OFFER: UK to Australia/NZ with Qatar, BA to S America from £1392 and Marriott buy points bonus

wharariki beach new zealandwharariki beach new zealand

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UK to Australia and New Zealand with Qatar

If you want to fly to Australia or Auckland from the UK and not fly via China, prices usually start at around £3600-4000. Qatar Airways have a discounted price of  £3,099 travelling to either Sydney or Auckland in Business Class at the moment through Trailfinders. This is around £1000 less than the fare was a week ago. It’s valid for travel throughout the year, apart from 27 Mar to 12 Apr 2020.

Flying direct from the UK costs more but it does mean less risk of missed flights. Plus you also get the full Qatar experience with their wonderful London lounge at Heathrow Terminal 4 which is a luxurious affair. You can read about my latest visit in this review. 

You can’t book online with Trailfinders but they have a very helpful phone team with a dedicated business and first class line. You can find the Trailfinders airfare page here. 

 

British Airways & Iberia to S America from £1392 business class return

 

Aerial view of Rio De Janeiro

British Airways and Iberia have some good fares out of Amsterdam to South America. Whilst Amsterdam is not a particularly great airport in my opinion, it is only a short, cheap flight from the UK and there are plenty of connections. This makes it ideal for starting an ex EU trip.

The prices are:

  • Rio de Janeiro £1392 (BA)
  • Sao Paolo £1471 (BA)
  • Lima £1374 (Iberia/LATAM)
  • Quito £1469
  • Bogota £1261

The rules are:

  • Book by: 6 March
  • Travel:  From 9 Mar 20 and on/before 6 Dec 20.
  • Minimum stay: Saturday night
  • Maximum stay: 12months
  • Stopovers: No
  • Refundable: No
  • Changeable: Yes for a fee

You can book direct with British Airways here or find the cheapest online travel agent price with Skyscanner.

 

Marriott buy points bonus – 50% bonus

Until 25 March, Marriott Bonvoy is offering 50% discount when you purchase a minimum of 2000 points by 25th March. The annual maximum for purchased points has also been raised from 50,000 points to 100,000 points, but you can still only buy 50,000 in one transaction. This means you have to buy 2 x 50,000 points to get a total of 150,000 points with the 50% bonus. This is the best bonus rate we have seen for a while as usually, it is a 30% bonus. If you bought the maximum it would cost you £964 (roughly) for 150,000 Marriott points.

St Regis Maldives

If you are a new member you need to have an opened account for at least 30 days before you can buy points with a qualifying activity. Otherwise, you have to wait for 90 purchase 90 days after joining to buy points.

So is it worth buying the points at this rate speculatively? Well in many cases, no. Part of the issue is the 150,000 total limit as at the more expensive hotels this isn’t even enough for two nights. However, if you want to top up existing Marriott points or can transfer some from elsewhere it can make sense. For example, the St Regis Maldives costs a whopping $1372 a night on a random date in April or 85,000 points. If you bought the full points you would have almost enough for two nights at $1250 dollars vs $2744 if you can come up with the spare 20,000 points from elsewhere. 

Click here to purchase Marriot Bonvoy points.