Reader Email: Marriott Bonvoy Suite Upgrade Scam


A LoyaltyLobby reader sent us an email about Marriott Bonvoy Suite Night Awards (SNA) and their frustration using them.

Readers are encouraged to send us questions, comments, or opinions by email, FacebookTwitter, or Instagram. We’ll try to cover them here several times a week.

You can access Marriott’s page for Suite Night Awards here.

READ MORE: Marriott Bonvoy Rate & Bonus Points Offers

Email From The Reader:

I am finding the suite night upgrade awards Elite Status “benefit” to be a complete scam.

Case in point, The Elizabeth Autograph Collection in Fort Collins Colorado. I have a two night reservation booked there for which I had applied suite night awards, which were denied early the morning of check-in. However, looking at their website, they still have three suites available that are upgrade eligible.

I called both the hotel and Marriott reservations. The first person at reservations I spoke to said that the hotel makes the decision. The manager at the hotel whom I then spoke to said that they simply receive notice from Marriott about the award approval or denial and act on that. A second call to a different person at reservations connected me with a supervisor who initially said they can’t see how many rooms are open, to which I replied that I was seeing it in real time on the website that there were three eligible suites open for reservation. She then said “well, it’s an automated system that neither the hotel management nor reservations can override”.

In other words Marriott has a system in place that leaves eligible suites empty and actively screws over elite members.

Marriott has a page on its website (access here) where it tries to explain how these Suite Night Awards work.

Here are the two most relevant points:

How do you determine if my request is available?

Once you request to use your Suite Night Awards for a stay, we will check the upgrade availability starting five days prior to arrival and will keep checking every day until 2:00 PM local hotel time, one day prior to arrival.


How do you determine if a room is available for a Suite Night Award?

The hotel’s system will automatically check for availability five days before arrival. If availability is not confirmed five days before arrival, availability is checked each day before arrival, up to 2:00 PM hotel time one day prior to arrival. If Suite Night Awards cannot be confirmed on the day before arrival, the awards are credited back to the member’s account.

There is also a glitch on Marriott’s website that sometimes prevents applying an SNA for a valid booking:

Reader Question: Marriott Bonvoy Suite Night Awards Cannot Be Applied To Prepaid Reservations? (Workaround Explained)

You have to remember that even if your SNA is denied it doesn’t mean that you won’t be upgraded to a suite for the duration of your stay. It merely means that the automated system could not fulfill the request by the parameters set by Marriott and the hotel.

It is also understandable that a hotel and Marriott won’t allow the assignment of the hotel’s entire suite inventory as SNAs.

Where SNA works the best?

International luxury properties previously under Starwood (St. Regis, Luxury Collection, and W).

You will have most difficulty using them at Marriott legacy brands in the United States that often have very limited suite inventory to begin with.


Some members claim that their SNAs never get approved, only to expire unused.

Even back in the Starwood times, I found them mostly useless as I often book at the last minute and hotels where I tend to stay at upgrade well regardless of whether you are using SNA.

They will work the best at hotels outside of the United States and at luxury brands, where suites are a more significant share of room inventory.

The SNA process is automated, and messaging the hotel or Bonvoy regarding it is fruitless. Think of it as a bonus that may sometimes work, but most of the time won’t.

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