Bits: the ultimate Hilton / F1 redemption, free breakfast at Best Western (and how to get a status match)

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News in brief:

The ultimate Hilton / Formula 1 points redemption!

I often write about how some ‘experiences’ redemptions offered by the hotel groups go very cheaply because they are not well described in the headline, and the real value only emerges when you drill down.

There is one of those going at the moment.  If you search Hilton Auctions, you will see (click for the direct page) “MCLAREN VIP EXPERIENCE IN SILVERSTONE: SUNDAY RACE DAY + MCLAREN THEMED ROOM

On the face it, interesting but not exceptional.  This is what you actually get:

You and your guest will fly to the Silverstone Circuit in a private helicopter, where you will be hosted in the premium McLaren hospitality suite, situated above the team’s garage, with the best view in motorsport of the pit-lane and start/finish straight. There is no better place to see and hear the cars up close as they fly by at speeds in excess of 200mph, and the teams perform their pit stops a couple of meters below your feet. Your ultimate VIP experience with McLaren will also include a tour of the McLaren garage where you will be able to have your photo taken next to the cars, as well as driver appearances and access to pit-lane walks. 

You’ll also be treated to a stay in a themed room at The Trafalgar St James, London decorated with McLaren memorabilia, including race overalls, drivers’ helmets, steering wheels, tires and model cars, as well as much more! This iconic hotel offers chic urban spaces, is located directly on Trafalgar Square and has a popular Rooftop bar with incredible views of London. 

This package for two (2) includes:
– Access to the Rolex British Grand Prix race on Sunday, July 8, 2018
– VIP hospitality with the McLaren Formula One Experience
– Pit-lane access
– Tour of the McLaren garage to see the cars up close
– Driver appearance
Private round-trip helicopter transportation to and from Silverstone Circuit on July 8, 2018
– Two night stay in McLaren themed room at The Trafalgar St. James London, Curio Collection by Hilton from July 7-9, 2018, including daily breakfast

Not bad!  At the time of writing the highest bid is 550,000 Hilton Honors points.  OK, that sounds like a lot – it is a lot – but you would only get £1,800 of free hotel rooms for that.

I doubt that you could actually buy the package I detailed, but I’m sure if you could you would be looking at £10,000+.  Private helicopter charter doesn’t come cheap.

Bidding closes on 30th May.

How to earn Hilton Honors points via UK credit cards

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Hilton Honors points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Hilton Honors points.  That page is regularly updated with the latest special offers and will still be accurate even if you are reading this article months after publication.

Hilton Honors British Grand Prix McLaren offer

Free breakfast at UK Best Western hotels

Best Western has brought back its ‘Breakfast Is On Us’ promotion.

Bookings made at 180 UK hotels between now and 30th September 2018 will have complimentary breakfast included in the room rate. There is no promo code and no special landing page.  You must be a member of Best Western Rewards however.

Simply book via the Best Western home page between now and 30th September, choose the hotel and date you would like to book and you will see the ‘Breakfast On Us’ option.

I did a random hotel search in Manchester to check if the promotion is really this straight forward – which it is:

There are two things worth remembering about Best Western:

It is now an Avios partner, earning you 500 points per stay – details in this HFP article

They will status match any existing hotel status you have – the PDF form to complete is here and details are in the Avios article linked above 

(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.)

The little-known way that Amex Platinum gets you Star Alliance Silver and fast track Star Alliance Gold
Important dates for your diary - offers about to close which you shouldn't miss
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  1. OT: Having issues adding a supplementary card on my Gold Amex online. Tried yesterday too. It keeps giving the message, “Please call the number on the back of your Card to add a supplementary user to your Card account.” If I call and request one or request one via chat, will I still get the 3,000MR points? Tried ordering supplementary on my partner’s platinum log-in and there were no issues.

    • Ask them to give you the points when you call; if they don’t then complain about it not working online

      • Thanks. The 3,000 MR are not advertised as a promotion for all. I could try but I have a feeling they will say I don’t actually have that offer on my account.

    • simon says:

      This is the Gold Amex credit card rather than old charge card, I assume?

      If yes, can any HPFers provide any recent evidence/confirmation that the new Gold credit card iteration actually pays out 3,000 MR for adding 1 x supplementary card?

      I’ve been thinking about this for a while now, but had been waiting to hear if any HFPers had had any success in getting these 3,000 points?

  2. “At the time of writing the highest bid is 550,000 Hilton Honors points. OK, that sounds like a lot – it is a lot – but you would only get £1,800 of free hotel rooms for that.”

    That also roughly equates to a week in the Maldives at the Conrad Rangali. 🙂

  3. sab879 says:

    O/t: Trying to book a Marriott hotel + air Package. The number stated on the Travel Packages website (1-800-321-7396) keeps telling me that they only book hotel rooms! Could someone help as to what number I should call? Thank you

    • sab879 says:

      Ok, found the UK number(44-20-7012-7312) so will try once they are open.

  4. This is a short term trial, only shown to a handful of customers. Avios asked me not to cover it because it would upset all of the NatWest and BOS customers who don’t have it. It is going away soon.

    • Ah, better transfer some across soon then before it goes away! Will hold off the credit card application to see what happens in the longer-term!

    • the_real_a says:

      I did well out of the Morrision’s one last time (benefits of moving back north). Amazon gift cards or Morrision’s gift cards that are then used for petrol outside.

    • Roger1* says:

      It would be a return to old habits. I used to have a NatWest Visa card until they stopped awarding Air Miles. This was about the time that Sainsbury’s shopping accrued Air Miles.

  5. I’ve been fortunate to be invited by Lotus to the Silverstone GP a few years ago. Unforgettable experience being in their pit garage during qualifying standing next to Sir Jackie Stewart. Food and drink on tap above the pits in their hospitality suite. I would put a price of around £4-5k for that excluding transport. You can buy hospitality for around £3k on race day with the Paddock club in a similar location but it’s not the same. Thankfully they invited us back for the race on Sunday too as others had dropped out 🙂

    In the end, we never did sponsor them

  6. Worth mentioning that the earnings rates are personalised and there are a few travel related options and offers. So when logged out, P and O ferries is 1%, whereas when I’m logged in I get 5% back on all P and O spend. Waitrose is 6%; pretty significant if you shop there every week!

    • Roger1* says:

      That would be a head-turner for Waitrose shoppers, uncertain whether their VFC miles are ever going to post.

  7. Here’s a thought. Wonder what is better 2% on council tax or 1.5 Avios if you put it on your Amex? Let’s say council tax is £150, that would be £3 back. That would be 225 avois. Guess it depends on how and what you value your Avios for.

    • £1.33/Av? Sure you can probably redeem for more but I’m taking cash (accepted everywhere; useful even in small increments) every time.

    • Genghis says:

      I always pay on Amex but for hitting sign ups so >2% back and save on card fees as can do a big chunk over a short period

  8. unless you have a specific high spend that can’t go on amex you’re far better off with either a BAPP or SPG amex to collect avios via a credit card.

  9. AndyW says:

    Thanks for heads up, I had this and would have missed it, happy to buy them at 0.77p

  10. James123 says:


    I have the misfortune of taking a 640am Ryanair flight from Stansted. Should I get a room in the Radisson for £108 or the Hampton by Hilton for £84, I’m Radisson Gold but nothing in Hilton. If I get fast track security, how late can I get to the airport, I’ve heard it can be very busy on Friday mornings.

    • Status doesn’t get you anything worthwhile at Hampton but I believe breakfast starts at 0400, of an OK standard except for the eggs (made from powder). Will you be in the room long enough that status will make a difference at the Radisson? Was Ryanair £100 cheaper than other airlines? Do you have checked luggage? If not I’d aim to have entered security by 0530

      • James123 says:

        No one else flies early enough…. no checked luggage, are the queues bad even in fast track? Won’t be in hotel long just wondered whether Radisson was sufficiently nicer to justify the higher price.

        • Security lines are usually efficient in peak hours even in regular queues (those next to fast track entrance are faster). I’ve never spent more than 10mins in 30+ visits.
          Join security at T-45 if you know where you are going (re. STN gate layouts)

  11. Many thanks for the heads up on this one Paul! I had absolutely no idea that it was available until now.

    I just jumped on it with a 2 X £50 redemption from my “savings” over the past couple of years or so.

    I was just waiting for something to come up which suited me, and this one does for sure.


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