11 Replies Latest reply: Feb 7, 2013 6:34 PM by chrisf Branched from an earlier discussion. RSS

Does anyone have experience of whether gift cards are easier to use abroad than in the past?

profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
Currently Being Moderated

Does anyone have experience of whether gift cards are easier to use abroad than in the past?  I had a terrible experience using them in Canada, the only time I've used one.  They tried to charge me the hotel's exchange rate instead of the real currency rates, and it took over a half hour at the front desk to sort things out. I'd love to buy these cards, but I want to make sure that I don't get really dinged on currency exchanges.

(For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Does anyone have experience of whether gift cards are easier to use abroad than in the past?
    pluto77 Alumni Steward Gold 25 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Prof,

    I planned on using my gift card this past June (2012) in Paris.  The currency exchange rate at the time was $1.25/€1, but the posted exchange rate at the hotel front desk was $1.55/€1.  I asked if that was the exchange rate I would receive if I used my gift card, and she told me yes.  This did make sense to me as the gift card is loaded with USD's, not euros.  I did get the impression that they were fully competent in processing gift card payments, but I chose not to use it because of the terrible exchange rate.  I don't know if that has changed in the past 6 months.  I would imagine not.

    P.S.  This was at an actual Marriott property, not a AC or autograph collection property.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Does anyone have experience of whether gift cards are easier to use abroad than in the past?
      profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      Thanks, Pluto -- I will only buy enough for my early January New Orleans stay, which is the only US trip I have planned in 2013.  $.30 per dollar is one hefty extra cost!

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

      • Re: Does anyone have experience of whether gift cards are easier to use abroad than in the past?
        pluto77 Alumni Steward Gold 25 Reviews
        Currently Being Moderated

        Prof,

        Yes it is, and I did not know this when I purchased my gift card (with the intent to use in Europe).  I really couldn't afford the gift card purchase plus then having to put my stay on the credit card (I refused to use the gift card on principle!).  Live and learn.  And help someone else to not make the same mistake!

        (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Does anyone have experience of whether gift cards are easier to use abroad than in the past?
      rmiii Platinum
      Currently Being Moderated

      pluto77

       

      That is not the way gift cards are currently handled internationally. Since the gift cards are now processed through the GIVEX system you receive the bank rate of exchange with no currency conversion charge. The only proviso is that the hotel is set up in the system, is a participating property (whatever that is) and knows how to complete the transaction (YMMV). Hotels are set up in the system in usually whatever currency the hotel uses (there are exceptions where rates are quoted in dollars or euros). When the system works it is really a great improvement and provides a fair rate of exchange.

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

      • Re: Does anyone have experience of whether gift cards are easier to use abroad than in the past?
        pluto77 Alumni Steward Gold 25 Reviews
        Currently Being Moderated

        rmiii,

        My experience was June 2012 at an MVCI in France.

         

        That's a lot of proviso's.  Perhaps in the future when considering using a Marriott gift card overseas, I'll email the hotel in advance and ask them if all of the proviso's you've mentioned can be met.  It sounds like it'd be great if it could be counted to work as you described.

         

        Thanks for the information.

        (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Does anyone have experience of whether gift cards are easier to use abroad than in the past?
    chrisf Alumni Steward Platinum 20 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hey Prof, I should do well using them abroad ... i.e. in the USA. 

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

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