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Marriott restricting once-very-generous cancellation policy beginning in July

June 26 2020
3 min read
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As the coronavirus pandemic continues to drag on, we've seen hotels and airlines go to great lengths to help customers feel confident when making future bookings. Specifically, nearly every major travel brand has relaxed its cancellation policy, including hotels allowing guests to cancel prepaid rates without penalty.

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First reported by Your Mileage May Vary and confirmed by Marriott, Marriott will be updating its change and cancellation policy for new bookings beginning on July 6. As the policy reads now, guests with new or existing reservations have been able to cancel or receive a refund up to 24 hours prior to arrival, including prepaid rates which are generally more restrictive. This policy is valid through July 5, though Marriott has already extended the dates at least once.

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Related: Coronavirus hotel change and cancellation policies

Starting July 6, guests with non-prepaid reservations with arrival dates on or before September 30 can still change or cancel up to 24 hours before arrival without penalty. Guests with non-prepaid reservations with arrival dates after September 30, as well as guests making new prepaid reservations on or after July 6, will be subject to the hotel's cancellation policy at the time of booking.

Related: Marriott Bonvoy extending all members’ elite status through February 2022

It's hard to say exactly how much of an impact this will have, as Marriott is leaving it up to each individual hotel to set its own cancellation policy. Under the current policy, guests are incentivized to book prepaid rates even if they're not sure they'll be able to travel, as these rates can be significantly cheaper than non-prepaid rates. Even with rates depressed at the moment, the St. Regis Washington DC is offering prepaid rates that are $38 a night cheaper than the member rate, but the discrepancy can pass $100 a night at luxury properties.

It's important to remember that if you have an existing booking with Marriott, even for a prepaid rate, you won't be affected by this policy change. You should keep an eye on when your cancellation deadline is (based on when you booked), but this change only affects new bookings made on or after July 6th.

Related: Marriott suspends brand standards and elite guarantees

Bottom line

On July 6, Marriott will become one of the first hotel companies to relax the generous change and cancellation policies it put in place in response to the coronavirus pandemic. These changes specifically affect people booking prepaid rates, or people booking stays that start after September 30th. If you fall into one of these categories, you'll need to check the hotel's cancellation policy at the time of booking to see what options you have.

Further Reading: Your ultimate guide to Marriott hotel brands

Featured photo by St. Regis Abu Dhabi Saadiyat Island. Photo by Ethan Steinberg / The Points Guy

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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

6X6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
4X4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
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  • Intro Offer
    Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.

    Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 points
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  • Annual Fee

    $125
  • 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 Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex is a stacked card with a rewards rate that will help you earn bonus points on everyday and business-related purchases. You'll earn 15 elite night credits each calendar year, and receive automatic Gold elite status. Finally, the free night award certificate with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less can get you hundreds of dollars in potential value each year.

Pros

  • 6x points on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 4x points at restaurants worldwide, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. shipping
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases
  • Earn a free-night award each card renewal month (up to 35,000 points)
  • Receive 15 elite night credits to jump-start status
  • Transfer Marriott points to 40+ airlines

Cons

  • Airline points transfer ratios are poor
  • Must spend $60,000 in a year for second free-night award
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.
  • 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Card.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees