5X Daily Getaways… Almost

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.

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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! 

Not really….

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:

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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:

Dear Customer,
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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Comments

  1. i am jealous and pissed.
    i was getting the same screen errors for 10 minutes and gave up thinking they were sold out in minutes. i sent an email to them to attempt reparations.

  2. You do realized that those Marriott cares are Travel Cards, and not Gift Cards, correct? They cannot be used on special rates (like the AAA or other Corporate rates).

    • dan: Sorry to hear about your situation. Unfortunately, I think the chance of reparations is close to nil

      jon: I hope you’re wrong about that! The terms & conditions don’t say anything about not being used for special rates:

      Marriott TravelCards may be used at participating JW Marriott®, Autograph Collection SM, Renaissance® Hotels, Marriott® Hotels & Resorts, Courtyard®, Fairfield Inn®, SpringHill Suites®, Residence Inn®, TownePlace Suites®, Marriott Vacation Club® and participating hotel retail, spa, golf or food and beverage outlets.
      Card is a prepaid card, not a credit card, and is property of and issued by MI Fulfillment Services, LLC.
      Protect card like cash. Card cannot be applied to group, special corporate/negotiated, catering, associate or other discounted/non-commissionable rates.
      Card cannot be used when reservation is booked by a travel agent or other third party.
      Card cannot be used to secure a reservation.
      Card is not redeemable for cash and change will not be returned except as required by law.
      Change is not provided by hotels, see gifts.marriott.com for process.
      Marriott Rewards points cannot be earned with the use of this card.
      Card is not replaceable if lost, stolen or destroyed. Marriott TravelCard and Marriott GiftCard terms vary.
      Card becomes inactive at the earlier of (a) the use of all value or (b) posted renewal date.
      Upon request, Marriott will replace card with a new card having an equivalent remaining value anytime after the posted renewal date. Each transaction will be debited against card balance; if transaction exceeds balance, user must pay the difference.
      To check card balance – visit gifts.marriott.com or call 800-442-6132. For balance information outside the US and Canada, use the AT&T Direct® access # for the country you are calling from with 800-442-6132.

  3. “Card cannot be applied to group, special corporate/negotiated, catering, associate or other discounted/non-commissionable rates.”

    Seems pretty clear to me FM …

  4. I use the gift cards all the time with the AAA rate. I have never had a problem using a Marriott gift card for any rate that I have received!

    • Dana: Are you referring to gift cards or travel cards? They do have different terms and conditions.

      As far as I can tell from FlyerTalk threads, most people are successful in using travel cards with special rates (despite the T&C), but some have been denied. If anyone else has personal experience with this, I’d love to hear it!

  5. I have had success selecting bogus exp dates when using AmEx gift cards online and running into the same problem as you. Though I’ve only had to do this a couple of times, it has worked for me without a problem (so long as the rest of the info was valid.) I guess it’s a YMMV type of situation.

  6. Some people say they have been able to use travel cards for AAA rates, but could you ask the hotel for the regular rate if that becomes an issue? Since AAA is usually 10% off the regular rate and you bought the card for about 20% off with an Amex, seems you’d be ahead though the card dollars might not go as far as you’d hoped. Or just use them for a room in a crazy expensive place where using the travel card at the regular rate would beat the AAA rate anyway (again assuming you used an Amex to buy the cards).

  7. I hope that it isn’t an issue; I bought one of the $250 cards (got excited and clicked too fast, before I realized that I should have selected 2 for the quantity), with the intent to use it for the government rate. Guess I will have to see if it works…

  8. @Grant – Don’t bet on Cardpool buying these Travel Cards. As a Cardpool customer, I wouldn’t be happy if I was expecting to receive a Gift Card, and instead received a Travel Card.

    @Scott – Good luck. Only way to know is to try using it, I suppose, and keep your fingers crossed that the front desk agent is unaware or careless about the Travel Card terms. You’ll probably be OK, but there’s no guarantee.

    • Tao: Yes, I bought the Amex with a credit card: specifically the Ink Bold at Office depot so I got 5 points per dollar!

      Elizabeth: You’re welcome!

      James: Great story.

      monkey99: Great to know!

      Marsha: As long as you register it first it should work. Unfortunately I can’t yet prove that it will work

  9. I was going to try the exact same thing for some of the offers next week, but now it sounds like I am better off using a regular Amex card. Thanks for being the guinea pig! :)

  10. I had a window time out on the second browser during last year’s Wyndham feeding frenzy – I also screamed NOOOOOO! and woke up the family (last year it was 7 am purchase time on the West Coast)

  11. I sold last year in sep last year’s discover america’s marriott travel card without any issues to cardpool. Few I sold on ebay. On cardpool I sold 3×250 without any issues.

  12. There is a deal next week that I am interested in but I do not have an Amex card. If I make sure my gift card has a closer expiration date, can I use it and still get the 10% discount? Thanks for the help!

  13. That’s awesome, can you reload it with the Ink Bold? As I understand, the prepaid Amex card is a debit card as opposed to a gift card, right?

  14. The Daily Getaways web site has CC expiration dates through 2025 for the offers currently available today. It looks like your issue report helped.

    Maybe the 5x Daily Getaways will be an option next week…

  15. What is the email address of who you contacted? Their site is so screwed up and when I asked for help after getting complete hosed on the Wyndham deal they sent me the most ridiculous reply ever.

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