Hotel group Marriott and Heathrow Express have teamed up to offer a free First Class upgrade over the Summer for travel until August 31st.
This offer is ONLY available to elite (Silver and above) members of Marriott Rewards.
Getting to the booking page is fiddly:
You need to go to marriott.com at this page which discusses a London hotels promotion and log in
Half way down the page is a link to the Heathrow Express website (the words ‘redeem upgrade’ are underlined)
This will send you to the HEx site and you can book your ticket
The link does not work if I copy and paste it onto HfP. The current Mastercard offer discussed below works the same way.
There is a second catch.
The upgrade is not, technically, free. Via this Mastercard offer I wrote about here, you can save 12% on Heathrow Express tickets. You need to choose between paying full price and getting a free upgrade via Marriott or saving £3-£4 and staying in Standard with MasterCard.
After having not used it for a couple of years, I have taken the Heathrow Express twice in the last six weeks. The reason is that children are now free. On both occasions we were heading to Heathrow on a Friday evening with the kids. When you don’t pay for the children, the cost of a taxi to Paddington plus HEx tickets is equivalent to an Uber to Heathrow and – on a Friday night – far more reliable in terms of knowing when you will arrive.
PS. Remember that, until June 30th, Star Alliance Gold members get a free Heathrow Express First Class upgrade just by showing their card
How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards (July 2021)
There are various ways of earning Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.
The official Marriott Bonvoy American Express card usually comes with 20,000 points for signing up, 2 points for every £1 you spend and 15 elite night credits per year. Until 31st August 2021, the bonus is doubled to 40,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. You can apply here.
You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points by converting American Express Membership Rewards points at the rate of 2:3.
Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Marriott Bonvoy Gold status for as long as they hold the card? It also comes with Hilton Honors Gold, Radisson Rewards Gold and MeliaRewards Gold status. We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.
You can also earn American Express Membership Rewards points with American Express Gold (20,000 bonus points), the American Express Rewards Credit Card (5,000 bonus points) and – for small business owners – American Express Business Gold (20,000 bonus points) and Business Platinum (40,000 bonus points).
(Want to earn more hotel points? Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)