Bits: 3000 Virgin miles with half price wine, Virgin FX deal, Kimpton / Accelerate issue

News in brief:

Earn 3,000 Virgin miles with a generous wine offer

If you’ve never ordered from Virgin Wines before, it is running a generous offer which is worth a look.

For £65.88 including delivery, you will receive:

12 bottle of wine (mixed whites, mixed reds or mixed mixed!)

a bottle of prosecco

3,000 Virgin Flying Club miles

You are NOT signing up for any future wine deliveries.  Whilst the landing page discusses Virgin’s WineBank scheme, you do not have to join this.  If you click through the ordering process, you will see that you are not agreeing to anything beyond the initial £65.88 purchase.

Full details are here.

If you’d prefer to earn 1,000 Avios with a case of wine, take a look at this Laithwaites offer instead.  It requires an account.

Virgin Wines

Double Virgin miles buying foreign currency at Moneycorp

Over the weekend I ran this article on how to earn miles when purchasing foreign currency.

As part of that, I mentioned the partnership between Moneycorp and Virgin Flying Club, which is outlined on the Virgin Atlantic site here.  You earn 1 Virgin mile per £1 exchanged.  You can either collect your money from Moneycorp at Gatwick or a regional UK airport (not Heathrow), have it delivered or pick it up at a Moneycorp branch.

Whilst it isn’t mentioned on the Virgin / Moneycorp page, until 31st August you will receive double Virgin miles – 2 per £1 exchanged – when you use Moneycorp.

Do check the FX rate if using your own money as it may be marginally worse when taking miles.

Kimpton De Witt Amsterdam review exterior

Problems with Kimpton & IHG’s Accelerate promotion

(EDIT:  IHG has agreed with me this morning that Kimpton Amsterdam should be included in Accelerate and they have told me that will retrospectively credit it – although it isn’t yet showing on my account.)

You may remember my review of IHG’s brand new Kimpton De Witt hotel in Amsterdam earlier this month.

De Witt – website here – is the first Kimpton hotel in Europe (I wasn’t over-impressed, but you can read the review if you want to know more.)  Importantly, it is NOT part of the Kimpton Karma loyalty programme but is actually part of IHG Rewards Club.

This means that you earn IHG Rewards Club points on your stay and can redeem them at 50,000 points per night.

Beware though – stays at Kimpton Amsterdam do NOT count for the current Accelerate promotion as I found to my cost.

You can’t argue with the Terms & Conditions.  They clearly state that stays must be at “InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Hotel Indigo, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Staybridge Suites, Candlewood Suites, EVEN or HUALUXE” hotels.  Kimpton is not listed.

I think, however, that this is only because Kimpton Amsterdam was not open when Accelerate Q2 launched.  As Kimpton Amsterdam is part of IHG Rewards Club, you would expect it to count for Accelerate.

This is going to cost me 11,200 IHG points, worth around £40, because I can no longer hit my “stay in two foreign countries” target for this quarter.

(Want to earn more Virgin Flying Club miles?  Click here to see our recent articles on Virgin Atlantic and Flying Club and click here for our home page with the latest news on earning and spending other airline and hotel points.)

Excellent Qatar Airways prices on new route Prague (Cape Town £1237 etc)
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  1. OT – on the phone to BA trying to book open jaw flights using 241 Amex voucher and Avios, been on hold for 15 mins as agent said we need to use the card it’s booked on which is now cancelled. Now come back saying the voucher is void if card is cancelled?

    Any ideas?

    • Just to add, it’s on my wife’s account but she now has a gold Amex card, I thought any Amex issued card would work?

      • Jonathan says:

        Any Amex card will work on the website, open jaw over the phone is an interesting variation. Have you tried to use your wifes gold card as if its the BA card? I very much doubt BA will know the difference as long as its an Amex.

        • Good point – will try this later as I was on the phone for nearly an hour so had to hang up. Thanks

          • Genghis says:

            Just give them the Amex Gold card number. It can also be for any person as no name check on Amex. Been there, done that.

    • Mzungu says:

      If you succeed, can you please post back and advise if you get charged the phone booking fee (£35?). I understood that this used to be waived if you are doing something that you cannot do online – i.e. open jaw 241. I was charged recently for exactly this, and told that they now charge the fee irrespective of the reason for the call. I’d like to know if I’m being conned…


      • Mycity says:

        I booked leg two on a 241 open jaw only 4 weeks ago, I didn’t need to ask as the agent said, as this can’t be done online there’s no admin charge.

        • It’s amazing how staff in some call centres have no idea what they can and can’t do, it’s as though they are employed with the sole aim of putting one off ever, ever calling BA.

        • Mzungu says:

          Thanks – I rather suspected this would be the case. I think I’ll call and ask them to refund my fees – I’ll have to psych myself up first! :-(

      • I booked an open jaw flight just last night with the 241 and the offline booking fee was waived, agent said due to the fact I couldn’t do it online.

  2. The Virgin Wine deal certainly implies that you need to sign up to Wine bank from the blurb on the page.

    I haven’t tried signing up though so I guess it makes it clear in that process that you aren’t agreeing to anything other than buying the case. Just wondering whether they will pull the 3000 miles if you don’t sign up to the wine bank?

    • the real harry1 says:

      if it’s your 1st order you always get 3000 miles – subsequent orders get 250

      nothing to do with Winebank

    • Genghis says:

      Even so, you can easily cancel for no charge and keep the points (that’s what I did previously).

    • ThinkSquare says:

      I’ve just signed up and placed an order. I didn’t see anywhere to opt out of WineBank and it says they’ll be taking £25 off me on 21/08.

  3. Scottnothing says:

    In addition, the Accelerate general promotion terms and conditions state that: “Bonus points are not issued for Non-Qualifying Room Rates or Non-Qualifying Stays. “Non-Qualifying Room Rates” or “Non-Qualifying Stay” include the following: any stay at a Kimpton Hotel …”.

    Rob, can you provide any additional detail as to why has IHG agreed to credit your Kimpton stay (despite the clear terms and conditions)?

    I have a stay coming up early August so have a vested interest!

    • Because the reason Kimpton was on the list is because Kimpton hotels (at the time the list was written) were not part of IHG Rewards Club and so obviously didn’t count for Accelerate.

      Amsterdam IS part of IHG Rewards Club so should logically count for Accelerate.

      I also get a feeling that this is a new hotel which needs to drum up business and being known as somewhere which doesn’t give Accelerate credit will cost it stays.

  4. Stephen says:

    I cancelled the wine bank recently, just phoned up with no problems, the wine bank is a good idea as you get free delivery and for every £5 you bank you get a bonus extra £1 credit added to your total but the killer point for me is that you do not qualify for 750 virgin airmiles if you buy using the winebank money you have saved.
    So I cancelled the winebank account and left a few bottles in the basket without checking out, a few days later I got called from virgin wines who noticed I had not checked out and was offered £25 off my next order and I will also get 750 airmiles., Stevie

  5. Stephen says:

    Ps. I also should say the 3000 miles from my 1st order are in my flying account, cancelling winebank will not affect the bonus airmiles, Stevie

  6. the real harry1 says:

    Gatwick parking firm collapses leaving hundreds of holidaymakers stranded with their cars missing

    • They will get zero public sympathy, and their remuneration prospects are not going to be helped by people avoiding BA because of them!

  7. Quick reminder in case I’m not the only one… If you took out a moneycorp card for the offer Rob wrote about last July 31 and have left it sitting around then the monthly inactivity fee will kick in soon. I’ve just withdrawn my free 20 quid…Cheers Rob!

  8. the real harry1 says:

    British Airways cabin crew announce another two-week strike from 2 August in bitter row over pay

  9. Crafty says:

    OT: Just landed 3h10 late on an Easyjet. This was a known delay all day. They said on board it was a knock on impact from bad weather this morning or yesterday. What’s the prevailing wisdom on this as “exceptional” for EU261?

    • the real harry1 says:

      the further in time you get away from an original extreme bad weather incident, the less of a defence it might serve

      as it’s over 3 hrs you could put in the EU261 claim and see what the first reply is – then if negative (and with EJ it is quite likely to be negative) you could investigate further to see if their defence will hold up

      or hand over to Bott & Co who will do all the hard work but take a % of the payout, which is quite a good option with a tough nut like EJ

      there’s a slight difference between volcanic ash and a storm somewhere else ie non-existent on your route/ point to points

      • Crafty says:

        Thanks Harry. Quite looking forward to this. Also have an Ombudsman case relating to my mortgage to get stuck into. Should be fun!

        • Worzel says:

          Crafty @ 19:26 – looking forward to hearing how the flight and mortgage issues go.

          • Genghis says:

            Sounds like to enjoy this stuff! :) I’ll fight my corner but prefer the my life to be simple.

    • Crafty – CEDR can adjudicate for EasyJet cases, but after struggling for ages to get appropriate compensation for my BA claim, sadly I cannot recommend using them unless they give assurances that their speed and accuracy improves.

      If you need to take it further you might be better off with a letter before legal action, for a potential small claims court heàring , I suspect that will get a quicker response.

      Here’s another struggle with CEDR, this one is specifically for EasyJet.

      • the real harry1 says:

        yep you seem to be stuck in a time warp, not your fault

        any reason you can’t close the CEDR case stating slow progress & that you are taking your case to more direct legal action vs BA? (or threat of it)

        • As for compensation , after the case being ruled in my favour, sadly the adjudicator has made an incorrect assumption resulting in an error in the calculation, so I’m left to decide when I pursue BA through the courts for the remainder of EU261/2004. Meanwhile I have been told a cheque is in the post from BA.

          CEDR seem to either ignore or not respond to email or messages with me querying the total figure on the case, so I had to resort to phoning them multiple times. Finally after briefly speaking with someone, I’m awaiting a call for a chat with a CEDR manager to discuss their poor level of service, the CEDR rep told me they promise it’ll happen within 48 hours, no prizes for guessing if its been more than 48 hours already….

          I intend summarising the experience to Rob for him to publish and give an example of how I would expect a hypothetical case to be eventually resolved via CEDR. I also recommend not using CEDR for reasons above.

          • the real harry1 says:

            tough one, hard luck

            but useful as a pointer to use more direct methods?

            mine (admittedly under £300) was all sorted in a few days

          • Sorry to hear of your experience, but agree will be a useful lesson for others – perhaps Rob could get the CEDR to provide an explanation/comment too around their poor service?

  10. Genghis says:

    OT. Renewed IHG Ambassador and went for the $200 option with 15k IHGs and 10% rebate. Received the pack today and it only contained a voucher for 5k IHGs. I’ve emailed IHG but has this happened to others and if so how was it resolved?

  11. Andrew says:

    OT but the Amex Platinum upgrade link is live again

  12. I subscribed as a new user to virgin wines and ordered on 26th May. Still no sir mikes in my account. When I ring either virgin wines or flying club they blame the other. What is the average wait for miles to land in account for new vw subscribers?

  13. I subscribed as a new user to virgin wines and ordered on 26th May. Still no airmiles in my VFC account. When I ring either virgin wines or flying club they blame the other. What is the average wait for miles to land in account for new vw subscribers?

    • the real harry1 says:

      it can certainly take a couple of months

      I had to go through the Virgin Claim Missing Miles process to get my wife’s added, which was easy enough

      I suggest you fill out the form?