Marriott Quietly Loosened Its “No Blackout Dates” Policy

After its merge with SPG program, Marriott incorporated a lot of legacy SPG policies, including the No Blackout Dates policy, stating that if a standard room is available for sale by any means, it should be redeemable using points. However, we recently found that Marriott has changed its no Blackout Dates policy without announcement. Here’s the new policy:

3.2.n.  The Company has a “No Blackout Dates” policy, which means that, subject to the limitations and exclusions below, Participating Properties have standard rooms available every day for Award Redemptions. These limitations and exclusions are:

i.      Participating Properties from the following Brands may cap the number of standard rooms available for redemption on a limited number of days: The Ritz-Carlton®, EDITION®, JW Marriott®, Marriott Hotels®, Delta Hotels®, Autograph Collection® Hotels, Renaissance® Hotels, Gaylord Hotels®, Courtyard®, SpringHill Suites®, Protea Hotels®, Fairfield by Marriott®, AC Hotels®, Moxy® Hotels, Residence Inn®, TownePlace Suites®.

ii.     The following Participating Brands allow only for Points/Miles earnings and do not offer Points redemption: Marriott Executive Apartments® and ExecuStay®.

iii.     The following Participating Properties or Brands either do not participate in or do not fully participate in the No Blackout Dates benefit at this time:

●     Boscolo Exedra Nice, Autograph Collection
●     The Dedica Anthology, Autograph Collection
●     JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn® Resort & Spa, Scottsdale, AZ
●     Marriott Vacation Club and Marriott Grand Residence Club – all properties
●     Participating Vistana properties
●     Rome Marriott Grand Hotel Flora, Rome, Italy
●     Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, Hawaii
●     Wailea Beach Resort – Marriott – Maui, Hawaii

Below is how the old policy stated:

3.2.n.  Blackout dates refer to a limited number of dates when a Participating Property could choose not to permit Members to redeem Points for Awards, but the Company has a “No Blackout Dates” benefit so that if there is a standard room available for booking by any means, whether by cash, credit or Points, then a Member can reserve the room using Points.  The following properties either do not participate in or do not fully participate in the No Blackout Dates benefit at this time:

●     Boscolo Exedra Nice, Autograph Collection
●     The Dedica Anthology, Autograph Collection
●     JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn® Resort & Spa, Scottsdale, AZ
●     Marriott Vacation Club and Marriott Grand Residence Club – all properties
●     Participating Vistana properties
●     Rome Marriott Grand Hotel Flora, Rome, Italy
●     Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, Hawaii
●     Wailea Beach Resort – Marriott – Maui, Hawaii

This by no means is a good move for Marriott members,

Nearly all legacy Marriott brands have aborted the No Blackout Dates policy. They are allowed to cap the redeemable standard rooms. We can expect that during high seasons in the future, points redemption will be a challenge at some Marriott hotels, which definitely is what we don’t want to see.

So far legacy SPG brands still obey the No Blackout Dates policy. This may cause pressure on the hotels, as there could be more redemptions at legacy SPG hotels . If legacy SPG brands choose to exit the policy, I won’t be surprised.


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