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Old Dec 29, 06, 9:23 am   #1
5EF
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Exchanging Marriott Points for Tesco CC and BA Miles

Hi all

I did a bit of digging around the forum and found that it was possible to buy Marriott Reward points, then exchange them for Tesco CC points and finally change those into BA Miles.

By my calculation this seems to be a great way to buy relativey cheap Miles and you can buy as many as you want.

Does anybody know whether this is actually doable or whether there is some blockage in the process which stops people buying hundreds of thousands of these:

125k MR = $1250 (c£700)
125K MR = 35,000 Tesco CC
35,000 CC = 84,000 BA Miles
84,000 BA Miles for £700 = 0.83p per mile.
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Old Dec 29, 06, 9:39 am   #2
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THIS DEAL IS NOW DEAD

FROM MARCH 8th 2007, MARRIOTT RAISED THE PRICE PER POINT TO 1.25c AND LIMITED PURCHASES TO 50,000 PER YEAR.

ON MARCH 13th 2007, MARRIOTT ABRUPTLY DISCONTINUED THE TRANSFER OF MARRIOTT POINTS TO TESCO!



For historical purposes, I am leaving the original thread below:

Great spot, 5EF. From the Marriott forum:

TORONTO and WASHINGTON, Dec. 28 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - Members of Marriott Rewards(R), Marriott International, Inc.'s (NYSE:MAR) award-winning loyalty program, who need those few extra points to go on their dream vacation, can now purchase Marriott Rewards points online through a new partnership with Points International, Ltd. (TSX: PTS; OTCBB:PTSEF). This new service uses Points International's e-Commerce Buy and Gift web-based platform to simplify the process. At a cost of $10 per 1,000 points, members can purchase points as a gift for other members or supplement those they have already earned ensuring they get their choice of over 250 awards. For more information or to purchase points, members can visit http://points.marriott.com. "We are very pleased to be able to help Marriott Rewards members reach their reward goals faster," said Rob MacLean, CEO of Points International. "It is a pleasure to be working with one of the largest hotel reward programs in the world." "We are always looking for new ways to bring value and convenience to our members and this partnership with Points.com makes it easier for them to get those last few points needed for their free vacation or whatever award they desire," said Ed French, Marriott Rewards senior vice president of customer relationship marketing. Marriott Rewards membership is free, and allows members to earn points or airline miles for every dollar they spend at nine Marriott International lodging brands. Points can be redeemed for free hotel stays, merchandise, rental cars, cruises, adventure travel tours, theme park tickets and more. For information about Marriott Rewards or to enroll, call (800) 249-0800, visit the front desk of participating hotels, or log onto marriottrewards.com.

Marriott does seem to have created a way of getting unlimited miles for very little money indeed. The website will accept UK orders despite implying that it won't - the only issue is entering a telephone number, which needs to be 10 digits long. There is a 99k limit per transaction, but there appears to be no limit on the number of transactions you are allowed. This is good news, as you need to convert 125k to get the full benefit of this deal.

125k MR will cost you $1,250 (£663 at $1.94 inc the 2.75% hidden credit card surcharge). This will convert to 35k Tesco clubcard points. 35,000 CC = 84,000 BA Miles or 112,000 if you convert at the higher rate (only available to some long-time members, as explained in Post 1 of the Tesco thread).

The cost per mile is therefore 0.79p, or 0.59p if you have the higher Tesco rate!

The only snag seems to be that you need to convert the full 125,000 MR points to get the best Tesco rate. For anyone wanting to order smaller amounts, the cost would be:

10,000 MR costs $100 (£53) = 1,500 Tesco = 3,600 / 4,800 BA = 1.47p / 1.10p per mile
20,000 MR costs $200 (£106) = 3,500 Tesco = 8,400 / 11,200 BA = 1.26p / 0.95p per mile
30,000 MR costs $300 (£159) = 7,000 Tesco = 16,800 / 22,400 BA = 0.95p / 0.71p per mile
70,000 MR costs $700 (£371) = 17,500 Tesco = 42,000 / 56,000 BA = 0.88p / 0.66p per mile
125,000 MR costs $1,250 (£663) = 35,000 Tesco = 84,000 / 112,000 BA = 0.79p / 0.59p per mile

Your Marriott points should post to your Marriott account within 24 hours of making the purchase. You can then do the transfer to Tesco online using the link below. Note that, whilst your Marriott balance will reduce immediately, Marriott only appear to transfer points to Tesco on fixed dates every few weeks. From experience so far, your transfer from Marriott could take between 1 and 3 weeks to hit your Tesco account, depending on when in the cycle you do the transfer. They will show up on your online Tesco balance when they have arrived.

Remember that Tesco only releases your CC points four times per year. The official cut-off point is usually in the last week of January, April, July and October. If you have automatic transfer to BA Miles set up, you will get your miles towards the end of the following month. If you receive paper vouchers and convert them online yourself, your vouchers will take 2-4 weeks to arrive depending on where you are in Tesco's mailing cycle. Note that Tesco will send your vouchers by Recorded Delivery, requiring a signature, if the total is over £200. Note also that your BAEC account MUST be based in the UK or the transfer will be rejected - Euro-Gold's need not apply!

If you do not already have a Marriott Rewards account, you can join here: https://marriott.com/rewards/createA...ccountPage1.mi The transfer to Tesco points can be done online here: https://marriott.com/rewards/moreRew...00&elite=false

PLEASE remember that Marriott could pull or restrict this offer at any time, either by limiting the number of points you can purchase, by limiting the % of a reward that can be made up of purchased points (this rule was in place until recently) or by suspending its relationship (or varying the exchange rate) with Tesco. Marriott has already reduced the earnings rate when you take Tesco points for stays, for example, so this is not without precedent. Tesco could also change the exchange rate into BA Miles in the 2-3 month period between you ordering your MR points and Tesco transferring them to BA, or even totally scrap BA transfers, which would leave you having spent £650+ just to get £350 of Tesco money-off vouchers. Do NOT spend money on Marriott points if you are not willing to take the risk that you may be stuck with points that you cannot transfer out of Marriott, forcing you to redeem them for Marriott stays at rates that will represent poor value in most circumstances, or out of Tesco.

What a VERY interesting way to start 2007!

Last edited by Raffles; Mar 15, 07 at 3:09 am Reason: Updated based on recent experiences
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Old Dec 29, 06, 9:42 am   #3
  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5EF View Post
Hi all

I did a bit of digging around the forum and found that it was possible to buy Marriott Reward points, then exchange them for Tesco CC points and finally change those into BA Miles.

By my calculation this seems to be a great way to buy relativey cheap Miles and you can buy as many as you want.

Does anybody know whether this is actually doable or whether there is some blockage in the process which stops people buying hundreds of thousands of these:

125k MR = $1250 (c£700)
125K MR = 35,000 Tesco CC
35,000 CC = 84,000 BA Miles
84,000 BA Miles for £700 = 0.83p per mile.

You can only buy a maximum of 99,000 Marriott points at a time, but their website says you can make as many transactions as you wish so this sounds entirely possible. That is a bargain rate for miles!
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Old Dec 29, 06, 9:55 am   #4
  
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Thanks 5EF for this cunning scheme.

Think i'll wait till mid Jan and try this out.
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Old Dec 29, 06, 10:52 am   #5
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I'm confused about the enthusiasm for this so I'm just checking my reasoning here so forgive the questionable clarity.

But, if on an exceptional Tesco deal you can get say 1500 points - or 3600 BA miles for £75.00 worth of wine (which we do sometimes) this makes the BA miles cost 1.94p each against 0.83p for the points via Marriott. But with the purchase you get the wine. Doesn't this mean that whilst the purchase of miles from Marriott is good value compared with the cost of purchase direct from BA, or compared to the cost of a decent purchased flight - you either pay 42% of the Tesco wine cost to Marriot but don't get the wine - or pay the full 100% to Tesco and get the Wine.

I can just about follow what I've said myself so I guess this is tough for others - but doesn't the wine route seem a no brainer if you can get enough transactions through enough accounts to support your travel aspirations?

Have I got the sums and reasoning right or am I off-track completely?
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Old Dec 29, 06, 11:40 am   #6
  
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Originally Posted by uk1 View Post
I can just about follow what I've said myself so I guess this is tough for others - but doesn't the wine route seem a no brainer if you can get enough transactions through enough accounts to support your travel aspirations?

Have I got the sums and reasoning right or am I off-track completely?
From my perspective I'd rather buy the miles more cheaply rather than pay more for the miles but get some wine thrown in. If you're ordering through Tesco, you have to purchase 12 botles of wine each time for the extra points. I now have more than enough wine to last me the next couple of months. As there is only so much wine I am willing to buy (and store), it makes sense to look at other options.

Thanks to the OP for the interesting post and to Raffles for elucidating some of the finer details. This is certainly worth a look when I have more time on my hands.
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Old Dec 29, 06, 12:19 pm   #7
  
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Before you all get too excited about this, the Marriott points purchase facility has only ever been available for those who need to top up their points for a reward redemption.

T's and C's :
"A member may purchase points for reward requests (up to 99,000 points) when he/she does not have enough points to request a specific reward".

The only difference now is that the limit used to be 10% of the points required, and you can do it online rather than ringing up.

Also there is an overriding condition of :

"You must be a Marriott Rewards member in good standing to both purchase and receive points"

However it is a worthwhile opportunity for anybody who is a Marriott Rewards member of goodstanding.

I would expect Marriott will stop those who just join up for this purpose, or who are non elite members from taking benefit from this.

The on line purchase facility only works for US addresses and phone numbers, but you can get round this in the same way as we did last year for the Starwood Points offer.

As I am a Marriott member of goodstanding I am now trialling this whole process out.
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Old Dec 29, 06, 12:39 pm   #8
  
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As I am a Marriott member of goodstanding I am now trialling this whole process out.
I was a Silver Elite for years so I reckon that qualifies me I am also trialling this process!
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Old Dec 29, 06, 1:02 pm   #9
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Amex, when they started selling Membership Rewards points, had a similar policy - top-ups only. However, in practice, they don't mean it. I had no problem buying 10,000 MR points and transferring them to my BMI account.

I reckon this is the same. The fact that points.com is looking after it means that Marriott is not in control. If you order 99,000 points, I reckon points.com will put them in your account - full stop. No human intervention required. The transfer to Tesco can be done online, also without human intervention.

Last edited by Raffles; Dec 29, 06 at 1:36 pm
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Old Dec 29, 06, 1:13 pm   #10
  
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Originally Posted by Raffles View Post
top-ups only. However, in practice, they don't mean it.
I reckon that if they get purchase requests for 1,250 million marriott points and corresponding orders for 350 million tesco clubcard points(when in the last year they probably got no orders at all) they wil notice it ! ( and Tesco ! )
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Old Dec 29, 06, 1:49 pm   #11
  
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I've leapt in for 99k, and will post when they hit the Marriott account.

My one experience with Marriott was that I ordered a transfer to Tesco, but the system cocked it up. The very day I was toying with sending them an email to ask what had happened I quite spookily got an email from them explaining that they'd cocked it up and the points would be in my Tesco account quick smart. They were, and I was fairly impressed with that.
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Old Dec 29, 06, 2:21 pm   #12
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My payment was accepted, using my UK address and UK Visa card - Nationwide, natch, no 2.75% surcharge nonsense.

The only doctoring was the need to use a 10-digit phone number. not difficult if you leave off the initial zero.

I'll just have to see whether the points post. It would be a pity if they didn't, as I had to check the box saying that the transaction was non-reversible.
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Old Dec 29, 06, 3:07 pm   #13
  
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I wasn't able to take advantage of the Starwood offer due to not having a US address and credit card. I also wasn't aware of any way around this. As Roger pointed out, this seems to have gone through OK using his Nationwide details so it remains to be seen if the points get credited without any problems.

I don't think the requirement to be a "member in good standing" necessarily means you have to be an elite member. All it suggests to me is that it will allow any member who has not violated any Ts and Cs.
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Old Dec 29, 06, 3:38 pm   #14
5EF
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Well Ive gone for the 99k Marriott points also, using my BA Amex card (UK), all went through ok, got email receipt but will take a couple of days for the points to add to my Marriott account, so lets see what happens after that.
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Old Dec 29, 06, 6:35 pm   #15
  
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Well, I've braved it too.... and thank-you, as it makes it possible (if all posts as it should) for me to do a round trip to Muscat in Club for about £600.00... Fab!!
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