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Marriott news: ‘Points Advance’ dropped, Cardiff Marriott completes refurbishment

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Marriott news in brief:

Marriott Bonvoy to end ‘Points Advance’

Marriott Bonvoy is withdrawing its ‘Points Advance’ feature on 28th Marchdue to varying factors such as low demand“.

The reason for ‘low demand’, of course, is because Marriott has gutted the value in ‘Points Advance’ through recent changes. It would have made more sense to withdraw it a long time ago rather than the ‘death by a thousand cuts’ approach.

‘Points Advance’ was, before it was tweaked, a very clever feature of the Marriott Bonvoy programme.

It let you book a reward night if you don’t have the points. You simply had to earn them by the time the stay came around.

I always thought this was pretty smart. What is a key factor stopping you from abandoning your current preferred airline or hotel chain? It’s the fact that, by the time you’ve earned enough points for a reward, the reward you want may not be available.

Now let’s look at how ‘Points Advance’ helped (note the past tense) Marriott Bonvoy. Imagine you are a Hilton loyalist but you like the look of one of the Marriott resorts in the Maldives.

Thanks to ‘Points Advance’, you could lock in a reward stay even with zero Marriott Bonvoy points in your account. You could then move your future cash stays from Hilton to Marriott in the knowledge that a great reward is guaranteed.

Unfortunately, since 2019, Marriott has been removing the value from ‘Points Advance’. It started by not allowing you to lock in your RATE – only the reservation. The points price you paid became the price on the day you finally had the points in your account, which took away the key benefit – you couldn’t be sure how many points you had to earn to lock in your reward.

It then began to tweak the timeframe, meaning that you only had 60 days to earn the points you needed.

60 days is more than enough time to transfer some points into Marriott Bonvoy from American Express Membership Rewards, to earn the sign-up bonus on the Marriott Bonvoy American Express card or to earn a handful of points from stays.

What you CAN’T do in 60 days is earn a huge volume of points via stays. Even heavy business travellers are unlikely to spend more than, say, £2,000 over 60 days, which would be around 25,000 points. This won’t even get you one night in a decent hotel.

You can still make ‘Points Advance’ bookings until 28th March. Full details are on the Marriott website here.

Cardiff Marriott completes its refurbishment

If you are heading to Wales in the near future, the Cardiff Marriott hotel has now completed its refurbishment.

All 205 guest rooms have been refurbished with:

neutral colours complemented by pops of yellow and blue, inspired by the Castle’s spectacular baroque interiors

There is a brand new executive lounge, M Club. This is free to Platinum, Titanium and Ambassador members of Marriott Bonvoy or can be booked as part of your rate.

The hotel has also just opened Browns Brasserie & Bar, the first branch of the chain in Wales. The lobby, gym and meeting and event spaces have also been refurbished.

The Cardiff Marriott website is here.

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

How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards (March 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 bonus points 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 Premium and MeliaRewards Gold status.  We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and unbeatable travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points indirectly:

and for small business owners:

Until 30th March 2023, the sign up bonus on American Express Business Platinum is increased to 120,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. The bonus on American Express Business Gold is increased to 60,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. T&C apply, see the application forms for details.

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 (8)

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

  • jj says:

    I’m afraid that no amount of refurbishment will change the harsh fact that the Cardiff Marriott is probably the most ugly building in the city centre. It’s definitely not a place for aesthetes.

    • jj says:

      And in another nitpicking aside, Marriott doesn’t seem to have realised that the interior of Cardiff Castle is a stunning example of Gothic Revival. To the best of my recollection, it doesn’t have the faintest whiff of baroque to it.

      Maybe they are confusing the castle with City Hall, which is certainly baroque.

    • Chrisasaurus says:

      Then the best place to be is the only place you can’t see it from

      Also see HI Brighton – only building you cannot offend your eyes from that war crime of a building is from inside it

  • jj says:

    Also, as an historical note, this isn’t Wales’ first branch of Brown’s – there was one in the Friary, Cardiff, until 2015.

  • tw33ty says:

    The exterior is ugly, but so is a lot of other of the thrown up concrete buildings in Cardiff.
    But it’s actually a good hotel I find for easy parking, easy to reach (once you’ve been the first time to find the proper way into the car park)
    The lounge is good, always been upgraded as titanium, staff are great too.

    Just can get a bit noisy depending on which side of the building you’re on, or which floor.

  • dave says:

    Does the Marriott Cardiff still have it’s swimming pool? No mention of it on the website.

  • tw33ty says:

    No, the swimming pool is no more.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Won’t be the first or last swimming pool shuttered in this energy price crisis unfortunately

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

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