Question Of The Week: If I Don’t Show Up At A Hotel, Do I Still Get Credit?

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Question Of The Week: If I Don't Show Up At A Hotel, Do I Still Get Credit?

Question Of The Week: If I Don’t Show Up At A Hotel, Do I Still Get Credit?

This week’s question of the week: If I don’t show up at a hotel, do I still get credit for staying there? You’ve got a booking and want to know what happens if you don’t actually show up. Yes, you’ll probably still pay for it, but that’s not what this week’s question is about. Let’s examine paying for a hotel you aren’t going to and if this could work for any benefits.

What Happens If I Don’t Show Up To A Hotel?

Our question of the week comes from James, posted here:

Couple nights short of reaching Wyndham Diamond Status which I plan on status matching to Caesars Diamond. If I purchase a couple of night online with a pay in advance option will it credit the stays if I don’t physically check in?

James is specifically asking about his Wyndham account. However, I’m sure others are wondering about this given all of the Hyatt promotions lately. The question boils down to this:

Can I pay for a super-cheap hotel room somewhere, not go, but still get credit in my account?

Brass Tacks

It sounds dreamy. Find a super-cheap room on sale in the middle of Kansas and get credit for hotel stays to earn top-tier status with a hotel chain. Unfortunately, it likely won’t work.

Yes, there will be exceptions, but here’s the brass tacks:

Wyndham does not specifically address earning (or not earning) points / stay credits for a no-show. It’s not in their general rewards program terms & conditions. However, all of their promotions have it in the terms of the promotion. You don’t get credit for a stay if you didn’t show up.

I picked a random hotel program and Googled their policy on no-shows. Hilton’s terms & conditions are very clear, specifically saying you don’t get points or stays if you didn’t actually stay at the hotel.

You could always call the hotel and ask if they’d credit you. Additionally, you could try online check-in and online check-out / use the app where possible. Again, you’ll still be counting on some luck that housekeeping won’t notify the front desk (they’ll notice no one used the room). Then, hope that the front desk won’t mark you as a “no-show”. The final part of your good luck would be all of that coming together properly AND you get the stay credit / points you want. Ask the hotel before booking, in order to see if they’ll work with you, but don’t be surprised if this doesn’t work the way you wanted.

Final Thoughts

Finding a cheap hotel and booking it online, racking up cheap nights toward elite status via a hotel far away, sounds awesome. However, I think the hotels are smarter than this. Additionally, this presents a liability for them by saying you were there if you weren’t. It could also put their jobs at risk, which isn’t worth it to the employees for the sake of your status-chasing.

There will be exceptions. Yes, you might be able to work something out with the hotel. Maybe the manager will help you out. However, you should expect to not earn stay credits or points if you didn’t set foot in the hotel room. If you’re trying to earn that status, I wouldn’t leave it up to all of the luck needed that I described above. I’d make sure the elements were under my control, not left to chance.

Ryan S
Travel hacker in 2-player mode, intent on visiting every country in the world, and can say "hello" or "how much does this cost?" in a bunch of different languages.

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21 COMMENTS

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21 COMMENTS

  1. Would housekeeping rat you out? They could just take a break for a bit while they would have been doing your room. Maybe because of no tip?

    • Carl – that’s the great unknown. Maybe? Especially during COVID, where all of the cleaning protocols are heightened. If I’m chasing a hotel status, I’m not going to build a plan around housekeeping not telling the manager no one went into the room, because they might say something.

  2. This typically doesn’t work. I was 1 night short of Titanium status with Marriott in 2019 and booked a night I might need to use for business. When my plans changed and I didn’t need the hotel room I checked in online and did the whole deal. Dead of winter, mid December and actually it was in Western Kansas and the hotel cancelled it later and I lost the credit. What does work is to show up, check in and just leave. Most hotels do automatic checkout at some point or you could do it online. I’ve done this a few times with no issues.

      • There is evidence you were there. Again, there are exceptions, but it MAY work or MAY NOT, and that’s not a good plan if you are short 1-2 nights on status at the end of the year. Plus, if there’s a policy, and the employees violate it (ex: credit for no-shows), that could get them in trouble. Not worth it for them.

  3. It is all kind of BS when you have to pay for something (hotel reservation, plane ticket) and can’t get your money back, but they won’t credit the points.

  4. The liability thing makes so much sense to why it would be important for a hotel to mark a no-show so they dont get mixed up in someone crime alibis. If its a digital checkin sounds like it would increase your chances, at least the hotel could claim denial saying you checked in/out but they never saw you. Which would then put all of the pressure on the maid. I guess its really no difference then prepaying for a rental car or flying if you miss your flight you wont earn miles.
    All of this talk makes me want to open a virtual hotel chains just so I can rent room nobody will stay at, that’s for sure a business idea for some good computer hacker 🙂

  5. As the “touchless check-in” becomes more common via Apps I wonder if this issue won’t eventually resolve itself. My sister recently stayed at a Hilton and told me she never even talked to the front desk. Checked in online and her App was the key. The only thing I wonder is how the system would be involved. Would they “see” that the App key was never actually used to unlock the room door and tag you as a no-show? Also wonder how much revenue is generated from billing no-shows (what is the incentive to ensure they “catch” no-shows?). If there’s not much incentive to catch the no-shows, I would think the app would be the best of both worlds. The mattress runner gets points and status and the hotel dodges the liability of claiming you checked in.

    Side-note – I never thought about the liability issue. That’s kind of a bummer and a legitimate reason for the hotel to deny the request to “just check you in”.

    • Jeff – with digital systems, they know if you went in/out, and the evidence I use for this is their theft systems knowing who entered your room while you were out if you say something was stolen.

      • Yeah I agree with that, except do *they* monitor that I guess is my question. They have a short-term incentive to ding you the no-show fee if you try to check in without ever showing up (you’ll never do that twice), but they have a long-term incentive to look the other way.

        But like you said, they definitely “can” confirm if they want.

        • Jeff – what incentive do they have to look the other way? I’d assume they’re expected to report no-shows, so the incentive to report them would be not getting in trouble at work.

          • Maybe an incentive could be loyalty? If its a small hotel where managers are on site and you use that hotel often for end of year gains the hotel may just like the free cash and keep you happy to keep coming back, just a thought.

          • Chris – possibly. Again, this would be an exception to the rule, and it’s not something I’d leave to chance/luck if trying to secure an elite status. Others might, but this is personally not something I’d want where elements are beyond my control.

  6. Are you fine if you check in physically, and tell them you don’t want housekeeping b/c of covid-19, never stay in the hotel, but check out physically?

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