News in brief:
Finnair’s Edinburgh service launched yesterday
The new Finnair service from Edinburgh started yesterday. This joins their recently added Dublin service as well as the established Manchester and London routes. It will operate three times per week, stepping up to four times over the Summer, before pausing on 27th October.
Finnair is a oneworld partner which means you can earn and spend Avios, and earn BA tier points, when you fly with them. Finnair has an excellent network of routes to Asia because it is ‘on the way’ when flying from Europe over the pole.
If you live in Scotland this is a good opportunity for:
a weekend away in Helsinki, on Avios points
an easy connection to a long-haul redemption on Finnair using Avios points
a chance to buy, for cash, a ticket to Asia on Finnair in one of their regular sales. You should expect to pay around £1,299 return and will pick up a good pile of BA tier points in the process. Keep an eye on HFP for news of the next Finnair sale.
Many of the Asia routes are now flying, or soon will be flying, the new Airbus A350 XWB pictured below with its impressive 1-2-1 seating. You can read my review of one of the Finnair A350 training flights here. There is a special Finnair A350 website here.
How I got a good value Marriott Rewards redemption
I am often a little hard on Marriott Rewards on Head for Points, so it is only fair that I tell you that I just secured an excellent redemption for my Mum.
She needs two nights in downtown Calgary in Canada in June. Despite the oil slump Calgary hotel prices are still pretty crazy with the two best downtown options, the Hyatt and Marriott, both often $400. Cheaper options like the Holiday Inn Express, where the reviews highlight the ‘interesting’ characters hanging around outside the doors at night, are still C$300.
I managed to get her two nights in the ‘just refurbished’ Calgary Marriott Downtown which is well located, for 50,000 Marriott Rewards points. (The refurbishment involved removing the desks – which regular readers know I find a stupid policy – but my Mum won’t care.)
A cash room for the same two nights would have totalled C$806 (£441). It works out at 0.88p per Marriott point which is well above my notional value of 0.5p.
I am kicking myself for not booking on Sunday night when I first looked it up as the hotel had more expensive corner rooms up for redemption as well – those had gone by yesterday.
How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards (October 2022)
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.
EDIT: Until 8th November 2022, the sign-up bonus on the Marriott Bonvoy American Express card is doubled to 40,000 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.
EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.
You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points indirectly:
- American Express Gold (20,000 bonus Amex points)
- American Express Rewards Credit Card (10,000 bonus Amex points)
and for small business owners:
- American Express Business Gold (20,000 bonus Amex points)
- American Express Business Platinum (40,000 bonus Amex points)
The conversion rate from American Express to Marriott Bonvoy points is 2:3.
(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.)