Bits: Virgin scraps Combi Fare, Hilton Visa application criteria eased, Avios Dining delayed

News in brief

Virgin Atlantic scraps CombiFare

In a surprise move, Virgin Flying Club scrapped CombiFare this week.   This was odd because CombiFare was the sort of unique product which Virgin likes to use to show it is more flexible than the competition.

As I wrote recently, British Airways has even been exploring the idea of launching exactly the same thing.

CombiFares allowed you to book a flight with one leg booked using Flying Club miles and the other leg booked for cash.  The key, though, is that the cash element was 50% of the equivalent return ticket, not the extortionate cost of a one-way ticket.

Let’s assume a return flight to San Francisco was £800 in Economy and that you can only find a reward seat one way.  Virgin would let you book one leg with miles and the other leg for £400 (in reality they adjust for taxes on each leg).  On BA you would be stuffed in such a scenario, because the cost of a one-way cash ticket is charged at a premium price.

I would be interested to know why Virgin dropped this.  I was told that it is due to a new ticketing system which will make it impossible to make ‘half and half’ bookings going forward.

Thanks to Jay for this.

Virgin Atlantic

Barclaycard relaxes application criteria for the Hilton HHonors credit card

Following up my article on Tuesday on why I think the Hilton HHonors credit card is a fantastic ‘first card’ for anyone starting off collecting miles and points, it now seems that Barclaycard has improved the eligibility criteria for the card.

You are NOT now blocked from getting this card if you hold any other cards from Barclays.

This rule caused a lot of problems when it was introduced, especially as Barclays issued both the Hilton and IHG Rewards Club cards at the time.  This meant that you could not apply for both which probably annoyed both firms.  Whether or not this had anything to do with IHG moving their card to Creation Financial Services is not known.

If you have been put off from applying for the Hilton card because you have a Barclaycard or the old IHG Rewards Club card, you now now apply without any problems.  The website has also been changed to remove references to multiple applications.

Hilton Visa

Avios dining programme delayed

Finally, if you were wondering what happened to the new ‘earn Avios from eating at your local restaurants’ service I covered recently, it has been delayed by a month.

It is now scheduled to launch in November.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)

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Comments

  1. Wally1976 says:

    Another OT sorry! Bought an Amazon git card from Tesco yesterday lunchtime and another first thing this morning (same store). Neither of the codes will work on the Amazon site – I’m hoping it’s just a delay to the funds being available. Any other experiences? I have successful activation slips for both so will query on Monday if still not working.

    • Genghis says:

      I activated quite a few on Tuesday night. As harry / harry1 has previously reported, the font used on the GCs is awful – watch your Bs and 8s in particular. Play a substitution game until Amazon takes it.

    • It took me ages to activate 3 cards yesterday – what looked like Z was a 2 , S looked like 8, play around the letters and numbers – they are really badly printed !

    • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

      Worked immediately (10mins) for me.

    • I’ve activated a fair few of the new ones and the letters can be a pain but try to rearrange them and they should go through if activated already, I’m not sure about the waiting times I thought it would be immediate (even though Tesco claim it can take some time)

    • wally1976 says:

      Thanks all – I couldn’t see what I was entering wrong but turned out to be an S that looked like an 8 on the £25 card. The other one just hadn’t been activated earlier I think. All sorted now anyway :-)

  2. Cuchlainn says:

    OT – Nectar AMEX arrived today – having binned my BAPP in Sept I thought I would have been nobbled for £25 annual fee but clearly states £0.
    Alternatively it only states 20,000 Nectar points as bonus, not 40,000 as I signed up via Nectar.

    It does say bonus is due within 28 days of £2K spend – will Amex tell me now if 40,000 points will be credited, or must I wait till spend is confirmed ?

    • Genghis says:

      Aren’t the additional 20k points added by Nectar themselves, not Amex?

      • Cuchlainn says:

        I believe it’s 20K from both Genghis – according to original screenshot I kept :)

    • wally1976 says:

      Drop Amex a secure message (via ‘Contact Us’) and they should be able to advise if you qualify for the 40k points.

      • Cuchlainn says:

        Will do Wally – will update when known – thanks

        • Cuchlainn says:

          Bump – Amex secure msg worked :
          Confirmed 20K from Amex + 20K additional Nectar points from Nectar and no £25 initial fee ( on OH’s BAPP as a supplementary !! )

          Result

  3. Simon Schus says:

    The Iberia Groupon deal is back but at slightly higher price points that before, and also with slightly different Avios options (buy 9000 rather than 8000, buy 15000 rather than 12000). There is an option for buying 34,000 too

    2000 Avios for 24 € (56% off), previously 2,000 Avios for €19
    4000 Avios for 59 € (35% off), previously 4,000 Avios for €49
    9000 Avios for 119 € (36% off), previously 8,000 Avios for €99
    15000 for 189 € (37% off), previously 12,000 Avios for €149
    20,000 Avios for 249 € (35% off), previously 20,000 Avios for €259
    34.000 Avios for 429 € (34% off) <— new option, right?

    Here is a link to the deal and the new price points: https://www.groupon.es/deals/ga-avios-group-espana-5

    Previous price points are here: http://www.headforpoints.com/2016/04/17/cheap-avios-via-groupon/

    Right now, given Euro to £ Sterling exchange rates this doesn't seem like too beneficial a deal unless you were going to buy from BA/Avios anyway (though it'll probably take longer to get Iberia to credit these from GroupOn).

    Hope that helps somebody, but not sure it will.

    Simon.

  4. rams1981 says:

    Not a buyer at that price