Bonvoy bug: How to get your missing Marriott certificates back

Apr 22, 2021

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One of my absolute favorite hotel credit card perks is the annual free night certificate you’ll get with certain accounts. In many cases, that one benefit more than makes up for the annual fee, netting you free nights worth hundreds of dollars without any hit to your points balance.

My favorite certificates come as a benefit of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card, letting you book a hotel room that would otherwise cost 50,000 points per night — the 35,000-point certificates with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card and Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card can be incredibly valuable, as well.

Typically, you’ll redeem these certificates in much the same way you’d book a room with Bonvoy points, though you’ll need to use Marriott’s website or call center — not the mobile app — to lock in your stay. Recently, getting a certificate back after you cancel a stay has been far more challenging, though.

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If you cancel a stay right now, there’s a good chance your certificate will end up getting “stuck” — the booking will drop from your list of stays, but the certificate may not go back into your Bonvoy account. A Marriott spokesperson acknowledged the issue and confirmed that the chain is currently working on a fix.

Screenshot courtesy of Marriott.

I’ve encountered this issue with every certificate booking I’ve canceled recently, and it’s certainly not easy to tell if any are missing from your account. For that reason, I’d recommend noting your current certificate balance before you cancel a reservation.

If you get the canceled certificate(s) back, there’s nothing you need to do. If they don’t appear right away, however, you’ll want to give Marriott a call at 888-236-2427, noting the hotel name and dates of your canceled stay. Reservations agents should be able to redeposit your certificates. If you want to avoid an extra step, they can also cancel your stay for you and confirm that your certificates become available again.

Alternatively, you can reach out to Marriott with a direct message on Twitter, @MarriottBonvoy. In my experience, I generally received a response in a few minutes, with my certificates ready to use again right away.

Featured image of the ZH Wilson Residence Inn Big Sky MT by Zach Honig / The Points Guy

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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.

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