April 19, 2012
I bought $1000 worth of Marriott gift cards via Daily Getaways yesterday. As you probably know, each day at 1 PM they are offering a different travel deal through May 11. Some deals are really special, some not so much. With all of the deals, you can make them better by paying with an American Express card to save an additional 10%.
The Marriott deal, when combined with an American Express card was pretty good. I was able to buy two $500 gift cards for $400.50 each. So, I can now stay at any Marriott for approximately 20% off the best available rate. Or, I can sell the cards and make a small profit.
5X Ultimate Rewards
My intention today was to earn 5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar while purchasing the Marriott gift cards at 20% off. How could I do that, you ask? Isn’t that impossible since I had to pay with an Amex card?
Here’s the story:
A few days ago I visited my local Office Depot with my shiny new Ink Bold card that gives 5 points per dollar at office supply stores. My intent was to buy a few $500 Visa gift cards as I had written about before. Well, I did buy a Visa card, but I also bought a $500 pre-paid American Express card. Aha, I thought, that is the key to maximizing Daily Getaway points and savings!
Not so fast…
I knew from experience that to use a gift card online, it has to be registered first with my home billing address. I tried to do so online, but that didn’t work. Finally I called 866-207-7970 and registered. I was ready to go!
My intent was to buy a $500 card for $400 and a $100 card for $80 all on the $500 Amex. However, these deals have been selling out in minutes, so I needed to be prepared. At 1 PM, I had two computers lined up and I frantically hit my browser’s refresh button until the “purchase” button appeared on each screen. On one computer I clicked to buy the $400 card and on the other I clicked to buy the $100 card. On both computers I was taken to the payment screen. Success!
I started with the $400 card. I filled out the credit card information accurately until I came to the expiration date. Instead of a text input field, the screen had a pick list of years that ran to 2020. My gift card’s expiration date was 2021. Noooooo!!!!!!
Just in case, I selected 2020 and filled out the form. That took me promptly to an error screen. I had to start all over. By then, the order on the second computer had timed out.
I decided to buy gift cards with a regular Amex. I clicked to buy and was shown this:
So, I tried again, and again, and again. After many attempts, I was finally able to buy a $500 card. Then, I did the whole thing again for another $500 card. Finally, the site reported that the cards were sold out so I stopped.
Another chance for 5X?
Next week, Wyndham and Hilton points will be on sale. I’d like to buy both if I can. I submitted an issue report to Daily Getaway’s customer service and asked them to include more dates (such as 2021) in the pick list. I received this very personal response:
Thank you for your inquiry.
Thank you for advising us of this, I have passed you comment along to the appropriate area so it can be corrected.
Daily Getaways Customer Service
Will they really change this? If so, will it be in time for next week’s point purchases? Let’s hope so!
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