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.

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.

Marriott Bonvoy peak and off-peak dates analysed

How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points via UK credit cards

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Marriott Bonvoy Gold 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 Melia Rewards Gold status.  We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here.

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

Comments (166)

  • bill says:

    I am Marriott Gold. I want to book a room at the AC Alicante using points. There is availability using points for a room with 1 or 2 adults, but not when i add the kids (aged 4 and 6). however, there are cash rates for a room for 2 adults + 1 child or 2 adults + 2 children.

    If I phone the call center is this something they can manually book even though the website says no or can they arrange an upgrade ?

    • Stu_N says:

      I’d book the standard room and email the hotel to enquire about upgrade/ adding the children.

  • Rui N. says:

    OT: anyone with luck finding hotels where you can use your Tesco Clubcard Hotels.com voucher? Can’t seem to find any availability anywhere, even in hotels where I’ve used these vouchers previously. TIA.

    • Anna says:

      Someone posted about this recently but I can’t recall what they suggested! Have you used the link to hotels.com from the email containing your voucher? Whenever I’ve used one there is a field to input the voucher number on the payment page.

      • Rui N. says:

        Thanks Anna. Yes, I’ve used the link on the email and it shows the Tesco logo at the top of the page, but no luck finding any hotel that says the required “Enter coupon code: from Tesco”.
        BUT, I have good news! I tried to do like you’ve said and apply the coupon nonetheless. And even if doesn’t say “Enter coupon code: from Tesco” in any hotels, the coupon seems to apply correctly!

      • Lady London says:

        So if we are entering the Tesco voucher number into a general voucher code field on the payment page, then it’s possible to make a direct booking and therefore accrue points and status benefits on Tesco points stays?

        for some reason I had thought Tesco insisted their link had to be used.

        • Rui N. says:

          Hi Lady London. I’m using their link still. But it doesn’t show “Enter coupon code: from Tesco” on any hotel on the search results, but going through with the booking it allows the voucher code to be used.
          But I think you usually don’t generally accrue reward nights using vouchers in any case, no?

          • Lady London says:

            that was my question.

            I am sure someone said they managed to get Hilton status benefits on a Tesco booking and maybe points credited as well. That made me start to think perhaps they found a way of using the T voucher without going via a Tesco link (which presumably returned commission on your booking to Tesco thus making it highly unlikely you would get status benefits and be able to credit points on the booking).

            so am still wondering…. is a booking using Tesco points able to earn points with, say, Hilton or IHG, and get you status benefits during the stay?

          • Rui N. says:

            Oh, you’re talking about hotel chain points, not even hotels.com credit? I don’t think the Tesco voucher would matter much in that. Will hotels.com even tell the hotel that you’ve used a voucher?
            I think what people do in those cases is after booking with hotels.com call the hotel (or send an email) to add their number to the reservation and then cross their fingers to get the points and/or get status benefits.

          • Rui N. says:

            I guess my point is: what difference would the Tesco voucher make in this? The problem is booking via a third party, not the way you pay said third party.

          • Rui N. says:

            PS: I can confirm if I do not follow the Tesco link I CANNOT use the code.

          • Lady London says:

            You are correct. thanks Rui.

  • JP says:

    Apologies for the slightly OT question. I have an SPG Amex card, and want to refer my parents for Amex Platinum. Is it possible, as I only have the option to refer them for the SPG card (using the Amex app)?

  • Shoestring says:

    install the app—>sign in—>scroll down & tap on free £10 button—>press redeem

    • Shoestring says:

      Got 4x £10 so far, I’m sure I already got it once already on those a/cs

      only hitch is: it’s £10 off £30, sold by Amazon goods only

      • Harry T says:

        Can you uninstall the app and then reinstall it to trigger this offer?

        • Shoestring says:

          this app is on your mobile, it’s enough to log out (tap 3 lines top left, scroll down to settings, sign out)

          then log back in with a qualifying account – your desktop/ laptop Amazon a/c will tell you if you qualify/ are eligible with a banner across the top when you click on something to buy (sold by Amazon)

  • Jane says:

    O/T
    Booked a one night St Regis Miami stay showing 85,000 points a couple of months ago but did not have the points.

    Went yesterday to credit the points and now showing 100,000 as my night is now Peak.

    Assume I have to call them and they will amend /add the points?

  • Alex says:

    OT – Me and my partner Flying from LHR T5 tomorrow morning 11:15 departure. Would anyone be able to guest us into Galleries? Short haul so booked economy and my silver has lapsed due to using 2-4-1 vocuhers this year… much appreciated if anyone is around 🙂

  • SimonW says:

    O/T – DVLA website not accepting AMEX for car tax today….. Anyone know if there is a work around for this ?? Much appreciated…

  • Duncan says:

    O/T
    Have used my Avios on several Qantas (booked through BA) domestic Aus flights. Does anyone know if my BA silver will get me in to the Qantas lounges.
    Thought I’d read somewhere that I would not get lounge access on domestic flights?
    Thanks

    • Neil Donoghue says:

      You will receive lounge access!

    • Lady London says:

      Yes

      Silver only gets you the Qantas Business level lounge in SYD though, which isn’t worth bothering with. (Got a feeling the SYD lounges may be being refurbished ATM, as well).

      The QF First lounge in SYD is quite a different thing but would require OneWorld Emerald if you are not travelling in OneWorld First Class – salt and pepper squid, anyone? Yum.

      • John says:

        Domestic and international lounges are completely separate in most Australian airports (as they are in separate terminals). In domestic terminals BA Silver gets Qantas Club (average) while BA Gold gets Qantas Business lounges (excellent, but not in all airports).

    • Steve says:

      Dress code applies for domestic lounges… no vest or thongs. I was flying Cathay J out of Adelaide and got denied.

      • Anna says:

        I’m not sure I’d want you on the furniture in a thong 😂

      • Lady London says:

        Were you wearing the vest, or the thongs?

        btw for non-Aussies, thongs in Oz are jandals/flipflops – so footwear – not underwear!!! sadly….

    • Lyn says:

      You will have access to the Qantas Club lounges, which are absolutely fine, but not the Business lounges, which are for business class passengers (and perhaps Emerald / BA Gold). There isn’t an enormous amount of difference between them. Lady London’s First lounges are for international flights (First passengers and Emerald/BA Gold).