The personal check cashing policy changed officially on April 1, 2009. The announcement took the form of a note at the bottom of the Platinum Elite Terms & Conditions. The T&C was an insert in the booklet that came with the Platinum Elite renewal card outlining the 2009 Marriott Rewards program. A more formal announcement may have been made that I could have missed. Limits on Personal Check Cashing privileges used to be listed here.
In my personal experience there was a check bounced by someone using my name and account at MR, resulting in a phone call from Marriott asking why I had done it. I live in CA and the check was cashed on a GA bank, using a similar name but a different address than that found in my MR profile. In researching this I discovered that associates were not double checking the validity of checks being cashed against the IDs of the person and the Marriott Rewards ID card--which I thought was required.
Also, smaller hotels are not normally flush with ready cash--the business runs on credit most of the time--so having a few hundred in the till for check cashing was always a problem.
Some brokerage accounts will allow free atm use anywhere--but in recent years the accounts needed to be very large (over 1 million in assets) for this to happen. Some CUs may still offer free ATM usage anywhere--but the terms and conditions often change sometimes at will. Checking for checking is always best.