“The longer you hold onto a gift card, the higher likelihood you’ll forget about it or lose it or something will happen to the vendor,” Ms. Hunter said.
Aggregate sale sites
Among hotel deals currently on sale as gift cards, several can be found on central websites.
Hotel Credits is offering $300 gift certificates for $200 at a range of hotels, including Entre Cielos Wine Hotel & Spa, a 24-room boutique hotel amid the vineyards of Mendoza, Argentina, where rooms normally start at $235 a night. It also sells gift certificates to Acre, a resort set on 25 acres of palm groves, orchards and farm fields in San José del Cabo, Mexico, where treehouse rooms start at $275 a night, including breakfast and morning yoga.
A group of hotel public relations firms came together to form Buy Now, Stay Later, a website that sells “hotel bonds” at a discount at about a dozen hotels from Nantucket to Paris. Through August, the certificates will sell at increments of $100 and can be cashed in after a 60-day waiting period for $150 per $100 spent. The offer includes LondonHouse Chicago, a downtown hotel with a popular rooftop bar, where rates normally start at $220.
Independent sales and perks
Most hotels selling gift cards are doing it themselves and represent a wide range of hotels from boutique urban properties to destination resorts.
Near the Blue Ridge Mountains in Lynchburg, Va., the 44-room Craddock Terry Hotel on the Bluff, housed in a former shoe factory with two popular restaurants, is offering $150 gift cards for $100 throughout April for any future stay in 2020. Rates start at $149 a night. Buyers must call the hotel to get the deal: (434) 455-1500.
Some hotels are making extra amenities their value offer. In Burbank, Calif., the 132-room Hotel Amarano is offering $100 gift certificates to be redeemed for future stays that would include the guests’ choice of complimentary valet parking, a room upgrade or a $25 food and beverage credit, through year end.
In Nashville, the 144-room Bobby Hotel has a range of offers with extra benefits. For $75, buyers get a $100 gift card and two cocktails; for $150, they get a $200 gift card and a bottle of champagne; for $250, they get a $300 gift card and a reserved poolside cabana or igloo in winter. (Rooms start at $249.)