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Bits: new SPG hotel in London, Marriott Rewards devalues but adds ‘cash and points’

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News in brief:

Town Hall Hotel now an SPG property

I have written before about how Starwood is slowly integrating certain Design Hotels into Starwood Preferred Guest.

This week, the acclaimed Town Hall Hotel & Apartments in Bethnal Green (yes, Bethnal Green) went live.  You can see its home page on spg.com here.

The hotel (photo below) is well regarded.  Nuno Mendes, for example, was the chef there before moving over to the much-hyped Chiltern Firehouse.

If you book this hotel, you will receive SPG stay credit and earn Starpoints.  In theory, although some Design Hotels may act differently, your elite status will not be recognised.  The hotel will become available for SPG redemptions in the near future but you cannot book them yet.

Town Hall Hotel Bethnal Green

Marriott announces its annual devaluation – but ‘cash and points’ coming

It says something of the approach that Marriott Rewards has to its members that the news of the annual devaluation was met with a ‘could be worse’ attitude over in the US.

To put it in context, over 500 hotels are getting more expensive.  Only 200 are getting cheaper.

To be fair, some of the ones going down in price are actually in places you may be visiting.  (Compare this to the IHG changes where almost every hotel going down in price was in China, India or Brazil.)

Two UK hotels get cheaper – the Courtyard and the Renaissance at Heathrow.  UK hotels increasing in price by one category are:

  • Bristol City Centre Marriott
  • Cheshunt Marriott
  • The Glasshouse (Autograph)
  • London Kensington Marriott
  • London Regents Park Marriott
  • Newcastle MetroCentre Marriott
  • Waltham Abbey Marriott

The full list of changes can be seen here.

You can book at the old prices – for stays up to 50 weeks in advance – until 24th March.

On 24th March, Marriott will also be launching ‘cash and points’ – more on that when I have the full details.


Mariott Bonvoy American Express credit card

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!

The official Marriott Bonvoy American Express card comes with 20,000 points for signing up, 2 points for every £1 you spend and 15 elite night credits per year. You can apply here.

American Express Marriott Bonvoy credit card

Marriott Bonvoy American Express

20,000 points sign-up bonus and 15 elite night credits Read our full review

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.

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

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).

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which can be used to earn Marriott Bonvoy 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.)

Comments (21)

  • Genghis says:

    OT but HR story points have now posted

    • Rob says:

      Yes, got mine too

      • Liz says:

        I got mine too – husband also got 500 pts – he didn’t do the story thing – statement says “member gets member – existing 500 member” – anyone know what that is about? His is an old membership which lay dormant for years and we reset is last year and got a new card .

  • Pol says:

    OT looks like the Virgin devaluation has arrived. As of 1st March upgrades are increasing by 5000 miles per segment for E-PE, 10,000 for PE-UC and 15,000 for E-UC. This means a return upgrade to NY from E-UC is now 70,000 return, considering a full redemption is 80,000 I’m thinking that will change soon too.

  • Tilly71 says:

    Slightly OT:
    It’s been four weeks to the day today since my annual amex account has completed a full year, still no sign of the annual gold 7.5k bonus. I was under the impression it takes a max of four weeks for the bonus to hit accounts?

    • Ed says:

      In same position but I also haven’t noticed the £140 renewal fee either. Has that hit your account?

      • Will says:

        Same here. I think they post a month after the £125 fee shows on your statement. ( correct me if I’m wrong). Waiting for mine to post so I can upgrade to get the 20000 mr.

        • Tilly71 says:

          Same here, been waiting and waiting as I’ve got spend to make on the new card.

      • Tilly71 says:

        My £120 fee was applied the first day of the new annual year.

    • Kinkell says:

      Mr K’s. took nearer 2 months to post.

  • Matthew says:

    SPG have announced a list of category changes too, with the changes kicking in Mar 1.

  • Fenny says:

    OT: My IB Avios have posted for subscribing to Amazon VIP and Showroomprive.

  • Idrive says:

    OT regarding SPG in Miami Beach: anyone can give me advice on a non family oriented but fun place for a redemption please? Or other properties where I may want to go to? Never been and don’t know where to book.

    • Pol says:

      You could try the W on South Beach. It’s beachfront on Collins Ave, where the big 5* hotels are mainly situated, a little way down from the main Art Deco bit of South Beach. Close to Lincoln road outdoor Mall. It’s an all suite hotel, so good size rooms too, most, if not all have balconies. Definitely not aimed at families it’s loud and proud, like most of South Beach.

  • Peter says:

    Idrive – I second the observations about the W South Beach (the W Fort Lauderdale, 25 miles away, is another option if you are looking for a younger crowd ie 20/ early 30s). Also look at the Royal Palm South Beach (a new hotel and new to the SPG portfolio) but I can’t vouch for it.

  • idrive says:

    thanks Pol and Peter, I will dig into that and see also if there are reasonable alternatives.