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

Jun 26, 2020

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.

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.

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

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.

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 image by Ethan Steinberg / The Points Guy.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.