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Bits: generous Amex Gold/Plat bonus points promo, get a status match to Wyndham Rewards, Heathrow Christmas bears

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News in brief:

American Express launches a generous spend bonus on Gold and Platinum

If you have an American Express Preferred Rewards Gold or Platinum card, check the ‘Offers’ currently showing on your online statement page.

Tucked away down the bottom should be a generous spend bonus running from 15th November to 15th December.  You MUST ‘save to card’ in order to activate this.

There seem to be many different permutations.  In our house we got:

  • Spend £400, get 500 bonus Membership Rewards points, and
  • Spend £1,300, get 1,000 bonus Membership Rewards points

Readers also reported:

  • Spend £4,100, get 4,000 points
  • Spend £2,500, get 2,000 points
  • Spend £2,200, get 1,500 points
  • Spend £1,300, get 500 points
  • Spend £1,100, get 500 points
  • Spend £1,000, get 1,000 points
  • Spend £700, get 500 points
  • Spend £400, get 1,000 points

There seems to be no real logic to it.  Note the 15th November start date.  Any spend you make today will not count.

Why is Amex doing this?  Simple. 

As we have covered before on HFP, in one of the more bizarre court interpretations of a piece of legislation I have seen, Amex has been forced to cut the fees it charges to retailers who accept its co-brand cards (eg BA, SPG, Nectar).  It has NOT been forced to cut the fees retailers pay to accept Gold, Platinum, Green and Amex Rewards cards.

The company wants to quietly convince you to drop your co-brand card in favour of a non-co-brand card, where they make substantially more per transaction.  This is why cardmember offers have virtually disappeared from the BA and SPG American Express cards and why Amex is running generous offers like this.

Get a status match to Wyndham Rewards

(UPDATE: some people find that Hilton will not match their Wyndham Rewards status, so the method outlined here for boosting your Hilton Honors status might not work.  Do not Wyndham rooms purely because you want to try for Hilton Diamond.)

Wyndham – even though you may never have heard of it – is actually the largest hotel group in the world with over 8,000 properties.  The majority of these are low-cost hotels in the USA, primarily outside major cities, and you are unlikely to stay in one unless you are doing a US road trip.

In the UK, Wyndham Rewards is the loyalty scheme for hotel chains Ramada and Days Inn.  It also covers chains which you don’t find in the UK – Wyndham, Tryp, Wingate, Hawthorn, Microtel, Baymont, Super 8, Howard Johnson and the US (not UK) Travelodge.

There are around 30 Wyndham Rewards hotels in the UK.  The Days Inn hotels are generally found on motorway service stations which is why you may have missed them, although there are a couple in London.  The Ramada properties are better spread.

A number of the better hotels have been reflagged in the last couple of years.  The Ramada at Excel in London is now a DoubleTree.  The Ramada at the Mailbox in Birmingham is now under AC Hotels, a Marriott brand.  The Days Inn at Waterloo, pictured above, is about as exciting as it gets.

If your travels do take you to Wyndham properties, you can now get a 90-day status match from any existing hotel status you have.

This is a pretty decent status match as these things go:

You can match to ALL levels of the programme, including the top Diamond tier

They are being generous in what match they give

For example, in order to get top tier Diamond status, you only need:

Gold Elite in Marriott Rewards (free with Amex Platinum)

Gold in Hilton Honors (free with Amex Platinum)

Platinum Elite in IHG Rewards Club (free with IHG Rewards Club Premium Mastercard)

Gold in Radisson Rewards (free with Amex Platinum)

You see a full list by clicking the link in the terms and conditions on the status match page here.  It doesn’t work if I link to the chart directly.

This means that the majority of Head for Points readers should be able to get Diamond status by one route or another.

It may even be worth getting the match purely to do another match elsewhere.  For example, you could match your Hilton Gold status to Wyndham Diamond and then match your Wyndham Diamond to Hilton Diamond via Hilton’s status match!  Hilton requires one recent stay with the competing chain so you’d need to do a quick Days Inn or Ramada night as well.

Of course, if you’re unlikely to be staying in a Wyndham Rewards property in the next 90 days then it probably isn’t worth the effort unless you have a secondary match lined up.

There is one perk though …. Platinum and Diamond members of Wyndham Rewards get an automatic status match to Caesars Entertainment Total Rewards.  If you are heading to Las Vegas soon then this is worth a look.  You can see the Total Rewards benefits here ….. they include NO RESORT FEES on your bill, use of priority check-in lines and a $100 dinner credit for Diamonds.

You can sign up for the Wyndham Rewards status match here.

The Heathrow Christmas bears are back …..

And finally …. Heathrow Airport has released a new 90-second Christmas TV ad featuring the return of the bears you met last year.  Take a look.

It will have made Paul Young’s Christmas a very happy and lucrative one this year, if nothing else!

Which? looks at the UK's best and worst hotel chains
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Comments

  1. LaserBeams says:

    Would the ability not to pay resort fees as a Diamond member depend on the booking being made through Total Rewards? I have an Expedia booking in Jan for a Caesars group hotel and was wondering if they would waive the resort fees if I became Diamond?

  2. Got spend £1600 and get 4000 bonus points.

  3. Have now got 2000 bonus points for £1600 spend as of yesterday!

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