Wine retailer Laithwaites, the UK’s largest mail-order wine retailer (it runs The Sunday Times Wine Club as well as pretty much every other branded mail-order operation), has been a BAEC partner for many years via The British Airways Wine Club. It has also offered deals to avios.com members since the Air Miles relaunch.
The British Airways Wine Club usually offers 1,000 Avios for your first order of a 12-bottle case of wine, with a paltry 250 Avios for subsequent orders. Cases are priced from £80 plus postage. There is no obligation to make further purchases after your first case, but you need to proactively cancel. It is not a cheap way to accumulate Avios.
However, at present they are now offering this deal:
A 12-bottle case for as little as £51
A pair of Dartington crystal glasses
You are getting tied into something, though. Every 12 weeks, Laithwaites will contact you with details of a new case. If you do not specifically say that you do not want to receive it, either online or by phone, it will be sent to you and charged to the credit card you used for your initial order. Here is the small print:
I understand that, every 12 weeks and at Christmas if eligible, I will be notified of the next Laithwaite’s Wine Plan selection, and Customer Favourites selection if applicable, which I will automatically receive unless I request otherwise. I will be charged the appropriate sum for each delivery – all currently £89.99 except Season’s Rose and Taste of Spain which are £79.99, Taste of Australia which are £99.99 and the appropriate price for my Customer Favourites case (Pinot Grigio & Friends and Merlot & Friends currently £79.98). (A £7.99 delivery charge will be added). There is no obligation, you can delay or stop your deliveries of Laithwaite’s Wine Plan cases at any time – simply let us know.
So, in return for the cash saving on your first case, you are going to have to deal with some admin from Laithwaites going forward. Once you have got your 1,000 Avios banked you can quit Laithwaites Recommends, but this may take a month or so.
Whether you want to go for this depends on how well organised you are. Overall, to be honest, it is a pretty good deal – 12 bottles of wine at a bargain price, 1000 Avios and the wine glasses. I doubt the wine will be too bad, given that they want to encourage you to buy more. And you can always give it away as Christmas presents ….