Marriott Makes Changes to Points Advance Feature
Marriott has a feature called Points Advance, which lets you use points that you do not have yet, to book award stays. You would then need to earn the required points within 14 days of arrival.
But besides the intended use of booking award when you were short on points, the Points Advance feature also let you borrow points to make a reservation if you had enough points to cover the entire award stay.
There’s was no announcement of this change, but the new way of using Points Advance does match what the terms of Marriott Bonvoy say:
“Members who seek to make an Award Redemption with an insufficient Point balance may make the Award Redemption and either (1) purchase Points (as described in Section 2.9) to make a valid Award Redemption, provided that the aggregate amount of Points purchased and/or received as a gift by the Member is less than or equivalent to 50,000 Points per calendar year; or (2) the Member accrues sufficient Points to use Points for payment of the Award Redemption no less than fourteen (14) days prior to Member’s arrival date.”
This might not be a huge issues for everyone, but it was an extra option for speculative award stays. You can still achieve the same result even with the new rules.
Just book a refundable award stay to empty out your Marriott account balance, and then book the reservation you want, using Points Advance (since you no longer have enough points to book). You can then cancel the original reservation for the award stay you didn’t want. Not as easy as before, but still doable.