I have felt the first adverse effect of the new peak/off peak policy, and would be interested in others' thoughts and experiences.
I booked a three night stay in Chicago months ago for next weekend, and used an annual free night certificate for one of the three nights. Plans changed, and I called yesterday to cancel one of the paid nights.
When I checked today, I saw that the free night certificate had been returned to my account, and there was a debit for 40,000 points applied instead.
I called to inquire and was told that even though the original booking had been made and the free night certificate applied while the hotel rate was 35,000 points/night, under the new peak/off peak program the rate was now 40,000 points/night. As a result, the free night certificate (only good up to 35,000 points) could no longer be used, and I had to use points instead.
This applies to ANY change in the original reservation - even though to me dropping one of the paid nights shouldn't have really impacted the situation. According to the agent, any reservation change is basically a cancellation and a rebooking, so the system acts accordingly under the terms of the new program.
I've been hoarding my points pretty closely, and this was the perfect opportunity for me to use a free night certificate that I now may have trouble applying before it expires....
I guess I understand how it happened, but honestly I'm not too happy about it. I just returned from an overseas trip with seven paid Marriott nights, and could easily have used the free certificate for any of those nights had I known.