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As far as I’m aware, this is completely and totally in violation of the Marriott Bonvoy Terms and Conditions.
We all know that hotels are (currently) free to charge resort fees and destination fees, even though they are total garbage fees that should be in the base rate. They do this largely to obscure the total price, compete better in searches, and, most of all, to save on fees they pay to 3rd party booking sites.
And Marriott Bonvoy forces all elite members to pay these junk fees, including on award stays, while Hilton and Hyatt do not. However, these egregious resort fees apply to paid rates and redemptions alike.
But this post isn’t about that.
As caught by a Marriott customer and posted in the Marriott Insiders Facebook group, the JW Marriott Los Cabos Beach Resort and Spa has added a $30 per night “Marriott Bonvoy Redemption Fee”
The website clearly states: “All Marriott Bonvoy redemption nights are subject to a service charge of USD 30 per night.”
This is not a Resort Fee and appears to only be payable by those redeeming points. They seem to feel their reimbursement rate is insufficient (and perhaps it is), but that isn’t the point. A loyalty program is a two way street. They get paid bookings as a result of participating in Bonvoy. You can’t take the good and shunt the bad.
Of course, the point of using points for free nights is that they are free. Charging a surcharge purely to redeem points is not allowable by the Bonvoy program terms, at least as far as I’m aware.
If it were, you could have a Maldives hotel institute a $500 / night redemption fee. And soon, the entire points system for Bonvoy would be worthless.
Surely, people will complain about this and at some point I have to assume Marriott will intervene and halt the practice.
If you happen to be at the resort right now ready to check out, I would 100% fight this fee and call Marriott about it.
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New to all of this? My “introduction to miles and points” book, MilesTalk: Live Your Wildest Travel Dreams Using Miles and Points is available on Amazon and at major booksellers.