Canceling Marriott Bonvoy Awards Could Cost You A Fortune

Canceling Marriott Bonvoy Awards Could Cost You A Fortune

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Did you know that if you cancel a Marriott Bonvoy award stay after the cancelation deadline, you could be paying a lot more than points? Most people probably don’t realize this, so I figure this is worth addressing in a separate post.

Hotels charging cash if canceling a points booking

Hotels have varying cancelation policies. Some city hotels may allow cancelations for free until the day prior to arrival, while some resorts and remote properties might require cancelations 60 days in advance.

What happens if you cancel a points booking within the cancelation period? Logically most people would assume that they’d forfeit their points. But for many properties — in particular with Marriott Bonvoy — that’s not how it works.

At many Marriott Bonvoy properties, if you cancel your points booking within the cancelation deadline, you’ll be refunded your points and instead charged whatever the cash rate of your stay would have been. This could get outrageously expensive in some cases.

For example, I just published a review of the St. Regis Aspen (which was otherwise great), and noted the hotel’s policy when canceling within the non-refundable period (which for my stay was within 30 days):

A monetary fee in the amount of 99 percent of your reservation’s entire room rate at time of booking will be charged for any cancelled room nights of your points reservation. The monetary fee is charged to the credit card on file in your reservation. The monetary fee is nonrefundable. Any points are returned to your account for all cancelled room nights of your reservation.

I redeemed 400,000 Bonvoy points for my five night stay, while the cash rate would have been over $13,000. So yeah, in theory if I had to cancel I would have been refunded my points, and would have been charged an unbelievably high amount in cash.

Years ago I wrote specifically about the cancelation policy at the St. Regis Aspen, and how it was being applied even in situations where someone’s flight was canceled due to weather, and they only showed up a day late.

While I find this policy to be ridiculous, I think it’s worth pointing out that this is actually a pretty widespread practice with Marriott Bonvoy. There are many Marriott resorts with similar policies, ranging from the St. Regis Deer Valley, to the W Aspen, to the Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch, to the Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe, just to name a few.

I think this policy is always worth being aware of if booking a stay at a property like this. For example, when I flew to Aspen I intentionally planned a five hour layover enroute so that I wouldn’t misconnect, since I knew flights would be full, and I’d struggle to get to Aspen if I didn’t make my flight.

I think it’s also worth acknowledging that not all properties will fully enforce this policy, especially since the start of the pandemic. I’ve heard of some flexibility, though I’ve also heard of some situations where hotels just followed the policy, even with a “valid” excuse. For example, the St. Regis Aspen is encouraging people to buy travel insurance in pre-stay emails.

So yeah, when you see the 99% penalty policy in rate rules when looking for a points booking, it’s every bit as bad as it sounds. Take note and plan accordingly.

I’m happy this stay didn’t cost me $13K+

What’s the logic for this policy?

I’ve never been able to get a straight answer as to why this policy is the way it is. Typically when you cancel something after an agreed upon deadline, you’re penalized in the currency that you initially paid with. The concept of being charged in a totally different currency is rather strange.

I’ll share my theory, and I could be totally off. As you can see, this isn’t just the policy of one rogue property, but rather this seems to be a common practice at many Marriott resorts with strict cancelation policies.

My guess is that Marriott Bonvoy won’t reimburse hotels for award stays if the guests don’t actually stay, and that could impact overall reimbursement rates for points bookings at a particular hotel. If that’s the case, it’s logical that the hotel would try to be reimbursed in other ways, namely with cash.

That’s my best theory, as that’s the only logical explanation here. If the hotel were reimbursed for the award stay anyway, then the hotel shouldn’t really care if you show up or not. Therefore I imagine there’s some policy on the corporate side that gives hotels a strong incentive to act this way.

I suppose the other explanation is that hotels are doing it just because they can, which would be mighty awful. Perhaps the hope is that they can pocket the cash and then resell the room, while perhaps they couldn’t get the same value from points for a booking like that.

Your award at the W Hotel Aspen could get expensive

Bottom line

It’s always important to carefully review hotel cancelation policies before confirming a booking. That’s especially true with Marriott Bonvoy award stays, where some resorts will charge you the cash cost of a stay if canceling within the deadline.

Your five night award stay that cost 400,000 Bonvoy points could end up costing you $13,000+ in the event that you need to cancel, which is rather outrageous. I suspect that this policy comes down to reimbursement between Marriott Bonvoy and individual hotels for stays that aren’t completed.

Has anyone ever dealt with a cancelation policy like this on a points booking? If so, what happened?

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  1. Jigar Guest

    I am dealing with this issue right now. I want to book a Marriott resort in the Caribbean. I am not willing to lose $5K+ if something goes wrong. Ben, do you know of any insurance companies that work with point bookings?

  2. Gary Guest

    Grand cayman Westin. Had a December holiday booked few years back. Just lost my sister and was dealing with work issues. Didn't feel like going and called to cancel my points reservation. They offered to only charge me half the going rate 11,000 cash and return points. After talking to my family we decided togo and was a trip much needed.

  3. GS Guest

    As a Bonvoy Ambassador told me recently, you really "have to read the fine print" -- and that's sad, because reading the fine print shouldn't be part of enjoying hospitality. yet it's the Marriott way.

  4. Phil M Guest

    "So yeah, when you see the 99% penalty policy in rate rules when looking for a points booking, it’s every bit as bad as it sounds. Take note and plan accordingly."

    I plan not to book at any hotel with this policy.

  5. Doubletree S**** Guest

    I have run into this policy with Hilton's doubletree brand. Terrible experience. Overall now I think the Doubletree brand s****. Anyway the story: I was flying in and staying one night in Santa Monica at Doubletree on points before going on to my next stop. When I flew in, I was unexpected met by my brother at the airport and he wanted me to come stay with him, after stopping at the beach. We drove...

    I have run into this policy with Hilton's doubletree brand. Terrible experience. Overall now I think the Doubletree brand s****. Anyway the story: I was flying in and staying one night in Santa Monica at Doubletree on points before going on to my next stop. When I flew in, I was unexpected met by my brother at the airport and he wanted me to come stay with him, after stopping at the beach. We drove to the Doubletree and I went in and asked if I could cancel without penalty (I intended to stay if I 'had' to). Staff at front desk consulted with others and then told me that there would be no cost and I would even get my points back.

    Great I say and left. Of course you can guess it didn't work that way. I got charged a cash price at rack rate. I was charged the max price for the night, over DOUBLE what I could on same day, walked up and gotten a room.

    After I got my credit card statement, I called and emailed and went round and round. Kept getting passed from one person to another. Although it seemed like I would get them to perhaps fix it or compromise in some way, in the end I was just passed from one person to another. In hindsight, I think they were just trying to wear me out or waiting out the credit card dispute window.

    Eventually, I did dispute with the credit card company, but was denied due to the fact that the credit card had recent shortened the dispute window by 10 days. I had waited to near the end of what I thought was the dispute window before charging it back. I wanted to give the hotel a chance, because I thought that was the right and/or polite thing to do.

    The way the hotel treated me when I contacted them and followed up felt so egregious that I now refuse to stay at any Doubletree.

    As for credit cards, now I generally give a merchant just 1 day to fix an issue and then ask for a refund with credit card. Rarely need to do this, but after never getting my money back from the situation above I just don't take the risk.

  6. Ryan Guest

    For everyone saying use an old Visa gift card or generate a false credit card number - your reservation is not guaranteed. If the hotel is oversold, your reservation is the first to get canceled without compensation. The hotel does not have to "walk" you or find you alternative accommodations.

  7. Alex Guest

    Many Hyatt properties have the same policy. So be on the lookout there as well

  8. Cynthia Jones Guest

    I am a Bonvoy member. I made a reservation without using my points. I travel for work and had to change my reservation. I cancelled the reservation a week in advance of my stay and they charged me the full amount, over $900. Tried to resolve several times to no avail, they refused to refund my money. Marriots were my preferred hotels, not anymore.

    1. JetSetGo Guest

      Just call your cc company and ask for a charge back. Much easier than dealing with hotel.

  9. James M Guest

    With all I've read about Marriot and their branded Chase Bonvoy credit card, I wouldn't have anything to do with this outfit.

  10. Don Heller Guest

    I’ve noticed that Marriott has increased the number of points you need for each night of using you points. And now the BS with paying huge cash cancellation fees. This is my solution I’m using up all my points and when I finish using up all my points I will cancel my Chase Bonvoy card. there are many alternatives that maximize the users economic benefit for the use of a credit card. I have been...

    I’ve noticed that Marriott has increased the number of points you need for each night of using you points. And now the BS with paying huge cash cancellation fees. This is my solution I’m using up all my points and when I finish using up all my points I will cancel my Chase Bonvoy card. there are many alternatives that maximize the users economic benefit for the use of a credit card. I have been a Marriott customer for more than 35 years before there were Marriott points and I received benefits from American Express. J.P. Morgan Chase has better benefits with its array of credit cards with excellent Chase services.

    1. Laura Guest

      I have been hoarding my Bonvoy hotel points for 15 years so my spouse and I can go on a once in a lifetime European trip this Fall for 3 weeks. I was just about to book my hotels. I have over 1.2 million points and now after reading this article, I don't want to risk booking any hotels within the Marriot brand hotels. It would be such a blow to our income if we...

      I have been hoarding my Bonvoy hotel points for 15 years so my spouse and I can go on a once in a lifetime European trip this Fall for 3 weeks. I was just about to book my hotels. I have over 1.2 million points and now after reading this article, I don't want to risk booking any hotels within the Marriot brand hotels. It would be such a blow to our income if we had to cancel and pay 99% of what the hotel cost is. I am beyond pissed off! I appreciate this information and I am cutting up my f&cking Marriott Bonvoy credit card!!! Absolute SCAMMERS!!!!!

  11. John Guest

    Why has not more attention been given to this? Marriott hotel owners hope you cancel to benefit them.

    1. Laura Guest

      I sent this article to 60 Minutes. The public needs to know what Marriott is doing.

  12. JOE Guest

    Does the author mean cancel AFTER the cancelation period? Saying canceling within seems incorrect and misleading.

  13. Dave Guest

    Whats the policy for no show?

  14. Kevin La Presle Guest

    Another reason to dump the last of my remaining Marriott points...

  15. foo blah Guest

    its a scam to sell you trip “insurance”

  16. glenn t Diamond

    I think all the go-around solutions and legal opinion to avoid paying totally unjustified fees outlined here would come to nought if Bonvoy continues to play dirty and simply cancels your Bonvoy account.
    Could be a blessing in disguise as, really, who wants to continue dealing with a bunch of shysters?

  17. Luke Guest

    I suppose they can also re-sell a room as available inventory if someone couldn't show up and forfeited the punishing cash. This could be if the first guest had a 5 night booking, after being no show on the first night whole reservation becomes considered cancelled and then from night #2 onwards room could be re-added to available inventory.

    So its a double win for the hotel, screwing the first customer who had award...

    I suppose they can also re-sell a room as available inventory if someone couldn't show up and forfeited the punishing cash. This could be if the first guest had a 5 night booking, after being no show on the first night whole reservation becomes considered cancelled and then from night #2 onwards room could be re-added to available inventory.

    So its a double win for the hotel, screwing the first customer who had award booking and then the amount paid by the new guest (or reimbursement for award booking).

    1. Lac Long Quan Guest

      I thought the hotel will charge you cash for one night only for NO SHOW.
      Please verify.

    2. Luke Guest

      For the entire god damn stay buddy! Went to Grand Wailea Maui last month on award stay for 280k points and had I not been able to make it for the 5 night stay where cash rate was over $1600 a night, would have been charged for 8 to 9k for the automatic cancellation!

  18. Stan Guest

    For all those suggesting the use of a bogus credit card number, remember two things:

    1. Marriott can cancel your bonvoy account if you do that, it's right in the tos.
    2. In many states, not making good on a hotel bill is the same as passing a bad check. And in the amount being discussed here, it would be a felony.

    1. foo blah Guest

      I call BS on most of that.
      If something like this ever went to court Marriott would probably loose.

    2. Eskimo Guest

      The property wouldn't want to waste time on any of that.

      They just run your credit card, if it declines your reservation is cancelled.

    3. staradmiral Guest

      Absolute BS. you never received any services. It's not like walking out on a restaurant after you ate.
      And it wasn't mentioned at the time of booking. An email afterward is meaningless. An email could be sent to the wrong address. An email could be undelivered.

  19. Ethan Guest

    This also seems to be the policy at some Hilton's. In Chicago there are hotels near the convention center that will charge a fee of 1 night in cash for the 'going rate' if you cancel a points reservation inside of 30 days.

    1. henare Diamond

      that's not even on the same scale as what Lucky is talking about here...

  20. Brent Guest

    I cancelled a one night point redemption stay with a Marriott Resort in Palm Springs California last year. A few weeks later I get my credit card bill and it has a $400+ charge for the room. It didn't make sense to me why they'd do that (when I used points and cancelled within the allowed timeframe.) I had to call the hotel a few times and finally the charges were reversed. After reading this article it now makes a little more sense what and why this happened,

  21. Laura Guest

    Instead of canceling the reservation even up to less than 48 hours. I change the reservation to a later date. Then cancel the reservation.

    1. Lac Long Quan Guest

      Excellent if it works.
      Never try.

  22. Eskimo Guest

    Wow, this blows up fast.

    Now if someone who actually got charged these cancellation fees could please share their story. I'm sure the PA AG who is on a hot streak against Bonvoy would love to hear about this. Maybe after resort fees, we start hunting down 30 day cancellation policies.

  23. CH Guest

    I have found that the Marriott Resorts operate totally separately from Marriott Bonvoy, and I have found them to be difficult, not accomodating, and entirely unlike Marriott. Somehow, though they carry the name of Marriott, they are entirely separate, and get away with standards of conduct far below Marriott’s very high standards. So disappointing.

  24. Katherine Guest

    Are you able to do an online check in?

  25. HoKo New Member

    @Ben do you have any high-level contacts at Marriott? If so, have you discussed this issue with them and what has their feedback been?

  26. Clem Diamond

    This is so crazy. Especially because if you get walked from a hotel because it's oversold, they will give you nothing. I honestly don't know how they can live with this. I'd say that if you know it's about to happen because your flight is cancelled, try checking in on the app or call the hotel to have them checking you in directly.
    And def use a bogus credit card number during reservation...

  27. WLT Guest

    I've recently experienced this a the W Reserva Conchal. Same story as many - I received an email after-the-fact with a ridiculous penalty should I fail to not arrive as planned (on top of a 60 day cancelation deadline because it was the hotel's high season).

    I pushed back on this, and the hotel couldn't really give me a good answer as to why they wouldn't just accept the points I had booked with if...

    I've recently experienced this a the W Reserva Conchal. Same story as many - I received an email after-the-fact with a ridiculous penalty should I fail to not arrive as planned (on top of a 60 day cancelation deadline because it was the hotel's high season).

    I pushed back on this, and the hotel couldn't really give me a good answer as to why they wouldn't just accept the points I had booked with if I wasn't able to make it (even though I had every intention of travelling as planned) They indicated I'd need to talk to Marriott about this....so I did. Of course, that also went nowhere. The agent offered many apologies and "understood what I was saying" but couldn't provide any justification for allowing this practice. Apparently my complaint was going to be noted/escalated, but I never heard anything further - big surprise.

    1. NFSF Gold

      I’m sure they didn’t inform you via email, but reminded you. I’ll bet it’s in the terms you agreed to when booking.

    2. WLT Guest

      No. Here's the exact terms from Marriott.com for the booking (made entirely with points):

      "Please note that we will assess a fee if you must cancel after this deadline. If you have made a prepayment, we will retain all or part of your prepayment. If not, we will charge your credit card. This fee equals 99 percent of your room charge for your entire reservation"

      Email received afterwards stating that I'd be charged $1000/night....

  28. BT Guest

    In a legal standpoint, the cancellation policy is very vague. ‘99% of your room charge for your entire reservation’

    In law we would ask ourself:
    -What room charge and how would this amount be determined? Technically the form of currency was points?
    -What constitutes ‘room charge’. The Bon Voy terms and conditions do not have a definition of ‘Room Charge’.

    I recently booked at the W Verbier and was told post-booking that this...

    In a legal standpoint, the cancellation policy is very vague. ‘99% of your room charge for your entire reservation’

    In law we would ask ourself:
    -What room charge and how would this amount be determined? Technically the form of currency was points?
    -What constitutes ‘room charge’. The Bon Voy terms and conditions do not have a definition of ‘Room Charge’.

    I recently booked at the W Verbier and was told post-booking that this was the policy. Since I never agreed to the policy when booking the reservation, they cannot amend the policy without my approval. Thus, I would have been entitled to a full refund should they had charged me.

    With these 2 factors, this could be disputed with your credit card company as you did not agree to an amount for ‘room charge’ so it was unauthorized.

    1. NFSF Gold

      I’m sure they didn’t inform you via email, but reminded you. I’ll bet it’s in the terms you agreed to when booking.

    2. Jerry Diamond

      I would imagine that the consumer protection laws in Switzerland are stricter than they are in the US. Generally hotels in Europe aren't able to screw customers quite as directly as they are in the United States.

  29. Tim Guest

    Between the devaluation/dynamic pricing and this onerous cancellation policy, this feels like Season 2 of “Surprise, you’ve been Bonvoyed!”.

    Someone in the other thread mentioned Costco travel. That might be spot-on. Or just go with Hyatt. They seem to offer the best hotel loyalty program.

  30. Dominic Guest

    4111 1111 1111 1111

    There’s your new credit card number when making one of these reservations. Any expiration date will work.

    At least it used to work.

    1. polarbear Member

      Any chance that if the hotel sells out and you show up you will be told "sorry, your reservation was made with invalid card and therefore has been canceled"?

    2. staradmiral Guest

      use a visa gift card,
      use a credit card with a very low limit, like $200.

    3. Dominic Guest

      I suppose, but it's never happened to me. I think as long as you have a valid card upon check in you'd be OK, but it could be a risk...

    4. Kim Guest

      I work for a Marriott property. If this card was noticed the reservation would be cancelled immediately. Also there are many properties that will 'test' cards on sold out nights. If it doesn't work, they will cancel the reservation due to lack of a valid card guaranteeing the reservation past 6 p.m.

  31. TeddyP Guest

    Not just Marriott to watch out for. Canceling a stay at the Hyatt in Bug Sur after the deadline will cost you the full room rate for one night ($2,000+). I opted not to make a speculative booking for that reason. I can maybe understand this policy if you cancel one or two days before, but heir window was like two weeks. During the pandemic, any number of things can happen that would interrupt your plans.

  32. Dustin Evans Guest

    Funny how alll these bloggers still love bonvoy when they have such unfriendly consumer policy’s.

    1. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

      Every article promoting a Bonvoy credit card should come with a disclaimer linking to all the bad stories about Bonvoy.

  33. Doug Guest

    I've also run into this with the St Regis Deer Valley. The safest thing is to make the reservation with a $50 prepaid Visa card so that in the event that something happens, the hotel can't gouge you. It is an insane policy, as it is entirely unreasonable to charge you more than you would have paid to actually use your stay.

    1. Luke Guest

      If the full amount cant be charged on card used for reservation, I would imagine Marriott will send a paper bill to your home which if left unpaid will eventually go to a collection agency and then eventually ruin your credit.

    2. Brian Guest

      That’s what I am thinking. Unless you provide a real name but fake address but the collection agency might still track you down.

    3. Doug Guest

      They aren't going to be able to report to a credit bureau for two reasons. One, they don't have my social security number. Two, I don't have a line of credit with them (and the hotel is not a credit issuing entity anyway). Their only recourse would be to take you to court for the amount they claim that you owe.

  34. Lukas Guest

    "At many Marriott Bonvoy properties, if you cancel your points booking within the cancelation deadline..." should read 'OUTSIDE the cancellation deadline', unless I'm reading it wrong. The whole sentence sounds awkward.

    1. Kevin Guest

      Can anyone clarify that. Is the writer trying to say after the cancelation deadline? Within makes no sense. It's either before or after.

  35. Eric Guest

    Use a prepaid Visa when making reservation, or use an older inactive credit card. It always works for me. No liability when cancelling.

    1. Dominic Guest

      The way the reservation system works, it only checks if the card number is in a valid format, not that it is valid.

      Just so happens that the Visa test card number (4111 1111 1111 1111) passes this test.

      :)

  36. SeeSharp Member

    Frankly I have always been baffled by these types of cancellation policies.

    For starters, I doubt that they would be enforceable if challenged in court. The cancellation fee is often not specifically disclosed and sometimes depends on the applicable rate on the date of arrival (not date of booking as in the example in the article). For this to be legal it seems the reservation confirmation would need to state something like "The nightly rate...

    Frankly I have always been baffled by these types of cancellation policies.

    For starters, I doubt that they would be enforceable if challenged in court. The cancellation fee is often not specifically disclosed and sometimes depends on the applicable rate on the date of arrival (not date of booking as in the example in the article). For this to be legal it seems the reservation confirmation would need to state something like "The nightly rate for this stay is $ XXX per night. Cancel 60 days prior to avoid penalty equal to full amount due. If and only if you check in on the scheduled date of arrival you will have the option to exchange YYY Marriott Bonvoy points in order to reduce the nightly rate to $0."

    Second, as much as hotels may have a logic to recoup some of the missed compensation paid to them by Bonvoy, it does not justify a cancellation penalty this high:
    - The compensation paid Bonvoy would typically not have been 99% of the paid rate, and in many cases would have been much lower.
    - While I appreciate that no-shows can significantly affect occupancy rate and therefore diminish the compensation paid by Bonvoy for any guests staying using points, this is a feature of the contractual relationship between Bonvoy and the hotel, rather than a "damage" recoverable from no-showing guests.

    I guess the only scenario where this policy could be advantageous to guests is where they cancel or no-show for a trip due to a circumstance covered by travel insurance. In this case it could be preferable to get insurance to cover the cash penalty (and get the points refunded for a future trip), rather than having to argue with the insurer over the value of the forfeited points.

  37. miamiorbust Guest

    Does anyone have experience with this issue outside the US? I fully expect US hotels to charge every imaginable fee or other money grabbing scheme but have others found this to be common outside the US?

  38. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

    I'm not sure this policy would survive the strict scrutiny of some state consumer protection laws. Especially with a consumer-friendly state attorney general. This strikes me as difficult for them to legally defend. Especially if they return your points and never disclose what amount of cash is 99% of the rate.

  39. Reno Joe Guest

    An award stay is paid with points. The reasonable penalty for cancellation is points. You ask why cash? Remember, Marriott "makes a market" in points with both members AND PROPERTY OWNERS. So, it is because the property receives more from cash relative to what Marriott would reimburse the property for the points.

  40. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

    This is just outrageous. Especially when Marriott and other companies tout customer-friendly change and cancellation policies because of COVID.

  41. Mike M. Guest

    There are a few posts on the Marriott Bonvoy Facebook group which call out some travel insurance companies which would pay the cash no-show or cancellation fees in case of trip disruption on an award redemption. This is usually for non-Covid related cases (e.g flight delay). Would be interested to know of specific examples of this type of coverage.

    We have a friend traveling to the Maldives later this year during a peak time on...

    There are a few posts on the Marriott Bonvoy Facebook group which call out some travel insurance companies which would pay the cash no-show or cancellation fees in case of trip disruption on an award redemption. This is usually for non-Covid related cases (e.g flight delay). Would be interested to know of specific examples of this type of coverage.

    We have a friend traveling to the Maldives later this year during a peak time on an award ticket and the cancellation fee is similar to that outlined above in the article. He inquired into the “99% of fees” with the hotel, which said that the fees would be based on the rate paid on arrival, not at booking. So for a “free” 7 day stay (600,000 points), his downside is potentially $25k or $3500 or more per night. That’s a lot of risk.

    1. Luke Guest

      If your saying non covid cases only covered by insurance, then what about no shows due to covid, no way to cover that risk?

    2. Klaus Guest

      Especially risky when traveling on an award ticket, assuming that it’s booked through a US airline and operated by a different carrier.

      If there are any flight disruptions the operating carrier will tell your friends to contact the ticket issuing airline for rebooking and vice-versa.
      Been there…done that…wasn’t funny.

    3. Thomas Guest

      I have a reservation at the Mauna Kea Autograph Collection in Hawaii and The policy says: "14 day cancelation period. Please note that we will assess a fee if canceled after this period.". So what is _a_fee_. There is NOTHING defined. Is it a hundred dollars, a milliin dollars or 10 million? I can not imagine this would be enforceable in a court of law. How can you enter a contract that leaves you open to in theory unlimited loss?

  42. Chris Guest

    "St. Regis Aspen is encouraging people to buy travel insurance in pre-stay emails."

    I seriously doubt that this would be an easy sell to travel insurance. Are you sure they'd cover a charge that was made after the stay? They always want scores of documentation including the booking confirmation..which would have only had a points value when you made it.

  43. Andy 11235 Guest

    Firstly, that policy is just insane. However, with Marriott, it is clear that the traveling public are the product not the customer; franchisees/property owners are the customer.

    Secondly, in the case of late arrivals because of flight delays, etc., can't you just call ahead and ask to be checked in anyway? While I've never had this happen on a reward stay, I can think of several times I expected to arrive late at night but...

    Firstly, that policy is just insane. However, with Marriott, it is clear that the traveling public are the product not the customer; franchisees/property owners are the customer.

    Secondly, in the case of late arrivals because of flight delays, etc., can't you just call ahead and ask to be checked in anyway? While I've never had this happen on a reward stay, I can think of several times I expected to arrive late at night but flight delays/cancelations pushed my arrival to early the next morning. I've never had any problem calling the hotel and asking them to keep the night in my booking so I can get in the room as soon as I arrive (i.e., before normal check-in). If you are happy to pay for the night, it shouldn't actually matter if you're late, right?

    1. Barbra Guest

      I am a disabled person and I like to book a room for the night before I plan to arrive, so when we arrive early in the morning the next day my room is ready and I can get into my bed to stretch out. My body can’t sit on a 5 hour flight and then sit around waiting for my room to be ready at 3-4 o’ clock.

      If they did not let me , they would have a discrimination case. I would be very upset.

  44. Rob Guest

    But if they overbook and have to walk us to a different hotel, we get a pantry item.

  45. Luke Guest

    Wonder if for a worst case scenario like not being able to reach on the first day to due to flight delay or even someone testing positive for covid right before the trip if it's possible to do a remote "check in" to the room without yet being present.

    I lost sleep back in December right before a trip to Marriott Wailea Maui for 5 nights that had a 60 day cancellation period and cash punishment for not making it was 9k! Fortunately we did make it on expected day!

    1. Andrew Guest

      Yeah, while the practice is disgusting and not hospitable, which is counter to the ethos of a hotel, I'd think it could easily be avoided by using the Bonvoy App to check-in remotely.

      The hotel could then show Bonvoy that the room was occupied and thus get their usual reimbursement and the traveller could take screenshots of the app saying they're checked-in as proof that they were not a "no show."

      Anyone have data points on doing that?

    2. Mishas Guest

      Doubt it would work without actually showing up - it’s like checking in online for a flight and not making it.

    3. Vince Guest

      Might work — I did a 2 night mattress run in December—checked in and out on app, never entered hotel. It all worked—points and elite nights posted and I was charged correctly (this was a cash stay). But I wonder if it is dependent upon the hotel having the in app key as a working option. Not all hotels have that so stopping at front desk is necessary to complete check in?

    4. Matt Guest

      I have stayed at hotels with remote check-in where the app-based key is not enabled/does not work until you actually reach the property and re-check-in with the front desk.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

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Eric Guest

Use a prepaid Visa when making reservation, or use an older inactive credit card. It always works for me. No liability when cancelling.

4
BT Guest

In a legal standpoint, the cancellation policy is very vague. ‘99% of your room charge for your entire reservation’ In law we would ask ourself: -What room charge and how would this amount be determined? Technically the form of currency was points? -What constitutes ‘room charge’. The Bon Voy terms and conditions do not have a definition of ‘Room Charge’. I recently booked at the W Verbier and was told post-booking that this was the policy. Since I never agreed to the policy when booking the reservation, they cannot amend the policy without my approval. Thus, I would have been entitled to a full refund should they had charged me. With these 2 factors, this could be disputed with your credit card company as you did not agree to an amount for ‘room charge’ so it was unauthorized.

3
Dominic Guest

The way the reservation system works, it only checks if the card number is in a valid format, not that it is valid. Just so happens that the Visa test card number (4111 1111 1111 1111) passes this test. :)

3
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