Marriott selling gift cards at 20% discount

Buy Marriott gift cards and save 20% off a future stay.

Update: Some customers may have issues using Singapore-issued credit cards. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do about this except try a different one. I purchased successfully with an AMEX Platinum Charge.

Hotels are desperate for cash now, and we’ve seen some of them roll out big discounts for prepaid stays or gift certificates. So far it’s been the smaller chains or individual properties who have offered such promotions, but now we’re seeing one of the big boys step up.

Marriott’s gift card sale

From now till 17 May, Marriott is selling gift cards at 20% off. These are available in denominations of:

  • US$50 (Pay US$40)
  • US$100 (Pay US$80)
  • US$250 (Pay US$200)
  • US$500 (Pay US$400)
  • US$1,000 (Pay US$800)
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Up to US$5,000 can be purchased per person per credit card per day. Although gift cards are denominated in USD, they can be used globally at any Marriott property except for:

  • Bulgari
  • Design Hotels
  • Ritz-Carlton Residences
  • Homes and Villas by Marriott
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All other brands will accept them. 

Gift cards will be fulfilled electronically within 1-7 business days, and the value never expires. There’s no need to use all the value at once. For example, if you have a US$1,000 card and use US$400 for a stay, you’ll have US$600 left in your balance.

Should you buy Marriott gift cards at 20% off?

St Regis Bali

Assuming you have no liquidity issues, this could be a great way of securing a discount for the future. You cannot use these for prepaid rates (because you give them to the front desk at check-out for payment) or to guarantee your stay, but with flexible rates being as low as they are right now, there’s potential for big savings.

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Unlike smaller hotels which may or may not go out of business, I have pretty much zero concerns about Marriott.

What card should I use to purchase Marriott gift cards?

These purchases will code as foreign currency hotel spending, so you can use the following cards to maximise the miles you earn.

 Earn RateRemarks
DBS Woman’s World Card
Apply here
4 mpdCap S$2K per c. month
UOB Visa Signature
Apply here
4 mpdMin S$1K FCY per s. month, cap at S$2K FCY per s. month
UOB Lady’s Card
Apply here
4 mpdCap S$1K per c. month. Declare travel as 10X category
UOB Lady’s Solitaire
Apply here
4 mpdCap S$3K per c. month. Declare travel as 10X category
SCB X Card
Apply here
3 mpdUntil 30 Jun 20. Min S$2K per c. month
SCB Visa Infinite
3 mpdMin S$2K per s. month
BOC Elite Miles 
3 mpd 

DBS Altitude
Apply here
3 mpdCap S$5K per c. month
S. Month= Statement Month | C. Month= Calendar Month

Conclusion

I have fewer misgivings about buying gift cards than I do points, because I’d sooner trust the central bank behind the money than points. Be sure to see if this can fit into your future travel plans, and use the right card to maximize the rebate you earn. 

Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion with the intention of helping people travel better for less and impressing chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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John

Why WWMC cannot earn 4mpd in this case?

cheesecake

This works only if you intend to travel to USA as the gift card is in USD. Otherwise you get charged FX spread by your CC on purchase, and charged FX spread again by Marriott (at a rate slightly worse than your CC) when you use it.

Zhong

May I ask if this is from actual experience?

There have been reports from OMAAT that Marriott FX rate is worse than CC, while some actually report very close to mid market FX rate on the particular transaction day.

Banjamin

I’ve bought gift cards during the US Travel Association Daily Getaways promo and had no problem using it at Westin, Sheraton and Four Points Singapore. Exchange rates used were very similar to whatever i saw on Google. So definitely loading up on more gift cards now!

JJ

Payment with WWMC keeps getting declined. Any solution to bypass this? (tried US address as well but failed too)
Thank you so much in advance!

“Gift card credit card purchases are validated through the Address Verification Service. Banks outside the United States may not participate in this program resulting in declined transactions.”

JJ

Hmm it’s not working for you as well? Feeling kinda sad that Marriott doesn’t want our liquidity.

Guest

Try using a US debit / credit card if you have

David

I tried three different Singapore based credit cards and all failed. Then I tried a UK based credit card and it processed first time. Odd.

SH

DBS WWMC and SCB Visa Infinity don’t work. Bank declined.

Jeff

I tried with youtrip and it went through. Given that the FX is better on yourtrip maybe it is a better option

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