Skip to content

Here's why you still need to check your Marriott account after every stay

March 06, 2020
7 min read
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

We're well over a year into the new Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program, and while many of the IT problems that understandably plagued the early launch have faded and been fixed, some have not. IT issues continue to be one of the biggest complaints among loyal Marriott travelers, but if you don't pay close attention to your account you might never realize what's wrong or missing.

I recently returned from a month-long trip that saw me spending 22 nights at eight different Marriott hotels. I expected to earn a pretty large sum of points from all of those trips, but when I checked my account after returning home, I was surprised to see how low the number was. I ended up having to go back and audit each stay one by one to make sure I received the correct number of points, and I uncovered a few more mistakes along the way.

For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Third time's the charm

Some of my stays posted correctly to my account within 24 to 48 hours of checkout, exactly as they should. But I ended up with problems at three different properties out of the eight I stayed at, which is pretty disappointing. You could say I just got exceptionally unlucky this time around, though I find this error rate to be pretty common across all my Bonvoy travels.

Let's start with the biggest discrepancy, which came when I checked my Bonvoy account a few days after checking out from an incredible stay at the W Maldives. While our room was booked for free using points, of course, there's no avoiding the expensive island prices for food, drink and activities once you get there.

Ready to plan that bucket-list trip to the Maldives? Visit TPG’s Maldives destination hub for more stories about traveling to the region on points and miles, where to stay and what to do while you’re there.

Excluding our seaplane transfer, which isn't eligible to earn hotel points, we ended up spending about $3,500 on our five-night stay. All Marriott members earn 10x points per dollar on their hotel folios, but due to my Titanium elite status I should earn 17.5x, or about 61,000 Marriott points (worth about $490 based on TPG's latest valuations). How many points actually posted to my account? 4,285, or around 7% of what I was owed.

I do give a lot of the credit to the W here. Before I even noticed the error, Ali (the hotel's welcome manager) had already opened up a case with Marriott on my behalf and submitted my folio to them. That should have been a quick and easy fix, but few days later, my account had been updated to show 25,164 points from the stay. It took two more emails, or over a week of back and forth after I left the hotel, to finally get all the points correctly deposited to my account.

Related: Maximizing redemptions with Marriott Bonvoy

Sign up for our daily newsletter

A missing night in Taiwan

We'd originally planned to head home to Shanghai after the Maldives, but I jumped out of my seat when I got the opportunity to review Starlux Airlines on a flight to Penang (PEN) just a few weeks after its launch. This meant making my way over to Taipei (TPE), and for the one night I decided to stay closer to the airport instead of taking the 45-minute train into and out of the city.

Related: A top-notch airline: Review of Starlux Airlines A321neo in business class

Of course, as the coronavirus continued to spread we decided to cancel our laundry day and stay on the road a bit longer, which for me meant rerouting to Taipei and spending an extra night there catching up on work. I stayed at the Sheraton Taoyuan, a very affordable property just a 15 to 20 minute Uber ride from the Taipei airport.

The hotel was a great value for my stay, and I got an upgrade to a club level room and free breakfast due to my elite status. Thankfully the points posted quickly and correctly, but the hotel only credited me with one elite night when I'd stayed for two (probably because I'd booked two separate one-night reservations).

I knew I'd have to submit a missing-stay request with Marriott, but they make you wait 10 days to do so. I understand the rationale behind this, but by the fifth or sixth day I knew the stay wasn't going to post, yet I still had to wait. Finally, 10 days after checkout, I went to submit my claim. Marriott has changed things up recently and now requires you to have a copy of your hotel folio to process this request. I usually ask the hotel to send it over email instead of printing it out for me, but this property never did.

So instead of submitting my missing night claim, I had to submit a missing folio claim, which I could then use to request credit for my missing night. I'm still in the process of sorting through this with Marriott, but the number of hoops I've already had to jump through to correct a simple and obvious mistake is frustrating. One night might not seem like something worth fighting over, but if I requalify for Titanium status this year it will be by the skin of my teeth, and every night counts.

Related: I audited my Bonvoy account and found Marriott owed me 183,980 points

Use Awardwallet and make your life easier

While this story is about Marriott specifically, the lesson applies to every loyalty program out there. You need to keep a careful eye on your account, set reminders, and make sure points actually post the way they're supposed to. I'd estimate that maybe 50% of the time I spend on my points and miles hobby is devoted to following up with deals that didn't credit correctly. This is what TPG's Richard Kerr meant when he said that complexity is an ever-present devaluation: the harder you have to fight for a deal, the more likely you are to give up and let your points go, even if you did everything correctly to earn them.

To that end, one of the best tools you can use to minimize the amount of work you have to do yourself is Awardwallet. I make it a habit of opening it up first thing in the morning while I'm checking my email and letting it refresh all my points balances in the background. When I saw my Marriott balance go up by under 5,000 points after checking out of the W Maldives, I knew something was wrong and was able to start the multi-step process of following up.

Bottom line

It's crazy to think how many points you might be leaving on the table just by not keeping a watchful eye on your accounts. Whenever you pursue a deal, stay at a hotel or take a flight, you should mentally set aside a few minutes to follow up and double check that you earned every last mile you're entitled to. If you don't advocate for yourself, no one will.

Featured image by @CRIENE VIA TWENTY20

Top offers from our partners

How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
See all best card offers

TPG featured card

Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023