Marriott Just Randomly Emailed Gift Cards to Elites. Here's How to Check if You Got One Too
Things haven't gone smoothly for Marriott travelers since Marriott merged with Starwood Preferred Guest and relaunched its loyalty program as Marriott Bonvoy.
As a Platinum Elite with 35 elite nights so far in 2019, I've had plenty of frustrations with Marriott -- from two-night stays at a 35,000-point property pricing at 140,000 points to conducting an audit that revealed Marriott owed me 183,980 points.
Now, with issues continuing more than nine months into the new program, Marriott seems to be trying to earn back some goodwill with its elites. On Wednesday morning, Marriott sent out an email with a "gift from Marriott Bonvoy." The email thanks you for being an elite member and follows up that thanks with a $50 Marriott GiftCard. Here's the text that I received:
On behalf of the Marriott Bonvoy™ team, I’d like to take a moment to thank you for being a Marriott Bonvoy Elite member. Your loyalty means the world to us.
We are delighted to give you a small gift. Below is a $50 USD Marriott® GiftCard that may be used at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels and at participating hotel outlets for retail, spa, golf, and food and beverage.
Print this page for your records and present this email at the hotel to redeem the Marriott® GiftCard.
We are truly grateful that you choose to travel with us. It’s our privilege to host you.
Multiple TPG readers have posted in the TPG Lounge and emailed in to say that they've received similar gifts. If you want to check your inbox to see if you also received one, the email subject is fittingly "Your Gift from Marriott Bonvoy."
Interestingly, Marriott didn't require that marketing emails to be turned on for members to have received this gift -- although it's generally a good idea to do so. Marriott considers this email to be a "transactional email regarding your Marriott Bonvoy program membership."
Now, I just hope that Marriott properties are ready for travelers looking to redeem these gift cards. I received a number of physical Marriott gift cards as gifts this past Christmas, and it's been a huge pain to try to redeem them. Knowing better than to try to redeem them at overseas properties, it'd often be at least a 10-minute process when I tried to redeem them at US properties. I'm really hoping that Marriott has already sent out an explainer to properties on how to redeem gift cards before sending out these electronic gift cards.
Note that the following Marriott brands do not accept Marriott GiftCards: Bvlgari, Design Hotels, Protea Hotels by Marriott, Marriott Executive Apartments, The Ritz-Carlton Destination Club, The Ritz-Carlton Partner hotels. Here's the full Frequently Asked Questions about the Marriott GiftCard.
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