak dates and the hotel cash price?

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When Marriott Bonvoy first announced that it was introducing peak and off-peak pricing, we all assumed that it would look something like the peak and off-peak chart used for British Airways Avios redemptions.  (The 2020 Avios peak and off-peak calendar is here.)

We thought we would see whole months, or at least chunks of weeks, marked as either peak, off-peak or standard.  We were wrong.

Marriott Bonvoy peak and off-peak dates analysed

What has actually happened is that hotels jump between peak, standard and off-peak reward pricing from day to day.

We touched on this on Sunday in Anika’s review of Marriott Canary Wharf but I wanted to look at it in more detail.  Marriott Canary Wharf is a good example because, as a Central London hotel, there are substantial swings in the cash price from day to day depending on how many events are going on in the city.

Here is the Bonvoy redemption pricing for October 2019 (click to enlarge):

Marriott Bonvoy peak and off-peak chart

Of the 31 days in October, there is redemption availability on 24 of them:

1 night is ‘peak’ at 40,000 Bonvoy points

16 nights are ‘standard’ at 35,000 Bonvoy points

7 nights are ‘off-peak’ at 30,000 Bonvoy points

The distribution is random.  Sundays are most likely to be off-peak, but not always.  The only peak night is a Saturday which is usually low yield.

Let’s compare this to cash pricing though:

Marriott Bonvoy peak and off peak chart

Cash prices go from £105 to a whopping £586.

When you look at the cash prices versus the points prices.

The one ‘peak’ night at 40,000 points is selling for just £177!

The seven ‘off peak’ nights at 30,000 points are selling for (in date order) £361, £161, £228, £105, £262, £216 and £220

The 24 ‘standard’ nights at 35,000 points are selling between £121 and £586

Put another way …..

The average price of an ‘off peak’ night is £221, but 1/3rd of the ‘Standard’ nights are priced at £224 or less.

What can we draw from this?  Marriott Bonvoy, at least on this example, has not moved to a purely revenue-based redemption model.  It is NOT as simple as saying ‘this hotel charges peak points when cash rates are above £xxx and off-peak points when cash rates are below £yyy’.

Is this good or bad?  Is it actually better for members that the allocation is fairly random?  I’m honestly not sure.   The more random it is, the more chance of being able to get ‘outsized’ value on a redemption, but it also means that there will be more occasions when points look like bad value.

In reality, we need to give Bonvoy a bit of time to bed down the peak and off-peak methodology.  For now, though, you need to take extra care to compare points rates and cash rates when planning a redemption to ensure you are getting good value.

Mariott Bonvoy American Express credit card

How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards (January 2021)

There are various ways of earning Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

The official Marriott Bonvoy American Express card comes with 20,000 points for signing up, 2 points for every £1 you spend and 15 elite night credits per year. You can apply here.

American Express Marriott Bonvoy credit card

Marriott Bonvoy American Express

20,000 points sign-up bonus and 15 elite night credits Read our full review

You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points by converting American Express Membership Rewards points at the rate of 2:3.

Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status for as long as they hold the card?  It also comes with Hilton Honors Gold, Radisson Rewards Gold, Shangri-La Golden Circle Jade and MeliaRewards Gold status.  We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

You can also earn American Express Membership Rewards points with American Express Gold (20,000 bonus points), the American Express Rewards Credit Card (5,000 bonus points) and – for small business owners – American Express Business Gold (20,000 bonus points) and Business Platinum (40,000 bonus points).

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which can be used to earn Marriott Bonvoy points

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Comments (166)

  • Phil G says:

    On checking if a points stay booked in miami was any cheaper points wise under the new system i found an amenity charge of $22 per night was now on my booking that was not there at time of booking. I assume this is a new enchancement to the hotels facilities. Anybody any experience of avoiding paying in this scenario. I have email of original booking with no fee mentioned. I have the option of rebooking for 5K points less but this would lock me into the new amenity fee.

    • Lady London says:

      I have had charges, such as resort fees, removed from my bill at US hotels several times without problem when I pointed out that this was not notified on my confirmation (and produced said confirmation) so I do not think I should be obliged to pay it.

      I would actually cancel, for this, if the hotel won’t put a note on my booking and give me an email that this extra charge will not be made.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        It’s not always that bad a deal. Worth finding out what it gets you.

        Recently paid $35 in NYC which got me $35 of F&B (2 great drinks in bar) and $50 in laundry (shirt, boxers, trousers/shorts) sorted I thought I did pretty well out of it going home with a clean suitcase of clothes rather than my usual dirty laundry.

    • John says:

      So you save 5000 points but have to pay $22? Might be ok especially if the fee gets you something.

  • Benilyn says:

    OT: Any recommendations for hotel in London for the fireworks, room with view or rooftop? Shangri-La too expensive. Anyone looked at Sunborn London?

    • BJ says:

      Come to Edinburgh, both the party and the fireworks are better, celebration go on for days and it’s not dead like London over Xmas and New Year. Better still, if its fireworks you’re after then best option of all is Pattaya International Fireworks Festival; all New Year and Olympic displays are insignificant by comparison.

    • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

      Park Plaza Westminster Bridge, especially the terrace suites.

  • eli says:

    OT i’m really struggling with the Monese promo.
    I had an account already, added avios account, just added a tenner by bank transfer (Debit card just wouldn’t work), it’s showing “Oops there’s a problem” in promotions and I can’t figure out how to solve that to get into the Avios draw. please help!!!

    also, how do I add PayPal?

    • BJ says:

      I hope Ryanair charges Alex £100,000 then when he needs to get back to Spain.

      • BJ says:

        Sorry Eli, that reply was meant to be to Anna.

        I’m having problems with Jones too, having deposited £100, I can now not get anything out by the card or bank payment. A support message to them has not been answered in three days.

    • eli says:

      I should add hat i’m doing this from abroad!
      can that be the source of all my troubles?

  • Anna says:

    Reports in the media that BA tried to charge stranded (and jobless) Thomas Cook cabin crew $10k each for their only available seats (in CW) back from Las Vegas. They were told they couldn’t use jump seats as they are no longer cabin crew. Pretty low, if true.

    • Freddy says:

      Wouldn’t surprise me, sounds like typical BA behaviour

    • Lady London says:

      Absolutely outrageous.
      I am sure there is some safety rule that would stop Thomas Cook crew even off-duty, using the jump seats on a BA aircraft.

      However not to help the crew out by giving them, at least, BA staff rate equivalent (if not free) is just low.

      The TC crew probably knew their airline was going under but went on duty anyway as “that’s the job”. They are even more deserving than those holidaymakers being rescued under ATOL. Probably they are owed wages as well.

      As the Germans would say, “Gemein.” I hope other airlines are quietly helping out stranded TC crew.

      • Charlieface says:

        The BA staff rate IS the jump seat; they standby for a normal seat then go to a jump if the flight is full.

  • Shoestring says:

    Free tenner on the Post Office Travel Money Card – it’s because they’re giving a £15 bonus.

    So you can factor in the worse exchange rate and ATM fee, which together were about £5 in my case, so I’m £10 up.

    You can see the ATM fee chargeable for your currency in ‘Fees’, then add this on to the minimum loading (£50) and also make it a round ATM-withdrawable number so that you can withdraw the lot in one go when you are next abroad.

    Card is delivered free to your address.

    • Shoestring says:

      I’m also going to see if my wife can just pay it all online towards a bill out in our place in the sun, which might be neater for us.

    • Anna says:

      Which cards can you load it with? I thought about getting one of these recently but as I recall it wouldn’t work with Curve.

      • Shoestring says:

        I used my debit card as the credit cards have a habit of seeing it as a cash advance & charging you £5

  • GRIMZ says:

    I can’t find the promo link on the homepage?