When trying to book a hotel in Canada we noticed it was less expensive to book it through one of the online discount sites vs. using our rewards number and booking through Marriott directly. Why is this? Apparently we now PAY for our "rewards". Be warned folks. Then we get a phone call from a Canadian Marriott a week later trying to SELL us yet ANOTHER vacation. I call that nervy, here we thought they were giving us a "courtesy" call to confirm our upcomming reservation. After repeating "NOT INTERESTED" two times we hung up. Now we wonder if we'll run into problems using our accumulated points towards a reservation we didn't book directly through Marriott. Anyone know??????
Welcome to Insiders and for the great post! I need to clarify your question. You said you booked through a discount agency - which would imply that you are paying for your stay with cash and not points. In the T&C's of Marriott Rewards, stays booked through a 3rd party discount program such as priceline, expedia, hotels.com, etc are not normally eligible to accrue points. In that sense we do "pay" for the rewards program, but most hotels/airlines that I know of operate this way. If they give you such a discount on the rate, then you dont get the points.
If you are going to try to use points after you check-in on the stay you've booked to use cash, you might have a problem. Normally stays booked with points must be reserved in advance as there are a finite number of rooms available using points. I have never heard of being able to reserve a paid stay, then change that stay to a points stay after check-in. With the new Instant Redemption program starting soon, you can do that, but not now.
I hope that helps.