I have an upcoming award stay at a Marriott property, and I received a note from the hotel warning me that if I don’t show up on the day scheduled, and haven’t cancelled at least a day in advance, they’ll charge me over $2000 cash.
We do realize tht plans change. In the event that you need to cancel your reservation, you will receive a full refund if you cancel one day prior to your anticipated arrival. If you cancel your reservation fewer than one day before your anticipated arrival or if you do not arrive for your reservation, the hotel will charge the equivalent of one night, a total of $1999 plus tax, to the credit card used when making the reservation. Any Marriott Bonvoy points used for the reservation will be refunded to your account.
If your flight diverts on the way to this award stay and you can’t check in as scheduled, call your mortgage broker for a second or third lien – quick!
A couple of years ago I wrote about the St. Regis Aspen charging points guests $1000 a night for cancelling reservations within 60 days of arrival. Even customers whose flights were delayed or diverted, and showed up the next day, were getting hit with $1000 charges for their missed nights. $2000 has to be a record, though.
- When a guest doesn’t stay on an award, the program doesn’t pay them for the award stay
- The hotel instead goes back to the guest to charge them a forfeiture instead
St. Regis Aspen, credit: Marriott
That’s how Marriott works, it’s also how Hyatt works. Starwood used to have a policy that you could email and request to have your points forfeit instead of cash, which is how most members assume this works — if you have a non-cancellable booking made with points and you don’t show you lose the points.
There’s a lot of risk in Marriott award stays now because if you don’t show up to check-in, if your flight cancels and you have to give up the trip or if you get rebooked to arrive the next day instead, you’re facing a significant cash charge that is not even disclosed to you during the booking process. In this case, the hotel at least emailed the next day, perhaps because their charge is so large.