Reader Question: Are Hotel Vouchers Worth It Or Are The Applicable Rates A Scam To Erode Value?

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With many hotels now selling prepaid vouchers that come with additional value amounts we’ve gotten many questions from reader who are unsure if purchasing such vouchers is actually worth it.

Most hotels require those customers who want to use a voucher to book specific rates that are often way higher than the best available rates, absorbing most of the bonuses that come with the original offer.

It’s very easy to be enticed by an offer that gives you a seemingly large bonus of 30, 40, 50 or more percent but it’s extremely important to pay attention to the fine print in order to not be caught up by nasty surprises later on.

Take the example of the Grand Hyatt Bangkok in the case pictured above where the hotel is selling Megatix vouchers with 30% discount (1000 Baht value for 700 Baht total).

Sounds great right? Well it does until you read the fine print:

Terms and Conditions

  • The certificate worths the value of THB 1,000
  • The certificate is valid until 30 June 2021
  • 24 hours advanced booking is required and subject to availability
  • For accommodation, the certificate will be redeemed for Grand Voucher with special offer code GV001 or book by using this link https://www.hyatt.com/en-US/hotel/thailand/grand-hyatt-erawan-bangkok/bangh?offercode=GV001
  • The certificate cannot be used for Erawan Bakery, Room Service, alcohol beverages, and corkage charge
  • Black-out dates are applied for all restaurants on 9, 26 November, 5, 24-25, 31 December 2020, 1 January and 12, 14 February 2021
  • The certificate is not applicable for gala dinner, events, weddings, groups, retail products or 3rd party services
  • The certificate cannot be used with other promotions and discounts and validity date cannot be changed
  • This certificate is not eligible for World of Hyatt points

Unfortunately as I immediately suspected “Special Offer Code GV001” isn’t really an attractive deal:

Instead of the Members Rate of 3,120 Baht the Grand Voucher triggers a 4,000 Baht rate that (at least according to the T&C) isn’t even eligible for World of Hyatt points or associated stay credit.

Including that tax and service charge that needs to be considered the rate using this voucher code is inflated by way more than the 30% the Megatix voucher offers. And you won’t get any points either so this voucher is essentially a mini-scam because nobody would book a full rate if a much lower one is available.

Contrary to this example Marriott has some very good offers on Megatix with a whopping 70% discount and while there is also a small discrepancy between applicable and prepaid rates it’s in no way as much as to negate the entire discount. I was even able to apply the Megatix to several package rates with Marriott in Thailand without any loss of value.

Conclusion

It’s always imperative to have a detailed look at the terms and conditions of these vouchers, especially the expiration date of the voucher itself as well as the rates that are applicable to use them for.

For me the savings must be substantial before I start thinking about buying a voucher instead of using the respective affiliated credit card at the hotel. Below 40% I’m not even considering something like this as flexibility is always paramount and if you give up this flexibility then there better be a good payoff.

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