Has there been an announcement for this (2012) Holiday Season as to the Gift Card Promotion? I know jasper100 has championed the effort in the past, but I haven't noticed anything yet.
This is a great deal if it's being offered as in past years.
Thanks for bringing this up pained. What say you JohnL, can you provide us a helpful response and/or empathetic insight? Thank you
JohnL has been with Marriott for nearly 14 years as a Marriott Rewards phone representative, phone supervisor and training, internet correspondence supervisor, and now internet correspondence manager. With such extensive experience in the Rewards program, John may have previously helped with your account. And here within Insiders, he’s interested in providing helpful responses and empathetic insights to your questions.
I (and I think Pained) was talking about the ones from Marriott where you got additional points for purchasing. It would be nice to know if they are going to offer the promotion, because if not, I'll buy the Amtrak (AMT code) 10% discount, which ends soon. So, I'll wait and see what JohnL has to say. So far, he's been pretty quick with the answers (8 for 8, with a tie for the TVL rate question).
I just found this under terms and conditions at gifts.marriott.com
Offer valid on purchases of GiftCards made online at gifts.marriott.com November 19 – December 31, 2012. Offer not valid on Marriott GiftCards purchased via Marriott properties, 3rd parties or 1 800 813 GIFT and cannot be combined with any other offer/promotion. Marriott Rewards members earn 10 bonus points per dollar for each GiftCard purchase made online at gifts.marriott.com and by entering their valid Marriott Rewards number in the Promotion Code field at checkout. A maximum of 20,000 Marriott Rewards points may be earned per member. Points will be posted to the account associated with the MR account number entered within six weeks after the promotion ends on December 31, 2012. Shipping and handling fees apply. $1 shipping option available to U.S. addresses only and for orders under $1000 USD. This offer is subject to change, alteration, or termination by Marriott in its sole discretion at any time.
Good legwork john14727, thanks for sharing. I'm concerned that this offer dated November 19 - December 31, 2012 might be linked (regarding maximum bonus points) to the one I already received maximum bonus points for when I bought gift cards prior to the January 12, 2012 deadline, 'jasper' highlighted promo back at the beginning of this year. I would hate to buy these, only to find out I wasn't eligible for the bonus points (similar to switching from rewards to premier credit cards).
The community manager wrote above on November 21st that they would have details coming soon about a gift card promotion. Even allowing for the occasional Marriott style of on again/off again communication approach, this would be an unorthodox fashion of stating "details would be coming soon" - days after the deal was already offered, so I'm thinking there is something else out there - but who knows, perhaps this is the promo and we just haven't heard yet.
NathalieF Is this the upcoming gift card promotion you were discussing? Can these cards be purchased and earn the additional 20,000 bonus points if the 25k maximum bonus points were earned in January 2012? Thank you for the follow up.
I reviewed the T&Cs john14727 unearthed in the bowels of the Marriott website and boy, if ever there was a case of showing the value of Insiders (or Flyertalk - Marriott) this is a good example.
You've got your plain vanilla, nothing extra gift card, you've got your bonus points gift card, and you've got your 10% extra gift card, so like Amazon's free shipping, it's there if you ask; it is somewhat like the two different AAA rates on some hotel properties or AAA rates higher than standard - caveat emptor.
Personally, I prefer the bonus points over the $200 savings, because I feel I can find a Cat. 4 worth more than $200, but man, I would have been heartbroken to receive the card only, protect yourselves, Insiders and continue to spread the word.
Ok, I'll wait to hear from NathalieF if this bonus points offer is the one being referenced in the November 21st post.
Thanks for unearthing these.
I purchased the gift card with the 10% bonus last month via the Amtrak offer. Wish Marriott was more efficient posting their bonus offers....letting us know that one will be offered within the next month or so. Don't they know "anticipation" is great for business!
I think I can answer your question. I bought the maximum available with the gift card offer good thru last Jan 12 you referenced that gave us the bonus points. I just entered the max available under the promotion above ($2000 in gift cards for 20,000 bonus points) and entered the promotion code (my valid Marriott rewards number) and when I clicked 'apply promotion' a response came that told me I had already achieved the maximum bonus points available for this promotion........so it must be tied to the promo earlier this year.
Thank you very much tef - the bonus points capping that you highlight was exactly the concern I mentioned to john14727. I say john14727 so as not to be confused with JohnL who was mentioned earlier (11/19).
We're all following a bit of a circuitous, around the elbow to get to the thumb approach to find out about pained's original question - but we now know to await the word from the community manager (11/21 post above). Thanks for using your cyberskills to provide this luddite some light.
The community manager above wrote on Wednesday (11/21) to pained that he had heard that there was going to be another gift card promotion and that he would have details in the coming days. So to answer your Delta question you would need to think like President Billy Clinton when he said, "It depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is. I myself am holding out to see what Andy and the crew have cooked up for our holiday gift card promotion special. If for some reason I don't hear anything back, I will go the Amtrak way after Christmas (10% extra).
Prof, you don't need to travel to Europe for your comedies (your romances and dramatic tales, yes); you've got your Keystone Capers right here in Insiderland. Happy holidays, stay safe.
I agree those cheques have significant uses. As a strategic approach to battle the ever declining value of points, I have for the past five years by design, kept my balance of points below a quarter of a million/300k; so for me using up half of my balance of points for $1000 doesn't work, because my points are so dear (in the monetary way). For example I used 160k points for five nights at Marriott London County Hall for a room in May costing $500 (389 GBP) per night. I also do a lot of two nighters/three days getaways where I generally pick the most expensive properties relative to my point expenditure.
You were kind enough to suggest cheques when I was falling short for megabonus nights and when I researched them, I learned a lot about the significant value and flexibility they possess. If I was a big balance points player, I would definitely have a place for them in my quiver of weapons for maximizing value, so I share your respect for their utility.
As fewer and fewer elite offers are provided, and rates keep inching upward (side note: I believe many enhancements like the recently merchandised 'better' Fairfield Inn breakfast, are a time tested strategy for increasing prices; increase benefits 5%, increase price 20% for a net gain in operating margins -which is often a sound business practice, but it does make it tougher for us to find 'great deals') suggestions like yours are very important for all of us to share, as we continue in our quest of optimizing our Marriott travel experience. Thanks for taking the effort.
Yes, we were able to cut some good deals back in the day, our biggest challenge was knowing how many nights, because if we lost, we went home, but for the most part the Marriott associates were terrific folks to work with. But as I've mentioned the deals are getting tougher and tougher to find, so the sharing of savings ideas are an invaluable part of this forum. Along those lines, here's some info from our colleagues (thanks to original poster, mooper) at Flyertalk-Marriott Forum regarding gift cards;
As you can see, you can actually combine some of them (e-bates and Marriott bonus points for example). Now for me, who struggles with day to day dealing with the internet and all of its wonders (I guess it's not going to be a fad afterall - shucks), I'm better off mastering my deal finding skills at the property level rather than taking on the registering and cross purchasing challenges of e-bates/Mr. Rebates and Marriott gift cards. But for someone like yourself, who not only mastered the Marriott gift cheques technique well enough to utilize, but even well enough to teach Marriott employees how to book them, then I say, take a look, and see what tickles your fancy (and if you decide to move forward, keep us posted; who knows maybe you can teach this old dog new tricks).
As far as Delta, the frequent flyers will have to respond to that one, I'm with the big bear, United. Community manager (sounds like Big Brother, without the word The in front of it) has responded to the Marriott Gift Card posting, while I'm typing this, so let's all have a look at the Marriott Gift Card promo and see if there's any there, there.
I'm not a reliable source. The various programs had so many permutations it gave me the brain freeze I was discussing with eb above. However, I do recall reading enough examples on Flyertalk-Marriott about participants 'stacking' benefits to max the value - for example combining a 5% TopCashBack discount with the 10% extra value Amtrak (code- AMT) for me to advise you to pursue this further, because there were several examples of legitimate 'double dipping' of benefits.
There's a thread on the front page right today discussing Marriott Gift Cards Annual Bonus which gives some good details. Perhaps some dual readers of both forums will chime in here and provide some helpful insights, those who play are very, very good. Hope you get a good deal.
ps - the headache tef and razorback went through today with our own Marriott gift cards is exactly what currently scares me away from the other programs. I'd prefer to spend extra time on the Marriott matrix digging up the 5% or better, savings (granted, the good players with cyberskills can have their cake and eat it too, grabbing all deals, but I'm not at that level of proficiency yet).
Thanks john14727 for finding the promo information and I echo the kudos for your cyber skills. The promotion is being communicated directly via email this year (which you should begin receiving today) although you should still receive the bonus points if you enter your MR number.
I'm somewhat puzzled by this response. Rather than just posting or telling us whatever is being communicated "directly via email" about what should be a customer satisfier, we get a deferred response essentially telling us to watch for the offer in the mail. I therefore, will as suggested, wait until my e-mail arrives before responding further.
Your posting gives me the impression that the offer is customized to the recipient; or less attractively, the promo is extremely difficult to communicate. It seems hard to believe that you were actually advised not to post a link or a summary - but, of course, I haven't ruled it out and hopefully the email will explain the intrique. Thanks for at least getting back to us with the heads up.
I got the e-mail today saying I could book the gift cards. I did.....booked 4 $500 cards to max out the 20,000 bonus points. When I enter my MR number to satisfy the promotion details to receive the bonus 10 points per dollar, I get this message that displays in red and says I have already received the promotion point maximum for this deal! Since I haven't bought any gift cards why am I getting this message??
I cancelled the order.
oops , I see now that this was to tef (who definitely knows the answer and may be typing as I am). I was typing in response to my email message from Insiders. Well anyway, since I was already on the forum, responding to your other question, and just in case tef is doing something else; the balance is left on the card for you to use the next time.
A couple of usage thoughts; although there are fewer and fewer examples, I always ask first if the desk knows how to use the gift card - if they don't, either get someone who does or wait until the next trip. It can be a mess otherwise. Also, the more experienced desk associates will provide you a printout with your balance, which avoids any major headaches.
I like to use the gift cards at lower point props (like Residence Inn) or after a prepaid/advance paid credit card (taking advantage of a great rate), I pay for parking with the gift card. This way I save the credit card for the 10x multiplier and use up the gift card on lower returning point plays.
The gift card is good until all the money stored in it is used. If you make a $10 purchase on a $500 gift card, $490 remains on the card. It retains any balance not used and can continue to be used until the balance is zero. If you have a $400 bill from the hotel and $15 left on one gift card and $500 on a second gift card just have them apply the $15 to use up the first card and then apply the remaining balance to the second $500 gift card. That would leave a $115 balance on the second card to use as you wish.
The gift cards never expire, you can register and track remaining balances on them in the Marriott website and you get ALL benefits as though you were using a credit card or paying cash.
Having not received the email, I just finished placing my order anyway. The 20,000 points appears in the confirmation email:
|Promotion Bonus:||20000 points|
|Order total:||2008.50 USD|
Just be sure to enter your MRI Number in the Promo Code box at check-out.
Also, the Promo points display online on the receipt page:
Glad to see it worked for you. Here's our question that we are waiting for an answer from Andy (two days and counting);
Did you purchase $2500 worth of gift cards in the January 2012 gift card promo offer (thus getting 25,000 bonus points earlier this year)?
tef and razorback were not granted bonus points and we are waiting to see if it was a glitch or if we have all already maxed out and thus not eligible for this promotion.
Thanks for your help
Yes, I did purchase the $2,500 worth of gift cards in January, 2012 and received the 25,000 points.
So, it seems they have fixed the glitch. This promo period is from 11/19 - 12/31/12 as noted in another post above.
I order a variety of denominations so... some of the Christmas gifts should be arriving in the next 2-3 days.
Question: Can you explain why getting points would be more valuable than getting the 10% bonus from Amtrak? For example a $1000 card would get you $1100 and a $1000 card purchase would get you 10,000 points. Are points more valuable? Thanks. I have learned so much and really benefited from all your posts.
Let's use a $2,000 gift card earning us 20,000 bonus points (2000 dollars x 10 bonus pts per dollar) and compare it to the $200 extra card value.
20,000 points gets me a Category 4 property for a night. Now, I of course won't use that night except on their most expensive offering (i.e. weeknight instead of a discounted weekend rate). Here in the DC area are some examples; The Bethesda Residence Inn (Category 4 - for now), where I like to stay the night before I catch the $60 roundtrip Vamoose bus to catch a play in your hometown, often runs between $230-$250 pre-tax; or The Oxon Hill Residence Inn (National Harbor), The Pentagon City Residence Inn (another Cat. 4) where I like to stay before an early flight out of National airport (which by going early usually saves me airfare) can be as much as $299 pre-tax per night, again another winner and so on and so on. For someone based in a city with high Category properties like yourself, another possible use for the 20,000 points would be at an airport property that allows you to stay over an extra night and relaxing and catching a flight the next (less expensive like a Monday instead of a Sunday) day. On the otherhand, someone with beaucoup points, probably prefers the extra dollars, so it's whatever fits the traveler's individual strategy best.
Now as I wrote somewhere further up above, there is a way to buy the AMT deal combined with an additional 4 or 5% savings by going through a rebate company - but I'm just too concerned it might create an administrative nightmare that I just don't want to deal with - look at the headache tef and razorbackfan had with our own Marriott system above and they're "Insiders" ! I'm still currently old school enough that I would prefer to make up that 4-5% rebate with more due diligence tracking down pricing breaks, but many, many folks swear by it, so I'm sure it's effective, so to each their own. Best wishes.
One of the reasons I go for points (ie. 20,000) is the flexibility. I stay a lot, so I rack up points. I'd rather get the 20,000 and use them as part of a 5 night stay. My daughter on the other hand, stays much less frequently. It takes her a long time to build up points, so she'd take the $200.
ok...so it's a pretty even value...depending how you want to use the $$$/points. I'll be using the cards mainly for extras at the resorts i.e., golf, spa, meals etc. which I charge to the room. So I get the stay points, plus the extra 10%, and charge the gift card on the Chase Marriott card. That's enough combining for me. Any more and I'd go nuts trying to track it. Thanks again for all the pointers.
Never did this before, but I just purchased a GC for myself! I took the e-gift card choice as i need it ASAP, and did not want to pay for the shipping charge. Already got it! So i guess I either have to print it and present the GC, or write down the number and provide that when I check in?