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One week left before Marriott Bonvoy Points Advance changes

Sept. 06, 2019
3 min read
St. Regis Maldives overwater villa
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Looking to book a Marriott property through August 2020 but don't have the points for the stay in your account yet? Book now, because starting Sept. 14, 2019, Marriott's changes to the Points Advance program come into effect, and they're not pretty. Just two weeks ago the chain finally announced the remaining updates to the Marriott Bonvoy program. Here are the basics of what's happening:

Peak and off-peak pricing

We've known for a long time that this was coming, but now it's finally here. Depending on your travel dates, the price of an award night will now vary between off-peak, standard and peak:

Instead of having a set schedule for the year, Marriott will use an algorithm to recalculate these dates on a monthly basis, so a given property could increase or decrease in price.

Points Advance

One of the most useful features of Marriott's award program, Points Advance enables you to book stays without already having the required amount of points in your account. This allowed you to lock in the cost of the room regardless of any changes in award costs (for example, if the hotel increases a category at the start of the new year). Unfortunately, as of Sept. 14, your reservation won't be locking in the rate; rather, it'll be locking in award availability for the room. This means that if you book the JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort and Spa as a Category 5 property during an off-peak period and Marriott's new pricing algorithm decides three months from now that your stay is actually occurring during a peak period, you're on the hook for an extra 10,000 points per night. Ouch.

Cash + Points

The Cash + Points feature is also changing to accommodate the new peak/off-peak pricing. Essentially, you'll pay the same amount of cash regardless of when you book, but your point cost will vary according to the new pricing:

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What do you do if you have upcoming travel?

If you're planning on traveling with Marriott sometime in the next year, book your stay now. One of the best parts of Points Advance is that you can make and cancel bookings without any fees, so if there's something you've been eyeing but aren't sure about, snag it just in case. Marriott has confirmed that all Points Advance stays booked prior to Sept. 14 will lock in the award rate at the time of booking. Starting on Sept. 14, however, those reservations are subject to monthly recalculations until you actually earn and then redeem the points for the award stay.

And if you have Marriott annual free night certificates and thought you were safe, unfortunately those certificates are tied to points values, not award categories. This means that if you've got a certificate from the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card — which gives you an annual night worth up to 50,000 points — sometimes you'll be be able to book at a Category 6 hotel, and sometimes you won't.

Featured image by St. Regis Maldives (Photo by Ethan Steinberg/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
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740-850
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Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
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  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
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  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023