A LoyaltyLobby reader sent us a question by email about stay booked using corporate travel agent that Marriott deemed ineligible for points or night credit.
You can access Marriott Bonvoy T&Cs here.
Here’s the email from the reader:
I wanted to get your perspective on a recent stay and subsequent feedback from Marriott. As relevant background I’m a Titanium Elite.
I recently stayed at Hotel Adagio in San Francisco which I booked through my company’s 3rd party travel provider. Whenever I book work travel, I am careful to pick a rate which requires me to pay the hotel (vs pre pay our travel provider). Ultimately Marriott said the rate was not eligible because it was booked through a 3rd party website (As per our Marriott Loyalty terms & Conditions (located here ), section 2.1.f 3rd party Expedia rate and not eligible for points or night credits).
This is disappointing given it was a 4 night stay and represented a considerable amount of points (my bill was approx $1k). That said there are a few reasons I disagree with the expectations and feedback for a few of reasons:
– Prior to check in, I was in conversation with the hotel about a possible upgrade to an eligible suite as a titanium (but not one of the suite upgrades). To this, they said they would do their best to honor the request and I was not told it was ineligible. Had I been told so, I would’ve switched to an eligible rate.
– At check in, my status was recognized and I was given the usual options for welcome gifts (points on arrival and option for breakfast or 750 points per day).
– Bonus points for the above were posted a couple of days after check out including credit for 1 night of the 4 which according to the T&C’s shouldn’t be the case.
– I frequently travel for work and stay in Marriott properties where possible and I always receive credits for my stays. This has never been in an issue.
I won’t be ungrateful for the 5000 points and one night stay credited. However my belief is that Marriott led me to believe the rate was eligible based on the actions I outlined.
I’m normally a proponent of pushing in the right ways as there’s little to lose, but I wanted to get your view given before responding to them.
Business stays that are booked using Egencia (Expedia owned agency that many companies use), Concur, or CWT have become the latest potential minefield when trying to get elite benefits honored or to earn points/elite night credits.
For a very long time, the rates that business travelers could book using these agencies were either negotiated rates between the business and the individual hotels or chains, or public best flexible/refundable type. This, however, has slowly changed.
Now, these agencies also offer their deeply discounted OTA or other rates that are not eligible for loyalty program elite benefits or points. Trying to figure out what rates are qualified and what not appears to be borderline impossible. You cannot trust that rates that are payable at the hotel would be eligible.
Note that it is up to the business’ travel manager to deem what rates these agencies offer to their travelers.
We have received quite a few messages this year of these rates that are booked using Egencia, Concur, and CWT that have turned out to be ineligible. It would be best if businesses, agencies, and hotel chains made it more transparent if a rate displayed on the search is eligible or not.
What experiences our readers have that use these two or other agencies when it comes to rate qualification?