Whine Wednesdays: Marriott Currency Conversion Scam In Full Swing (Brazil)

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Not sure why Marriott affiliated hotels in Brazil believe that it is ok to steal money from their guests? Last year, I wrote about Sheraton Sao Paulo (access here) that used a rate that was off by 11.7% and JW Rio de Janeiro back in 2015 (read more here) whose rates were off by 7.9%.

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It is time to whine about this scam again as nothing has changed. I was in Brazil over the past week and stayed at among other hotels at the Renaissance in Sao Paulo that I like a lot and JW Marriott in Rio de Janeiro that doesn’t even meet basic Marriott brand standards.

Both hotels list their rates on Marriott.com rate search in USD and then convert them to BRL using a rate that is highly beneficial for the hotel.

JW Marriott Rio de Janeiro. The rate was off by exactly 4% this time down from the 7.9% spread that they were using 16 months ago.

Renaissance Sao Paulo that had previously used live rates had inflated their rates by 4.6% this time around.

Both hotels fixed the rate for my folio after I pointed out this discrepancy.

Conclusion

This is nothing but a scam by hotels that list the price in other than their native currency and then use other than live rate to convert the displayed currency to the billing one.

I am so tired of this scam that seem to be more prevalent based on my personal experience at Marriott properties compared to IHG, Hilton or Accor ones that more often display their rates in local currencies.

So, always check that the rate used to convert the displayed rate to the billing one is correct before you settle your folio. Too many guests don’t do this and hotels get away by this theft.

I had a friend staying at the Marriott Executive Apartment in Sao Paulo last week too and his currency conversion was off by more than 5%. Told him to open a case with Marriott Rewards customer care and ask for some points as a compensation.

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