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The University Arms hotel in Cambridge joins Marriott’s Autograph Collection

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The University Arms hotel in Cambridge has joined Autograph Collection, Marriott’s successful brand for high quality independent hotels who still want the benefits of working with a major chain.

The hotel has recently had an £80m refurbishment overseen by interior designer Martin Brudnizki and represents an impressive option in a city where genuinely high end hotels are scarce.

As a redemption, the hotel currently costs 25,000 Marriott Rewards or SPG points per night.  This is excellent value given that, looking at a random weekday in September, cash rates are well above £250 per night.

The website is here if you want to learn more.


How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards

How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards (June 2022)

There are various ways of earning Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.

The official Marriott Bonvoy American Express card comes with 20,000 points for signing up, 2 points for every £1 you spend and 15 elite night credits per year.

You can apply here.

American Express Marriott Bonvoy credit card

Marriott Bonvoy American Express

20,000 bonus points and 15 elite night credits Read our full review

You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points by converting American Express Membership Rewards points at the rate of 2:3.

Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Marriott Bonvoy Gold status for as long as they hold the card?  It also comes with Hilton Honors Gold, Radisson Rewards Gold and MeliaRewards Gold status.  We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points indirectly:

and for small business owners:

The conversion rate from American Express to Marriott Bonvoy points is 2:3.

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which can be used to earn Marriott Bonvoy points

(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.)

Comments (71)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • pablo says:

    Also Singapore are avios shopping portal partner. 2 avios per £1

  • Tariq says:

    If you have free Shangri-La Jade status from Amex Platinum, then you can get free SQ silver KrisFlyer status using their partnership website – just got our cards through the post last week, links and upgrades online within 24 hours.

    • Pangolin says:

      You can get Gold status with just 3 segments within 4 months of registering.

      • Alex says:

        How? Does that give you access to LH lounges?

        • Pangolin says:

          It’s part of the Infinite Journeys tie-in, the same crossover promotion that gives you instant Silver can also be used to obtain Gold, which does indeed give you access to LH lounges and any Star Alliance lounge.

          Take a flight to Singapore, hop over to KUL and back. By the time you return from Singapore you will have qualified for Kris Flyer Gold (did the exact same thing last November).

  • PGW says:

    I’m not familiar with Singapore’s standard fares but I’m seeing MAN-SIN at around £3k in Business on the sale page. Is that a really a sale fare or am I missing something?

    • Crafty says:

      I’ve gone through the whole list of destinations and, based only on the “from” prices, they’ll have to trim off a whole lot more before I’ll bite.

      Singapore does seem to price way above the others, based on the near daily flight tracking I’ve been doing for the last 3 weeks.

  • Mike says:

    Data point for rob, pangolin and others involved in the platinum challenge dsicussions over last few days.

    My account has overnite updated to be PPE instead of PE. Justice is served!

    Interested to hear if others are same?

    • KBuffett says:

      Yes!!!! Mine has too. Great result.
      Thank you Rob for highlighting the challenge.
      I just hope it lasts until 2020. Is there any way for checking?
      Also, are Marriott redemptions still book 5 nights pay for 4? And do they include ex-SPG properties?
      Would breakfast be included for redemption stays?
      I’m a little unclear on a few things since completion of the merger.

    • Ian M says:

      I’ve been made Platinum Premier Elite overnight as well. Finally!

      KBuffett…
      Yes 5 for 4 on redemptions and yes you still get free breakfast on redemptions if the hotel brand you’re staying at offers it for Platinum members.

      • HL says:

        Ian, have you heard anything back from AMEX SPG missing bonus points? I almost giving up arguments with them.

        • Ian M says:

          So.. I called on Tuesday to ask for an update only to be told that the person who was dealing with my complaint has taken the week off. The lady I spoke to said she would put a note on the system asking that the complaint gets moved to another person so it can be addressed. I’m going to call again today and ask for an update.

        • Ian M says:

          SPG Amex double points update….

          Spoke to the woman dealing with my complaint today. She has listened back to the original call when I was offered double points for 3 months and accepted my complaint. She said she will go through all my August purchases and issue all the missing points. She will also ensure all future purchases up to the end of my 3 months offer are issued correctly.

          Finally success!

    • Steve says:

      +1 pleasant surprise aa just embarking on a 6 hotel stay holiday for the next 4 weeks

    • Brian S says:

      Yes me too.

      I’m not expecting it to last beyond this year and probably will be PE next year but this is good for the remainder of 2020 at least.

      Not at all bad for asking for a challenge and not completing it 🙂

    • Pangolin says:

      Yes, just checked mine and it now shows PPE!

      My SPG app is still showing Platinum though.

      • mike says:

        the strange thing is it says PPE in the Marriott app, but when I log in on desktop it still says PE, anyone else getting this?

        • Ian M says:

          I’m showing as PPE on both the app and the website. Try clearing your cookies?

    • Alex W says:

      You lucky wotists! Most of us have been demoted from “old gold” to “new gold” 🙁

      • TGLoyalty says:

        They completed (or registered for) a Platinum challenge rather than being upgraded due to spg gold.

        • Leo says:

          Hopefully we can now call time on Marriott for a bit – it’s driven me more mad than even Iberia-gate.

    • E says:

      Brilliant – mine upgraded too. Now to sort out the missing extra bonus from this week’s stay! Thanks for highlighting this today as was getting fed up checking.

  • Paul says:

    Oh please £2650 to Bali! Get real SQ I haven’t paid more than £1500 in the last 7 years and have managed £900 ex eu on Qatar. Ludicrous fares!

    • JFSV says:

      I think if you are willing to interpret “ex-EU” widely, SQ has had recent solid deals ex-IST, for example, to KUL, DPS and others.

      Still, I was not overly impressed with their soft product…

      • Mark2 says:

        Even interpreting “ex-EU” narrowly it includes UK (until March 19).

  • Peter K says:

    KLM are apparently dropping Tehran as well.

    • Will says:

      Oh dear. Is this linked to the Trump sanctions or poor loads? Wouldn’t have thought the latter?

      AF/Lufthansa?

      • john says:

        Both. Loads are poor due to the sanctions apparently as some business are winding down their interests there. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-45288659

        • Will Avery says:

          Interesting. I heard they were pretty full flights but that was a year ago. Guess Trump’s sanctions eh?

          Shame as was planning to use some Avios on that route one day :(((

        • Alex Sm says:

          It’s very sad – despite all the EU political efforts it is just falling through because of Trump… There was so much hope invested and reflected in those flights – to no avail…

  • Tom C says:

    I live in Cambridge and therefore will not be staying in the University Arms any time soon, but I’ve eaten there a few times and the food is actually rather good and a welcome addition to the rather poor (excluding Midsummer House) selection.

  • Bach says:

    OT – i don’t suppose the amex plat car hire insurance covers vans, does it?

    • Bach says:

      Being more specific, I see no reference to ‘VAN’ but policy excluses commercial vehicles… would a van be considered as such if used personally to move stuff? Or this is just to exclude cars/vans/etc used for commerical purpose…

      • Peter K says:

        The t&c’s don’t seem to specify. They say it excludes:
        “Mopeds and motorbikes, commercial vehicles, trucks, motor
        homes, and vehicles not licensed for road use including but
        not limited to trailers or caravans.”

        I think you are likely on fragile grounds with a van. Also, it is part of the *travel* insurance and I’m sure I checked a couple of years ago and it had to be hired as part of a holiday. So if for just e.g. moving house it wouldn’t cover you.

        The best advice would be to ring. I found then very friendly and helpful.

        • RussellH says:

          I would agree that you probably need to check very carefully.

          A couple of years ago I hired a small van for the weekend, purely because Enterprise were offering it at about 60% of the cost of a similar sized car. The only ‘payload’ was our two suitcases. I took out insurance4carhire cover, but on reading the small print saw that vans were excluded. I phoned to check and was told that cover for a van was offerred by a separate branch of the company; it was about 125% more expensive. They had no complaints about my cancelling the car cover.

        • Lady London says:

          It’ll be a no. A commercial vehicle is one built for commercial use, regardless of how you choose to use it. You won’t get them to cover vans for any use.

          Much the same as in the UK, there are “car-based vans” (e.g. an Astra van small size can be) and there are “van-based cars” e.g., I believe, some Peugeot models. The speed limit on some roads will be the limit for vans (lower) if you are driving a van-based car. And higher if you are driving a car-based van.

          A little OT but shows why I’m 90% sure Amex will not cover you for hiring a vehicle built for commercial use, which by definition is a van. You’d also have to be sure which exact make and model the hiring company will give you on the day.

          Tip: I have found Questor (for vehicle excess coverage) and Hertz, who often ahve good special offers on vans in the UK, to be good combo in the past. Excesses are also much higher on vans so you really do need this type of insurance.

    • W says:

      I called and asked a few months ago, answer was a clear “no”.

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