Resort credits the good the bad and the ugly

By | February 10, 2017

This is another side-step from our normal type of post.  In recent years resort credits have taken off as an incentive or add-on that hotels offer. We realize many travel agents and travelers alike are asking “What type of resort credits am I getting?”.  The reason that resort credits come under so much scrutiny is that while some resort credits function like cash in your pocket, other resort credits are more like coupons.

As a travel agent it is important to research and understand the different resort credit options to relay to your client. As the title suggests, certain hotel resort credit options might not live up to expectations and it is best to prepare your clients before their trip.

Resort Credits as coupons

As an example, lets say you get  $1,500 in credits. The hotel might say, you can only use $100 of those credits towards golf and that the cost of a golf round is $200. In this case, the resort credits actually function more like coupons and should be labeled as such.

Resort Credits functioning similar to cash

This type is straight forward, resort credits that have limited restrictions on what you can and cannot purchase. As a rule of thumb resort credits at all-inclusive resorts can be more restricted than resort credits at non all-inclusives.

Resort Credits Tax

Some resorts that have unlimited resort credits toward anything still have a tax on the resort credit. As an example, golf might be $400, which is fully covered by your resort credits but the tax is 20% so your out of pocket cost becomes $80, which is probably about what your round of golf would have cost at a local course anyway. Resort credits tax is very typical so make sure to read the fine print and do the math on taxes prior to your purchase.

When do I settle up my resort credits?

Many times you will put a resort credit service on your room and the credit will be deducted at the end of your visit. This can be scary in that fact that you might not be certain that the service you used can be paid for with resort credits. Similarily, people who have resort credits that function like coupons may get sticker shock when they see their bill at the end of the trip and find that they had to pay for services that they did not intend to.  If you are not sure whether or not the activity that you are doing will be covered by resort credits, always ask the hotel or your friendly travel agent in advance!

What do I need to know about Resort Credits?

Here is a list of simple questions to ask about resort credits:

  • Do they function like actual money or do they function like coupons
  • What services exactly are they valid for
  • Am I still responsible for fees above the resort credits and/or do I need to pay tax on the credits
  • Do I need to reserve services in advance

Please leave resort credit stories in the comments, good or bad. Our goal is to help future travelers. Resort credits can be good if it allows you to do more, more affordably while on vacation but if the only reason for resorts to have them is to trick clients into spending more, this is not good for the consumer. Sometimes when no vacation you just need to pull out the old calculator and do the math yourself.

Moon Palace Resort Credits

The current Moon Palace Resort Credit brochure is here. As you can see by the breakdown, the Moon Palace resort credits are more like coupons. Again, this isn’t a bad thing so long as you know what you are getting and the price is what you expect. There are a wide variety of activities such as spa, golf and diving tours.


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