Marriott Introduces Flexible Cancelation Policy

Filed Under: Marriott

Following the lead of most other global hotel brands, Marriott has today announced a more flexible booking policy, as well as some positive news for Bonvoy members.

Marriott allowing free cancelations

Marriott is allowing reservations to be changed for free up until 24 hours before arrival, for stays through April 30, 2020. This includes non-refundable reservations that were previously booked. Marriott starts the above policy by saying “generally speaking,” so perhaps there are some exclusions.

On top of that, for reservations made between March 13 and April 30, 2020, Marriott will allow reservations to be canceled for free up until 24 hours before arrival, even if it’s a pre-paid rate. This is clearly intended to incentivize future bookings.

Previously Marriott only allowed free cancelations in select regions, and didn’t have a policy like this globally.

Marriott has introduced a more flexible cancelation policy

Flexibility for Marriott Bonvoy members

Marriott Bonvoy has also announced some extensions for members, to provide greater flexibility:

  • The expiration of Bonvoy points is paused through August 31, 2020
  • The expiration of Suite Night Awards with an expiration of December 31, 2020, has been extended to December 31, 2021
  • Members who have a Free Night Award expiring in 2020 as part of a credit card benefit, annual choice benefit promotion, or travel package, will be able to use it through January 31, 2021

As far as status qualification for this year goes, Marriott notes the following:

As the current situation is still evolving, it is too early for us to make any changes. We will keep you updated on all loyalty program changes through our Marriott Bonvoy member benefits website.

Free night award expiration is being extended

Bottom line

All of the major hotel groups now have similar policies, allowing for free cancelations on all bookings through April 30, 2020. On top of that, we’re increasingly seeing hotels offering incentives for all future bookings in the form of free cancelation even on pre-paid rates.

Lastly, Bonvoy members won’t have points expire in the next few months, and certificates and awards will be extended.

Comments
  1. Wow, how generous of them. Still not even close to the way it used to be before the “enhancements”: cancel by 6 PM the day of arrival. I may have to stay at a hotel Saturday night and I’ll be booking it while on my way there.

  2. Hi Ben,

    Could you provide the correct expiry date for the free night awards expiring in 2020?

    “Members who have a Free Night Award expiring in 2020 as part of a credit card benefit, annual choice benefit promotion, or travel package, will be able to use it through January 31, 2020”

  3. This solidified my plans to move to Hyatt. I don’t need to stay at obscure locations for work, and there are enough alternative Virtuoso/FSPP/FHR hotels when Hyatts don’t have footprint at a particular city, there’s just no reason to stay with Marriott for the crumbs they throw at their members.

    Hyatt has been ahead of the pack every step on the way, and I’m going to go with them for that.

  4. HI BRUNO: per the email I received by Marriott, Certificate Awards can be used through Jan 31 2021. Here’s the relevant portion of the email:

    Lastly, Members who currently have an active Free Night Award (FNA) expiring in 2020 as part of their credit card benefit, annual choice benefit, promotions or travel package will be able to use it through January 31, 2021. We understand that earning status for 2021 may also be on your mind. As the current situation is still evolving, it is too early for us to make any changes. We will keep you updated on all loyalty program changes through our Marriott Bonvoy member benefits website.

  5. I had to cancel a Washington DC stay this week that I used a 7 night certificate to book. The titanium line representative said they can’t extend the cert since it had already been extended.

  6. John: the Marriott agent told me today that the extentions will be made automatically by ‘the system’ in late April. Doesn’t help you if you need to make a reservation sooner… but you your cert. might just slip thru…

  7. Too late for me…already Bonvoyed by these asses. Conference was cancelled (COVID-19) within the 72 hour cancellation period and got hit with a rather spendy one night penalty (Gaylord National Harbor). Next time, even if the host property is in the Marriott family – no way. Will not give them one more penny if possible. About 120 nights in hotels annually and hoping for a final tally of:
    Marriott = 0
    All others = 120

  8. The new cancellation policy does not apply to their Design Hotel brands so I am still not receiving a refund for prepaid hotel in Lisbon, Portugal, besides not being able to travel to Europe. I am a Platinum Elite but loyalty apparently doesn’t matter. I will be moving all of my travel to Hyatt.

  9. Now Hilton has by far the most restricted terms. If your hotel ist not is the highest contaminated area you have no chance to cancel. Hilton is now the Lufthansa of the hotels. A very bad reputation.

  10. It’s not just free cancelation for stays through April but any future arrival date. You just have to call and make the cancelation or change by the end of April. There website says: “ For guests with existing reservations for any future arrival date, including reservations with pre-paid rates that are typically more restrictive, we will allow full changes or cancellation without a charge up to 24 hours prior to arrival,* as long as the change or cancellation is made by April 30, 2020. Please note that any changes to existing reservations will be subject to availability and any rate differences.”

  11. Any idea what happens to old (pre Bonvou) Travel Package stays? We booked the Ritz Orlando for Spring Break but with Disney closed will likely cancel the trip. Wonder if they will extend expiration until next year or if we will need to use sooner.

  12. I’m hoping Marriott will do the right thing and extend this to those of us who had room reservations for one of the largest trade shows in CA (Natural Products Expo West) with typically over 80,000 attendees that was to start last week on March 3 but cancelled the night before on March 2. The Anaheim Marriott has billed my credit card for over $3,000 in cancelled rooms and has been adamant no refunds due to the contract they had with the show organizers.

  13. @Mark Fischer

    Not sure where you get that from. Hilton allowing refunds on all rates for bookings until 30 April – no restrictions on location.

  14. We are Marriott timeshare owner with weeks booked in April 2020. What does Marriott have planned to help us and similar families. We’re within 60 day cancellation. Know I can give it to Interval but will have restrictions when booking a new reservation. Will most likely be unable to secure a property of equivalent value.

  15. Last year I purchased a $1295 Marriott Vacation Club Encore Pkg to NYC in May 2020. Due to the Coronavirus we want to cancel. Marriott refuses to refund any money. Marriott stated they will give me 6 mo extension to use the package I have paid for. How f’ing generous!! We have no idea what the status of this pandemic will be. They should refund my money in full. I would even feel better about it if they extended travel time till the end of 2021. Lost a lot of respect for Marriott.

  16. Because of the change in valuation in Marriott points, I booked a hotel in Paris by using all my Marriott points. Do you think they will honor the old rate if I move my booking to later this year?

  17. I agree with QC. Extending our Encore package to 6 months later is a much deflated value.
    We booked early April & by setting back as far as possible (last 4 days of September) is a much lower demand time & still warm in Ohio. I looked up a 7 night Get Away package for September & could get ENTIRE week for $499 & NOT do a presentation! I realize I’m not only Executive Level with Marriott, but REALLY, not even close to being an equal value. How do we know with Covid 19 here, that we’ll even want to travel in 6 months. Marriott needs to step it up!!

  18. As @Jen noted, they have explicitly excluded Design Hotels. I cancelled a res at Sir Albert in Amsterdam, and there was no communication from the hotel, despite the case in the Marriott system says they claimed they did. No voucher, nothing. Marriott said I have to call the hotel for any changes, rebooking etc. I finally got through to them, and they said I have to work with Marriott, even claimed that they are not “part of Marriott”… rather we just get points etc. Ping Pong. A Marriott manager said she’d try again to get a refund. If that doesn’t go through maybe I’ll just dispute the charge on my visa.

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