Bits: Hertz becomes first non-airline SkyTeam member, crazy Avios US surcharges, the Marriott daily play game

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of our partners is here.

News in brief:

Hertz to become the first non-airline member of SkyTeam

This is, I think, a world exclusive!  I was with Caroline Simmerman, the Hertz Europe partnerships director, at a reception in Amsterdam last night and she told our group that Hertz has just agreed a deal to become the first ‘non-airline member’ of the SkyTeam airline alliance.

It isn’t quite clear how this will work.  All 20 SkyTeam airlines will, presumably, now offer miles via Hertz although this is unlikely to be exclusive given existing deals.  There was no indication of whether you could match SkyTeam status to Hertz status although I would imagine it is likely.

A full announcement is coming soon where we will find out the full details.

Hertz joins SkyTeam alliance

Avios ‘taxes and surcharges’ increased for First Class redemptions out of the US

You may not know this, but taxes and charges on British Airways flights booked using Avios are substantially higher if you start your trip in the United States.

If you thought charges from the UK were high, you really haven’t seen anything.

British Airways has recently increased the surcharges on First Class flights out of the US.  To be honest, it is now getting silly.

As the screenshot below shows, a First Class redemption using Avios from New York JFK to London Heathrow now costs a ludicrous £1,395 in taxes and charges.  Per person.

See the screenshot below.

Doing the same trip in reverse, from the UK, ‘only’ costs £598 return.

I have absolutely no idea what the grounds are for charging US residents more than twice as much, but it makes no sense at all.   To be fair, this is good news for UK residents as it means US residents are unlikely to be taking all of the Avios seats.

About Marriott’s ‘daily play’ game …..

On Friday we ran an article about the new ‘daily play’ Marriott Rewards online game.

You can play here.

There are 2 MILLION prizes to be won, although the majority are only worth 50 Marriott Rewards points, worth 25p.  The main value is that it should keep your account alive for another year.

Everyone assumed that you could play and win every day for the full 29 days that the game runs.  However, it seems we were wrong.  It looks like you can only win one ‘instant play’ prize during the 29 days.  If you play on additional days, all you get is an extra entry into the grand prize draw at the end.

(A very small number of people claim to have won twice. It is not clear why literally 1% have managed it but no-one else.)

I honestly don’t know if this was Marriott’s plan.  I mean … it will be tough to give away 2 million ‘instant win’ prizes if it is limited to one per person especially as only residents of a few countries (UK is included) are eligible to enter.

Anyway …. our original article which said that you could win every day was clearly wrong for most people.  25p of points per person seems to be all Marriott is offering!

(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.)

EXCLUSIVE HFP OFFER: Earn up to 10,000 bonus Avios with hotel bookings!
A few thoughts about the St Regis New York hotel and my $2,800 suite
Click here to join the 13,000 people on our email list and receive the latest Avios, miles and points news by 6am.

Amazon ad
About Head for Points

We help business and leisure travellers maximise their Avios, frequent flyer miles and hotel loyalty points. Visit every day for three new articles or sign up for our FREE emails via this page or the box to your right.


  1. Me here says:

    Due to travel delays (Eurostar) I found myself bored enough to read the Marriott game rules, tucked under the list of prizes I found…
    “Limit one (1) Instant Win Prize per person.”

    Also the rules say…
    “Any prize which is not won or is left unclaimed will be donated to charity or disposed of after January 14, 2019.”

    I.e. there may be 2 million prizes, but the number actually won could be far fewer.

  2. OT but looking to fly out of LHR T3 in December. Planning to leave the car for a few days and wonder what the best option is for hotel and parking?

  3. OT – my wife has the Amex gold credit card. Can I refer her for the platinum charge and get the referral bonus even though she won’t qualify for the spend bonus?

    • You still get the referral points even if the applicant doesn’t qualify for a sign up bonus, however I don’t know if it’s currently possible to hold Gold and Platinum – someone else might be able to enlighten us!

  4. Nathan Dimmock says:

    I managed to win 1000 points on the Marriott game the first time I played, am feeling quite chuffed now if most people only get 50. I was going to play again today but shall not bother if there are no further prizes on offer.

  5. AlexW

    I agree it’s lousy value. But if they get takers then who are we to judge?

    Also might be worthwhile if you can use the 2-4-1 deal that comes with the Chase BA card

    I mostly use Avios on American or JAL flights – very low fees.

  6. Are Marriott reward points bookings refundable ? In points I presume ?

  7. Marriott 29 Ways Tao Stay game… just gained my second 50points prize…

Please click here to read our data protection policy before submitting your comment.