Bits: new Amex cashback deals, new Virgin Clubhouse access rules, IHG to United bonus

News in brief:

American Express launches new cashback deals

A new wave of Amex cashback offers launched this week.

Some, all or none of these will be available for registration under the ‘Offers’ tab of your online statement.

Offers marked ‘Connect’ appear on the Amex Connect site where you can register MBNA, Lloyds or Barclays-issued American Express cards.

The new travel offers available across my cards are:

Transport for London – 10 bonus Avios or Membership Rewards points for every £2 charged to your card before 6th November. In theory this only applies to contactless transactions.  We need to see if it works for season tickets. 

Mandarin Oriental – £100 back on £550 spend in London, Paris, Barcelona or Geneva, expires 6th December

Eurostar (Connect) – £20 back on £60 spend, expires 16th October (you could book a return ticket as 2 x one-ways if you had two cards which qualify for the offer)

Heathrow Express (Connect) – £10 back on £50 spend, expires 11th December, valid for unlimited number of transactions

These older offers are still running:

Hilton – £50 back on £250 spend at participating hotels only, expires 30th November

Rocco Forte Hotels – £100 back on £400 spend in London or Brussels, expires 30th October

Hyatt – £100 back on £500 spend at participating European hotels, expires 30th September

Emirates – £100 back on £800 spend, expires 6th November

Trailfinders – £200 back on £1,000 spend, expires 30th September

Sofitel / MGallery / Pullman – £30 back on £250 spend at participating hotels, expires 21st October, would double up with the current generous Accor promotion

Holiday Extras (Connect) – 15% cashback, expires 2nd October

Amex American Express

Virgin takes action to stop Heathrow Clubhouse overcrowding

We wrote last month about Delta’s decision to move all of its Heathrow Terminal 4 flights into Heathrow Terminal 3 from yesterday.

This is great news for Delta flyers who will now have access to the acclaimed Virgin Clubhouse lounge (and it is pretty good as I reviewed here).

It was bad news for Virgin Atlantic travellers, who risked seeing their beloved lounge overrun with passengers from an additional 11 flights per day.

Delta has now taken action to reduce the impact of this.

Diamond and Platinum Medallion cardholders will no longer be allowed Clubhouse access.  They will sent to the No 1 Lounge in Terminal 3 instead.  I reviewed the No 1 Lounge in Terminal 3 here.

This is bad news for Priority Pass passengers who use the No Lounge because the influx of Delta passengers will mean far fewer spaces available for ‘walk up’ Priority Pass guests.

Like it or not, if you want to guarantee No 1 Lounge access in Terminal 3 with your Priority Pass, you may need to stump up £5 to reserve a space in advance.

Diamond and Platinum Medallion Delta cardholders will continue to get access to the Virgin Atlantic arrivals lounge.

United 350

50% bonus when you convert IHG Rewards Club points to United MileagePlus

United Airlines is offering a 50% bonus when you convert IHG Rewards Club points into your United MileagePlus account.

The offer runs until 10th October.  You need to register before making the transfer on the United website here.

Airline miles are not the best use of IHG points due to the 5:1 conversion rate.  I tend to value IHG points at 0.4p each which means that, at the normal conversion rate, you are giving up 2p of free hotel room to receive 1 airline mile.  This is not good value.

Under this offer, you are giving up 1.33p of hotel room for every mile you receive.  This is closer to fair value but still expensive in my book.

You need to take a broader view, however.  If you collect United MileagePlus miles and live in the UK, your options are limited.  There is a United credit card – with NO sign-up bonus – but that is about it.  The conversion rate from Starwood Preferred Guest is weaker than other airline schemes and they are not an American Express partner.  On that basis, if you have a large pile of IHG points you may find this an easy option to top up your United balance.

What happens to your Avios points when you die?
My review of the new JW Marriott resort, Venice (Part 2)
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Comments

  1. WOW, soon be noon and still no O/T comments on a bits post! Must be your lucky day Rob :)

  2. Very OT, kind request:

    I’m visiting NYC at the end of November for three nights. I have Amex Platinum so those ‘statuses’ that go with it. I’ve also got IHG rewards with a few points in it, not enough to redeem for nights.

    Any recommendations as to hotels for a combination of decent value/points/status benefits?

    • Look at our recent review of Melia’s INNSIDE hotel. Brand new and you would get 20% off using the vouchers you get as Melia Gold.

      The Conrad is my preferred Hilton choice as ‘all suite’ and relatively new. Not sure there are any really good Radisson / Carlson options.

      • Just stayed at the Comrad last week as Diamond got a room upgrade and free breakfast plus $20 credit to al a carte. Very nice hotel. Then stayed at the WA which despite the poor reviews in most places was OK got a suite upgrade comp breakfast and 3 cocktail/drinks vouchers. Sadly the Diamond executive checkin room was closed so had to use the satanised desk. Breakfast buffet was better in the Conrad but only served at the weekend

      • Thank you.

        I’ve just opened a MeliaRewards account, how do I “link” it to my Amex Platinum so that I get upgraded to gold?

  3. OT – sorry to spoil a tidy thread.
    I have Spire Elite through the big credit bonus last year, but will lose it at the end of this year. Reading other fora there seems to be a suggestion that if I join Ambassador woth 32000 points I would retain Spire status. Is this right, does anyone know? Or does it only give you Spire-type privileges with IC?

    • Latter. Ambassador comes with Gold status.

      Remember that transfers from Virgin count towards status. You could, for eg, get the Virgin credit card with 25,000 bonus miles and move those over – it depends how short you are.

      If you are very short, probably better to transfer 75k Virgin in January and get 2 years of status.

      You get 25,000 IHG points for retaining Spire which makes the Virgin transfer more palatable.

      • My Spire status was supposed to expire this year. I bought Ambassador on points and my Spire staus has been extended until end 2017. I even got the 25000 points again, which I did not expect.

  4. O/T gas/ electricity – EON (via HFP article 4/9/15)

    A lot of us switched to EON on the MSE collective deal – great rate plus Tesco points on top. [Many of us then further switched to EON’s v19 1 year fixed as it was a bit cheaper.]

    That’s coming to an end. My v19 ends 8/2/17 but that means the original deal as mentioned on HFP will be finishing right now for some of you & bad old EON will be putting you on their standard variable rate.

    MSE have got another collective fix https://clubs.moneysavingexpert.com/cheapenergyclub/collectiveswitch?utm_source=CEC_Subscribers&utm_medium=Email&utm_term=15-Sep-16&utm_campaign=big6standard&utm_content=winningtariffs

    but EON don’t figure in the results. Probably best to run another comparison for yourself.

    For me, assuming I do actually promptly switch away from EON (you can do this without penalty up to 49 days before your fixed deal finishes) – then the max saving I could make with the collective deal (British Gas) is £44/ year – so maybe £15 Sept-Dec.

    I figure I’ll just wait until end-December then switch penalty free (exit penalties are £30/ fuel), with a few Tesco points still heading my way in the interim.

    • I switched yday – EoN did show and seemed to be a close second for me (although recently moved so not sure what our usage will actually be here!)

  5. Re TFL points offer:

    If it doesn’t appear on my Amex Preferred Rewards Gold Card, is there anyway I can request for this offer to be made available to me?

  6. If I have the Trail finders offer on a main and supplementary card for the same account, can the offer be used once on each card or is it once per account?

  7. O/T up to 30% off codes for Etihad
    STFECO works on economy class AND code STFBUS works on business class
    http://www.etihad.com/en-gb/

    HT wishihadadonkey

    Click link, search for flights and make sure you enter the appropriate code before pressing submit, then choose flights with the star symbol, once outbound and return selected, you’ll see the discount on bottom right of screen
    BOOK BY 19th SEPT for
    TRAVEL DATES– 15 SEPT to 23 NOV OUTBOUND and RETURN to be completed by 30 NOV
    eco
    Heathrow to Bangalore Oct 3rd-17th £382.45pp
    London to Perth, Australia from £470
    London to Abu Dhabi £295

  8. EUR20 discount on Vueling flights http://flynder.com/en/941/flights-europe-vy-sc

    • code FLYNDERUK

      • Yeah, some crazy prices BHX-TFS OW £5 or so on some dates

        • London Luton – Amsterdam €10 (November 12th-15th)
          Manchester – Alicante €10 (November 8th-13th)
          Manchester/Birmingham – Tenerife
          Edinburgh – Rome €10 (November 5th-8th)
          Edinburgh – Paris €10 (November 24th-27th)
          Malaga

          • Hi can anyone help me with a question about cancelling my BAPP card. I’ve earned the companion voucher and its safely on my BA Exec account. I phoned Amex to cancel my card and they are insisting that I will not be able to use the companion voucher if I don’t have one of the BA Amex cards, even the free one. Phoned 3 different times to be told the same thing. Then called BA and they said that their systems are not sophisticated enough to know what kind of an Amex card you are using when you pay the taxes for the companion voucher. So I’m confused. I want to cancel the card but don’t want to risk losing the voucher.

            Could anyone tell me their experiences and offer advice. Apparently it’s in the terms and conditions you must have a BA card.
            Thanks.

          • Amex will tell you you loose the voucher…. But you do not. Amex tell you you must use the BA Amex to pay for the flight when using the voucher but you do not. Been in the same position as you and threw caution to the wind and cancelled my card back in June and booked a flight last week. Your only potential problem is changing/cancelling the booking may result in loosing the voucher.

          • Well its BA that will be the ones who accept the voucher and as they say they can’t tell what amex you use then i can’t see it being a problem, also the fact others including raffles have confirmed just any amex will be fine.

          • the same happened with me so Amex just downgraded my card to blue and said I could cancel as soon as I have redeemed the voucher. It was smooth transition – no issues

  9. Thanks Jonathan – but how did you pay – did you use another Amex card in your name?

    • I would think any Amex at the billing address would work.

    • Amex does not do name verification, you can say the card is yours even when it isn’t. You must provide correct billing address though.

    • I used my Lloyds Amex, in my name and
      address. Generally I find most online transactions don’t check the card name, just the address.

  10. I can’t see the TFL one on either of my Amex’s, anything I can do to make it appear?

  11. Has anyone successfully redeemed the trailfinders offer on a £1000 gift card? Next flights will not be till October 2017 so cannot book now…thanks

  12. What happened to the Eurostar deal? I can’t find it anymore

  13. HeathrowFlyer says:

    So as a Sky Team Elite Plus Member (Alitalia) will I be granted access to the No. 1 Lounge in T3 if flying Delta Economy? (Delta’s website only makes reference to ‘Diamond and Platinum Medallion Members’.

  14. anybody know if the Amex TfL bonus points are posting ok ?

    on my BA amex card i’ve had a single entry of 40 Bonus Avios description “Amex Offers” after three TfL purchases. it could just be slow to post, but i don’t want to keep spending on this card if the bonus Avios aren’t going to post !