With their cash flow negative, hotels are getting creative about ways to put some funds in the coffers until this storm has passed.
We told you about "hotel bonds," which some properties are selling. With those, if you pay a certain amount now—say, $100—then later on, when you're ready to start traveling again, you can cash in the bond's value plus interest. That way, your investment of $100 now can be worth something like $150 when you finally take your next vacation.
Marriott is trying something similar using its gift card program.
For a week, Mariott's Bonvoy gift cards are being sold at 20% off, but their value will remain the same. That would make a $1,000 purchase worth $1,200 when you finally use it. You won't find a bank with that kind of interest accrual these days.
The gift cards are good at all of Marriott's many brands—Westin, Edition, W, Sheraton, Gaylord, Residence Inn, and on and on—except for the extreme luxury ones (Bvlgari Hotels, you have escaped us once again). You can purchase up to $5,000 worth of gift cards per credit card per day. Since gift cards are essentially like money, they can be used in combination with other sales later on, such as if a hotel is offering a discount.
You can buy the discounted gift cards on Marriott's website (but not in person). Visit gifts.marriott.com to bank the discount now. Eligible hotel brands are listed at that website.
The sale ends May 17.
Pictured: The W Hotel Leicester Square, London