A LoyaltyLobby reader sent us a question that is plaguing many Marriott Bonvoy members who have Suite Night Awards (SNAs) that can be used for upgrades based on availability.
You can access Marriott’s page for SNA’s here.
Here’s the email from the reader:
I am writing to inform you (and potentially ask for your help) regarding a considerable devaluation of the Marriott Suite Night Awards (SNAs) that was drawn to my attention just yesterday.
Upon reaching 75 nights last week, I opted for the 5 SNAs instead of the free night that I usually take, as I now rarely stay in properties up to 40k points/night. I already had a reservation to which I wanted to apply the 5 SNAs and made sure to check Marriott T&Cs to validate that this stay would be eligible. I also explicitly asked the agent whether this rate would be eligible when making the reservation.
It turns out, however, after a 30-minute discussion with Customer Service yesterday, that since a few months prepaid reservations are not eligible anymore for SNAs. This was communicated to me via e-mail by customer service yesterday (see picture below). However, this is nowhere to be found in the Marriott Program T&Cs. Now, I am very irritated, as I explicitly chose the SNAs to redeem them for a prepaid stay and made sure to check before.
Are you aware of this customer deception and/or would you mind reaching out to Bonvoy to check what their perspective is? As I believe that many of your readers are Bonvoy members and using SNAs, this could be highly relevant to your audience.
Please see attached for a screenshot of the Marriott Customer Service e-mail and their current T&Cs.
Here’s reply that the reader received from Marriott Bonvoy customer service
Here’s the relevant part of the T&Cs:
Not sure what is going on with Marriott Bonvoy? It is now 14 months since the system integration, and things are still not working. Endless tickets are opened for issues and problems that should have been fixed by September 2018.
This issue with SNAs affects many Marriott Bonvoy members, and luckily there is a workaround that works in most cases.
Here’s what you need to do if you have prepaid reservation which Marriott Bonvoy contrary to the T&Cs won’t allow SNAs to be applied to:
UPDATE: Here’s the most straightforward way to get it applied without having to make an alternate reservation:
What I noticed in addition is that you can simply copy paste the Suite Night “URL” into your browser after having opened the prepaid reservation using the “Modify” button.
The URL is not “customized” to a specific reservation but a general one: https://www.marriott.com/
It then brings up the SNA upgrade tool with the prepaid reservation.
In that case you do not need to make a separate reservation using the flexible rate.
1. Make another reservation using Best Flexible Rate for a hotel that allows SNAs to be applied.
2. Log out and log back in and then:
Click “My Trips” and choose the new reservation made using the Best Flexible-rate. Choose View/Modify and open it another tab or window (not incognito).
Go back to My Trips and open the prepaid reservation on another tab/window (not incognito) to which you would like to apply the SNAs.
Go back to the window or tab that should have the best flexible-rate reservation and start the upgrade process. Due to how Marriott handles website sessions, it should then bring up the prepaid reservation to which you can now apply the SNAs.
Not sure why Marriott Bonvoy is so against allowing members to use their earned Suite Night Awards to upgrade prepaid reservations?
This issue, or perhaps it is a feature of the program, has been around since August 2018, and it is now October 2019. Surely, they have had ample amount of time to fix it, but they haven’t.
Luckily, there is this convoluted way around the “feature.”
Remember that if you have multiple Marriott website tabs/windows open, be careful what you do. You may end up canceling or modifying a reservation that you don’t intend to because Marriott is unable to handle multiple sessions correctly.
I requested clarification from Marriott spokesperson regarding SNAs and prepaid reservation, but they decided not to comment.