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You might have encountered ‘resort fees’ before when you think you’ve booked a free stay using hotel points, but I doubt you’ve ever been asked to pay cash by a hotel in order to use your points!
This, however, does appear to be the longstanding situation at the JW Marriott Los Cabos Beach Resort & Spa. As originally picked up by Ben over at OneMileAtATime a couple of years ago, the JW Marriott Cabos charges guests who book using Marriott Bonvoy Points a $30 per night ‘service charge’:
This is non-negotiable and gets you zero additional benefits – unlike the (usually spurious) benefits you get from a mandatory resort fee.
On the face of it, this would seem to contravene the Marriott Bonvoy terms and conditions – not to mention the entire point of said loyalty programme. But as the property has been happily charging guests the redemption fee for years, it’s reasonable to assume that Marriott is content with the situation.
Charging guests cash in order to redeem their hard-earned points is pretty shocking, To be honest though, I’m actually sort of relieved that the practice hasn’t (yet) become more widespread. It’s easy enough to avoid a particular hotel.
What do you think about paying a redemption fee to use your points? Is it worse than paying ‘surcharges’ when redeeming Avios with BA?