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Seen this?  Prepay/Nonrefundable ... With Points????

Question asked by ssindc on Jul 20, 2016
Latest reply on Jul 7, 2017 by ssindc

OK, this is new to me.   I just checked some dates for a points stay at a popular (category 8) Marriott property - the Monterey Marriott.  Among other options was this:

 

Marriott Rewards Redemption, prepay in full, non-refundable if cancelled more than 1 day after booking

Then, under rate details, it says:

 

Cancelling Your Reservation

    • You may cancel your reservation for no charge until July 21, 2016.
    • Please note that we will assess a fee of 336.04 USD if you must cancel after this deadline.If you have made a prepayment, we will retain all or part of your prepayment. If not, we will charge your credit card.This fee equals your room charge plus tax for all the nights of your reservation.


[Emphasis added.  Note: $336 looks like a one-night charge, but it's a two-night reservation....  The lowest non-pre-pay room rate is currently $362....  Hmmm]

 

I don't get it.  What does that mean?  If I book on points and later cancel, I don't get my points back?

 

But it says that it's gonna charge me money if I cancel...  ????

 

To make it (even) stranger .... it says: that the cost of the stay is 80,000 points, PLUS 5.00 USD - never seen that before.  Is the $5 fee new?

 

Any thoughts, ideas, insights????


- - - - -


OK - we have official clarification (below):


Re: Seen this?  Prepay/Nonrefundable ... With Points????

caratCommunity Manager Marriott AssociateSilver

 

Hi ssindc.  We'd like to shed some light.  If a member books on points and cancels the reservation before the cancellation period, the points are fully refunded and no fees are required.  However, if not canceled before the cancellation period they will be charged for one nights room rate, on their credit card.  The $5 fee you are seeing is for the room type of the booking, it is an upgrade fee.  Hope this helps, but feel free to let us know if you have any questions.

 

Thanks carat, for the prompt response. Knowledge is power!  [One more question: should we expect to see this more often in the future???]

 

So, in other words - with regard to this deal:

 

  • there was a $5 upgrade fee - OK, fine, I don't mind paying $5 for a free room.  (I'm not sure I see the point, but that's OK)...
  • if you take this offer, you've got 24 hours to think about it...
  • you can have the room for points, BUT:
    • if you change your mind later, and don't make the trip/stay:
      • you get your points back, which is nice, BUT
      • you have to pay cash for one night's stay.

 

Fascinating.  I'd be curious to hear from someone - anyone - what's behind the policy.  Maybe some top notch pingreeman analysis is what's needed here....

 

  • Frankly, I understand the 2-day before - rather than day before - cancellation policy.  The hotel shouldn't have to risk an empty room because I change my mind at the last minute. 
  • But, I'm assuming that this "offer" is available because there is high demand for the hotel, which means that - if I cancel - there is a good chance the hotel will get top dollar for the room.
  • Also, this seems to suggest that the points are "worthless" to the property/hotel.  But that's a story for another day...

 

Oh, well, live and learn....

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