Bonvoyed Again: what Marriott gives it can also take away

26

Ain’t no Bonvoy like a Marriott Bonvoy. Many of us had unused Marriott Suite Night Awards (SNA’s) that had previously been extended during the pandemic but that were due to expire on June 30th. Last week, Loyalty Lobby reported some unexpectedly consumer-friendly news from the folks at Marriott: those SNA’s had been extended to December 31st. Presumably, this was due to a decided wave of grumbling from Bonvoy members still sitting on stacks of expiring certs.

I checked my account and, sure enough, the one SNA that I had with an expiry of June 30th had been extended. A couple of other FM team members had theirs extended as well. It’s rare that Marriott surprises us with joy, so we were grateful for it this time.

Not so fast, Bonvoy members. Marriott evidently saw our delight and said, “this cannot stand.”

Less than 24 hours later, we got a note from Marriott saying that the extensions had been in error and they were going through affected accounts “re-expiring” SNA’s because they were “unable” to extend them further…which was odd because they had already been extended.

Hahaha, Marriott. You really got us this time.

Quick Thoughts

I gotta say, I’m perplexed by this edition of #bonvoyed. Marriott SNA’s aren’t exactly high-value. You can only apply them at select brands (even hotels within those brands can decide not to participate) and each certificate is only valid for one night. They don’t clear until a maximum of five nights before a stay and so don’t usually take up inventory that would otherwise be sold. Indeed, the most common complaint about them is how difficult it is to get them to clear.

I get that Marriott evidently made a mistake by extending these certificates. That said, I would think that when they discovered it, the first response would be to just let the extensions ride and bask in the goodwill that the mistake created. To go back and re-expire them retroactively seems unnecessary and attracts even more stink-eye from members who thought that Marriott had done them a solid. It’s a customer-unfriendly move that just doesn’t seem to have much upside.

Enjoy those SNA’s, Marriott. Maybe you’ll have better luck using them than we did.

5 11 votes
Post Rating

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

26 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

[…] its members hit a new low by extending suite night awards that were expiring, only to report that the extension was a mistake and the awards would be re-expired. (Is that even a word?) That’s not mentioning that the reason members did not use the awards […]

Paul

Why would anyone continue to invest in Bonvoy..must be the facade of loyalty and rewards?

Byron

I could care less. Everytime I have submitted one for an upgrade, it never clears. These suite night awards are worthless. I am a lifetime Titanium.

Retired Gambler

I suspect that, even if they have little value as you state, there is a book value associated with them that has to be reflected as a liability on Marriott’s balance sheet. My guess is that it would have either taken a lot of extra effort on the part of the accounting team to revise financial reports and projections or that it would have had a material impact on Q3 and Q4 (assuming Marriott is on a calendar quarter system) financials.

Josh

Because of their temporary expiration update I was able to apply them to a July 4 reservation and they actually cleared!

Rene

I had a 6 night booking using certs which I cancelled and they credited me for 4 nights… refused to credit the missing 2 and insisting that only 4 nights were used. Be careful when dealing with these guys.

Lukas

Strangely, I had 7 SNAs expiring on 6/30. Now I have 6 SNAs expiring on 12/30. Now sure where the one night went (not that it matters) and why my SNAs weren’t expired with mostly everyone else’s.

yyyy

Same here but my “extended” 6 just disappeared from account..:(

Lukas

“And just like that… he’s gone.”

Just happened to me too.

whocares

nice graphic!

Ftrump

Marriott doesn’t care about loyalty. Bonvoyed is the worst program ever

Retired Gambler

Then don’t stay there! Plenty of other options available. I just don’t get all the Marriott bashing when people have a choice where to stay.

FtRump

Not so fast! Marriott has devalued/Bonvoyed the loyalty program EVERY chance they got and they NEVER fail to disappoint. Customers spent the cash to earn points/status etc. that they should be able to use it with a resonable value and not get Bonvoyed over-and-over again!

Peter

New to the points game. For the last year and a half I’ve been on the sidelines for booking Marriott stays and applying for their cards. This, even with AMEX Platinum Gold status.

Every time I think to jump in, there’s another headline about being Bonvoy’ed, devaluations, point/cert shell games and rogue hotels not honoring “free” nights or outright fabricated fees. Smells like a top-down management issue.

Besides points on top of certs, what’s the Bonvoy program upside for a newbie?

Ben

For now, the 60,000:25,000 transfer rate to airlines is the best out for any hotel program, even when adjusting for earnings rates. Beyond that, there isn’t much for me. Resort fees at most places I would want to redeem points at, their Mexico all-inclusives top out at “decent” (Hilton and especially Hyatt have better options), and if you want late checkout but won’t be a Platinum or higher, Hyatt even offers guaranteed 2pm checkout for their lowest elite tier.

Reno Joe

Peter, I had been a multi-year Ambassador Elite. Allow me to spare you years of disillusionment. Most hotels are independently owned and affiliate with a hotel brand / loyalty program (such as Marriott or Hilton or Hyatt). While the property owners love the bookings they receive via such an affiliation, the property owners don’t really want to provide the benefits the program offers to members with tier status. The things that the property owner pull range from petty to egregious to bizarre. And, property owners under the Marriott banner are either the worst or among the worst. Sadly, Marriott corporate management is fainthearted when it comes to enforcement — fearing that the property will leave the network . . . with its franchise fees. If you decide to stay with Marriott, you won’t notice anything at first. But, give ’em time. Soon enough, you’ll get stiffed . . . and you’ll realize “ah, this is the kind of thing that they were talking about.” Best of luck.

John Ryan

In my opinion, the main upside to the Bonvoy program, and one of the very few, is the sheer number of hotels. There are very few places where there is not a Marriott, so because of that, many people are loyal to the program.

Last edited 2 months ago by John Ryan
EricF

Marriott has a large footprint, with some hotels that are rated well, and their hotels offer a range of cpp redemption values when booking on points, so it’s fairly common for me to find properties that can be booked for a higher cpp than their points can be bought for on sale. Basically their size offers options, that I evaluate with discernment and without loyalty.

Darin

Just checked and 3 SNAs were extended, all three of which I’ve now submitted towards existing reservations. I’m sure Marriott will gleefully remove them as they expire them again, but I’m at least going to make it harder for them to achieve (I hope). What a joke.

Anthony Fantino

I applied mine to a reservation I have next week.

CHRIS

…..but you just won’t book away from Marriott. You’re doing this to yourself. They’re flush with infrequent travelers with pent up travel wants right now. Tourists will buy any lie told to them to them at the front desk….especially when it’s told in conjunction with the magic word..
Remember this when things shit the bed (as they will soon enough) and they finally need you again. There really are no elite benefits to speak of anyway. I’ve been booking boutique places more and more. Sometimes I’ve actually been pleasantly surprised. The chains no longer deserve my loyalty. And occasional night here and there….maybe. 150-200 nights per year?….no.

Reno Joe

Chris, I’m with you. We’ve been on the non-chain path for a while now. There’s a boutique hotel in LA that we’ve been staying at for a few years — we’ve gotten to know them personally and they’ve gotten to know us personally. The ownership group has about a dozen hotels — with locations including Paris and Rome. The ownership group has extended us with a sizable discount given our relationship. Admittedly, this scenario doesn’t work for most. But, who the heck needs points when the discount outstrips what points would be worth? And, they treat us royally. Mater sez dad-gum.

vince

Just checked mine and my wifes accounts and our certs have been extended 1 year. Wonder if its worthwhile to try and use them now before they try and claw them back?

Jungu Beans

Marriot is SOOO dead to me. Hyatt and Hilton are far and away the more reliable and rewarding brands.

Paul

Agreed – the negative publicity among and stance towards their ‘best customers’ is astonishing given the minimal cost to just suck up the so-called mistake.

Michael Tarlow

Does that mean that if you already made a request that that request is cacelled also? Seems hard to tell given half the time I have used them, sometime later the reservation inevitably states they could not be used and upon calling an agent would tell me the request was in the system. It doesn’t matter much. I been upgraded more by virtue of my status than by using a suite night. But it’s nice to be able to look forward to a stay when you know in advance that you’ve received an upgrade.