This is my review of the Scandic Friends loyalty programme.
If you are planning a trip to Scandinavia, there is a good cash saving to be had if you join Scandic Friends.
Scandic Friends is the loyalty programme for the Scandic chain of hotels. Scandic dominates the hotel scene in Scandinavia and also has a few properties in Germany and Poland.
If you are as old as me you will remember that Hilton owned the chain for a few years at one point. Famously, because the IT wasn’t integrated, they priced all redemptions at a flat 10,000 Hilton Honors points per night which was outstanding value.
I hadn’t planned to stay at a Scandic over Easter. We had booked into the Radisson Blu Royal Viking attached to Stockholm railway station for our first night and planned to return for a few days after Lapland. The Royal Viking was dark and depressing, however.
From our window, we could see a funky modern building opposite. In fact, the only funky modern building in downtown Stockholm! It turned out to be the Scandic Continental hotel. The old Continental had been demolished to allow for a metro station to be built underneath and Scandic had rebuilt it in a very modern style.
When we looked online and saw that the Scandic Continental had spacious (by Stockholm standards, see picture below) junior suites that slept four, and that everyone got free breakfast, we decided to cancel our 2nd Radisson booking.
(I am not reviewing the Scandic Continental, but if you want a reasonably priced and very modern Stockholm hotel within seconds of the Arlanda Express platforms then I recommend it highly. The photos in this article are of the hotel.)
Save 20% with the Scandic Friends loyalty programme
Since four nights in a junior suite wasn’t going to be cheap, I decided to see if the Scandic Friends loyalty programme was worth a look. It was!
Here is the key benefit. Scandic Friends members get 20% off room rates at weekends and over public holidays. The discount code is FG2 if you want to check availability before signing up, which is free anyway.
The 20% discount is valid on all room categories and so we got a good saving on our junior suite. Outside weekends and holidays, members get a 3% room discount.
There is also an excellent senior citizen discount, but only on a Sunday night. Guests aged 65+ will get a 40% saving on the flexible rate. You must be a Scandic Friends member and use booking code FG.
Here are two other tips:
You get 500 bonus points in the Scandic Friends programme for signing up
Roughly three days after signing up, you will get a promo offer of 3,000 bonus points on your first stay. You need to opt in to this offer and then book within three months. It works OK if you have already booked, as we found out. Just make sure you join the programme a few days before your stay to give the offer time to arrive.
Members get a 10% hotel food and drink discount at weekends
How do I earn points?
It is a simple system outlined here. You earn 2 points per SEK / NOK / DKK you spend, 20 points per € and 6 points per PLN. Members with higher status receive a 25% bonus.
Points are awarded after VAT which, in Sweden, is 25% and so makes a noticeable impact.
You also earn points on food and beverage spend charged to your room but this is capped at 5000 SEK / NOK / DKK, 150 PLN or €500 per stay.
There is a 200 point bonus if you make your booking online.
The status levels do not offer much in the way of benefits and won’t be of interest for a one-off stay. You can find details here. I am now on Level 2 following our Stockholm stay which gets me a €5 restaurant voucher per night on my future stays.
What can you do with Scandic Friends points?
Very little, except redeem for other Scandic Hotels. There are a couple of non-hotel redemptions but they are not relevant if you don’t live in the region.
Hotel redemptions are priced from 15,000 to 40,000 points per night.
There is no reward chart, just a list of hotels with the points required next to each.
Frustratingly I ended up with 24,660 points from my stay. It looks like I will be redeeming 20,000 points for a free night at some point in the next three years unless they comp me 340 points if I ask nicely!
You can also use points to add items to be placed in your room when you arrive. For example, based on the Scandic Continental in Stockholm:
- Tray of savoury snacks 6,250 points
- Cheese and crackers 6,000 points
- Fruit plate 2,950 points
- Chocolate snack box 5,000 points
- Bottle of beer 2,450 points
- Soft drink 1,600 points
These are not great value compared to getting a free room (they are basically saying that 10,000 points gets you four bottles of beer or a free room in a 10,000 point hotel!) but it will help me get rid of any spare points when I do my reward stay.
Points have a three year expiry.
Are there airline partnerships too?
Yes, Scandic has two airline partners. These do not include BA or Virgin Atlantic however.
Finnair Plus members can double dip. You earn 500 miles per night AND you receive your Scandic Friends points as usual. I left 2,000 Finnair Plus points on the table here but I didn’t see any immediate use for them. If you were doing a lot of Scandic stays, note that you can transfer Finnair Plus points to Accor (see here) and IHG Rewards Club (see here). You can top up Finnair Plus points with a 1:1 transfer from a UK American Express Membership Rewards account.
SAS EuroBonus members get a similar 500 miles per night AND receive Scandic Friends points too.
The 20% discount on room rates at weekends and public holidays means that you should definitely consider joining Scandic Friends if you are travelling in Scandinavia. There is no guarantee that you will earn enough points for a free night – although the sign up bonus, 3,000 points first stay bonus and the online booking bonus means that you will hit 10,000 points with a spend of around £325. The 10,000 points redemptions are in the more obscure places though!
If you really won’t use them, you can convert your points into a donation to Save the Children from just 2,000 points.
You can learn more about Scandic Friends on their website here.
(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.)