News & offers: Emirates First offer, Amex 7000 Avios spend offer, IHG sale, Marriott/SPG program changes

Emirates First class suites with virtual windows

Emirates First offer from £1622

This offer is a little bit quirky but it is an amazing opportunity to fly what is arguably one of the best first class products going at a fraction of the price. The fare is in effect one way if you are UK based with an economy return to Johannesburg. However, if you don’t yet have enough miles to manage a return to South Africa or have some Iberia promotion miles to spend, this could make an interesting combination.

The fare is from Johannesburg to London Stansted in First with the return from Istanbul to Johannesburg in economy. You can easily book this fare via the Emirates website using the advanced search feature under ‘Book’.

Emirates First class sale

Older Emirates First class

The rules are that fares must be booked by 30 September 2018 and at least 21 days in advance. The minimum stay is 3 days and 2 stopovers are free in each direction. Similar fares are available with various European destinations. The new Emirates First launched on the Stansted route in June 2018 and it is also available on certain flights to/from Brussels, Geneva and Munich. You can tell by the seat map which only features 6 seats in the new first. You can read more about the new First class here. On the flight from Johannesburg, make sure you book the A380 as that features the previous First class (above) which was still impressive.

You can earn Avios and tier points on Emirates if you book on a Qantas codeshare but unfortunately, this is not one of the routes included. Instead, you could credit to several oneworld airlines such as Malaysia or Qantas or you could credit to Alaska Airlines who are a BA partner and traditionally have some great redemptions including flights from the US West Coast to Hawaii.

HT: Flyertalk

IHG sale – save up to 20% off

IHG hotels have a new summer offer which includes Crowne Plaza and Hotel Indigo amongst others. You can get up to 20% off at certain IHG hotels throughout Europe, including the UK, France, Russia and Germany. Book direct before 18 September, for stays until 30 September. The stays must be at a weekend and require advance booking between 3-21 days before depending on the hotel. You will only receive a discount of up to 20% off the Best Flexible with Breakfast rate on the Friday and/or Saturday night of the stay.   IHG® Rewards Club members will receive additional savings so since it is free to join, you may as well if you want to take advantage of the promotion.

Hotel Indigo London Leicester Square

You can find the offer page here.

There is also a special offer on Manchester hotels. If you are an IHG Rewards Club member you can save up to 20% off your next weekend stay in Manchester with breakfast included. You can join IHG Rewards Club for free, click here  If you’re not a member, you would only get 15% off weekend stays, including breakfast. You must book by 7th September for stays until 30th December 2018 and make sure your stay includes a Friday or Saturday night.

The IHG offer page can be found here.

Amex Platinum offers

American Express Platinum have two more offers of interest to miles collectors. They are both for hotel stays and give the bonus in Membership Rewards rather than money back. Membership Rewards are valuable as they can be converted into a number of different miles and points including Avios, Emirates miles and Hilton points.

The two offers are:

  • Spend £500 at Hilton to receive 7000 Membership Rewards. You would of course still receive your Hilton points and benefits if you booked direct.
    • Only valid at participating hotels including Finland, UK, Spain and France amongst others. There are two good London hotels included – the Conrad and the Hilton Bankside.
    • Book, pay at hotel checkout and stay by 18 October 2018.
    • Offer excludes online payments and is only valid on checkout spend.
  • Spend £300+ at Claridges, The Connaught or The Berkeley hotels to get 5000 Membership Rewards. Only applies to room rates and can be applied either at the hotel or online.

Check your Amex Platinum account to see if you have the offers.


Marriott/SPG program changes

If you want to take advantage of some of the savings to be had from August, Marriott has announced that the change to combine the SPG, Ritza and Marriott loyalty programs will be from 18 August 2018. After that time there is a window of opportunity for cheaper hotel stays which you can read about in this article. 

Here is the timeline:

  • Today until 17 August
    • You can still transfer points between your Marriott Rewards and SPG® accounts until 17 August.
  •  18 August 2018
    • One programme goes live
    • SPG Starpoints are multiplied by three and will be called points.
    • Stays earn 10 points per US$1.
    • New Elite status levels launch – if you are SPG & Marriott Gold through your Amex Platinum you will become Gold in the new scheme and lose free breakfast and lounge access
    • Redeem for stays with the new Free Night Award Chart.
    • You can combine your accounts into one but the three schemes will continue to exist separately until:
  • Early 2019
    • The new scheme is launched with a new name and further changes and the standalone Marriott Rewards and SPG website will disappear

There will be an outage on the SPG, Marriott, and Ritz websites on the 18 August periodically so don’t bank on being able to do much on the launch day itself.

You can read more about the merger in this article or on the Marriott website here.



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