3 Replies Latest reply: Sep 23, 2014 6:03 PM by bjcilley RSS

Upfront payment options at hotels?

frustratedrewardsmember Platinum
Currently Being Moderated


Has anyone experienced an increasing amount of hotels only offering Pre-Payment options. For example I have been traveling to the Boston area 3-4 times a year (roughly the same time each year) for the past 4 years to visit my daughter in college. This year almost every time I go to book a hotel room the only option is pre-payment. I try to book my hotels a good month or so in advance and to pay out $400 - $600 for a weekend stay a month in advance is frustrating. Not too mention hotel costs have dramatically gone up.  Why all of sudden are these hotels demanding payment upfront? Add to the frustration if you for some reason you need to change your reservation you loose all of your money. I am a Platinum member, Marriott Visa card holder and have supported Marriott for many many years but I am finding it harder and harder to continue to support Marriott when they have these strict rules.

(For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Upfront payment options at hotels?
    vaboywnder Alumni Steward Platinum 21 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Typically the advance payment rates are discounted rates.  Normally you would see those in addition to the regular rates when you make reservations.  On some occassions the AAA rate is the same as the advanced payment rate. Of course the AAA rate would allow you to cancel the reservation and not have to pay for the room until your stay.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Upfront payment options at hotels?
    erc Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    frustratedrewardsmember

     

    Welcome to Insiders.

    Whereas I haven't run into a hotel where advance payment is the only option, I have, like you wrote, observed more and more aggressive pricing tactics further down the pricing calendar, no doubt due to the strength of the demand curve and it is a significant impact to anyone paying their own fare. Marriott is an industry leader in demand oriented pricing and has had tremendous financial success honing their profit optimization strategies as seen in some of the experiences below;
     
      Marriott has had fewer and fewer price decreases from the time of posting the original rate than ever before (and I've been tracking since the 2008 recession);
     
       they have added more and more AAA advance payments (which requires additional diligence when factoring in that Marriott often makes you check prices, night by night, property by property);
     
      I have seen more and more AAA prices that either equal or exceed the standard rate on an apples to apples comparison;
     
     
    the prices for the further out months (7-11) have grown more and more aggresssive - some properties don't even bother posting realistic prices in month 11 (I've seen $9,999 'default' prices for Fairfields)
     
      several properties have added $50 per additional person (beyond 2) charges as 'fees' (which means you must fight to even secure award points for the charge) after posting a "from" price for a two bedroom villa meaning a $100 nightly charge above the quoted rate for 4 guests again making their overall pricing grid unreliable as a starting point
     
      Marriott continues to avoid putting in the average night cost on their Choose from 150 hotels across 11 brands chart  (although they do post Ave. Lowest Cost on the My dates are flexible calendar, still requiring a customer to go property by property, time span by time span).
     
      And on and on (to include 'deals' that are not deals), so your heads up about Boston, one of Marriott's strongest domestic markets (as their rates indicate), is a worthwhile piece of information, thanks for sharing. I believe it will grow even more difficult to find deals as Marriott continues to report record earnings and market growth, we are definitely in a sellers market. Marriott pushes as hard as possible and maintains that pressure until there is financial pushback (as apparently there was in the New York market as they backed off of some of the plethora of 1-4 day prior to check in cancellation notices).
     
      To avoid leaving money on the table certainly requires diligence on the part of the lodger.  Marriott ever so gradually, even makes that diligence harder and harder to execute by adding additional steps to the reservation price comparison process. This forum is one of our best assets for people looking to optimize the travel experience from pricing through traveling to experiencing activities, so we're glad you participated.
     

     

     

     


    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Upfront payment options at hotels?
    bjcilley Platinum 5 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    I am in the travel/tour business and i confirm that more hotels are offering the upfront pay option for reduced rate.  I ran into this in the UK I was booking 8 rooms and managed to get in on the prepay rate for a savings of 20%.  I've seen it more in the US as well.  Well worth it, if you're sure you're going.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

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