Bits: £50 off £100 Thistle stay, Monarch flies on, new Hotel Tonight loyalty scheme

News in brief:

New American Express statement credit deals launched

American Express has launched a generous cashback deal with Thistle, every, Amba and Clermont Hotels, which are collectively run as GLH Hotels.  The group also includes The Grosvenor Hotel, The Royal Horseguards, The Cumberland and The Tower in London.

The Amex offer is £50 back on a £100 spend which is very generous.  Thistle Poole is excluded but apart from that all of the other UK properties are there.

You need to hope that the offer is available on your Amex online statement for any particular card and then register.  There is just one snag – the small print says “Offer only valid when booking online at”  The problem is that you cannot book hotels at – it is the corporate website!

The actual booking websites are here for Thistle, here for Amba and here for every.

There is no mention of having to prepay advance bookings, so I think what Amex was trying to say is that you need to book direct – booking and paying via, say, Expedia won’t trigger the cashback.

We reviewed the new Amba hotel in London earlier in the year and were impressed.  If you are looking for a hotel at Heathrow, remember that the Thistle, whilst not the newest hotel, does let you use the driverless pods in the official car park behind the hotel to get to Terminal 5.

Stays must be completed by 23rd December.

amba hotel marble arch

Monarch flies on – for now

Low cost airline Monarch was handed a last-minute reprieve on Friday evening which will allow it to continue flying, at least for now.

The Civil Aviation Authority has given the company until 12th October to secure new investment, which the airline claims is well advanced according to press reports.

The problem, of course, is that recent publicity about the company going under will have stopped fresh bookings being made.  The Winter season is also very low yield for airlines with even the most successful short haul carriers struggling to do much more than break even.  The CAA appears convinced that the money will arrive but we need to wait and see.

As your credit card company will refund you if the airline does collapse, this may actually be a good time to lock in a cheap Monarch flight for next year as demand is presumably low …..


Hotel Tonight launches a loyalty scheme

Whilst it hasn’t announced anything to UK members yet, last minute hotel booking app Hotel Tonight has launched a loyalty scheme.  If you go into the app you will see a new feature, HT Perks.

There are three levels based on your lifetime spend, excluding sign-up credits, to date.  The only firm benefit is an additional discount on future stays.  These start at 8%-12% at the lowest level, rising to 13%-17% and then 18%-22% for the heaviest users of the app.

These discounts will not apply to every hotel and are apparently being part-funded by those hotels who choose to participate.  The upside of the scheme is that it is based on lifetime spend so your tier should never fall back once achieved.  The downside, as always with third party booking schemes, is that you will not receive loyalty benefits or points from the hotel itself if it is part of a chain.

You can still get £15 off your first Hotel Tonight booking (conditions apply) by downloading their app and using my sign up code of RBURGESS15.  Whilst technically I also receive a credit for referring you, in reality I do not use them as you can only apply one per booking.

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  1. Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

    I would suggest relying on Monarch’s ATOL protection in the first instance.

    Credit card issuers are only jointly liable under section 75 if the total value of the booking is at least £100. There are non-statutory chargeback schemes for lower-value bookings, but they aren’t bulletproof.

    • Except doesn’t the atol bond only cover package holidays? So if you book a flight only – as Rob is suggesting- then you will need to rely on credit card company.

      • No. Monarch arranged (when original Greybull takeover created uncertainty + confidence hit) for exUK sold flight only bookings to also be ATOL covered in many circumstances.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Value of each persons ticket I thought?

      Always get confused on what counts for s75. As I thought if you spend £100 on 2x items you’re not covered because each item was below £100?

  2. OT x 2.

    1 – I am sure I saw a Triple Points promotion on Tesco own brand Gift Cards in my local Tesco. Is that a misreading, as I thought they never did that?

    2 – Do Visa Gift Cards – the ones with the £3.95 fee – qualify for 75 points per £25? I need to pay for an online service and make sure there is no scope for a sneaky continuous payment authority.


  3. O:T, I went to the New Tesco Bicester yesterday as I live in the town to find Amazon Gcs. Unfortunately there wasn’t any. I’m going back there this morning to buy Curry’s GCs to buy a new cooker. Well, that’s what I’m telling my girlfriend. I might just get to Curry’s and buy a new monster TV or new PC. Hopefully she’ll read this just for the wind up.

  4. O/T I got Hertz Presidents Circle membership back in the summer from the status match with Accor (cheers Rob!) but I can NEVER seem to find any availability to use points for a rental on the website (have tried random multiple days, locations etc. When applying the use points button). Hertz have also credited me with 1800 free points for status matching instead of 900 so it is even more valuable as long as I can get a chance to use them. Am I best phoning up to redeem them? Cheers

    • Yes, if you call them they should be able to search availability. When you can use them they can be extremely good value if you pick carefully – I saved hundreds with a few days of car hire from Melbourne between Christmas and New Year, also I avoided the massive queue when collecting as they’d done all the paperwork already as a GPR member, so I just went straight downstairs to pick the car up!

  5. S75 covers items over £100, and in airline terms this is interesting as it can depend whether your fare is ‘return’ or ‘one way’. Ryanair for example sets all fares one-way so you don’t pay more for an individual sector if you don’t add a return, so sectors count individually under S75. For BA (short haul) this only applies from Gatwick as fares there are set one-way; Heathrow flights are based on return pricing so the whole thing counts-which is more likely to be over £100. I don’t know which Monarch does, but suspect it might be more the former. So if your sectors aren’t each more than £100 you won’t be covered.

  6. A little known Fact Airberlin was Running a TopBonus 50% bonus promo on mile purchases since 27th of September and today is the last day.

  7. The terms and conditions for the thistle stay offer states “Available on all spend at check-out at selected glh Hotels. Book, pay and stay by 23/12/16”. So it sounds like you can’t get the best available rate by booking and paying in advance. It then contradicts itself by saying
    “Offer only valid when booking online at”. How would you interpret this?

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