Marriott Bonvoy Welcome Gift Guarantee: Should I Request $100?

Marriott Bonvoy Welcome Gift Guarantee: Should I Request $100?

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It’s not often that I feel sheepish about taking advantage of the elite benefits that I’m entitled to, though this might be an exception? I’m curious what OMAAT readers think…

How Marriott’s guaranteed welcome gift works

Marriott Bonvoy offers a few elite benefit guarantees, which cover things like getting your preferred bed type, having your reservation honored, etc. These had been suspended for a limited time during coronavirus, but were reinstated at the beginning of 2021.

Arguably the most interesting guarantee centers around welcome gifts. Marriott Bonvoy Platinum, Titanium, and Ambassador members, are entitled to a welcome gift when they check-in at a Marriott property. Choices range from points, to breakfast, to a gift, to a food & beverage credit. As this policy is described:

As a Platinum or Titanium Elite member, you’ll receive a special gift upon arrival at participating hotels, with a choice of an amenity gift or points. If guarantee is not met, guest compensation applies.

If the guarantee isn’t met, Bonvoy members are entitled to compensation ranging from $25 to $100, depending on the brand (most full service brands promise $100, though this doesn’t apply at EDITION and Ritz-Carlton properties).

It’s also quite explicit in the Marriott Bonvoy terms that this is about being offered your welcome gift on arrival, rather than just being offered it at some point during your stay:

If the Elite Welcome Gift is not offered at time of arrival, compensation applies.

Marriott Bonvoy has a welcome gift guarantee

I wasn’t offered a welcome gift (for the first time)

Last night I checked into a Marriott family property, and this morning I realized that I wasn’t offered a welcome gift. This is one benefit that Marriott seems to be consistent about, because I don’t previously remember ever not being offered this.

So I’m entitled to $100 cash compensation, full stop. But I don’t think I’m going to request that, because I don’t understand how you could possibly exercise this without the situation being awkward as could be, and without coming across as a complete jerk.

Based on what I’ve read from people who have used this guarantee in the past, front desk agents (and even managers) are typically not familiar with this policy, or at least pretend not to be familiar with it. The discussion apparently usually goes something like this:

“Hey, so I checked in yesterday and wasn’t offered my welcome gift.”
“Oh, I’m so sorry about that, let me take care of that right now. Which did you want to select?”
“I’ll take the points, please… and $100.”
“Sorry, what?”

Most Marriott employees aren’t familiar with the policy, and those that are apparently often try to argue that they can still offer the amenity while you’re on property, or that they just “assumed” you wanted the points.

I feel like the way this is executed almost guarantees a really uncomfortable interaction, and I don’t see how a hotel won’t strongly dislike a guest after they request this. After all, the compensation isn’t really proportional to the “mistake.” As a matter of fact, there’s no difference whether I’m offered my points at check-in or later during my stay, since they’ll only post after my stay anyway.

I should also mention that the front desk agent checking me in was super friendly and professional, and I was checking in late at night. I don’t want him to get in trouble or somehow penalized, but that seems like it would probably happen if I pushed the issue. I wonder if I’d be less hesitant about this if the front desk agent was a jerk.

Is it awkward to request compensation over a non-issue, or nah?

Bottom line

Marriott Bonvoy Platinum members and above are guaranteed a welcome gift. If a front desk agent doesn’t offer it at check-in, you’re entitled to cash compensation of $25-100, depending on the type of property.

While the benefit sounds great on paper, taking advantage of it is a whole different story. I can’t help but feel like a jerk for requesting the $100 I’m technically entitled to for something that’s a non-issue, and for that matter it’s probably not worth getting an evil glare for the reminder of my stay over this. But I’m also not sure if I’m just thinking about this wrong.

I’d love to hear how other Marriott Bonvoy members feel. Have you ever not been offered your welcome gift, and if so, did you request the compensation? How did it go?

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  1. Ed

    Checked into a San Jose, CA Four Points. No mention made of breakfast or welcome gift for Titanium Elite. When I inquired in the morning, they offered a breakfast bag - two granola bars, an orange, and some other type of bar. I declined and asked for the points. After 3 nights, I got a whole whopping 500 points. Not sure how $4 in points makes up this. Getting tired of the COVID excuse. Don't charge top dollar if you can't provide top service.

  2. Harry R Muller

    Checked into the Marriott Sawgrass on May 10th and was not offered gift... please send my gift to my account.

  3. Wesley

    @Mystery Shopper If I'm remembering correctly, failing to offer an elite benefit was fairly miniscule in the overall score that the hotel gets when they are shopped. A lot of shoppers also checked-in as a basic rewards members to gold status, which eliminates guarantees at most hotels. I was never shopped in my 7 years working for Marriott front desk, so I don't think the system is that robust. It happens once every 6 months...

    @Mystery Shopper If I'm remembering correctly, failing to offer an elite benefit was fairly miniscule in the overall score that the hotel gets when they are shopped. A lot of shoppers also checked-in as a basic rewards members to gold status, which eliminates guarantees at most hotels. I was never shopped in my 7 years working for Marriott front desk, so I don't think the system is that robust. It happens once every 6 months from what I remember.

    Employees should be well trained on the benefits program, but they are not at most hotels. My first hotel was rated the 3rd highest Courtyard in the World when I started, and new management dropped us to 300th-ish place. Everything truly depends on the franchise that runs the hotel. Funny thing is the worst management experience I had was working for a Marriott managed property. They didn't follow their own standards as much as my prior company did (White Lodging).

    Front desks agents aren't the problem, Marriott is. If they refuse to enforce their standards consistently, the whole brand suffers. I was the top employee in satisfaction scores at every hotel I worked at, yet I had no clue about this $100 guarantee about elite benefits not being offered at check-in until I read this post. That shouldn't be possible when I was responsible for training new people.

    That's why I quit Marriott/hospitality entirely. Everyone is underpaid and overworked. It has become an industry focused on nickel and diming every guest instead of providing them excellent service.

  4. Theresia

    I stayed for 5 nights a couple of weeks ago in Courtyard Portland. When I checked in, I asked about the welcome gift. He said he does not have it but he gave me 2 small bottles of water. Last weekend I saw in my Bonvoy Credit card posted credit of $100, but today when I check again, It disappeared. I thought these two events are really a JOKE from Marriot. I have this Bonvoy Marriot Creditcard since 2014.

  5. iamhere

    Agree with the other comments. They hold you accountable with their cancelation terms and they make it very difficult at the hotel level to get compensation when unsatisfactory events occur, so I am not sure why you feel awkward to request something that you're owed. If this was a different situation you would not think twice about complaining. I think this has to do with the "in person" element of the situation rather than speaking...

    Agree with the other comments. They hold you accountable with their cancelation terms and they make it very difficult at the hotel level to get compensation when unsatisfactory events occur, so I am not sure why you feel awkward to request something that you're owed. If this was a different situation you would not think twice about complaining. I think this has to do with the "in person" element of the situation rather than speaking to a "stranger" on the Marriott hotline.

  6. Jake

    Alright guys, I'm a Titanium Elite and staying at a Renaissance property. When checking in, I requested for a suite upgrade and the front desk was more than happy to oblige and I got a nice suite with a great habor view. She was very nice to point out that the lounge is closed and there would be complimentary breakfast for in room dining if I just ordered over the phone. The check in process...

    Alright guys, I'm a Titanium Elite and staying at a Renaissance property. When checking in, I requested for a suite upgrade and the front desk was more than happy to oblige and I got a nice suite with a great habor view. She was very nice to point out that the lounge is closed and there would be complimentary breakfast for in room dining if I just ordered over the phone. The check in process was great BUT she did not offer me a the option for the welcome gift.
    I went upstairs to my room to settle in and when I went back down to ask for the comp. She had already left for the day and her associate did not comp me but said she's going to talk to her manager who also happened to be the lady who checked me in.

    The next day, I saw the manager who checked me in at the front desk so I went in for the kill. She feigned forgetfulnes, tried to recall our conversation during check in and said that she's been doing this long enough that she would have "automatically" asked me for my choice of welcome gift. I wasn't trying to be a jerk and insist on the comp but I just mentioned that I'd come to the front desk twice to clarify the situation. She reassured me that the standard 1000 points at check in are in the system and she also offered to take care of the parking charge which worked out to be $72 total for 2 days. I'd been okay walking away with nothing since it was my word against hers so the complimentary parking is a nice touch.

    Bottom line: I agree with everyone here who said to hold these hotels accountable for Marriott's policies! ALWAYS go back to the front desk as soon as possible to speak with the same person who checked you in. Don't be an a** when doing that regardless of the outcome.

  7. Cheryl Butler-Adams

    Good Day,

    I have been a traveler's advocate for over 25 years, I'm a world traveler and just a few weeks ago graduated from Temple University with a Masters in Sports, Travel, Tourism and Hospitality so I say this as a novice I have requested and received my compensation for not BEING ACKNOWLEGED as a platinum member(that includes getting a key with the proper Bonvoy level) and not being ASKED what gift I wanted.

    ...

    Good Day,

    I have been a traveler's advocate for over 25 years, I'm a world traveler and just a few weeks ago graduated from Temple University with a Masters in Sports, Travel, Tourism and Hospitality so I say this as a novice I have requested and received my compensation for not BEING ACKNOWLEGED as a platinum member(that includes getting a key with the proper Bonvoy level) and not being ASKED what gift I wanted.

    The key is the guest needs to advise the front desk manager while in-house and generally once you walk away from the desk I've got into my room and called on the house phone. On one such occasion I had to seek assistance from the platinum customer service department but they handled it properly.

    I'm not sure why the author thinks it would be awkward. I believe you do a disservice to the Marriott branded employee by not brining to their attention and hold them accountable to the Marriott standards. They hold us accountable, why is it any different to hold a global business entity accountable?

  8. Pam

    And if you check in on the app AND go by the front desk for a hard key shouldn’t they go over options then?? I’m thinking online check in benefits Marriott a lot more than it does me but would like to see it hashed out.

  9. Pam

    (a lot of confusion, too, with posters on diff between a welcome amenity & free elite breakfast!)

  10. Pam

    Those in the know in these posts have indicated checking in online precludes other comp besides points. I am at a Marriott now & used Chat to ask for my welcome gift, & they have also just confirmed points are auto with online check in.

    I have had other issues with online checkin, notably once I did I couldn’t cancel because then it shows the room has been entered even if it wasn’t (for...

    Those in the know in these posts have indicated checking in online precludes other comp besides points. I am at a Marriott now & used Chat to ask for my welcome gift, & they have also just confirmed points are auto with online check in.

    I have had other issues with online checkin, notably once I did I couldn’t cancel because then it shows the room has been entered even if it wasn’t (for covid cleaning purposes).

    I would like to see an entire post on the pros & cons of online check-in since there are problems & advantages specific to using it. That & the digital key only works 1/2 the time anyway! Thanks

  11. Stefan

    Get the $100 or 20k points. You're due the cash except you already checked in online via the app in which case points are pre-selected.

  12. suzi

    What I don't understand is that there is a list of hotel guests with their status clearly posted. It is usually prepared the night before so everything should be in place when you arrive. I agree with Andie, in that if you check in by-passing the front desk, the amenity is always points. Now with COVID and encouragement not to do in person check in, you would think there will still be an option of the amenity of your choice.

  13. Robert Bell

    I gave up on Marriott.

    Covid-19 happened, and I couldn't stay in Canada with my family, as I had to keep leaving for work, and getting back in was harder and harder. And leaving my wife alone with two little kids, was not possible.

    So we decided to relocate to Mexico, where the borders stayed open, and I could come and go, with little quarantine as possible. Plenty of testing though.

    Anyway,...

    I gave up on Marriott.

    Covid-19 happened, and I couldn't stay in Canada with my family, as I had to keep leaving for work, and getting back in was harder and harder. And leaving my wife alone with two little kids, was not possible.

    So we decided to relocate to Mexico, where the borders stayed open, and I could come and go, with little quarantine as possible. Plenty of testing though.

    Anyway, we booked into the Ritz-Carlton cancun. They not only didn't recognize our platinum status, they refused to acknowledge it. The hotel was at 30 percent occupancy, and no inbound traveller's for a month, and we were staying 4 months, but had booked two weeks to check it out. I was super excited to hit Ambassador Elite... but again, they couldn't be convinced to let us look at an upgrade room, or include breakfasts, or a anything else. I asked 3-4 times in the first week.... nobody seemed to even know what I was taking about. My wife speaks Spanish, she tried also... not that English was a problem.

    So, we went to look at two other Marriott properties, the Marriott, the Westin, and the Residence Suites. Only the suites could confirm they had a platinum recognition program, and that breakfast included. No upgrades, as they only had one room type - but the location was impossible (we also travel with two aupairs, so we're checking what value our upgrade would give us, ans what inclusions the rooms would have for the kids, and the aupairs under normal conditions). Beating in mind, cancun was UTTERLY EMPTY, we got nothing.

    My impression, is that platinum is all shine, no substance. The only part of the Marriott membership program that lived up to its promises, was the role my Amex card played in it with their promise for 10x points for on-resort spending.

    So, we got sick of trying, checked out of the Ritz, and moved into an airbnb next to the beach for a week, while we decided if we even wanted to stay in cancun three more months.

    While there, we met an owner of a boutique, who happened to own a house nearby, and we did direct rental for 2 months. Before leaving, and going to Greece as they opened on the 14th of May.

    $14,000 spent on accommodations.

    Probably never going to seriously consider Marriott again. Back to Amex's travel concierge. Although I'm not a great fan of Amex... their travel insurance was really disappointing too....

    We had about $280,000 of medical bills one time, covered by Amex. 2 years later, we were still awaiting refunds. We ended up complaining of insurance fraud, and seeking to get AXA's right to offer retail health insurance in the EU revoked, which got their attention.

    Not that we are difficult. We are just super users, and exposed to all these systems.

  14. Cosmok

    This was Kramer from Seinfeld when he didn’t get a hello from the teller. Marriott must copy the show

  15. Cosmo

    This was Kramer from Seinfeld when he didn’t get a hello from the teller. Marriott must copy the show

  16. Kevin

    There was a stay whereby I checked in online through the app into an AC hotel and they said 'because I did the online check in, I wasn't given the choice of welcome gift; either the points of a food credit but just the points instead'. Not sure if this is the same situation but if that's the case, I don't see how checking in online is a benefit if I can't choose.

  17. Mystery Shopper

    There was a very robust mystery shopping program in place pre-pandemic that specifically tested the delivery of the elite benefit at check-in. If the front desk person did not deliver the benefit and it was reported via the mystery shopping program that this did not occur, the hotel was monetarily fined and they had to go through an expensive re-shop. So it absolutely IS being trained to and the managers should be aware of it....

    There was a very robust mystery shopping program in place pre-pandemic that specifically tested the delivery of the elite benefit at check-in. If the front desk person did not deliver the benefit and it was reported via the mystery shopping program that this did not occur, the hotel was monetarily fined and they had to go through an expensive re-shop. So it absolutely IS being trained to and the managers should be aware of it. It's a whole lot more expensive for them to fail these mystery shops then give out a $100 to a random customer.

  18. Lynn Young

    To the person who was incredulous that a manager would start work at noon: people have different work schedules. Especially people who work at places open 24 hours, LIKE HOTELS. It's not like they get in at noon and leave at 5:00. A manager starting at noon likely works til 10:00 p.m.

  19. Stanley

    A lot of the readers here are correct. It is understandable that you want to be nice, but you signed a business agreement with them by selecting their services in this case which is essentially your stay and all that comes with it. Businesses especially hotels make you play by their rules but there are exceptions of course where they proactively go above and beyond. It is not rude or wrong to remind the staff...

    A lot of the readers here are correct. It is understandable that you want to be nice, but you signed a business agreement with them by selecting their services in this case which is essentially your stay and all that comes with it. Businesses especially hotels make you play by their rules but there are exceptions of course where they proactively go above and beyond. It is not rude or wrong to remind the staff member at the front desk about your choice even after check-in. If he or she starts to be disagreeable or even combative, then you really should escalate it to a supervisor or manager. Tim K is right as well about using the app to help communicate with corporate if necessary. Nothing wrong at all to ask or remind them. You are truly a loyal Marriott guest and they should recognize you on that account especially your lifetime platinum membership if I remember that correctly.

  20. hotel guy

    Compared to, say, the old Starwood, Hyatt, or Hilton, Marriott has a transactional relationship with its guests. They are strict with their program rules, and redeeming rewards takes more work and more negotiation compared to other programs. They just aren't nice or fun to deal with. On that basis, I have no problem requesting any benefit under the rules.

  21. Mary Heintz

    Before you insist on $100 dollars in compensation because your welcome gift was late, ask yourself if you ever plan to stay at the offending property again. The answer would usually be yes for me since in my job I frequently travel to the same locations. Being a jerk would not improve the quality of those upcoming stays.

  22. Tim Kozikowski

    I have used this policy a few times with experience, but have always ended up with compensation. My feeling is that if Marriott offers this it is incumbent on the hotel property management to educate their staff on the rules. The compensation should be viewed as a training cost.

    First time was at the Sheraton Boston and I came back to the front desk about an hour after check-in and the manager understood right away,...

    I have used this policy a few times with experience, but have always ended up with compensation. My feeling is that if Marriott offers this it is incumbent on the hotel property management to educate their staff on the rules. The compensation should be viewed as a training cost.

    First time was at the Sheraton Boston and I came back to the front desk about an hour after check-in and the manager understood right away, took his team aside for a quick conversation, and 5 minutes later I had my $100. Same hotel a few weeks later (I was there weekly for 4 months) and no welcome gift offer. This time I was met with an eye roll and something like "oh, it's you" and an explanation that that is only offered one time. Sorry, I am not leaving until I get my $100 and if you cannot train your staff it is not my problem. Next day I had a message to collect my money.

    Last time was the Sheraton Pittsburgh. Front desk agent argued that there was no such policy even after I showed this to him on the website. He told me that this only applies to corporate properties and this was a franchise location. Au contraire mon ami. After 10 minutes he said that if I didn't leave he would call security. This went on a few times over the weekend and even talking to the GM went nowhere, but I had been communicating with Marriott via Twitter and on Sunday morning had a message to stop by the front desk. Same guy from Friday night was there with $100 cash, tickets to a future Pirates game, and a letter of apology from the GM. I also found 30K bonus points in my account.

    At the end of the day this is about principle and if they discontinued it I would be fine.

  23. sbams

    I was once told by a check-in associate that I HAD to choose one of the options or otherwise she would be docked $100 off her salary ...

  24. Joe1293

    Will they bring back lifetime titanium
    As much as I really love Marriott Bonvoy and their program
    I won’t continue staying with them until they bring back lifetime
    Titanium Elite!! Let’s say 1000 Nights 15 years Platnium or higher

  25. Christ

    I usually let it go, except one time I didn't -- there were many issues with my stay in Barcelona, and I added this to the list in my complaint letter. The manager wrote back asking whether I had tried to ask for the elite welcome gift at the front desk. I said I had, but the guy didn't seem to know anything about it. (First of all, I don't think my getting it after...

    I usually let it go, except one time I didn't -- there were many issues with my stay in Barcelona, and I added this to the list in my complaint letter. The manager wrote back asking whether I had tried to ask for the elite welcome gift at the front desk. I said I had, but the guy didn't seem to know anything about it. (First of all, I don't think my getting it after asking for it should let them off the hook -- who expects the guest to ask for a "gift.")
    I already cringed asking the front desk for it in the first place, and I cringed even more complaining about it. But in the end there were too many problems with the place -- they gave me $100 and 40K points.

  26. ChrisCan

    If the oversight occurs at a Marriott Property I will likely never revisit, I take the $100.

    If the oversight occurs at a hotel I stay at a 3 or 4 times a year or so, I send an email to the General Manager, telling her/him of the problem. If the $100 is not offered, and points are offered instead, I'll accept the points but request a commitment from the General Manager (via email) that...

    If the oversight occurs at a Marriott Property I will likely never revisit, I take the $100.

    If the oversight occurs at a hotel I stay at a 3 or 4 times a year or so, I send an email to the General Manager, telling her/him of the problem. If the $100 is not offered, and points are offered instead, I'll accept the points but request a commitment from the General Manager (via email) that I am guaranteed an automatic upgrade to a suite or larger room (not just a room on the higher floor, or with the city view) when I make my next reservation......that's an upgrade when the reservation is made. And, I ask for consideration for a further upgrade via my status when I check in.

    When Marriott misses the Welcome Gift offering, you have leverage. Use it.

  27. Neal

    Marriott has a small army of analysts and consultants who study every angle, opportunity and customer behavior to squeeze as many dollars out of customers. They test what fees you will tolerate. The lack of resort fee detail disclosure or what services are closed/open on their awful website is likely a study of just enough consumers not caring enough to complain. This has resulted in so many reductions in service and amenities that are likely...

    Marriott has a small army of analysts and consultants who study every angle, opportunity and customer behavior to squeeze as many dollars out of customers. They test what fees you will tolerate. The lack of resort fee detail disclosure or what services are closed/open on their awful website is likely a study of just enough consumers not caring enough to complain. This has resulted in so many reductions in service and amenities that are likely to not come back after COVID. I'd take advantage of the guarantee policy while it lasts.

  28. Ian

    I used this once at a Renaissance. Didn't even think about it until looking at my points after the stay. I emailed the platinum desk which resulted in a call from some sort of manager to confirm my mailing address so they could send a check.

    My take would be to wait & see if the points show up in your account. If they don't, follow up in writing.

  29. Leo

    Just completed my stay at courtyard. Wasn't given a welcome gift. Asked for a $50 compensation. Was offered 25knpoints. Accepted.

    Then had and argument over the $10 FB credit. They claimed it is per stay, I claimed it's per day and per person. Called Marriott support. They called the hotel. They clawed back everything.

    Marriot stated that they did not reinstate any guarantees, so no welcome gift and no compensation. It was a supervisor...

    Just completed my stay at courtyard. Wasn't given a welcome gift. Asked for a $50 compensation. Was offered 25knpoints. Accepted.

    Then had and argument over the $10 FB credit. They claimed it is per stay, I claimed it's per day and per person. Called Marriott support. They called the hotel. They clawed back everything.

    Marriot stated that they did not reinstate any guarantees, so no welcome gift and no compensation. It was a supervisor on the phone. Called later again and another supervisor confirmed this to me. Terrible experience

  30. Gregg

    I’d rather they just wave the ridiculous resort/city fee and ill be happy. Oh, and I want my points, too!

  31. Steve

    Ironic that a picture of Le Meridien Dallas, The Stoneleigh accompanies this post as I have stayed there many times and they see it as sport to deny elite benefits. It’s the only place I’ve insisted on the $100 after finally being fed up enough times with them.

  32. JvdB

    Ben, I urge you to request the $100, and the second you receive it, make a $100 charitable donation to your local food bank, or to a charity that is close to your heart, I am confident in assuming that the non profit needs the money more than Marriott

  33. Josh Pai

    I’m kind enough to ask for the welcome gift options at checkin since I find they often don’t offer it to me voluntarily. One time the check in lady told me there’s no choice of a welcome gift and she also denied me late checkout (not a resort or conference hotel). That’s when I wanted to follow up and collect my $100 guarantee.

    I spoke to another desk clerk and he actually laughed at...

    I’m kind enough to ask for the welcome gift options at checkin since I find they often don’t offer it to me voluntarily. One time the check in lady told me there’s no choice of a welcome gift and she also denied me late checkout (not a resort or conference hotel). That’s when I wanted to follow up and collect my $100 guarantee.

    I spoke to another desk clerk and he actually laughed at me. I spoke to the GM and he claimed not to know anything of the policy until I showed him the webpage. Then he claimed that I need to take it up with Marriott. Marriott customer service ignored my request and got me 10,000 points instead. I would rather have had the $100 as I should have been guaranteed but neither the property GM nor Marriott corporate honored their obligation to me.

    Sheraton Valley Forge. Titanium Elite.

  34. Tom

    I kinda get 1) the $100 isn't that big of a deal to you and 2) not wanting to get an employee in trouble, especially one that was "super friendly and professional" and myself would probably let it slide. However, I'm not a blogger/journalist that experiences things for the purpose of sharing those experiences with others as my profession. As a professional, you should experience and share the good, bad and the ugly of travel,...

    I kinda get 1) the $100 isn't that big of a deal to you and 2) not wanting to get an employee in trouble, especially one that was "super friendly and professional" and myself would probably let it slide. However, I'm not a blogger/journalist that experiences things for the purpose of sharing those experiences with others as my profession. As a professional, you should experience and share the good, bad and the ugly of travel, and that includes the nuances of various status agreements. I get that it would/will kinda suck on a personal level to bring this up, but lots of jobs have crappy things to them, and on the scale of crappy work things, this is pretty low.

  35. Lukas

    @ Miz - agreed. Ben should take the money. If positions were reversed, Marriott would ask Ben for 100 bucks (and a resort fee).

  36. Arthur

    Violent protesters are released without charges the next day (unless they are the wrong political party).

    That is not a deterrent.

    If you do not at least request compensation from the manager, the teachable moment is lost and the incorrect procedure will continue to violate corporate policy. Feedback must be immediately applied for maximum benefit.

    It is too easy to allow unacceptable behaviors to go unpunished. Without consequences there will be no need to follow...

    Violent protesters are released without charges the next day (unless they are the wrong political party).

    That is not a deterrent.

    If you do not at least request compensation from the manager, the teachable moment is lost and the incorrect procedure will continue to violate corporate policy. Feedback must be immediately applied for maximum benefit.

    It is too easy to allow unacceptable behaviors to go unpunished. Without consequences there will be no need to follow the laws of the country. Or, in this case, the proper corporate procedure.

    Speaking of unsuitably punished offenses - the Jet Blue cocaine creep might be facing 3 years for his totally unacceptable behavior on the recently reported flight disruption. Given his previous criminal incarcerations for drug dealing and other matters (almost 10 years total) it would seem that 3 years (serving 10 months) would just be a giggle.

  37. Desperado

    I’d let it go, but ask for points or benefit.

    If it happens frequently then I leave the brand altogether and take my spend elsewhere. Much more punishing than a measly $100.

  38. Al

    At a design hotel I now twice didn’t get asked as breakfast is anyhow included and they automatically posted the welcome points after the stay.

  39. Aussie

    Wow. So many douchebags in this comment section. $100? Get real. If it’s an honest mistake and the customer demanded $100 in addition to the gift later during the stay, I would “compensate” them with a complimentary flute of bodily fluids in champagne.

    Also @Miz, sounds like you make a lot of errors when booking travel. Consider using a travel agent?

  40. Miz

    Your and other's comments about "compensation being proportional to mistake" seem absurd, if not downright foolish, to me. The whole concept of proportionality is not applicable in this context. Consider these scenarios (which are just a few examples among many many other similar ones):
    - Example 1 (Real story, happened to me): I made a reservation for a stay that was about two weeks later, but realized that I made a mistake and wanted...

    Your and other's comments about "compensation being proportional to mistake" seem absurd, if not downright foolish, to me. The whole concept of proportionality is not applicable in this context. Consider these scenarios (which are just a few examples among many many other similar ones):
    - Example 1 (Real story, happened to me): I made a reservation for a stay that was about two weeks later, but realized that I made a mistake and wanted to cancel it a few hours after making the reservation. I contacted the reservation line and was informed that my reservation in non-refundable. I lost all the money I had spent on the reservation. Was the penalty proportional to my mistake? (The answer to the question is that "the question does not apply!")
    - Example 2 (Again real story, happened to me): I went to cancel a reservation only to find out the cancellation time had passed a few hours before because it was based on hotel's time zone. Again I lost all the money I had spent because of time zone differences. Was the penalty proportional to my mistake? (Again the answer to the question is that "the question does not apply!")
    - Example 3 (Again real story, happened to me): I and a friends were planning a trip. My friend bought a flight ticket (an intra-Europe flight from a European OTA) for two of us. Immediately after my friend purchases the ticket I looked at her laptop screen and saw the month is June, instead of July. We contacted the OTA literally 4 minutes after buying the ticker and were informed that the ticket in non-refundable and non-changeable. Was the penalty proportional to my friend's mistake? (Again the answer to the question is that "the question does not apply!")

    I can go on, but you should get the idea. Hotel programs have rules and the consequence of each action is determined by the rules. Concept of proportionality is not applicable beyond the program rules.
    Customers must select a product/service that they like its program rules. Franchisers should participate in a program that they like its rules. Program designers must create rules that they like. Therefore no party is in a position to be bothered by the program rules and their enforcement.

  41. Steffl

    @ Ben:
    Bonvoy Titanum here.
    As you mentioned yourself, . . . DON'T be a jerk.
    Just try to speak to this same check-in Guy again and possibly get him to assign you extra BONVOY points for the stay, as far as i know they can do that and you won't feel strange possibly getting a friendly, hunky, professional Check-in Guy in trouble, because he was out of line seeing you 2...

    @ Ben:
    Bonvoy Titanum here.
    As you mentioned yourself, . . . DON'T be a jerk.
    Just try to speak to this same check-in Guy again and possibly get him to assign you extra BONVOY points for the stay, as far as i know they can do that and you won't feel strange possibly getting a friendly, hunky, professional Check-in Guy in trouble, because he was out of line seeing you 2 check-in late at night while he internally felt happy to see 2 guys finally arrive while he was on duty and with you usual friendly charm in your eyes, he forgot to mention things that are most important to those wannabe BONVOY Elite's!
    We all read about them, i'm sure.
    You'll survive without the 100.- in your account, i bet you.
    I actually think, you yourself feel the same way, especially as he was sooooo professional and friendly, when you Guys checked in.
    .... be STRAIGHT for once!

  42. Beachfan

    Golden rule would have you ask for it in the AM when you remembered.

    If it’s points or $ food credit, if you haven’t checked out, you haven’t been harmed nor getting it right away.

    If you really wanted the ice cream or cheese plate or cookies that are offered, for the night you arrived, then you were harmed and ask for the$100

  43. James

    Ask them nicely and if they don't pay, call the police and tell them the hotel took a $100 from you.

  44. Anthony

    A wealthy blogger that routinely pays $2,000 a night for hotel rooms *demanding* $100 cash from a surely overworked front desk staff member for the indignity of not getting a welcome gift at a hotel. Love all that you do, Lucky, but sometimes you should just let some sh*t slide

  45. Terence

    I've heard that in the past few months, some properties and Marriott (loyalty programme) would usually quote 'the extremely challenging situation' to issue 5K points instead of $100. Some cases even involved denying the request of the welcome amenity (not just ignorance).

  46. Brant

    It should be the responsibility of every traveler to demand full compensation for such mistakes. As part of an official agreement made by Marriott to their status guests, these policies will only be as enforceable as those who step up and insist on having them honored. As customers have no input as to the substance of such rules. They are used as an inducement and incentive to ensure brand loyalty, but if they only exist...

    It should be the responsibility of every traveler to demand full compensation for such mistakes. As part of an official agreement made by Marriott to their status guests, these policies will only be as enforceable as those who step up and insist on having them honored. As customers have no input as to the substance of such rules. They are used as an inducement and incentive to ensure brand loyalty, but if they only exist on paper and not in fact, what other covenants will then be considered optional?

  47. Ingo

    Personally I would not ask for the money, as I believe most of the front desk people are just doing their job, and if there is nothing else!!! To complain about, then skip it and only remind them during check-out that have missed something.

    I’m not sure if and how often it was missed to offer me such welcome gift. Even I stated above I would not go for it, I had 6 weeks ago...

    Personally I would not ask for the money, as I believe most of the front desk people are just doing their job, and if there is nothing else!!! To complain about, then skip it and only remind them during check-out that have missed something.

    I’m not sure if and how often it was missed to offer me such welcome gift. Even I stated above I would not go for it, I had 6 weeks ago a stay at a JW where there have been so many “flaws” that I have asked for the compensation! The manager who I talked to offered me first 20.000 points but I said that due to the large amount of “issues” during the stay of 2 nights I just have to demand the 100$. And it was then accepted and some minutes later I got the money in the currency of the country.

  48. FNT Delta Diamond

    First they came for the breakfast benefit and I did not speak out—because I don't eat breakfast and don't understand why people make a fuss over it.

    Then they came for daily housekeeping and I did not speak out— because I like being left alone.

    Then they came for welcome arrival gift, and I did not speak out—because I'm still getting the points before I check-out.

    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

  49. Nate nate

    Shouldn't you do it for the blog post alone?

    (That being said, I agree its not a great move if your stay was great.)

  50. Stvr

    Lucky you clearly haven’t been staying at Marriotts much lately. Elite status is essentially totally broken. I’ve been denied:

    Breakfasts when breakfasts were there for cash
    4 pm checkouts
    Lounge access (given to corporate bookings only)
    Room upgrades galore

    You should get your $100. Teach them something. Are they even offering breakfast??

  51. Andie

    Working from a front desk position. I am aware of this. However, now if you check in by mobile it automatically goes to points and we are not responsible to ask. You can choose to change it durning your stay, but that does Eliminate the guarantee.

  52. Ole

    I concur with @Niko. It’s like lending money to a friend in need and then months later you see him splashing cash and you feel guilty asking for your money back.

    Per their policy, you are entitled to the benefit. You don’t want to come across as an entitled jerk but you can surely politely ask for it

  53. Steve

    Zach if you do what BC suggest they either just give you your gift or say you chose points and it says so right in the computer (because that's the default). Most of the time it's the latter. In other words they take the position you are in the wrong since you did choose.

    I've been Plat for 29 years and almost never ask for compensation. I don't see the value in having an employee...

    Zach if you do what BC suggest they either just give you your gift or say you chose points and it says so right in the computer (because that's the default). Most of the time it's the latter. In other words they take the position you are in the wrong since you did choose.

    I've been Plat for 29 years and almost never ask for compensation. I don't see the value in having an employee chastised, or worse, when Marriott has set them up for failure by either not training them or training them they don't need to ask if the computer shows the customer chose points (even though that isn't necessarily the case).

    They should be training (and the computer should prompt) to say something like "The system shows you've chosen points as your welcome gift, is that correct or would you like one of the other options which are xxxx." But Marriott can't be bothered just like they can't be bothered with so many or things.

  54. Tommy Trash

    This would make a great story and I’m so here for it.

  55. Endre

    They expect us to play by their rules, so they should also be held accountable. Rules are rules.

  56. Zach

    I like BC’s advice. It feels right.

  57. Steve M

    This is a perfect example of why I left Marriott. Elite benefits shouldn’t require a complex algorithm to determine what you get, when you get it, and where. This is especially true when the benefits are constantly changed and devalued. Then you have people feeling guilty about standing up for what they are due to receive. Is it greedy? Maybe. But it’s also no different than what Marriott pulls on its customers.

  58. Tom

    I'm a Titanium, and I've only had 1 property where I wasn't offered the welcome amenity (Renaissance LAX).

    During check in I noticed I wasn't offered any amenity, so I proactively asked at the end of the check in process about it, and they said they'd send the amenity up to my room (I don't remember what it was supposed to be, maybe a couple cans of beer or something like that). They didn't bring...

    I'm a Titanium, and I've only had 1 property where I wasn't offered the welcome amenity (Renaissance LAX).

    During check in I noticed I wasn't offered any amenity, so I proactively asked at the end of the check in process about it, and they said they'd send the amenity up to my room (I don't remember what it was supposed to be, maybe a couple cans of beer or something like that). They didn't bring anything to me.

    The next morning when checking out I mentioned it and described how I first wasn't offered it, then even once I asked about it they didn't deliver anything to me (I did proactively ask about it after all). The front desk associate was familiar with the policy and quickly went to the back and grabbed me a crisp $100 bill without any argument (they also had a pad of carbon paper receipts pre-printed for this specific purpose that she asked me to sign, so it clearly was something that property was familiar with and had trained on).

    I've only had 1 other occasion where I could have gotten any of these cash compensation awards, but I wasn't thinking about it at the time so I didn't collect (I was tired after arriving at the Tampa Westshore Marriott from TPA at like 1 AM to find the property full, so I they relocated me to the Courtyard nearby).

  59. Gary Leff

    If you want the points, you weren't disadvantaged having them apply that to your stay today vs yesterday. If you want another option, that's another matter and the $100 guarantee is there for a reason.

  60. Kamaaina

    Ask for compensation. We need to hold them accountable, and the more elite members who speak up, the more likely they are to adhere to brand policies in the future.

  61. Daniel M

    I have claimed it at least 15 times over the last 10 years in multiple continents and every brand from the most expensive to the cheapest. In current times the easiest thing to do is to use the Bonvoy chat function so you don’t have to confront in person. Also, I always offer them the choice of points (I give them a suggested amount) and they always agree to do that. Easy peasy.

  62. Jo

    It seems to me that I've had no welcomes in 2021. Except IHG. They fell all over themselves for me for staying at their hotel the other day. People around me must have thought I was royalty. I was a bit annoyed not to get my complimentary waters at Hyatt and Marriott cause I needed them!!

  63. A

    I wish I was in a position to turn down a free $100

  64. John

    I don't understand this at all. I often do not have a specific discussion regarding the welcome gift at check in. On the mobile app when you indicate your arrival time, it says to let them know if you want something other than points. If I want breakfast usually I'll just show up at front desk the morning after I checked in and request the breakfast vocuher right before going to the restaurant -- unless...

    I don't understand this at all. I often do not have a specific discussion regarding the welcome gift at check in. On the mobile app when you indicate your arrival time, it says to let them know if you want something other than points. If I want breakfast usually I'll just show up at front desk the morning after I checked in and request the breakfast vocuher right before going to the restaurant -- unless the front desk proactively asked at check in.

    If they *refused* to grant a welcome amenity that was requested (e.g., they claimed breakfast wasn't available to Platinum, only titanium, so you didn't get breakfast as a Platinum), then I think compensation would be due after you leave the property because you had to pay out of pocket for breakfast. I don't think you're entitled to $100 just because the front desk agent didn't explicitly ask if you want something other than points. You know the rules; you can ask for other options.

    Normally I see things from consumer's perspective, but here, they would think you're being as asshole because you *ARE* being an asshole. Chill out. Just remind them like a normal person.

  65. khatl

    Only ever had this happen once. Similarly felt bad about asking for cash, and suggested points which the hotel was happy to do

  66. Mike Arbucci

    Yes, ask for it. Then chronicle your experience here. The awkwardness will make for solid entertainment, and perhaps it might draw some attention from Marriott to how ridiculous it is to put the onus on the customer to ask for that which the customer is entitled instead of it being doled out proactively.

  67. Wesley

    As a former Marriott front desk agent, I had absolutely no clue this policy existed. The only time I was aware that we had to give guest's cash was if we walked (relocated) a platinum or above to another property. If you aren't asked about your welcome amentity, there's a 99% chance the agent added points. Some hotels POS systems don't prompt the amentity option until the very end of check-in.

    If you're busy...

    As a former Marriott front desk agent, I had absolutely no clue this policy existed. The only time I was aware that we had to give guest's cash was if we walked (relocated) a platinum or above to another property. If you aren't asked about your welcome amentity, there's a 99% chance the agent added points. Some hotels POS systems don't prompt the amentity option until the very end of check-in.

    If you're busy or a new employee, it can be easy to miss. I'd sometimes forget if it was a guest that wanted to have a personal conversation vs a standard check-in experience. I'd always just select points on the rare occasion I forgot to ask. If they came back and asked about it I'd apologize, still give them the points, and add on an F&B credit so that they'd get both welcome amentity options. If a guest demanded $100 from me, I would do anything I could to be unaccommodating to them for the remainder of their stay without crossing a line that could get me in trouble.

    If I were you I'd just bring up that you weren't offered a welcome amentity and were curious what your options are. Going for the $100 is just greedy. If it came from corporate Marriott I'd say go for it, but you're just going to cause the desk agent that checked you in problems by trying to get it from the hotel.

  68. Matthew

    Yes, ask for the compensation. Elite benefits are part of the Marriott brand and for a hotel to be part of that brand, they need to provide those benefits. It really isn’t that hard as Marriott has some of the weakest elite benefits. Mistakes happen, sure, but that’s part of the training the hotel needs to do. If they miss giving you the welcome gift, I cannot imagine what else they slack on.

  69. Ivan Y

    @ Ben — if you see the same front desk agent again, you could talk to them to make a selection for your welcome gift and then mention — as an FYI — that they need to offer this at check-in to due to the policy. Maybe front desk agent is new so this could be a teachable moment so they don’t get in trouble in the future.

  70. EC2

    For clarification is the welcome gift the option of points or breakfast? If not what would the gift be? Beverage?

  71. Mitroy

    Play by the rules as they do. You could request it via Bonvoy’s app chat function saying something like “I’ll gladly pick it up during checkout”. Save a chat history screenshot if they oblige.
    Requesting 15k points is an option instead of cash, AFAIK affiliated hotels are buying points from the corporate at rate of 60USD per 10k points (can anyone confirm that btw?)

  72. BC

    I’d take the middle ground. Go down to the front desk and say “it occurred to me that I wasn’t offered a welcome gift. To be clear, I am NOT asking for you pay me the $100 as I don’t want to be a jerk or get anyone in trouble.”

    At that point, one of two things are likely to happen. Either they give you the welcome gift and apologize OR they really appreciate that...

    I’d take the middle ground. Go down to the front desk and say “it occurred to me that I wasn’t offered a welcome gift. To be clear, I am NOT asking for you pay me the $100 as I don’t want to be a jerk or get anyone in trouble.”

    At that point, one of two things are likely to happen. Either they give you the welcome gift and apologize OR they really appreciate that you’re not an a**hole and go above and beyond with some kind of in kind compensation, F+B credit, champagne or something like that.

    IMO, over-politeness and empathy usually result in greater benefits that being aggressive (even when you are “in bounds” to make a demand).

  73. Brad B

    Just mention you didn't get the welcome gift and ask for the points, its that easy. You are completely right the compensation is not proportional and you will seem like a dick in asking for the comp. Take the points and be done with it.

    I like the Hilton way of doing this where you set your preferences in advance so you don't have to decide in the moment and everything is automatic.

    ...

    Just mention you didn't get the welcome gift and ask for the points, its that easy. You are completely right the compensation is not proportional and you will seem like a dick in asking for the comp. Take the points and be done with it.

    I like the Hilton way of doing this where you set your preferences in advance so you don't have to decide in the moment and everything is automatic.

    I once wrote into Hilton because I had 2 stays where I couldn't get the premium Wifi because the system wouldn't let me log in, it ended up being that my password for Hilton was too long and complex for the wifi system (lol I know) and they gave me 20k points which I wasn't expecting (and kind of felt bad about getting) I just wanted to figure out why I couldn't get Wifi.

  74. D3kingg

    @Ben

    I will bet you money this will be discontinued.

    There will be scammers who game the system and it will be discontinued.

    Marriott has had this before. Back in 2006 I worked at a 4 star Marriott and everyday we had pre arrival rituals recognizing Marriott members at the time silver , gold , platinum. Then they had a challenge if you weren’t recognized as a platinum you get $100 cash....

    @Ben

    I will bet you money this will be discontinued.

    There will be scammers who game the system and it will be discontinued.

    Marriott has had this before. Back in 2006 I worked at a 4 star Marriott and everyday we had pre arrival rituals recognizing Marriott members at the time silver , gold , platinum. Then they had a challenge if you weren’t recognized as a platinum you get $100 cash. One day I was working at the front desk and a guy from Indiana checks in telling me he just made a reservation through reservation. I was maybe just past 90 days into the job. He says nothing I check him in. 5 minutes later he approaches my manager with his open hand out indicating he is platinum and wants $100. My manager goes into a till and gives the man cash. Basically since the reservation had just been made there were a bunch of 2 letter number combinations about the reservation. Random. P6 ,KG ,HQ , B3 .......................and apparently P6 meant a platinum.

  75. Richard

    I'd apply the golden rule here and let it slide, with one exception. If the property is one of those applying a "resort fee" or other silly surcharge, I'd ask for that to be rebated.

  76. Alex_77W

    Lucky: I would be curious to see how this was resolved at the end. I am sure the from desk has no clue.

  77. Niko_jas

    I'd say it more about the principle than the money.

    They make you play by their rules when you book , they may have onerous or strict cancellation or refund policies, they devalue points as suits themband raise redemption amounts when they like and the one time you actually are in a good position you feel guilty about it. Don't have Stockholm syndrome. You don't owe them!
    So I'd claim it but that's me.

  78. JJ

    I checked in late at night to the JW Surabaya in 2019 and wasn’t offered anything at checkin. The next morning I did go down and politely said that I wasn’t offered the welcome gift and should receive $100 as compensation. The front desk lady was apologetic and said the manager would be in touch with me. The manager reached out later that day and met me in the lounge that evening and handed me...

    I checked in late at night to the JW Surabaya in 2019 and wasn’t offered anything at checkin. The next morning I did go down and politely said that I wasn’t offered the welcome gift and should receive $100 as compensation. The front desk lady was apologetic and said the manager would be in touch with me. The manager reached out later that day and met me in the lounge that evening and handed me $100 cash (equivalent in IDR) with an apology. He didn’t seemed phased at all and was well aware of the policy. I probably wouldn’t bother if it was a one night stay in a courtyard but in this case, I felt it was worth it.

  79. AJ

    You are completely right! I've tried to exercise this "benefit" several times (over several years) but it is ALWAYS awkward and I have had zero success. I've been told the manager will call me and discuss it when they get in at noon (the manager gets in at noon!? I want that job!), been asked to prove that I wasn't offered a gift, and flat out denied and told to contact corporate. Clearly, the the...

    You are completely right! I've tried to exercise this "benefit" several times (over several years) but it is ALWAYS awkward and I have had zero success. I've been told the manager will call me and discuss it when they get in at noon (the manager gets in at noon!? I want that job!), been asked to prove that I wasn't offered a gift, and flat out denied and told to contact corporate. Clearly, the the manager calling me, proving it, and contacting corporate are all recipes for "you will not make any progress."

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Ed

Checked into a San Jose, CA Four Points. No mention made of breakfast or welcome gift for Titanium Elite. When I inquired in the morning, they offered a breakfast bag - two granola bars, an orange, and some other type of bar. I declined and asked for the points. After 3 nights, I got a whole whopping 500 points. Not sure how $4 in points makes up this. Getting tired of the COVID excuse. Don't charge top dollar if you can't provide top service.

Harry R Muller

Checked into the Marriott Sawgrass on May 10th and was not offered gift... please send my gift to my account.

Wesley

@Mystery Shopper If I'm remembering correctly, failing to offer an elite benefit was fairly miniscule in the overall score that the hotel gets when they are shopped. A lot of shoppers also checked-in as a basic rewards members to gold status, which eliminates guarantees at most hotels. I was never shopped in my 7 years working for Marriott front desk, so I don't think the system is that robust. It happens once every 6 months from what I remember. Employees should be well trained on the benefits program, but they are not at most hotels. My first hotel was rated the 3rd highest Courtyard in the World when I started, and new management dropped us to 300th-ish place. Everything truly depends on the franchise that runs the hotel. Funny thing is the worst management experience I had was working for a Marriott managed property. They didn't follow their own standards as much as my prior company did (White Lodging). Front desks agents aren't the problem, Marriott is. If they refuse to enforce their standards consistently, the whole brand suffers. I was the top employee in satisfaction scores at every hotel I worked at, yet I had no clue about this $100 guarantee about elite benefits not being offered at check-in until I read this post. That shouldn't be possible when I was responsible for training new people. That's why I quit Marriott/hospitality entirely. Everyone is underpaid and overworked. It has become an industry focused on nickel and diming every guest instead of providing them excellent service.

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