Good afternoon, Insiders community! I'm hoping you can help me with some small issues from a recent hotel stay.
I stayed at at a Courtyard hotel in New York City on September 11 on a slightly discounted MMF rate ($50 less than BAR). When I arrived at the hotel and checked in, I was not offered the welcome amenity (400 points + market item or Starbucks coffee). Additionally, I have not been awarded points for my incidental spend ($49.00 parking charged to room should yield 735 rewards points, right?).
I called Marriott Customer Service this afternoon, and they apologized and opened up a case with the hotel. The hotel responded, saying that:
Dear [Name removed],
Thank you for reaching out to our Marriott Customer Care. We value you as a Platinum Elite Member. I do see you booked under the Friends and Family Rate. I did go ahead and call Marriott Rewards on your behalf and I can confirm the rate at which you booked is not eligible to receive points because the associated rate is a privileged rate.
If there is anything else I can do to assist you please don’t hesitate to ask.
In my reply, I explained that I knew my rate was not eligible to earn points on room revenue or elite night credits, but I referenced this Insider's thread that said "status trumps rate code" and Platinum elites should always receive their welcome amenity regardless of the rate booked.
They replied again, this time saying that:
Dear [Name removed],
The bonus points for the Courtyard is 400 bonus points which is automatically applied upon check in. I did speak to Marriott Rewards on your behalf to confirm if you will receive the bonus points and it was explained that associated rates are not eligible. However you are still entitled to the benefits of either a Market item or a Starbucks Coffee, I can see that a market item was selected upon check in.
Shouldn't I receive my points because that is a platinum amenity and status trumps rate code? What is a bit more frustrating is that I didn't get offered either a market item or a Starbucks coffee at check in (and got neither during my stay) even though they insist that I did, which is false. CCTV would confirm this, but I'm hoping it won't come to that....
Any advise on how to proceed? I'd hate to leave 1,135 points on the table...not even so much for their value, as for the underlying principle of everything. Thanks for any assistance you can provide...I really appreciate it!
Hi arlingtonman, thanks for taking the time to post this thread! I'm reaching out to our team to see if they can provide clarify around your questions. Hold tight and I'll follow up with more info.
The reality is that Courtyards don't particularly reward Plats, so you'll not get much by way of freebies at any CY. In particular, CY is one of several Marriott brands that DONT award points on incidental spends. In fact incidental spend points only apply at Marriotts full service brands.
It is absolutely true that "status trumps rate". In fact it can be better stated "All stays get status". It doesn't matter how you reserve or pay, cash, points, airline miles, AMEX rewards, credit card, BAR, M11, M12, LPR (in fact ANY rate no matter what), booked by employer/conference organiser, won on raffle/competition, booked via 3rd party, bid on eBay, Tesco points, I could (but won't) go on with the list of myriad ways to end up at a Marriott. No matter how your Marriott stay was reserved, no matter how it's paid for, and to whom, as long as you ensure your MR number is on the reservation, either at the time or added by calling later, then you receive your in-stay benefits, that is arrival gift/points, room upgrade (subject to availability), lounge access (if hotel has one), incidental spend points (if hotel is one of the FS brands).
Although the vast majority of my Marriott stays are via my account at Marriott.com, I probably end up at a Marriott once a year via a 3rd party conference, Tesco points or eBay (and once as a raffle prize) and have always received my in-stay benefits without question or demur.
Thanks for your input, Bob and Rugby. I typically only stay at full-service hotels, so I wasn't familiar that incidental spend isn't eligible to earn points at the limited service level. I'll try to avoid them even more now that I know that!
In this instance, then, do you think it makes sense to seek the $50 guest compensation for the hotel's failure to offer the welcome amenity of points and a food or beverage amenity, as outlined in the Elite Benefits Guarantee?
Thanks for your help.
Here's the scoop! I was informed by the team that the MMF (Friends and Family Rate) has not been eligible to receive credit for the room rate since 2012. In regards to incidental credit, you are eligible to receive credit at full service Marriott hotels. Courtyards are not full service, and are ineligible for credit.
Since you are a Platinum member, you are eligible for your Platinum arrival gift. At Courtyards in the US and Canada, the gift is a Food and Beverage amenity and 400 Loyalty Reward bonus points. You can also choose a tall Starbucks drip coffee instead of a food and beverage amenity if there is a Starbucks nearby.
I hope this helps clear up any confusion. Please let me know if there any other questions or I can help you with anything else!
UPDATE: I called the Marriott Platinum Elite Service Desk this afternoon and they transferred me to Marriott Rewards who then transferred me to Customer Care. Customer care listened to what I had to say, looked at the emails exchanged between me and the property, and stepped in with the following action
1) I requested the $50 compensation as per the Elite Member Guarantee. They told me the only way to get this is if you speak up at check-in and they don't give you the welcome amenity, then you mention it again at check-out and they don't give you a welcome amenity. Basically, you have to remind them twice. Which basically makes the $50 compensation a sham because you know they're going to provide it sooner or later if you remind them twice.
2) They did issue the 400 points to my account for the welcome amenity. Points were not awarded on my incidental spend as that is only at full-service hotels, as Lindsey said. Yet another reason I will only stay at full-service hotels from here on out.
3) As for the F&B item or Starbucks Coffee that I never received...well, that's my loss. I asked if they could apply it toward my incidental spend somehow, but they said no. Oh well, never hurts to ask, I guess!
All in all, an utter waste of 4 hours...all for 400 points. Which is worth about $6.80. Ouch! But at least a valuable lesson was learned...avoid the limited service hotels like the plague if you want to enjoy the benefits of your loyalty to Marriott.