Marriott Bonvoy: FHR Prepaid Stays
I'm happy to announce that we can close the book on at least one issue puzzling Marriott Bonvoy customers. (BUT Stay tuned for an ironic detail that just screams “Bonvoy”.) This is especially useful for members that are re-qualifying or those completing Bonvoy Status Challenges (like the awesome Platinum one we wrote up last week). Generally, stays booked through Amex Fine Hotels and Resorts receive hotel loyalty benefits and points so long as the elite member's loyalty number is attached to the reservation. Last year, Amex made a positive change allowing Platinum and Centurion members to earn 5x Membership Rewards Points points on all prepaid stays booked through the FHR program. Note that Prepaid does not mean non-refundable, generally the prepaid rate has the same cancellation policy as the other booking choices.
Thanks to mixed data points, there's been a fair amount of confusion as to whether FHR bookings are considered Qualifying Rates and therefore eligible to earn Bonvoy points and credit towards elite status requirements. (Is anyone surprised to see that Bonvoy is inconsistent? eye roll). The addition of pre-paid rates seems to have further confused people because the stay is paid to Amex as opposed to being paid for at the hotel. Here's a Flyertalk thread discussing the issue.
Marriott Bonvoy Account Showing Amex FHR Prepaid Reservations
I got quite the surprise today when I logged into my Bonvoy account and saw that I had a reservation coming up in two days at the St. Regis Houston that I had no recollection of booking. Upon further inspection I realized it was a pre-paid stay I'd booked through American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts. Here's the kicker, this particular stay has been cancelled for 2 months but the trip just showed up in my account over the last day or two. #bonvoy
The good news is that we can now be pretty certain that Amex FHR stays at participating Marriott properties are eligible rates for benefits, points and status requirements. The bad news is that it seems Marriott has another IT issue.