Mystery solved!
First, I noticed a complete lack of Marriott gift cards on some of my go-to discount gift card purchase websites, such as Raise.

Then, discussions over the last few months on FlyerTalk and among bloggers confirmed a lack of Marriott cards and failed purchases when found at retail locations.

Next, I found a couple $50 gift cards at Staples. Score!? I could easily use them during my upcoming stay at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, especially since I can charge many expenses to our room (like the Fried Chicken “Blue Ribbon Style” with Shichimi Pepper & Wasabi Honey from Blue Ribbon that my wife and I love to splurge on!). However, the Staples register had no luck in being able to activate the cards. The manager stepped in and tried. Nothing.

Finally, I found an entire rack of about ~20 $100 gift cards today at Lowe’s. Okay… this has got to work, right?  Wrong. The UPC came up “not found” as if the store didn’t sell them.

marriott gift cards

Just cut it out…
they aren’t able to be rung up at retail stores!

All (large, red?) arrows were pointing to only one suspected answer… and Marriott’s twitter account had the confirmation:

Again, twitter provides the FASTEST consumer service help around!

Again, twitter provides the FASTEST consumer service help around!

So, for now it looks like your Marriott gift card options may be limited to:

  1. Buy from Marriott at retail*.
  2. Seek out personal sellers on auction websites such as ebay.
  3. Wait for Marriott to run a promo! Past promotions have been a 10% bonus from Marriott added on to gift card amounts, and another was 1,200 Southwest Points per $100 purchased (~15% discount, dependent on how you value SWA points).
  4. Beat the retail price by using various credit card or rebate portals to Marriott.
  5. Charge the purchase to a bonus points “travel” credit card, such as Chase Sapphire Preferred, Ink Bold, or Ink Plus which each earn x2 points on travel expenses.
  6. Likely best case scenario: combine 3+4+5 to triple dip your purchase!

Now… we wait.

marriott gift cards

Marriott has reeled in its gift cards sales to in-house only.

*Marriott gift cards and Ritz Carlton gift cards may be used at participating JW Marriott®, EDITION℠, Autograph Collection® Hotels, Renaissance® Hotels, AC Hotels by Marriott℠, Marriott Hotels & Resorts®, Gaylord Hotels®, Courtyard® by Marriott, Fairfield Inn & Suites® by Marriott, SpringHill Suites® by Marriott, Residence Inn® by Marriott, TownePlace Suites® by Marriott and Marriott Vacation Club℠ and participating hotel outlets: retail, spa, golf and food and beverage.



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Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.