The new Marriott Points Plus Cash option for making reservations on marriott.com is a nice addition, but their branding it as Points Plus Cash is confusing and stupid. It's just an improvement to their website that allows you to make one reservation versus two and then having to call customer service or the hotel and asking them to link the reservations. Nice web site improvement, but not worthy of branding under a name that has a different meaning by the rest of the industry.
Ironically, Marriott already does have true cash plus points rewards where you use fewer points per night and pay a little cash per night instead -- just like the rest of the industry. They call it "Marriott Rewards Redemption with Cash Upgrade". You just don't see it very often. It might be for Marriott Resorts only, but I've seen it a few times. In fact I unknowingly booked a reward redemption plus cash upgrade stay at Marriott Vail Mountain Resort last year. Unfortunately, the Marriott.com reservation site did not make it clear it was a plus cash reward and I ended up with an almost $2800 bill upon checkout after 7 nights -- on top of the 210,000 Reward Points that I paid. I am confident the plus cash part was hidden and only visible during the reservation process if you clicked on the reward rules link next to the reward option you are selecting. But you don't need to click on the reward rules link to complete your reservation and thus I booked what I thought was a 30,000 per night point reward and unaware of the $359 + tax per night additional charge. The Marriott web site now is very clear when you are doing a points plus cash upgrade award and Marriott Customer Service is denying that they made an improvement to their web site to put the plus cash info (that was previously only in the reward rules link info) right next to the number of points where it belongs. There is no way I would not have seen the plus $359 per night if it was shown next to the number of points and the Vail Resort frond desk manager confirmed that the web site used to only show the plus cash info in the rewards rules link which you did not have to click to complete your reservation. Yet, Marrriot customer service still says I was just blind and simply did not see the plus cash part of the reward rate. Anyone else ever book a true Marriot Rewards points plus cash reward on Marriott.com prior to August 2011 and experience what I'm talking about? I'm still looking for proof to dispute this charge with Marriott. Please reply to me if you have seen this.
I have been a loyal Gold Marriott Rewards customer for years, but I'll now penalize Marriott by not choosing their brand as much as possible.