Nov022010

Marriott Gift Cards up to 25,000 Bonus Points by Dec 31, 2010

Marriott has a limited time offer giving 10 points per $1 for Marriott gift card purchases made between October 25 and December 31, 2010. Members may earn up to 25,000 bonus points for $2,500 in gift card purchases.

Marriott gift cards have a minimum $50 purchase level and maximum $9,999 per gift card.

This offer is essentially double points for Marriott hotel stays since the Marriott Rewards member earns 10 points per dollar for gift card purchase, as well as the regular 10 points per dollar when paying for Marriott, Renaissance, Courtyard, Fairfield Inn, Autograph Collection and SpringHill Suites hotel stays using the Marriott gift card. Marriott hotel brands Residence Inn and TownePlace Suites earn 5 base points per dollar for hotel stays.

Another feature of the Marriott gift cards is they work as a Visa card for Marriott promotions like the current MegaBonus requiring Visa card payment to earn two free nights after four hotel stays by January 15, 2011.

Marriott Rewards Gift Card Offer Terms and Conditions

To earn points, you simply add your Marriott Rewards number at check-out.

Offer valid on purchases of GiftCards and Certificates made online at gifts.marriott.com and Marriott reservations from October 25 – December 31, 2010. Offer not valid on Marriott GiftCards and/or Certificates purchased via other channels (IE: cards purchased at a hotel or third party channels.) Marriott Rewards members earn 10 point per dollar for each GiftCard and/or Certificate purchase made online at gifts.marriott.com. Points are earned on card and certificate value only and not on shipping or packaging. A maximum of 25,000 Marriott Rewards Points may be earned per member. Points will be posted to your Marriott Rewards account within six weeks after the promotion ends on December 31, 2010. Marriott reserves the right cancel this promotion at any time without notice. For all other terms and conditions of Marriott Rewards membership, visit marriottrewards.com.

https://gifts.marriott.com/promo_terms.aspx

TMTravelWorld blog directs you to a FatWallet.com link for 2.5% cash back on the cost of Marriott gift cards. This is not considered a third-party channel since the FatWallet.com link directs the purchase back through gifts.marriott.com.

20 bonus points per £ for Marriott UK gift card purchases

There is an additional offer through the Marriott UK site for 20 bonus points per GBP gift card purchases. This offer also has a 25,000 bonus points limit. You can earn bonuses through both the U.S. purchase site and the U.K. purchase site.

Loyalty Traveler Analysis:

Getting a cash equivalent value of more than $10 per 1,000 points is common with Marriott Rewards hotel nights using points. Many upper upscale hotels are available for 20,000 or 25,000 points when the nightly rate can be $300+ per night. Even more common are 15,000 point Category-3 Marriott brand hotels with room rates over $150 per night.

  • Buy $2,500 in Marriott gift cards.
  • Earn 25,000 bonus points for purchase.

Assume 25,000 points can be redeemed for $250 as Marriott hotel night reward. There are many opportunities to get this cash equivalent value by redeeming points rather than pay for the hotel room.

You earn an additional 10% savings through the cash equivalent value of points earned on your overall Marriott hotel spend when buying gift cards. You also can receive 2.5% cash back by purchasing Marriott gift cards through FatWallet.com.

$2,500 in Marriott hotel spend can reasonably earn an additional 75,000 points with recurring promotions like Marriott MegaBonus or perhaps another $500 to $600 in Marriott hotel credit through Marriott’s frequent Bonus Bucks promotions offering $25 to $100 future hotel stay credit.

Three situations using these cards: 

Situation 1:

Marriott Rewards frequent guest on the cheap stays 25 times on $100 per night hotel stays averaging one-night. This Marriott Rewards member earns 25,000 base points from the hotel stays, at least 7,500 elite bonus points as Marriott Silver after 10 hotel nights and status earned in 2011 will last through February 2013. Possibly the member will earn a free night or two from ongoing promotions during the Marriott gift card paid hotel stays or perhaps earn an extra 25,000 points from promotions.

Assume 25 paid nights at Marriott brand hotels in one year paying with $2,500 in Marriott Hotels gift cards. You will likely earn 75,000 to 100,000 or 3 to 10 free nights in Marriott Rewards points cash equivalent value, depending on how you spend your points.

This can be a great offer if you plan your hotel stays to maximize the Marriott promotions.

Situation 2:

Marriott Rewards member is going to Hawaii for seven days and will have a projected $3,000 check-out bill. She wasn’t even a member of Marriott Rewards before booking this trip, but figured earning 30,000 points from the Hawaii trip is essentially a free hotel night rebate.

She buys $3,000 in Marriott gift cards and in addition to earning 30,000 points from the  hotel stay, there is the 2.5% FatWallet.com cashback on the gift cards purchase and an additional 25,000 points earned buying gift cards. That $3,000 Marriott Hawaii vacation price tag just dropped by $75 and she will have enough points after the trip for another two to five free hotel nights with Marriott.

Situation 3: 

Of course you do not need to max out this offer with $2,500 in gift card purchases. This can be a good deal even if buying $400 in Marriott gift cards. That is an extra 4,000 bonus points and after $400 in hotel spend on four hotel stays you may have  earned two free nights from the current MegaBonus and enough points for another free Marriott rewards category 1 hotel reward night at 7,500 points. Seven nights with Marriott for $400 is a Priceline priced deal.

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

More articles by Ric Garrido »

Comments

  1. This year, I do not see this disclaimer from using the Chase Marriott Visa, which would make it a potential 15 points per dollar!

  2. So maybe I am reading too much into this but look at what the T&C’s say:

    Offer valid on purchases of GiftCards and Certificates made online at gifts.marriott.com and Marriott reservations from October 25 – December 31, 2010.

    Does this mean that the 10 bonus points per $1 spent on the gift cards only get awarded when the gift cards are used for a stay from October 25-December 31? I wouldn’t think so – but the lawyer in me reads that to make it possible.

  3. I called Marriott Rewards and the rep had no idea about the promotion, then I called who handles the gift cards for Marriott and she seemed to think that no stay would be required. But the language still bothers me that they used “and” instead of “or” between gifts.marriott.com [ ] Marriott reservations.

  4. I interpreted the “and” to mean you can also buy gift cards over the phone with Marriott reservations.

    Almost positive the bonus points are based on purchase alone and not redemption.

    The use of the card in the time frame mentioned in order to get points is something I think would have been discussed by FlyerTalkers if that were a condition since that would be a major downside to this offer.

  5. Rob, the answer is that you will receive points for the gift cards if you buy them before December 31 regardless of when you stay or make your reservation. I believe that last year I got credited about 6 weeks after my gift card purchase and I finished using up the cards in May where I got my normal points for stays. The gift card doesn’t expire and you can use them just like cash at a marriott.

    You’ll get points for buying the gift card, then you’ll also get your regular points when you stay at the hotel. The only time restriction on this is on buying the gift cards.

  6. Don’t waste your time calling people. Last year I talked with everyone (felt like everyone at marriott and the card company that manages the gift card service) to get an answer on whats what.

    the rundown:
    -Buy the $2,500 in gift cards before the end of the year.
    -You can use the cards whenever you want.
    -You will get points for buying the card.
    -You will still get points on your stay when you use the gift card.

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