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Quick points: Get compensation when you're walked from a hotel

May 20 2022
4 min read
People in a line at a hotel check in desk
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Being "walked" is a travel term for showing up at a hotel for your reservation, only to find that there's no room for you. This happens when a hotel is oversold or when a new hotel isn't open to the public, as TPG senior reporter Katie Genter recently experienced.

Oftentimes, this means you're accommodated at a nearby hotel, but some hotel groups have published compensation policies to go alongside this. This means you may be able to make out with extra points and even cash compensation when you're walked.

Let's look at these benefits and the hotel programs that offer them.

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Getting compensation when you're walked from a hotel

(Photo by Andrew Kunesh/The Points Guy)

While you can be walked from any hotel, only a few major chains have published benefits.

Marriott Ultimate Reservation Guarantee

Marriott Bonvoy members who are walked from a hotel are eligible for the Ultimate Reservation Guarantee so long as their reservation was booked directly with Marriott. Here's what that guarantee includes:

Brand
Compensation
Edition, The Luxury Collection, W Hotels, JW Marriott, Marriott Hotels, Sheraton, Delta Hotels, Le Meridien, Westin, Autograph Collection, Renaissance Hotels, Tribute Portfolio and Gaylord Hotels.
$200 and 90,000 points.
Courtyard, Four Points, SpringHill Suites, Protea Hotels, Fairfield by Marriott, AC Hotels, Aloft, Moxy Hotels, Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites and Element.
$100 (Platinum and Titanium Elite members also receive 90,000 points).
The Ritz-Carlton and St. Regis.
Titanium Elite and Ambassador Elite members receive $200 and 140,000 points.

Marriott has the most generous compensation policy, but it can be tricky to actually get what you're entitled to. When I was walked last summer, I received 90,000 points for being walked from a Four Points property, but the $100 check never arrived. I was also accommodated at a nearby SpringHill Suites.

Hyatt reservation guarantee

If you book a room on Hyatt’s website and prepay with a credit card, Hyatt will provide a free night at a comparable hotel, free transportation to and from that hotel and a phone call to your family to let them know where you ended up. Many details are unclear — for example, what "comparable" actually means — but it's nice to know you'll have a hotel room available even if the one you booked is unavailable.

IHG Book With Us Advantage

IHG states you are provided a room at a comparable hotel and transportation to said hotel if you’re walked from one of its properties. Additionally, any advance deposit will be refunded. Like Marriott and Hyatt, this is only available if you book your stay directly with IHG on its website.

Always ask for compensation

Even if your preferred hotel loyalty program doesn't have a published compensation policy, you should push for it regardless. It's in your best interest to ask at the front desk and call the hotel loyalty program to see if they can send you extra points or a partial refund if you're accommodated elsewhere but not refunded. Depending on who you talk to, you may even come out ahead.

Bottom line

Being walked is never fun — especially after a long flight or drive. But if you know what you're entitled to, you could walk away with extra points and a hotel stay nearby.

Featured photo by (Photo by DarioGaona 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.
3 / 5
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  • 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
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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.
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Best Marriott card for Business Owners
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.
2X2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • 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
    75,000 points
  • 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