I think I remember seeing posts on this before, but this week the issue became very obvious to me. I checked in to a Courtyard and there was a problem with the heat in my room. They changed my room and gave me 1000 points for my trouble. Those points were credited to my account literally within hours. I checked out of the same hotel Thursday morning and here it is Friday evening and no points have been posted to my account for the stay.
So why can the 1000 points be posted almost instantaneously while the points for the stay take 2-3 days to be posted?
An MOD or GM can post bonus points to comp for a service issue. This accelerates resolution, increases guest satisfaction and deters the added cost and time incurred by loops through Customer Care.
Factor in bank-to-bank clearing of credit card charges, earned points on the other hand can go through several hoops lenghtening the overall process. Sounds counter-intuitive? It is.