News in brief:
British Airways reducing First Class food options
According to reports on Flyertalk from a well regarded BA cabin crew member, the ‘tasting menu’ is being withdrawn from First Class on the A380 routes. It will disappear from Vancouver from tomorrow and from 1st June on all other A380 routes.
I reviewed the A380 First Class tasting menu here and one course I ate is pictured below.
I wasn’t hugely impressed but it was an attempt at doing something different and did help pass the time on lengthy long haul flights. It was only offered on the A380 because it has more modern ovens which give the caterers more flexibility in what can be offered.
The bistro menu is also reportedly being withdrawn from ALL First Class routes. This was the additional ‘comfort food’ menu which you would normally use if you wanted a meal outside the traditional meal times. I ate from it coming back from Dubai this month – with two kids to keep an eye on and having eaten well for the previous 10 days I didn’t feel the need for anything fancier. Apparently one ‘comfort food’ option such as a burger will be added to the existing four First Class meal options.
You can, of course, make the case that First Class is a small cabin and there are potential limits to how much food you may want to load given wastage. It is worth noting for comparison that Etihad is happy to load a huge volume of random ingredients onto every flight so that the First Class inflight chef can make you fundamentally anything you want and will actively encourage you to order ‘off menu’ ……
£10 Amazon.co.uk gift card with first Azimo currency transfer
There are two interesting offers ending today which you may have been considering but forgot about.
If you need to send some money abroad soon, online money transfer group Azimo is offering a £10 Amazon.co.uk gift card 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 £50 transfer required
- Amazon.co.uk gift card will be sent within 60 days
- Offer ends 30th April
The Azimo site is here. You won’t see any indication of this offer on the site, but those readers who took part when a similar deal ran at Christmas will confirm that it works OK. The deal closes tonight.
25% off when you buy Starwood Preferred Guest points
The discount is staggered. You get 10% off purchases of 5,000 to 9,500 points, 15% off 10,000 to 14,500, 20% off 15,000 to 19,500 and the full 25% off only when you buy 20,000 to 30,000 points.
At the top end, 30,000 points will cost you $787.50. These can be converted in 35,000 airline miles in the majority of programmes. The price per mile works out at 1.6p, which is certainly not a bargain.
The best deal is to buy 20,000 points for $525 as that converts into 25,000 airline miles and a price of 1.5p per mile.
The rules are straightforward – points post within 24 hours, maximum purchase of 20,000 points per year (increased to 30,000 during this deal), your SPG account must be 14 days old to participate.
This deal has, in the past, been more attractive. However, the strength of the $ against the £ has pushed up the price since this offer last ran. One of the best uses is to stock up on Lufthansa Miles & More miles as these can no longer be bought directly from Lufthansa.
Immaterial of whether you use the points to buy miles, it can still make sense to buy ALL the points you need for a room. The Aloft in Liverpool costs £179 on 21th May. Alternatively, you could buy 3,000 SPG points for just £45 (based on buying 20,000 points). The reward night would also be cancellable, whilst the £179 room I quoted is not.
How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards (September 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.
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.
Until 2nd November 2021, The Platinum Card comes with a sign-up bonus of 60,000 Amex points. This converts into 90,000 Marriott Bonvoy points.
You can also earn American Express Membership Rewards points with American Express Gold (30,000 bonus points – special offer to 9th November 2021), 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.)