Skip to content

Marriott gave me 250,000 points to stay elsewhere — reader success story

Feb. 12, 2020
4 min read
Marriott gave me 250,000 points to stay elsewhere — reader success story
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.

Today I want to share a story from TPG reader Sohel, who made hay after getting walked from a hotel:

Last August, I flew from Atlanta to Portland for a business trip. I had a room reserved at the PDX airport Sheraton, and arrived around 11 p.m. local time ready to pass out. As I began checking in with the front desk agent, he informed me that they were overbooked and did not have a room available for me (I'm a Marriott Ambassador elite member). I was told I would be put up at the nearby Residence Inn instead. The agent and his manager were both very apologetic and offered me 35,000 courtesy points, as well as free dinner and a drink at the bar while I waited for the shuttle to take me to the Residence Inn.

When I arrived at the Residence Inn, the front desk agent there seemed surprised I had been sent from the Sheraton, and informed me that they too were full and did not have a room for me. I called the manager from the Sheraton to clarify, at which point he was also very surprised and offered me another 35,000 courtesy points. The two managers then spoke and decided to send me to a Holiday Inn.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

The next day, I contacted the Sheraton manager and explained that per Marriott policy, I am entitled to 90,000 points and $200 for being walked at the Sheraton, and another 90,000 points and $100 for being walked at the Residence Inn. The manager responded the next day, indicating that the points would be deposited shortly (which they were) and a check was in the mail (I got it the following week) — not a bad outcome for a double walk. Readers should definitely take advantage of this policy.

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

Marriott's Ultimate Reservation Guarantee is designed to compensate Bonvoy elite members whose confirmed reservations are not honored. The compensation varies with your status level and hotel brand, and can yield as much as 140,000 points and $200 for top-tier elites (on top of comparable accommodation provided nearby). Sohel succeeded by not only understanding his status entitled him to compensation, but also asserting his claim to that compensation — the Sheraton in this case gets credit for offering Sohel points up front (twice), but anecdotal evidence indicates Marriott properties are not reliably proactive about fulfilling the Ultimate Reservation Guarantee. In short, it pays to know the terms of your benefits, and don't be shy about using them.

It's equally important to know the limitations of your benefits, and Marriott's Ultimate Reservation Guarantee has several. First, the guarantee isn't offered at all Marriott brands: Design Hotels, Marriott Vacation Club, Marriott Grand Residence Club and Vistana properties are excluded. Second, your member number and a valid credit card number must be included with the reservation. Finally, the Ultimate Reservation Guarantee covers you if you're turned away upon arrival (i.e., when you're actually walked from the hotel), but it doesn't explicitly apply if your reservation is canceled beforehand. Some members have reported that Marriott failed to honor its guarantee when otherwise qualifying reservations were canceled (by the hotel) mere hours before check-in.

Related: What should you do if your hotel is overbooked?

I love this story and I want to hear more like it! In appreciation for sharing this experience (and for allowing me to post it online), I’m sending Sohel a gift card to enjoy on future travels, and I’d like to do the same for you. Please email your own award travel success stories to info@thepointsguy.com; be sure to include details about how you earned and redeemed your rewards, and put “Reader Success Story” in the subject line. Feel free to also submit your most woeful travel mistakes. If your story is published, we’ll send you a gift to jump-start your next adventure. Due to the volume of submissions, we can't respond to each story individually, but we'll be in touch if yours is selected.

Safe and happy travels to all, and I look forward to hearing from you!

Featured image by (Photo by Zack Spear/Unsplash)

TPG featured card

Best starter travel card
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

1 - 3X points
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

Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points60,000 points
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

Annual Fee

$95

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent, Good
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 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
Best starter travel card
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

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