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How to use the £400 Amex Platinum credit at Marriott for food and drink – no stay needed

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Many Head for Points readers who have an American Express Platinum card have been given a very generous offer by Marriott.

You will receive £400 cashback when you spend £400 at selected luxury Marriott International properties. The UK hotels participating are mainly in London, plus The Langley and Turnberry.

American Express Amex Platinum card Marriott £400 offer

The rules of the offer imply that the credit can only be claimed for items linked to an overnight stay. You are probably not meant to use it for food, drink or spa treatments if you are not a registered guest. The actual wording is vague though, saying only that it should be linked to ‘checkout spend’ with no mention of actually having to stay.

(The reason for this is that restaurants and spas usually have a different ‘merchant code’ in the American Express system. Amex will only pay the £400 cashback if it spots the merchant code for the hotel. The restaurant and spa may be set up differently.)

One reader found a way around this ……

To quote:

“I thought you’d be interested to read my experience of using Amex’s £400 Marriott offer solely for non-accommodation charges.

To celebrate my girlfriend’s birthday yesterday, we went with two friends to the JW Steak House at Marriott’s Grosvenor House Hotel in Park Lane on Friday 16th October, the last night before London moved to tier 2.  I was considering saving this £400 offer until my own birthday just before the offer’s extended expiry date, but decided that celebrations in December might be even more impeded by the pandemic than they are now.

I phoned the hotel and explained what I wanted to do and why, i.e. spend at least £400 in the restaurant but pay at the front desk as a hotel checkout charge in order to qualify for an Amex offer.  They were very co-operative and created a “paymaster account” for me, which had a 8-prefixed virtual room number together with my Bonvoy number

When we arrived for dinner, I asked to prepay £400 with my Amex card at the front desk in the hope of receiving an instant e-mail from Amex, as usually (but not always) happens when using other Amex offers.  I used chip & PIN, because the front desk’s card machine doesn’t support Apple Pay.  I didn’t receive an e-mail.

After a very enjoyable dinner, I went back to the front desk and they printed a standard hotel checkout invoice for me, showing the charge by the restaurant, together with the virtual room number.  Yesterday I noticed in my Amex online account that the offer was redeemed with a saving of £400, and today I see the £400 credit dated yesterday.”

So …. if you don’t really need a luxury hotel room in London but DO like the idea of £400 of free food and drink, you may want to give this option a try.

The JW Marriott Grosvenor House website is here if you want to find out more.

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

How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards (June 2023)

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 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.

Marriott Bonvoy American Express

20,000 points sign-up bonus and 15 elite night credits each year 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 Premium and MeliaRewards Gold status.  We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 13th June, the sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card is doubled to 60,000 Membership Rewards points (worth 90,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) – and you get £200 to spend at Amex Travel too! Apply here.

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points AND a £200 Amex Travel voucher until 13th June! Read our full review

You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points indirectly:

and for small business owners:

The conversion rate from American Express to Marriott Bonvoy points is 2:3.

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 (91)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Chris Heyes says:

    Well done I’ve managed to use quite a lot of Amex offers myself simply by using various cards (supplementary) with offers on, ending December, by booking pay at Hotel for stays 2021, then ringing hotels direct asking if they wouldn’t mind taking payment early most have said not a problem (even used 3 cards at 1 hotel £50 off each card)

    • meta says:

      How does that work with flexibility or you don’t mind booking non-refundable rates?

  • James says:

    I wonder if someone at the Grosvenor is getting fired over that ?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Don’t know why. The offer is to drive £400 of spend at Marriott hotels and JW got £400 of business via its in house restaurant.

      • Erico1875 says:

        Fake virtual booking ref just tastes fraudulent to me.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          It’s not fraudulent. There’s no deception anywhere.

          There is functionally in the system to allow this for cases just like this (for use at meetings, conferences, spa days etc) and it’s being used, no smoke and mirrors to trick anyone into anything.

        • Emma S says:

          Can’t help but think someone at that hotel will be in trouble now and the option will be shut down pretty quickly. They want to encourage overnight stays and extra spending in Spas and restaurants.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Depends they may have spent the £800k purely to get Marriott on every travel blog, forum, Instagram etc to drum up advertising for both the brand and the luxury hotels.

            It may also be joint funded by Amex to advertise the platinum card via those same platforms.

          • Rob says:

            Given that the hotel runs the restaurant and probably made £350 gross profit on the £400 spend, I think they’re happy.

          • Callum says:

            Are margins in upscale restaurants way higher than I thought then? Its obviously going to be higher than a McDonalds, but given the margins the people I know with “normal” restaurants and cafes run on, £350 gross profit on a £400 bill doesn’t seem at all right to me.

          • Rob says:

            Gross, not net. We’re talking the cost of 4 pieces of steak, some potatoes, some vegetable and the wholesale price of a bottle of wine.

          • Callum says:

            I know you’re not talking net, but £30 for 4 steaks, the sides and a good bottle of wine seems low.

            Though I don’t eat at fancy restaurants, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s all style over substance and the food isn’t particularly great!

        • Rob says:

          Except it’s not, because if it turns out the hotel restaurant would have gone through the credit card as ‘JW Marriott Hotel’ it would have triggered anyway. This is just taking away any risk that it won’t.

          • kk says:

            Do you know who funds this discount, is it fully Amex or shared between Amex and Marriott?

          • Rob says:


            It’s just grief for Amex, frankly, with you lot all ringing up to moan that they haven’t got it 🙂

            There is possibly more to it than we know. For example, sometimes brand owners guarantee the hotel owner a certain level of income per year. Let’s imagine that the hotels in this offer have this clause. Marriott is on the hook to pay the Qatari’s at least £xx million this year from Grosvenor House when actual revenue will only be a fraction of that. In such a case, this is a ‘no lose’ deal for Marriott. They either pay the Qatari Government £400 or effectively pay me £400 to stay there and spend £400+. The latter is more lucrative overall.

    • Rob says:

      The Grosvenor will be delighted. Marriott doesn’t own the Grosvenor, remember. It is owned by the Qatari Government.

    • Harry T says:

      There’s no way the JW management care. They just want people spending money at the hotel. Central London is dead quiet at the moment and five star hotels are really struggling with low occupancies and income.

  • NeilP1234 says:

    Maybe there is such a thing as a free lunch after all.

    It would be a shame if a clear breach of the spirit of the promotion caused Amex to reduce their promotional support. Not sure such stories should get coverage.

  • Andrew says:

    Good plan to get in quick before restaurants close.

  • Ikaz says:

    I just received the £400 after having checked out on Sunday and booked with Emyr

    • Tarmohamed says:

      I’m still waiting for my credit to show up and also checked out around 5pm on Sunday. Also awaiting a £75 refund as they didn’t apply the room credit. Does anyone know if that will affect Amex offer? They charged £609 instead of £534.

  • Scallder says:

    Have dined a couple of times at Berners Tavern and the charge from paying in the restaurant always came through as being from the London Edition hotel so this could work there without even needing to do the fake stay invoice

    • Harry T says:

      Presumably that also means you get ten points per pound if you dine there at the moment and pay with a Bonvoy amex!

    • Gin and Tonic Please says:

      Just checked my statement from when I was there last year and it said ‘The London Edition’ too. Interesting. In theory that should work then, right? Any reason why it wouldn’t?

      • TGLoyalty says:

        It should work.

        Same if you have the Dorchester collection offer. Cut @ 45 Park Lane is processed as if it was from the Hotel.

    • Rob says:

      Hotel isn’t open though which may make a difference.

      • Gin and Tonic Please says:

        Yeah I thought that too. Currently considering a grabbing a drink at the bar to test how it comes through on the bill…

  • John says:

    “ The rules of the offer are clear – the credit can only be claimed for items linked to an overnight stay.”

    And yet here’s an article actively promoting the option of deliberately circumventing this rule and seemingly encouraging people to disregard the T&Cs – and the spirit – of the offer. Nice.

    • NFH says:

      The offer terms do not mention a requirement for an overnight stay, only checkout spend.

  • Tom says:

    I bet the hotel is delighted with this article!

    I can see a big rush……

    • Nick says:

      … except for anyone who read the comments the other day saying the steakhouse is awful and not worth it. Based on that I won’t be rushing there…

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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