Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Bits: great 1-day Air China sale, new Amex £50 Hilton cashback deal, SPG / Jingle Bell Ball

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News in brief:

Excellent Air China deals out of Germany – today only

Air China is having an ’11/11′ event this weekend.   All European destinations are running 20% off deals – except for Germany.  From Germany there are some very aggressive fixed fare deals.

We’re talking, departing Frankfurt, Munich or Dusseldorf in Business Class:

€1,118 – Hong Kong, Taipei, Bangkok, Phuket, Tokyo, Osaka, Seoul, Singapore, Ho Chi Minh, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur

€1,336 – Peking, Shanghai, Wenzhou, Fuzhou, Hangzhou, Guangzhou, Xiamen, Chengdu, Shenzhen, Nanjing, Xi’an, Shenyang

€1,632 – Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Auckland

In reality, it seems that fares to Australasia actually pop out cheaper, eg €1,465 is available to Auckland.

Travel dates are 1st December 2017 – 2nd March 2018, 16th March 2018 – 16th April 2018, 24th April 2018 – 16th June 2018, 20th July 2018 – 24th August 2018.

Air China is part of Star Alliance so you could (depending on which booking class the ticket books into) earn miles and status credit with Lufthansa Miles & More or one of the other Star programmes.  Use to find the most generous programme.

I know very little about Air China, so do some research on what planes are flying which route and what kind of seating if will offer.  A typial Air China business class is pictured below.  For anyone who missed the Qatar Airways sale last week, this offers a bit of compensation.

These deals end today.  The Air China Germany site, in English, is here.

Hilton ‘£50 back on £250 spend’ cashback deal

A new Hilton cashback offer has appeared on a lot of American Express accounts.  To see if you are targetted, visit the Amex website and take a look under the ‘Offers’ tab on the online statement page for each of your cards.

You will receive £50 cashback when you spend £250 or more at selected UK and European Hilton, Doubletree, Waldorf-Astoria, Curio and Conrad hotels before 31st January.  (Hilton Paris Opera is pictured below and Hilton Paris Opera.)

Not all hotels are participating.  Make sure that you check the list of hotels on the Amex website before booking – it is only UK and European hotels, and not all of them.  In theory you also need to book ‘pay at checkout’ rates to get this deal.  In reality, pre-paid rates will probably also trigger it.

In the past, these offers have been triggered by cumulative spend.  There is no mention of this – so you are not guaranteed to receive it if the £250 is not hit in one transaction – but you might be lucky.

Jingle Bell Ball tickets available via SPG Moments

SPG Moments, the ‘experiences’ redemption option inside Starwood Preferred Guest, has added some great packages if you’ve got any 8-15 year old children.

Tickets are available to the Capital Radio ‘Jingle Bell Ball’ at the O2 on the 9th and 10th December.  There are different acts each night, with headliners across the two events including Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift, Liam Payne and Rita Ora.

It will cost you 25,000 Starwood Preferred Guest points for a pair of tickets to either night.  Your tickets are in the private SPG Suite, where full food and drink hospitality will be provided.

You can redeem for tickets via the SPG Moments site here.  As of 8pm last night there were six pairs left for the 9th and three pairs for the 10th.

Do NOT transfer points into Starwood from American Express Membership Rewards for this – it will take 2-3 days and these will go quickly.  You can transfer Marriott Rewards points into SPG as that conversion (at 3:1) is instant.

How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards

How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards (August 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.

You can apply here.

American Express Marriott Bonvoy credit card

Marriott Bonvoy American Express

20,000 bonus points 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 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.

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points, £200 travel credit and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points indirectly:

and for small business owners:

The conversion rate from American Express to Marriott Bonvoy points is 2:3.

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 (96)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Robbo says:

    Thanks for he heads-up on the Air China fares, I just booked 3 tips using the link from you page, I hope his s one of the suppliers you received commission from.

  • thehornets says:

    This week’s Marriott Rewards 1,000 pointer:

    Answer: 11 players #rewardspoints

    • Genghis says:

      A valuable public service you’re providing!

      • Liz says:

        Genghis did you get your points from last week?

        • Tom says:

          I’ve just checked mine – I got 29/10 but not last week.

        • Genghis says:

          No. Fingers crossed for this week. I’ll be tweeting again in about an hour if no confirmation received.

        • Liz says:

          You have to make sure the tweet has “replying to” in it – I am a twitter novice so it takes me a few attempts to get it right.

        • Jonathan says:

          Genghis – I never got mine last week but a quick tweet to the rewards guys during the week got that sorted within about half an hour.

        • Genghis says:

          @Jonathan I tweeted in the week too but no response. Either I can’t use twitter or it’s shoddy CS.

          • Alan says:

            Worth shooting them a DM. I did that to try and chase the Marriott MORE points but they got confused and thought I was talking about these NFL ones, saying they’d posted OK. Ironically the MORE points is only 1,000 anyway so kinda dwarfed by this giveaway, but would like to get it sorted!

      • Cate says:

        I cut and paste one that’s have been replied to by Marriott so I know it’s right – massage it with a few other words – then press reply. Went through pronto tonight.

      • Genghis says:

        Got it this week though 🙂

    • Choons says:

      thank you

    • BLT says:

      Thanks. Worked every week for 1000 X 2 accounts.

    • Leo says:


    • Alan says:

      Thanks as ever – love that you’ve added the hashtag to make copy and paste even easier 😀

  • Love2Travel says:

    O/T: Trying to book a BA reward flight from London to Zurich. What is my checked baggage allowance as I am really confused and can’t find an answer? If I try and book with cash, it gives an option of paying £30 for each checked baggage and I am not keen on paying for 2 x return (£120). When I do a dummy run to redeem Avios, it shows 1 x 23kg included as default but then shows a link to baggage policy. Can anyone confirm I won’t have to pay for checked baggage (1 per person ofcourse) if I redeem my Avios. Thanks a lot.

    • Polly says:

      Yes your avios Y ticket does indeed include 1x23kg bag.

      • Love2Travel says:

        Thanks Polly. Is Y economy? I am looking to book the economy option. It didn’t give me any further options within economy.

  • Ben says:

    I wouldn’t recommend Air China. I flew then recently and you are forbidden to use any personal electronic devices for the entire flight (and they strictly monitor this). This means no personal entertainment other than the seatback IFE which was a tiny, buggy screen with very poor selection. My flight was 2.5 hours and I was very bored – I cannot imagine a long day flight – you would be climbing the walls.
    No menus in J and the champagne was served in a large shot glass.
    I wouldn’t recommend.

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