Travel Card use questions

Old Aug 12, 15, 2:45 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 22
Question Travel Card use questions

I have several Travel Cards issued by Best Western and will use them soon for my multiple stays around European location. I have read regulations and rules about using them, but just couldn't find the right answers so that I am leaving my questions here.

I know they should be useable for all Flexible rates, but wonder if they are useable for "Saver rates, AAA rates, Fixed rates, etc." I have previously talked to some BW agents, and most of them answered that they are not useable for "non-refundable/early web special rates" since these are discounted rates already. But then, I called the hotels that I booked at, and they only said Travel Cards are useable but doe not know specific rules regarding those rates. Also wonder BW system automatically rejects Travel Card numbers as they are put in if the rates are non-refundable or whatsoever.

Hope to hear from some experts regarding using the Travel Cards. I will appreciate much as responses are given. Thanks.
disneyfriend0530 is offline  
Old Aug 12, 15, 6:51 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: California
Programs: Marriott Gold (1st choice) BW Diamond (2nd)
Posts: 295
They can be used with any rate that is not charged in full at the time of making reservations. Aaa is not a prepaid rate so yes you can use it with that. Quite frankly a travel card could be used with any rate as long as it's not a prepaid 3rd party billing such as Expedia, except the hotel would have to issue a partial refund to the card that was used to pay. This requires a manager to do it which is why to make it easier it states that only non prepaid rates are eligible. As for redeeming the travel card, it's a manual process online that has nothing to do with what rate you got. It will be redeemable as long as it's a valid # and has credit.
jm1991 is offline  
Old Aug 13, 15, 8:41 pm
  #3  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: home = LAX
Posts: 23,991
Originally Posted by disneyfriend0530 View Post
they are not useable for "non-refundable/early web special rates" since these are discounted rates already
They gave you the right answer but the wrong reason. The reason you can't use travel cards with those rates is because they're non-refundable, and thus prepaid. It has nothing to do with the discount.

Any rate that's prepaid, there's nothing more to pay at check-in, which is why you can't use a travel card toward that stay. A travel card can only be applied at check-in for charges not yet billed at check-in time.

So it all has to do with billing, and not with discounts.
sdsearch is offline  
Old Aug 30, 15, 8:43 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Programs: Hilton Diamond, Marriott Lifetime Titanium
Posts: 122
You mention you plan to redeem your BW travel cards in Europe. You might want to ensure the travel cards you intend to use were issued in the currency of the country you wish to redeem it in. I say this because a US$ travel card cannot be used in Germany since you would need a travel card there. For GB you will need travel cards and not US$ or . Good luck.
GoingGal is offline  
Old Sep 3, 15, 10:10 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: United States
Programs: UA, AA, DL, Amtrak
Posts: 4,640
Originally Posted by sdsearch View Post

Any rate that's prepaid, there's nothing more to pay at check-in, which is why you can't use a travel card toward that stay.
I would add that this is largely because Best Western does not (by choice or by incompetence) have a website that allows multiple forms of payment for the same pre-paid reservation.

Think about it: When you buy an airline ticket, it's relatively common to use a voucher for part of the payment. You simply enter the voucher number, and that amount is deducted from the price of the ticket. Then, you enter a credit card to pay for the rest. Voila!

The same is true if you buy something at a retailer's website (Target, for example). You can use a gift card to pay for part of it, then use a credit card for the rest.

Best Western has not programmed its website to have this capability. Again, it might be sheer ineptitude or it might be a deliberate attempt to fleece their customers by steering them towards higher-rate reservations.

Either way, it stinks, since when you redeem points for a Travel Card, it is not immediately disclosed that your card is not usable for all rates. You have to click over to a different page to read the terms and conditions. You'd think such a glaring shortcoming would be made more obvious. Oh, I know why: They care little about their customers.
fairviewroad is offline  
Old Sep 3, 15, 10:56 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: California
Programs: Marriott Gold (1st choice) BW Diamond (2nd)
Posts: 295
Most hotels don't allow the use of gift cards while reserving online so I don't see your point. Retailers and airlines charge for the stuff right away while hotels charge at time of check in for most reservations . Taking funds out of a gift card may cause too many problems if you decided to cancel your reservation. Some laws may apply regarding cashing git cards. Say you used a $50 and wanted to liquidate it you could make a reservation, apply gift card, cancel later and demand the 50 to be refunded to your credit card.

Although you see it as an inconvenience of applying the card at time of check in or check out, it would be a bigger headache trying to get your money back in case you need to cancel.
jm1991 is offline  
Old Sep 3, 15, 2:53 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: United States
Programs: UA, AA, DL, Amtrak
Posts: 4,640
Originally Posted by jm1991 View Post
Most hotels don't allow the use of gift cards while reserving online so I don't see your point. Retailers and airlines charge for the stuff right away while hotels charge at time of check in for most reservations . Taking funds out of a gift card may cause too many problems if you decided to cancel your reservation. Some laws may apply regarding cashing git cards. Say you used a $50 and wanted to liquidate it you could make a reservation, apply gift card, cancel later and demand the 50 to be refunded to your credit card.

Although you see it as an inconvenience of applying the card at time of check in or check out, it would be a bigger headache trying to get your money back in case you need to cancel.
I don't consider being forced to pay a higher rate in order to use a form of payment issued by the hotel to be an "inconvenience." I consider it a rip-off.

It would be quite easy, logistically-speaking, to handle a canceled reservation made using a Best Western gift card. BW would simply refund the gift card portion of the payment in the form of an electronic voucher (which is what most travel companies use here in the 21st century). Thus, no one could launder a gift card into a credit card refund as you suggest.

The technology exists and is in use by most modern companies. As I said, the fact that Best Western doesn't offer this is either due to an unwillingness to invest in the necessary e-commerce upgrades, or a deliberate attempt to milk their loyalty program customers for even more money by forcing them to pay a higher rate.
fairviewroad is offline  
Old Sep 3, 15, 9:25 pm
  #8  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: home = LAX
Posts: 23,991
Originally Posted by fairviewroad View Post
The technology exists and is in use by most modern companies. As I said, the fact that Best Western doesn't offer this is either due to an unwillingness to invest in the necessary e-commerce upgrades, or a deliberate attempt to milk their loyalty program customers for even more money by forcing them to pay a higher rate.
Hotels don't compete against airlines (or against "most modern companies"). Hotels compete against other hotels (and maybe these days against airbnb and the like ). Please show me another hotel program that does allow making multiple forms of payment (not counting "cash + points" rates, which are not available at every hotel for every date even at those programs that have them).

Besides, what other hotel program can you name that gives cash-denominated gift cards (as opposed to free night certs or points) away as part of regular promotions? I think you're noticing this at Best Western not because its payment system is so different from other hotels, but simply because you probably don't have gift cards from most other hotels the way you do from Best Western, because no other hotel program I can think structures one or two of its "main" promos a year strictly as "stay N times, get a hotel gift card valued at $XX" with no other choices of what you get for those N stays. (Choice has summer promos for partner gift cards, not their own, but in fact those promos earn points and you have to take the extra step of redeeming the points for gift cards, if that is indeed what you want to use the points for.)
sdsearch is offline  
Old Dec 8, 15, 12:01 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: United States
Programs: UA, AA, DL, Amtrak
Posts: 4,640
Originally Posted by sdsearch View Post
I think you're noticing this at Best Western not because its payment system is so different from other hotels, but simply because you probably don't have gift cards from most other hotels the way you do from Best Western, because no other hotel program I can think structures one or two of its "main" promos a year strictly as "stay N times, get a hotel gift card valued at $XX" with no other choices of what you get for those N stays.
Perhaps the reason other hotels don't do that is because they have decided that misleading their customers isn't in their best interest.

At any rate, I was able to redeem my BW Gift Card for an advance purchase rate simply by calling the hotel in question and asking if they wouldn't mind overriding their parent organization's policies. To my surprise, they said it would be no problem. Thus, I made the reservation at the cheaper advance purchase rate, and the location did not charge me until arrival, at which time I paid using a combination of the gift card and my credit card.

I consider this a positive outcome. That said, my days of collecting BW points are over.
fairviewroad is offline  
Old Dec 9, 15, 9:37 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: West
Posts: 3,333
Originally Posted by GoingGal View Post
You mention you plan to redeem your BW travel cards in Europe. You might want to ensure the travel cards you intend to use were issued in the currency of the country you wish to redeem it in. I say this because a US$ travel card cannot be used in Germany since you would need a travel card there. For GB you will need travel cards and not US$ or . Good luck.
I don't think that is right. I understand they will take any currency at the exchange prevailing that day.
1Newflyer is offline  
Old May 21, 16, 6:39 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 6,871
Originally Posted by 1Newflyer View Post
I don't think that is right. I understand they will take any currency at the exchange prevailing that day.
Has anyone tried this? I was considering a BW in Italy so I could use up travel cards issued in USD. Thanks.
rrgg is offline  
Old May 21, 16, 10:16 am
  #12  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: home = LAX
Posts: 23,991
Originally Posted by rrgg View Post
Has anyone tried this? I was considering a BW in Italy so I could use up travel cards issued in USD. Thanks.
That's answered on the Best Western site, at the travel cards Q&A page here:

http://travelcard.bestwestern.com/tr.../faq.jsp#Q1366

5. CAN I REDEEM THE TRAVEL CARD LOADED WITH A CURRENCY OTHER THAN THE LOCAL HOTEL CURRENCY?

Yes. You can redeem the Travel Card worldwide at all Best Western branded hotels. It does not matter which currency is loaded on the card. The redeemed amount is converted automatically into the local currency.

So the only issue is that you can't predict the exchange rate exactly, so you can't predict exactly how much it will reduce your stay in local currency. The more stable the exchange rate of that currency with USD, the better estimate you will be able to make.
sdsearch is offline  
Old May 21, 16, 7:33 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: YYZ
Programs: UA Plat, IHG Plat, Marriott Plat. Elite
Posts: 222
Just did this in Trondheim, Norway. Converted $25 USD into Krone and subtracted it from my rate. It was a first for their front desk staff.
jbjelloid is offline  
Old Jul 2, 16, 8:54 am
  #14  
htb
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Programs: LH M&M (was: SEN), UA*G(1K), PC Spire Amb, Marriott Gold (by virtue of UA*G), Accor Gold
Posts: 4,586
I have a followup question.

I had intended to use my Travel Card but forgot to bring it along. I do know the card number, however.

Did anyone ever try to use a Travel Card without the physical card present?

HTB.
htb is offline  
Old Jul 2, 16, 10:46 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: West
Posts: 3,333
Originally Posted by htb View Post
I have a followup question.

I had intended to use my Travel Card but forgot to bring it along. I do know the card number, however.

Did anyone ever try to use a Travel Card without the physical card present?

HTB.
I only have card numbers and no physical cards, and was told by the agent over the phone that is all that's required. Tell us how it went as I have about $500 worth of travel cards.
1Newflyer is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread