So I cashed is 135,000 point to get Fifty $20 Marriott gift Checks. Let me tell you about my first experience using them...
First I found out that you can't use them if you have booked a AAA rate of a Marriott Rewards rate. You can only use them on "pubically available rates" . OK great. I booked my 2 nights at a Fairlfield Inn for $84/nt instead of $79/night. No big deal.
Apparently you don't earn Points on your purchase either....
For $84/night I should have earned the following:
$84 X 2 = $168 x 10 pts/dollar = 1680 X 1.5 platinum bonus = 2520 + 200 platinum arrival gift = 2720 points.
Instead I got the following:
$168 - $50 = $18 x 10 pts/dollar = $180 X 1.5 platinum bonus = 270 + 200 platinum arrival bonus = 470 points
So, due to the restrictions on their use, I paid $10 total more for the room and got 2200 less points.
By making the reward so restrictive, they have made it much less of a good deal.
I wanted to make people aware of this in case this figures into your decision to get this "reward"
with so many electronic choices for payment by CC or points, wonder why they even both with gift checks at all. I buy Marriott Gift cards to give to family as gifts. You don't get points for buying this either even though you are spending money on Marriott purchase. That being said - If you use Marriott Gift cards you have - Do you get your points when you check in on the stay since you don't get them on the purchase? Just wondering.
According to the T&C, they can only be used for a publicly available rate, However, many people on Flyertalk have been able to use them for a AAA rate. I'm not sure why you didn't receive the full points for your stay. It is my understanding that points should be awarded as if you were paying cash, I hope the community manager can provide more information regarding this matter.
That's right superchief1, cheques cannot be redeemed with the AAA or senior discounted rates, although Marriott Rewards points can be earned. Here are the full terms if anyone is interested. http://www.marriott.com/File%20Blocks/US/Individual%20Incentives/Terms/MarriottCheques.html
Thank you for the reply community manager. I appreciate you posting the terms and conditions that are listed on the back of the cheques themselves.
Unfortunately, the wording on these is a little more clear than the wording on the terms and condtions that are posted on the website before you use the 135,000 points.... https://www.marriott.com/rewards/moreRewardDetail.mi?marrRewardCode=E195&points=135,000
The wording that is given before the cashing in the 135,000 points says: "Marriott Cheques may be used for all publicly listed and available room rates and packages, but cannot be used for convention, travel industry, tour, advance purchase, catering, or group room rates."
The wording on the certificates says: "This Cheque Award is not valid toward any rate that requires ID or membership. Excludes advance purchase, catering, group, and associate rate and other contract rates."
The AAA Rates and the Marriott Rewards Rates are very publically listed (like as public as it get on the internet) so if you read the terms before cashing in, you would assumet hat were OK. But if you read the terms on the cheques you get, then it is pretty clear that those rates won't work.
As I said in a previous post, I don;t care what the rules are for a program as Marriott can do whatver they choose, I just feel things should be listed better. Having different terms and conditions before and after using points seems a little like a bait and switch.
Note: I am fine with the certificates as-is. I will find a way to use them to my benefit within the terms and conditions listed. I do feel like the Marriott points are a gift and I am happy to have them and enjoy using them. I also really like Marriott properties and have not had a bad stay.
Please try to have the website changed to be consistent. Thank you again.
Try renting it yourself in the local paper where resort is or as someone told me in USAtoday or WSJ. Business travelers are always looking there for villas, weekly rentals etc. There are a few reputable companies that you can work with for rentals. My take on timeshare rentals is the sales offices will rent their inventory before they rent yours for you. Not sure how Marriott does their rental division but I put my 3 units up for rent myself at the ski resort I have and the beach resort in Aruba I have. Here is the Bing search for that service and they offer both - Sales and rentals. Unitl you sell it - - You should be making money on rental to pay maintenance fees while you try to sell it. Make sure to rent for going rate - not just the maintenance fee rate.
Before using the gift cheques, I called customer service and 3 of the 4 people I talked to said it couldn;t be used on a AAA rate. One person told me it was up to the hotel.
Since my poste yesterday...
The hotel had sent me an e-mail about my stay so I replied and told them that the hotel was nice, people were friendly, etc... and asked about the points. They called customer service and were submitting what ever they had to so that the correct amount of points will be applied.
I had also e-mailed customer service to ask about the points. They got back to me today. I sent over my receipt and they got back to me right away to state that the points would be updated in 24 to 48 hours.
I am happy with Marriott overall. I do feel like I get a lot of "free" stuff between points, upgrades, and promotiional nights. My only complaint would be the lack of consistency in how different hotels handle things like upgrades, use of certificates, use of gift cards, breakfasts on weekends, and other little things. I am the kind of person who doesn't care what the rules are for any program as long as they are applied equally and I know how they will be applied.
In my experience the front desk clerk (or whoever is inputting the points from the hotel) are not all that well-versed in applying
and calculating points. Used to be your end of hotel stay statement prints the earned points (now they don't show)---perhaps due to
I usually just call Marriott Rewards to correct point discepancies and they are always prompt in reversing points that are incorrectly posted.
I have some brand new Cheques that I got a couple of weeks ago. If the 'older' cheques said they could be used for 'any publicly available rate' the new cheques do not have that language.
The new cheques say 'This Cheque award is not vallid toward any rate that requires ID or membership. Excludes advance purchase, catering, group, associate rate and other contract rates'.
Does anyone have the language fron an older cheque?
Most likely this "membership" language is why the AAA rate would not allow for cheques to be used. I wonder what that would mean for using them on a Senior rate?
As someone said earlier, it would be nice if the Community Manager could get some clarity to this since customer service seems to be waffling on a correct answer. Is everything "up to the individual hotel" as to whether they accept something or not? I hope not.
Does the government actually issue a Medicare Card? (Don't laugh at me, I'm not old enough to have one and I'm asking cause I don't know).
To answer your question, I suppose one day it's a 'void' and another day it's OK.......seems the rules change a lot around these parts.......
Unfortunately, I'll bet the Senior Rate is probably excluded also, since an ID could be required for Age. It sounds like it has to be the rate that someone just walking in off the street, without any affliations, or at any age, could get. Kind of takes away the advantage of using the cheques, for most people, it would seem.
LOL - I never heard "seasoned citizen" before. I agree with you about the age 62, and other discounts we might normally get through any valid Marriott discount rate. There is no advantage to using checks, at least for a good portion of us, if we have to go and pay a higher rate than we normally do, just to use this "benefit"!
Complaint about these gift checks.. if you dont spend exactly in increments of $50 then you lose the change. Marriott should be able to issue you a gift card with the "change". I recently spent $122 on food and drinks at the Carlton in NYC and they accepted the checks upon checkout (although it took 2 employees and a manager to figure them out). I know the check states no change will be given but cmon, this is really a pain.
So now if I want 1 drink at my hotel and want to use a gift card, i lose out on all the change when it is less than $50.
Marriott cmon - please change this policy. How hard is it to issue the "change" in the form of a gift card or other credit? Or even convert to points.
I have already requalified for platinum this year so I think they need to do something to keep people loyal because I might as well just switch to SPG when they pull this not-customer friendly shenanigans.
What is strategy for restricting these Gift Cheques? What does it matter what rate is used? How does this cause undue harm to any stakeholder in the transaction? It would seem that if a customer came up to the desk to settle their bill and presented the Gift Checks, to turn them down or say, no good, would embarrass and alienate that customer. I think this policy should be changed.
NathalieF Andy, Do you think you could get some feedback for us on this? Thanks!
Sure, are you looking to confirm a AAA or equivalent rate would not apply? Have you considered GiftCards as another option? I realize it's not exactly what you're after but they're certainly more widely accepted and you keep the balance on your card for smaller transactions.
I would say this.....in these uncertain times and suffering profits due to multiple factors....the (as I have said many, many times and it has happened with the time share division) accountants have taken over to maximize revenue and minimize availability for deals of any type whenever and wherever possible. The language on these 'cheques' is designed to as closely approximate full rate pricing as they can. End result.....more checks used to pay for the room and less value for points based on the price paid. Mission accomplished by the accountants! Of course, just my opinion.
Customer Service got back to me today and corrected the points for this stay. I got all of the points I should have recived.
When I got thee certificates and call customer service, the 4th person I talked to was in the deparmtnet that issued the certificates. She said " Though the certificates may be worth $50 to you, they are worth less than that to the hotel. The hotel takes a hit of 15% on these. that is why you can;t use them on anything that reuires an ID becauee the hotel would lose out twice".
Oh well, at least the points got corrected.
That is a short sighted view . The Gift Check is a marketing tool designed to draw business. That hotel should welcome the chance to show their wares to this customer. If you treat them right, make them feel good....they may come back and back. 15% of $50 is $7.50. Most businesses would see $7.50 as a great investment to get the chance to create a repeat customer.
Yeah. I don't see why the usage or non-usage of the GC's would hit the hotel a 2nd time. In what way? We never have to show ID to use them and they can be transferred to anyone. That means they aren't protected from loss, either, of course.
But I'm glad to use them just for the multiple of $50 that will go into the transaction and pay the difference. I did let the hotel keep 69 cents in change at Hilton Head, after some consternation from penny pincher here.
I don't see that the corporate would be losing anything at all. Maybe the franchises would have a complaint, but from what I've been reading here, they actually are less penny-pinching. They wouldn't be concerned with stock holders, either.
But I was able to use the certificate for a senior rate at ck.-out, even though it would seem to be excluded according to the "rules", which aren't even disclosed at time of purchase. Just ask if they could be taken for the bill when checking out, or verify when checking in.
Sometimes, corporations are deservedly making themselves out to be con-artists, scoundrels, etc. None of the adjectives are designed for public relations, but only for short-term profits to induce stock holders.
Same thing goes for customer services that are originating from 3rd world countries that cost lower wages. I don't think Marriott has gone to that yet.
I did not realize there were so many restrictions on these checks.
If the reimbursement policy you describe is true then I sort of understand what is going on here with all of the restrictions. But I still think it is a bad idea to market these gift checks if you are not going to make them easy to use. I don't think I want to mess with having to worry about which stays and which properties for which I will be able to use them. Just sounds like a pain to use them - especially if they have an expiration date!
mrbei Apr 27, 2012 9:09 AM
I haven't had any problem in using them with senior rates or whatever. Any time I ask whether or not I can use them in paying, they've always been accepted.
The advantage I've found in using them is that it's a specific monetary value that one can pinpoint just like the $1000 cruise value for 145,000, which I always used to judge whether or not the point usage for a room was a good buy or not. (14,500 points for $100 room rate)
Using the points for the room was using up my (Larry's) points, though, even if it was a good buy. Buying the $1000 for 135,000 points is even better than the cruise, marginally, and the points can be added back a bit and if the nights are needed to make a reward level, they are being counted as opposed to not counting by point usage.
I have $350 in certificates left, and it's just been 4 months since "buying" them. And the really nice thing is that you can take advantage of good rates offered at higher grade hotel rather than having to watch your points at class 2 or B, whatever.
I would recommend it if you use points for stays, but each stay has to be figured out and weighed on it's own.
I don't know of any Fairfield Inns that are higher than a category 4. Some are less. So then one can stay at a cat 4 hotel for only 20K points or less/night. It seems like that would be the way to go, rather than cashing in 135K points for $100 in gift checks. Surely I'm missing something here.
Most FF I've stayed at are category 2 and cost 10,000 pts. Why would anyone use a gift check that they had gotten for either 13, 500 / $100 or 19,000 pts. for $100 (ostensibly the usual rate if anyone ever does really buy them for that) and get only 5 pts. per dollar spent plus the bonus?
Most other Marriott affiliates are cat. 2 or 3 with the 5 pt. per $1 spent, but I have stayed at a CY outside of Birmingham, AL on our way back from Branson, MO when we just couldn't make it another 100 miles and used 20,000 since it was cat. 4, unbelievably. :-) Nice, but huge and not too many entrances if there was a fire and also meaning you had to walk a long ways from the parking lot to a room that's on the inner loop of the halls, and rooms not that extraordinary.
You just have to weigh the room rates vs. value of pts., return rate of pts. and other things.
When we stayed at the Marriott in Cola., SC recently, a Thurs. nite stay was $169 / nite, but add a Friday nite to it, and the rate went to 1/2 that per nite, which made it perfect for us to ck. out and go on to Myrtle Beach for a week anyway.
I made a mistake in posting the previous message. I guess I'm so used to getting 5 pts. per $1 spent at RI that I was thinking only the full service ones got 10 pts. per $1 spent. Regardless of the reason, as pointed out to me elsewhere, only RI and TPS get on 5 pts. per $1.
I believe you can use these for dinner at restaurants on Marriot properties even though you are not stating there, but must use them in the $20 increments since no change is given for unused portions!!! Also, I think you lose the opportunity to earn points on those expenditures!!!
The user does not have to be registered at the hotel to use it, so it can be used for spa or meals even when not staying. "It may not be taken at all concessions." (Don't know what that rule refers to.)
It's used the same as cash, so it can apply to tax, but I'm not sure it would apply to tips since that would probably be considered change back.
I would think that if you could apply the items towards your points in any way, they could be here since it is like cash. I have had a waitress refuse to put my meals towards my points, however, when I wasn't staying at the hotel. That was at the Marriott in downtown Raleigh, NC.
The Renaissance in north Raleigh, NC in the big mall had the most delicious meals according to my husband and son. I was downtown and didn't get to try it.
"It may not be taken at all concessions" means that some services are supplied by outside vendors not Marriott so they may or may not honor the gift card. This is most common for parking where the parking garage may be owned and run by someone other than Marriott even though hotel guest are given the hotel rate for parking and allowed to pay via their room account. Same reason I've been told why the hotel can't always give free parking to Plat (to which the desk clerk apologized profusely and offered extra restaurant vouchers)