Bonvoyed: Here’s What I Did With My Tier 4-5 Travel Package Certificate

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Marriott pulled a fast one on loyalty members last August. Their social media representatives made posts implying that Marriott would treat members who purchased travel packages generously, but once it was too late, Marriott revealed that they would take the low road. The only plausible reason for hiding the information was to fleece their own members. They partially relented in how they would deal with people who bought the worst possible packages, but it wasn’t nearly enough.

Starwood cared about their guests without needing to claim that they live by the #GoldenRule. Marriott managed to start off the merger with a goodwill deficit that only became worse from there.

Last month Marriott foisted the ridiculous Bonvoy name on us and now they have ads in which they ridiculously attempt to make it into a verb. (Disclaimer: The ad below contains non-tznius images.)

 

So let’s try it.

They Bonvoyed up the grand old Starwood AMEX, they Bonvoyed up award availability at hotels, they Bonvoyed up cash deposits on some awards, and they Bonvoyed up the cancellation policies on other hotels with ridiculous nonrefundable award reservations at hotel like the S. Regis Bal Harbour. The website and app are often Bonvoyed up for days at a time. And they really Bonvoyed up good old SPG customer service.

I currently have Marriott Bonvoy Titanium Elite status (MBTES?). I’m not quite sure why Titanium, which is worth significantly less than Silver, is the new level above Platinum.  I suppose Titanium is stronger than Platinum, but then again Silver is stronger than Gold. Diamond would have far been logical, but nothing about this merger makes much sense.

Sadly even with MBTES, customer service is beyond atrocious. SPG used to give top-tier elites an amazing chat service to take care of anything, and Marriott promised to continue that. But that service got Bonvoyed as well, so I had to call in for my issue.

I spent 540K Marriott points on 120K Alaska miles and a 7 night Ritz Carlton Tier 4-5 package last August.

I booked a Ritz Carlton for this summer, but really I wanted to book a week at the S. Regis Bal Harbour for next winter. I should have been be able to directly convert the Tier 4-5 package into a category 7 certificate and then book the S. Regis Bal Harbour before it goes up to category 8 tomorrow.

I made 8 phone calls on Friday to try to make the conversion.

  • On some phone calls the representatives said I had to call back as I needed to try with another department that they couldn’t transfer me to.
  • On several phone calls the representatives claimed that the certificate had to remain for Ritz-Carlton hotels only. No other brands would be allowed.
  • Some representatives said that the only conversion they would do would be to a category 1-4 hotel.
  • I spoke to supervisors who said I was trying to violate Marriott’s terms by asking for a conversion.

The whoppers I heard were simply amazing. Bonvoy!

There’s a very handy Wiki on Flyertalk that contains the confusing award codes for the old and new certificates. But even with the codes I got nowhere until my 9th phone call after hours of time on the phone, when I finally got hold of a competent rep. The 9th call took 40 minutes and it did get converted and attached to the S. Regis Bal Harbour, but the rep accidentally debited my account for 315K points for a 2nd certificate. She tried to cancel and refund it, but the points didn’t go back. She said to check back soon for the refund to process.

I still don’t have the points back. I supposed that means I’ve been Bonvoyed?

Marriott has the potential to easily dominate the loyalty and hotel industry based on their scale and brands. But it needs to start with fixing woeful customer service issues and proving that loyalty is a 2 way street. Here’s hoping they find a way to do that.

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51 Comments On "Bonvoyed: Here’s What I Did With My Tier 4-5 Travel Package Certificate"

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Rb

Bonvoy!

MendyR

The wait times on the phone are atrocious as well…

pes

dan just curious what bluetooth do youuse when you wait on hold for things like these?

KSMH

Sorry to hear that. I was Bonvoyed with 195k points.

There are phone reps at specific lines that do have greater authority. But for the typical costumer, they have been Bonvoyed.

There are some blogs that have pretty good instructions on how to do it.
Sample:https://samchui.com/2018/09/22/how-to-update-your-marriott-travel-package/#.XH22b1NOkwA

I myself did a few conversations and fed the agent the info, if they were following thru I continued of not HUCA’d.

Maybe it’s time for a class action?

N

Dan, message me privately. I had the exact same scenario as you. Attached a certificate to a ritz and wanted to use at the st. Regis bal Harbour. I got a contact at Marriott CEO’s office who was able to fix it all up.

bigissy

Again, why hasn’t any reward company hired you yet?

Mountain Man

I get Bonvoy being a play on bonvoyage. But someone in marketing probably already got fired for this campaign.

Yossi

I agree with the last part of their ad “Reward Reimagined”

Y F

I booked the St Regis Bal Harbour with the Ritz-Carlton certificates earlier this winter and they gave me an upgrade to the penthouse rooms. It was truly one of the most amazing experiences in my life. All for free.

BV

That’s awesome! How did you get the upgrade?

Y F

The Ritz-Carlton card gave Platinum Elite status which gives you complimentary upgrades including suites

Horse

We need to really re-evaluate our definition of free up in this blogg-izzie.

Berel Rapoport

@dan, now with all the changes at Marriott, which hotel currency and status is most valuable for the regular business traveler?

Shaul

Hyatt.

Aaron

#You’vebeenbonvoyed

Uri

Dan, I too just recently got off the phone with them. It was a nightmare.

A brief summary bc there is a lot more to this story.

I had 2 TPs from pre merger. A cat 1-5 & tier 1-3.

Both were attached to their highest categories post merger, and I was “successful” in transferring the cat 5 certificate to another cat 5 back in November (post merger) and planned a future vacation around it.

Anyway, on Friday I called to transfer my teir 1-3 TP to another hotel and the agent said no problem. She put me on hold for 40 minutes. Comes back and I find out she cancelled both of my reservations that had the packages attached to them, converted the TPs to the new categories, somehow withdrew 500k points from my account to book the hotel I wanted her to originally transfer the TP to.

I ask her what in the world just happened and her response is, “I’m not really sure what to tell you, I did what my supervisor told me to do”.

I spent 2 hours on the phone today with a manger who was very kind, but in the end said there is no way they could reattach the TPs to the same categories they were attached to before. I told her the agent did it back in November and she said they could not actually do that and the way I have it now is the way it’s supposed to be. Basically ruined my planned vacation. There are no words.

Ben

On the phone now, waiting for 16 minutes still no phone rep, need to add a guest onto the reservation. I never waited more than 2 minutes with SPG. It’s really crazy. And of course no where to do it online, even though they love to say , “do you know the easiest way to make any changes to your reservation is on the website” … I wish that were the case. Also anyone know what happened to be able to call to get upgraded rooms for a small amount of points extra… that and the 5th night free we’re the reasons spg was awesome. To book a Hilton upgraded room its cost prohibitive with points.

Ben

26 minutes later I got it added on! Terrible.

Ekrem

I have an agent claiming I cannot attach to the St Regis Punta Mita as the hotel needs 360,000 points for the 7 nights and my certificate is only good for up to 315,000 points. I had the 7 night stay correctly applied but when I checked the app the cert wasn’t attached correctly. What am I to do?

Michael

I called and after speaking to 3 ppl, they took my category 9 and converted it to category 6 then placed it for a room at Sheraton Tlv. When I look at my account it says the stay is 165,000 points (it would usually be 300k) and there is a certificate on the reservation. Is that correct?

Also, with the bonvoy brilliant card, can I book a room at the Sheraton tlv by just booking a non refundable room at that hotel?

Michael

In the last post, I meant to ask if I can use the 300$ yearly credit with the bonvoy brilliant towards a room, and get a refund for it. Do I book a non refundable room on the Marriott website?

bhi

You can book any room, can be refundable.

Michael

Yea but I want the charge to go in now bc the annual credit will end in a few days.
Do I book on the Marriott website or call the hotel and book w them?

gswannabe

How did you find availability at the SRBH?
What is the cancelation policy?

Uncivil_Engineer

Man… they’re really making it hard for people to give a Bonvoy about this terrible new program.

Ekrem

Spoke to another agent who told me that St Regis hotels aren’t eligible for certificates as they aren’t Marriott group hotels… they’re part of Starwood she told me and therefore not Marriott. They really need to train their agents better. Wow.

Finally reached a competent agent and they were able to attach my certificate but 3 calls and 90 minutes of calls.

Jb

It’s a disaster. How about this one. I was at a Westin hotel three weeks ago. Upon checkout when I was given my bill for expenses at the hotel, I pulled out a Marriott gift card to cover some of the expenses. The agent told me even though they are part of Marriott, Marriott hasent given the swipes for gift cards so they can’t run my gift card. I asked if they could call it on somehow, he said nope! How ridiculous is that?!!

chicago rocks

what ever happened with booking super premium (all suite) hotels at 60k/ night? looking for 5 nights in jan 2020 and couldnt availability and have been looking for months.

Curtis

Took 3.5 hours to book one a few nights ago, and they kept having to “call their support desk” over and over since they didn’t know what they were doing. Oh, and we got hung up on probably 3 times through all of that while on hold.

E*

Took me 2 hours tonight, same thing – had to call the “Assist Desk” and 3 of my calls dropped lol. Finally got everything done though.

Shabbos

Thank you @Dan for the tznius warning

Maifriend

Bought a cat 1-5, 7 and 8 in august. Called to convert a old cat 7 to a new cat 5 before booking a cat 5 marriott property. After one hour on the phone and being transferred 2 times, I spoke with a lady who illico presto booked my hotel. Suspicious, I checked later and found that I still have to redeem 195K (32.5Kx6 with one night free) points for that booking. I called back and was told I have to pay an additional 6K points per night x 7 to get that room. I refused and in no time received an email showing the cat 8 certificate (what the heck????) has been cancelled (reward code 950T). The cat 8 cert has been “detached” from the reservation. 5 months post merger, there are still agents who can’t do things right. So I called 801-468-4000, told the robot “certificate” and was transferred to someone who seems to understand what I’m talking about. After being on hold for a good 10 minutes she said there is an issue because the room I booked costs 32.5K (point saver) not 35K and it’s not a match for the old cat 7 certificate I want to use but rest assured they will make sure it’s attached to the reservation. 3 hours later I log back in and tada they attached the cat 8 certificate to the reservation. I can’t believe it.

apetitChien

Just had a taste of the Marriot customer service for the first time last night.. It was a simple reservation booking. I can tell you, it was a long departure from the SPG that I’ve come to expect. I’ve been with SPG, i think now 15+ yrs. I’m now looking for a replacement… sad to see you go SPG

Trying

Dan, thanks for the tznius warning on the add. That was very thoughtful and respectful. Appreciate it.

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