I’m starting a new series, to help people save money. I specialize in this, and I might as well speak about the less well-known ways of saving money on travel. If people read this and save some bucks, feel free to kick some my way. Previous I wrote about Uber and Lyft here and how to save on every single ride.
This post will focus on the Marriott hotel chain. I’ve saved literally hundreds of dollars at 8-10% off Marriott stays – and everything incidental on your Marriott bill – like spa service, food, resort fees, taxes, etc. etc. Anyone can take advantage of these benefits. Of course, if you book your hotel stay with points, your entire stay is covered and thus there won’t be any out of pocket cost.
Marriott – Affiliate Cash back
The best rates I’ve seen are for TopCashBack – they pay 8-10% back on completed stays, direct to your bank or Paypal account. Easy to use, great customer service. Of course, this means booking directly through Marriott as opposed to the third party sites like Tripadvisor.
Rates vary between stay duration, and at some points new vs old customers, status level, etc.
Gift Cards and Credits – Save Even More!
There will always be people who have merchandise credits or gift cards to stores who want to convert them to cash. Huge, multi-million dollar marketplaces have sprung up to handle the gift card market, making a commission on each sale or purchase. I use a combination of GiftCardGranny, GiftCardWiki, and eBay, to search for the best discounts. I don’t have a relationship with any of the three – other than as a customer!
As a consumer, I target places where I plan to spend my money, in this case Marriott, and purchase discounted gift cards from sellers, which saves me anywhere between 2 and 20 percent.
My original go-to, the Granny is an aggregator, sort of the tripadvisor of gift cards. They currently aggregate gift card sales from various sites such as Raise or CardCash, and recently entered the selling scene themselves with a points loyalty and discount system. It used to be really good, but once they started selling their own cards they push that over the discounted third party sellers – which lowers their value proposition in my eyes. Their data also seems to be less accurate or comprehensive than GiftcardWiki, which I recommend
I found this site recently and it’s been better in terms of analytics. Not as pretty, but definitely useful, to know historical discount rates, changes in quantity over time. In the picture below, Marriott is not discounted very heavily. Note that in the case of both GiftCardWiki and GiftCardGranny they don’t sell the gift cards directly, but just aggregate the sellers for easy searching. You are subject to the terms and conditions of each seller and their gift card guarantees.
This one is always an excellent resource for discounted credits. In the example below, you can see discounted Marriott certificates for stays. Sales of Marriott gift cards aren’t as common on eBay – it’s all subject to supply and demand.
Note that between GiftcardWiki and GiftcardGranny are a bit off in that they don’t compare all gift card retail sites, which is silly, but checking both will give you a good sense of what discount options are out there. In all cases, I look for digital versions of the gift cards, because you can expect them immediately – like under an hour in most cases, and definitely within 24 hours of purchase. Thus you can use them very quickly. If you purchase a few days before you need it, you’ll have it in time to make your reservation. Note you’ll have to put a credit card on file for incidentals, but you can pay with the gift card at checkout – simply provide the agents with the gift card code and pin.
If you’re concerned about legitimacy, I hear you. Should you have any issues with the codes or gift cards, then I recommend you reach out to the seller or gift card website immediately. This means the website who actually sold it to you, not GiftCardGranny or GiftCardWiki. Most selling websites have a gift card guarantee of at least 30 days, and sometimes up to a year. If the gift card doesn’t work that time they’ll give you a full refund no questions asked. I’ve done it several times with no issues.
Try it out, save some money, and let me know how it goes!
Affiliate Codes – download and enter these codes to save. Thank you for your support.
TopCashBack: Get $10 back on first purchase!
Ebates: Get $10 off first purchase!
Featured Image is of the Napa Valley Marriott pool, from hotel site. Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links which, should you click through and/or make a purchase, grant me a commission. Also, I only post in the best interest of my readers. Lastly, thank you for supporting my blog and my travels.
What do you think of my writing? Have any questions? Let me know in the comments, or reach me directly at TheHotelion@gmail.com! Like my posts? See more here, on TravelUpdate! Follow me on Facebook (The Hotelion) or on Twitter and Instagram: @TheHotelion