Bits: last call for Nutmeg / Avios deal, £1000 Virgin Upper Class to Boston, new Norwegian routes

News in brief:

Last chance for the Avios / Nutmeg deal

The current offer to earn up to 50,000 Avios for opening an ISA or SIPP with Nutmeg closes tomorrow.

As we are now in the 2017/18 tax year, the new annual ISA limit of £20,000 applies.  This would earn you 20,000 Avios.  You can make a larger investment – you earn Avios on the first £50,000 you invest in one transaction – but the balance above £30,000 would sit outside the ISA wrapper.

Full details and the application link are in my original article on this deal which is here.  Remember that your capital is at risk with a Stocks & Share ISA.

nutmeg avios offer

Virgin brings back £1,000 fares to Boston

Virgin Atlantic has brought back its aggressive Upper Class fares from Manchester to Boston.

How aggressive?  We’re talking ‘£1007 return’ aggressive.

If you are looking to earn some Virgin tier points cheaply or simply want to fly to the US in style – and US fares in economy are not exactly dirt cheap in summer – this is well worth a look.  Even if you are London based, the train trip up to Manchester is not too painful.

(Tier point runners should note that you can also book this with a Delta connecting flight from New York or another hub which would generate additional status credit.  No stopovers are allowed however.)

Bookings must be made by 12th April and you must travel before 31st May.  

You need to book at least 7 days in advance and stay away for at least 3 days.  You won’t receive the limo transfer at these prices, but you can’t really complain.

The best thing to do if you’re interested is visit the Virgin website and check out potential dates.  Remember to select ‘Upper Class’ before you search, which involves using the drop down ‘Show Advanced Options’ box.  I also strongly recommend using the ‘1 week view’ option as this is not available every day.

Norwegian 787

New Norwegian long-haul routes announced

If our recent coverage of Norwegian Reward interested you, you might be interested in two new long-haul routes which Norwegian is launching from London Gatwick this Autumn.

Gatwick to Seattle launches on 17th September.  The service will operate four days per week.

Gatwick to Denver launches on 16th December.  It will initially operate two days per week, increasing to three days to week when the Winter timetable is launched in late October.

Why did I fly both Emirates A380 First and Etihad A380 First within 72 hours?
The new First Wing at Heathrow T5 reviewed
About Head for Points

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  1. Roger says:

    OT MBNA Etihad card

    Now with Virgin card offer finished MBNA has Increased sign up bonus of 15000 miles for EY card but you have to spend £2000 in first 90 days. Not a very good deal IMO.

  2. the real harry1 says:

    O/T Tesco Bank current a/c is accepting new applications again with a couple ofnew rules:
    With effect from 4 April, our Current Account Guarantee has changed for new applications. To earn 3% AER credit interest on balances up to £3,000 until 1 April 2019, you must now pay in at least £750 per statement month, and pay at least three direct debits each statement month (excluding direct debits to Tesco Bank savings accounts).

    • TGLoyalty says:

      3 DD is a shame. Anyone know if standing orders count?

      • Lloyd says:

        Just do 3 charity DDs for 50p or something of that order.

      • Brian says:

        Surely you have at least 3 credit cards to pay off each month?? If not, you should have!

        • Crafty says:

          The point is more that these are likely to be going from your true current account, whereas the Tesco accounts make most sense as top-up savings accounts.

          • roger says:


          • James67 says:

            I have rather a lot of true current accounts; in the last 18 months I’ve had bonuses from HSBC, Clydesdale, CoOp, M&S, Halifax and TSB. Switched three in February, that took my experian score down from 999 to 916ish for the benefit of folks interested in such things. At the moment I’m a bit lost on where my direct debits are across five current accounts but since they are not needed for the 3% interest at TSB it is a simple matter of moving those to my new tesco account.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Of course but I also have other current accounts with min DD requirements and most of my bills paid by credit card to maximise points.

          I also don’t use all of my CC every month to have a DD actually paid out. Though I may start have to start putting a little through all of them now and again, my latest experience of lloyds is that they now use paid rather than just active to determine if you get interest.

          • James67 says:

            I believe putting something small through each card every month is also better for your credit score than leaving the card unused for months.

          • Genghis says:

            Whilst on credit scores (which I know don’t mean much but I’m trying to keep mine a bit stable at the moment), any thoughts on whether it’s best to pay off large balances intra month rather than wait until month end?

          • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

            @ghengis I wouldn’t bother. Not much in it, if anything. Perhaps if you’re using a large fraction of your credit limit across all credit products and you’re imminently applying for something critical like a mortgage.

          • Talay says:

            @Ghengis re intra month balance paydown.

            It certainly is worth paying it down as the only data point used is the end of month balance.

            I recently had an issue because I appeared to be carrying £50k or so of debt each month, which was in fact, simply monthly spending, cleared down each month to zero and then bills racking up again during the month.

            I know you can derive this metric but the external world doesn’t seem to know your prior EOM balance and your EOM payment, only what truthfully is the next month’s spending masking the underlying picture.

            Amex has 2 dates, as all the rest will surely. The date they lock down your statement for the month and the date you need to pay. If your lock down date is say 21st of the month, then you could pay online as late as 20th and your statement would show zero or near to zero.

            When looking at credit utilisation, this could be a significant metric.

    • Nick_C says:

      Even without 3 DDs, surely its worth opening the Tesco current account anyway just to get double CC points in store with the Debit card (and no interest – just use the account as a Tesco spending account).

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Ofcourse stopped shopping in Tesco since gift card promo but use the fuel. Which is why I have applied hope my card turns up before my £10 voucher runs out

    • James67 says:

      Harry, what’s up, you’re four days late to the party this time? I’m guessing you’re at Harry Towers already and getting too much sun.

      • Hehe I thought he’d been hitting his wine stores when he missed the OT comments about this a few days ago 😛

  3. Nick M says:

    Semi OT

    I haven’t ever flown Virgin before but am building up my collection of miles (currently 60k)…. we’ll be traveling as a family with a 3 year old and a 6 month year old – is there any point saving up for PE/UC or would an Economy row be the best option for us anyway?

    • the real harry1 says:

      if you can reserve bulkhead seats & a bassinet/ cot for the 6 month old, you’ll get plenty of legroom in economy:
      To make our flights comfortable for your baby (and peaceful for you), we offer in-flight cots free of charge. For your baby’s safety, we don’t allow them to be placed on the cabin floor. The cabin crew will install the cot for you after take-off and advise you if your baby will need to be removed from the cot and secured on your lap should there be any turbulence.
      Sky cots must be requested in advance by calling 0344 874 7747. There is a limited number of sky cots offered on a first come first served basis.
      The cots have slightly different dimensions depending on your aircraft. To check your baby will fit comfortably in the cot that’s on your flight, see the dimensions below.
      Please note there are no in-flight cots in the Upper Class cabin on B747-400 aircraft operating to or from Gatwick or Manchester.

      – these will always be bulkhead seats afaik

    • Mrs_fussy says:

      Flew UC alone with my 3 month old a few weeks ago and I can say the skycot would barely fit her, we were super comfortable sleeping together in the bed though and she had ample space to play.

    • James A says:

      PE on the A330 and B789 is 2-3-2 and is significantly wider than the economy seats (especially bulkhead rows and especially on the B789 where economy is snug, shall we say). I have done several flights on VS in eco/PE with a young child (18 months to 4 years) and we always save the (modest) number of extra miles for PE now, the space is is very welcome.

      Note that the virgin credit cards give an eco -> PE upgrade voucher for 2 sectors which we use to further reduce the difference.

      • Nick M says:

        Thanks both… no specific trip in mind at the moment, but useful to know the differences between aircrafts.

        Will definitely move some MR to Virgin before closing the account down to give some options…

        Are you able to use the cc upgrade vouchers on redemption flights? Completely missed that – might need to redirect some spending back to the Virgin card rather than SPG then!

        • the real harry1 says:

          pretty sure the answer is no, only on cash tickets

          • Alex W says:

            I thought the upgrade vouchers got you a PE redemption for the miles of a economy redemption. It’s the companion voucher that can only be used on a cash ticket (flex ticket at that).

  4. the real harry1 says:

    O/T Easter 2018
    had a slightly cod sweat moment yesterday when I thought I’d missed T-355 but in our case -depends on your kids’ schools – I think we’re actually looking at April 10th

    so if you’re bound to school hols and thinking of a points getaway, worth making plans – not quite so important on our regular European route as there are 4 possibilities each day but the best 2 slots do tend to go early to my Avios competitors so I like to get in first

    • Up here it’s from March 30th (Good Friday), however I’m hoping to book flights from MAN (assuming they continue for 2018), which don’t start until May, so I’ve got June 4th marked on the calendar to start looking for the May half term dates.

      It would be fantastic if they started flying to the Canaries from MAN; it’s just too much hassle getting to Gatwick compared with using Easyjet or Ryanair from the North West.

  5. Crafty says:

    OT: Upgraded from Amex Gold to Platinum on Thursday. Immediately approved and my online account now shows Platinum. But cannot for the life of me work out where to click to upgrade my hotel scheme statuses! I don’t really want to wait for the pack to come in the post as I stay frequently so the sooner I am gold the better. Does anyone know where on the Amex online portal I need to click?

    • Genghis says:

      Have you looked in the Benefits tab?

      • Or clicking on the ‘hotel benefits’ link on the Platinum section of the Amex website?

        • Crafty says:

          Can’t see either of these. Maybe because accessing site on mobile. Will try on desktop later (hello 1995!)

          • I definitely wouldn’t try to access Plat benefits sign-up on a mobile, the forms are a bit flaky and definitely a desktop job! – I hadn’t actually thought about accessing on mobile, apart from their app I normally use the website to download PDF statements etc.

          • Stu_N says:

            Yes, you need desktop. Go into the platinum card, then you should see a black menu bar. Go to “Platinum Service”, then “Benefits Directory” . The Hotel and Car Rental status applications are under Travel.

            Hint – SPG membership needs an (I think) 15 digit number, you add zeros at the start of yours until it accepts it. Obviously it doesn’t tell you that….

          • James67 says:

            I had no problems with SPG, Hilton, Melia or CC and I’m reasonably sure I would have done them all on my droid tablet witn desktop view as I use it for almost everything these days. This was last summer though so maybe something has changed.

    • Optimus Prime says:

      That happened to me too.

      The ‘Hotel benefits’ tab under ‘My Platinum’ section gives me an authentication error.

      Go to and you’ll see it there. In 24 hours I got confirmation of status upgrade for Hilton and SPG. The others haven’t come through yet.

    • mzb00 says:

      Did you get a bonus for upgrading to Platinum?

  6. Graham Walsh says:

    Damm you Virgin. I need to go to Washington at the beginning of July. Think I’ll hang on from booking as a deal might crop up.

  7. Julian says:


    Re Nutmeg you can actually bag the entire 50,000 Avios if you transfer in an existing ISA worth this much (or the balance between £20,000 new investment and the £50,000 promotion cut off) that is one that your current ISA provider will allow to be transferred electronically (I have yet to find this out in respect of Nationwide where the money currently is). This includes Cash ISAs, which can be moved in to an equity ISA.

    I may do this before tomorrow as I have far too much money sitting in cash and none in equities (I got out of equities three or four years back and some how never got round to investing again) and it gives me a reason to overcome my normal stock market risk aversion for part of my cash holdings. I am of course aware that there are many other equity ISA options than Nutmeg, some of which have lower charges.

    However other Head For Points readers seem to indicate that a several month long struggle with Nutmeg to force them to credit your Avios account with the promised 50,000 bonus may then ensue………………………….

  8. Seems AA are matching the MAN-BOSfligjts however with plenty of options via ORD,JFK and PHL for 360tps.

  9. Michael_S says:

    So when is BA launching Seattle and Denver from Gatwick then?

  10. aliks says:

    Good to see Norwegian expanding their West Coast offering to give BA some competition.

    I wish I had taken the Norwegian flight from Gatwick to Oakland. We used a 241 to bag some BA seats – flying out today in fact. Sadly BA had a broken deicer on the plane so we are already 3 hours delayed and likely sitting in the lounge for the next few hours.
    On the upside, its a 4 hour delay so that should be a good slug of compensation, and the new BA S Gatwick lounge is pleasant enough – good views over the apron.

  11. Billy says:

    Have booked this and the flight seems wide open…

    Virgin are also shortening the season, seems it’s Use it or Lose it!

  12. Jeremy I says:

    If you upgrade PRG to Plat do you get a pro rata refund on the PRG fee? Sorry for the dumb question!


  13. Donna says:

    O/T i just noticed that TopCashBack is offering 25% bonus on transfers to BA and Avios

  14. Completely OT but HfP xmas party seems so long ago, any chance of a midsummer party which won’t require a coat :)

  15. Quidco gives £170 cashback for opening a nutmeg account and loading a lump sum of £5000.
    I think it’s a better deal for many people.

    • Julian says:

      Yes I just found out about the Quidco £170 cashback offer for investing only £5,000 yesterday (Monday) after signing up late on Sunday evening to trans £50,000 of my Nationwide Cash ISA to Nutmeg and get the full 50,000 Avios available.

      Although Nutmeg have confirmed I will get the 50,000 Avios, even though I have actually had to post them (on Monday) a paper ISA transfer form for the Nationwide ISA (for some odd reason complete ISA transfers of all the money in an ISA can be done fully online but partial transfer of only of some of the money in an ISA still has to be done on paper) I’m feeling rather miffed as I wasn’t given the option of £1,700 cashback instead of the 50,000 Avios. After all at usual redemption rates Avios are only worth about 1p each or £500 (or only £250 if using them for Part Pay with Avios at whereas £1700 is equivalent to 3.4p per Avios redeemed (a conversion rate for Avios that can sometimes be achieved but only when booking very late in the day on routes where Avios availability still exists but the cash fares have now gone sky high)

      At the end of the day it just so happened that £50,000 was more or less exactly the amount I had in a Cash ISA that ought to have been invested in the stockmarket instead so the deal gave me a reason to act. However it does seem as though if I had done multiple smaller part transfers of my Nationwide Cash ISA to various different stocks and shares ISAs with other providers that I might have made more money…………………..

      Although I’m also not quite clear how many new ISAs in a year you can create by part transferring bits of one old large ISA (accumulated over several years) to other providers.

      • AIUI (and rules may have changed), you can only have one provider per ‘type’ of ISA for that year. So you can hold the cash portion with one, Lifetime with another, standard stocks/shares with another and new-style investment like Zopa with another (can’t remember the precise name for that type). All have to respect individual limits and overall £20k allowance. I don’t think you can open multiple stocks and shares ones for that year. Previous years investments can be moved around as you wish. So I don’t think you could have split your £50k into 10x£5k chunks and received £1,700. The 50k Avios deal is still not bad.

        • Julian says:

          Yes I recognise the 50,000 Avios deal is not bad and its very existence (with a short deadline to act) forced me to do something about leaving so much in cash and nothing in investments with a hopefully better long term return than 0.75% cash ISA interest. And the Avios in effect more than repay my Nutmeg management fees for that year. After one year I can move on elsewhere to another provider without being penalised re the free Avios.

          However how can Nutmeg afford to pay so much more percentage wise (through the Quidco deal) to smaller investors as that’s way more than the fees they will earn? Of course I suppose they will say that a small younger investor usually becomes a bigger investor over time, whereas those of us with large lump sums already may not add to them much further (not least because going over £50,000 puts you beyond the FCA compensation scheme limits per investment managers, which for some bizarre reason are lower than the £85,000 Cash ISA limit).

          Nutmeg have gone down to only now offering 2,500 Avios since pulling the 50,000 Avios deal on Sunday night (see but as that’s on only investing £1700 with them over a year they are effectively offering nearly 50% more Avios per pound invested. I suppose the same argument will apply that they expect these investors to add a lot more new money over the years. I noticed that even with transferring in a £50,000 lump sum they tried to force me to add £100 per month to it and only when I came to the final page on their account setup was I able to deactivate this.

          The £50,000 FCA compensation scheme limits is complete pants because in a successful years a stocks and shares ISA could easily go up 50% whereas a Cash ISA will currently not increase more than about 1% So something very wrong somewhere with the FCA’s compensation priorities………………….

    • Julian says:

      I notice that Moneyfarm are currently offering £400 cash for ISA transfers to them between £50,000 and £99,999 See

      So if I am unimpressed with Nutmeg and find their fees too high or performance too low that may well be where I move my stocks and shares ISA to in another year’s time…………….

      • Julian says:

        But that’s only 0.8% cashback on £50,000 whereas for a £1,000 ISA transfer Moneyfarm are offering a staggering £80 or 8% cashback of the sum transferred. Clearly all these investment firms seem to offer far more pro rata inducement to move a small sum (and acquire a new customer) on the basis that a small value initial customer can be upsold in to a much more major customer later on………………..

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