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Look before you book: Travelers seeing surprise award redemption fees in the Marriott Bonvoy app

Sept. 19, 2022
5 min read
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You shouldn't have to pay money to redeem your Marriott points for award nights. However, some Marriott Bonvoy app users are being asked to fork over extra cash when using their points to book a hotel room.

This shouldn't be happening, but the good news is that it's not on every stay and there's a workaround. Let's look at what's happening with the points redemption fees in the Marriott Bonvoy app and how you can avoid them.

Marriott Bonvoy app points redemption fees

Luckily, these fees aren't showing up on every award redemption you want to make. That's the silver lining.

However, you may be erroneously asked to pay an additional fee when using your points for a redemption stay at some Marriott properties when you book through the Marriott app. These fees range from $25 to nearly $100, depending on the property, dates and room type.

When searching for a room this coming weekend at the Aloft Tulsa Downtown in Oklahoma, users are asked to pay $55 to redeem their points for a two-night stay. This comes on top of the 17,000 Marriott Bonvoy points needed for the redemption. Notice that this is listed as a "Redemption," meaning it's not a 'points + cash' stay. There should not be a cash requirement for this booking.

MARRIOTT BONVOY APP

The same problem occurs at the Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel & Towers in Bangkok for a two-night stay from Oct. 5—7. Users are asked to pay $94 when redeeming 35,000 points for this stay.

MARRIOTT BONVOY APP

However, there is no redemption fee during these same dates at the Le Méridien Bangkok.

MARRIOTT BONVOY APP

These are just a handful of examples. TPG staffers also found surcharges on award redemptions at the Marriott Mena House Cairo and JW Marriott San Francisco, among others.

To be clear, these are not resort fees or points + cash bookings, leading us to believe this is a bug on Marriott’s app. TPG reached out to Marriott for a statement, and the hotel group said that it is "looking into this" and that we should expect an update in the coming days. We’ll update this post when the bug is resolved.

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Related: Luxury on the cheap: 16 incredible Bangkok hotels you can book with points

How to avoid these fees

Luckily, there is a workaround for avoiding these fees. Booking your stay through the Marriott website will solve the problem.

When checking the same dates at the Aloft Tulsa Downtown online, you can redeem 17,000 points without paying any cash.

MARRIOTT.COM

The Royal Orchid Sheraton in Bangkok also isn't asking for cash when redeeming 35,000 Bonvoy points for the same two-night stay next month.

MARRIOTT.COM

While it is an extra step, it's not a difficult one. If the Marriott app asks you to pay a fee when redeeming your points, booking online is the solution.

Related: Ouch: It's not just you, Marriott stays now cost more points

It's also worth noting that the fees sometimes drop off on the final confirmation screen in the app.

For example, at the Royal Orchid Sheraton in Bangkok, the fees disappear on the final confirmation page. You can reserve your room using only points.

MARRIOTT BONVOY APP

But at the Aloft in Tulsa, there are still fees on the final screen.

MARRIOTT BONVOY APP

Bottom line

While these fees should not appear at all, the positive aspect of this news is that you can easily avoid them by booking online through Marriott's website.

If you like using the app to search for hotels and find availability, you can still do so. When it's time to select your room and confirm your reservation, watch for any unexpected fees in the app. If you see them, conduct the same search on Marriott's website and you should be able to use your points without paying this extra fee.

We hope Marriott resolves this issue soon. As always, we will keep you updated on a future resolution.

Featured image by CHINA/BARCROFT IMAGES/BARCROFT MEDIA VIA GETTY IMAGES
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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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
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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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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
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  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the 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