Save 20% on Marriott hotel gift cards – is it a good deal?

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Marriott is currently doing what it can to keep the money coming in whilst hotel occupancy is well down.  This means that you have an opportunity to grab a deal.

Next week, Marriott will be selling Bonvoy points with a 60% bonus.  We will cover this when it launches.  It isn’t clear if the very modest 50,000 points annual purchase cap will be lifted.

This week, Marriott is selling gift cards with a 20% discountSee here.

I can see both positive and negative reasons for buying.

Reasons to buy a Marriott gift card:

  • you save 20% on whatever you spend them on, which is on top of any other deal when you book
  • they NEVER expire
  • they are valid at ALL Marriott hotels except for Bulgari and Design Hotels
  • the vouchers are delivered by email so there are no issues buying from the UK

Reasons to not buy a Marriott gift card:

  • they are denominated in US$, so if you use them outside the United States you will incur a foreign exchange fee – I couldn’t see any small print to explain how large it is
  • you will struggle to empty it to the last penny, due to FX issues, if spending outside the US
  • they are NOT valid on Advance Purchase bookings, so if you always book non-refundable rates then you will have to overpay for a ‘pay on departure’ rate which will wipe out much of the 20% saving

If you are 100% certain that you will be spending money in a Marriott hotel in the United States in the next year or so, I would seriously consider this.

For anyone else, I’m not sure it is worth the trouble.  I would be happier if I knew what the exchange rate is.

How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points via UK credit cards

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Marriott Bonvoy Gold status for as long as they hold the card?  It also comes with Hilton Honors Gold, Radisson Rewards Gold, Shangri-La Golden Circle Jade and Melia Rewards Gold status.  We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here.

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Marriott Bonvoy points.  That page is regularly updated with the latest special offers and will still be accurate even if you are reading this article months after publication.

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

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  1. JohnT says:

    PS for anyone over 62, there are senior rates at most Marriotts which are flexible and are very similar to prepaid rates for “youngsters” – so egift cards sounds good (accepting risk of currency% at time of redemption if not USA – however would still feel like a “free” stay!)

  2. Other factor to consider – strong USD currently. No FX trading expert and while no one knows what will happen to GBPUSD in the future. Are you prepared to lock-in the weak exchange rate (1.22) now?

  3. @mkcol says:

    I presume you cannot use the Marriott gift card to buy Marriott points on discount next week?!

    • Riccatti says:

      No. Marriott points are handled by

      • Andrew says:

        They are indeed. But if you top-up a points booking, aren’t they charged by Marriott?

  4. Doommonger says:

    The answers are;

    20% Marriott gift cards Bad deal
    Amazon OK Deal
    Avios 75% Good deal

    The doomster

  5. good_rate says:

    The exchange rate was quite reasonable – used the gift card a day after purchase at a hotel dining outlet in Asia, obviously not interbank exchange rate but similar to that of Mastercard’s exchange rate without any surcharge. Ended up purchasing another gift card the same night.

  6. Rhonda Parente says:

    Both my finance and I ordered gift cards at the 20% off. Marriott charged our respective credit cards and we thought all was well. SEVEN days later we BOTH got emails stating our gift cards were cancelled. That’s all the info they gave us. Called customer service and was told we BOTH failed the “verification” process as “something” didn’t match our bank info. After over an hour on the phone with various department NO ONE will tell us why or what failed. Two weeks later our credit cards have not been refunded for the $800 and $400 they charged. They will not give me the email address for the corporate office, nor a phone number. So, we are out $1200 with no gift card and a higher credit card balance. Not happy with Marriott at ALL.

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