Bits: 1000 Virgin miles with Shops Away, free London transport with Apple Pay, Luxury Travel Diary auctions

News in brief:

Virgin Atlantic shopping bonus via Shops Away

Shops Away is the Virgin Flying Club equivalent of BA’s Gate 365 or the avios.com e-store.  Use it for your shopping this Christmas and you earn miles back.

Until Sunday 20th December, Shops Away is offering double miles at Apple Store, Selfridges, NET-A-PORTER, John Lewis, Marks & Spencer, Argos, notonthehighstreet.com and Currys.  Smaller bonuses are on offer from other retailers.

My wife, who has never used Shops Away, was also offered an extra carrot.  She will receive 1,000 miles if she makes any purchase via the site before 20th December.  This offer is not mentioned on the Shops Away site so, if you didn’t get the email, you should assume that you are not targetted.

Virgin Shops Away

Free London travel with MasterCard and Apple Pay

If you have an iPhone 6 with Apple Pay, you can travel for free on public transport in London on Monday 30th November, Monday 7th December and Monday 14th December.  It was also valid this Monday.

You need to set a MasterCard as your main Apple Pay card and use it for your contactless travel on Monday.  You will be charged as usual but MasterCard will refund your fare back to your card.  It covers the tube, buses, tram, DLR, London Overground and most National Rail services in London.

More details can be found here.  Thanks to Joel.

Southern Railway

More Luxury Travel Diary auctions closing 

Finally, the Luxury Travel Diary site has another wave of its luxury auctions closing this week.  These are often worth a look as there are often deals to be had.

The current auction includes a large number of Hyatt and Park Hyatt packages in cities as diverse as Abu Dhabi, Beijing, Jakarta, Mainz, Singapore and Doha.

If you fancy something different, there is also a four night yacht charter for six in the Caribbean – the highest bid was just £404 last night.

'Secret' IHG weekend sale - save 50% on regular rates this Winter
3 hours, 5 lounges (part 4): Review of the American Airlines lounge, Heathrow Terminal 3
About Head for Points

We help business and leisure travellers maximise their Avios, frequent flyer miles and hotel loyalty points. Visit every day for three new articles or sign up for our FREE emails via this page or the box to your right.

Comments

  1. Oh! Matron! says:

    ” iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6 Plus users ” + watch

  2. O/T: I was referred for free BA Amex. My referrer got their 4,000 Avios bonus and I’m working toward £1,000 spend for my 10,000 Avios. On an item which took me over £500 spend I’ve been given 1,000 Avios as ‘Additional refer a friend bonus’ – anyone know why? I held a BA Amex previously (over six months ago) and don’t recall this happening.

    • I had the same thing last month – not sure why/what the exact criteria is, but they give you the additional bonus early and then the standard 9000 once you hit the £1000 spend

  3. OT – Barclaycard will now give you free access to your Experian score… there should be a link when you log into your account to register

    • Yes i’ve seen this on there. They rated me at 999/999 which seems a tad unlikely to me and doesn’t tally with my Noddle score (which is good but nowhere near the maximum)!

  4. I received this email and the wording for the 1000 point bonus seems – to me anyway – to suggest that it’s not targetted and is open to any first time user. I’m going to try it for my wife who didn’t receive the email (but I believe that was only because she’s not opted in to marketing emails).

    In answer to your question there doesn’t seem to be any stipulation of what you need to buy or minimum spend so yes I believe you could order literally anything through it and get the bonus.

    • That would be good as I did a first order yesterday booking an IHG hotel! Will wait and see if the bonus points post!

  5. I’ve had the Virgin email. Does anyone know if you can get the bonus on purchases under £1? (you’d need to spend £1 to earn at least one mile).

  6. OK, I’ve just purchased a 59p ‘Cat Print’ pen for store collection from The Works. Hopefully should get my 1000 points.

  7. I don’t this has been covered elsewhere on there – there’s also currently a 1000 point Virgin bonus for setting your Tesco clubcard account to autoconvert. As in the past, unset it after the bonus hits (which should be shortly after 5th December I believe); well before it actually converts anything (assuming you don’t want to autoconvert that is!).

    • Does anyone know what happens to existing (unspent) clubcard vouchers when you set an account to auto-convert?

      I have some unspent vouchers in a “dormant” clubcard account that I don’t want to convert to Virgin points but I would happily take the 1,000 free points for auto-converting the current quarter’s nil balance if doing so didn’t touch the vouchers already earned.

      • You only need to be auto converted in by 5th Dec to receive the bonus – you can then take the auto convert back off before the next Tesco statement is due which is in January. You don’t need to convert anything to Virgin – just be auto converted on that date. I normally wait till the points post 2/3 days after the date then convert back to vouchers.

  8. OT*Help! I am converting from Tesco to BAEX Avios to benefit of the £100 bonus. which fields need to match?

    • From experience surname address is sufficient.

      • thanks, Avioso is a funny name! it sounds like the 8th – miles collector Dwarf ! Are you taking Snowhite on your next redemption? :)

  9. My MasterCard is not supported by Apple Pay

    • you won’t be able to benefit then…!
      Tesco Mastercard works through Apple Pay (even if your physical card hasn’t been updated to the contactless variety yet)

  10. OT: Bizarre thing just happened. I tried to pay my Avivia Household and Motor policies with my IHG Visa credit card. It kept rejecting saying it wasn’t a credit card. I called IHG and was told there was no problem at their end with the card. Called Aviva again to try again. The guy tried putting it through as a debit card and it went through fine – I saved the 1.5% charge! Never had that before – has anyone else had the same problem ?

    • The Barclaycard and IHG card will always go through as a debit card because before they used their current bin (first 6 digits). Barclays used it on their debit cards.

      • Wow – I didn’t know that. I have been paying my daughter’s rent while she is at Uni on this card and been getting charged each month. Next month I will try putting it through as a debit card!

        • I spot a potential with HMRC and BARCLAYCARD then..

          • Too right.

            Just paid my council tax, as a visa debit, went through OK, without a surcharge.

            Shall be paying my self assessment in Jan 16, will make the £10000 spend on the Hilton card very easy to hit.

          • This is news to me too, how long has this been around?! Is it a temporary glitch?

          • This will vary between councils. Mine considers a Hilton Barclaycard to be a credit card, but it does add the surcharge to prepaid Visa debit cards from Gospendit.
            On the other hand, I can pay my council tax on Amex using AllPay at the Coop.

          • Didn’t work for me. HMRC worldpay picks IHG card up as a credit card payment.

  11. Sorry O/T question from a newbie :)

    Never had to do it before.

    So I can cancel an Avios RFS flight online? And lose the £17.50 but we get the Avios back?

    I had to book my wife a different date flight.

    How late can I cancel the Avios flight? – as it would make sense to keep it open until the last minute to keep our options open.

    • BA or Avios.com? BA – cancel online, lose £17.50, Avios back immediately

      Avios.com – ring Avios, pay £35, get Avios back (immediate?), get £17.50 back in a few days

      Must cancel 24 hours before departure or lose the lot.

      • It’s Avios.com. I don’t quite understand. I already paid £17.50. So I have to pay another £35 but I’ll get back 1 lot of £17.50? So cancelling costs me £35?