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TravelMarriott mistakenly adds redemption surcharge to some award stays

Marriott mistakenly adds redemption surcharge to some award stays


In 2021, TPG started receiving reports of erroneous redemption surcharges on select stays booked with points or free night certificates from the Marriott Bonvoy program.

Unfortunately, reports continue to come in from readers about additional properties that have imposed these charges.

In short, if you used Marriott points (or redeemed certificates) for a hotel stay in the last few years, you should check your bill(s) to ensure you weren’t inadvertently charged for the privilege. And if you were, you should be eligible for a refund of the surcharges and any associated taxes.

Here’s everything we know so far — including what you can do if you were charged.

Overview of these added charges

As noted above, we’ve seen several instances where TPG readers were incorrectly charged for the privilege of booking award stays with Marriott. In each instance, using points or certificates led to an item labeled “Rm Chrg — Reward Redemption” on the final folio for each night of the stay.

It’s important to clarify that these are not resort or destination fees.

While Marriott notably does not waive those fees on award stays, they are legitimate charges — albeit ones most travelers dislike. In addition, resort fees are typically displayed on the final booking screen.

Finally, these reports also differ from what happened at select resorts in the summer of 2021 — when three properties were advertising “Marriott Bonvoy redemption fees” on award stays that clearly were at odds with Marriott’s terms and conditions.

Instead, these fees stem from a “clerical error by the property,” as described by a Marriott spokesperson in an email to TPG — and you should be able to have them reversed at the front desk or by calling the hotel after your stay.

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Where have we seen these Marriott extra charges?

This issue was first raised to TPG in mid-2021 by a reader who used points to stay at the Perry Lane Hotel in Savannah, Georgia — part of Marriott’s Luxury Collection. She booked a three-night stay (one with cash, the other two using points), but when reviewing her bill after departure, she was surprised to see a pair of $129 charges (labeled “Rm Chrg — Reward Redemption”) on the two award nights.

SCREENSHOT FROM TPG READER CARRIE

Note that the above screenshot clearly shows the $32 “Destination Amenity Fee” along with the additional redemption surcharge.

Then, just a few weeks later, another report of these surcharges came in. This time, TPG reader Shannon spent two nights at the Westin Kansas City at Crown Center in Kansas City, Missouri — and he was hit with a pair of $53 charges.

SCREENSHOT FROM TPG READER SHANNON

In December 2021, TPG reader Nicholas noticed that he, too, was charged a fee ($37) when redeeming points at the Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place in Springfield, Massachusetts.

SCREENSHOT FROM TPG READER NICHOLAS

And unfortunately, reports have continued to come in as recently as this month.

In 2024 alone, readers have reported these erroneous charges to TPG at the following properties:

  • Sheraton Sioux Falls
  • Le Meridien Dallas by the Galleria
  • Element Arundel Mills
  • Element St. Louis Midtown
  • Sheraton Suites Wilmington Downtown
  • Aloft New Orleans Downtown
  • Four Points by Sheraton Nashville Airport
  • Sheraton Salt Lake City
  • Sheraton Kansas City Hotel at Crown Center
  • Sheraton Overland Park Hotel at the Convention Center
  • The Westin Wilmington

Each time, the additional fee had the exact same description (“Rm Chrg — Reward Redemption”), which is the key indicator that this is not a mandatory resort fee.

These charges are absolutely incorrect, per a statement TPG received from a Marriott spokesperson:

A situation like this is typically due to a clerical error by the property … If this occurs, members should contact the front desk and/or the manager on duty to have it corrected and removed from their folio.

While Marriott wouldn’t confirm exactly what those charges were, industry experts told TPG they’re most likely related to the fee Marriott corporate is paying the hotel for the award stay.

In fact, after we published an update to this story in June 2022, management at the Renaissance St. Elm Dallas Downtown reached out to TPG to say that they had never heard of this mistake until reading this story:

We were not previously aware of this issue and upon learning about it through this story, we have identified that there was in fact a clerical error on a handful of folios. We are fixing this immediately, and crediting anyone who has been charged incorrectly. We apologize to our guests for the error.

Thankfully, you should be able to get a refund for these charges.

How to check your own stays

If you redeemed points at a Marriott property anytime during the last few years, it’s probably a good idea to review your folios and ensure these charges don’t appear on any of them. You can search back through your emails, but you can also do this in the Marriott Bonvoy app:

  1. Open up the Marriott Bonvoy app (and log in if necessary).
  2. Tap “Account” at the bottom right, then select “Account Activity.”
  3. Change the filter at the top from “All Types” to “Hotel Stays” to see just your completed stays.
  4. Tap on the stay in question and then tap “Hotel Bill” to see a detailed breakdown of charges.

Unfortunately, online receipts are only available for stays completed in recent months, so you may have to cross-reference your emails and credit card statements to find details from earlier stays.

Alternatively, you can visit the “Contact Us” page of Marriott’s website to request your receipt for any stay within the last year. Select “Copy of Hotel Bill” from the drop-down menu and input your stay details (including a comment, which is a required field). Then, click “Submit.”

What if you were charged a fee by Marriott?

ANDREA ROTONDO/THE POINTS GUY

If you do find a surcharge for redeeming your points, your first course of action should be to contact the individual hotel. Try to get connected to the financial office or billing department, and be armed with the full details of your reservation — including the confirmation number and dates of your stay.

If that doesn’t get you anywhere, you should escalate the situation to Marriott Bonvoy customer service. Here, I’d recommend starting with the online form, as this will automatically generate (and email you) a case number for your inquiry. This allows you to keep tabs on it if you ultimately need to call.

Here’s how to submit that form:

  1. Go to the “Contact Us” page on Marriott’s website.
  2. Select “Compliments/Concerns About a Stay” from the drop-down menu, then select “Concern.”
  3. Under the “Question/Issue Sub-Topic” menu, select “Billing Accuracy.”
  4. Search for your hotel, then enter the details of your stay — including your confirmation number and detailed comments about the charge.
  5. Click “Submit.”

This is a real-life example of why it’s so critical to double-check your hotel bills prior to checkout. It’s typically much easier to fix an error immediately than after you’ve departed.

Once again, I want to stress that this does not apply to any charges labeled as a resort, destination or amenity fee. This guidance specifically applies to guests who see a “Rm Chrg — Reward Redemption” line item on a bill from a stay they booked using Marriott points or certificates.

Bottom line

Redeeming hotel points can be a great way to save money on your travels, especially when cash rates are through the roof during busy travel seasons. Unfortunately, several TPG readers have reported erroneous redemption surcharges on select stays at Marriott Bonvoy properties over the last few years.

If you recently redeemed Marriott points for a stay, there’s a chance that you may have been incorrectly charged a fee for doing so. Thankfully, this is not a change to the Bonvoy program but rather a clerical error at individual properties.

If you do see a charge like this, bring it to the attention of hotel management immediately — and if you’ve already departed, follow up with the property’s billing department to request a refund.

We’re also interested in hearing your reports of these incorrect fees, so please email us at [email protected] with a screenshot or attachment of your hotel bill showing the charge.

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