Live: Marriott gift card sale with 15% discount

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From 30 Nov to 1 Dec 20, buy Marriott gift cards at a 15% discount for use worldwide (or for staycations).

Update: The Marriott website now says that gift cards can only be purchased by residents of USA/Canada, but there’s nothing stopping you from trying your luck if you know your way around a VPN (and assuming paying with an AMEX card still works). 

From 30 November to 1 December 2020, Marriott is selling gift cards with a 15% discount. These gift cards are denominated in USD, and can be used globally at any Marriott property except for:

  • Bvlgari Hotels
  • Design Hotels
  • Homes & Villas by Marriott
  • Ritz-Carlton Destination Club

All other brands (e.g Le Meridien, Marriott, Sheraton, St Regis, Ritz-Carlton etc.) will accept them. 

Buy Marriott Gift Cards at 15% off

Buy Marriott Gift Cards at a 15% discount

Gift cards are available in the following denominations:

  • US$50 (Pay US$42.50)
  • US$100 (Pay US$85)
  • US$250 (Pay US$212.50)
  • US$500 (Pay US$425)
  • US$1,000 (Pay US$850)

Up to US$5,000 can be purchased per person per credit card per day.

Gift cards will be fulfilled electronically within 1-3 business days, and the value does not expire. There’s no need to use the entire balance 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 15% off?

St Regis Bali

For context, Marriott was previously selling gift cards at 20% off in May, so this isn’t the largest discount they’ve ever offered. It’s also worth remembering that those of us in Singapore will have to pay a foreign currency transaction fee of about 3%, which further eats into the 15% discount. 

Since the gift cards are denominated in USD, there’s also the question of how that currency will fare vis a vis the country you’re interested in traveling to. When I bought gift cards in May, I was intending to spend them in Japan, and the JPY/USD exchange rate has remained fairly stagnant. However, you’d have lost out if you bought the cards for travel in Europe, since the Euro has appreciated against the USD since then (although who knows what the rate will be when you eventually do get to go).

The gift card balance will be converted at the time of redemption to local currency at the hotel’s exchange rate. From the reports I’ve read (and personal experience), the rate used is more than reasonable, so you need not worry. 

If you already have staycation plans lined up for December at Marriott properties in Singapore, I’d say this could be a way of saving perhaps 12% (after the FCY fee) more. Do note that these gift cards cannot be used for prepaid rates, however, as they’re presented at the time of check-out to settle any outstanding charges. 

The full FAQ for Marriott gift cards can be found here

What card should I use to purchase Marriott gift cards?

Purchases of Marriott gift cards will code as foreign currency hotel spending, so you can use the following cards to maximize 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 Max S$2K FCY spend per s. month
HSBC Revolution
Apply here
4 mpdCap S$1K per c. month
UOB Lady’s Card
Apply here
4 mpd*Cap S$1K per c. month
UOB Lady’s Solitaire
Apply here
4 mpd*Cap S$3K per c. month
SCB Visa Infinite
3 mpdMin S$2K per s. month

DBS Altitude
Apply here
3 mpdCap S$5K per c. month
S. Month= Statement Month | C. Month= Calendar Month
*Must declare travel as your quarterly 10X category

Based on the previous sale, it’s possible the Marriott website will reject your Singapore-issued Mastercard or Visa. That’s what happened to me, but it worked after I switched to an American Express card. 

Conclusion

Provided you don’t mind locking up your funds, buying Marriott gift cards at a 15% discount could be potentially worth it (although not as worth it as the previous sale). This comes at a particularly good time for anyone with staycation plans over the Christmas holidays, assuming Marriott properties were on your radar. 

Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion to help people travel better for less and impress chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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Christ

According to one of the other travel sites the IP address and CC billing address need to be in the US/Canada, which potentially makes it impossible for most of us here. Still, it’s worth a shot

JW19

I would presume we can’t use it at the Ritz Singapore? It’s notorious for not participating in Bonvoy.

Alex

Yes it can be used at Ritz Carlton Singapore, despite not participating in the Bonvoy program.

tim tan

The gift cards are also not valid at Ritz-Carlton Residences.

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