Bits: 100% IHG ‘buy points’ bonus, join a Hilton McLaren F1 factory tour, extended-stay Marriott Residence Inn opens in Kensington

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News in brief:

IHG launches new ‘buy points’ bonus – up to 100%

IHG Rewards Club – the InterContinental, Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza etc scheme – is running another sale this week for a bonus of up to 100% when you buy over 5,000 points. 100% is as generous an offer as you will ever see for IHG points.

The page to buy points is here where you can see your personalised offer.  To be honest, if you don’t have a 100% bonus, I would hold off unless you need the points in the short term.

The standard prices, before the bonus, are:

  • 1,000 – 10,000 points for $13.50 per 1,000 points
  • 11,000 – 25,000 points for $11.50 per 1,000 points
  • 26,000 – 60,000 points for $10 per 1,000 points

My own bonus was only 50%, so I definitely won’t be taking part.

With a 100% bonus, you would be able to buy 120,000 IHG points for (at current exchange rates for $600) £456.  

At the top end of the IHG Rewards Club portfolio, you have InterContinental properties which top out at 60,000 – 70,000 points per night. That’s what you would pay for InterContinental Le Grand in Paris or the InterContinental Amstel in Amsterdam pictured below.

You should look at this if you have a ‘buy points’ target for your Accelerate promotion – although it makes more sense to buy 5,000 and get the bonus than buy 1,000 for no bonus.  If you are topping off your account, it is also a good deal irrespective of the exact cents per point cost.  The maximum number of points you can buy per year is 200,000 (ie 100,000 plus the 100,000 bonus if you were offered the maximum 100% extra).

You can buy via this link.  The offer ends on 22nd August.

Visit the McLaren Technology Centre with Hilton Honors

Hilton Honors has arranged another tour of the McLaren F1 factory at the Norman Foster-designed McLaren Technology Centre in Woking.

The date is Thursday 11th October.  The cost is 100,000 Hilton Honors points for two people and includes a three-course dinner.

The factory is not normally open to the public so this is a rare opportunity to take a look inside.   Note that there is now a 16+ age restriction in place for these tours.

You can redeem your points for a pair of tickets here.

Residence Inn by Marriott London Kensington

Europe’s largest Residence Inn opens in Kensington

If you travel to London for extended periods, you may want to take a look at the new Residence Inn by Marriott which has just opened in Kensington. 

Situated on Warwick Road nears Earls Court, the property contains 319 suites ranging from studios to 2-bedrooms.  All rates include free breakfast and all suites include a kitchen if you want to cook for yourself.

It is not a new build, but a conversion and refurbishment of an apartment hotel complex called Think Apartments which opened in 2007.  The building is just behind the big Tesco supermarket that you pass on the way to Heathrow from Central London.

This will be the largest Residence Inn in Europe and the third largest globally.  This is the second Residence Inn in London following the London Bridge opening last year.

Marriott Rewards redemptions are 40,000 points per night.  1-Bed Suites are bookable on points but don’t get too excited – they are advertised as being a relatively small 24-27 square metres.  Cash rates start from £180.  The hotel website is 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.)

BA Holidays launches short-haul and long-haul luxury sale - cheaper than just booking a flight!
Good new BA Amex 'bonus Avios' promotion - requires registration
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  1. KBuffett says:

    OT – I have a Hilton’s Barclaycard free night on my account issued in Feb (no physical voucher). I recall that it’s only valid for 6 months so might just use it quickly at the Conrad in London. Do I need to request the physical certificate and can anyone please confirm the expiry etc or any tips etc?

    • You don’t need a physical certificate. In my experience some agents insist the stay must be booked and consumed within 6 moths while others let you book the stay up to a year in advance as long as you call before the certificate expires. I have done the latter and faced no problems at the hotel.

    • To use mine in the past I have just phoned HH customer services.

  2. Michael says:

    OT: My partner has a British Airways Executive Account (currently household account with her parent/s). She wants to close this household back into her name and keep all Avios in it. Then transfer them to and create a household account with myself, then transfer all Avios into my account. Is this possible? And can I then transfer these back into my own BAEC account, whilst still being able to book reward flight saver for GBP 35 within Europe and all other options under the scheme.

    Are there any suggestions how to get the Avios into my BAEC account more easily, considering they are all in hers but she has household account with her parent/s? Thank you !

    • If she breaks up the BA HHA all the avios go back into the respective accounts. It is avios HHA which allow you to specify the destination of avios on break up. Even if she broke up the BA HHA and all the avios were transfered to avios com and a HHA set up there, IIRC she would then need to wait 6 months to break that up. Given avios accounts are being closed soon, best strategy is just to get you all in one BA HHA or maximise use of family and friends.

  3. McLaren VIP tour package now down to three, from seven this morning.

    I’m guessing that these are probably, as before, all HfP readers. 🙂

  4. OT – still Hilton! I’ve been looking at NYC hotels for May 2019 and the Hilton New York Fashion district had been showing at $1200 per night (on Hilton website and Today the same room is $464 per night which is a heck of a reduction. I hope nobody made a non-refundable booking on the original price! I’ve cancelled my points booking and re-booked a flexible cash one.

  5. Octopus says:

    OT – planning to visit Osaka and Seoul in September. What are the recommended hotels in those cities if making use of the platinum chargecard hotel gold member status for Hilton and Marriott/SPG?

  6. Tracy says:

    O/T re. BA household account. I have a household account for two adults and three children. I will be redeeming some avios soon for a redemption flight and I would like the avios to clear out of the kids accounts first then my account. Is this possible? In the past, it seems to be some sort of percentage based avios redemption with some avios coming from each account depending on how many avios are in the accounts.

    • Roberto says:

      Transfer the right amount of adult points to leaving exactly how many you need in the BAEC HHA between you all.. once you redeem that will zero out the HHA and just transfer the remaining adult points back from


      • Tracy says:

        Thanks Roberto. Didn’t think of that. Unfortunately, I will be booking the return for a 241 paying full avios for 2 people as a standard redemption as soon as they are released and then phoning ba office when it opens to combine with my already booked outward journey and will get avios for one person back. You have any idea if I would recieve the returned avios or woukd they be returned from whence they came pro rata? Very complicated I know lol.

  7. MattyS says:

    There’s also a Mercedes AMG tour in Brackley for 30k marriot points on the Moments website including a screening of the Gran Premio D’Italia plus food & drink. Not my sport so no idea if any good.

    • Tariq says:

      Thanks! Might be more than one package because it’s still showing as available and I’ve bought one.

      • MattyS says:

        Pleased you got one. Marriott seem to have some decent sporting events in the UK every now and again. A cracking Wimbledon one partnered with Hertz i missed out on sadly.

        • I was VERY annoyed with that! I check these on a regular basis but it came up whilst I was away and not doing my usual routine.

          I did do an Emirates Queens Club tennis hospitality package this year which was a pleasant change – never been in all these years.

  8. Roger says:

    Any ideas on what destinations I should be looking at in order to get 4 CW seats.
    We have two 241 vouchers to use and cannot see many destinations with good availability.

    • Mark2 says:

      I was looking at Toronto today and there seemed to be lots of seats in CW.

      • the pitch says:

        Mexico city has great availability, we booked 2 months ahead for the late May bank holiday. A lot of the time they have 8 seats in CW. A great destination in its own right but you can also pick up flights to cancun or Puerto Escondido etc from there for cheap.

    • Kevin says:

      New York? When do you want to go? Have you used the baredemption finder site? Very helpful for looking for multiple seats with a calendar view.

      • Roger says:

        MEX, YTO seems to have 4 seat availability.
        Looking up on BAREDEMPTIONFINDER as well.

    • Middle East generally has lots, Beijing, Hong Kong ….

    • Tracy says:

      Lima seems to have plenty of seats, 6 or 7 on many days I’ve been looking at next summer.

  9. Mikee says:

    O/T: Looking to pay my Amex Dollar Intl Charge Card bill of $1800 but Caxton is charging £50 with a very bad exchange rate vs Revolut rate.
    Still can’t pay Amex via Transferwise or Revolut as they don’t allow SWIFT transfer and/or provide an Reference Field during the payment process so can’t include my credit card number meaning the transaction will fail.
    Any other cheap options people have used? Thx.


    • Kbuffett says:

      Are you able to pay using Revolut’s debit card?

    • the_real_a says:

      I have a HSBC $ currency account based in the UK which is free to hold. SWIFT transfers are £4. Transfer your £ to $ via revolut, deposit into HSBC in $ (using UK sort code and account number for free) and make a SWIFT trasnfer from HSBC to the US bank for AMEX for £4

      • I pay my $ Amex from my UK HSBC account via online banking. Easy if not cheapest, but I rarely use it – main cost is the fee.

        • Mikee says:

          Ok great, will go for the HSBC $ option.
          I’ve just tried sending another test payment of $10 from Revolut to Amex in NYC and included my Amex card number in the reference field to see if it works (previously it didn’t but I’m trying again). I would use Transferwise but it didn’t recognise the ACH number and also their reference field only allows 10 characters so is too short.
          Azimo was the cheapest option I could find – will cost me an extra £30 over the Revolut fee-free spot rate option.

        • Bagoly says:

          I would have thought that Revolut card would work.
          Other option would be a zero/low spread credit card (E.g. Post Office, Halifax) – paying off the credit card in advance.
          With my old Nationwide, I can pre-fund and it would cost me 1%.

  10. Graham Walsh says:

    Just booking IB flights and had this notice pop up when using my Amex Plat. Never seen this before.

    Important notice

    You should present your payment card
    For the correct verification of the payment card holder´s identity, the holder must show the card on the day of departure of the flight at the check-in desk. To the contrary, the passenger in the booking will be refused embarkation.
    The card will only be required at the first starting point of the trip (not on the return trip or connecting flights).

    Virtual cards
    Virtual cards are not admitted as forms of payment. The purchase of a ticket with a virtual card means you will NOT BE ADMITTED on the flight, being able to fly only by purchasing a new ticket at the time of departure. Return to previous page and modify your form of payment.

    You can continue with the purchase by clicking on “buy ticket” or by going back to the previous page.

    • Graham Walsh says:

      Seems that IB decided to change my Amex Personal to Business without me noticing. Went through 2nd time with the correct Personal Amex setting.

  11. ChrisC says:

    I got 100% offer so 200k points for approx £760.

    Good vslue?

    Am still new to the IHG scheme and I don’t appear to have any accelerate offers at the moment. How often do they come out?

    • Genghis says:

      I like to pick up points cheaply and effectively “run a book” and sell them when needed. I sell at 0.4p so would not buy at this price.

      So buy for a specific redemption once you’ve run the numbers (less points earned), not specilatively.

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