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Why it's important to keep tabs on your hotel bookings

April 14 2022
4 min read
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Many travelers know that it's important to routinely check your flight reservations to avoid surprises. An airline could have changed your seat, aircraft or departure time without letting you know.

What you might not realize, however, is that it's equally important to keep an eye on your upcoming hotel bookings. I recently experienced this when a hotel changed my nightly rate after I booked.

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I recently had a reservation for the Hilton Playa del Carmen in Mexico. I booked my stay through the hotel and the reservation immediately showed up on my Hilton Honors account. I also had a confirmation email that listed the details of my stay. This was a flexible booking, so my card wouldn't be charged until check-in, but my rate was locked in.

A few days later, I went back to my account to reconfirm my reservation details and noticed the rate listed was over $100 higher than I had originally booked. I didn't make changes to my stay, so my first instinct was to see if anything else had changed, like the dates, room type or the number of guests — but they didn't. The only thing that changed was the rate.

My next step was to call Hilton's reservations line.

The representative was as confused as I was, because they saw my original stay details and that I didn't request any changes. Upon further investigation, they discovered that the property adjusted the rate from its end.

The agent from Hilton corporate didn't have the power to revert the change but was ultimately able to create a new reservation with the original rate. But that's not the point. The problem is that the hotel changed my booking without notifying me. In this case, not routinely checking my reservation details could have been quite costly.

Related: Walked from a hotel? Here's how much compensation you're owed

(Photo by Benji Stawski/The Points Guy)

It's not just the rate that could change either. For example, I've had hotels change my room type before without letting me know.

This is generally a good thing: When a hotel changes your room type, it's usually upgrading you. But as I also experienced, it could be because the hotel is quietly downgrading you to a less desirable room type.

The Hilton Playa del Carmen tried moving me back to a lower category room after I was automatically upgraded to a larger room due to my elite status. Hilton has confirmed that hotels cannot rescind upgrades once confirmed and communicated to guests. If I hadn't kept tabs on this reservation, I might have never noticed that I was upgraded and later downgraded.

Related: Tips to get the hotel room upgrades you deserve

(Photo by Benji Stawski/The Points Guy)

Finally, a hotel might cancel your reservation altogether without notifying you. This was a major issue earlier in the pandemic when many hotels closed their doors but is still common with brand-new properties that aren't ready to open yet.

Again, hotels should notify you if they cancel your reservation, but you should do your due diligence to be sure.

Related: What to do if your hotel shuts down during — or right before — your stay

Bottom line

When you book a room at a hotel, you agree to pay a published rate in exchange for the stated accommodations.

Like any business, hotels should honor that agreement. However, there are times when they might need to make changes, such as if there was a mistake rate or if the hotel isn't operating.

Hotels are expected to notify guests of such changes, but they don't always do so. It's important to track your reservations to catch modifications before it is too late to do something about them. Printing or saving your confirmations can go a long way toward resolving surprise changes.

Featured photo by (Photo by Benji Stawski/The Points Guy)
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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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