Using Gift Cards at Hotel Check Out FYI

smiths02

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 13, 2009
I plan on doing a trip report at some point, but I did want to share one experience. We had about $530 in Universal gift cards (I have 3 kids, so it was on 8 cards because various people gave them as gifts). I asked at check in to Portofino (and mid point in our stay) and was told that I needed to wait until check out. When we went to check out, the clerk explained that it would take a while to run the cards. It was a good 30 minutes for him to run every card individually, then adjust our hotel charge and print a receipt. Fortunately, I did leave some time but we were rushing to get to our breakfast reservation.

I just wanted to warn people about how slow it is. Next time I won't bother with gift cards or just use them in the park to pay directly instead of charging to my room. (Unless someone knows a way to combine Universal gift cards.)

Also, as a side note, I had an issue using the Room Charge privilege at Guest Services at USF. It worked well everywhere else in the park, but would not go through with their system, so I ended up using a credit card (the transaction had to be voided and it took a long time as well).
 

Bethany10

Mouseketeer
Joined
Oct 17, 2016
I've been wondering if there's a way to combine GC into one big one, like you can do with disney GCds. I'm hoping to pay off our hotel balance that way at check in, but the most I can get off Universal's site is a 500 card.
 

smiths02

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 13, 2009
I've been wondering if there's a way to combine GC into one big one, like you can do with disney GCds. I'm hoping to pay off our hotel balance that way at check in, but the most I can get off Universal's site is a 500 card.
If there is one, I would love to know, that would have made it pretty easy.
 
  • Andrea

    DIS Veteran<br><font color=<009977>I couldnt decid
    Joined
    Jun 16, 2005
    My best friend and I was just there about 3 weeks ago and they told us they could not take universal gift cards at the hotel at all. So when you booked your trip you used your credit card ? Then when you checked out you were able to use the gift cards ?
     

    smiths02

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 13, 2009
    My best friend and I was just there about 3 weeks ago and they told us they could not take universal gift cards at the hotel at all. So when you booked your trip you used your credit card ? Then when you checked out you were able to use the gift cards ?
    Yes, I used my credit card. When we arrived, they charged the rest of the room balance, parking, and $1200 for incidentals to my card. I told them I had gift cards, and they told me to wait until check out. I used the room charge privilege. I checked again mid stay and was told again to wait until checkout. At checkout, the clerk had to use some dial up system for every card and then apply it to the room charges.

    Next time, I would just use the gift cards in the park or not bother with gift cards (the kids got them as gifts this time though). I wish someone at the hotel had told me it would not be possible or it would be a pain, I could have just paid for souvenirs and meals with the gift cards directly.
     

    Sue M

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 27, 2009
    Thanks for the info, I am planning to use gift cards so I’ll just use them in the parks. I prefer not to be continuously using my credit card. Safer using gift cards. I’ll just use my credit card to buy the gift card and use that for park meals and suvies. I’ve heard of credit cards being compromised at WDW.
     
  • georgina

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 21, 2003
    I almost always use GC, and am very familiar with the slow process! It is easier to just use GC in the parks, but I use them for the room also. I have been successful using gift cards mid-trip and not waiting until checkout. I usually do it late at night or very early in the morning when no one is around. We had 3 rooms at RPR over Thanksgiving and about $5000 worth of GC. The highest denomination my grocery store sells them in is $100. They were very accommodating, even having 2 people at once running the cards (they have to get a code for each card and then enter it on another web page to apply it to the room). But I did break it up into 3 separate times going to the front desk to redeem some.
     

    georgina

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 21, 2003
    My best friend and I was just there about 3 weeks ago and they told us they could not take universal gift cards at the hotel at all. So when you booked your trip you used your credit card ? Then when you checked out you were able to use the gift cards ?
    Where were you staying? They won't take GC for the deposit when you book, but I have used them at all the deluxe hotels plus Cabana Bay.
     

    smiths02

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 13, 2009
    I almost always use GC, and am very familiar with the slow process! It is easier to just use GC in the parks, but I use them for the room also. I have been successful using gift cards mid-trip and not waiting until checkout. I usually do it late at night or very early in the morning when no one is around. We had 3 rooms at RPR over Thanksgiving and about $5000 worth of GC. The highest denomination my grocery store sells them in is $100. They were very accommodating, even having 2 people at once running the cards (they have to get a code for each card and then enter it on another web page to apply it to the room). But I did break it up into 3 separate times going to the front desk to redeem some.
    When I went mid-trip, it was early in the morning, no one else was there. We definitely had a balance over $530 in room charges, but the clerk would not take them and told me to come back at check out. I guess I should have insisted, but I have never been to Universal, and I never had an issue at Disney.

    I probably won't buy any gift cards myself again, just not worth the hassle.
     

    georgina

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 21, 2003
    When I went mid-trip, it was early in the morning, no one else was there. We definitely had a balance over $530 in room charges, but the clerk would not take them and told me to come back at check out. I guess I should have insisted, but I have never been to Universal, and I never had an issue at Disney.

    I probably won't buy any gift cards myself again, just not worth the hassle.
    That's too bad. I wonder if the clerk didn't know how to do it? I buy gift cards at my grocery store, so I get 6% back on my credit card, plus fuel rewards so I have a lot.
     
  • glocon

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 16, 2010
    I always use gift cards to pay for our hotel. Used them at hrh, pbh, rpr and cbbr. No problems ever. And I’ve never had to wait til last day. But it does take a chunk of time.
     

    schumigirl

    It's a bit of a roodie doodie word for lady parts
    Joined
    May 15, 2007
    My best friend and I was just there about 3 weeks ago and they told us they could not take universal gift cards at the hotel at all. So when you booked your trip you used your credit card ? Then when you checked out you were able to use the gift cards ?
    I’m sorry you were given the wrong info........was it someone on the front desk that told you that?

    We’ve never used gift cards personally, but I know people who have used them to pay their trip off many times.....and some do go mid trip to knock off some of the balance to save time at check out.....as it does seem to take a little time. But, it is a common thing to do for many people.
     

    macraven

    Proud Redhead
    Moderator
    Joined
    Apr 21, 2003
    I have on past trips always used UO gift cards at check in time

    Last October I used them at RP and had no issue

    I applied $2800 to my account on file
    I prefer to pay my room cost off in advance as much as possible

    Each card had to be entered separately and probably took 20 minutes
    (I had bought the highest denomination they sold)

    It works for me

    I use my AE card when I buy them for extra points

    I’ll call the hotel in a few months to learn if there have been any changes for the way I prepay my hotel cost for my next stay at check in

    I’ll still be buying AE gift cards and use them in the parks
     

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