Up until today (May 27, 2021), you could make a reservation using Bonvoy points at a nice hotel like the one shown above, and if you were short on the required Bonvoy points needed, you could do a “Points Advance Reservation” — meaning you had a reservation with a commitment that you would have the necessary Bonvoy points at least 2 weeks before your scheduled trip. That makes it possible to schedule highly requested rooms early BEFORE you have enough points — giving you time to earn more points through credit card purchases, etc.
As of today, Marriott has announced that the time limit of 2 weeks before the scheduled trip has been changed to 60 days after the reservation has been MADE. So if you make a “Points Advance Reservation” for December 2021, and are short on Bonvoy points needed in 60 days — July 26, 2021 — your reservation will be cancelled. That is way different from having until the middle of November to have the number of points needed for a December reservation. And not only that — the new change is retroactive. ANY “Points Advance Reservation” made, even months ago, must have all the Bonvoy points needed within 60 days of May 27, 2021, — July 26, 2021 — regardless of when the trip is reserved for. If, after the 60-day window you are insufficient in the number of Bonvoy points you need, the reservation will be automatically cancelled.
The good news, you still have a little leeway in earning enough Bonvoy points to pay for your reservation — 60 days to be exact. The bad news — if you are short quite a few points — you probably shouldn’t be making the reservations.
Here’s the exact wording of the policy:
Effective May 27, 2021, Members who seek to make an Award Redemption reservation with an insufficient Points balance may book an Award Redemption reservation (“Points Advance Redemption Reservation”) that is at least thirty (30) or more days from the arrival date, and hold it for sixty (60) days from time of booking, or no later than fourteen (14) days prior to the Member’s arrival date, whichever occurs sooner. Points Advance Redemption Reservations booked prior to May 27, 2021 will be placed on a 60-day hold beginning on May 27, 2021, or held no later than fourteen (14) days prior to the Member’s arrival date, whichever occurs sooner.“