Update: I was expecting a long battle with Marriott saying too bad, so sad. However while Marriott was not able to restore my travel package certificate that they accidentally deleted, they confirmed that my math in this post is correct and my certificate would have been credited with 700,000 points on 3/1 had it not been attached to a reservation or cancelled.
As such, they credited my account with an additional 695,000 points on top of the 5,000 points that were previously refunded accidentally, for a total refund of 700,000 points!
Congrats to everyone with unused travel packages, you’re going to get a windfall of points on 3/1!
Originally posted on 1/27:
Back in 2019 I redeemed 540K Marriott points for 120K Alaska miles and a Ritz-Carlton Tier 5 hotel certificate for a 7 night stay and it’s been a fun ride ever since.
- The certificates were downgraded soon after.
- After 9 phone calls I got it converted into a new category 7 certificate, but the agent charged me twice for that, which took weeks to fix.
- I was able to use it for a S. Regis hotel stay the day before Marriott created a category 8, but then a Marriott phone rep accidentally cancelled that stay when trying to cancel a different one, and Marriott wasn’t able to reattach it as the certificate was only good for a category 7.
- Marriott was unable to figure out how to refund it for 315K points as was originally promised, but after weeks of going back and forth with Marriott, I got through to a rep in Marriott’s executive offices that upgraded the certificate to category 8 due to Marriott’s previous error.
I had the certificate booked for a 7 night S. Regis stay this month when the incredible news broke that Marriott would be refunding certificates at their peak point value on 3/1. Given that the stay wasn’t for all peak dates and that Marriott offers the 5th night free on awards, I figured that I may as well ask Marriott to detach the travel package and charge me 525,000 points for the stay. That way I’d get back 700,000 points on March 1st.
I asked @MBonvoyAssist if they could help with that, but they said I’d have to call Marriott to do that. That account used to be far more useful, but it seems that it has been Bonvoyed as well and they rarely help anymore. So I called the Marriott Titanium elite line to detach my certificate and charge me the points for the stay and hoped for the best. Hoping for the best is never a good strategy with Marriott.
The agent said she would have to get her supervisor to detach the certificate and she came back after 15 minutes to let me know that it was done. I saw the points were taken out, but didn’t see the certificate in my account, so the agent placed me on hold for another 20 minutes, and came back to let me know that I should see the certificate now. Except I did not. She said she would put me on hold again, and then proceeded to disconnect the call.
That’s when I noticed that the agent refunded me 5,000 points instead of detaching the travel certificate. Uh oh. 5,000 points is what you get when you cancel the current version of travel certificates and I certainly did not want to do that.
I called back right away and explained that I had asked for my travel package certificate to be detached and returned to my account for future use, but the agent said it was too late and there was nothing that could be done to reverse it as Marriott no longer sells travel packages. I got back 5,000 points and that was it. I asked for her manager and she saw the error that the previous agent had made opened up a case for me. She told me to follow up today if I didn’t hear back from Marriott.
I called back today and the agent that answered said the case had been assigned to an agent, but there was no resolution for it and to check back in another week. She was in shock that an agent would cancel the certificate instead of just detaching it as it would get a 700,000 points refund automatically on 3/1, but said there was nothing she could do to fix it on her own as she couldn’t just deposit 700,000 points into my account or issue a new travel package certificate.
Boy do I miss SPG.
If you do try this same strategy to detach a certificate and hope to find a Bonvoy agent that knows how to competently do that, may the odds be ever in your favor.