Hotels.com requires Gift Card Activation Date to merge – How to get around it

Hotels.com’s gift card merging combining tool has been broken for ages, but you can call customer service at 1-800-807-6641 to have someone from India help you through it.

Hotels.com needs your gift card’s original balance to validate you are the owner

This is a pointless security check. Criminals can simply guess $10, $20, $25, $50, $100, $150, $200?

I personally bought so many of these gift cards in the past that I had no idea what it was. I always guess $100 or $150? and it goes through.

Hotels.com needs your gift card activation date to validate you are the owner

I gasped when the CSR, customer service rep asked for my gift card activation date. I had no idea, I’ve been merging and adding to the same gift card for ages.

I looked through my receipts and looked at the first time I made use of the gift card and said “May 2014?” and the customer service rep said we need the actual “day.”

Heck, do I know the exact date I bought ANY of my gift cards from CardBear.com?

I became childish and frustrated and started asking the CSR how anyone is supposed to know that. What if they got it as a gift? What if they legitimately bought it online? I knew it wasn’t her fault.

How do I get the activation date for a Hotels.com gift card?

Just book a free cancellation hotel and use up your gift card balance. Then you cancel the hotel reservation. Hotels.com will send you a new gift card as a refund. You have a new gift card with an activation date and gift card number. Call 1-800-807-6641 to merge / combine your gift cards now.

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Bingo!

Step 1 : Go to Hotels.com

Step 2 : Look for a Hotels.com booking that will cover your entire gift card amount

My hotels.com gift card value is about $190 so this Tokyo, Ginza hotel looks fine to me. Just make sure it has free cancellation

Step 3 : Book the hotel room. Make sure it has free cancellation

Step 4 : Enter your gift card and pay the remaining balance with whatever card. It doesn’t matter since you’re cancelling this reservation

Step 5 : Make sure it has free cancellation until a future date

Step 6 : And Book the reservation

Step 7 : Cancel the booking

Step 8 : Looks good

Step 9 : Wait for the new gift card with new activation date with the same Hotels.com gift card balance

Summary

The new gift card security Hotels.com added doesn’t add any value. It makes the customer experience poor, but maybe that’s the plan all along. So you can’t combine your gift cards and have to use your gift cards one at a time keeping you on Hotels.com

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