Like a thief in the night: watch out for Marriott’s latest naughtiness


Earlier this week, we had a report in our Frequent Miler Insiders Facebook group about a Marriott mishap that I initially couldn’t believe. A screen shot and a couple of comments later, I found myself scouring data points and finding an alarming number of reports of Marriott changing reservations in the middle of the night or sometimes even in the middle of a stay to charge more points. The more I read about it, the more surprised I was that I hadn’t previously heard about it. If you have Marriott award stays booked, or you have unused free night certificates sitting unprotected in your account, you have to keep your eyes peeled for the latest way to be #Bonvoyed.

Hacked Hyatt Gift Card

Marriott changing reservations to take more points

As a quick reminder, Marriott debuted its peak and off-peak pricing in September 2019, with the following rates at each category:

When Marriott announced the beginning of peak and off-peak pricing, they maintained that while peak and off-peak pricing would change monthly, the rate you booked could be locked in at the time when you booked it. In other words, if you book a room at the “standard” award rate and use points in your account to pay for the room, you would lock in the “standard” price. Even if your chosen hotel and date later moved to peak pricing, your reservation would be honored as booked (provided you paid for it before the change to peak pricing — Points Advance reservations made after 9/14/19 no longer lock in the price at the time of reservation).

Similarly, when a property changes in category, Marriott has historically honored your reservation as booked even if your chosen hotel increased in category.

However, it appears that the current reality is different in some cases. Frequent Miler Insiders member Susan reported this data point earlier this week:

Word of warning regarding Bonvoy peak pricing. My old reservation for Kauai Courtyard/Sheraton auto-processed a change yesterday (debit new rate, refund old rate) to a higher points rate leaving my account 40,000 lighter. I had to call in to have it fixed. Check your balances!

I followed up with Susan to confirm that this was not a Points Advance reservation, but rather one she had paid for at the time of booking. She provided a screen shot to show exactly what happened:

As you can see from the activity dates, Susan originally made the reservation for 100K points on August 15, 2019 and the points were deducted from her account. Then, on January 6, 2020, her 100K points were refunded. Also on January 6th, a new redemption was ordered to the tune of 140K points.

From her data, this is what I think happened:

  • On August 15th, Susan made a reservation for 5 nights during “standard” pricing at what was then a Category 4 property (25K per night). Since the 5th night is free on award stays, this 5-night Category 4 stay came to 100K total points (25K x 5 = 125K – 25K (5th night free) = 100K points).
  • In October, this property increased to Category 5 (35K for a “standard” award). We reported that when it happened thanks to an eagle-eyed reader who spotted the change.
  • On January 6, 2020, Marriott canceled Susan’s reservation, refunded her 100K points, and then re-booked the reservation at the new Category 5 standard award level (35K x 5 = 175K – 35K (5th night free) = 140K points) and debited her account for 140K points.

When Susan found her Marriott account 40K points lighter thanks to an Award Wallet notification, she called Marriott Bonvoy. She reported that getting her missing points refunded was relatively easy.

I was on hold for a few minutes, but it seemed like I wasn’t the first once he looked into it. Correction made with no issue. If it weren’t for AwardWallet, I wouldn’t have seen it. Also received a repeat confirmation showing a higher resort fee (no mention of the points) that the hotel has already noted will not be charged at the higher rate.

Another member reported that this same thing had happened on Christmas Day to one of his reservations. He also said that this had become a known Bonvoy issue. These reports in Frequent Miler Insiders were the first I’d heard, so I went to Flyertalk to see if I could find other reports, and I certainly did.

Flyertalk user rylan reports this on January 5th, 2020:

Ok, so I made a booking last Sept at a hotel for a couple nights at 100k for this Feb. Since then the rate went up due to the peak demand rates to 120k. I receive an booking confirmation email this morning for the same stay, but it shows 120k points so an concerned. I go an check my account activity, and it shows as of today, the original 100k being refunded and 120k being deducted. …?!

So Marriott can go and take more points from me months after I’ve made a confirmed booking? Isn’t this practice illegal? It amounts to me making a cash booking and showing up at the hotel and them demanding more per night. I sent them an email but have no confidence that they’ll actually resolve this since Marriott customer service is total useless crap now.

User dmcdad reports a similar story on January 7th:

Just had it done to me. 60K points stolen from my account and only returned after I called and complained. Watch your points balance folks. I specifically asked if I hadn’t called if they would have eventually credited the 60K points and they said no. What happened in my case:

• Booked in July a hotel for 340K points.
• Today I receive the reservation confirmation email *again*, which I find odd so I read over the entire email. Notice it says 400K points which is different than the original reservation confirmation email received in July.
• Login to my account and it shows:
July: -340K points (original booking)
Today: +340K points AND -400K points

Note I did NOTHING with the reservation. Didn’t change anything – hadn’t even logged into my account and they did this. I wonder how many people they do this to that don’t catch it? Maybe it is just an IT problem, but sure is convenient for Marriott that it results in stealing points from customers.

Those aren’t isolated reports. There are many more in this Flyertalk thread and also in this one. It appears to be an alarmingly frequent occurrence and I can’t help but wonder the same as dmcdad: how many customers don’t catch it?

One report I find particularly troublesome comes from tfong007, who says:

Same thing happened to me a few days ago. Called in and the first agent was like Marriott can change the amounts anytime and that a supervisor would say the same thing. I insisted on a supervisor and she said it was a technical glitch and she reversed the charge. 30 minutes of my life I will never get back. Thanks Arne.

I often tell readers not to take a phone agent’s word for it when you think there’s a chance they could be wrong. I read a data point like the one above and again wonder how many of Marriott’s non-blog-reading, non-Flyertalk-prowling, regular Joe Average customers would know enough to know that “Marriott can change the amounts anytime” is wrong. How many points have already been taken away from customers with this known IT glitch?

And it gets worse.

This is also happening mid-stay


Perhaps even more troubling yet is that this problem is even being reported mid-stay. Flyertalk user eyeball1 reports their reservation cancelled and rebooked at peak rates in the middle of a five-day stay, with the point difference deducted during their time at the resort.

I also had a similar situation last week. I was in the middle of a five day award stay at a ski resort property. The reservation was cancelled and then rebooked at the prevailing “peak rates” for the duration of my stay, and the point difference was deducted from my account. I spoke to the hotel manager at the property which had no clue what happened. I then spoke to a Marriott phone agent who stated this happened frequently, due to IT issues, and corrected the point difference without delay. So beware and monitor your account!

That seems absolutely ludicrous. Had eyeball1 been relaxing and enjoying their stay as one typically does on a vacation rather than eyeballing his/her account, I could see it being really easy to miss this change (especially if mixed in with a lot of other frequent Marriott activity). I am simultaneously amazed and not surprised that the phone agent said this happens frequently and immediately knew how to fix it. If some phone agents are so familiar with the process, it is obviously because they are receiving frequent reports. For every guest that catches this mistake and reports it, my bet is that there are quite a larger number who either don’t catch it or don’t report it (perhaps because the difference is too small, the perceived difficultly of dealing with customer service too large, or their lives just too busy to prioritize it). It is certainly disconcerting that Marriott is taking away more points for a stay that’s already been paid for while that stay is in progress.

And it gets worse.

Free night certs getting pulled

As if it wasn’t bad enough that award stays are being rebooked at higher rates mid-stay, the comment from eyeball1 above was actually in response to this comment from user Keyser.

i just came across a similar issue today….i made a reservation yesterday using 25k points….at some point in the middle of the night the reservation was cancelled on its own & another one was made an hour or so later, this time using the 35k certificate i have in my account….luckily i spotted the error this morning & cancelled the reservation using the cert & made it again using points….i’m going to have to keep a close watch on this now so that the switch doesn’t happen again….

In Keyser’s case, the reservation got cancelled and then reinstated, but Marriott instead took a 35K certificate to reinstate the reservation — overkill for a 25K-point redemption.

And it gets worse.

Keyser’s comment came in response to user bjm5, who had this experience:

Watch out for your free night certificates
Someone can take them without telling you. I stayed for a night at Moxy NYC last week, and they took my 50K certificate without asking me. My reservation was reserved with 30k point redemption, and for some reason the reservation got cancelled soon after I checked in. I received another reservation the next day looks like correcting the cancellation issue. My guess is the front desk made some mistake, and didn’t pay much attention. Couple of days later, I noticed that my 50K certificate that’s yet to expire next Aug was gone. After some searching, I finally found the new reservation made without my knowledge claimed my 50k free night.

Worse yet, phone support initially told bjm5 that they couldn’t do anything about a past reservation. A case was eventually opened, but I don’t know if there has been a resolution. I would be very unhappy if my Chase Ritz 50K certificate got taken for a 30K Moxy stay, where elites don’t even get free breakfast.

What could be causing this glitch?

The obvious answer is: Marriott’s shoddy IT.

The longer answer is probably more complicated. As someone who isn’t an IT guy myself but who has had my toes dipped into the shallow end of the IT kiddie pool thanks to some of the behind-the-scenes stuff I do here at the blog, I can appreciate that IT’s not easy. Just yesterday, Greg and I had a video chat that involved him explaining basic regex (regular expressions) to a guy (me) whose knowledge of expressions previously included classics just as “par for the course” and “that’s the way the cookie crumbles” (for those who didn’t catch the intended humor, regex, as I learned yesterday, refers to basic computer code expressions used in formulas to parse information — not idioms you learned in English class).

It seems that one common theme in a number of these Marriott re-booking instances may have been a change in the reservation made on the hotel end, like an upgraded room. It seems like when the property upgrades your room (which could happen in advance without you even noticing, especially if it is a small “upgrade” to a view room or something), the property’s generosity in providing your upgrade may also cause the reservation to re-price. Perhaps that could explain the rates that changed mid-stay when the desk agent assigns the room.

It also seems that this is only happening in cases where hotels have become more expensive. I haven’t seen a single report of someone automatically being refunded rather than charged more. To be clear, I wouldn’t expect that: Marriott didn’t say that customers would automatically be refunded if hotel award prices decreased but rather that customers could re-book if they find this situation. In other words, it’s on you to monitor for cheaper award prices, but it seems that Marriott’s system is taking it upon itself to find those instances where prices have increased.

Update: I stand corrected. Our own Stephen Pepper checked in to a property last night and received a middle-of-the-night email from Marriott alerting him to the type of re-booking discussed in this post, but in his case he came out 2,500 points ahead. Apparently, one of his nights at a Category 1 Marriott went from peak to off-peak pricing. Interestingly, he reports getting upgraded at check-in ” from a 1 bedroom suite to a 1 bedroom suite with a fireplace”, which lends credence to the theory that it is some sort of change in room type that triggers the re-booking / re-pricing. So it is possible to get automatically re-booked at a lower rate, but it is no less concerning that these re-bookings are happening even after check-in for a multi-night stay.

Note that a couple of the users quoted above specifically reported not having changed anything about their reservations. My best guess is still that it’s something happening on the property end that is causing the IT system to re-book / re-price the award stays.

The good news and bad news is that Marriott phone agents mostly seem to be aware of the issue. That’s good because it means that, unless you get the agent that tfong007 spoke with, your issue will probably get resolved quickly. The bad news is that actually fixing the problem doesn’t look like a priority for Marriott thus far. While I’ve been occasionally willing to concede some room to Marriott for the complexity of merging two large loyalty programs and connecting a lot of digital dots between disparate systems, the bottom line is that glitches like this shouldn’t keep happening a solid year and a half post-merger. In our recent Frequent Miler on the Air Naughty & Nice list episode, Greg questioned my placement of Marriott on the naughty list, asking if Marriott had really been naughty or it had just become convenient to levy blame with Marriott and avoid giving them credit for what they’ve done well. To me, this type of situation is exactly why Marriott made my naughty list. It’s not necessarily the fact that there has been an IT glitch, it’s the apparent lack of leadership lighting a fire to fix what appears to be a fairly widespread problem.

Marriott hotels aren’t bad…it’s corporate leaving the bad taste

I will say that over the past year, I’ve come to appreciate the fact that Marriott has some great hotels. In 2019, I had some terrific Marriott stays. There was the incredible 2-floor villa with private outdoor and indoor pools that I got with a free upgrade at Domes of Elounda.

This was my private outdoor pool at Domes of Elounda. This villa had a private indoor pool, also.

And before that, I had a near-perfect stay at a hotel I said might be the nicest Category 4 property in the world, the Courtyard Hakuba.

This was the private hot spring bath in my room at the Courtyard Hakuba.

In late summer, I was so pleasantly surprised by the St. Regis Bora Bora as to say that I preferred it over the Conrad Bora Bora despite the Conrad’s memorable service for my family.

This. Is. Vacation. (At the St. Regis Bora Bora in front of our lagoon side beach villa)

And there was even an enjoyable stay at the quirky and somewhat oddly-located Kameha Grand in Zurich, where I wondered if someone was playing a joke on me when I got upgraded to the Ghostwriter Suite, complete with a typewriter over the bed that looked like it was used regularly by ghosts.

All that is to say that I’m not suggesting that Marriott doesn’t have some great hotels with excellent staff. I had enough good experiences last year to have half accidentally ended up on a path to 75 nights and Titanium status for this year. Perhaps what disappoints me the most is that, as someone who was not previously interested in Marriott properties pre-merger, I have seen that Marriott can indeed compete on a service level with the Hyatts and Hiltons of the world. It’s just baffling that the leadership isn’t invested in IT solutions that work.

Bottom line

There is what appears to be a pretty widespread IT glitch that is sometimes causing Marriott reservations to re-book and re-price at newly increased categories or peak pricing — in some cases even during a stay and in others using up valuable free night certificates on lower-category hotels. I read one suggestion to use points and free night certificates on future “dummy” reservations in order to prevent them from being available to be used incorrectly, but that could put you in jeopardy of losing your points or certificates if you forget to cancel those “dummy” reservations. Besides, that shouldn’t be necessary; Marriott should be able to find this glitch and solve it. Perhaps they are already at work on this and will solve it eventually — but in the meantime, I wouldn’t want to be stuck having to argue over which past reservations I intended to rebook and which are mistakes made by the Marriott computer system. Your best bet is to keep an eye on your point balances (in my case I use Award Wallet, but you may prefer another solution) and another eye on your email to watch for any new confirmation emails that may indicate a re-price. I probably would have previously ignored a new confirmation email about my planned stay assuming the email was a glitch; I likely wouldn’t have realized that it was a sign that points may be missing from my account.

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[…] Part of the reason I recommend taking screen shots is because you never know when Marriott might change your reservation in the middle of the night, even after you’ve checked in. See: Like a thief in the night: Watch out for Marriott’s latest naughtiness. […]

[…] points fewer than expected. This seems to be due to a glitch in Marriott’s systems which, in most cases, has resulted in people being charged more for their stays. We were an exception to that rule which […]


They credited back the 2,000 points they stole from me, and I was going to let it go, but the credit on my account says “goodwill gesture – 2,000 points”. Are you kidding me?! Like they are doing me a favor. This might be the last straw with me and Bonvoy


Great to know that I’m not the only one who this happened to. I had a similar issue to Susan’s with the Courtyard, now Sheraton Coconut Beach in Kauai. Again, thankfully I noticed my reservation had been rebooked at a higher rate several months after I initially reserved and had points deducted. I called customer service and was initially told it was because I had made a Points Ahead reservation which was incorrect. The agent double checked my account to confirm, then quickly pivoted and said she would take care of it. It took about 15 minutes total, but 15 minutes I shouldn’t have had to spend. This is completely ludicrous that Marriott knows this is an issue and is apparently doing nothing to proactively address it. I’m sure there are many folks who haven’t noticed or know enough to contest the issue. Way to reward your loyal customers, Marriott.


You are lucky you got it resolved in 15 minutes. I just discovered the same error and called. The Titanium phone rep said that the hotel changed the points and wanted to email me their new terms. Crazy. I have a case number and he told me to call Monday during regular business hours at the hotel. Everyone seems to be getting different stories on this. #Bonvoyed

[…] eye on your reservations. Apparently, Marriott’s IT glitches are at it again and this time they’re repricing stays for more points without alerting anyone, sometimes during the middle of a stay. One more reason I need to break […]


I’ve had this happen to me twice already. Had to call Marriott a couple times to get it all sorted out. I did keep the original booking confirmation, which was key in case they needed the documentation that I did in fact book this at a lower rate.

Carl WV

Perhaps you’re being kind calling it an IT glitch. I don’t rule out Marriott was giving it a shot and hoping a fraction of the people will realize they’ve been robbed. I doubt if anybody that doesn’t call is getting their points or certificates back.


Same thing happened to me. I actually paid peak rates for a redemption (5 nights) and then half-way through I was “re-charged” the same amount of points for another 5 nights! If I hadn’t been vigilant in watching I’d be out 160k. Brutal


I am still getting Royally Bonvōyed apparently! I have only had one instance of my rate changing while on property, but it was not a points redemption.
I am having a whole other issue altogether that has me deeply concerned. I have been waiting since I merged my accounts for Marriott to post my SPG activity to my Marriott account. I called them rather regularly right after I initially merged my accounts. Over time, I think we all realize this was going to be a drawn out process. Since I kept being told to wait, I sort of just waited. Here recently, with the year changing again, I decided to contact them again. My SPG information is apparently still nowhere to be found.
This 100% affects my lifetime status. I am starting to think I am on the losing end of this battle. I definitely don’t have all of my stay info dating back 10 years plus. One email that I received referencing my activity only went back to 2015. This completely sucks! I think I am screwed on this one.


Same thing happened to me on multiple reservations. It happened for two stays at the W Verbier. The room was repriced from 60,000 to 100,000 points per night!!! It also happened to me at the Equinox in Manchester, VT. Total bullshit. If I didn’t notice the deductions, I’m not convinced that anybody at Marriott would have caught this and automatically fixed it on their own. I will say that when I did notice I reached out to Marriott, and it was fixed within 24 hours, but the onus should not be on Marriott members to continuously audit their account for unauthorized deductions. Last I checked, I have a full-time job that doesn’t involve me checking my Marriott app on a daily basis.


It should qualify for class action

Michael Tarlow

After learning about Award Wallet from your “Thief in the night” article, I downloaded the app and registered my Bonvoy account. I immediately found that Award Wallet showed account activity that did not even appear on the Bonvoy app. In response to an email I sent to Award Wallet, they promptly replied with a list of Bonvoy activity and a link to the source of their data. After years of closely monitoring my account and going back and forth with Marriott over discrepancies, I learned that the app summarizes much of the activity and that the account activity on the web site contains a lot of info not found on the app.

[…] Exhibit 67,589 why Marriott sucks: Like a thief in the night: watch out for Marriott’s latest naughtiness. […]

[…] Marriott mistakenly deducting extra points from reward reservations when properties move to peak season. A call can get it fixed but you need to stay vigilant with your account balance, and solutions can require hanging up calling back because Marriott frontline call center agents are often quite poor. […]


The same BS happened to me. Back in February, I made a points reservation to stay at the St. Regis in NY. The reservation was for December 11-16, 2019 (5 nights). In February, the rate per night was 60k points, for a total of 240k points for the stay (5th night free). During my stay, I received an email, which I didn’t pay much attention to. My reservation, mid stay mind you, was canceled and reinstated for 400k points. I only really noticed this because of Award Wallet. I returned home to California and contacted Bonvoy customer service on December 17. I have spoken with 4 customer service supervisors over the last 3 weeks, and I have still not had the 160k points credited back to my account. It is beyond laughable. One excuse after another, they keep saying they are waiting for “property support” to process the refund. Does ANYBODY here have any ideas for me on how to get this worked out? A phone number or email possibly??? Please help!


Your only recourse if you don’t have an Ambassador


And the reverse is not true, of course.
A stay I have reserved at a Marriott resort in Hawai’i went from peak to off-peak after reservation, moving from 200K to 180K points total. Did they refund the 20K points? Hardly.
So, I rebooked and then cancelled at the new rate. Guess what? They didn’t refund my 200K points!! I had to call and spend 20 minutes on the phone with one of their doofus reps to get it fixed.

Uggh. I really wish that Hyatt had more hotels where I need them.

[…] Marriott mistakenly deducting extra points from reward reservations when properties move to peak season. A call can get it fixed but you need to stay vigilant with your account balance, and solutions can require hanging up calling back because Marriott frontline call center agents are often quite poor. […]


This afternoon I’m in my account for a different reason and notice that this exact same thing happened to my account, except for it was AFTER I checked out from a hotel. I booked a hotel for a saver award of 8k points. After I checked out they refunded me those points and charged me 10k points!


I had 2 Ritz Carlton reservations that actually DEcreased in points, but Marriott sure didn’t auto adjust those, I had to cancel and rebook.

“I would be very unhappy if my Chase Ritz 50K certificate got taken for a 30K Moxy stay, where elites don’t even get free breakfast.” No free breakfast at the RC, either, only 1k points. Good at SR props, though!


This post is (partially) about IT issues. Don’t know if happened to anyone else, but my free RC night (used previously in the year) was REposted to my Certificates (same expiration date as the old one, this year’s not yet earned. Can’t be my Brilliant one, either, not yet earned)! The day that occurred I booked a res using it. Might later be taken but then again with Marriott’s dismal IT record, maybe not!

Regarding RC free breakfast, though, I have been using STARS a lot more recently at RC props for that and the $100 credit. Their Travel Agent welcome gifts are a lot better than the Plat ones, too!


Almost the exact same thing happened to me as Susan’s situation: booked the Courtyard Kauai in August last year, hotel converted to Sheraton (and moved from cat 4 to 5) in October with no changes to my booking, and then out of the blue on Monday my 100k reservation was apparently cancelled and rebooked at 145k and the additional 45k were deducted from my account. Called Bonvoy, first person was worthless, talked to a supervisor for another half hour and after a bunch of run around she finally agreed to credit my account for the missing 45k points. She kept telling me peak pricing changes this, and category changes that, and that everything looks correct (i.e. I’m screwed). The scary thing is both agents insinuated that I made a change on 1/6/20 to my booking and that’s why the higher rate was being charged! What an easy way to bonvoy people by putting the burden on customers to prove they didn’t modify their reservations and now are stuck with the higher rate!!! As the commenter above noted, take screenshots for everything! While booking, pre-confirmation, post-confirmation, but most importantly make sure you are including the date stamp and header/footer.

Once I burn through the rest of my free night awards and remaining points I’ll be saying bonvoy-f*@#ing-age too this mismanaged cluster of a hotel chain.

s. tre

Yep, same thing happened to me with reservations in South Africa. Several reservations in 2017, 2018 and 2019.
As rates went up they increased deductions from the account.
When a hotel in Druban dropped changed brands they canceled the reservation and stole the points. Deleting the line item deduction. It was impossible for their frontline csr reps to see the deduction or the reservation. But the balance did change.
Last year they erased the stays and the line item deduction and still deducted -stole the points for my stay at a CPTWN hotel.
They are nothing short of crooks.
It seems to happen overnight Utah time.
I have numerous examples.
Marriott cannot be trusted.
In 2018 I got into an argument with the csr mgn and he was yelling at me. Deny, deny, deny…
I am a Plat member too.
I stay far, far away from this program.
If anyone wants to sue, feel free to contact me.

Mary Jane's

Thanks for the head’s up, Nick. I wonder how they will reimburse us for the time it takes to resolve their screw ups…

s. tre.

this is of course the problem and they know it.
this is an action with intent to defraud
unfortunately to make you whole the solution or punishment is to just refund you the missing points.

after a long long argument in which you only have proof of points balances not line item deductions.


It’s just noise around the edges.
Nothing to see here.

I’m ditching both of my Bonvoy cards.


Reminds of my stay at JW Marriott El Convento in Cusco Peru. I was in Paracas Peru when I checked award wallet and discovered that they had given me back the points for one of the rooms for my stay in Cusco. I went into my account and found that I still had the reservation (in fact, upgraded to a family room), so figured I would clear it up when I got to the hotel.
When we arrive at the hotel, the desk tells me that the king room for my wife and I is just fine, but the two queen room for my four children has been cancelled. Apparently, when they processed the upgrade to a family room, they also adjusted the check in date to be two days earlier, by attaching a booking to it, and then cancelled it when I didn’t show up two days earlier. So they insisted that I had somehow booked a 5 night stay using points for three nights and for two nights. I tried to explain that that was impossible for me to do, but they insisted that I had done it. Further, they had no two queen bed rooms available. They could not accommodate me in any room in the hotel. Thinking that they were just refusing to give me an upgraded room, I went on the app to see if they had any suites or anything empty and found that they actually had exactly the same room that I had booked and that it was still available for points. I booked it on the app while still standing at the desk and then told them to look it up. They checked us into that room like the whole previous conversation had never happened. I asked them to find out why everything had gotten messed up and they said they would get back to me by morning. By the next afternoon, no response so I asked again. Again assured that they would get back to me that evening and I heard nothing. Gave up and called Marriott corporate. they also said they would get back to me and never returned my call. Went through all of it in their guest survey and received a boilerplate email that they were sorry and would look into it and nothing more.
All of this was before the merger of the programs, so they have been screwing around with people’s reservations long before the merger. they are just really bad at both IT and guest service and pretty much always have been.
Cancelled my two 7 night packages right after I got home and converted the points to united miles


Similare thread at Loyalty Lobby. Here is what I posted there:

y Marriott story: booked a 7 day cert award but the confirmation email showed that points were pulled.

4 phone calls to dubiously helpful reps has me at: points back in account but a reservation that now says that points will be pulled 15 days before checkin. The reps claim that it will all work out.

“Ignore the website…Trust me”. It’s the new Bonvoy slogan


I was already checked in at W Brisbane New Years and I got an auto email saying I didn’t have enough points in my account to issue an award certificate. The cert was issued long ago so I called downstairs. Spent a few back and forth emails with the front desk Manager who basically threw up his hands and told me to call Bonvoy. I let it ride until check out, and then inquired again. Was told a “new” employee accidentally charged all award stays for already checked in guests, but they fixed it. Hmmm, sounded like some kind of wierd excuse, especially given the front desk manager couldn’t sort it out. I haven’t been staying at Marriott hotels for quite a while and it reminded me why.


My best guess is still that it’s something happening on the property end that is causing the IT system to re-book / re-price the award stays.

I’d say that’s a pretty good guess. If they were doing it intentionally (proactively scanning for opportunities to re-issue awards at a higher price) then it would indicate good, rather than poor, IT. It’s more likely that someone simple overlooked the newly-added concept of constantly changing peak pricing when performing automatic rebooks due to hotel activity. That said, if the reimbursement rate to the property is tied to the points paid by the member, and some hotels become aware of this glitch. . .

a video chat that involved him explaining basic regex (regular expressions) to a guy (me)

As we say in programming: “You have a problem and you decide to solve it using regular expressions. Now, you have two problems.”


Nick, same thing happened to me at the same hotel (Courtyard/Sheraton Coconut Beach). I have my 7 night stay coming up next weekend, and my reservation was cancelled and re-booked, and 75,000 points were deducted from my account. Unfortunately, the lady from Marriott was not as quick to help me (whatever happened to the elite customer service line?) and it took about 45 minutes for her to sort through the error and get my 75,000 points back. Hopefully you are right, and there is a nice upgrade coming my way when I check in, but this has been a huge mess, and an unfortunate waste of time for me and many other.


In addition to Marriott changing upcoming reservations for more points, I made an upcoming res for 160k points + resort fees for 3 nights, yet weeks later Marriott changed it to 160k points + $228 per day + resort fees. Marriott can’t seem to do anything about it even as a titanium elite. I am just going to cancel the reservation and book something else with Hyatt or Hilton. There is a reason I moved many of my stays elsewhere. Marriott’s mismanagement has lost all of my loyalty.


Now that this got me angered with Marriott again, I just looked at all my upcoming reservations, and OF COURSE an upcoming two night stay over the summer went from 50k points to 60k points per night 4 months after I booked it. They redeposited the 100k points on jan 5th and took out 120k points.

s. tre.

yep, it happed to me several time 2017, 2018 exactly that way.
only they seem to often hide the line item deduction and you can only tell if you keep tabs on your points.
csr is incapable of seeing this because the line items do not exist. However, I am sure they know what is happening.


Cannot stand Marriott’s practice of “deletion,” either. If corporate is reading, best practices should require ADJUSTMENTS to a member’s account be visible to all. Deleting, then reposting, (corrected) errors is far from the transparency that s/b mandated when a type of currency is involved.

For that matter, running balances should be maintained but no program does that, either. Including when a REWARD is redeemed from account. They post as e-certs with Marriott (which could be either points used or a FN which simply disappears from your Certificates count with no description); Reward Bonus with Hyatt (which is particularly unclear with a “0” description), or Hilton where you have to call in to use the Reward, it’s not visible in your Honors account so be sure and hold onto that email!). And how about Choice where the Point History is one line item with no detail other than the prop earned at?!

I wholeheartedly agree that programs are intentionally misleading and vague, because there is NO WAY they could run the rest of their company and survive audits with these same poor basic bookkeeping procedures. I try and use it to my advantage. Just about every stay requires some kind of call back to c/s, and when they get confused they sometimes err in my benefit. Until there is some type of new legislation mandating better practices for loyalty member accounts, I feel I am due it for having to get out a calculator and constantly deal with a rep just for doing business with their company.


I don’t buy that it is a glitch – I believe it is the hotel management doing it to get more $$. In 2017 this happened to me with a free night certificate and at that time I was told that the hotel did it when they checked me in. I stayed 1 night at a category 1 or 2 hotel booked that day with points. The next day I see they had first taken the points, then refunded the points and taken the certificate. That is when the certificates were 40,000 points (or whatever they used to be). Marriott just refunded me the point difference, after arguing about it some but my point being, they plainly told me the hotel did it upon check in.

s. tre.

It seems like it began in 2017 for me also.


Angela–hotels do not make more money if their hotel costs more points, they get paid the same from corporate, based on occupancy at the time of your stay. (They get paid a nominal amount if not full, but basically the regular rate if over 90% capacity). The hotel has no incentive to charge you more points.


What did Marriott Comms team say when you mentioned this issue?

Michael Tarlow

I have made it a practice of mine to take screens shots of my Bonvoy activity whenever I have any transactions. I have been a loyal lifetime titanium Marriott customer due primarily to my 30 yrs of timeshare ownership. After all this time I am continually amazed at how shoddily Marriott treats its most loyal customers. I guess it’s just an example of being too big to fail. BTW, I was unaware of the Award Wallet app. I would appreciate a link to any past posts you might have.


Yes I also got caught by the reappearing previously confirmed cancelled reservations. The Marriott system isn’t passing the cancellation reliably on to the property for legacy Starwood properties. Both points and regular reservations can be affected. They have major issues.


Not just Starwood properties. This affect both the Marriott in Singapore and JW in Hong Kong in my case


Marriott charge me 3 days parking for 2 night stay. I arrived at midnight at Arlington DC, the checkin guy was (unintentionally) cancelled my reservation because he claimed that my 7 night certificate has not been sent to the hotel. He was so rude and not willing to help. I called Marriott and have a new reservation within an hour after a flight delay with 3 tired kids. IT problem too?


I had a stay in a Marriott property over Christmas. As I was nearing Platinum, I was paying close attention to my account activity. My stay originally cost 40,000 points. Marriott decided to refund the 40,000 points and then went on to hit me with TWO 40,000 point deductions! A long phone call got that sorted. Watch your points!


I usually cringe when I read “class action” suggestion after every shoddy business practice, but this one might actually have legs. At a minimum an FTC complaint should have legs.


What was the response from the Marriott Corporate office when you asked them for comment on this situation?


What a cluster.

You guys REALLY need to come over to Hyatt. Beginning of the year is the perfect time.


Here’s the irony. Made the phone call above from my beautiful suite at a Hyatt. Great hotel! However, the prior hotel on my trip—also a Hyatt—was the worst hotel experience I have ever had (75-90 nights average per year). GM made me wait a half hour before coming out to speak with me and would only refund half my points on a very bad stay that was the hotel’s fault. First time I have ever complained to a GM ever. So I’m afraid no one has a monopoly on greatness. Hyatt Explorist so I spend plenty of time in Hyatts.


OMG. Nick, a big thank you! Got a new reservation e-mail on January 6 for an upcoming stay at the Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne. Couldn’t tell the points deduction from the email and it didn’t look like anything had changed, so I didn’t follow up. Just read your article and went to my account and noticed 50,000 points reinstated and 60,000 points deducted on January 6. Just called Titanium telephone number, described the issue, was put on hold for 9 minutes, and associate came back and added the 10,000 points back into my account. Associate said this was the first she heard about this issue and the first her manager had heard about it.

Again, thanks for the great article! So this is definitely real.


I had a problem this week. They changed my reservation and took 40k more points. Fortunately they sent me an email so I noticed it. I didn’t feel like wasting the energy to try to fix it. I just cancelled the reservation and will stay at a different hotel.

lac long quan

Marriott Bonvoy Program has changed a lot, for the worse, since the time it completed the merge with Sheraton, specially for. 7-Nights package:
– You cannot extend the deadline
– You get 5,000 points or even no points if you cancel the 150,000-points package.
– You cannot upgrade the package by adding more points.

Customers paid for the packages. This is a STEAL.
Marriott Bonvoy becomes bigger and bigger but also more arrogant and frugal.
It is the time for us to make Marriott to hear our voices.


The issues in the Nick’s post and others are definitely examples of Marriott behaving badly. They SHOULD be called out for their aggressively programmed IT systems. I am surprised there isn’t more outrage about these issues.

However, in your comment, expecting all the things you list is a very entitled way of looking at it. You paid for the package, then use it as you bought it.


“You cannot extend the deadline”

I was talking to an phone rep yesterday about a 7-night cert expiring Feb 08, she said I could call to extend it when it gets ‘close to the date’ like 5 days before. Is this not the case?


it was so close, were you pretty confident (from your research) they’d extend it?


thanks that can work in certain situations to bump up # of night credits for the year. I sure hope they’d do this for 7-night certs.


Nick, does that mean you have zero DP for getting annual credit card certs extended more than once? Think I’m screwed then – I have couple of certs that expire on March 4th and they were extended once before. I have no plans yet to use them 🙁

I was really hoping to use it during next Christmas


You can get all certs extended, except possibly the 40k 75-nighter, including 7-night certs. You just may need to HUCA if you get a rep that has no clue. The 40k annual 75-nighter is the only cert I haven’t tried to extend.


I was wondering if you could get them extended more than once -specifically the annual free might certs from credit cards. I thought people have done it recently, but according to Nick that doesn’t seem to be the case ?!


Nick, I agree completely with this post, and it should be getting more attention from bloggers. I used 270,000 points (some of which I paid to purchase from Starwood) to upgrade to a pre-merger Ritz Tier 4-5 travel package, having been told that if I didn’t use the hotel portion, I would receive 315,000 points refund (standard 45,000 + 270,000). After the merger, the certificate was converted to a new Category 7, and then Bonvoy made all the luxury hotels we intended to use it to stay at Category 8’s, so the certificate couldn’t be used for them. When I asked to refund it, I was told I would get only 5,000 points back, that this was their “policy” as of last August, and that there was nothing anybody could or would do about it. That’s a few thousand dollars worth of value that I believe Marriott literally stole from me.

If anyone reading this has had success in getting the full refund for their travel package certificates lately, I would love to hear about how you did it.


Thanks, Nick, I appreciate the reply. Unfortunately, it was a comedy of Bonvoy errors that put me in the position I am. I did not want to convert my old Tier 3-4 certificate to a new Category 7 certificate, but when I called in to Marriott to ask to upgrade on old Cat 1-4 certificate to a new Category 6 (and paid another 30K points), unbeknownst to me the agent went ahead and prematurely converted my Tier 3-4 to the new Cat 7. When I discovered this had occurred upon reviewing my account online just moments later, Marriott insisted that they could no longer do anything to “reverse” the transaction and I was stuck with the new Cat 7 certificate with a new expiration date of another year. Then, to make things worse, the hotel that we had been wanting o use the certificate for — the Ritz Carlton in St. Thomas — was damaged by the hurricane and closed down. By the time it re-opened and was accepting reservations again, Bonvoy had changed it to a Category 8 so our certificate was no good there. Marriott wouldn’t budge when I asked to be able to use it, and then informed me that we couldn’t get anything more than 5,000 points back for cancelling it.

You may have mentioned in your linked post that refunds for cancelled certificates were no longer being allowed, but at the time this happened, other bloggers were still saying that refunds were being given, so I thought we could always get the refund even if we couldn’t use the certificate as intended. See, e.g.,


I had a different odd issue happen a couple times at the end of last month. Earlier in the year, I placed some hotels on points advance reservations. Early November, I cancelled the stays I wasn’t going to take and received the emails. Fast forward a couple days before those previously booked stays and I see the reservations back in my account. One of which was past the cancellation period.

I received automated Marriott emails telling me to check-in for the cancelled reservation and purchase additional points to cover the reservation. One of the hotels sent me a welcome email in preparation for the cancelled stay at the property. I even received a call from someone at Marriott telling me that I needed to purchase additional points. Good thing I didn’t have enough points as I’m sure they would have deducted the cost of those cancelled stays.

Captain Greg

Nice write up Nick. Thanks for the info. I’ll have to keep an eye on my free night cert!