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Bits: bid on new Marriott Moments events, Simply Rewards closing – other Visa cashback deals to follow?, Malaysia Airlines promo

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News in brief:

Bid on new Marriott Moments events

With Marriott Bonvoy now live, Marriott has relaunched its ‘Marriott Moments’ experiences siteYou can find it here.

It has added a new batch of O2 concert tickets to its website.  These are for the renamed Marriott Bonvoy suite, which comes with full catering and free drinks all night.  Here is a review of a Muse concert from the suite.

These concerts are now bookable.  The first few have been available for a while but the remainder are new:

  • Lady Antebellum, 9th March, 45000 points
  • Chris Stapleton, various dates, 45000 points
  • Nicki Minaj & Juice Wrld, 11th March, 45000 points
  • Post Malone, 14th March, 45000 points
  • Childish Gambino, 24th March, 45000 points
  • Panic! At The Disco, 29th March, 45000 points
  • Drake, 5th / 6th / 9th April, 45000 points
  • Shawn Mendes, 20th April, 45000 points

All pricing is for two tickets.

There are also various auction packages available for the England v Scotland rugby match on 19th March.  These include full hospitality with Gavin Hastings, and in some cases an overnight hotel stay too.

You can buy or bid for the events here.

How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points via UK credit cards

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Marriott Bonvoy points.  That page is regularly updated with the latest special offers and will still be accurate even if you are reading this article months after publication.

Nationwide Simply Rewards closing – other Visa cashback sites closing too?

Whilst this isn’t strictly travel related, I wanted to flag that Nationwide is closing its Simply Rewards cashback programme on 1st April.

This is because “Nationwide have decided to simplify their offering and focus on their core products and services” according to an email to members.

Simply Rewards offers registered Nationwide Visa debit and credit card holders cashback rewards whenever they used their cards at selected retailers.  It seems a little odd to close the scheme, since it is organised by Visa, presumably doesn’t cost Nationwide any cash and is useful to cardholders as long as a decent flow of offers is coming through.

It will be interesting to see if ALL Visa cashback sites are closing (here is the HSBC one for example) or if this is simply Nationwide acting on its own.

The offers on the HSBC one are a bit weird, to put it mildly, which is odd given the clout that Visa must have to negotiate deals.  Blue chip retailers they are not …. Protein World is currently the headline cashback deal!  The only well known business at present is ao.com but I doubt 1% cashback is going to get anyone excited.

Thanks to Ian for this.

Malaysia Airlines business class

Get an extra 5% off Malaysia Airlines sale fares this weekend

Malaysia Airlines is running a special promotion with Visa this weekend.

You can save an additional 5% on all tickets in both Economy and Business as long as you travel by 6th May.  You can ONLY get the discount if you book via this page of the Malaysia Airlines website.

As well as Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Airlines has good connections to Australia and elsewhere in Asia.  Remember that you earn Avios and British Airways tier points when you fly with Malaysia Airlines as both are members of the oneworld alliance.

Malaysia Airlines has recently taken delivery of new A350-900 aircraft and is now operating them on the Heathrow to Kuala Lumpur route.  There are two daily departures from Terminal 4 at 10.25 and 21.25.

Full details of the new planes are on their website here.  The Business Class layout pictured above looks pretty good.  It is a staggered 1-2-1 or 1-2-2 layout, similar to Aer Lingus.  It even has two Aer Lingus-style ‘throne’ seats on the right-hand side.  On the left, one row has ‘table / seat’, the one behind ‘seat / table’ and so on, so that your feet slot under the table area of the seat in front.  The Qatar Qsuite works in a similar way.

(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.)

Review of Air France business class on a Boeing 777-300ER - redeemable soon with Virgin miles (Part 2)
My review of the brand new Staybridge Suites at London Heathrow Airport
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Comments

  1. Drake dates are actually 4th, 5th and 8th if you check closely. This is a Marriott error.

    Nearly booked for 6th option yesterday then realised at very last minute it is actually for 5th (which I can’t do!)

  2. Youngtraveller says:

    Tried to book with Malaysian but the site doesn’t seem to work. Tried different options ex sin to dxb, sin to lhr and lhr to kul but keeps saying “Please reconfirm your origin, destination and Cabin class”
    I’m on phone browser could be the reason. Anyone have the same issue ?

    • Yep, I can reproduce it. IE and FF on Desktop, Opera, Chrome and FF and tablet. Looks like if the error is on MH’s side

    • Don’t book without checking the mainstream OLTA too as Malaysia is sometimes cheaper there.

    • I’ve messaged Malaysia Airlines on facebook – apparently it shows this ‘helpful’ message when the offer is not available on those dates – as i pointed out to them, its like looking for a needle in a haystack…yes another quality implementation by the Malaysia team….their last few promos have failed to work too.

  3. When I had a Nationwide current account, I always felt the Rewards just too cumbersome. They were difficult to find. I forgot that they existed and then would stumble on them on their site. And most just weren’t worth the hassle.

    • Shoestring says:

      The Halifax Visa Rewards were a tad difficult to find as well – until I realised I could get £30 off my Council Tax at Co-Op, 4x a year, when I decided to put a bit more effort into it.

  4. O/T (sorry) I’m rapidly coming to the conclusion that my school is never going to release their 2019-2020 term dates, or at least not before the £200 off £600 offer on my AMEX Plat closes (and I planned my holidays up to and including this summer long ago).
    Can I book travel in a friend’s name friend on my card using this offer? It would be a shame to see the discount go to waste, and I’m sure one of my friends would appreciate it!

    • I don’t see why not 🙂

    • If they want to change their flights amex will need to speak to them and you

    • Definitely, I’ve done this.

    • I think the council should have published their dates even if the school hasn’t… there may be a few days difference for training days etc but they should show the key weeks?

      • Lady London says:

        could be a private school. Personally I’d target the long summer holidays then if that could work. also travel expenditure might surely include vouchers for later use? or flexible tickets that could later be changed?

        • Lady London says:

          Thinking of which doesn’t Harrods have a travel office inside it run by one of the major travel agents but possible to pay with Harrods card and gift vouchers? It’s a while since I’ve been there…

        • Shoestring says:

          Our 2 youngsters at regular state schools are lucky in that the schools have both got their act together pretty well and publish all dates (incl training days etc) well over a year in advance. In the past, in the absence of such information, I just phoned the secretariat and got the missing training days. As Nick M says, state schools will pretty much always comply with the county set holiday dates, published 2-3 years in advance. Devon has one oddity in that some schools take 2 weeks at October half term but luckily that doesn’t apply to us.

        • Lambeth have published, the school hasn’t (and they often deviate). They wait until all of the key feeder primary schools have published their dates, and THEN they coordinate as best they can and publish, to make it easy for families with both primary and secondary kids to have a holiday all together. It’s laudable, but a total pain in the @**e if you have a birthday that may (or may not) fall in the one week long October half term, have a significant discount on flights ticking away towards the expiry date when the January sales have already passed you by long ago, and you were planning on infinite journeying your way to *A Gold with Singapore Airlines (to either Kuala Lumpur, Manila or Denpasar, I’m not fussy)!

          It’s a state school (the idea of teaching in a school where children may occasionally pull DYKWMFI on me does not appeal, or very occasionally DYKWMMI). The problem is that I’ve filled my 6 weeks summer holiday (to bursting, I’m going to be very busy! I do realise that this is the most first world of first world problems BTW, and I am hanging my head in shame slightly), October half term is just 1 week (it’s kind of binary – either it’s that week, or it’s not, and flexible flights would negate the £200 discount), I’ve already promised to spend next Xmas with my OH’s family, to reciprocate for this year, and 2020 isn’t bookable yet. Boo.

        • TBH, after this summer, a calm week that is in keeping with my recent status as a quadragenarian might be in order. I’m fine with helping someone else have a fabulous holiday. I get a lot of them!

          My sister and family (her husband and my gorgeous nieces aged 3 years and 6 weeks) get first dibs, both from an altruistic and a nepotistic point of view! Am I right in thinking that Ryanair and Easyjet don’t really come up in AMEX travel searches, but Vueling and TAP do?

          Also, side note, but Rob – is there now a SPAG check? Love it (and need it after half term drinks!)!

        • Thanks for Harrods / A&K suggestions, the thought was appreciated.

        • Harry, also, that’s a density of schools thing. Your schools have probably got their act together because (unless the school is really close to the Cornwall, Somerset or Dorset borders) they coordinate with feeder primary schools within the same council. Our secondary school is close to the border with Southwark, Croydon and Bromley, all of which have their own set of term dates. One family might have kids in our school and a Croydon primary. Another family might have kids in our school and a Southwark primary school. Trying to coordinate term dates as best they can for all of the families with kids all over the place is a nightmare. For everyone.

        • Shoestring says:

          Yep I guess it’s a lot easier in the rural counties – I just pulled up the term dates for Cornwall & Devon and they are identical (inset days apart) except for 2 days

        • Also worth bearing in mind – if a parent comes a cropper of term dates it’s a £60 fine. If a teacher did it, it would be gross misconduct. Or cancelled flights, when we don’t have the salary for flexible flights.
          One of many, many reasons I’m here!

  5. HSBC offers: had £10 off £50 at Waitrose a few weeks ago so bought a £50 JL voucher. Offers aren’t all useless.

    • Shoestring says:

      Halifax have 10% max £30 c/b @Waitrose on my Visa Rewards right now. Zero use for 10% off their giftcards.

      • Not on mine. Had the Co op offer, however, so prepaid £300 of next year’s CT.

        • Genghis,
          Where do you find the Waitrose offer on hsbc. How often do they change them, and are you able to set an alert when new offers come in like with amex?
          Tnx..first l realised there were offers with that card!

        • The link is in the article. It’s luck of the draw as to what you get. I get an email once a week with updates.

        • Callum

          Calm down. It comes from the same Visa Europe & Mastercard funding pots for these schemes. Different organisations present it differently. There’s no “magic money” that creates the discounts.

          I know you’ll refuse to reply to this, but haven’t you read the internal scheme specification documents?

      • I wouldn’t worry then – it’s run by Lloyds not Visa, so even if Visa closes their schemes it shouldn’t be affected.

      • No, this is Visa on Halifax, Nationwide, First Direct etc.

      • No, Halifax don’t do Visa offers – and after a quick search I can’t see any evidence they ever have.

        HSBC, First Direct and Nationwide do. Halifax does not – they use the Lloyds scheme. It works differently and also works on MasterCard.

      • They’re very obviously different schemes (why on Earth you think Visa would reward spending on a Mastercard I have no idea). If you refuse to either accept what I say or look for yourself then so be it.

      • Jesus Christ I’m not replying again about this. IT IS NOT THE SAME THING.

        It’s the same concept yes, but it is NOT the same scheme. It may seem pedantic, but is very relevant to my original point, which was Visa possibly closing their scheme won’t affect this.

      • Calm down dear. Calm down. Let it go

    • Worth remembering a deal is really only a deal if we would used it anyway, if deals tempt us to spend what we might otherwise not have spent then we are on a slippey slope. A bit like miles, I wish I had a £ for everybody that has redeemed avios when they should have paid cash.

    • Andrew, do these cash back rates affect any status you have with hotel chains or is it completely a BOS extra thing? I can’t remember the last time I used a debit card to reserve rooms. Thanks.

      • @Russ. It’s completely different. The alternative is not getting points via another payment card.

      • Right, thanks Genghis. Something to think about.

      • No affect whatsoever, so yes, I got the various points offers too.

        I’m not keen on using Debit Cards for hotels either, but when someone is waving £60 quid at you for using one… I’ve got 5 Current accounts with BoS, so I used one of my spares so there was no issue with pre-authorisations on my main account.

      • Cheers Andrew. Worth listening to anyone who wants to give you £60 back for something you were doing anyway.

  6. OT – with the UK credit card gone, what’s the best way to keep AAdvantage points alive (outside of flying?)

    I’m looking at just trying to get “a point” rather than transfer 1000 from Marriott, or buy 1000 direct from AA

    Shopping Portal seems like it could be the best way. Does anyone have any tips for a cheap purchase (there’s no eBay, Amazon or Banggood on there)

    Worth an ask

  7. Ah ame, although I didn’t find Nationwide Simply Rewards that good I did do very well out of their 10% off at Hilton offer when it coincided with a month-long stay!

  8. I’d assume visa rewards isn’t free considering most banks don’t seem to offer it, and Nationwide themselves were pretty late launching it.

    Protein World are also a pretty big company, and seem more widely used than most of the obscure luxury stuff I get on my Amex card! They’re stocked internationally and in big chains like Boots and Superdrug for a start.

    • I’m not sure why you are having tantrums about the scheme specific in threads above if you are now making assumptions about it.

      It’s almost as if you haven’t read any of the internal documents about the scheme specifics and how they are presented. Some of us have…

  9. Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

    Gig tickets at the Marriott box in Berlin are significantly cheaper at 10-20k points. Seems to be a similar deal with catering etc. Worth a look if you’d be travelling into London to see the show.

    https://moments.marriottbonvoy.com/moments/category/entertainment/search?City=Berlin

  10. OT – looking to book HKG-LHR on Avios for May 26th. The BA booking site displays this date as off-peak, but charges the peak rate of 30k Avios instead of 19.5k in Economy (no Business redemption available for now). Checking the peak/off-peak calendar May 26th shows as being a peak date, so the “off-peak” banner on the booking site must be an error. Naively hopeful here – is there any way of enticing BA to honour the mistake and sell the ticket for 19,5k Avios?

    • I really doubt it given their refusal to honour “error” cash fares.

    • There are lots of errors on other dates too. Use rewardflightfinder for your initial search then you won’t get a nasty surprise later

    • Lady London says:

      Why not phone them and ask them to do it over the phone then politely point out the dichotomy?

  11. OT: was the MR to HH points transfer 50% bonus a one off, or do we see this offer regularly?

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