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As the novel coronavirus continues, so does its impact on the travel industry. Large-scale vacations continue to be called off, weddings postponed, and large family get-togethers have all been halted.
And while some are considering travel that is close to home, many of us have hit pause again as cases continue to spike around the country.
It’s a disappointing situation, but to help keep spirits lifted in the meantime, travel gift cards make a great future-focused present for this holiday season. They’re a symbol of something positive and happy to look forward to, plus they also help support the hospitality industry and employees affected by the pandemic. Best of all during these uncertain times, giftees can use your present whenever the time feels right, whether that’s three months from now, next year, or beyond.
If you’re someone who thinks gift cards can seem impersonal, consider recommending a great hotel you loved (or consult our many hotel reviews for inspiration) to accompany the present. After all, few things feel more desirable right now than escaping to a beachfront resort with warm ocean breezes lapping your face. Alternatively, you can pair a gift card with a new carry-on or travel accessory.
We compiled a selection of travel and hotel gift cards representing major lodging brands for use whenever the time suits. We hope it’s soon.
Here are some of the best travel gift cards available to buy online.
Hotels.com is one of the largest online travel collections of accommodations with thousands of top-rated hotels and apartment-style homes bookable around the world. Gift cards are available on Amazon in denominations from $25 to $100 and there are no expiration dates or fees. Cards are emailed to your recipient and easily redeemable online, even if you have multiple. It’s worth noting that not every single property on the site will accept them as booking payment.
Hotelgift.com features over 200,000 hotels worldwide, from budget to luxurious stays. Its portfolio includes brands like Sofitel, Hyatt, Preferred Hotels & Resorts, Marriott, and more. Hotelgift cards are valid for two years and can be given in any amount from $25 to $10,000. You can choose to have a physical gift card sent to your recipient for free that comes expertly packaged to resemble a “Do not disturb” sign and arrives in two to six business days, or you can opt for instant email delivery.
The Hilton gift card is accepted at all hotels and resorts within the Hilton Portfolio, which includes nearly 6,000 properties. Use it to book a stay, dine at an on-property restaurant, shop within the hotel, play a round of golf, book an indulgent spa treatment, or simply contribute toward a final room bill. Gift cards do not expire and there are no purchase fees. Buy them in denominations of $25, $50, $100, $250, and $500. Hilton includes brands such as Conrad, DoubleTree, Curio, and more.
Marriott makes it easy to plan a future stay or treat someone to a spa day or culinary experience. Gift card designs are customizable and available for amounts between $25 and $2,000, redeemable at over 7,000 properties worldwide. Physical cards may be mailed in attractive packaging (unavailable for cards valued over $1,000), or sent via email as eGiftCards, which are typically delivered within one to three business days after ordering. So, factor that time period in if you are planning a last-minute gift. Some of our top-reviewed US properties are Marriott hotels, such as the W Miami, the luxury Chatwal in New York City, the Guild Hotel in San Diego, and the boutique Hotel EMC2 in Chicago.
Additionally, while Marriott Bonvoy includes an impressive portfolio of hotel brands, gift cards may not be used for Design Hotels, Homes & Villas by Marriott International, Bvlgari Hotels, or the Ritz-Carlton Destination Club. Cards never expire.
Kimpton Hotels, part of IHG, offers gift cards redeemable at any participating Kimpton hotel and restaurant in amounts between $10 and $2,000. While most properties do participate, consider checking the fine print here, as a slew of locations explicitly do not. Delivery is electronic, via email or text, and you may select the date the recipient receives it. Like others, there are no expiration dates or fees. Kimpton Hotels are notoriously pet-friendly, and we’ve given top reviews to Kimpton hotels such as Kimpton Palomar San Diego, Kimpton Gray Chicago, and Kimpton Angler’s Hotel South Beach.
The Four Seasons brand is synonymous with luxury and a certificate earns entry into some of the world’s best hotels that might have otherwise been too far out of reach. Gift cards are available in any denomination ranging from $100 to $10,000, for online redemption or physical cards. Certificates are redeemable for overnight stays, dining, spa treatments, and other experiences at Four Seasons hotels and resorts worldwide.
Additionally, global e-Gift cards are available in a currency of your choosing (USD/CAD/EUR/GBP) to eliminate foreign exchange rates.
While Four Seasons hotels are typically expensive, we’ve detailed how much value you can find on-site with included perks and amenities that end up saving serious cash at top-rated properties such as the Four Seasons Resort Wailea at Maui, or the Four Seasons Resort Los Cabos at Costa Palmas.
Some people book Airbnb out of convenience, others flat out prefer it. Right now, private vacation rentals are among the most in-demand lodging as they allow for greater social distancing. Digital gift cards are available for the popular home-sharing platform for amounts between $25 and $500 on Airbnb. You can also purchase Airbnb gift cards for $50 or $100 at Target. The funds never expire and can be used now or anytime in the future.
Delivery is strictly digital and recipients are required to accept and link the coupon to their accounts within 90 days of the card being sent, so remember to remind them if they’re busy right now.
As an added bonus, private Airbnb homes have been noted as safer options than hotel stays currently by experts, and Airbnbs are often easy to reach without significant travel, such as cozy mountain homes in New York, unique music forward listings in Nashville, family-sized vacation homes in Florida, or stunning spots in Hawaii, to name a few.
We’re big fans of Loews for their high-end but approachable properties ranging from a sprawling Miami South Beach hotel to a New York high rise, and San Diego bay family-friendly resort. Those are just a few of the impressive hotels in their portfolio across the United States and Canada, all bookable by gift cards for future travel.
There are three tiers of cards, which you may choose depending on what you think your recipient will most appreciate. There are brand-wide Loews Hotels physical gift cards, which can only be issued and redeemed at Loews Hotels properties. To go digital, you’ll want to opt for the brand-wide Loews Hotels e-Gift cards, which you may book through the link above and are sent via email. Or, if you know your loved one has a specific Loews location in mind, you can make it happen with property-specific gift cards, though those too much be purchased in-person at that hotel. Gift Cards can be purchased in any denomination ranging from $25 to $2,000 and are used towards accommodations or any room charges in-stay. They do not expire.
Mr. and Mrs. Smith
Mr. and Mrs. Smith
Boutique hotel lovers are likely fans of this collective known as a travel club for hotel lovers, but for those not in the know, this online booking portal curates exceptional hotels, villas, and experiences around the world.
Joining is free and bookings usually come with fun perks like welcome wine or upgrades. The gift card is presented in a black display box and must be mailed. Standard shipping and handling is free for US and Canadian orders, and cards are typically delivered within 10 working days via FedEx Ground. Expedited shipping will incur a fee, and all gift cards are valid for bookings made within 12 months of purchase.
Choice Hotels include favorite budget-friendly brands such as Comfort Inn, Cambria, Quality Inn, Ascend, Clarion, and more, and their gift cards are accepted at thousands of locations in the US (though not every single location). Cards come in $25 denominations ranging from $25 to $300. Cards are shipped and only have expiration dates if explicitly labeled as such on the card itself.
The Best Western travel card allows you to visit over 4,000 Best Western-branded hotels in 100 countries in either USD or CAD denominations, between $25 and $1,000. Unlike some other sites, there are only three designs to choose from, and orders are mailed within one to three business days from the time it is placed. The card is considered redeemable for just hotel charges as opposed to dining or amenity services. Travel Cards issued for the face value of the card do not expire, though, those purchased as promotional or loyalty awards may contain an expiration date.
As an added bonus, right now Best Western is offering a deal. When you buy a $100 gift card, you’ll receive a $20 bonus card for free. However, do note that while the purchased gift cards never expire, the bonus cards are good through March 31, 2021.
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