Home Credit Cards Confirmed: Marriott E-Gift Cards Code As Travel Purchases

Confirmed: Marriott E-Gift Cards Code As Travel Purchases


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On Tuesday, I wrote about how Marriott is now selling e-Gift Cards at a 20% discount and how the hotelier had confirmed that e-Gift card purchases made using Marriott Bonvoy co-branded credit cards would be treated as any other purchase made directly with Marriott (credit card holders would earn up to 6 Bonvoy Points per dollar spent on Marriott e-Gift cards) but we were still left with one key question: Would purchases made with other credit cards that offer bonuses for travel spending also earn card holders bonus points?

As soon as I heard that Marriott had confirmed that its co-branded credit cards would earn bonus points just as if the credit card charge had been for a room booking, I wanted to know three further things:

  1. Would Chase travel cards earn bonus points for Marriott e-gift card purchases?
  2. Would Citi travel cards will earn bonus points for Marriott e-gift card purchases?
  3. Would the purchase of Marriott e-gift cards trigger the $300 Marriott statement credit that comes as a benefit of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card from American Express?

To get the answer to all three questions I made three separate $50 e-gift card purchases with three different credit cards – here are the results:

Test 1 – Chase Sapphire Reserve Card

The Chase Sapphire Reserve Card offers 3 points/dollar on all travel purchases and on dining worldwide and also offers a $300 statement credit towards all travel spending.

On Tuesday I purchased a $50 Marriott e-Gift Card with my Chase Sapphire Reserve Card (I paid just $40 courtesy of the 20% discount) and this is what I’m now seeing in my online card account:

The e-gift card purchase coded as a travel purchase…

…and, when I delve a little deeper, Chase confirms that the transaction earned me 3 points/dollar:

I’ve already used up my Chase $300 travel credit for this year so I cannot prove that this transaction would trigger that credit for anyone who still has it to use but, as the e-gift card purchase coded as a travel transaction, there’s no reason to believe that it wouldn’t trigger the statement credit.

Note: This also means is that the Chase Sapphire Preferred card should earn 2 points/dollar on Marriott e-gift card purchases.

Test 2 – Citi Premier Card

The Citi Premier Card offers 3 points/dollar on all travel purchases (for most cardholders and only for the time being) and on Tuesday I use my card to purchase a $50 Marriott e-Gift Card (I paid just $40 courtesy of the 20% discount).

This is what’s now showing in my online account:

My $40 transaction earned me 120 Citi ThankYou Points which means that the e-gift card purchase tracked as a travel transaction just as an airfare purchase or hotel booking would.

What this means is that Citi Prestige Card (the big brother to the Premier Card) should also earn its cardholders 3 points/dollar (as if the transaction was a hotel booking) and, as the gift card purchase is being treated as a travel/hotel transaction, Prestige cardholders should also see their $250 annual travel credit triggered by a Marriott e-gift card purchase (assuming they haven’t already used it up).

Test 3 – Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant Card from American Express offers 6 points/dollar on Marriott spending as well as offering a $300/year statement credit for Marriott bookings. On Tuesday I use my Bonvoy Brilliant card to purchase a $50 Marriott e-Gift Card (I paid just $40 courtesy of the 20% discount) and, two days later, this is what’s now showing in my online account:

My Marriott e-gift card purchase triggered the Marriott statement credit that the Bonvoy Brilliant card offers and so, presumably, this also confirms that the transaction is coding as a Marriott sale which will earn 6 points/dollar.

Bottom Line

This is all excellent news. Marriott clearly wanted to make its e-gift card sale as tempting as possible by allowing purchases to trigger the bonus points on Bonvoy co-branded cards, but a very nice side-effect of this decision appears to be that Marriott e-gift card purchases are coding as travel transactions with Citi and Chase so there’s scope to earn a lot of points in other currencies too.

If you plan to buy Marriott Bonvoy e-gift cards which credit card(s) do you plan to use?

For Your Consideration

The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card comes with a welcome bonus of 75,000 Bonvoy Points (after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening) and offers the highest earnings rate available for spending at Marriott properties worldwide.

Our Favorite Benefits:

  • 6 Bonvoy Points/dollar at Marriott properties worldwide
  • An annual free night certificate (worth 35,000 points) every account anniversary
  • 15 elite night credits each calendar year
  • No foreign transaction fees

Click for more details on the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card

Regarding Comments

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser or any other advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility or any other advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

7 COMMENTS

    • Seems unlikely given that Marriott has gone out of its way to tell us that gift card purchases made with co-branded cards will code as Marriott purchases. This appears to be an intentional move by Marriott/Amex/Chase.

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