(EXPIRED) $100 back on $500 at select Marriott brands

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There is a new (targeted, but widely available) Amex Offer out today good for $100 back via statement credit when you spend $500 or more at select Marriott Bonvoy luxury brands. This one is good at the higher-end brands, though you may be able to lock in the savings to use at other brands by buying a gift card at one of the included brands if you’re able to find one that sells gift cards at the front desk.

The Deal

  • Check your Amex account for a new targeted offer to get a one-time $100 statement credit when you spend $500 or more a the following Marriott Bonvoy brands:
    • The Ritz-Carlton
    • The Luxury Collection
    • St. Regis
    • W Hotels
    • JW Marriott

Key Details

  • Expires 12/31/19
  • Valid at properties in the US and US territories, Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean in the brands listed under “The Deal”. Not valid at other Marriott Bonvoy brands.
  • Terms exclude gift card purchases (though in the past such purchases made at the front desk have worked)

Quick Thoughts

As noted at the top, it may be possible to lock in your savings for other brands by purchasing a gift card at the front desk at one of the included brands. While the terms exclude gift cards, past offers have been triggered by gift card purchases provided they are purchased at the front desk. A purchase in the gift shop most likely will not work.

This presents somewhat of a challenge since many Marriott properties either do not sell gift cards at the front desk or when they do I find that most employees don’t know how to do it. I’ve even run into the occasional situation where the hotel does sell them but can’t find the physical cards to load them. It seems that gift cards are not frequently-purchased at most properties.

I therefore would not recommend making a special trip out to a hotel to try to buy a gift card. But if you’re passing by one or can call in advance to inquire as to whether or not they sell gift cards, this one may be worth chasing after since it is essentially a way to lock in a 20% savings. You can stack that further by then reserving your hotel stay through a shopping portal and using the gift card to pay at check out — potentially saving another 3-10% depending on the day/portal offers.

Note that gift cards can not be used to pay for advance purchase rates; you need to use a credit card for advance purchase rates (I think that’s true with every major hotel brand). You’ll only be able to use these for rates where you pay at the hotel — though they should easily be combinable with AAA, corporate codes, etc.

It’s also worth noting that while this particular offer is only good at properties in the US and US territories, Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean, Marriott gift cards can be used abroad in some (perhaps now many?) cases and at legacy Starwood properties (immediately post-merger, former SPG properties were not accepting Marriott gift cards). I just used two Marriott gift cards to pay my bill (for food) at the St. Regis Bora Bora the other day. While the desk agent didn’t immediately know how to do it, she took them to a manager who was able to apply them. It’s also worth noting that I often find that paying with a gift card confuses desk agents, so allow a little extra time on checkout to pay with them.

All that said, if you have a qualifying upcoming stay at one of these brands, you can of course use this offer to save a hundred bucks, and that’s awesome. It’s also worth noting that I’ve had this type of offer triggered with a Fine Hotels & Resorts booking at a Ritz-Carlton property in the past, so this should be combinable with FHR benefits. I’d bet that there are many qualifying properties listed with FHR.

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