News in brief:
£15 Amazon gift certificate with first Azimo currency transfer
I mentioned this offer over Christmas, but I wanted to flag it again because it is still running until the end of the month.
Online money transfer group Azimo is offering a £15 Amazon gift certificate for new customers. You need to use voucher code AZIMOGIFT when processing your transfer.
Azimo is especially good value for sending money to more ‘obscure’ countries which other online transfer firms do not cover. For mainstream transactions, compare their prices with TransferWise who are their main competitior.
The promotion is not featured on their website. In order for the AZIMOGIFT code to be accepted, you need to meet the following criteria:
- Be a new customer
- Excludes SWIFT, mobile top up, transfers made with a credit card and transfers from Euro to Euro or GBP to GBP
- Minimum £15 transfer required
- Amazon voucher will be sent within 60 days
The Azimo site is here. The offer closes on the 31st.
Kimpton Hotels to open in Amsterdam
Here is a surprise. IHG bought US boutique chain Kimpton back in January 2015, to howls of despair from its loyal guests.
We are talking about hotels which put yoga mats in every room, offer free bike rentals and run a free Wine Hour every night. A Holiday Inn it is not.
The deal has not gone too well. A number of hotels around San Francisco quit the chain, seven in total, which may have messed up the economics of the whole transaction. IHG has also appeared wary of changing the Kimpton loyalty scheme, Kimpton Karma, which has not been integrated into IHG Rewards Club.
The big news yesterday was that Kimpton is expanding outside the USA. The Crowne Plaza Amsterdam City Centre, photo above, is to close for a complete make-over, reopening next year as a 270-room Kimpton.
Amsterdam is a relatively ‘soft’ choice for the brand, of course. However, converting a successful Crowne Plaza is a risky move for the hotel owners. IHG will also not be making much additional revenue as it is simply switching one franchise fee for another. Hopefully Kimpton will be available for IHG Rewards Club redemptions by the time it opens.
World’s first emoji room service arrives at Aloft Liverpool
There is little I can do but quote the press release:
Guests are now able to order a fun selection of items from room service via text from the Aloft TiGi Emoji Room Service Menu – an emoji-led selection of packages that will offer essentials to guests that can be easily conveyed via pictures. Guests simply text the corresponding emojis from the Aloft TiGi Emoji Room Service Menu to the hotel dedicated TiGi phone line, along with their room number, to receive their chosen item.
This is how it seems to work. You look up what you want from the room service menu. Each items has a different emoji next to it. You text that emoji to a dedicated number, along with your room number, and your food will be delivered to your room. No need to do anything as complex as ringing room service.
It would have been a shame to let such a ground-breaking event go unrecognised. So they didn’t.
To celebrate the launch in Liverpool there has been an “emoji takeover” with local artists given the opportunity to showcase their work in a three day exhibition called EmojiExhibit. Artists include Graphic Designer, James Traynor who has designed a retro animated Emoji Pacman.
Other designs include an emoji dress by fashion designer Heather Orr and emoji Shakespeare covers by graphic designer Jamie Rector.
Guests at Aloft Liverpool are also invited to take part in a free Emoji Yoga class with Liverpool Yoga Studios, specifically designed to support the lifestyle of a modern traveller. The series of postures will provide a number of holistic and health benefits that are proven to reduce insomnia and relieve stress, perfect for business travellers or those suffering with jet lag.
More seriously, even if you have no interest in ordering room service via emojis, Aloft Liverpool is meant to be a very impressive hotel. It is also, as I wrote here, a very good value Starpoints redemption.
How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards (January 2021)
There are various ways of earning Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!
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 Elite status for as long as they hold the card? It also comes with Hilton Honors Gold, Radisson Rewards Gold, Shangri-La Golden Circle Jade 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 Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)