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Is the Amex Bonvoy card worth it after February 2020 devaluations?

Is the Amex Bonvoy card worth it after February 2020 devaluations?

Old Feb 5, 20, 2:41 pm
  #1  
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Is the Amex Bonvoy card worth it after February 2020 devaluations?

my initial reaction to today's devaluations is that the amex bonvoy card has lost its value. my wife and i got this card principally for the "free night" that is included with the annual fee, effectively giving you a night at a cat 5 hotel for CAD 120. The 10 nights credit is not a bad perk either.
when marriott moved to variable pricing, that limited the dates on which you could use the night since on some dates a cat 5 would be 40,000 pts, but that was not a deal breaker since we are flexible and don't usually like travelling at peak times anyway.
but now most hotels in vancouver, bc, will go from 35,000 to 50,000 points for regular redemptions. even at off peak, cat 6 hotels are out of bounds for the annual free night.
many other big cities have faced similar increases thus drastically reducing the value of the amex bonvoy card's free annual night.
my first reaction is that we won't renew our cards at their anniversary in a couple of months. how many of you think that there's still value in this card?
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Old Feb 5, 20, 3:02 pm
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I have similar questions. My amex brilliant card is due for the annual fee this month, $450. Other then one pending stay in September that would consume the $300 credit, I don't anticipate any other Marriott stays this year (although I would likely use the free night certificate for a stay in Spring '21). I also have the Chase Marriott card. I don't benefit from Gold status generally, as I require an accessible room, and upgrade options often don't exist. I don't utilize the other perks of the card either. I don't plan to cancel, but am considering the best path to downgrade:

1. Downgrade prior to paying the AF.

I read about this option, but wanted to confirm whether it is suggested:

2. Pay the AF, wait to collect the free night, then downgrade, and receive the prorated AF.
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Old Feb 5, 20, 3:49 pm
  #3  
mia
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Originally Posted by BenSenise View Post
my initial reaction to today's devaluations
If, like me, you need context for this: 2020 Category Changes : effective March 4, 2020
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Old Feb 5, 20, 4:55 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: May 2005
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I will keep my Bonvoy card for the free night certificate in exchange for a $95 annual fee. However, after putting nearly $50k yearly spend on it when it was the Starwood card, I won't put any spend on it going forward.
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Old Feb 5, 20, 5:41 pm
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Category changes are not a devaluation. In fact there is no value of points anyway. Itís all funny money.
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Old Feb 5, 20, 7:27 pm
  #6  
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Originally Posted by hotelboy View Post
Category changes are not a devaluation. In fact there is no value of points anyway. Itís all funny money.
granted, technically speaking a hotel changing categories is not a devaluation but if points have no value, you certainly wouldn't mind giving me all of yours.
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Old Feb 6, 20, 2:24 am
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Originally Posted by hotelboy View Post
Category changes are not a devaluation. In fact there is no value of points anyway. It’s all funny money.
Really? So if Bonvoy decided that all hotels are now category 8 properties, you'd not consider that an extreme devaluation?

In this case, the number of properties that went up in price (category) far outpaced the number of properties that dropped in cost (category). Combined with the also introduced inventory control limitations this certainly makes my "free" (paid for with AF) credit card night and my few remaining points worth less.
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Old Feb 6, 20, 10:33 am
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Originally Posted by hotelboy View Post
Category changes are not a devaluation. In fact there is no value of points anyway. Itís all funny money.
Really bad take. From this perspective most paper currency is "funny money" too.
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Old Feb 6, 20, 4:29 pm
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I cancelled my card with the 35k night. It's getting harder and harder to use the 50k night certificate and I'm not sure if I am going to keep next annual fee.
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Old Feb 6, 20, 5:00 pm
  #10  
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For me the main benefit is 6 points per dollar on Marriott spend, plus the 15 nights elite credit (to the extent I care about requalifying).
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Old Feb 6, 20, 9:43 pm
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I like that the JW Marriott Singapore and the St Regis have gone down a category. Silver lining I guess. However, since the merger the program has been getting harder and harder to follow with the category changes, peak pricing, and fifth night free devaluation. I have decided a Marriott card isn't for me.
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Old Feb 7, 20, 3:01 am
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Not as valuable as before, but still worth it. You pay $95 to stay at a Cat 5 hotel(or Cat 4 on peak) w/ free cancellation and elite benefits(which is normally around $200 if you pay cash).
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Old Feb 7, 20, 3:23 am
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
For me the main benefit is 6 points per dollar on Marriott spend, plus the 15 nights elite credit (to the extent I care about requalifying).
I actually stopped using the Marriott card (Chase Boundless in my case) and instead used the CSR for my recent few Marriott stays. Iíd rather have 3X UR than 6X Bonvoy, and the elite credit doesnít matter to be since I will never get above Gold that I have from my Amex Plat and my United Gold RewardsPlus match.
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Old Feb 7, 20, 1:31 pm
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I don't think there is aspirational value in the 35K certificate. You can use them for any number of workmanlike stays. For example, I am redeeming mine at Renaissance FIRA in Barcelona for one night (I need to be there to position for a flight). The certs are also good for one-night stays at Courtyards, Residence Inns, etc in markets like DC, Chicago, whatever. However a lot of people seem to have had multiple cards and strung the nights together for stays at pretty good hotels. You can't really do that anymore. The 50K cert is much more useful (but was hurt by the category changes as well).

I have two cards (Bonvoy Brilliant and the regular Bonvoy). It's not worth keeping an Amex slot for both of them so I am cancelling the regular Bonvoy pretty shortly. I will replace it with a Hilton card. I may eventually reapply for the Chase Marriott card in a couple of years when I am below 5/24.
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Old Feb 7, 20, 4:07 pm
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To me, the value of the Bonvoy cards,both Amex and Visa is certainly diminished each time Marriott raises redemption values.

In my case, I just canceled my Visa. My spouse holds the Amex(SPG) which we may hold on to another year,mostly because it is no longer available and we want to see how the recent changes actually affect us. The Amex offers are also an enticement to keep it open

Our travel has cut back significantly as we head into retirement, so the plan is to focus more on cash back cards and UR,rather than chain specific cards.

Up until now, we have had little time to actually use our miles/points,so the next step is use them up and then use UR or cash moving forward.
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