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.

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  1. The fact that a supposedly “new” system is what is responsibly for ‘CombiFare’ no longer being possible shows how mad, bad and antiquated a lot of airline technology is.

    This is a move that makes no sense. CombiFare is EXACTLY the kind of product that logically should be available for people to select and use. Any new entrant system would be able to support this kind of thing straight out the box. Especially for itins that only involve your own flights.

    I wonder if it is a switch to use Delta systems that is responsible. What a tragedy that is. Should just rename it Virgin America… oh.

    • Virgin Atlantic is an appropriate name, since they don’t fly anywhere else any more. Or perhaps Delta UK.

      • Yes. It is an appropriate name. Very insightful.

      • I’d be happiest with Delta UK. Even though I don’t fly to the USA.
        Then start again with a proper Virgin Europe option, country neutral brand ala easyjet, etc.

        (I can still remember the old Virgin Express > SN Brussels > …)

      • There’s still a few destinations out East and in Africa – granted, not many…

    • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

      Makes total sense to me. VS are presumably buying some off the shelf system and then paying through the nose to customise it to their business. Someone high up got an eye-watering quote to develop CombiFare on the new system – a feature that I guess something like 0.1% of customers use and even on an optimistic business case would take decades to pay back the dev cost.

      • My feeling is that they are getting the current legacy delta system. And customisation of legacy can be even more expensive…

        • Aeronaut says:

          Yep, it’s just like a subsidiary or an acquisition being brought into the fold. of the mother company.

          Like others say, perhaps it’s best now to think of Virgin Atlantic as Delta UK, a slightly headstrong regional division that gets indulged with a bit of special treatment.

    • Thanks to Google…

      Virgin Atlantic has announced that it will move to AIR4, an innovative suite of passenger service systems (PSS). AIR4 offers reservation, ticketing and departure control functionality, as well as enhanced web, kiosk and mobile capabilities, featuring customer-centric options such as automated bag drop and disruption management.

      The best-in-class suite of systems has been built on Delta’s proven PSS technology platform and has been selected by Virgin Atlantic following a thorough tender and evaluation process. AIR4’s implementation represents a step change in Virgin Atlantic’s technology portfolio and will cement the Virgin Atlantic/Delta joint venture as the most customer-focused transatlantic airline partnership, ensuring seamless experiences for both Delta and Virgin customers.

      AIR4 (Access Information Real-time for Customers) will be fully distinct from Delta’s PSS but close alignment will allow Virgin Atlantic to benefit in full from Delta’s extensive development pipeline, creating huge opportunities for innovation and customer service improvement.

      Virgin Atlantic Director of Network and Alliances Joe Thompson said:
      “This is a further example of how our partnership with Delta Air Lines can bring extensive benefits both to our customers and to our business. By accessing Delta’s expertise and development plan we can build even better customer journeys, and offer an even more joined-up experience for customers travelling on our joint venture services.”

      Perry Cantarutti, Delta’s Senior Vice President for Europe, Middle East and Africa, added:

      “Virgin Atlantic’s decision to use Delta’s core customer service technology platforms will simultaneously eliminate passenger experience seams and means that we can share long-term IT investments and direction which are key differentiators for our joint venture.”

  2. Rob, re the Hilton card you say they they have removed the reference to multiple applications, does this now mean you will get the free nights more than once?

    • It still says “Certificate will only be awarded for first time applicants of the Hilton HHonors Platinum Visa card”.

  3. Good news re the Hilton card. Aim to use the free night at some point next year

  4. Re. Avios Dining Programme

    Note that the ResDiary Avios page indicates that their 21 November launch date is set to coincide with Aer Lingus joining the Avios Travel Reward Programme.

    Also, they will initially concentrate their marketing on Ireland while the UK campaign will only begin January 2017.

  5. Metatone says:

    Stupid question – do companies cross reference the details you put on card applications?
    As someone who is self-employed/business owner, the earnings figure is always an estimate I make by calculating through how things have gone so far in the year and how it looks for the rest of the year. Trouble is, I can’t remember the figure I came up with when I applied for a card in March. Will it ring alarm bells if new estimates mean I end up with a different one?

    • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

      This is fairly common practice, yes.

    • To be clear, most card companies are parties to a scheme called CIFAS which is used to detect first-party fraud (i.e. misrepresenting oneself in a credit application). If your income fluctuates significantly between applications in a short space of time, you may trigger a rule for further investigation, however, if you can demonstrate that income to be accurate, it shouldn’t be a barrier to gaining approval.

      • Whilst correct, you should really just remember a number and adjust it upwards over time but then keeping it accurate.

        In truth, it need bear no relation to your real income save for mortgage applications which would then refer back to previous salary statements on credit applications but in general there is no need to have a constantly moving number in each application.

        On BMW finance last year, them giving my wife a £60k car with a frankly ludicrous £2k down, they didn’t even want to know salary, where she worked etc. at all. It was all done on the basis of what was already there at the reference agencies.

        • Agreed. I always put my salary down excluding bonus so the earnings figure doesn’t fluctuate too much. As I’m underrepresenting what I earn prob means credit limit is lower than could be, but not really an issue for me.

        • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

          Not any more! Bureaux now offer income validation services based on how much money is flowing through your current account. It’s fairly niche at the moment, but no doubt will become much more common given the FCA’s focus on improving the quality of affordability assessments.

          • Interesting. Are all card companies doing this at present? If not, do you know anything about roll out?

          • This is true, but I understand that people like me can cause system misunderstandings

            For example.

            My salary goes into my LBG No1 current account. The next day, I have a standing order that transfers a sum equal to all of my monthly SO&DD to my LBG No2 current account. I manually transfer the sum equivalent to my monthly energy use from my Smart Meter to my LBG No3 current account. My LBG No4 current account is for private practice work.

            From my LBG No2 account, £300 is transferred each month to:-

            HSBC Current Account
            First Direct Current Account
            Marks & Spencer Current Account
            Nationwide Current Account

            These are mostly to service Regular Savings Accounts held with these organisations.

            Divdends are credited to my Barclays Current Account.

            • That sounds like an awfully complex banking structure

            • Until I have time to sort out Pa’s various pension payments into the correct accounts, I have to transfer £500 from one of his accounts into mine and back again – usually in the space of 5 minutes – to make sure his account has the regular income required to trigger the benefits. So my account has £500 a month more going in than I earn.

          • Credit records for current accounts only show

            How ON EARTH, the credit bureaux get access to the amounts and dates of deposits to the current account. And if they do based on some small box you tick on an application, would that be the first thing for the regulators to ban and prohibit banks to sell the current account data to third parties.

            We are talking about non-aggregated, personified, client-specific information here. If such information get sold or leak systematically for IB clients — the bank will go out of business.

            • PS. Credit records only show the amount of debt (overdraft) used for current accounts, at a particular reporting day.

              Not positive balances.

            • Banks do not “sell data”, rather they pay to access a platform to share such data with other banks on a reciprocal basis. This is completely separate to the data you see on your credit report.

      • Nope, CIFAS operates databases which record details of people who have been victims of fraud and identity theft. This prevents automatic approval of any new applications in case it is a fraudster making the application.

        Things like your declared income on credit card applications and employer details are submitted to National Hunter.

    • Yes – they submit this information to National Hunter. You can order a report about yourself for £10.

      If no discrepancies are detected, the information is removed after 6 months. If disrepancies are detected, the information is kept for 6 years.

      Checks by financial institutions are not immediate. This is why people sometimes receive a new credit card which is cancelled by the bank a few days later.

  6. Re Hilton card, this change must have been in effect last month as I was accepted for the card, having another Barclaycard, 3 weeks ago. Also Barclaycard has an eligibility checker so you can gauge the likelihood of getting a card without affecting your credit rating.

    • The eligibility checker even asks in its first question “Do you already hold a barclaycard?”. So it must not longer be an issue with any of their cards.

      Weirdly, the checker has me at 9.5/10 approved on all of their cards except for the one for people with no or bad credit which it says is 6/10

  7. The Virgin move is not only bad news but surely bad for business? The “computer says no” idea seems rather hollow as I cannot imagine Virgin doing away with one of their USP’s because a new computer system won’t cope. Don’t you install a system that works with what you want to do, not the other way round? Without a 2-4-1- offering like BA, Combi Fare was always a sensible way for Virgin to compete. Not any more – now you need (roughly) twice the number of Virgin miles to get the same ticket as the BA 2-4-1. That mountain could be too high for many to climb (including past users like me), and I think Virgin may live to regret this.

    • No, you don’t really need twice the number of miles on VAA as with a BA 241 do you? JFK is 80k each in UC – so 160k for 2. BA would be 120k with 241. So Virgin is one third more, but without needing to wrangle the voucher and available to solo travellers too.

    • No, you don’t really need twice the number of miles on VAA as with a BA 241 do you? JFK is 80k each in UC – so 160k for 2. BA would be 120k with 241. So Virgin is one third more, but without needing to wrangle the voucher and available to solo travellers too.

    • When moving to a new computer system it’s standard procedure to not implement mplex features that only a small minority uses. I’d be surprised if there are more than 0.1% passengers affected. Most passenger on a flight are paying. Among the non-paying minority most will book a return or a one way on purpose. Frankly, being in IT, I would have recommended the same thing to my clients.

  8. Sorry for OT, but a question about the 1000 Avios for BA bookings for change of inflight catering. I have 3 bookings for next year and I thought that the 1000 Avios compensation was for per booking but BA say they will only offer me 1000 Avios per person irrespective of number of bookings. Any experience from others or thoughts?
    I am definitely not cancelling the trip for loss of a few G&Ts

    • Over on Flyertalk a number of people have only been offered 1000 avios per person, not per flight.
      One poster has 30 flights booked – 1000 avios won’t go far. It’s a pretty poor show.

      I have to get my compkaint in, so we’ll have to see what happens.

    • Still worth MCOL? I would if I was affected but then I like a good ‘game’.

    • Oh! Matron! says:

      I was awarded 750 miles on a one way avios booking

      • I got 1k avios total for my 2 one-way bookings – one RFS and one revenue.

        Still not enough to compensate for what I would have received based on their BoB prices – tempted to take this to MCOL if I have to, although not sure what the County Court would think of a claim for £15… Only done MCOL for a claim of several hundred before.

    • I’ve basically been sent a message in response to my complaint this morning that sings the praises of what BA have done, how good it will be, etc. and completely dismissed my reference to a change to the T&Cs at the point of booking and obviously no mention of any Avios compensation ex gratia or otherwise. I don’t want to cancel my booking but particularly irritated by their patronising tone.

    • 4K Avios here – 1K per person per segment on what we had booked. Didn’t have to push for it, came after a single email.

  9. This is a smokescreen for VIrgin or their partners or owners wanting to drop this 50/50 deal.

    As someone who once designed systems architecture, the blueprint for any new design specification is the business requirements documentation that is essentially a capture of existing functionality plus any required new functionality.

    You need to migrate existing bookings onto the new system in any case as they could be 12 months into the future and thus how could you do so without the functionality. It is however, quite possible to turn any optionality off so end users may believe it no longer exists !

    • I have been advised by Virgin that they are changing their booking system in November. I found out about this as currently I can’t view a reservation on their website and App and can’t therefore reserve seats or online check-in so I had to contact Virgin. Their current system can’t cope with allowing reservations with more than 4 sectors online being accesses online by the traveller.

      On Flyertalk there are confident reports that Virgin are moving to the Delta booking system – it would appear therefore they are migrating to that and using the existing features of Delta. I assume Delta can’t provide a Combi Fare.

    • But if said feature handles 0.0001 percent of your business and adds $$$$$ to the cost you drop it. Equally if you make a decision to drop a particular sales feature, saying IT couldn’t handle it is an easy out. People like to blame computers. Yes I work in IT.

    • No, that is only the case for new in-house development on a high priority project closely monitored by the board. If you move to an existing project it becomes a matter of how expensive changes are and how easy the disadvantages are to sell.

  10. The change allowing one to hold the HIlton card alongside any other Barclays-issued card (other than IHG) is NOT new but in fact was reported by Raffles back in JANUARY!

    • That report was a false alarm. It was late July that the rule was actually changed permanently but the news was slow to filter down.

      • Sufficiently slow to filter down that Barclaycard staff didn’t know about it. I cancelled the Barclaycard I’d had 35 years in late August so I could apply for the Hilton card next year. The customer services chap asked why I was cancelling so I told him and he confirmed I would have to do that if I wanted a Hilton card. Sounds like he was already wrong at that point then.

    • Is this new article not more to say that the T&Cs have been updated?

  11. One thing to remember is that Virgin’s availability is generally excellent to most, if not all, of their destinations. So the CombiFare is only absolutely necessary if you don’t have enough miles for a return. With BA, on the other hand, availability is so poor that the Combi-Fare would be very useful regardless of the number of miles you hold.

  12. I was still confused as to which scheme (Virgin Miles or Avios) to concentrate my collecting on. Given this latest detrimental step by VA I think its going to be Avios.

    • Very wise, especially if you have global ambitions. I’ve just booked some internal Aus tickets as well as some internal US flights…..very easy on Avios.

      • If you have some Amex or Tesco points in reserve you can always build up a Virgin balance within 48 hours if needed.

        • Well, this is my problem really. I’ve just got the Gold Card and intend to refer my wife when the 2K spend has been reached. Once I’ve done that I’m looking to cancel the card to rinse and repeat. At that point I need to decide which way to jump. (We don’t shop at Tesco so have very few CC points)

          Brian’s point regarding availability is a bit of a concern as there is absolutely no point in earning hundreds of thousands of points if you can’t use the darn things. We are a family of 3 so I would need 3 tickets to wherever we book. I’ve just started really trying to get points in anticipation of a trip in the summer 2019 and, whilst we haven’t yet decided finally where we will be going, a return to Florida is a definite front runner.


          • I generally plough points into Avios from Amex when I close the account ready for the next churn. I find Virgin miles are quite easy to pick up (the ISA, credit card bonuses etc) but I concentrate on Avios primarily.

            If you want to go to Florida in 2019, both BA and Virgin fly there. Research the routes and decide which airline you’d like to go with and then start saving. You’ve plenty of time and so if you decide on where you’d like to go, you should be able to book once seats become available.

            You don’t need to shop at Tesco for your main shop to earn masses of clubcard points. If you look at the articles on here about collecting Tesco clubcard points, most come from Tesco Direct and Tesco Finance, not Tesco Grocery. Something to think about perhaps.

            Hope this helps.

            • Thanks Genghis. To be honest we have flown to Florida with both VA and BA and find them both to be about the same. I prefer flying into TPA than MCO, which is a BA route, but I prefer VAs PE and Upper products (although, to be fair, that’s based on assumption as I’ve only flown Economy on BA and Economy and PE on VA).

              We currently have very few Avios having used them for discounted Barcelona flights earlier in the year whereas I have about 24,000 and the wife 45,000 Virgin miles.

              Availability is the key really. No point saving them if you can’t spend them. As I understand it BA only release 4 economy and 2 business seats per flight – is that correct? Using points for economy is not good and we would need 3 seats in business – so, if I want anything other than economy, is this an impossible task?

              Does anyone know whether they offer seats in their premium economy service?

              Oh hell, why is this such a difficult decision to make!

            • Not necessarily. BA release a minimum of 4 economy and 2 business seats / flight at T-355. There are many cases where there are much more seats than this. There is no guarantee of premium economy or first availability.

            • It’s not offering me the opportunity to reply to you latest message, so I’ll stick my reply here!

              Thanks for the info. Maybe I’d get lucky with BA then. Problem would be that we have to go when the schools are off so maybe reward seats won’t be so available. The reason we are looking at 2019 is that my daughter will finish her GCSEs so its (hopefully) celebrating that they are over. That, and the fact that we can go before the “official” school holidays start.

              Thanks again for your input

          • I have booked 4 of us in Club world to Miami return using 2 x 241s this year and last year, so It is possible. Admittedly, kids are young enough to go in school term time. In future, if I struggle with availability, I will book flights to NY which are much easier to come by, and book cheap internal flights.

          • Chelseafi says:

            It is possible to go Florida in school holidays, summer 15 we flew to Orlando 4 in Economy on a part pay with Avios, this worked out a lot cheaper then £950 per ticket BA wanted, think I paid £600 per ticket and the minimal points. You may see more availability for Miami, so you do have the 3 options with BA. Don’t forget the 241 BA voucher option. As Genghis said you don’t have to shop at tesco to get the clubcard points, I’ve just popped in and stocked up on Amazon & John Lewis Gift Cards for my food shop with Waitrose. We only started a few years ago with the BAPP and we’ve had two first class return trips to US for the whole family of four, all in the summer school holidays. Plus a few nights free hotels stays thanks to the help from here.

    • Given that this ‘detrimental step’ brings it back in line with Avios, which also doesn’t allow combifares, that probably shouldn’t be the deciding factor. The main question is where do you want to fly? If USA, Virgin has better lounges, better business class (though Avios allow the possibility of First), and taxes and miles needed are lower (excluding 241). If you want to see Asia and book domestic flights in Japan etc, Avios open up more of the world to you.

      • Avios open up more of the world – if you can get availability! No problem with short-haul within regions, usually, but actually getting to Asia (or anywhere else long-haul!) is very problematic with Avios, because of the poor availability. Yet those are the flights that you would be most likely to want to book with your points for (presumably) business class redemptions, since you can usually get cheap short-haul flights within a region.

        • I’ve not had much issue booking BA reward flights to Asia (J to PVG and back from HKG in Sep/Oct this year and F to SIN and back from KUL in Apr/May next year) booked about 9 months in advance.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Throwing a spanner in the works but if wanting to fly east then a small number of avois for positioning flights to an exEurope cash flight on QR etc is probably far better than a large stash of Avios.

  13. re: the hilton card, this is exactly why i canceled my barclaycard and was waiting 6 months to sign up for this one. Don’t know if I will now as don’t like to apply for too many cards andI have taken out the IHG and the SPG card recently. Have mainly been concentrated my hotel points on IHG.

  14. OT- I saved the Amex offer of 10 points per £2 spent on my card, and put £150 through TFL but I still haven’t seen any bonus points appear on my card page. Is this normal?

    • Is this a BA Amex, or MR Amex, or ?

      If MR earning Amex, look on your MR account statement page. Mine showed up on that quickly.
      If you have nothing after over a week, that to me suggests a problem – as it is very different to the behaviour seen by others.

      If it is a BA Amex, or other Amex (SPG, Nectar, etc) I don’t know how those are posting, but I would expect the same way.

      Does it show you registered on your offers page?

    • IIRC this was for contactless spend. Was your £150 spend all contactless?

  15. Scottydogg says:

    This is great news about the Barclay card , ive always wanted to take advantage of the free night offer but was reluctant to get rid of my Barclaycard platinum which has a really low rate that ive held for over 10 years , wait 6 months and then reapply .
    Now I will plan to get the free night in my name , and then in my partners name , I will have to plan it well as I believe you have to use it within 6 months

  16. slightly OT. I’m new to Hilton H and just joined them yesterday, downloaded the app and I’m looking to book a room in October. I want do it via the app because the doubleup promo says you get triple miles if done this way. I understand that with Hilton booking you also have the option of adding frequent flier miles to the booking so you earn HH points AND air miles OR you can get extra HH points… however when I go through there is no option to decide which one. I want to make sure I don’t miss out on the air miles!

    Any idea what I’m doing wrong? all help greatly appreciated thanks

    • You probably need to use the full system from a PC if you want to do anything other than book a room (I would use the full system for that except in an emergency).

    • On a computer:
      1) Login to HH
      2) On LHS, you’ll see under ‘My Profile’ a button ‘Preferences’. Click on ‘Preferences’
      3) On the main screen you’ll then see ‘MYWAY EARNING STYLE PREFERENCES’
      4) You can then click on ‘Change Earning Style’ and select what you want. I’d select Points + Points as default option unless there’s a bonus on.

      • genghis, even by your own lofty standards you are full of good advice today, keep em coming… soon rob will be redundant .. heehee

        • It’s more that I’m struggling get motivated to do any work after 3 weeks of holiday and a bit of jet lag. Flying into LHR and then going straight to work is not recommended though I’m doing it again next year…

          • nice trip? anywhere nice?

            • China and HK. I’ve been telling my colleagues this week it was ‘interesting’. The scenery (Great Wall, mountains, rice terraces) was impressive but the food by and large was disappointing and the people – don’t get me started. I won’t be returning, for holiday at least. It was a relief to get to HK.

        • Thanks for the break Harry. Really enjoyed it.

      • Thanks a lot for your help Genghis

        once that’s selected is it ok to book through the app to get triple points?
        Also why is points + points better? you get an extra 5 HH points or an extra 1 air miles per USD. but since HH points are transferred at 10 points to 1 airmile you would be getting 0.5 air miles per USD (unless Iberia or virgin atlantic) when you transfer to your FF account, surely its better to select the air mile options?

        • So points and points is 10 base HH + 5 bonus HH points per USD whereas points and miles is 10 base HH + 1 mile per USD. The difference is therefore 5 extra HH points (each valued at 0.3p using Raffles’ valuation x 5 = 1.5p) versus an extra mile at say 1p. Basically you’re getting more value.

        • I should have made myself a bit clearer. If you aim is to collect Avios then go for points+miles. However, if your aim is to maximise value through points, best to go for points+points.

          Once set up, book through the app and all will be rosy.

      • I think you’ll find that if the real harry/ harry1 posted that he wouldn’t post again as harry/ harry1 – he wouldn’t

        offski again, see you in another week

  17. Bit OT, but as VS are mentioned in this post, its kind of appropriate ! Has anyone received their points from the Virgin Trains Offer? Aren’t these now 6/7 weeks overdue now ?

  18. Is the UK Marriott card ever going to come back?

  19. Another case of the IT tail wagging the service ‘dog’!!
    Either it’s being used as an easy excuse, but this is about the 4th time I have heard ‘Computer Says No’ excuses for dropping features.

  20. Wally1976 says:

    OT – £20 credit to Moneycorp card finally arrived for me today :-)

  21. 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.

    • 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 :-)

  22. 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 ?

  23. 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:

    Previous price points are here:

    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.


  24. Not a buyer at that price

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