Marriott Bonvoy is offering something a little different via its ‘Marriott Moments’ experiences auctions. There are five VIP passes for the Frieze art fair in London up for grabs.
As it happens, I usually receive a Frieze VIP pass each year so I can tell you how it works.
Yes, your VIP pass will get you free access to the two Frieze art fairs in Regents Park between 12th and 16th October, including the VIP preview day on the 12th. You can make unlimited visits during the fair and the buzz on the VIP day is usually fun.
You also get one year of ‘Frieze 91’, which is the top level Frieze membership programme. The annual fee for those who pay is £990.
However, this is only part of it.
During the week of Frieze, the fair organises a lot of special events at museums and galleries across London. These range from private views of major exhibitions to studio visits to after hours drinks receptions at top galleries. There is a lot going on, from early morning to late at night, Monday to Sunday, and holders of a VIP pass can attend all of it for free.
The event schedule for Frieze London isn’t available yet – I think the organisers are trying to get Frieze Seoul out of the way first – so I can’t be more specific. Back when HfP was less of a full time job I used to take full advantage. I only managed one night last year, hitting four West End gallery parties on the same evening.
The only caveat to this is that Marriott would need to send your VIP pass well in advance if you want to register for the VIP events. If you only receive it the day before the show opens then you’ll have missed a lot and the best of the rest will be booked.
The starting bid for the five VIP passes is 50,000 Bonvoy points, which I’d value at £250. As it happens, this is what you would pay for access on the opening day for two people, although standard access later in the week would be £72 for a pair.
Based on the bids so far, or lack of them, 50,000 points may be enough.
That said, I only recommend this if you have plenty of time during Frieze week to take full advantage of the VIP events programme. If you are only interested in a single visit to the fair then you are better off simply buying a ticket for cash.
On the other hand, if you are London-based and have a strong interest in art, the ability to get a year of ‘Frieze 91’ benefits, plus Frieze London VIP access, for potentially 50,000 Bonvoy points instead of £990 is an excellent deal.
How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards (September 2022)
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.
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.
EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.
You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points indirectly:
- American Express Gold (20,000 bonus Amex points)
- American Express Rewards Credit Card (10,000 bonus Amex points)
and for small business owners:
- American Express Business Gold (20,000 bonus Amex points)
- American Express Business Platinum (40,000 bonus Amex points)
The conversion rate from American Express to Marriott Bonvoy points is 2:3.
(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.)