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It’s aways important to know what the cancellation policy is before you book a hotel room. But with all of the variations, recent changes, and different room rates, it’s not always easy to keep track of the cancellation policies for these hotels.
In this article, I’ll explain what the Marriott cancellation policy is and show you how to check what the cancellation terms and conditions are for your stay, whether you’ve booked a stay with points or just a standard rate. I’ll also answer some common questions like what time you must cancel by and if there are any exceptions.
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What is the Marriott cancellation policy?
Marriott will generally require you to cancel hotel bookings 48 to 72 hours before check-in but it depends on the type of room rate that you booked and on what the policy is for the individual hotel that you booked.
Also, some rates such as the advanced purchase rates are not refundable and can’t be cancelled without paying a fee.
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2017 Marriott cancellation policy changes
After the merger was completed between Marriott and SPG, Marriott changed its standard cancellation policy. The standard policy was to allow cancellations so long as you did it 24 hours before check-in time. But in 2017, Marriott changed their policy requiring cancellations to be made 48 to 72 hours before check-in. (Other hotel chains like Hilton soon followed suit.)
In reality, a lot of Marriott properties already had a 48 hour to 72 hour cancellation policy so this wasn’t a drastic change but it means that many hotels changed their policy, forcing you to cancel your booking earlier to avoid a penalty.
How to find Marriott cancellation policies
As I mentioned, not every Marriott property is going to have the same cancellation policy. Thus, it’s very important to check and see what the specific cancellation policy is for the property that you will be staying at. Luckily, it’s very easy to do this.
To check the cancellation policy, simply go through the standard booking process online and select the rate you would like to book.
In this case, I’m looking at the Courtyard New York Manhattan/Fifth Avenue. After I input my desired travel dates, I can see the rates show up for the different type of room rates. In order to view the cancellation policy I need to click on “Rate Details.”
Once you click on Rate Detail, you’ll see what the exact cancellation policy is for that property. Take a look at the screen shot below. You will see the deadline for the cancellation and also what the cancellation fee will be (it’s usually the price of the first night including taxes and fees).
Coronavirus 2020 update
3/13/20 Update: Marriott is allowing all existing prepaid reservations to be canceled without any penalty through April 30, 2020. (Any changes will have to be made 24 hours before the scheduled arrival.)
Also any new reservations made between March 13 and April 30, 2020, can be changed or canceled for free as long as those changes are made 24 hours before the scheduled arrival.
Marriott is waiving individual cancellation fees for hotel stays through March 31, 2020 for guests traveling to or from the following locations:
- Asia Pacific: Mainland China, Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, French Polynesia, Maldives, India, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, New Caledonia, Samoa
- Europe: Italy
These locations could change.
What time of day do you have to cancel by?
The language does not provide you with information about the time of day that you can cancel but Marriott states that you can cancel up to midnight of the day before the deadline. For example, the language above states that you can cancel with no charge until February 10, 2019. This means that you can cancel without penalty up until 11:59pm on February 9, 2018.
But keep in mind that some Marriott properties might have their own policy for the time that they allow cancellations to be made by. For that reason, you should always contact the specific property that you are staying to check on what the policy is.
Different cancellation policies
Something else you need to be aware of is that different properties will have different types of cancellation policies. For example, take a look at the cancellation deadline for the Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino. Notice that the cancellation deadline is one week before arrival — it’s not uncommon for resorts to have cancellation deadlines that go out much further.
Advanced Purchase rates (non-refundable)
Booking an advanced purchase rate means that you are saving money but it also means that you will not be able to get a refund if you need to cancel. However, many times you can cancel your booking within 24 hours of booking (much like you can do when booking a flight or rental car).
Cancelling Marriott bookings with points
If you make a booking with points, the cancellation policy should be the same as it would be for the standard rate. When I clicked on the Rate Details for the Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino, I noticed that it contained the same cancellation language.
The difference is that the cancellation fee language is different. For award bookings, they typically will take the cost in points for the first night but some properties might charge you a cash fee. Your best bet is to contact the property to see what their individual policy is.
What if you miss the cancel cut-off date?
If you happened to miss the cut-off cancellation date, there are a few things that you can do.
The first is to simply push out your booking by a few weeks or months. This is often an easy way to get around the cancellation fee because you can call in later and cancel your new booking that is well beyond the cancellation cut-off.
You might get some resistance with this method if the agent is aware of what you’re doing and in that case you might want to just call back and try it again with another agent.
You can also try to contact the property directly and plead your case and see if they are willing to make any exceptions. Sometimes they will allow you to cancel for free, especially if you have plans to re-book a stay or if you have elite status like Titanium status.
And if you are cancelling because of some natural disaster such as a hurricane the property should provide you with a full refund though you might need to contact the property directly and explain your situation.
You will generally have to cancel your Marriott stay before 48 hours before the day you check in so that you can avoid paying the cancellation fee (which is typically the price of the first night of your stay). However, each individual Marriott property could run things a little bit differently so you need to be mindful of the differences between programs.
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Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.