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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:

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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 image 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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Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
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

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
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    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • 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

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees