I had an email from reader Jason yesterday which I thought I would share. He decided, last Saturday night, that he fancied a trip to Moscow to watch England in the World Cup semi-final. And he wanted it for as near to free as possible.
Anyone who did this for cash ended up paying crazy sums for the few last minute cash seats available. Jason paid next to nothing, using his Avios and hotel points. He was helped by the fact that Finnair is very good at releasing unsold seats for frequent flyer mile redemptions close to departure.
This is how he did it:
£1 – a one-way car rental to Heathrow via the special Europcar offer
15,000 Avios + £25 – a one-way BA business class flight on Monday from Heathrow to Helsinki
18,000 Avios + £36 – a return Finnair flight on Tuesday evening from Helsinki to Moscow
10,000 Marriott Rewards points – Marriott Courtyard hotel in Moscow for Tuesday night
£140 – Holiday Inn Express in Moscow (no points option!)
Included above – flight back from Moscow to Helsinki on Thursday
15,000 IHG points – Holiday Inn Helsinki Airport for Thursday night
19,500 Avios + £65 – a one-way business class flight Helsinki-Edinburgh on Finnair, then Edinburgh-Manchester with Flybe, on Friday
Total cost to get to Moscow at 48 hours notice plus four nights accommodation …… 44,500 Avios + 16,000 Hilton Honors points + 10,000 Marriott Rewards points + 15,000 IHG Rewards Club points + around £300 in cash. Not a bad result.
Hotel offers update – September 2021:
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.
Want to buy hotel points? There are currently special offers running with Marriott Bonvoy (‘mystery’ 45% or 50% bonus to 25th September), Hilton Honors (100% bonus to 30th September) and World of Hyatt (30% bonus to 31st October).