It’s no secret that many travel brands are in a cash crunch due to the pandemic. Over the past year, it has appeared to be ‘business as usual’ but we’re starting to see several brands launch promotions to increase revenue, particularly going into the holiday season.
And Marriott is the latest brand to do so…well sort of…
MARRIOTT OFFERS 15% OFF GIFT CARDS
According to OMAAT, Marriott announced they will be selling discounted e-gift cards (eGC) on both 30 November and 1 December 2020 with 15% off.
Clearly, this offer is not yet live, but it’s worth noting if you anticipate your credit cards may see some additional charges over the next few days. Again, credit card creep is real.
The gift cards will be available in the following increments:
- Purchase a $50 e-gift card, but pay $42.50
- Purchase a $100 e-gift card, but pay $85
- Purchase a $250 e-gift card, but pay $212.50
- Purchase a $500 e-gift card, but pay $425
- Purchase a $1,000 e-gift card, but pay $850
This discount isn’t as big as the 20% discount that Marriott offered in May 2020, but it is a discount nonetheless.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
As always, there are some terms and conditions to be aware of:
- You can redeem e-GCs during your stay for hotel purchases, including rooms and room service, or at spas, restaurants and other outlets managed by the hotel
- The e-GCs can be used globally (however, in my experience, the exchange rate at a hotel outside of the US can be good but it can also rival Travelex currency exchange booths at the airport. In other words, there is a good chance you’ll lose some of the discount you purchased upfront)
- e-GCs will be delivered electronically in 1-15 business days (but again, have generally come with a few days)
- Funds on e-GCs never expire
- The following Marriott Hotel Brands DO NOT accept Marriott GiftCards: Bulgari, Design Hotels, Homes & Villas by Marriott International, and The Ritz-Carlton Destination Club
It’s also worth noting that gift cards can’t be used to pay for a pre-purchased rate. For example, hotels generally charge less if you pay immediately upon making the reservation but in this case, they don’t want you to have a discount on top of another discount.
IS THIS A GOOD DEAL?
This has the potential to be a really good deal. 15% off of anything is a good deal, however, whether you should purchase it is a different question.
If you are a Marriott “loyalist,” or tend to stay at Marriott brand hotels far more than other brands, then I can understand why you would purchase it.
Additionally, we’re seeing historic lows concerning room pricing. In other words, a room that was pricing for $125 a year ago is now pricing for $90 and by purchasing an e-gc, you’d be getting 15% off of that rate. That’s pretty solid if you ask me.
Although we’ve seen a few hotels going out of business, Marriott is the largest hotel chain in the world so there is a good chance that you will find a hotel in any destination that you visit. Additionally, the fact that funds never expire is also an advantage.
However, as I mentioned above, one disadvantage of the e-GCs is you are unable to use them on prepaid rates. In the instance that you do not pay upfront (i.e. book a refundable rate), you often pay more for the room but you can also use the EGC. Depending on your tendency to book prepaid vs refundable, it may determine whether you buy a giftcard.
It’s also worth noting that today (25 November) is the last days to purchase Marriott Bonvoy points with a 60% bonus, so depending on your future travel, that may (or may not) be a better deal for you.
Marriott is offering 15% off future stays in an effort to secure revenue. This sale could potentially be a good deal depending on when are where you travels take you.
I still predict we’ll see even more sales and promotions over the next few weeks as the travel industry still needs revenue.
Do you plan on taking advantage of this 15% off sale?
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