We first saw this promotion show up around this time last year, and now it’s back for another round in 2021.
For bookings made between now and October 14, 2021, for stays until October 31, 2021, the majority of Marriott’s 7,000+ hotels around the world will be bookable using points at the off-peak rate.
Off-Peak Rates at Marriott Hotels
As a reminder, redeeming Marriott Bonvoy points for free hotel nights is subject to the the following redemption chart:
Under this promotion, most of Marriott’s hotels are bookable at the off-peak rate in the first column of the chart through the end of October 2021.
As I’ve detailed before, while there many things I love about Marriott Bonvoy, the peak and off-peak dates is one of my greatest frustrations with the program. Since the start of the pandemic, we’ve seen several hotels charging peak rates on a fairly consistent basis, despite the fact that it’s clearly incongruent with the actual current state of the travel industry.
Anyway, we as members of the loyalty program can only make the most of what we’re given, so let’s take a look at some of the opportunities that present themselves with Marriott’s Week of Wonders.
Strategies to Redeem Bonvoy Points
With off-peak rates at many Marriott properties, I do think there a handful of good opportunities to redeem Marriott Bonvoy points at a higher value than you might usually get.
Generally speaking, the value proposition will mirror the patterns when there’s no promotion in place, with the value being better at the higher and lower ends of the spectrum and more muddied in the middle.
We value Bonvoy points at 0.9 cents per point (CAD) apiece, so that’s the barometer against which I’d decide whether or not to redeem points.
For example, if you’re thinking about a domestic fall getaway, The Ritz-Carlton, Montreal and the St. Regis Toronto are both bookable for 50,000 Bonvoy points per night at the Category 7 off-peak rate, which compares very favourably to the $500+ standard cash rates that these properties usually charge.
On the other hand, if you’re planning to venture outside of Canada this month, you could aim for the sweet spot of booking Marriott’s top-tier Category 8 hotels at the off-peak pricing of 70,000 Bonvoy points per night.
If you take advantage of the Fifth Night Free, then that becomes an effective 56,000 Bonvoy points per night, which is a spectacular deal for luxury resorts like the JW Marriott Maldives.
Review: JW Marriott Maldives, Part 2: Resort Highlights
Review: JW Marriott Maldives, Part 1: Overwater Villas
Review: W Verbier
Review: The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto
Review: St. Regis New York
Review: Al Maha Desert Resort Dubai, Luxury Collection
Review: Mystique Santorini, Luxury Collection
Review: St. Regis Bali
Review: Hôtel de Berri Paris, Luxury Collection
Moreover, if you’re able to find a hotel that’s also participating in PointSavers (Marriott’s saver deals available at select properties throughout the year) at the same time as the Week of Wonders off-peak promotion, then the pricing will be even cheaper, as seen in the first column of the below PointSavers chart:
For example, the JW Marriott Parq Vancouver is available at the off-peak PointSavers rate of 35,000 Bonvoy points per night throughout much of October 2021.
That’s an absolute steal of a rate for this property, especially when you consider that it’s eligible for 35,000-point Free Night Award bookings too (more on that below).
Finally, if you’ve already made upcoming reservations for travel before October 31, don’t forget that you have the opportunity to cancel and rebook to take advantage of these off-peak rates where applicable, as long as the hotel still has rooms available and you’re outside of the cancellation window.
Use Up Your Free Night Certificates
It’s also worth noting that this promotion represents an excellent chance to use up any Free Night Awards sitting in your account.
All three of the most commonly held types of Free Night Awards are subject to great redemption opportunities:
- The Free Night Award worth up to 35,000 Bonvoy points that you get from the Amex Bonvoy Card or Amex Bonvoy Business Card is optimally redeemed at an off-peak PointSavers Category 6 hotel, as in the example of the JW Marriott Parq Vancouver given above.
- The Free Night Award worth up to 40,000 Bonvoy points that you get as an Annual Choice Benefit upon reaching 75 elite qualifying nights per year is best redeemed at an off-peak Category 6 hotel.
- The Free Night Award worth up to 50,000 Bonvoy points that you get from the Amex US Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card is best redeemed at an off-peak Category 7 hotel.
Need Elite Nights? Time to Mattress Run!
One of the best avenues for finessing your way to Marriott Platinum Elite and unlocking special benefits such as free breakfast, lounge access, and suite upgrades is to make “mattress runs”: booking and checking into hotel stays for the sole purpose of earning elite qualifying nights.
If you’re just short of the next elite qualifying threshold, you might wish to mattress-run your way to a few extra elite nights, and the objective is always to book your mattress run as cheaply as possible. And with off-peak rates across the board until October 31, that becomes pretty effortless.
The following Marriott hotels in Canada are given a Category 1 designation:
At these hotels, the off-peak rate is only 5,000 points per night, so if you book a reservation for five nights and take advantage of the Fifth Night Free, you’ll only pay 20,000 Bonvoy points to earn five elite qualifying nights.
While I myself won’t need to mattress-run this year, I’ve been meaning to help a few family members earn Platinum Elite status as well, so who knows – you just might find me camped out in Medicine Hat for a couple of weeks or something like that. 😉
Also: 2,000 Bonus Points, Discounted Rates, and More
There are a couple of less-interesting promotions taking place under Week of Wonders as well, including:
- 2,000 bonus Bonvoy points for your first stay by November 21, 2021 as a Marriott Bonvoy credit card holder (must register by October 14, 2021)
- 25% off paid rates at select properties
- 15% off paid rates at all-inclusive properties
- US$300 hotel credit at select luxury properties
- 3x points on Homes & Villas by Marriott
- Buy Marriott Bonvoy points with a 55% bonus
- 30% off Away luggage selection
- US$50 gift card on a US$200 purchase at Marriott Bonvoy Boutiques
Take a look through the Week of Wonders landing page to see if any of the offers pique your interest.
Registration is required for the 2,000 bonus points upon staying before November 21 as a credit card holder, so make sure to click that button before October 14.
Also, check if the discounted paid rate offers might allow you to cancel and rebook any upcoming reservations at a cheaper price, and consider whether buying points with a 55% bonus would make sense for you if you’re thinking of booking a high-value stay in the upcoming months.
Marriott’s Week of Wonders promotion gives us plenty of potentially attractive opportunities to mull over.
Whether you’re planning to use up some Bonvoy points or Free Night Awards on upcoming trips this month, or you’re interested in a cheap mattress run or two, take a look around to see if redeeming Bonvoy points at the off-peak rate would make sense for your October travel plans.