Having searched for the answer, I can't find what will define peak and off-peak.
Any steers would be greatly appreciated.
Marriott will define it - they get to make the rules, and you'll know by 1 August when it's released, or 2019 when it is actually used and Category 8 is also implemented.
Other than that, I believe it's been stated somewhere 'peak' will be based on what they deem to be the busiest times on a per hotel basis, not a per-category basis.
This is going the big reason why the points value will go down because people mostly have their vacations in peak season which is the reason it's busy.
In the USA you could define the normal and peak season from march to october and we can add about 2 weeks at Christmas and New Year...so it will be close to 66% of the time.(graph showing this on statista)
Florida hard to say if there's a low season?!
Now the specific hotel might say now that it's a peak season if there's a conference,concert, game day,weather and could be like the SPG low cat.that even have lower rates on the weekends?!
As the Marriott hotel average 65% or so occupancy rate in the peak season in the USA, it's not about being sold out.
Now we have the advantage of knowing no matter what date we book how much a cat 4 will cost in points...next year that can be from 20k to 30k and i think the exact date and month will be part of it but also influenced from the factors i stated above.
Now i'm from Canada..i think this could be an advantage for us as our off season might be from october to may but it's going to be a balance act for the peak/off peak...One way of having a rough idea is checking the prices in advance for a specific hotel..if it's lower than average i guess it's off peak?!
Whistler BC peak season will match the snow season for skiers and snowmobilers...
Business travelers will average out if they use their points off peak season but a traveler usually has vactions when the weather is nice or when the weather matches the activities they want to do so it becomes peak season for the hotel.
Okay, clear as mud!
Because of the uncertainty, I will continue trying to purge points before the impending devaluation.
Reviving this as we near the Feb 13th announcement. To book now or not to book?
I would think book now. You can also rebook if the points redemption falls when peak/off-peak comes into place.
However, if the cancellation policy falls before Feb 13 for stays after Feb 13, I am not sure whether they will give you the lower points rate if it falls in the off peak season. Looking at what happen in Aug 2018, I would think they might auto reduce your rate in this case. However someone on this forum might have a better the answer!
Um, OF COURSE YOU BOOK NOW!
If the point values go down, then you hope they automatically change the reservation like they did upticking points at the merger on a lot of rewards redemptions. Or, you just simply call and have the reservation adjusted, or rebook (assuming availability) and cancel the old reservation.
If the values go up, then you argue to keep your original values (again, like many members had to do at the 18 August merger) - that's what "Points Advance" is perfect for.
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