You know that jar of loose change you’ve been collecting for a rainy day? (Or a much-needed getaway?) Now you can take those coins to a Coinstar Kiosk to exchange them for a voucher to use at any Marriott worldwide — for no additional coin-counting fee. For example, if you have $37.61 in pennies and nickels, the Marriott-partnered Coinstar Kiosk (found in hundreds of grocery stores and other retail locations nationwide), will exchange them for a Marriott eTravelCard worth exactly $37.61. Use the eTravelCard for Marriott accommodations, meals, spa treatments or a round of golf on your next vacation. The voucher never expires. It’s that easy!
Frankly, I’d never used the Coinstar Kiosk at my local supermarket before, so I was pleased when Coinstar approached me to give it a try — providing me with $25 in quarters to trade in for a Marriott eTravelCard. In fact, it’s so straightforward, my 12-year-old daughter was able to use the touch screen, tell it we wanted a no-fee Marriott voucher (vs. a fee for “coins for cash”), and pour the coins in the hopper. Literally, within a couple minutes from beginning to end, we had our $25 Marriott eTravelCard (actually a paper receipt) in hand.
Next up: a family getaway where we could actually use the Marriott eTravelCard we earned! Last weekend we decided to spend a couple nights in Fort Collins, Colorado, a university town about five hours from my mountain home. Since we were booked at the Fort Collins Marriott, it was a perfect opportunity to use our credit.
Typically we avoid eating breakfast at hotel restaurants; when we’re road tripping, we prefer to either a) bring our own bagels and cream cheese (oh, yes, we’re that thrifty) or b) seek out a neighborhood eatery to get a (literal) taste of the local flavor. For this trip, we indulged in a family breakfast at the hotel’s Copper Creek Restaurant, which was, by the way, surprisingly affordable. The child’s price for the well-stocked buffet was only $4.95 — such a deal! We fueled our busy day of sightseeing and hiking with Eggs Benedict, waffles, biscuits & gravy and loads of fresh fruit. Yum!
We simply charged our meal to our room, and when we checked out the next day, we gave our Marriott eTravelCard to the front desk clerk to apply to the room charge. Again, it was hassle-free and easy.
Marriott isn’t the only “no fee” gift card or eCertificate option. Actually, at several hundred of the Coinstar locations nationwide, you can also trade in coins for credit at retailers such as Gap, iTunes, Sears and Starbucks. (To find a Coinstar location that is equipped with the ability to give you Marriott eTravelCard or other store/retail certificates, make an online search first.)
It’s only when you want straight cash back from Coinstar that you’re charged a fee, and it is a bit hefty for my tastes: 9.8 cents per dollar in the United States. Who wants to give up money like that — nearly 10 percent of your total change?
That’s why I’m a fan of the “free coin counting” option — and especially pleased that I can trade in change for vouchers I can easily spend at a Marriott, a hotel brand I’ve enjoyed for years, and likely will for years to come.
Coinstar and Marriott would like one of our readers here at The Vacation Gals to enjoy the benefits of using a Marriott eTravelCard, too! All you need to do to win a $100 credit for use at hundreds of Marriott brand locations worldwide is answer the following question: Where and how would you spend your $100 Marriott eTravelCard?
Just leave a comment below with your answer to be entered into the $100 giveaway. You may comment daily.
For an additional daily entry Tweet the following: “I entered to win a $100 Marriott eTravelCard from @thevacationgals: bit.ly/coinstarmarriott” Then tell me you tweeted in the comments below.
The nitty gritty:
- Immediate family members of The Vacation Gals are ineligible for this gift card giveaway.
- You must have a United States mailing address (I am sending you the voucher), though it can be used at Marriott hotels around the world.
- This giveaway ends Tuesday, October 30 at 6 pm PST.
- The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.
- We will enter the total number of comments into random.org to generate a winning comment number. Winner will be notified and announced on this post after confirming the winner entered properly.
- If winner does not respond to two emails announcing his/her win within five days, another comment number will be chosen.
- Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary.
Coinstar and Marriott have paid me to blog about their products/services. All opinions are my own.
11/1 UPDATE: Our winner is Amanda, who was commenter #121.