I mentioned in an article on Saturday that Marriott Rewards is now an Etihad Guest partner. This means that you can convert Marriott Rewards points to Etihad and credit future stays directly into Etihad miles.
What I had not seen when I wrote that piece is that Etihad has launched a generous Marriott promotion.
Until 31st October, you will receive 2000 bonus Etihad Guest miles per stay.
You need to use a special Marriott promotional code when booking via marriott.com – ‘MPR’ – and set your Marriott account to credit your stay to Etihad Guest instead of awarding Marriott Rewards points.
“Where does this £8 come from?” I hear you say.
The conversion rate is linked to the US$ but is approximately 0.4p per Etihad Guest mile. I got 0.41p when I last used it. This means that the 2000 bonus Etihad Guest miles you receive from your stay would convert into £8. You would also have extra money from the Etihad Guest miles earned from your standard hotel spending.
Your Virtual Visa card number functions like a 3V card. You can use the money to make an online purchase. The easiest options are to buy Amazon gift certificates online for the entire amount of your PointsPay balance or (as I do) pay it to the Inland Revenue via BillPay as a tiny contribution towards your next tax bill.
It is also possible to order a physical Visa card which can be used in shops. There is a fee for this, however, and it is not worthwhile unless you are using up a large number of Etihad miles.
The only snag in this plan is if the Marriott ‘MRP’ promotional code – which must be used to trigger the bonus – brings up unfavourable rates. This is likely to vary on a property by property basis.
PS. Etihad Guest is also running a decent offer with Viceroy hotels at the moment. You will receive quadruple miles for stays up to December 19th. Details on the Etihad site here. The Yas hotel in Abu Dhabi :
…. which is integrated into the Formula 1 circuit, is one of their properties amongst others.
(To see our complete list of all current hotel promotions for the major chains, click here to visit our ‘Hotel Promos’ page or use the link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)