Bits: new Hertz and Hyatt Amex cashback deals, new Hyatt promo, Marriott Platinum welcome gifts from August

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News in brief:

New Hertz and Hyatt Amex cashback deals

New cashback deals for Hertz car rentals in the UK and Hyatt hotels have appeared on a lot of American Express statements.

Hertz is offering £30 cashback when you spend £150+ in the UK by 31st August.  Rentals must be in the UK and must be booked via  Both pre-paid and ‘pay on return’ bookings are included.  The rules imply that existing bookings made before 1st June don’t qualify but I can’t see, if you have booked ‘pay on return’, that there is any way of enforcing this.

The Hyatt one is interesting – £60 back on a £300 spend by 30th September.  The rules are a mess though.  

It covers most hotels in Europe (Park Hyatt Hamburg is pictured below) and, erm, India for some odd reason.  However, the rules say that you must pay in £ to receive the cashback.  This makes no sense because the hotels will charge in local currency.  You cannot choose the ‘rip off’ ‘pay in £’ option at check-out because American Express does not allow Dynamic Currency Conversion.

I am therefore at a bit of a loss as to how you are actually meant to claim this.  It also insists that you must book on but, assuming you book a ‘pay on departure’ rate, I don’t see how that is enforceable either.

You should also note that pre-paid rates do not count which forces you to pay for a more expensive ‘best flexible’ rate whether you want one or not.  If you ARE booking a ‘best flexible rate’ at a Hyatt then you should actually be booking it via our hotel partners at Bon Vivant because Emyr can get you additional benefits via Hyatt Prive as we discussed here.

It is also worth noting that the headline implies this offer can be used multiple times – ‘get £60 cashback on transactions of £300+’ – whilst the small print says it is a once-only deal.

Park Hyatt Hamburg

New World of Hyatt promotion launched

If the Hyatt cashback deal above is useful to you, you may want to sign up for the latest World of Hyatt promotion.

This is exceptionally weak, to be honest, and I’m not entirely sure why they bothered.

For every five nights you spend at Grand Hyatt or Hyatt Regency hotels before 31st August, you will receive 2500 bonus World of Hyatt points.

I would value these at £25 so you’re getting a bumper £5 of value per night.  Note that all other Hyatt brands are excluded.

Hyatt is even trying to restrict registrations.  The cut-off date for signing up is 15th July, so woe betide you if you find yourself staying in a Hyatt at short notice during August.

You should obviously sign up if there is a chance that you could trigger the bonus but I doubt it is going to drive much incremental business.  The registration link is here.

JW Marriott Venice

Marriott publishes a summary of Platinum welcome benefits from August

Marriott has published a PDF, click here, summarising the welcome gifts and amenities that Platinum members in the new combined Marriott Rewards / Starwood Preferred Guest programme will receive from August.

The bad news is that it now seems that SPG Gold members who have status via American Express Platinum and who matched their Marriott account to Gold will NOT receive Platinum status in August.  This is a reversal of what we were told when the new scheme was announced.

(SPG Gold matches to ‘new scheme’ Gold.  Marriott Gold matches to ‘new scheme’ Platinum.  Marriott is now saying that matched statuses will be ignored when deciding your new tier.  This is important as ‘new scheme’ Gold has very few benefits whilst ‘new scheme’ Platinum is the one that will have guaranteed lounge access and 4pm check-out.)

The PDF needs explaining.  These are ‘welcome amenities’.  So, for example, there is NOT a tick next to ‘free breakfast at Marriott’.  This is because it is already a guaranteed Platinum benefit via the lounge or, if no lounge, in the restaurant.  There is a tick next to ‘free breakfast at JW Marriott Resorts’ because this brand does not automatically give free breakfast but a Platinum can now choose to receive it at check-in.

This chart, and the apparent decision to stop Amex Platinum cardholders getting Platinum in August, justifies my decision to do a ‘nine stays Platinum challenge’ at the moment.  I am currently six down with three to go!  We have three days at the JW Marriott in Venice in August (photo above, review here) and getting free breakfast as a Platinum will, in one go, net off the extra costs I have incurred to push nine hotel stays to Marriott.  Any extra benefits I get from Platinum status over 2019 will be a bonus.

(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.)

Why Marriott Travel Packages are a great use of Marriott or SPG points - but what happens after August?
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  1. Cuchlainn says:

    OT ( in case people missed it y’day ) :
    Tesco now charging 3.99% and NO interest free period on cash withdrawals – just got stung for £7.98 using CURVE card in a Tesco ATM to withdraw monthly £200 !!

    • Cuchlainn says:

      Sorry – CURVE linked to Tesco Premium card, for info.

    • James says:

      Hmm, that’s annoying. Will keep an eye on my linked IHG card.

    • I don’t understand how Tesco know it was a cash advance from a cash machine? If you’ve used your Curve card then Curve simply charge your Tesco card for a purchase?

      • That’s my thought. If the Curve conditions are that you can withdraw the cash without incurring fees, surely they should notify you if that’s now changed? Cuchlainn – you haven’t accidentally done 2 cash withdrawals in the same calendar month have you? I keep a close check on mine as obviously you can have 2 statement periods in the same calendar month, which is not the same thing!

        • Genghis says:

          The charge was Tesco’s, not Curve’s.

        • Ghengis – I would still say that unless Curve’s Ts & Cs have changed, they should be addressing this. It’s not acceptable to have a situation where you might get charged for a cash withdrawal but you don’t know until you’ve actually done it!

        • Genghis says:

          Surely Curve can’t be responsible for the T&Cs of all the different underlying cards?

        • Everytime I’ve done an atm transaction it says your card issuer may charge you do you wish to continue?
          Sounds like they have it covered in case you are charged.

        • That is standard ATM language when certain sorts of cards are popped in. Not specific to Curve.

        • RIccatti says:

          From what it looks then, you will be charged for purchases on Tesco credit card (if you swiped Curve card too).

          Below are confirmation cases: people started to get charged by Tesco Credit card on ANY transaction from Curve, which is probably incorrect.

          And yes — coincides with Visa ‘technical issues’.

        • Cuchlainn says:

          2 x cash only transactions – 4th May and 1st June – both @ Tesco ATMs ( pushing for 5,000 points Clubcard bonus lol ! ).

          I ( my wife actually but I do the finances ) did receive correspondence from Tesco on 21st May but it did not state which Tesco card – we have Premium and also no annual fee one. Apparently this notification refers to all Tesco Credit Cards bar none.

          Q. Where do I go now for an underlying credit card under Curve ? Other than the 1% overseas purchase route, I struggle to see a use for it with £200 ATM withdrawals now chargeable.

        • Alex W says:

          I’ve had no problems withdrawing cash with IHG Premium linked to curve.

      • Memesweeper says:

        Well, it was a Tesco ATM so I’m fairly sure they can join the dots on that if they want to.

        They make the rules, and if they want to they could treat all Curve transactions as cash advances, or just block them entirely. Curve might push transactions into the banking system as a purchase but it is at least arguable it’s not. If a very large bank tried to shut out Curve then the CMA might have something to say, Tesco clearly are not concerned about that.

        • Prune says:

          I can also confirm that I have have multiple cash advance charges made on my Tesco credit card via curve purchases but only since the beginning of June

        • Ive been charged the cash fee for a 1st June transaction and it was a Sainsburys ATM. It was the day Visa went down and a large queue had formed at the ATM next to the Pub.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          See article a few days back about tesco charging 3.99% on transactions to fintech companies like revolut etc

          Looks like Curve has been caught up in this, possibly incorrectly.

          However, still no idea why you would link to a tesco debit/credit card vs a virgin/ihg/hilton credit card.

    • Geoff says:

      Not just ATM cash withdrawals. I am now being charged the 3.99% by Tesco on ALL CURVE TRANSACTIONS.

      • Will cover this tomorrow.

      • Will Squires says:

        Same, I’m furious about it. Had a most unsatisfactory conversation with their call centre yesterday. Started by saying it was because I was using it for “cash transactions” (Starling, Monzo). Then I pointed to the charge I’d received for spending £12 in “Kitty Cafe”. Her tune then changed to “because whenever you use an intermediary *like Curve* that’s a cash transaction”. I told her I expect they’ll be applying the same charge to customers using PayPal then – “uhm, uhm….”.

        She then read out a letter they claim to have sent out a letter on May 21st, did anyone receive such a letter? I certainly didn’t.

        Complaint in progress. Whatever the rights and wrongs you can’t start dropping charges on people with no notice. I’ll be seeking a refund of my annual fee since between this and Tesco Direct closing the card is now basically useless to me.

      • Andre says:

        Anyone had any luck with going “back in time” with curve? I’ve just done a test with one of the purchases since 1st June.

    • Craig says:

      If this ends up being the case for all UK credit cards then curve’s business model goes up in smoke. I put a couple of small transactions through to a HSBC WE, I’ll see what happens.

  2. James says:

    This backtracking from Marriott regarding Platinum status for SPG-matched Marriott-Gold’s (mouthful !) is rather mean spirited.

    I have SPG Gold and have never, ever stayed in a Marriott. I was going to switch a number of IHG and other stays over to Marriott in order to enjoy the Platinum benefits. Who knows, I may have enjoyed the Marriott brand and stayed there loads, earning platinum the hard way but now we’ll never know.

    Never mind that then. They can go without my money; The miserable recanterers !

    • Steve-B says:

      Isn’t that the point – why would Marriott extend the benefits to someone who has “never ever stayed in a Marriott”… on the basis that they “may” in future.

      Fully agree that they shouldn’t have set expectations the way they did though.

      • Chris says:

        Because the post-august scheme is not Marriott, it’s (Marriott+SPG) so anyone with lots of SPG stays is therefore someone who *has* made stays at the combined group

    • Tilly says:

      It’s really p’d me off. After my non-redundable booking stay in September they will not get any more from me, i will stick with Hilton. I was considering switching loyalty if I’d enjoyed my stay with them but now I will stay with Hilton.

  3. Prune says:

    OT – I am having issues transferring avios from iberia to avios at the moment- I have tried the methods via the iberia site and the avios site but no joy. I have checked all my details and they match. Anybody else having this issue?

  4. At the risk of defending Marriott a little, there is no ‘backtracking’ here. It wasn’t 100% clear at the time what the position would be after the terms of the new scheme were first announced and it was all a little bit of a mess. Rob was told by one Marriott representative that SPG Gold would become Platinum whilst others were told it would become Gold and clearly jumped too quickly to a conclusion based on this as was pointed out at the time. See the thread in the Marriott forum at Flyertalk.

    Logistically, Marriott has never really been like Hilton (i.e. just giving out status for nothing), so this decision is hardly a surprise.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Agree. For me everything pointed to getting Gold not Platinum.

    • That is not quite how it went. The UK head told me (and Tom Otley who was with me and who is an Amex Plat too!) that Gold got Plat. Importantly, he took seven hours to answer the question until the US office opened and he could speak to them.

      The Australian head, in a separate interview, said the same to Australian Business Traveller. Meanwhile, in the US, the overall programme head told TPG it would not.

      Turns out top man was right after all ….

  5. Morning Rob.

    I also have a six night vacation booked with Marriott, which would be great to put towards a Platinum challenge, but your original article states that this will count as just one stay, yet you allude to your 3 night Venice trip pushing you to he night night threshold?

    Can you clarify please?

    • * Pushing you to the 9 night threshold.

    • KBuffett says:

      I don’t read it that way. He’s saying the free breakfast over those theee nights will cover the costs incurred for paying for 9 nights.

      • But a three night break is only one stay, so how can said three night break complete a 9 stay challenge (6 stays completed already plus an additional 3 Nights/1 stay in Venice) ?

  6. The article doesn’t state that, nor does it in infer that it isn’t part of the challenge.

    Indeed there is a clear correlation that it does, insofar as alluding to 6+3=9!!

    • Genghis says:

      Need to have the status to get the free breakfast. QED

    • TGLoyalty says:

      In order to be Platinum and get the free breakfast he is talking about he would have to complete the 9 stays atleast a week or so before.

  7. In Rob’s defence, my experience of the challenge is you are upgraded to platinum for the length of the challenge, and should you hit, you stay platinum, if you don’t, you keep gold.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Do they? SPG didn’t and only had 3 calender months to complete. You could go back a month though.

    • No, only Hilton dose that

    • Elaine says:

      There are (or used to be anyway) two types of Platinum challenge with Marriott. One upgraded you to Platinum immediately and you had to do the stays to keep it, and with the other you had to do the stays first before you got granted status. The first one was more common a few years ago but it appears the second is more common nowadays.

  8. alan d craig says:

    I think the platinum challenge needs to be completed by end of July, I am four down and plan to finish by 22nd July with two separate nights in Moxy Aberdeen and courtyard Aberdeen.

    • Rob MC says:

      I got accepted for this yesterday and runs til the end of September. I was told that from August SPG properties also count towards the 9

  9. Rachael says:

    We are just about to become platinum members in August and sorry to sound a little green but what is F&B credit / amenity ? Also given the choice which is the best offer, points, breakfast or amenity ?

    • ‘Food and beverage’ so it gets knocked off anything bar or restaurant bill.

      • Rachael says:

        Thanks, which is the best perk to pick ?

        • 1000 points is worth around £5, a $10 F&B credit is worth around £6-£7 and is ‘real’ cash, so probably better.

        • Depends if you would actually be spending time and cash in the on-property bars or restaurants? If I’m travelling on my own I almost never do, so would almost always take the points instead.

  10. mutley says:

    O/T Work takes me to Heathrow area in July/ August. I will be spending approx.20 hotel nights in this period, Any recommendations re; hotels and those to avoid on budget of max £140 nightly?

    • Mark2 says:

      I suggest that you consider hotel-hopping to make as many stays as possible to bag status challenges.

    • The new Novotel on Bath Road is meant to be good and would work with the Accor offer covered in the other article today.

      The Hilton, Marriott and SPG offers a bit dull.

      IHG Accelerate is the wild card – you need to look at your personalised offers. It could work well because you could hit any stay-based or brand-based targets easily by jumping around the various IHG properties.

      • mutley says:

        Thanks for the replies guys, I will probably hotel hop a bit, ( I have Hilton diamond, Marriot gold, Accor gold) and also an accelerate target. I reckon there are about 25 hotels from the major chains dotted around within a mile and half of the airport. I’ll see if I can get through half of them!

    • roberto says:

      And if you looking at saving a few quid the Premier Inn at T4 has rooms from £45 a night on certain days and is mostly less than £80. Covered walkway from T$ plus free buses to T5 ( & onward connections ) and its not a bad place to lay your head.

  11. Adrian says:

    Guys, have any of you recently (in the last week or so) asked Marriott for the platinum challenge? I asked the twitter team this week and was told they “no longer do challenges”. Has anyone been accepted if so how did you do it email/phone? (UK or US?).

    • KBuffett says:

      I was rejected on twitter. Ignored by email twice. Succeeded on the third email request

  12. Bits O/T

    Any top points deals for Florida car hire, my usual choice of Virgin/Alamo seem expensive, Holiday Autos seem to be offering okay price on a small SUV via Europacar, £450 for 2 weeks.

    Anyone had better recent quotes?

    • roberto says:

      I had a cheap(ish) deal with Avis out of Miami airport recently. Was part of the (now expired 6000 miles promo) but about $24 a day for a group 3 car..

    • George says:

      I’m flying into Orlando in the next few days, got a great price with TripWheels as the intermediary. I’m renting toward the top of the price groups and still sub-£50 a day.

      • Thanks George not heard of them before.

        This trip is using up my VS PE upgrade vouchers, might be the last time I use them.

        • Not sure when you are travelling but Hertz France seems to have cheaper SUVs at MCO this summer , around the €430 mark for 2 weeks, that includes Amex platinum CDP code and a premium SUV.

    • Chelseafifi says:

      If you’re a Costco member, they seemed good for states, book under

    • Alex W says:

      @triprep I use autoslash for cheap car hire eevry time.

  13. Optimus Prime says:

    OT – Is BA likely to have a summer sale for short-haul flights? Or have I missed it already? 🙂

  14. OT – £140 annual fee just posted to my PRGC:
    – how long should I expect to wait for the 10,000 bonus MRs to post?
    – if I do gold to plat upgrade, will the £140 go towards the plat fee or be pro rata refunded then £450 charged for plat?


    • the real harry1 says:

      Took a bit longer than expected for us last time, at least 3 weeks

      the £140 will be refunded pro rata to your Plat a/c, meaning you’re in credit so will need to spend about £1120 to hit the spend target

      sounds like you need your mind making up about Plat: how about getting it then referring self/ others for a range of Amex cards @ 18,000 per referral before cancelling? SPG, Nectar, BA etc, his ‘n hers and it can soon add up

      • Genghis says:

        “the £140 will be refunded pro rata to your Plat a/c, meaning you’re in credit so will need to spend about £1120 to hit the spend target”.

        This is not the case. Fees and refunds thereof do not earn points / count towards target spend etc.

        So assuming a zero balance, the refund would take you say to -£120, you’d spend £1k for the 20k MRs and then have a closing balance of £880.

      • Darren says:

        Thanks TRH1,

        I’ve recently received my Gold to Platinum 20k bonus and will be referring from Platinum, my referees have the BA and PRG, are SPG and Nectar the only options?

  15. the real harry1 says:

    BLAZE DRAMA London fire – 15 fire engines and 97 crew scrambled to the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Knightsbridge after huge blaze sees smoke billowing over capital

    • KBuffett says:

      Less than a week after completion of their new £185m refurb! Ouch. Hope everyone is OK

  16. the real harry1 says:

    O/T Raffles: get ye to Kittyhawk!

    Now flights will be available to interested business partners and select social influencers with its handful of Flyer vehicles.

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