File this one under ‘Lessons learned by accident’. This seems to happen with a lot of the hotel chains, and with Marriott now offering peak, off peak, and regular pricing that changes every month, it’s going to be even more important going forward. Latest example, we booked the Hampton Inn Marathon, FL for 59,000 points for a Saturday night stay. A month out before our stay we rechecked the booking and it was now available for 50,000 points a night! Cancelled and rebooked and 9,000 points back into the satchel. When I check now a few days out from our planned stay, it’s back up to 60,000 a night.
Another stay we had booked for 5 nights at a Marriott Courtyard at 15,000 points a night plus the 5th night free. We’re usually booking a year out, so about 3 months out I recheck the hotel and it’s 12,500 a night, Marriott had lowered the hotel category. Of course, when award redemption pricing goes down they aren’t going to notify you about this, your loss if you don’t catch it. In this case it was again 10,000 points back into the pirate’s satchel by simply calling and rebooking the reservation.
The take away here, always recheck your future award stays because they can change at any time. If it’s a change for the worse, now worries you can keep quiet and hang on to your original lower redemption booking. But if the price goes down, rebook and save some points! I’ve gotten in the habit of rechecking future bookings every month or two so I don’t miss out on any of these savings in the future.