Beware of Free Breakfast Rates at Marriott

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If you book hotel rooms with any regularity, your first port of call should be a cashback website. Not every hotel chain offers cashback, but Marriott Bonvoy does. At the moment, you can get a 5-7% rebate from Topcashback. Occasionally, you can get an even more substantial rebate whenever the AA or United Airlines shopping portals offer an extra special rate, such as the one I wrote about here.

However, you need to be careful which rate you choose… Here’s a random hotel that you might want to book.

The “Prepay and Save” rate appears to be the same as the “Deals & Packages” rate, so let’s click on that and see what is on offer…

Free breakfast… for the same price as a standard Advance Purchase rate… bargain!

But hang on… there’s a tiny bit of fine print attached to this rate. “Non-commissionable rate”.

What Does Non Commissionable Rate Mean?

Well… in plain travel hacker English it means “we won’t pay cashback on this rate”.

Although I expected this to happen, I recently made a test of this policy, and indeed my cashback was declined.

The Bottom Line

For a two-night stay, one might think that breakfast is far more valuable than £5.15 of declined cashback. It is indeed… except one already receives free breakfast as a Platinum or Titanium member of Marriott Bonvoy! (of which I am one…)

So, instead of choosing free breakfast as my Titanium welcome gift, I included it in my room rate… and missed out on £5.15 of cashback.

For you Marriott elites out there, make sure you think twice before choosing a breakfast-included rate. You probably already receive breakfast for free, and your rate might have a little “non-commissionable” note attached. 🙁


  1. A says

    But you don’t get elite benefits anyway if you don’t book direct with Marriott.

    Are you suggesting you get free breakfast and pick up cashback going through Topcashback?

    • Craig Sowerby says

      The whole post is about booking direct via Marriott. You can always choose to pick up cashback on top whilst still booking direct.

      But if you choose the wrong rate on your cashback will be denied.

  2. Alex W says

    “You probably already receive breakfast for free”

    We wish! Not since most of us were demoted as part of the SPG merger 😟

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