Middle Age Miles

Marriott Gift Cards Purchased at Hotel Trigger Amex Offer (Experiment & Data Point)

Executive Summary

Marriott gift cards (GCs) purchased on-site at the front desk of a Marriott hotel will work to trigger the current Amex Offer for Marriott.  If you’re going to utilize this on the currently-active Amex Offer for Marriott hotels ($60 statement credit for $300+ spend), you need to do so right away, as this Offer expires tomorrow (10/25/2018).

Details & Analysis

A few weeks ago, we saw an Amex Offer for a $60 statement credit when you spend $300 or more at any Marriott-family hotel in the United States. [The Offer excludes former Starwood properties and all Ritz-Carlton Hotels.]

We wrote about this Offer (and other Amex Offers for hotels) last month in Save Money on Hotels! Catching Up on 11 Current Amex Offers.  You can see the details of the Offer and our analysis in that article (see item #4 in our list of 11 Offers).  One unusual and valuable feature of this Offer was that it could be added to multiple Amex cards held by a single person (unlike most Amex Offers that are now limited to one card per person), by going to http://americanexpress.com/marriottoffer.  I added the Offer to several of my Amex cards,including my SPG Business card.

The express terms of the Offer say that GC purchases are not eligible for the credit.  However, based on success in the past, we made an educated guess that purchasing a physical gift card at the front desk of an eligible Marriott hotel would trigger the Offer.

Yesterday, I went to a local Marriott hotel to perform an experiment to test whether an on-site purchase of a physical GC would trigger the Amex Offer. I purchased a $300 Marriott GC with an Amex Blue Business Plus card on which I’m an authorized user, and then another $300 Marriott GC with my SPG Business card.

Happily for me, both purchases triggered an immediate email from Amex with the subject line, “Great news! You just used your Amex Offer.”  In previous experience, receipt of this email is a telltale sign that a purchase will qualify for the Offer and that you’ll receive the statement credit associated with the Offer within a few days (or Membership Rewards (MR) points, if it’s an MR-earning Offer).

We believe this is reasonable confirmation that (a) purchase of a physical Marriott GC at the front desk of an eligible Marriott hotel triggers the Amex Offer; and (b) this Amex Offer can indeed be used multiple times by the same person, if you’ve saved the Offer to multiple cards using the link we provided.

I have not yet received the actual statement credit, but I wanted to post this data point quickly.  The Marriott Amex Offer ends tomorrow (10/25/2018), so if you’re going to take advantage of this, you need to do so right away!

One other note to add here – In the past, we’ve sometimes run into an issue in buying physical GCs at a Marriott hotel front desk in that the property didn’t have any physical GCs in stock. Given that, we’ve begun hanging onto the physical GCs even after we’ve used all of the credit. And in the past, we’ve had success in giving the hotel a “used” GC and having them re-load it with additional dollars. That did not work yesterday. The hotel front desk said that it could no longer re-load existing physical GCs, and that they would need to issue us new cards. Fortunately, they had plenty in stock, so we didn’t run into any problems this time. Just be aware that this may be an issue with future purchases of physical Marriott GCs at a hotel front desk.

Do you have additional confirming (or contrary) data points? Have you tried this at Marriott-family hotels other than a hotel that’s specifically branded as a Marriott? Please share with us and fellow Middle Age Miles readers in the Comments!


We hope that this trick will help you save money on your next Marriott hotel stay! At Middle Age Miles, we’ll continue to perform experiments and provide you with data points like this, to help you get the most value for your travel dollar. To see all of our tips and tricks on how to save money on your hotel stays, please Like and Follow us on social media at:

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