Miles Away: Exploring London With The Points Guy UK

Jul 15, 2019

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Today, Miles Away hops across the pond for a visit with the The Points Guy UK. Nicky Kelvin details flight and hotel options and debunks those age-old rumors of sub-par British cuisine — Indian food reigns supreme — while Emily McNutt chats about life as a London expat and permanent tourist having recently relocated from New York City. You’ll also learn which neighborhoods to visit and how best to get around.

You can catch today’s episode below, then don’t miss Nicky’s Talking Points interview with The Points Guy himself — they discuss life in the United Kingdom, the country’s credit card landscape and what led to Nicky joining TPG UK.

You can listen to this episode of Miles Away above, or listen and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts, including:

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If you have any questions, thoughts or topics you’d like us to cover on the Miles Away podcast, please send us an email at, tweet me at @zachhonig or find me on Instagram — I’m @zachhonig there as well. And please don’t forget to subscribe!

Featured image by Kevin Gorton / Getty Images.

Full Transcript:

Zach Honig: Welcome back to Miles Away. I’m your host, Zach Honig, and today I’m coming to you from TPGs latest addition to the family, the TPG UK office here in beautiful London, England. And I’m here with Nicky Kelvin, our director of content. Welcome, Nicky!

Nicky Kelvin: Hello, it’s good to be here with you. It’s nice to have you in the office.

Zach Honig: Thanks for having me, and thanks for coming to my studio.

Emily McNutt: The makeshift studio.

Zach Honig: The makeshift studio, our latest makeshift studio. And that is the laugh and voice of Emily McNutt, our global news editor. Welcome back, Emily.

Emily McNutt: Thanks, Zack. Good to be back on the podcast.

Zach Honig: Absolutely. And the last time we had you on, we talked about catching up with you after the move to London. And here we are, here in beautiful London. You’ve been here for how long now?

Emily McNutt: Four months.

Zach Honig: How’s it going?

Emily McNutt: Good so far.

Zach Honig: Are are you big London fan?

Emily McNutt:: I am. I’m a bigger London fan that I had originally thought that I would be. So it’s a good thing, I think.

Zach Honig: So let’s set the stage when it comes to the different neighborhoods in London — and where are we now? We’re in Covent Garden, isn’t that right?

Nicky Kelvin: We are halfway between Covent Garden and Holborn.

Zach Honig: I did a little bit of walking around here. It seems to be — maybe a little touristy.

Nicky Kelvin: I think Covent Garden is really quite touristy, but equally is very nice. It’s one of those places where a lot of tourists go, but there’s a reason for it. Actually, it’s the kind of place that when my parents come down, they like to stroll around. There’s always entertainment on the streets, loads of great shopping, loads of great restaurants and the architecture is really beautiful. They can be super busy on the weekend. So busy actually that they close the station for exits. They restrict access in and out of the Tube station, so that’s something to consider if you want to visit Covent Garden.

Emily McNutt: It’s very Instagrammable, entirely Covent Garden. It’s got the cobblestone streets, it’s got flowers…

Zach Honig: I saw so many flowers when I was walking around today. I mean, they’ve got, like, flower display after flower display. Definitely lots of Instagram opportunities for sure.

Emily McNutt: Yeah, get your camera ready. Get the Instagram ready.

Nicky Kelvin: Get your on a swing with flowers, Zack, and I’ll come and take some pictures…

Zach Honig: All right. We’ve got our evening set aside for us. What neighborhoods are nearby? So say, I decided to stay in one of the lovely but very expensive hotels nearby.

Nicky Kelvin:: The closest area which I really love is Soho, which is only a five-minute walk from the office — five or six-minute walk  — and there are some great options of places to stay. It tends to be smaller properties, but just generally — the vibe in Soho, I love — loads of really cool new restaurants and old school stuff as well. It’s actually the old red light district or seedy area of London that has really become the really cool place to be, I think. Great vibes, small little streets, the only place in London where people feel comfortable strolling around in the middle of the streets even though the roads aren’t pedestrianized. But I really like the vibe there.

Emily McNutt: I feel there’s a lot to see whether you’re a visitor, whether you live here, there’s something new on every corner. A lot of really cool places — and whether they’re speakeasy types, where you have to go down a set of stairs that you would have walked by normally without knowing where you’re looking — a lot of places to explore, which is really convenient to have nearby the office.

Nicky Kelvin: And there are also throws back to its past. So there’s a very famous jazz club called Ronnie Scott’s, which is still incredibly popular and has been running for decades and decades and decades and is sold out almost every night. But it’s very cool to go and have that old school London jazz experience, and there’re other places in Soho that are still like that. Meanwhile, you can go to a restaurant that opened last week that has queues going out the door.

Zach Honig: Now, I love to walk. So, London feels very walkable to me. For a typical tourist or for the locals, do you find it to be an especially walkable city, can you just pick a hotel that’s somewhat centrally located and make your way around on foot?

Emily McNutt: Yeah, I think London is a very walkable city. I mean the one thing that I will say, having come from New York — New York has a reputation for very aggressive drivers. I surprisingly found London drivers to be far more aggressive toward pedestrians. So I’ve gotten much more adept to paying attention to the crosswalk symbol, which in New York I never did because you just kind of shot your way across, but in London, of course, you have to deal with the cars driving on the opposite side of the street, which is confusing.

Zach Honig: Right. It’s the right side, as they say here. Is that right Nicky?

Nicky Kelvin: Yeah. We drive on the right side of the road.

Zach Honig: The right side of the road.

Nicky Kelvin: The — correct, correct.

Zach Honig: The correct side and the right side.

Nicky Kelvin: Yeah.

Zach Honig: Well, they know the left side I guess.

Nicky Kelvin: The left, that is the correct side.

Emily McNutt: The thing about London is it’s very spread out. If you’re ready to do a lot of walking, that’s what it takes to see a lot of London, but as long as you have comfortable shoes on, you should be able to see a good portion.

Nicky Kelvin: As long as it doesn’t rain.

Zach Honig: What season would you say is ideal for visiting London? Or would you come anytime of year?

Nicky Kelvin: In terms of a season, anytime of year is good. I think coinciding with some events is always fun. The run-up to Christmas is particularly beautiful in London, I think. And the summer, but when I say the summer, it’s picking a time where it’s sunny and warm. London’s a glorious city in the sunshine. There’s loads to do here. Even if the weather is bad, there’s an incredible amount of stuff to do, but there’s something magical when the sunshine’s here.

Zach Honig: So, Emily, as someone who’s moved recently from New York City: How does life in London compare? Do you have a preference yet in New York City versus London, or it’s a little bit too soon to say?

Emily McNutt: I think that living in the two, they’re similar in many ways, but they’re also very different. London’s a very livable city. I think it’s much more manageable than New York, less hectic on every turn, much more spread out, instead of being condensed into one tiny island that is Manhattan (plus the boroughs, of course). That being said, it is a metropolitan city, so you do have stuff on every corner, new neighborhoods to explore, so there are a lot of similarities. Also a lot of differences in the people, and the culture is much more reserved and laid back, which is nice, so you’re not walking to the Tube in the morning and getting yelled at by a taxi driver.

Zach Honig: Okay. So people kind of keep to themselves a little bit more?

Emily McNutt: Yeah, I think that’s fair to say, especially compared to New York, maybe not the US as a whole, but compared to New York. And it’s aggressive people that I was used to and have been for so many years of my life, I’ve learned to take that down a notch.

Zach Honig: Nicky as a native Brit, what’s, what’s your take? I mean you’ve been to New York a few times over the last few months as well, how does the city compare to you?

Nicky Kelvin: People-wise for sure, I think it’s a notch toned down in London. I also would say that the stereotypical Londoner is way more reserved and passive-aggressive, less friendly compared to the rest of the UK. Actually I think you’d have a quite different experience if you left and went to the north where people are way more open, would speak to you in the street. Everyone calls you “Love” in a way that doesn’t happen here. The thing that I think makes a big difference in London is that London feels like a collection of villages, and each area feels very different both in terms of vibe and physicality.

Nicky Kelvin: So many areas in New York, even though they’re defined by name differently, they sort of look the same, they’re still on the grid system, especially Manhattan. Whereas here, if you go from Soho to Mayfair to Shoreditch to Hampstead these different areas look and feel completely different and feel like their own isolated little entities, and  — in a way that I don’t think you get that in New York. So it provides almost escape as you move from area to area and a way to fall in love with different areas of the city.

Zach Honig: Can you walk me through some of the food, because the UK doesn’t typically — traditionally hasn’t had the best reputation when it comes to cuisine. Why is that and is that a fair assessment?

Nicky Kelvin: It’s incredibly unfair, especially in London. I think we have, at the higher end, we have some of the best food in the world alongside New York, Tokyo, Paris —  (a) wealth of Michelin star restaurants, and there are certain things that we do incredibly well. Indian food, tikka masala is the number one dish in UK, everyone thinks fish and chips is what everybody … I mean, no one, I don’t, I rarely eat fish and chips.

Zach Honig: What was the last time you had fish and chips?

Nicky Kelvin: I actually don’t eat fish and chips in London because it’s so much better elsewhere in the UK. So I haven’t had fish and chips in London for really quite a long time. But Indian food is the jewel in our crown for sure. There are some incredible Indian restaurants. There’s a huge South Asian community in the UK and they brought their food with them and it really is amazing.

Zach Honig: So (if) you’re not craving Indian food or a long wait in line, what else might you recommend?

Nicky Kelvin: Classic British thing to eat is a roast. So in case you don’t know what roast is — do you know what roast is?

Zach Honig: Is it like pot roast, like a big hunk of meat that’s in the oven for an extended period of time?

Nicky Kelvin: No, no. So roaster is traditional Sunday lunch food, but you can often get it at other times…. includes either roast beef, roast chicken or some kind of roast meat, lamb; a Yorkshire pudding, which is a big fluffy pancake kind of thing; roasted potatoes; vegetables; different sources. It’s a real British classic, but loads of places in London do it. So seek out a fantastic roast and make sure you experience that. And then I think I’d say I love some of the big Viennese-style cafés, so Wolesley or the Delaunay or there’s a place called Fishers. That kind of grand cafes do amazing schnitzels. I really like these places, both for atmosphere and for the food.

Zach Honig: So moving on from the the delicious British cuisine, let’s talk a little bit about what you might do — see and do — as a tourist and an expat.

Emily McNutt: When you think about London and you think about the UK in general, the first thing that comes to mind in many cases is the history, and I think that if London does one thing really, really well, it’s museums, and the really neat thing about the museums here is that they’re free to enter. Whereas in New York you have to pay sometimes to…

Zach Honig: We’re not talking about, like, the second Tuesday of every month… in winter…

Emily McNutt: No, we’re talking every day. You go Saturday, Sunday, any day of the week, and you can get in. I mean they take donations, so that’s up to your discretion, but you can walk in for free and see some incredible exhibitions.

Nicky Kelvin: I love – the National Portrait Gallery is one of my favorites just to stroll around and enjoy. There’s some incredible stuff in that, and actually the natural history museum, where you already went, is my actual favorite and the Victoria and Albert, which is next door, is also so cool.

Zach Honig: How else do you get around? I mean I took the DLR because I flew into London City, which stands for, I think, the Docklands Light Rail…

Nicky Kelvin: Railway.

Zach Honig: Okay. Okay. Very close. All right, and I couldn’t believe it took me 20 minutes to get here from London City Airport on public transportation. The Tube, obviously, makes all of London very accessible.

Nicky Kelvin: Yeah, the Tube network is wide. It spans out miles and miles and miles really into the deep suburbs and is an incredible way to get around the city. There’s a very good bus network, as well, to get around the entire city and a lot of people use the buses in London, it’s very common.

Zach Honig: They’re fun. They’re double-decker buses right?

Nicky Kelvin: So actually here’s a tip: You can get on a bus, use your contactless card if you have them or you can Apple Pay on your phone when you board the bus. You can also use Apple Pay on the Tube as well. Top deck, front seat, big windows and pick a nice route. I like the #9 which goes through sort of Kensington and into the West End, and that’s a really fantastic route to take just to enjoy the surroundings.

Zach Honig: So you don’t need one of those hop-on hop-off buses. You can actually just take the regular city bus around.

Emily McNutt: I think when you compare them, the big draw of them is that they are the double-decker buses, and I think that public transport here in London is a double-decker bus, in most cases. So I don’t see any point, really, in their being … unless you want to go to something very specific and you don’t want to necessarily plan out the route on public transportation. I actually preferred the bus, I’d take the bus to work every day if it’s nice enough I will walk. But usually I take the bus over the Tube just because I like to look out the windows and people watch a bit, and obviously on the Tube you can’t do that. And another thing about the Tube is that — well, two things. A, it’s not air conditioned, so it can be the middle of winter and you’re walking into the tube very fast. You get underground and you get onto the Tube and you’re sweating, it’s so hot…

Zach Honig: Oh yeah, no climate control.

Emily McNutt: None at all. So you’re with a bunch of other people who are bundled, crammed together and it’s…

Zach Honig: And it’s deep down there.

Emily McNutt: Yeah, and that’s another thing. The other thing is that you don’t get cell phone service at all. So you could even be in between stops at a stop, and you won’t have any chance of connecting to the outside world.

Zach Honig: You have to download all of your Miles Away episodes before you go underground.

Emily McNutt: Exactly.

Zach Honig: What I would say is though, don’t be scared of the Tube. It’s a world better, in my experience, than the subway in New York — way cleaner, way easier to understand and get around on, and (a) really fantastic network, so don’t be scared.

Emily McNutt: No, I didn’t mean to put it down. It is a very useful tool, and I’ve found it to be incredibly wide-ranging, get you anywhere you need.

Zach Honig: All right. So we need to take a quick break and then when we come back, we’re going to dig into flights and hotel options.

[Commercial break.]

Zach Honig: There are four different airports in the London area, is that right?

Nicky Kelvin: Five.

Zach Honig: Five.

Nicky Kelvin: Yeah.

Zach Honig: Five, okay. So Nicky can you walk me through the different airports and why you would choose one over another?

Nicky Kelvin: Okay. I think Heathrow is the one that most people are going to end up flying into because it’s where the most routes come into, is our busiest airport. And Heathrow is actually pretty well situated, especially if you’re willing to take the Heathrow Express. It’s only 15 minutes into Paddington Station, which is in pretty central-ish London, and from there you can take the Tube or a taxi to almost anywhere. Heathrow is pretty convenient as an airport, is that little bit further out — getting a car from Heathrow into central London, a taxi can take forever in traffic. So I would definitely recommend taking either the Tube or the Heathrow Express, depending on where you’re going to be going.

Nicky Kelvin: There is also Gatwick, Luton, Stansted and London City. London City is the best ever. If you are able to fly into there, if you’re coming from somewhere in Europe or you’re able to take the all-business-class flight that British Airways runs from New York to London City, it’s incredible and makes access to London very easy, very quick. It’s a tiny airport, very efficient with a Tube stop. The DLR, which we just spoke about, is attached to the airport.

Zach Honig: You walk right off the plane — they don’t have jet bridges there, it’s a really small airport — but we walked pretty much right to immigration. There’s now the e-gates, so if you have a US passport you just pass right on through very quickly, and then I got my DLR ticket and two minutes later we were pulling out of the station, 20 minutes later we are in Bank Station and I was in central London.

Nicky Kelvin: It is dreamy. Then the other three are the ones that are further away, so Gatwick, Stansted, Luton. Luton is right up north, Gatwick is further south and Stansted is out east in Essex. Stanstead — you’re probably more unlikely to fly to — less North America flights if any thinking about it, but a lot of low-cost carriers fly out of there, same with Luton. So I think for long-haul international travelers it’s less likely you’re going to get to Luton or Stansted. There are train options to both of those places, but they are pretty far away.

Nicky Kelvin: Luton — be aware that if you ever go there on the train, the Thameslink train goes up there, but then you have to take another bus from Luton Airport Parkway Station to the airport. It’s just quite annoying and Luton is a really horrific airport for me. I really dislike it. And Gatwick is the other likely one that you might come into — lots of international flights. Gatwick is actually pretty good and well connected, they have the Gatwick Express which runs to Victoria Station in central London, so it’s also quite easily accessible.

Zach Honig: What are some of your favorite airlines to fly in and out of the greater London area?

Nicky Kelvin: I think as a Brit, if we’re going to talk, especially in the miles and points world, BA and Virgin are the two airlines that make it and the easiest ones to earn points with and to redeem points with and they’re the airlines that will get you to the most places from London. So British Airways’ network is insane out of London, you can pretty much get anywhere in the world. Virgin network is more limited and maybe a bit more holiday-focused perhaps, but also provides other interesting opportunities. But British Airways is kind of unavoidable if you are in the UK and trying to get somewhere else.

Emily McNutt: I’m a big low-cost fan, so Norwegian comes to mind. And Norwegian predominantly flies to Gatwick, especially on those transatlantic flights that US flyers might be taking from New York and Miami — now L.A., San Francisco, Chicago — wherever it is, they fly into Gatwick.

Zach Honig: And notice, too, that Norwegian actually flies to a handful of destinations around Europe from Gatwick as well, so you could potentially — I’ve seen even connections, if I’m looking from the New York area to somewhere else in Europe, I’ve seen Gatwick connections.

Emily McNutt: Yeah. I would take those seriously, because Norwegian also is one of the only carriers in Europe that offer Wi-Fi for free on inter-European flights.

Zach Honig: That’s the only thing you get for free though, isn’t it?

Emily McNutt: Yeah, essentially. But as long as you know what to expect as far as baggage — don’t take a big check-in bag and expect to get it for free, because you won’t.

Zach Honig: The other low-cost carriers will give you absolutely nothing, so at least that’s something.

Emily McNutt: Right. They don’t even have Wi-Fi for purchase in some cases, right?

Nicky Kelvin: No — in most cases.

Zach Honig: Yeah. Of course, I mean, London is one of the most connected cities in the world, so you could fly most — all — the legacy carriers from the US, obviously, and a lot of international airlines as well. I mean, your options when it comes to redeeming points and miles are pretty vast. The challenge, though, is taxes and fees. So I actually want to take some listener questions before we jump into the hotels. So Drew asks, “Is there any way to avoid the crazy high taxes on reward redemption through London?” And I think what Drew is talking about is the air passenger duty as part one but also BA attaches some crazy fuel surcharges, especially in premium cabins.

Nicky Kelvin: It’s a struggle to get away from them. The government-imposed taxes — if you want to leave London or the UK you’re going to have to pay them. There are some ways to get around it, though, but they take a bit of ducking and diving. If you fly out of Jersey or Inverness, those are two places in the UK where you don’t pay APD, so starting your flight in either of those places is an option. And also leaving the UK to start your flight and flying home from somewhere else, that’s the best piece of advice, really, it’s the only way to get out of it. It also opens up options for other airlines who don’t charge those crazy fuel surcharges.

Nicky Kelvin: Good examples might be taking a hop down to Madrid and flying Iberia where fuel surcharges are way lower and you don’t have to pay APD. Hopping over to Dublin and flying on Aer Lingus or flying to anywhere else in Europe and flying on the various European airlines back to North America, remembering that to fly from London or other cities in the UK to these places is super cheap and super quick. You know, Dublin, you can often get flights for 15 pounds or 20 pounds — you know, $25 — and it might take you 50 minutes, the flight.

Zach Honig: I’ve actually done London City to Dublin. The advantage of that is you don’t have to get out to Heathrow or Gatwick and you don’t have to deal with the crazy security lines and immigration and everything — and so it’s less than an hour flight, I think, from London City Airport to Dublin, it’s a really fun takeoff too because it’s a really steep departure, just because of the noise abatement procedures that they have there. So I saved many hundreds of dollars by beginning my trip home from Dublin. So I booked a really cheap, I think like 50 pound, ticket from London City to Dublin.

Nicky Kelvin: Well, interestingly, I have been known to fly from London to Dublin to start a ticket that then routes back through London. So by starting in Dublin, coming back to London and then taking the flight you are going to take anyway on BA, you cut out a huge amount of the taxes, and I’ve done that a couple of times.

Emily McNutt: But you have to be careful not to skip that first leg, otherwise they’ll cancel your entire itinerary…

Zach Honig: Right, right.

Emily McNutt: So you can’t skip that first Dublin/London leg and just hope to hop on that second London to wherever, because you have to be there for that first one.

Zach Honig: And then another thing that I recommend is flying into London, beginning your Europe trip here. And so, fly from wherever in the world you’re coming from into London or the UK, start your trip here, and then fly out of another country.

Nicky Kelvin: For UK people, we love certain things, like using your Virgin miles, which are very easy to collect. Delta in business class is 50,000 points and $5.60 to fly to the UK. So it’s a really great way to save on taxes, it’s quite a good redemption, it’s not a lot of miles.

Zach Honig: Just need to find that availability. Alex asks: “Are there any new exciting North American to London routes coming up?” And BA has actually expanded quite a bit over the last year. I know they launched New Orleans, right? There’s…

Nicky Kelvin: Charleston.

Zach Honig: … Charleston, Nashville. Austin’s been going for quite a few years now — and that’s been actually upgauged a few times, I think to a 747 — but they’re definitely getting creative when it comes to North American destinations.

Emily McNutt: I heard Alex Cruz, who is British Airways’ CEO, speaking about why he and British Airways are launching flights to these kind of second-tier American cities, and really it’s comes down to the fact that they have no transatlantic connections nonstop. And it seems like they’ve been able to maximize on these routes in promoting non-stop routes from, say, Charleston to London, and then from there you can get anywhere in Europe. And it makes sense. I think if you live around Charleston, for example, if you live in Louisiana and you’re looking to go to Europe, it makes sense to be able to drive just to New Orleans rather than maybe driving to Dallas or somewhere that’s a little bit farther off.

Zach Honig: Yeah. I mean, even if you’re continuing beyond the UK, as you’re coming back into the US you have to … your first point of entry, that’s where you go through immigration. You’ve got to claim your bag there, sometimes you have to worry about connections.

Emily McNutt: Right.

Zach Honig: And so connecting in Europe can be a lot easier than connecting back in the US on your way home.

Emily McNutt: I think other than BA and other than those cities that we just talked about, unfortunately we saw the collapse of WOW Air which took away an option for getting between the US and Europe. At the same time WestJet which is a former, I guess still, a low-cost carrier, Canadian. They just took delivery of new Dreamliner aircraft and they’re flying those between London and Calgary now, which is exciting. One-to-one lie flat in business class, which is really exciting for a low-cost carrier. Not any points and miles options there that you can really take advantage of. But at the same time, a fraction of the price of what you’d pay for a lie flat with British Airways or another full-cost competitor.

Zach Honig: I’ve noticed in general, especially to Asia, but also to Europe sometimes, the fares can be considerably less out of Canada. So if you book a separate ticket to, say, Toronto or Calgary or Halifax or somewhere else, and then fly from there you might save a bit over a nonstop from the US.

Nicky Kelvin: You guys are playing the same tricks we do. We call it X-EU. So I guess you’re doing your own X-US trips.

Zach Honig: Yes, absolutely. Then once the 737 MAX returns to service, I think they’re going to resume the Halifax service — is that with Air Canada, actually? I think it was Air Canada that launched, there were a couple of new MAX flights from eastern Canada, northeastern Canada to London as well.

Nicky Kelvin: Emily loves a random far East Coast to Europe route.

Emily McNutt: I do, I am a big fan of Norwegian’s Newburgh to …

Zach Honig: Oh yeah, Newburgh?

Emily McNutt: Yeah.

Zach Honig: When it comes to hotel options, I’ve found that the hotels in London are very expensive. And I mean, I guess you could say the same about New York, but we’re talking, like, if you come during the summer, if you want to stay at a five-star chain hotel, I mean, you’re easily looking at $600 a night and up, even with the current favorable exchange rate, and so it does present some good options to redeem your points instead. Emily, you were mentioning the Conrad you’ve stayed at.

Emily McNutt: Yeah, when I first moved here, I had the great joy of spending…

Zach Honig: Oh, that was your home?

Emily McNutt: Yeah, it was my home away from … it was actually my home. It was a really nice property, I highly recommend the Conrad. That said, when I was staying there, they were renovating the club lounge, the executive lounge. So I’m a Hilton diamond member, thanks to my Hilton Aspire Card, and I have access to the executive lounge, but at the time they were renovating it. So I’m curious to see what it looks like now. But overall it’s a really nice property, a great location by St James’s Park and you can walk up to Hyde Park and Buckingham Palace. It’s not too far off, but you’re in a really nice location, great service, great breakfast buffet.

Zach Honig: When I looked, the cash rates seemed somewhat reasonable for a hotel of that tier. But this is one example where you might really struggle to find decent redemption rates, especially with Hilton’s variable pricing. The cheapest I could find was 139,000 Honors points per night and it was $400 on that night. So definitely look at the cash rates, too, don’t just jump to points. As far as points redemptions, there are plenty of options with Marriott that are fairly reasonable. One hotel I really like with Hyatt is the Andaz, and so I’ve statyed at the Andaz before, and it’s just 20,000 Hyatt points per night, even when rates can be $600 and up, and so that’s definitely a redemption to keep in mind for sure. As far as Marriott though, I’ve stayed at the W Leicester Square, is that how you pronounce it?

Emily McNutt: Yeah, that’s right.

Zach Honig: Okay. Good job.

Nicky Kelvin: Leicester Square.

Zach Honig: Leicester Square. Which is very expensive with cash, but fixed at 60,000 points per night. So that is definitely one to consider. There’s Le Meridien not too far from there. When I looked at, it’s a little bit less with cash, but also 60,000 points per night. There is a Sheraton and The London EDITION. Actually both of these, even though the cash rates are very different, also 60,000 Marriott points per night. But The London EDITION. I’ve heard good things about.

Nicky Kelvin: That’s great hotel. I haven’t stayed there but I’ve been in there lot of times — there’s a very cool restaurant attached to it called the Burners Tavern. It looks great. The Points Guy himself stays there.

Zach Honig: Oh wow. All right.

Emily McNutt:: Wow. TPG approved!

Zach Honig: It’s got to be a classy joint. Nicky, you had mentioned the Intercontinental Park Lane as well. Have you been in there before? Have you stayed there?

Nicky Kelvin: I’ve been in there a few times, haven’t stayed there — a very grand, large hotel right on Hyde Park, and if you can get good rates there, I don’t know what the points rates are per night, but…

Zach Honig: It’s high. It’s at the upper end, definitely for IHG —  70,000 points per night — considering the cash rates can exceed $600 there as well.

Nicky Kelvin: If you have IHG points to burn, that is a nice property in a really nice location.

Zach Honig: Emily, if someone wants to follow on your European adventures, where can they find you on social media?

Emily McNutt: Yeah, I’m on Instagram @mcnutt.emily and on Twitter @Em_McNutt.

Zach Honig: Em_McNutt

Emily McNutt: Correct.

Zach Honig: And Nicky, how about you?

Nicky Kelvin: Bit easier for me. Follow me across socials @nickykelvin

Nicky Kelvin:. Actually, if you really like airplanes, though, I am @milesmogul on Instagram. That’s where the aviation porn lives.

Zach Honig: Where can we find The Points Guy UK on social?

Nicky Kelvin:: You should go to for our website or on social media @thePointsGuyUK.

Zach Honig: Safe travels, guys.

Nicky Kelvin:: Safe travels.

Zach Honig: I am your host, Zach Honig. This episode was produced by Margaret Kelly and Caroline Schagrin. Our music is by Alex Schiff. If you’ve been enjoying Miles Away so far, please subscribe, rate and review on Apple podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you choose to listen.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs up to two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® after you apply through any Authorized Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
17.24%-26.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.