Has anyone seen this before? I am trying to book a hotel in September and the Member Rate and standard rate both state; Prepay in full, non-refundable if cancelled one day after booking.
Then I tried to use my free night certificate for one night that shows as open and it stated no rooms are available for that option.
I have seen it many times before. I hardly ever use that option, unless it is the ONLY option. I know it cost less, but my schedule can be crazy and I tend to have to make changes.
I am not sure where you are booking, but often September brings football and other events. Most of the time this will be your only option, to book and pre-pay in full.
When the city is popular and there is some sort of event, sports, festival, concert, etc... you can't use reward redemption. I know there are supposed to be no blackouts but that is a whole other topic.
When I see this, I often google the city with the date to see what's going on. For example:
New Orleans September 11th - it will bring up that there is a Saints game or I google a day or two before to see what the city has going on.
It really depends on the property. I have seen 3 days but most of the time I see 24 hours. If there is an event, then often you are charged for cancels.
The hotels get away with the "No Blackouts" by offering a very limited number of rooms for redemption. Heck, it might even be ONE room and it's taken. It's a grey area and some hotels seem to skirt around it.
Edit to quote james30
Although Marriott advertises no blackout dates, not every property has agreed to totally honor this. It perhaps would have behooved Marriott to simply say "fewer blackout dates" since they knew not every property would adhere. Also, most if not all properties only book a certain number of rooms each night with points so that would explain rooms being available for $$$$ but not points. They receive reduced revenues from point redemptions for rooms which may explain why there is a limit on the number of rooms booked with points. Of course, depending on demand for rooms they can adjust number of rooms available for points. Needless to say it can be frustrating for those of us wanting to redeem points. Even with an understanding of this, it is still of course often times frustrating for us.