Check Your Marriott Cash & Points Reservations – They May Be Wrong

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Marriott hasn’t found it easy to merge Starwood Preferred Guest into Marriott Rewards (now Marriott Bonvoy) and we’ve seen issue after issue being reported and, what’s worse, a lot of these issues haven’t being addressed in any kind of timely manner.

Almost 6 months have now passed since Marriott rolled SPG into Marriott rewards in August 2018 and although some issues have finally been resolved (most people’s lifetime status seems to be showing correctly in their accounts now) other issues still remain.

a group of people in a room
JW Marriott Singapore South Beach

Reader Denise posted a comment on one of my blog posts to let me know that she’s noticed an issue with a Cash and Points reservation she made before the two loyalty programs were merged:

Just a heads up about a problem with my Cash and points reservation which I made in July. It was a Category 3 hotel and I booked 5 nights for $55 cash and 3,500 points for April, 2019 This hotel is now a category 5.
My reservation now says $140 cash and 17.500 points. This is wrong and I will phone to have this corrected. It should read $55 and 10,500 points(3,500 x 3)

To clarify, what Denise did was book a Starwood Category 3 property in July 2018 for 5 nights at a rate of $55 + 3,500 Starpoints per night.a screenshot of a computer screen

When SPG and Marriott Rewards merged in August 2018 the property two things happened:

  1. Starpoints were converted to Marriott Rewards points at a ratio of 1:3
  2. The property that Denise booked was placed into Category 5 of the new Marriott Award Chart
a screenshot of a screen
Marriott’s Cash + Points award chart from August 2018

The conversion of Starpoints to Marriott Rewards points should have changed the nightly rate for Denise’s reservation to $55 + 10,500 points but, as her booking now shows the nightly rate as $140 + 17,000 points, it looks like Marriott’s system has “forgotten” the cost of the booking from when it was first made and repriced it as if the booking was done after the two loyalty programs were merged.

Clearly this is incorrect (hoteliers can’t change the price of a booking after it had been made) and Denise is following up with Marriott….but this is an important thing to be aware of for three reasons.

Firstly, if you made a Starwood cash + points reservation before 18 August 2018 and you have yet to complete the stay you should check that your reservation hasn’t suffered the same fate as Denise’s.

Secondly, this shows that Marriott is still having issues with reservations made before the loyalty programs were merged so it may not just be cash + points reservations that are incorrect – reservations made with Starpoints alone may also be wrong.

JW Marriott Hong Kong
JW Marriott Hong Kong

Thirdly, over 300 Marriott properties will be changing categories in March this year so the cost of an award night at all these properties will be changing too.  It’s not inconceivable that Marriott’s systems will suffer a further meltdown when the hotel category changes go live and, as a result, award bookings and cash + points booking may get screwed up again.

If a property you’ve booked (with points or a combination of cash and points) is changing categories in March it will be worth checking your reservation once the category changes have taken place.

Is anyone else still having issues with Marriott that relate back to the merger of the loyalty programs?