Bits: Amex MR now 2:3 to Marriott, more Hilton McLaren factory tours, Iberia adds Buenos Aires and Mexico City

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News in brief:

American Express Membership Rewards rate to Marriott / Starwood confirmed

This is not unexpected, but it is good to have it confirmed.

The American Express Membership Rewards hotel transfers page (click here) has been updated to show that transfers to the new combined Marriott / Starwood programme will go through at a 2:3 ratio.

It erroneously shows as ‘3 Starpoints’ instead of ‘3 points’ but I’m sure Amex will fix that.

This is as we expected, as the old ratio to Starwood was 2:1 with Starwood to Marriott at 1:3.

In theory transfers should restart from today after a suspension whilst the Starwood / Marriott IT merger was completed.

Hilton Honors McLaren Factory Tour trip

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 Monday 5th November.  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.

New Iberia services to Buenos Aires and Mexico City

Iberia adds extra flights to Buenos Aires and Mexico City

Iberia has announced an extra three weekly flights to both Buenos Aires and Mexico City.  Each city will now be served 17 times per week from Madrid.

The extra Buenos Aires flights will depart on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  The extra Mexico City services will depart on Monday, Thursday and Sunday.

The services begin with the launch of the Winter timetable on 27th October.

There should be decent Avios availability for these flights.  Remember to book via Iberia Plus and not British Airways Executive Club as the taxes and charges will be substantially lower – use ‘Combine My Avios’ on ba.com to move your points.  Expect to pay under £200 in Business Class.

You can’t use a British Airways American Express 2-4-1 voucher on Iberia, of course.  Your connecting flight from the UK should be on a separate ticket if you don’t want £160 of Air Passenger Duty added to the taxes – although neither BA or Iberia will check through your bags if you do this, which is a pain.

PS.  If ‘Combine My Avios’ doesn’t work directly into Iberia Plus from BAEC, you should use avios.com as an intermediary.  Log in to your avios.com, AerClub or Vueling Club account and pull in the Avios from BA and then push them to Iberia.

(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.)

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Comments

  1. OT but Hilton. Currently on my first stay at a Hilton Garden Inn (near Washington DC) as a gold HH member. The hotel is half empty and there are suites showing at less than the price I paid for a standard room (rookie mistake, I should have checked, cancelled and rebooked 3 days out) but we were emphatically refused an upgrade citing “availability”. I thought they were more generous to HH members in the US?!

    We had a lovely stay at a Homewood Suites for our first 3 nights though, even though booked via 3rd party, the free breakfast and hot drinks 24/7 saved us a fortune! Would thoroughly recommend for a family.

    • Hilton Garden Inn is explicitly excluded from room upgrades even for Diamond members.

      • I’ve not seen that – but the manager did say it was due to availability, not that it’s not a benefit at HGI.

    • “Everybody” in the US has HH status! – Expect nothing!

      • I’m not now! They also tried to charge us all for breakfast and even though it’s classed as an “airport” hotel, their shuttle doesn’t start running till 6 am so we’ll have to pay $15 dollars for a taxi as we have an early flight tomorrow!

  2. OT – how long does it take for a Marriott stay to post normally….not been to one for a while and it’s been a week now?

    • Allegedly 2-3 days. I have a stay from
      3 Aug that hasn’t posted yet…

    • I had a stay checking out on 3rd August and it hadnt posted till yesterday. I filled in the missing stay sheet on the Marriott website and it has posted today.

  3. Hotels in Germany offer this by law.

  4. been waiting 2 weeks for transfer out my Amex points to Marriott/SPG – still can’t.

    v frustrating.

    • same, had to cancel a reservation as I doubt my points will be there in time. oh well back to Hilton anyway so as Gold will at least get breakfast.

  5. rams1981 says:

    Amex platinum house event cancelled. What a shambles lol

  6. Pangolin says:

    re unexpected status upgrade/downgrade

    Looks like Marriott is reverting the upgrades faster than the downgrades. A lot of people saying they’ve reverted back down to their expected level of Gold, but I’m still stuck on Platinum when I should actually be Platinum Premier.

    • Me too Pangolin. I’m staying in a Marriott this week to so that’ll be another thing to sort out when/if they sort this out and I need to get the extra bonus added.

    • Same, I checkout of a Marriott after a 7 night stay this week. Will be disappointing to get the lower bonus. But more worryingly is the fact all my Starwood stays/nights and all my Starpoints have gone from my account.

      • Have you checked that you don’t just have 2 accounts. I definitely have 2 new Marriott accounts, both with gold status. One from my spg account and one from Marriott despite them having been linked. Each has the old points balance.

  7. Oliver McManus says:

    Regarding transferring Avios from BA to Iberia…is the maximum annual transfer 30,000 Avios?

  8. Off topic but booked Domes of Elounda at 45k points per night in July for a booking next year, using book now redeem later. My booking has gone up to 60k points a night. We’re not going to get enough to cover it and I’ve booked flights. Anyone else had this happen? Any ideas on where I stand on this?

    • I’ve done he same Zoe, I read someone the other day has got Marriot to agree to honouring lower points, albeit they got them to apply a cat 7 voucher to it!
      I’m going to email them tomorrow and see what they say.

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