Using Marriott Elite Gift Cheques abroad

Discussion in 'Marriott | Rewards' started by UADomer08, Sep 1, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. UADomer08
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    UADomer08 Silver Member

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    Hi Gang,

    The new Mrs. UADomer and I are headed to Thailand for our honeymoon and I wanted to grab the $1000 in gift cheques to pay for dinners, bar tabs, incidentals. My plan was to charge everything to the room then settle the bill with the gift cheques at the end of the stay. Two questions:
    1. Has anyone tried using these cheques abroad, especially in Phuket
    2. Am I allowed to room charge everything and pay at the end?
     
  2. Counsellor
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    Counsellor Gold Member

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    Be very careful here -- most of the overseas properties I have experience with will accept the Marriott Cheques, but they will convert (credit) them in local currency using their exchange rate for cash. That exchange rate can be as much as 10% worse than the interbank rate. It doesn't make logical sense since the Cheques don't have to be taken to a bank for redemption, but rather result in an electronic credit from Marriott itself, but the properties are allowed to do this and many do so.

    If you use the Marriott Rewards credit card and charge in bhat, the charge will be converted to dollars at the interbank rate, so you're saving the conversion fee (since the Chase Marriott Rewards card no longer charges the foreign currency conversion fee -- usually 3% -- charged by many of the usual credit cards) as well as earning an extra 5 Marriott Rewards points per dollar.

    In short, I'd save the Cheques for use in the States.
     
  3. UADomer08
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    UADomer08 Silver Member

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    Thank you for the heads-up Councellor. I'll email the hotels before making the commitment and purchasing the cards. I have the Marriott Signature card so, pending a favorable response from the hotels, it does seem like using it may be the better option.
     
  4. Counsellor
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    Counsellor Gold Member

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    You might want to consider applying for the Marriott Rewards Premier card . . . better benefits in my opinion than the Visa Signature (5 points per dollar spent at Marriotts rather than 3 points; 15 bonus nights credit per year rather than 10, etc.).

    Biggest benefit for the international traveler, though, is that while the Signature still charges the 3% foreign transaction fee, there is no such fee with the Premier card -- a 3% saving on all foreign transactions!

    Check this link
     
  5. UADomer08
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    UADomer08 Silver Member

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    Appologies Counsellor. I misspoke. I have the Marriott Rewards Premier and the United Sig. Love the little black marriott card.
     

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