Bits: 2400 Avios with £50 of toys, fly to Barbados from Heathrow, Hilton’s APAC resorts sale

News in brief:

2,400 Avios with £50 worth of toys

Tesco Direct is offering 1,000 Clubcard points when spending £50 on Nerf, My Little Pony, Play Doh and Hasbro Gaming this week.  This means you get the equivalent of 2,400 Avios or 2,500 Virgin Flying Club miles for £50 plus a pile of toys.

My favourite of all the toys included in this offer is Pie Face. The showdown version costs £27.54 and the regular version £18.99.

Click here for full details of this offer on Shopper Points.

pie face hasbro game tesco clubcard points
Fly to Barbados from Heathrow with Virgin

Virgin Atlantic is gearing up to launch the only direct route from Heathrow to Barbados.

From 12th December (just in time to escape the English Winter) Virgin Atlantic will fly to Barbados on Tuesdays and Saturdays.  The service will use an Airbus A330 with 33 Upper Class, 48 Premium Economy and 185 Economy seats.

Currently the airline is operating to Barbados from Manchester and Gatwick.  British Airways only flies the route from Gatwick. With the added Heathrow route, Virgin Atlantic will be offering 11 flights to Barbados per week – and passengers on the new route will able to check out the excellent Heathrow Clubhouse lounge we reviewed here.

Tickets are on sale from Monday 27th February and can be booked on the Virgin Atlantic website.

Barbados Avios

Up to 25% off Hilton APAC resorts

Hilton is currently running an ‘up to 25% off’ sale in the Asia Pacific region.

The Millenium Hilton in Bangkok for example costs $149 instead of $198 (selected nights only).  The Hilton Tokyo can be booked for $330 instead of $412 (selected nights only).

Note that these prices are Hilton Honors member rates – non members have to pay slightly more.  The ‘25% discount’ is not totally accurate as this is based on the Best Flexible Rate, but rooms booked under this offer will be non-refundable.

You need to book by 14th March for stays until the end of the year.

(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.)

$10 of free credit for every HFP reader from LoungeBuddy
Bits: Hilton changes update, my thoughts on the new United Polaris seat
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Comments

  1. I’ve never flown Virgin but have a few miles I’d like to use. Is there a difference in the quality of an UC cabin between different planes / routes?

    • It’s hard to answer briefly but if you check out v-flyer website they have loads of info on this and reviews.

      • Cheers Gareth. Didn’t know about v flyer

        • I have a few hundred thousand virgin miles in both our accounts, but I wasnt particularly impressed, with UC to Orlando, on a 747. Part of the issue was a poor crew on the flight, who were more interested in chatting than doing their job plus they were happy to let PE passengers use the bar :(

          • Potentially much more valuable with a Hilton transfer than a flight redemption, but neads careful evaluation of relative merits of earning points from revenue hotel stays versus miles earned from revenue flights. Unless you are hotel points rich in which case it becomes a mute point.

          • I have 700k Hilton points between us, so hope to find some decent UC redemptions.

          • You’d need >0.4p for HH to make it more valuable than Virgin.

            Let’s assume you have 200k in Virgin, you can spend them on miles + money. You’d get £1200 off flights. A pure redemption value is subjective Transfer to HH and your 300k is worth £900-£1200 based on 0.3/0.4p.

    • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

      I think the a330 config isn’t particularly well regarded.

    • Barry cutters says:

      How can i get a picture like Mr Kahn?
      I’m sick of being a featureless outline of a human being….

    • I flew to Orlando last year from Glasgow and it was great, the plane only had 12UC seats. I returned from JFK and the lounge was better than BA.

  2. OT, but also the PayQwik app has been rolled out to all Tesco stores now, with 50 extra points on each purchase before May 7th. Sorry if this has been covered already!

  3. Sorry, that should be each of the first 10 purchases – too early for me!

  4. OT- Accor Pathetic IT

    Booked quite a few hotel rooms in NZ for my trip later in year.
    At booking stage even while selecting currency to GBP instead of NZD does not seem to work as on Amex account I can now see that the payment has gone through as NZD spend with 3% mark up for non sterling transaction. I would have been much better using likes of Expedia etc.
    knowing that I am not charged for foreign currency spend as they convert the amount.

    Wouldn’t be booking with Accor directly with this experience!

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Aren’t those drop downs just for information and you will always be charged in local currency.

      Also most sites that do offer the ability to charge in GBP will have added their own % to do it, sometimes more than 3% so worth checking the rate they are offer and the card rate +3%. Even better get a lloyds Avios Card.

      Booking directly also means you are eligible to earn points / nights / stays with Accor, not the case when using Expedia.

    • Most hotel sites only have the ability to change currency to make it easy for you to make comparison but this information is invariably for information only and will nearly always bill in the local currency to the hotel you are booking. It will be mentioned. Take comfort in the fact you can now open an Accor points account and have them accrue avios at the rate of 1:1 to an IB plus account. You can then have them transfer into your BA or Avios account – something you wouldn’t have been able to do had you booked via Expedia. You are then adding more value to your accor direct booking.

    • As far as I know hotels, at least outside the US, always charge you on their own. If they do charge you in GBP, they have almost certainly used DCC which means having to get the charge reversed and recharged in local currency.

      One exception is USA Hiltons which do charge prepaid rates centrally. Is this the case with any other brands?

  5. O/T – I’ve got 4k FlyingBlue miles expiring end of July, can anything decent be done with them?

    • I’ve got 2.7k in that same situation and haven’t found anything useful. I could get a river cruise in Amsterdam for one!

      • On similar note, I have 12k + 10K TK miles in two accounts.
        Don’t know what to do with it.

        • Wayne Phillips says:

          TK miles can buy Boots vouchers – that’s what we did

          • Thanks,
            Any link for this? When I log into spend miles seems only available for Turkish residents as only two option (shell +1 more) seem available.

  6. Wally1976 says:

    OT – tried making Amex payments to EDF on both Tuesday and Wednesday (thanks to someone on here for letting me know it’s now possible). Both failed for some reason but are showing as pending on my Amex account. Presumably some teething issues and the payments will drop of Amex and not be confirmed. Anyone else got any experience of this? Thanks.

    • Not with EDF but of such pending payments. Tried to top up my Starbucks account app when the Amex offer was on back end of last year. Tried it a few times and top up failed every time.. Contacted Starbucks customer services who said that the app does not accept Amex but the payments went to pending on my Amex acct. They dropped off a day or two later. Topped up in store instead when got back to the UK.

    • I paid my bill online using my VA amex last week and it went through fine. Never been so happy to pay a bill.

  7. Oh! Matron! says:

    Incidentally, the Millennium Hilton in Bangkok is lovely. Great location and the boat service to the nearest metro station is delightful!

    • FlyingChris says:

      Good to know. Have been debating the Millennium Hilton & Conrad in BKK for an upcoming leisure trip. FT Forums quite split on the issue of which one is ‘best’. Went with the Hilton in the end for the river location, Gold upgrade potential, price, sky views and proximity to the old town sights.

      • Very good choice. It’s always best to be on the river in Bangkok – the air is better, the views are lovely, and it’s fun to watch the river traffic. The boat service is good, as posted above, and takes you to the pier from which you can get the boats that take you up and down the river. Definitely worth going for the boats, as opposed to a taxi – a much more fun experience.

    • Had a great suite here! – however don’t forget about the Hilton and double tree on Sukhumvit, both also great properties!

      If staying for an extended stay look into the Hilton Premium Club for Thailand

      • FlyingChris says:

        How does the Hilton (Thailand) Premium Club work in reality as the website is lacking obvious pricing/instructions? Where do you sign up, how do you actually use the accommodation/food vouchers etc.

        An old article quoted the price at 7,500baht (£140). Got a couple of nights in BKK coming up and 3-4 nights at Conrad Samui. The free city night (if genuinely free) would only save me about 2,000baht on an existing booking – so would need to recoup 5,500baht’s from the food vouchers. Presumably with the costs at the Conrad KS that’s easily doable, but depends on the hassle and locking myself in to eating on property?

      • Stayed in Sukhumvit Hilton, really dark building – was not imprsssed, whereas Conrad is really nice with fantastic suits and Exec Lounge. Never heard of Premium club either

  8. OT – Advice appreciated. I have hit my 2-4-1 voucher and downgraded from BAEX Premium. I see the companion voucher in my BA account but wondered if I was to cancel my card is there any risk to the voucher? I understand if you rebook then you may have an issue but wanted to see if you were eligible to book the first time without holding a BA amex card? I recall reading something about having to pay with Amex but didn’t have to specifically be the BA card (hold the Avios card)

    Reason for asking is looking to churn and get sign up bonus in 6 months and then book the companion voucher with those additional points.

    Thanks

    • 2-4-1 will stay in your Exec Club account, however you are meant to use ‘an’ AMEX card when booking.

      • You have to use an Amex card when booking, but any Amex will do – I used a Lloyd’s one

        • If you use a BAPP amex to pay the taxes and fees, that’s a few thousand avios earned to offset BA’s surcharges! I paid £1100 in fees on my recent 2 4 1 redemption (the flights were worth £4,500 though), so over 3000 avios earned.

          • Would you otherwise have paid £4.5k for those flights?

          • Ghengis – would I as in would I have had to, or would I have been prepared to? If I wanted to fly CW to that destination, yes I would have had to, but no, I wouldn’t have been prepared to, I like to eat and have clothes lol!

          • I think that was the point Genghis was making when considering the value of the redemption 😉

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Don’t understand that view when putting value on what would Point saved you.

            The value of the flights is why they cost on the open market. Your personal value or ability to pay that is irrelevant.

            If you are wedded to the destination and dates and you can’t find anything cheaper isn’t it a good deal to use Avios and Cash to get the flights you want? If the flights are £4k and they cost £1k plus 150k points then the value extracted is 2p/point. Now weather the OP could afford £4k cash is irrelevant in the calculation.

            If I could afford to pay £4k why would I bother messing around with this points game?

            Look it another way if there was a sale on and the flights available for £2k cash but you wanted to burn your points would you book using 150k and £1k you then place 2p value your points because you’re prepared to pay £4k normally?

          • @TG Loyalty. We’ve had these discussions before and there are no right or wrong answers. Assuming BA fly to destination X for £4.5k cash or 150k avios and £1k taxes or Airline Beta would fly you there for £2k cash or Airline Sigma for £1k indirectly, is it a 2p, 0.6p or 0p avios value? To use the real Harry’s saying, everyone likes to give themselves a big pat on the back. For me, I wouldn’t pay for business pricing personally. I see using avios as paying for economy and using the avios (that I pick up cheaply through sign up bonuses though invariably there is an opportunity cost) to fly in a higher cabin.

          • the real harry1 says:

            & pat on the back in those circs would be well deserved

            it does take a certain effort to get the points, many of us have to deal with objections from special others at the faff involved (esp me!)

          • TGLoyalty says:

            @Genghis I know just offering Anon a different POV.

            Personally I place my valued based upon what I could buy flights for the destination on the same dates, in the same class of travel with a carrier I would be happy travelling with. That may be indirect and/or exEU but I would add some value for the fact its direct

  9. Any chance of a European Hilton sale soon?

  10. Norwegian flights £144 return to the USA from Edinburgh lots of dates all the way up till sept for New York , Boston etc..

  11. OT – Does anyone know if a BA flight booked with baggage through Amex travel can be changed for free on the day of travel similar to a ‘Plus’ ticket booked direct with BA. Asked the Amex Travel rep via web chat but he just quoted the normal £60 change fee. Looked at the fare rules and it is not mentioned. However, when looking at the fare rules for the same flight on ITA matrix with BA it is also not mentioned. Tried to compare the rules with those on BA website but can not find a way to pull them up, I can only see those on the main booking screen.

  12. Be careful with this offer, the hyperblaster was increased in price by over £7 yesterday morning from the day before making it very overpriced now, half decent ones are OOS now.

  13. It’s even more fundamental than that Tilly. I think many of us are likely collecting clubcard points for the main/sole purpose of transfering to avios. I think Rob and Anika need to do a really good indepth evaluation of clubcard to avios transfers to get at their real value, and prompt readers to do the same for their own flight goals. In many cases, but not all, I suspect that the value achieved per clubcard point might be much less than readers believe, even in conjunction with a Lloyds or 241 voucher. I now believe clubcard to avios is likely a generally poor use of clubcard points and will remain so until such times as decent conversion bonuses return and/or cheap miles-earning revenue fares disappear as a consequence of rising oil prices and capacity adjustnents.

  14. All the prices has been inflated the Crocodile dentist was £9.95 2 months ago and now there selling at £18.99 lots more examples of this also .

  15. Agree with you James, I hope many are still not in the mindset of buying £50 plus items just to gain 2400 avios points. So many other cheaper ways to collect large amounts these days!

  16. I would really appreciate an up to date article (Shopper Points) on the best value redemptions for clubcard points.

  17. Jamie Oliver says:

    James67: the conversion rate between Tesco points and Avios has not changed in 3+ years. The conversion rate between Avios and BA flights has not changed. So why is a revaluation necessary now? The value of BA flights for cash versus redemption has always been subjective. The key point is: little has changed, except gold cardholders will soon no longer get row one and need to fork out an extra 750 Avios for a Bloody Mary :)

  18. I realise the conversion rate isn’t great, but if you’re buying things you need, it’s all a bonus. I get about 40,000 avios per year from groceries, fuel and the odd bonus offer which I think is pretty decent given that I need food and petrol anyway!

  19. @Anon, my point is that many of us might be religiously converting to avios when we might otherwise get (sometimes substantially) better value from using the clubcard points elsewhere. I wasn’t suggesting we stop collecting clubcard points.

  20. Could you give an example of the ways to collect large amount of cheap avios, card churning?

  21. I think I managed £3 of CC points in the last collection period and I don’t think I’ve shopped in Tesco this period. With Waitrose and Aldi both within a couple of hundred yards of Tesco, I find the cheaper prices (Aldi) and free coffee (Waitrose) are better value. If I were to put aside what I saved each week, it would probably more than cover a trip somewhere. The dearth of CC offers means that Tesco have mostly dropped off my radar for normal shopping.

  22. Mine still go to Safestore (but ending soon)