Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Use your Marriott Bonvoy points for lunch – or a cooking class – at ‘Core by Clare Smyth’

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

Clare Smyth has a surprisingly low public profile as a chef.  This is, perhaps, an odd thing to say about someone voted “Best Female Chef in the World” but few people knew that she was head chef at Gordon Ramsay in Chelsea when it was collecting three Michelin stars year after year.

Smyth opened her own restaurant, Core, in Notting Hill in 2017.  On 9th October, Marriott Bonvoy is organising a special lunch event.

They did this last year, and I went along with my wife (not a freebie, I used 32,000 of my own Marriott points).  Here is a photo of me chatting with Clare.  Don’t ask why I’m pointing – we’d all had quite a bit to drink by this point …..

Core Clare Smyth

This was the definition of a ‘money can’t buy’ event – except you could buy it for as few as 30,000 Marriott Bonvoy points, which is the sign up bonus on the SPG American Express card.  Booking a table in the normal way got very difficult when the restaurant was awarded two Michelin stars last year, just 14 months after opening.

There is a slight difference this year as the event is being run by head chef Jonny Bone and not Clare herself.

There are two offers.  The first is two places at a champagne and canape reception in the kitchen followed by a three course lunch with paired winesYou can bid for that here.  There are 15 pairs of tickets available, with a minimum bid of 30,000 Marriott Bonvoy points.  Based on last year, 35,000 points should be enough and you may get lucky at the minimum 30,000 points.

The second offer which will undoubtedly go for a higher points price is a cookery class, starting with breakfast and then moving on to prepare parts of the lunch, followed by the reception and lunch outlined above.  You can bid for that here.  There are four packages available, with a minimum bid of 75,000 points.  A friend of mine did this last year and found it a great experience.

There is, as I like to stress on HfP, a lot you can do with your points outside of more flights and more hotel rooms.  Hilton, Marriott and Emirates all offer excellent ‘experiences’ packages for points, and we feature the best of them on HfP as they come up.


Mariott Bonvoy American Express credit card

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

You can apply here.

American Express Marriott Bonvoy credit card

Marriott Bonvoy American Express

20,000 points sign-up bonus 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.

Until 2nd November 2021, The Platinum Card comes with a sign-up bonus of 60,000 Amex points. This converts into 90,000 Marriott Bonvoy points.

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 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 (30,000 bonus points – special offer to 9th November 2021), 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 (40)

  • Freddy says:

    I think Rob is asking her whether she prefers McDonald’s or Burger King chips. Rob then proceeded to tell her to get down to the local McDonald’s in that direction to see what she is missing out on!

    • Sloth says:

      Surely he’s saying “turn right? You must be joking!”

    • John says:

      Burger King chips are better, but that’s the only thing they win on

  • Brian says:

    Maybe you should hold a caption competition, Rob. I think he’s saying ‘Everybody who doesn’t read my website goes in THAT direction when they board the plane’.

  • LST says:

    Sort of OT, but I don’t suppose anyone knows when Emirates will release the tickets for the Arsenal box this season?
    Thanks.
    LST

    • Rob says:

      It is quite late in August, after the season has started. Do a search for HFP articles from past years.

      • LST says:

        Thanks Rob, wanted to take my son for his birthday in October, but wanted to be ready to pounce!

        • Ghost of Oakwood says:

          Alternatively you can buy a hospitality package in the Eric Twigg Pukka Pies West Stand at Rotherham which includes a padded seat a 3 course lunch and a programme, all for £185!!

          Cmon back Rob you know you want to! up the Millers.😀

          • Rob says:

            I haven’t actually been to the New York Stadium yet.

            £185 seems a bit steep, I got a Chelsea package for £2xx about 5 years ago for my father in law!

  • Stuart says:

    OT: when you’ve been paying life insurance for 6 months how long would you typically wait to get the £back?

    • Alex M says:

      On this topic: do you really need to pay for 6 months (i thought it was 3)? Confirmation from Harry would be More Than Welcome! 😉

      • Shoestring says:

        mine are just on 6 months, I’ll let you know when the cheque arrives

        6 months often means 6 months’ payments + time for them to get their stuff in gear/ wait for the payment cycle

        • Tilly71 says:

          Do you get straight again after pay out Harry?

        • Harry T says:

          Is there a minimum period you have to pay the life insurance premiums for before you can get your £back? Or do you just pay until they pay you your £back?

    • Lady London says:

      Depends when you snuff it.

  • GRIMZ says:

    OT, Has anyone received the 40% bonus for transferring Tesco vouchers to BA as per the Shell offer?

    • Liz says:

      It’s supposed to be a month after the transfer

      • GRIMZ says:

        I tested a 2.50 transfer on the 13th July. I was interested to know if anyone did the transfer sooner and has received the bonus. I have over £300 to transfer if it works!

  • Noggins says:

    Listen, honey, this weapon is cocked and loaded – so just bring me that side of fries – and make it snappy…..

  • Waddle says:

    OT: Amex Business cards as a sole trader
    Sorry for the OT, no bits. My friend wants a referral from me but was wondering how his name would appear on the biz card if he doesn’t have a company name. His invoices and bills are just to him as a person. The application doesn’t allow the ‘business name’ and ‘business name on card’ fields to be empty. Have any readers run into this problem? Is there a way around this?

    • Rob says:

      Presumably they just put his name on the card. Thousands of contractors etc would be in this position.

  • Ammar says:

    OT – Choosing between booking 7 nts at the Westin Madlives or 5nts at Conrad Rangali? Going with a 1yo baby and wife, so do not anticipate doing any diving etc, looking for a relaxing break. I am Marriot Gold and Hilton Diamond.

    A further question – if you book using points do you still have to pay extra room/service charges on top? or just 6 USD/pp charge in the Maldives. Trying to figure out if better to buy additional points or pay cash.

    • Alex M says:

      is it really worth going to Maldives for 5 days? From my experience 7 days is absolute minimum.

      • Rob says:

        We did 5 days when we went, 10 years ago, that was enough for my wife! I admit that if you want the full detox effect you should stay longer, and if flying economy definitely do 7.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.