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 glhhotels.com.” The problem is that you cannot book hotels at glhhotels.com – it is the corporate website!
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.
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.