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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.

American Express Platinum £400 Marriott offer

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.

Comments (91)

  • Rob says:

    Why would you not? FHR – and booking via Emyr – is pay on departure so you’re fine.

    • Igloo says:

      Nothing but a bit of paranoia because it isn’t a direct booking through Marriott.

      • Rob says:

        ‘cos obviously Amex can see that 🙂

        It will be fine. You even get your Bonvoy points on FHR.

        • DJ says:

          I stayed at the Grosvenor last weekend, booked via Emyr and got: 1) an upgrade to an Exec room; 2) £75 hotel credit; 3) Late 3pm check out (which i had to haggle for) and yes Amex applied the £400 credit. Very enjoyable weekend – cocktails in the Park Room, dinner in JW Steakhouse (the portions are generous as others have mentioned hence I dodged the cheesecake) and breakfast in the Park Room with no complaints. Thanks to Rob for the tip (and to Marriott for the offer)

  • G Williams says:

    I have to agree with some other comments here, HfP is a wonderful resource and probably the most insightful and comprehensive site out there for Mile/Card/Reward type content however this article does not seem in keeping with other articles by promoting an exploitation of the rules. These kind of promotions should be there for people to use legitimately, if everyone abuses them they will end up punishing those wanting to use the offers in the right way.

  • Kevin C says:

    Only a couple of the hotels are on FHR, whereas Emyr can book any of them. Of course if you know your hotel is on FHR, that’s fine.

  • Harry T says:

    Preferred partner/FHR bookings are paid for at checkout, at the hotel, and will trigger offers and earn points/nights. I’ve done plenty of these this year.

  • Sam says:

    Called the hotel. They’re not doing this anymore and were quite annoyed about the article above.

  • Tim says:

    Rang and was also told they aren’t allowing this any longer.
    The receptionist said that it is possible to do this with a day booking, taking a room from 9am to 5pm. A typical price for that is £150, so leaving £250 for your dinner…