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Quick Points: Marriott Bonvoy members, ask for your resort fee replacement benefit

Sept. 02, 2022
4 min read
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"I love resort fees," said no person ever.

Across the Americas, resort and destination fees have become increasingly popular. Generally, these fees include benefits that are hard to see your money's worth from.

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For example, The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico has a mandatory $99 daily resort fee that applies on both cash and award booking. When a TPG staff member reviewed the resort in 2019, the resort fee was $75 per day. Back then our reviewer said the fee "was one of the highest I’d ever encountered."

Let's see what the resort fee includes:

MARRIOTT.CO.UK

You'll notice that Wi-Fi is one of the inclusions in the resort fee. As you might already know, Wi-Fi is also a benefit of being a member of Marriott Bonvoy. Premium Wi-Fi is a benefit of Marriott Gold Elite, Platinum Elite, Titanium Elite and Ambassador Elite status.

So if you happen to be a member of Marriott Bonvoy and Wi-Fi is included in your resort fee, you may be eligible for a replacement benefit.

What is the resort fee Wi-Fi replacement benefit?

It's buried deep, deep in the chronicles of Marriott Bonvoy's terms and conditions — something that Marriott properties would prefer that you didn't know about.

Specifically, cause 1.3.c.ii. states, "Participating Properties that have mandatory resort charges, which include internet access, will provide a replacement benefit, to be determined at each Participating Property's discretion."

When I reached out to the front desk at The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort to inquire about their Wi-Fi replacement benefit, it became obvious that the hotel was completely unaware of this policy. Further, asking for a replacement benefit felt like a lot of trouble to go to given the lesser-known nature of this rule.

Ultimately, I couldn't get a clear answer about what the replacement benefit is for this property, but frequent travelers have reported on FlyerTalk that they've been given amenities like drink vouchers and tote bags as replacement benefits. So it's always worth asking and politely pushing if the front desk staff tries to brush off your request.

In some reports, when a hotel is made aware of this policy by the guest, the resort fee has been comped in its entirety. But as with many things in the points and miles world, your experience may vary.

Bottom line

As an avid opponent of resort fees, I believe it shouldn't be the guest's responsibility to hold resorts accountable for complying with this customer-friendly policy.

When I reached out to the St. Regis it felt like I was nickel and diming the resort's management by asking about a Wi-Fi replacement benefit and making them aware of this policy — even though it is something that Marriott's terms require these resorts to provide.

If I want to ask about a Wi-Fi replacement benefit in the future, I'll contact Marriott Bonvoy by phone and ask its representative to coordinate with the property and get back to me.

Still, if you're a Marriott Bonvoy member staying at a property with a mandatory resort fee that includes Wi-Fi, consider having the hotel uphold its part of the deal.

Featured image by St. Regis Bahia Beach Puerto Rico. (Photo by Nick Ellis/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
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3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • 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.

    670-850
    Excellent, Good

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases