Check your Marriott account to see if your award stays were rebooked at higher rates
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When Marriott implemented peak and off-peak pricing in September 2019, it was the final (official) aspect of the integrated Bonvoy program to take effect. Any award reservations booked prior to that date — including those using the Points Advance feature — were supposed to remain unaffected.
Sadly, it seems like a recent development has rendered that logic incorrect.
TPG reader Steve reached out to us earlier this week regarding a reservation he had at a Marriott in New Hampshire for later this year. He booked a two-night stay at a Category 3 property back on Jul. 21, 2019, and 35,000 points were deducted from his account — which matches the standard award rate of 17,500 points per night. However, he noticed that the stay had been refunded and rebooked at a higher amount on Jan. 4:
According to Steve, he hadn’t touched the reservation since he initially booked it, so he wasn’t sure what was going on. Based on the new rate (20,000 points per night), it’s safe to assume that both nights of his stay now fall under peak pricing. However, he had already booked and confirmed the reservation. The points were deducted nearly two months before peak and off-peak pricing kicked in.
Unfortunately, it seems that other TPG readers are in the same boat. One posted a screen shot of his account in the TPG Lounge, showing a stay for this coming April that was automatically rebooked on Jan. 6, jumping from 100,000 points to 140,000 points. Others chimed in about similar experiences — and many others are documented in this FlyerTalk thread.
Even TPG Senior Writer JT Genter noticed a change on one of his reservations that was booked using point back on Jul. 14, 2019. On Jan. 7 — without any action on his part — he noticed that the stay had been rebooked. However, unlike other commenters, this resulted in a refund of Marriott points.
Here, it appears that one of the nights of his Category 6 stay had dropped from standard to off-peak, resulting in a net refund of 10,000 points.
None of these reservations were changed by the member, and none of them involved Points Advance bookings. These were all rooms that were confirmed — and had points deducted — prior to the implementation of peak and off-peak pricing. As a result, they should’ve been immune to any monthly adjustments in peak/off-peak dates, but that’s obviously not the case.
It’s worth noting that other TPG staff, including Executive Editorial Director Scott Mayerowitz, have several upcoming points stays reserved and haven’t seen any change in their reservations. Scott even has one (at the Memmo Principe Real, Lisbon, a Member of Design Hotels) that no longer has points availability at all for his dates of travel. So, we aren’t sure the logic here yet.
We’ve reached out to Marriott for a statement on how and why these automatic rebookings happened, and we also asked what an affected member should do. A spokesperson said that the company is looking into it.
We certainly hope this is a glitch that is resolved quickly, but in the meantime, if you have a Marriott award stay for later this year, you should probably log in to your Bonvoy account and verify that you haven’t been rebooked at a higher rate (or to find the surprise of a lower rate and a refund of points). And if you have seen additional points pulled from your account for a reservation you already booked, go ahead and call Marriott or message Marriott Bonvoy Assist (@MBonvoyAssist) on Twitter. It may take some back and forth, but you should be able to get the points restored.
Featured image of the J.W. Marriott Maldives by Nicky Kelvin / The Points Guy
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