Bits: Heathrow protest today, Etihad sale, update on 40,000 Nectar points deal

News in brief:

Heathrow anti-expansion protest today may cause delays

British Airways has issued an advisory warning due to a protest against Heathrow Airport expansion which will take place today, Saturday.

To quote:

A peaceful demonstration against airport expansion is expected to take place at Heathrow Airport on Saturday 1 October.

Heathrow Airport is working with the Metropolitan Police who will manage any protest activities in and around the airport or terminal facilities.

Roads around Heathrow may see a period of disruption around the middle of the day and customers travelling to/from the airport may wish to allow extra time for their journey.

Etihad A380

Etihad launches 96 hour sale – with bonus miles

Etihad is running a sale this weekend which runs until Monday evening.

As well as some decent prices in Business Class, the airline is offering 15,000 bonus Etihad Guest miles for every Business Class flight.  Economy flights will attract a 5,000 mile bonus.

Whilst Etihad Guest was devalued sharply last year, the ability to top up your account via American Express Membership Rewards, the UK Etihad credit card, the HSBC Premier credit card and Heathrow Rewards makes their miles flexible.  You can also redeem across the full Etihad Airways Partners alliance.

Here are some headline business class fares from London.

  • Abu Dhabi £1,500
  • Bangkok £1,550
  • Mumbai £1,552
  • Johannesburg £2,191
  • Perth £2,600
  • Melbourne £2,600

Whilst these are not the cheapest deals seen this Winter, you need to remember that I rate the Etihad A380 Business Class Studio as the best seat on the market.  Heathrow will be operating a 100% A380 service from November.

These deals can be booked for travel until June 2017.  Full details are on the Etihad website here.

Amex Nectar

Update on the ‘40,000 Nectar points’ credit card deal

Yesterday I wrote an article about the attractive American Express Nectar credit card promotion which launches today.  If you are targetted via the Nectar app or website, you will receive a whopping 40,000 Nectar points for signing up.

Full details of the card are here although you should not sign up via this page.

This is worth at least – in the worse case scenario – £200 to spend at Sainsbury’s, easyJet, Expedia etc.  However, if you use your points wisely during special offers, you could get as high as £400.

I missed out a key point in the early version of the article yesterday which was the version emailed out.

Anyone who is targetted will receive the 40,000 points as long as they have not had a Nectar credit card in the last six months.  That statement was correct.

However … the terms and conditions state that you only receive the first year of membership for free if you have not had any Amex-issued Amex cards in the last six months.  That will disqualify 95% of HFP readers, who will have a BA Amex, Amex Gold, Amex Platinum, Starwood Amex or similar.

You WILL still get the 40,000 points but you need to be resigned to paying the £25 fee.  This is still very small in contrast to the sign-up bonus, however, and is refundable pro-rata if you cancel the card.

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  1. Would it make sense to apply as a new card member or an existing one?

  2. I assume this can not be combined with TCB?

  3. There are still some days (notably Wednesday) that have one Etihad service using an A340 in November. Still worth checking before you book.

  4. If it causes delays and disturbs lives it is not peaceful ….

    • The protest :-).

      On the expansion they should build all three.

    • Is that good value?

      Accor points are quite valuable. IIRC reward nights start at 2000.

      • 2000 points don’t necessarily get you a free stay but at least gets you 40EUR off your stay.
        If your stay is below 40 EUR of course you get that as reward.

      • In addition to Rogers reply, as a general rule it’s usually best to use hotel points for hotel stays to maximise value. However, some people are chasing big miles goals or are only a few miles short of a target so they will choose mikes over points, even if comparative value is very poor.

    • Nicola Walton says:

      OT question for Rob, have you found out if there has been a security breach re the emails Supercard has been sending out apologising for PIn problems? I commented on this the other day and other HFP readers said they had received the same email?

      • Not sure what is happening there. I didn’t get the email.

      • I seem to remember they sent out similar emails before which were reported in HfP comments – there was no follow up from anyone. I’ve not had the new card they were supposedly sending out – I suppose I should contact them.

        • I had email last week, new card arrived first class this morning

          • Same here for the wife but my card was never affected, potentially !

            • I go the email a couple of days ago and the new cad arrived today.
              The strange thing was that I have not used my card since it relaunched…

            • Mt card failed when in France earlier in the week. I called and was told a new card will be posted due to pin issues. I explained how this was inconvenient as I had planned to use whilst abroad and have received an email today from CS offering £30 if I email by return my travel docs to prove I was abroad when this occured.

      • Nicola Walton says:

        Update – new Supercard arrived in the post today. Replacement IHG visa lost in transit new one being sent out! It really does seem a big coincidence that the IHG card is connected to the Supercard and the fraudulent charges are on the IHG card the week before the Supercard email!

    • I guess this will also apply to Iberia miles which are a better deal from Accor. See ton last post on the Accor triple miles offer

      • Yes, BA is not the best way to collect from Accor as Iberia gives twice as many Avios per €1. And the current ‘10000 Avios for 4 x 2-night Accor stays’ is even better.

  5. Have a flight landing into Heathrow at midday and then have an Addison Lee booked to take back to South London – looks like might be best to cancel and book Heathrow Express instead – thanks for the heads up

  6. rams1981 says:

    OT gift cards from Tesco. Found one with Amazon and John Lewis. Went to till when lady on register called her manager who said it was a limit of £50 per person. When I pointed out Amazon gift cards were in £100 denominations he said oh, OK the limit is £100.

    When I queried his clear made up limit he said it was because of fraudulent credit card usage… I said what if I show my ID and he then made up a limit of £400…

    You’re an odd man Billy from Tescos near Brent Cross.

    Went to another Tesco after and they didn’t give a shit when I took £500 worth to the till. Will just keep buying there instead! Have some house works going on which will need kitchen appliances from John Lewis so can really get a load of Clubcard points. Is there a limit?

    • There is possibly a limit.

      For example Debenhams have a spend limit of 4 giftcards in store and 2 giftcards online.

      Other retailers have no limit.

      Call John Lewis to be sure.

      • Debenhams will happily load multiple gift cards onto one reloadable one, which you can then use in store or online

      • If there’s a problem you can always just buy something with 3 gift cards, then refund it onto one.

    • Johnnycl says:

      There’s no limit really unless they feel like making one up. I had an issue at Tesco store last week that wouldn’t let me use a Tesco gift card to pay for a third party gift card, so just went to a different store and it was fine.

      • Johnnycl says:

        Having said this I have found that sometimes the cards don’t always activate when you’re buying more than half a dozen in one go, so I guess it is best to buy in smaller batches.

        • rams1981 says:

          The till seemed to highlight ones that didn’t go through and just got another card to replace it.

          Will buy more later I think.

          • When I bought £600 in one go once and one gift card didn’t activate it took me about half an hour to get it sorted and I got a mini-interrogation from the manager who wanted to know why I was buying so many! I now only buy £200 at a time, means more visits to Tesco but less hassle!

    • My cust services in the local Tesco told me 5 cards was the limit.

      So bought 10 £50 Amazon cards plus 2 bags of Mini Cheddars going round twice.

      Buying £100 Currys cards next.

      • Cashiers make things up. There isn’t a ‘from HO’ limit as far as I know

        • There is. 20 cards per person per day.

          I’ve had to stand there and call the customer services line on speakerphone while a manager of a certain very large Tesco on the A40 in a former vacuum cleaner factory building stood there listening.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Just keep going round there’s no limit if you use a different cashier.

            Find the limits are made up e.g. £500 max. When I’ve bought £1k a previous occasion. What I do know is £100 cards make it far easier and more environmentally friendly.

          • I bought 30 cards the other day so no limit as far as I know

    • How can it be fraud if I know the pin code to a card? Hate old people thinking they are the CEO

      • Isn’t that how ATM (skimming) fraud works, they can then effectively go on a shopping spree once the cash withdrawal limit is reached, and gift cards, once purchased, are a lot easier to sell on I would imagine.. I suspect the cashier has the best interest of everyone at heart regardless of his/her age rather than aspirations to be CEO…

      • No point arguing with the Tesco zombie cashiers just try another

    • Any idea if the JL cards can be used at Waitrose?

  7. The Etihad sale is poor vaue IMHO and Etihad is my main long haul carrier to to Asia.

    Until this year, we routinely had during the last few years at least, 3x and even 4x points in business class. 15k points is circa 2x mileage accrual on my routes.

    Additionally, on my main LHR-AUH-BKK routing, the “sale” price “from” £1550 is essentially the non sale target price and what with near permanent 10% off to occasional 20% and 30% off, this looks poor value.

    YMMV of course depending on routing but April next year is running at £2500+ each and that is ludicrous.

    • +1 Most Etihad sales I see have comparable or higher fares than those ‘normal’ fares leading up to the sale. I recall too that you could not only get x3 or x4 but you could stack these with full earnings on breaking deals and discount codes too. A huge differents in merits of Etihad since devaluation. If you are happy to pay cash for your fligts you might now want to consider Finnair which have comparable fares but give you option to collect avios and TP as opposed to EG miles.

      • Looked at FInnair for the last trip but they jumped from their longstanding £1209 to BKK to a daft £1800/2000 figure. Going to BKK via SIN in a terrible 13+2 but the return to LHR on Finnair is an equally gruesome 10+2 whereas the 2+10 on the way out is usually ok. Limited flights also makes it an overnight in BKK as well whereas on the ME3 I can fly each way overnight. Chauffeurs on 2 of ME3 of course as well.

        You are right about stacking the 3x and 4x on discounts. I actually got one on 30% off plus 4x points for 3 of us !

        What you can see is that their points for redemption also change in line with discounted fares. Thus, what might have been 280k points might drop to 200k points when the cash fare drops from say £2000 to £1400.

        I have an option to get out of EY completely with a points and a little cash and switch but Emirates programme is poor I think and with 3 flying, I do value the family account at Etihad.

  8. Odd. Received email from Nectar about this months offers. No mention of Amex deal. Unless I use the left hand preview bit on my iPad, where it says “Boost your points balance with American Express this October”. However that text is not visible at all on the actual email :(

    • If you are logged into your account and you see that uder ‘my nectar’ I would tae a screenshot and apply.

  9. OT: 20% bonus miles for conversion to Etihad 😉
    Amex included this time :)

  10. EY17/18 will be non-A380 on Wednesday

  11. OT: am I ok to use £850 worth of Currys gift cards to make a purchase at PC World in one transaction? I have 8 X £100 and 1 x £50. Hoping there will be no problems when I get there !

    • Yes done more than that before, there is a limit of 3 but that is only for the digital top up cards I believe, the printed on the front value have not limits.

  12. Mr(s) Entitled says:

    A point of clarification on the Amex issued: does this include the Virgin Amex/Visa double pack?

  13. Are people gift card hunting this morning? It seems so. Does any one know if it’s possible to use Curry’s gift cards for an online purchase with a home delivery service only?

    • Not quite the same, but I tend to order online under click and collect, which keeps my right of return, then pay in store with a GC and I think I have home delivery for larger items.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      You can use up to 5x gift cards only

      You can go instore and get the combined into one no issue or the store can order for you if you don’t mind giving up some TCB or gate365

  14. Will Squires says:

    Gutted I’m not targeted for the Amex :(

    • I don’t have it either ! :(

    • Will/Liz, I was gutted too as I applied last month via amex/TCB, however, it is not as bad as it appears. Given you don’t pay the £25 fee, it’s £100 + £35ish TCB compared to £200 – £25 fee if you were not to cancel the card so the difference is only about £40 not £100. Also, if avios is your game then depending on your current need for them, you may value the £35 TCB to x1.25 avios more highly than an extra £40 of nectar points.

      • James I don’t think that’s true – if I go direct to Amex is still says fee waiver is only for true newbies, which I’m not. So it’s 20k for £25 fee for those of us (sadly) not targeted. I might wait and see if they expand the selection in a week or two.

  15. Ah.

    Singapore Airlines Geography

    Joining Krisflyer for the purpose of Star Gold, but their compulsory “Province” list for the UK does not include my County (or Notts, Cornwall or Northumberland for that matter). And it does include “North England”.

    Someone has been reading the Daily Metropolitan.


  16. Douglas Grimshaw says:

    Ref nectar – How to know if targeted? Nectar account offers 40k, but when clicking on link to Amex shows only 20k?

  17. just signed up for new nectar account.
    only 20k on offer.

  18. wetboy1uk says:

    I am not seeing the 40,000 points offer either. How do you knwo if you are targeted for it?

    • It will show on the Nectar app or on their site when you log in.

      • wetboy1uk says:

        Should the nectar page show me 40,000 or 20,000 points? ie is it 20,000 from nectar and 20,000 from amex or will the nectar page confirm it is 40,000? Getting a bit confused as my nectar page is only showing 20,000

        • Well on Nectar App and website for me it showed 40000 points but on Amex Application site it only says 20000 points, but in the end it should all work out OK.
          I also have email from Nectar saying 40000 points so can show that to CS if need be.

          • wetboy1uk says:

            where on the website did you find the 40,000 points showing up?

            • Log in and see you personalised offers on the first page. It is either there or it isn’t. Or download the app and scroll through the offers tab.

      • Would be nice if somebody could please post the URL to the offer showing on their Nectar page, so that those without it can see if it works for them…

  19. Simon Branson says:

    this is poorly worded there is no 40k offer. This would mean £800 on double up which is inaccurate.

    • There is 40k on offer for me. As nectar points are generally valued at 0.5p, double up means 1p so 40k = £400. Where do you get £800 from?

    • Most of us have a 40k offer showing in our Nectar accounts. Not all of us, but most of us.

      • What evidence do you have for that !?!

        • Yes, got it on two accounts

        • That is based on the number of people who have posted on here that they don’t have the offer, which isn’t many.

          • For those who don’t have it, is there any way of forcing it? Would Nectar CS be able to add it?

          • Its just on the original post that you said “it seems very widespread”.

            I just wondered how you knew that, when nobody had had the opportunity to post that they did not have the offer on their account?

            Did you get insider information from Nectar/Amex about the scope of the offer – or were you making a rash assumption?

            • I think you’ll find it was already discussed multiple times in the comments here on HfP the day before Rob wrote the article…

  20. Applied but not sure why (I have 2 credit + 1 Charge card from Amex), the online decision process said….cannot approve online…wait for 10 days….

    Will wait and see.
    During application it also said first year is fee free however only showed 20000 nectar points as bonus.

  21. I’m near the end of my 6 months cool-off period for a new BAPP or Amex Gold.
    Would taking this Nectar card prevent me from getting the bonus on any other Amex cards ?

  22. No it should not.

  23. Jumble Tales says:

    No targeted offer for me either through Nectar App or web site, unfortunately.

  24. Received an important communication from Etihad today.

    They are doing some sort of ‘upgrading’ (in fact, streamlining and downgrading) of its loyalty programme benefits which DIRECTLY affects me as I am flying with EY from Singapore on 15 January 2017. This may be interesting to your readers I guess.

    “Alexandre, we have some exciting news to share with you!
    From today, we’ve aligned the tier benefits you receive as an Etihad Guest Silver tier member when you fly with any of the eight Etihad Airways Partner airlines: Etihad Airways, airberlin, Alitalia, Air Serbia, Air Seychelles, Etihad Regional, Jet Airways and NIKI.

    So you will now be able to travel the world with confidence to over 400 destinations, knowing that you will receive a more consistent level of service and recognition when you fly. As part of the alignment of tier benefits, you will be eligible for priority check-in whenever you fly with any of the eight Etihad Airways Partner airlines.

    However, from 15 January 2017, lounge access for Etihad Guest Silver members will only be available in Abu Dhabi, Mahé (Seychelles) and Belgrade. Until then, you can continue to enjoy the same lounge access benefits as before.

    The list of standardised Silver tier benefits across all eight Etihad Airways Partner airlines is shown below. For more detailed information on all of the benefits and privileges available to you from 4 October 2016, click here. “

  25. Seen the nectar 40k offer on a advertising banner when clicked it goes through to the Amex regular 20k offer and no mention of the 40k offer.

  26. I applied for the Nectar Card and I’ve spent £600 but it is showing 0 points on the summary page, although if I drill down to view transactions I can see the points I have earned on my spend. They don’t seem to have been transferred to my Nectar Account and they are not showing at American Express. I presume I must have put my Nectar Account number in when I signed up, does it just take a while to show?