Marriott’s elite benefits guarantee is back

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During the pandemic, Marriott had previously suspended their elite benefits guarantee, but as of today (January 11, 2021), the guarantees are back!  Here is the message from Marriott:

We are reinstating the elite guarantee compensation which had been temporarily suspended due to COVID-19. Please note that based on day-to-day business conditions at individual hotels and/or government regulations, properties may offer a breakfast alternative when lounges and restaurants are closed such as grab and go or credit for food and beverage purchases on property. As always, the Lounge and Welcome Gift elite benefit depends on brand and geographic regions.

Pictured above: The St. Regis Llasa Resort, China

One of the most interesting aspects of the Marriott Bonvoy program is that they guarantee certain elite benefits.  In certain situations, participating hotels must pay you if they fail to deliver benefits.  Thanks to this benefit, I was once able to collect $100 when the resort I stayed at failed to offer me a Platinum welcome gift (see: Marriott pays up when they fail to deliver elite benefits).  More recently, I was due compensation when a hotel I had booked was unable to fulfill my reservation.  In that case, I told the hotel not to worry about the compensation since they had already treated us extremely well (see details in caption, below).

Above left: Roomers Baden-Baden Germany (a Marriott Autograph Collection hotel). Above right: Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa, Baden-Baden Germany. I had booked one night at Roomers using a free night certificate from my Chase Marriott card, but the hotel contacted me a couple of weeks in advance to let me know that they weren’t able to fulfill my booking due to a large group reservation. At my request, they put us up, at their expense, at the luxurious Brenners Park Hotel instead. It was awesome.  Marriott returned my free night certificate, and Roomers sent me a new free night voucher for a junior suite!

The rules vary by brand and location (and fine print)

Before we dive into the various elite benefits guarantees, it’s important to note that the rules vary by brand and location.  And, in some cases, specific hotels have been given exceptions.  This post is designed to give you an overview of Marriott’s elite benefits guarantees, but if you want to know which guarantees apply to your specific stay please see our resource page: Which Marriott elite benefits apply?

On our “Which Marriott elite benefits apply?” page, you can filter to specific hotel brands to see what benefits you are due. Plus, you can search for your specific hotel to see if there are any noted exceptions.

Summary of Elite Benefits Guarantee

The quoted text below was copied directly from Marriott’s Elite Benefit Guarantees page. In some cases I bolded and/or underlined text for emphasis:

All Elite Tiers (Silver and higher):

  • Ultimate Reservation Guarantee: “If for some reason we’re unable to honor your reservation, we’ll pay for your accommodations that night at a nearby hotel and compensate you for the inconvenience. To be eligible, you must provide your member number when making a reservation. Compensation varies by hotel brand.”
    Ultimate Reservation Guarantee More Info

    Greg’s explanation: If you get walked (.e.g you had a confirmed reservation, but they can’t honor it) from a Marriott hotel they not only have to put you up somewhere comparable, but they will also compensate you with cash and points for your trouble.

Platinum Elite & Higher:

  • Guaranteed Platinum Elite/Titanium Elite Welcome Gift: “As a Platinum or Titanium Elite member, you’ll receive a special gift upon arrival at participating hotels, with a choice of an amenity gift or points. If guarantee is not met, guest compensation applies.”
    Guaranteed Platinum Elite/Titanium Elite Welcome Gift More Info

    Greg’s explanation: Platinum guests are supposed to be offered a welcome gift upon check in.  If you weren’t offered one, you can go to the desk during your stay and request compensation.

  • Guaranteed Room Type: “When making a reservation, be sure to note your Member number and room/bed preferences. We’ll always honor your bed type request at our locations throughout the U.S. and Canada. Everywhere else, smoking/non-smoking preferences are honored based on availability; exact bed sizes may vary, and only Titanium Elite members will have guaranteed priority for their requested type of bed and room. If guarantee is not met, guest compensation applies.”
    Guaranteed Room Type More Info

    Greg’s explanation: Except when voluntarily upgraded, if you get stuck in the wrong type of room, request compensation during your stay.

  • Guaranteed Lounge Access: “Access to lounge for member plus one guest. This benefit only applies to the guest room that the Platinum Elite/Titanium Elite member is staying in.”
    Guaranteed Lounge Access More Info

    Greg’s explanation: This one seems self explanatory.

Titanium Elite and Ambassador Elite:

  • 48-Hour Guaranteed Availability: Traveling on short notice? We guarantee you’ll always have a room for any paid stay. Just make your reservation 48 hours before arrival at any of our participating hotels, excluding Resorts, Marriott Vacation Club, participating Vistana properties, and Design Hotels. 48-Hour Guaranteed Availability: Limited to Titanium Elite and Ambassador Elite Member’s personal guest room. Guaranteed room availability for reservations booked at least 48 hours prior to arrival. 48-Hour Guaranteed Availability may not be available on certain limited dates (e.g., special events). Benefit cannot be used in conjunction with award usage or any type of promotional or discounted rates. For Residence Inn and TownePlace Suites, 48-Hour Guaranteed Availability applies to studio rooms only.Greg’s explanation: If you want to stay at a particular Marriott hotel, but it is sold out for your desired stay, they’ll let you book the stay anyway, but at standard rack rates.  This benefit doesn’t include compensation if it is not met.

Reminder

Please visit our “Which Marriott elite benefits apply?” page, where you can filter to specific hotel brands to see what benefits you are due. Plus, you can search for your specific hotel to see if there are any noted exceptions.

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[…] If you are into Marriott I guess this is good: Marriott’s elite benefits guarantee is back. […]