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Reasonable Forex Devaluation in Calculating Points Earned?

Reasonable Forex Devaluation in Calculating Points Earned?

Old Nov 29, 2023, 11:35 am
  #1  
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Reasonable Forex Devaluation in Calculating Points Earned?

If you pay for your hotel bill in USD vs. the currency used by the property, they typically use a bad exchange rate. Even if you pay in the local currency, the bad exchange rate seems to apply to the calculation of Bonvoy points earned, which are denominated in USD.

The official exchange rate between UAE dirham and US dollars is fixed at 3.6725 AED to 1 USD, with no day-to-day variation. Using this rate, the Ritz Abu Dhabi takes a 4.1% haircut in calculating points earned, after subtracting taxes. Is this typical? What is the maximum that members would tolerate before calling Bonvoy for a points adjustment?
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Old Nov 29, 2023, 1:54 pm
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Originally Posted by Explore
If you pay for your hotel bill in USD vs. the currency used by the property, they typically use a bad exchange rate. Even if you pay in the local currency, the bad exchange rate seems to apply to the calculation of Bonvoy points earned, which are denominated in USD.

The official exchange rate between UAE dirham and US dollars is fixed at 3.6725 AED to 1 USD, with no day-to-day variation. Using this rate, the Ritz Abu Dhabi takes a 4.1% haircut in calculating points earned, after subtracting taxes. Is this typical? What is the maximum that members would tolerate before calling Bonvoy for a points adjustment?
This simply isn't true.

If there is a discrepancy between what you paid (pre tax, for qualifying charges) in dirham to the Bonvoy points earned after conversion to USD (at the exchange rate you mentioned), you can have the folio reviewed and the revenue amount corrected. Bonvoy points are derived from the currency shown on the folio, the hotel does not have influence on the calculation.

Whatever they charge you in USD to your credit card is another matter, but the hotel can't skim from the points - they have no control over that.
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Old Nov 29, 2023, 2:40 pm
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Originally Posted by Explore
If you pay for your hotel bill in USD vs. the currency used by the property, they typically use a bad exchange rate. Even if you pay in the local currency, the bad exchange rate seems to apply to the calculation of Bonvoy points earned, which are denominated in USD.

The official exchange rate between UAE dirham and US dollars is fixed at 3.6725 AED to 1 USD, with no day-to-day variation. Using this rate, the Ritz Abu Dhabi takes a 4.1% haircut in calculating points earned, after subtracting taxes. Is this typical? What is the maximum that members would tolerate before calling Bonvoy for a points adjustment?
How much did you pay in AED before taxes and how many points did you get?
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Old Nov 29, 2023, 4:19 pm
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Points assigned when using foreign currencies are very frequently less than they should be - sometimes 10-20%+. Lots of reports on the forum.

Id definitely leave 4% by this stage, but you may well get the difference if you want to push it.
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Old Nov 29, 2023, 4:28 pm
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Originally Posted by EuropeanPete
Points assigned when using foreign currencies are very frequently less than they should be - sometimes 10-20%+. Lots of reports on the forum.

Id definitely leave 4% by this stage, but you may well get the difference if you want to push it.
The revenue posted for a stay is sometimes incorrect on US based stays as well. This can always be fixed. I am stating that a property cannot directly reduce the amount of points given for a stay as the original post suggests.
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Old Nov 29, 2023, 4:44 pm
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Originally Posted by longtimereader firstimeposter
How much did you pay in AED before taxes and how many points did you get?
2451 dirham which equals USD 667

Received 6406 base points.

Its possible I didnt receive credit for a portion of AED 130 judged to be beverage-related. On the other hand, my USD 100 property credit was converted to only AED 344 instead of the 367 I should have received at the official exchange rate.
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Old Nov 29, 2023, 7:16 pm
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90% of my stays are outside of the USA and so this seems to be a fairly typical problem, I wouldn't complain about 5%, I do when it goes up to the 10%+ range when it is significant enough, or for large numbers of points. Ultimately your credit card company is typically taking a ~2-3% forex fee anyway so the difference to your billing statement can easily be off by 5% and it isn't really the hotel's fault fully. Then again, like the example here, some hotels/countries do seem to be more naughty than others. I dislike the "worse rate to convert your USD100 than we bill you at" and would then complain on principle .

Other thing to remind, through my regular emails on this topic, I am reminded that you don't get points for the service charge (often 10%), so don't forget that can lead to quite big deltas in countries outside of Europe & the USA where there is a default 10% service charge that doesn't earn points, and doesn't go to the staff either I am pretty sure.
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Old Nov 29, 2023, 8:17 pm
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Originally Posted by littlevoices
. Ultimately your credit card company is typically taking a ~2-3% forex fee anyway s.
If that's typical for you, consider using a different card. (unless you don't travel much). Those 2%-3% are only the ones with a forex fee - I have a couple dozen that don't (Chase Sapphire, Chase Hyatt, Amex Platinum, most of the Marriott cards (other than possibly a no fee Marriott card), Hilton Aspire, Hilton Surpass) - it's the no fee cards that usually charge.

All cards pass along the interbank fee of 1% that the networks ( Visa/Mastercharge and Amex) charge, but the ones I mentioned have no issuing bank foreign exchange fee. This interbank network rate is on top of the foreign exchange fee from the issuing bank.

(making the above simple - on a Chase Saphire Visa, Visa charges 1%, Chase charges 0%).

ETA - I am talking about US issued cards.
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Old Nov 29, 2023, 11:02 pm
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Originally Posted by beachfan
ETA - I am talking about US issued cards.
Indeed, you make a fair point, but alas that's the problem for other parts of the world sadly! In the Hong Kong market you find it difficult to avoid ForEx fees, the best cards give you bonus rewards for spending in ForEx, but still typically a 2% fee (some will charge 3%)
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Old Nov 30, 2023, 1:25 am
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Originally Posted by littlevoices
Indeed, you make a fair point, but alas that's the problem for other parts of the world sadly! In the Hong Kong market you find it difficult to avoid ForEx fees, the best cards give you bonus rewards for spending in ForEx, but still typically a 2% fee (some will charge 3%)
That's why you get more CC cashback when spending abroad.
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Old Nov 30, 2023, 1:29 am
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Originally Posted by littlevoices
90% of my stays are outside of the USA and so this seems to be a fairly typical problem, I wouldn't complain about 5%, I do when it goes up to the 10%+ range when it is significant enough, or for large numbers of points. Ultimately your credit card company is typically taking a ~2-3% forex fee anyway so the difference to your billing statement can easily be off by 5% and it isn't really the hotel's fault fully. Then again, like the example here, some hotels/countries do seem to be more naughty than others. I dislike the "worse rate to convert your USD100 than we bill you at" and would then complain on principle .

Other thing to remind, through my regular emails on this topic, I am reminded that you don't get points for the service charge (often 10%), so don't forget that can lead to quite big deltas in countries outside of Europe & the USA where there is a default 10% service charge that doesn't earn points, and doesn't go to the staff either I am pretty sure.
Exactly, they use this crappy rate and strip off all kinds of charges (even parking that the $ goes to the hotel), you can't challenge on the rate (as you have no idea which rate they used and the date of exchange rate etc.) they use unless you are planning a class action against Marriott. I have looked at it closely but once in a while there maybe there is a 100 -500 points difference.
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