Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The joys of doing live TV, and your last day to buy Marriott points with 25% bonus

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I was planning to do an article this week linked to a TV interview I did on Friday for BBC World News on ‘Talking Business with Aaron Heslehurst’.  However, it turns out that you can’t get BBC World News on catch-up anywhere so I can’t show you the clip.

(EDIT: we have HFP readers everywhere, and I have now got my hands on a copy of this interview. If I decide it is fit for sharing I’ll run it.)

This is a shame, because it got a bit complicated when they put up a picture of the current Virgin Upper Class seat and announced it as the new one and then asked me what I thought of it 🙂  Given that we were broadcasting live the potential for disaster was high but I think we dealt with it!  Luckily the picture of the new BA Club Suite that went up next was the right one.

I think it went well.  An earlier remote guest was cancelled due to technical problems so we got to chat for longer than was originally planned, and Aaron is a big aviation fan.  I’ll never know, however …..

Head for Points on Talking Business with Aaron Heslehurst

25% discount if you buy Marriott Bonvoy points

Today is your last day to get a discount when you buy Marriott Bonvoy points.

Via this page of the website, you will save 25% on all points purchases until tonight, Wednesday 15th May.

You can buy up to 50,000 points per year, which will cost you $468.75 (£360) under this offer.

My rule of thumb is that a Marriott Bonvoy point is worth 0.5p so this offer is not great at 0.72p per point.

However, you might find it worthwhile if:

you are topping off your account before making a points booking, or

you are planning a stay at a property where you know you will get outsized value

The snag with Marriott Bonvoy is that the annual points buying cap is too low to allow you to exploit the deal.  The St Regis New York, for example, can easily run to $1,300 per night including taxes, which makes 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy points a great deal.  The problem is that you can only buy 50,000 points per year.

The link to buy is here if you are interested.


Mariott Bonvoy American Express credit card

How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards (July 2021)

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 usually comes with 20,000 points for signing up, 2 points for every £1 you spend and 15 elite night credits per year. Until 31st August 2021, the bonus is doubled to 40,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. You can apply here.

American Express Marriott Bonvoy credit card

Marriott Bonvoy American Express

40,000 points sign-up bonus and Gold Elite status 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 American Express Membership Rewards points with American Express Gold (20,000 bonus points), the American Express Rewards Credit Card (5,000 bonus points) and – for small business owners – American Express Business Gold (20,000 bonus points) and Business Platinum (40,000 bonus points).

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 (152)

  • Delbert says:

    Aaron Heslehurst is a breath of fresh air on the Beeb.

  • ChrisC says:

    They sometimes show his stuff on the business programmes on BBC News Channel at 5.30am and 8.30am so that may be worth a look.

    He reminds me a bit of Richard Quest who moved to US TV from the BBC. Both annoying in their own way.

  • Cat says:

    Very, very O/T (sorry) – I realise this is a bit cheeky, but it’s for a good cause, so I thought I might as well ask…

    I’m doing the Tour du Mont Blanc this summer (an 11 day hike spanning 170km, with 10.6km of altitude gain and loss), with a couple of marathon hikes (26 miles / 42 km around Ullswater in the Lake District, and another of the same length from Brighton to Eastbourne) as training. I hiked the Yorkshire Three Peaks route last weekend (an absolutely stunning hike that I can’t believe I’ve never done before, and so much nicer than climbing up and down my 40 storey building repetitively through winter…), and I’m going to be spending my half term hiking in Mallorca (because Iberia).

    The main reason I’m doing this is to fundraise for Macmillan Cancer Support, a charity that is very close to my heart.

    If any of you would consider sponsoring me, that would be awesome. Obviously all transport, accommodation, food and associated costs are being paid for out of my pocket, all funds raised are going straight to the charity, via Just Giving.

    https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/catdownie

    Also, for anyone who’s interested, after the TdMB, I’m burning my Lufthansa miles flying in first to Mexico City (from Zurich via Frankfurt to enjoy Swiss’ First lounge as well as the first class terminal in Frankfurt). It’s worth knowing that, while finding Lufty first redemptions to the US is tricky, it’s really quite easy to find them to Mexico City. I’m flying back from Costa Rica in Iberia business.

    • BJ says:

      Not cheeky at all Cat, was a pleasure to support you. Good luck and best wishes for both the hike and your travels.

      • Cat says:

        Thanks BJ, you’re a star!
        ☺️

        • BJ says:

          Hardly, it’s you who’s the star Cat, well done! BTW, stunning photo on your just giving page 🙂 En route from Skye to Oban last week we were intent on a wee stroll in Lochaber only to spend a lazy day on the Sands of Morar instead, weather was glorious and met many nice people stopping there on way to Mallaig. Seriously tempted to get a house around Morar for later retirement.

          • Cat says:

            Just Google imaged and wow! I somehow have never been there, despite countless trips up to the Highlands and islands! That’s going on the list for the next Highland fling!

            Iona and Harris have stunning beaches too, if you go back anytime soon.

            The picture on the Just Giving page was taken in Guatemala while climbing Pacaya to see a lava flow. I actually managed to burn my bum on the volcano (at one point we crossed a rock fall sitting on top of an old lava flow, the rocks shifted under me and I dropped about a metre, landing in a seated position on insanely hot rocks below – I’ve never moved so fast in my life getting out of there!). My hiking trousers melted in about 20 places, and I got blisters. My flight home the next day in Iberia economy was the last time I flew Iberia. I’m hoping my Iberia experience this summer is considerably more comfortable!

    • Mike says:

      Cat – good luck. I hope we can all rally behind you.

      • Cat says:

        Oh good, that’s a relief, I was a bit worried people would think I was taking the mick!

        Thanks Mike!

        • Mike says:

          Cat – Never be worried ! If in doubt do it – I suggest others follow Robs example and make a donation – however small it all helps (and shows the spirit of HFP) and perhaps should be prefixed with “HFP -” on the Donation Submission. Lets harness the power of HFP for good !

          • Cat says:

            Thanks Mike, that’s really very sweet!

            Rob – you’re a legend!

          • Lyn says:

            Mike – a great idea to add Hfp and encourage contributions from commenters / comment readers, however small.

            My donation was small and my first instinct was of course to make it anonymous. Then I realised that seeing 5 or 10 pounds as well as significantly larger amounts might help encourage other people to contribute whatever they feel like, without worrying that it is too small.

          • Cat says:

            Lynn, thanks so much, that was a stroke of genius!

            Every bit counts, and I do appreciate it massively, especially when it encourages others, as you say!

    • Spurs Debs says:

      Hi original Lady of London, you replied to my question re phoning You First to book return tickets on my 241 last night.

      I’m pleased to say I called them and a very helpful CS agent managed to get me two business class returns. For some reason they didn’t release first class at 1am so I got the business seats and have set up alert for first class.

      He added to my outgoing 1st flight to Tokyo and I paid £380 in taxes compared to over £750 for outgoing flight.

      I called at 12.53am after I had phoned earlier to check how long security questions took. Had four minutes to kill but the agent was fine no problem with waiting.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        First class seats aren’t guaranteed so don’t get release at midnight GMT T-355 like the 4 eco and 2 business seats.

      • Cat says:

        That’s excellent Spurs Debs, and worth noting for future redemptions!

        Thanks for letting us know. Fingers crossed the alerts come through and enjoy Tokyo!

    • Mikeact says:

      Very good Cat. As a long distance walker myself, I’ve completed most that you have mentioned…you need to try Swanage down to Lands End and back up to Minehead, 600+ miles ! I’ve also walked the Sahara for Macmillan a few years back and managed to raise a significant amount. Good luck.

      • Cat says:

        The South West Coast Path is very much on my “to do” list (along with the Pennine Way, Offa’s Dyke, the Cotswold Way and the West Highland Way)!

        If this summer goes well, I may well turn my year of walking into a decade of walking – if I think I can hack it, I may work my way up to Te Araroa and/or the Pacific Crest Trail…

        But the Sahara? Wow! From where to where? I’m assuming it was an organised event (I wouldn’t want to tackle that without water rest stops being available!).

    • Ken T says:

      Hats off to you Cat – that’s a magnificent effort.

      I’m doing the yorkshire 3 peaks next month – and can’t wait.

      There is a cracking walk in Mallorca from Sa Calobra to Escorca (probably 8-9 hours round trip), and Sa Calobra is great for a swim to finish off (but very crowded at peak times, sadly)

      • Cat says:

        Ken T, thanks so much!

        That’s brilliant advice for Mallorca – thanks!. The Yorkshire Three Peaks is glorious – I recommend doing it anti-clockwise from Chapel le Dale, as there’s an insane climb that looks like a wall on Ingleborough, and it’s best to get it out of the way! I found the other two peaks easier. It’s a glorious hike – enjoy!

    • Leo says:

      Cat I tried to make a donation but JustGiving won’t let me add a new card – for some reason it’s removed my earlier one. Anyway if you see a message from me and then no amount please know that I’m trying to sort it!

    • Lyn says:

      Good luck Cat, and good for you!

      Hope you enjoy your training hikes and thoughts of the Lufthansa first class lounge / flight and support from fellow HfPers help you keep going on the Tour du Mont Blanc itself. And well done making the utmost of the infamous Iberia promotion.

      • Cat says:

        Lyn – I’m loving it at the moment! I did the Yorkshire 3 Peaks with a university friend who’s a fitness fanatic, so she set the pace and left me for dust on the climbs, but as we had to be back for my train I raced to keep up with her (and failed)! I’m still sore, but I enjoyed every minute of it, so I’m hoping that bodes well for TdMB!

        Thoughts of first class lounges and exceedingly kind and generous people will definitely help though!

        HfP and the lovely community we have rocks. Thanks guys!

        • Lyn says:

          Cat, you are right about the HfP community. I’m reminded of my one and only charity walk a long time ago, when I was in school. It was an easy, flat walk on urban streets, but 25 miles seemed an awfully long way and it took until dawn to finish, and a lot longer than that for my blisters to recover. The thought of all the lovely neighbours supporting me definitely helped, as did the fact that the amount that they were contributing was per mile, so there was always an incentive to just manage one more mile …

          • Cat says:

            25 miles while you were in school? That’s impressive! It wasn’t the MoonWalk was it?

          • Lyn says:

            Walk against Want. It was my last year in school though, and my place among the stragglers wasn’t in the least impressive. I think I’d forgotten it until I read your story.

    • RedEyeDonkey says:

      Good luck – sounds like an amazing challenge to take on – hope the HfP community rallies round!

      • Cat says:

        Thanks RedEyeDonkey (not sure if you’re S.B., but a million thanks if so!). The HfP community has been amazing.

    • Lady London says:

      I think you’re completely nuts doing all that physical exercise but will support you.

      • Cat says:

        Thanks Lady London! Honestly, there are few things I love doing more than going on a long, hardcore hike. Except possibly flying in first class to an exotic location, while consuming caviar and Champagne. Also camping! This summer I’m doing all three!

        Bring it on!

        • Anna says:

          It’s called living life to the full! (I don’t like camping but will do caravans where there are huge numbers of activities to entertain kids lol). Keep up the good work, in all areas x

    • Cat says:

      Thanks so much GS, whoever you are!

    • Gill says:

      Best o luck to ya

  • Dr Tom says:

    If you know anyone who’s a university student (or works in a university), they may well be able to access the recording via learningonscreen.ac.uk. Live TV isn’t available for all that long (maybe a week), but they can mark the programme they want to be stored in their account permanently.

    It’s a service meant to be used for clips for teaching, but has all types of other uses. I’m sure some just catch up on 20 year old episodes of soaps! The more mainstream channels tend to be automatically archived, just not the news channels.

  • Paul says:

    Also on Swedish Telia service, by the looks of things, if anyone can access that: https://tv.telia.se/play/8965/program/1983285560

  • Liz says:

    OT is anyone else having issues with Award Wallet and their BAEC – i keep getting asked for a verification code and then having to change my password. Had the same password for years and now had to change in twice in the past few days times our 3 accounts. Very annoying.

    • Rob says:

      Get the verification message sometimes but no password issue.

      • JohnT says:

        I just had that twice after app kept saying unable to update data. First time sent code but didn’t ask to change password. Yesterday had to do a change on both our acs. Won’t be happy if regular occurrence!

    • CC says:

      I had to sign in to my award wallet just now and set up a pin again. As soon as I did that I then got a fishing email from BA with a new verification code and a link to ‘unlock my account’. But if a strange coincidence.

    • Tilly71 says:

      BAEC made me change my password yesterday, might be a new security measure.

    • Jonathan says:

      Yep, for all 5 of my families accounts – it’s very annoying!

    • the_real_a says:

      Award wallet is using a data center in the USA so it appears the “simulated” login comes from a a different continent than usual.

  • Craig says:

    OT: I have just received the Amex Green, what are peoples recent experiences with upgrading? Wait for first statement or upgrade immediately?

    • Craig says:

      Upgrade to Platinum that is?

      • Liz says:

        If you upgrade immediately you get charged £450 on first statement – me and several others yesterday confirmed this.

    • BJ says:

      See yesterdays anex post, 3 pages from end. In short, it is likely best to take the £60 fee hit on green and upgrade to the new platinum card and fee later.

    • Craig says:

      Ta, first statement will be 03 Jun, so should catch the upgrade before the price rise.

      • Shoestring says:

        surely BJ’s suggestion is worth a try (assuming you won’t be holding Plat for 12 months?)

        You could get it for % of £60 instead of £450

        • Craig says:

          That’s the plan Shoestring, upgrade after the first statement on the 3rd before the price rise one the 11th.

    • PaulC says:

      Correct me if I’m wrong If you apply for a green card today, the first statement date will be 15th June so unable to chance upgrading after the £60 fee has posted?

      I already have two Hilton bookings that are paid for in the next two months. Do you have to keep your Plat card open to keep the hotel status’s open?

  • Bill says:

    I get bbc world on my satellite tv. If there’s a repeat scheduled let me know and I can record the programme

    • Shoestring says:

      they don’t repeat daily episodes this long after the event, it’s a financial news programme

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