News in brief:
Tesco Bank shows first hit from EU interchange fee caps
The Tesco financial results last week gave the first indication of how credit card companies will be hit from the 0.3% cap on interchange fees which came into effect on 3rd December.
For the year to 27th February, Tesco Bank saw its operating profit fall from £188m to £162m. This was mainly due to a fall in ‘fees and commissions receivable’ from £410m to £379m. The accompanying text blames the bulk of this fall on just 3 months of impact from the cap on interchange fees, although MasterCard had already reduced its fees marginally in March 2015.
It is possible that Tesco Bank could take an annual hit as large as £100m from the interchange fee cap – more than half of its annual profit. It is unlikely that the halving in the number of Clubcard points (and therefore Avios) awarded on the credit card will make much of a saving. Given that Tesco Bank can at least fall back on its mortgages, insurance and current accounts, you can only begin to imagine the impact of the fee cap at pure(r) card operations such as MBNA and American Express.
Avios.com hotel deals in Dubai and the Algarve
Avios.com has launched a handful of new special deals for hotel bookings.
As an example, see Conrad Algarve which has a very good reputation. 7 nights from 11th June, for example, prices on avios.com at £2,154 B&B – and you earn 10,770 Avios back! Over at hilton.com the same room for the same dates costs £2,800 and that is room only.
Unfortunately, you cannot make a Best Rate Guarantee claim against Hilton as these are technically ‘members only’ rates for Avios collectors and are therefore exempt.
Deals are also running at Hilton Dubai The Walk and Fairmont Southampton Bermuda if you are heading that way. Remember that you won’t receive any status benefits or hotel loyalty points for booking via avios.com although you will earn Avios based on what you spend.
£50 credit at Radisson Edwardian for BA Amex cardholders
If you are heading into London before 7th June, the 10 Radisson Blu Edwardian hotels, plus The May Fair, are offering a special British Airways American Express package. This deal is also available at the Radisson Blu Edwardian in Manchester.
This includes a £50 credit towards in-hotel spend (you get this even if you only book for one night) and breakfast. If you credit your stay to Avios instead of taking Club Carlson points, you will receive 500 Avios per stay. Payment must be made with a British Airways American Express card.
By coincidence, I will be reviewing The May Fair hotel this week as I found booking a Radisson night was the only way to use up some SAS Eurobonus points I picked up. I get a day of free office space out of it and a breakfast!