Marriott redemption surcharges on stays booked with points or free night certificates have been a topic of discussion for about a year.
After being hit by a redemption surcharge last month, I'll share my experience on how I was able to get it reversed and how you can prevent it from happening to you.
If you happen to be a Marriott loyalist, you should read this article.
Unless you book a Cash + Points rate, Marriott points should be used to cover your room rate. Marriott award stays are still subject to resort and parking fees, but points or free night certificates should cover room expenses.
Marriott redemption surcharges are not a good idea because they charge customers for a portion of their stay that they shouldn't be paying.
If you don't audit your folio, you could end up paying this expense.
The entry line can vary by property and Marriott redemption fees always appear at checkout.
There is a redemption fee listed as "Rm Chrg - Reward Redemption" in the TPG reader's folio at thePerry Lane Hotel.
The redemption fee charged in Indonesian Rupiah appeared as "room revenue" on my recent stay at The Hermitage.
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According to Marriott, these fees are usually caused by a clerical error by the property.
A situation like this is typically due to a clerical error by the property as in this case. If this occurs, members should contact the front desk and/or the manager on duty to have it corrected and removed from their folio.
Marriott has not been able to resolve this bug for over a year. It is your responsibility to catch the mistake and have the redemption fee reversed.
You should audit your loyalty accounts.
I knew what had happened when I stayed in Jarkarta. After the hotel acknowledged the error, I asked for a folio with a zero balance and received a reply from the hotel.
The staff assured me that I wouldn't be charged anything for my stay, but I continued to receive new folios from the property showing that I hadn't checked out.
There was a pending charge on my credit card for the redemption fees.
The hotel told me that there were system errors that caused the charges.
The pending charges dropped off my credit card, but I wouldn't have brought it to their attention.
Email the property first if you get charged a redemption fee. They will remove the surcharge on their end, and refunds your card for the charges without having to contact Marriott corporate.
If the hotel doesn't drop the charges, what will happen?
Marriott customer support can be reached in that case. If you have Marriott elite status, we recommend calling the elite line to connect you to a preferred agent. Ask to have the chargesRefunded once on the phone.
Marriott stays are now costing more points.
Readers have reported about incorrect redemption fees. The Westin Maui Resort & Spa, Ka'anapali received over $600 in refunds after a reader reviewed their months-old bill.
It's your responsibility to make sure your accounts are clean. Before you leave the hotel, you should get a copy of your folio without a redemption surcharge.
If you stay on Marriott points or free night certificates, we recommend that you look over your folio with a fine-toothed comb. Get in touch with the property and ask for a refund if you're charged an additional fee.