Update for Maximizing Points with Marriott Gift Cards

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Yesterday I wrote about a promotion where you can get bonus Delta Skymiles for Marriott gift card purchases. While this promotion seemed decent to begin with, FrequentMiler reminded me that if you have the Chase Ink Bold credit card there is a MUCH better way to go about this. I looked into this and some other options and realized there are in fact many better ways to maximize your point earning potential if you are looking to purchase Marriott gift cards.

As you are probably aware, with your Chase Ink Bold credit card, you can get 5x Ultimate Reward points for every purchase made at an office supplies store. This includes Staples, Office Depot, Office Max, etc. This is for purchases made online or in store, with online purchases giving you even more bang for your buck since you’ll obviously use the best shopping portal to make your purchase, right?!

Through Staples online, you are able to purchase Marriott gift card in $50 and $100 denominations. And unlike the promotion I specified yesterday, there are no extra delivery or service fees (savings of $8.25). So per my example yesterday, if you purchase $5,000 worth of Marriott gift cards, this would give you 20,000 bonus Ultimate Reward points (in addition to the 5,000 bonus points you’d earn on your everyday spend anyways).

Now, the offer actually gets better. If you go through the online shopping portal TopCashBack.com you will get 5.5% cash rebate on your purchase. So this 5,000 purchase, in this example, would earn you $275 cash back. You can also go through some other portals, but my recommendation would be the cash back. Ultimate Rewards will give you 2 points per dollar spent (10,000 bonus points) , while American Express, American Airlines, and Delta will give you 3 points per dollar spent (15,000 bonus points).

To circle back to my post yesterday, to fully maximize the Delta/Marriott promotion, you’ll need to purchase $5,000 worth of gift cards in separate $1,000 increments. This will earn you 5,000 points on the credit card you use to make the purchase and 10,000 Delta miles, giving you a total of 15,000 points overall. This will also cost you $41.25 for shipping charges, a decent amount in my opinion. However, the good thing is that you can use ANY credit card for this purchase and are not limited. The other option portrayed in this current post will net you 25,000 Chase Ultimate Reward points and $275 cash back, but can ONLY be utilized if you have the Chase Ink Bold credit card. Even if you do not have the Chase Ink Bold credit card, you can still use any credit card and get the $275 back, which is much better than the 10,000 Delta points anyways.

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  1. Except to dump the $5k in marriott cards you lose about 10% from plastic jungle (after going through Topcashback.com of course) when you sell them. So unless I missed something, if you don’t need need the Marriott cards, you wouldn’t want to do this, right?

    • @Curtis – Absolutely correct. This is a way to get the maximum amount of points for an actual Marriott stay, or maybe a Marriott gift you are looking to give someone. This is not a way to exploit the system.

    • @Sergey – You will not incur any foreign transaction fees, however, sometimes the foreign exchange rate will not be in your favor when Marriott is figuring out the amount you owe in US dollars. The best are hotels that charge in US dollars to begin with, i.e., Hyatt Saigon and Hyatt Bali Nusa Dua (those are two off the top of my head that I have experience with).

  2. I recently booked a Marriott stay for around $1,650 (pre-tax). I ordered $1,500 worth of Marriott gift cards from Staples.com via the UR Mall + used my INK card. This netted me a total 15,000 UR Points (Staples.com was 5x in May) PLUS nearly 27,000 Marriott points for the actual stay. All this really made spending that much $$ a lot easier!

    • @BostonDealLover – You only go through the topcashback portal, not the UR mall. You are earning UR points by using your Chase Ink Bold credit card.

  3. Any idea how long it takes to receive Staples.com bought gift certificates? I just ordered Marriott gift cards from Staples.com for an upcoming stay, but the expected delivery date is over three weeks away! I’ve been on the phone with Staples for 18 minutes so far with no clear resolution. Any input?

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