Marriott Bonvoy Award Redemption Fee?

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At the moment, you can file this under “anomaly” that requires more attention – and I’m hoping this
post will get to the bottom of this – as I’m pretty sure it’s a simple case of “hotel user error.”

Bonvoy Redemption Charge

In the last few days I have been engaged in two dialogues with readers about a “redemption charge” tied to award stays using Marriott Bonvoy points.

Here’s one with a $75 charge for using points for an award stay. The charge was reversed after communication with Marriott and the hotel.

In the second, a MilesTalk Facebook Group member shared a tale so similar I assumed it was the same person I was talking to on Twitter. Except it wasn’t.

She wrote:

In may, early in june and last weekend i booked 2 night stays where i paid one night fully in points and one night the full rate. all three times i was charged a 79$ reward point rate on the second night, in addition to the full priced rate. the hotel would say yeah yeah we’ll fix it. they didnt 2 of the times. i would call bonvoy, and they had a hard time understanding the problem but would have to call the hotels to get the charge reversed.

but it happened every single stay. its starting to feel like a – we hope you dont notice this – kind of thing. anyone else have this happen?

I have a theory on what is happening.

I *think* what is happening is that the hotel is inadvertently charging the guest for the cost of the redemption that is to be borne by the Marriott Bonvoy program.  With all redemption programs like Bonvoy, a hotel invoices the loyalty program for the stay and gets reimbursed (at a greatly reduced rate in most, though not all, circumstances).  Over the years I’ve occasionally seen the fee accidentally displayed on my invoice – though never actually charged to my card.

Certainly there has been no announcement from Marriott of any Bonvoy Award Redemption Fees. And such a move would be insane, given that you are using your rewards points as a sort of gift for your loyalty and, also, because no other chain has dared such a bold move.

Given that my hunch is that it’s a glitch affecting small numbers of isolated guests, the main purpose of this post is to alert you to the fact that you could see this charge and, also, to gauge how widespread this is. If you are charged, you’ll need to contact the hotel to have it fixed.

Have you Encountered A Bonvoy Award Redemption Fee?

Let me know here, on Twitter, or in the private MilesTalk Facebook group.

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