Bits: 25% off No 1 Lounges, Amex finally supports Android Pay, new BA celebrity safety video

News in brief:

25% off No 1 Lounges with MSE

If you got the MoneySavingExpert newsletter this week, you should have seen an offer for 25% off No 1 Lounges with a special code.

This means you can get into the No 1 Lounge at Heathrow for £27, Gatwick for £22.50, Birmingham for £19.50 and Edinburgh for £18. You can also access My Lounge at Gatwick for £13.50 and the Clubrooms for £30. You need to book by midnight this Sunday via the No 1 Lounges website here using the code MSEDEAL at check out.  You need to use your lounge pass by 31st December 2017.

This is quite a good offer, but don’t forget the very good Avios offer we wrote about here.

If you pre-book access to the No 1 Lounges via this website you will pay a flat fee of £22.50 per person in Birmingham and Edinburgh and £25 in London. This saves up to £15 depending on airport. You will also receive 750 Avios points in avios.com. Even if you only value the Avios at 1p each, the net cost for lounge access will be just £15 to £17.50 under this deal, beating the MSE deal.

The only ‘catch’ with the avios.com deal is that the 750 Avios points is per booking and not per person, so you need to make a separate booking for each guest and the Avios will be spread across a number of accounts.  (EDIT: the comments below suggest that this is not actually the case.  You DO need to make a separate booking for each person, but you can put your own Avios number into each booking and you’ll get 750 points per person.)

No 1 Traveller

Amex finally supports Android Pay in the UK

Good news for Android users.

Without any big announcement Android Pay has finally added Amex to their list of eligible payment cards.  Note that only Amex-issued Amex cards can be used, not MBNA / Lloyds etc.

Now Android users can join Apple users in holding up the queue for the tube, because paying with your phone is marginally slower than touching a bank card or Oyster ……

Amex pay on android

New BA safety video with celebrities

Watching safety videos on airplanes can be boring especially as frequent flyers who gets to see them at least once a month, if not once a week.

To make the safety briefing a bit more fun and to raise awareness for the Flying Start envelopes in your seat pocket, British Airways has brought together a group of celebrities to star in a new safety video.

Flying Start is BA’s global charity partnership with Comic Relief. Since 2010 BA has raised £16.5m and the aim is to have raised £20m by 2020.

The celebrities that feature in the video are: Gordon Ramsay, Rob Brydon, Sir Ian McKellen, Rowan Atkinson, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Jim Broadbent, Thandie Newton, Gillian Anderson, Warwick Davis, Jess Glynne and Chabuddy G (Asim Chaudhry).

Here is the Director’s Cut:

 

P.S. Some have labelled this video ‘hilarious’ but I think Gillian Anderson’s part is the only funny bit.   Might just be my sense of humour …..

(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. Have always been able to use amex contactless on android by using the amex app as your default contactless app. But it requires you to unlock your phone unlike the default android app so definitely an improvement / timesaver 😉

    • Plus you could only use Amex with it and would have to change default NFC app to use a Visa/MC – this way you can easily just change default card.

  2. I’ve just had an email from BA saying I have till the 23rd of July to buy something through their shop for a 500 avios bonus.

    • ankomonkey says:

      I’ve found Lakeland great for offers like this. I live close to one so can click&collect for free. I can buy a packet of reasonable biscuits for a couple of quid, end up in profit and either eat or gift the biscuits.

      • …I think I could manage a packet of biscuits for 500 avios :-). Thanks for the tip.

  3. OT but lounge related. I’ll be flying out of LGW on a 5.30am Easyjet flight. Which lounges are likely to be open at 4am to get coffee?

    • You’ll be able to find opening hours online.

    • Paul L says:

      Easiest way to find out would probably be to use the loungebuddy app to list all the lounges you can access (based on status / cc). You will then just need to click on each lounge to check the opening times.
      You can do similar on the prioritypass and loungeclub websites if that is how you are getting access.

  4. It will be a long time before anyone tops Virgin America’s safety video.

  5. OT- do I need to have a preferred rewards Gold charge card to get the gold rewards credit card from AMEX? I currently have the Gold charge card but I don’t plan to keep it beyond year 1.

    • Mzungu says:

      I think you’ll find that the Gold Credit Card is described as a Companion Card, as in companion to the PRGC. Having said that, I asked AMEX on the phone if I could keep the Gold Credit Card when I cancel the PRGC, and I was told I could… for a £36/year fee 🙁
      I’m pretty sure it would also prevent you from churning the PRGC for a bonus, if that’s your intention, as you would still be holding a MR earning card.

  6. Stephen Lee says:

    Doesn’t work with Amex card issued by MBNA (Virgin). Maybe only Amex cards issued by Amex.

    Steve

    • Correct!

    • Indeed – might be worth Rob amending to make clear only Amex-issued Amex.

      Also only takes longer than contactless card with iOS, Android works nice and quickly 😛

  7. OT: curve card doing through as a debit card again at Guildford counciltax. Originally it worked as debit, then went to credit only, now its working as debit again and refused as credit card!

    • If one hopes that curve goes through as debit card, does one need to select card type as Maestro or Mastercard when doing online?

  8. Just wanted to note that Apple Pay or Android Pay is not slower than other cards.

    There’s a way on iPhone to ensure you get through the gate faster by double tapping the home button when the phone is locked: http://www.wired.com/2015/09/double-press-the-home-button-to-launch-apple-pay/amp/

    • I don’t understand why anyone uses Apple/android pay for London transport. The system treats the phone and physical card as being seperste, so if there’s any point that you pay for transport with the card (due to having flat battery or something), it won’t count towards the daily/weekly cap

      • I’ve used Apple Pay for London Transport for a while but had way too many embarrassing moments at the oyster gate. Even when launching Apple Pay prior to getting to the gate it would only work 3 times out of 4 …

        • It’s annoying for those behind phone users at the gates, knocks everyone’s timing off – there I said it!

        • flyforfun says:

          Just like George Clooney in Up in the Air avoids queues with families in, I try to avoid queues with people trying to use their phones at TFL barriers. It is noticeably slower and more people seem to have an issue with it than a credit card or oyster. After having to use my CC for a bit, I’m sticking to the oyster card for speed – despite what TFL keep shouting on their speakers!!

      • I was told by the help desk that it should all count towards the same cap but obviously didn’t work this way. But if you were mixing and matching occasionally you can call to fix your pricing

    • Don’t even need to unlock with Android – https://techcrunch.com/2016/05/18/android-pay-debuts-in-the-uk-no-need-to-unlock-device-when-you-tap-for-sales-under-30/

      Agree risk re flat battery with phone vs using card though…

  9. JamesB says:

    Hi Rob, in the bits post the other day you provided the link to the main curve android article. Is your referral code still working and is the blue card still free? If so, I’ll use it. Is the £200/month ATM allowance for earning points or miles on a monthly calendar basis or card anniversary basis? Thanks.

    • Yes, the code still works, thanks. And, yes, Blue is still free.

      The £200 is per calendar month, I just checked the FAQ. Note that the rules say “you MAY be charged a 2% fee on subsequent withdrawals” …. they don’t seem to be doing it so far, at least for £ withdrawals.

      • JamesB says:

        Cheers, will apply in the morning. In unlikely event it comes in before the end of this month I should manage £600 of the target spend on virgin white visa via ATM which is a good result in itself.

      • JamesB says:

        Rob, just a heads up for you. I just signed up for curve but it may be that the application process has changed slightly since app updates people have commented on recently. I worked through it very slowly and there was no place to add a referral code that I could see nor was there any page resembling the screenshot in your article showing where to enter it. The card did show as free though. On completing sign up I sent them a support message explaining this, gave them your code and asked if they could apply it manually, I will let you know their response.

        • JamesB says:

          Good news Rob, already got a response from curve and they have applied your code to my account Thanks again.

        • Interesting, they said they were going to change the app to make the use of a referral code more obvious to new users signing up – perhaps this was only in the last day or so?

      • Yep, in my previous comments I linked to the wording, which includes a pretty clear table. They’re not necessarily implementing all these fees just now but worth at least being prepared for what you are likely to pay…

        https://support.imaginecurve.com/hc/en-gb/articles/115003083725-Are-there-any-fees-associated-with-withdrawing-cash-with-Curve-

    • the_real_a says:

      The T&Cs say its £200 per calendar month. The app now shows your limits and usage against them.

      (My referral code if Rob does not get back to you JGOKM)

      • JamesB says:

        Sorry tra, Rob got in first but there may be an issue anyway as you will see from my comment above.

        • the_real_a says:

          I took a screenshot, its still there – note the “Have a referral/promo code” link
          https://ibb.co/iDDRkQ

        • JamesB says:

          I think I’m losing my marbles 🙁 I see it in your screenshog but I would swear it wasn’t there early this morning.

        • When did you last update the app? IIRC they recently added functionality to make adding a referral code more obvious…

        • JamesB says:

          @Alan, before 7 this morning. The page is the same as TEA shows but I just don’t recall the referral text despite it now being blatantly obvious. However, all’s well that ends well, Code was applied manually by CS.

        • Glad to hear all sorted 🙂 They seem to be continually developing the app, Back In Time pretty nice (and loving their choice of Flux Capacitor as the icon for it!)

    • The Curve app now tells you how much of your daily/monthly/annual limits you have used, with links to the Fair Use Policy. Just go menu > Curve Card Limits

  10. the real harry1 says:

    I take it this was the flight Anika was on?

    So I was pleased when Cruz invited me to join him on a private test flight around the coast of the UK on a brand new Boeing 787 Dreamliner, taking off from Gatwick and landing at Heathrow two hours later. On board the flight to everywhere and nowhere, he was open, charming and honest. He admitted BA was off its game.

    “We are falling behind. We have work to do,” he told me. He outlined a radical plan to split the airline into two — a budget airline and a posh one — which he said would make BA a “fantastic, unbelievable, 10 out of 10” carrier again. “The best airline in Britain, and the best airline in Europe.”

    Cost-cutting is not only unhelpful but unnecessary, because BA is highly profitable. Operating profits at IAG have risen sharply from €503m in 2011 to €2.5bn in 2016. Operating profits at BA are up from £518m to£1.47bn in the same period. BA can and must dip into its cash pile and “invest more heavily and quickly” to rebuild its service, fleet and reputation, says Tarry.

    Is there a way back for the red, white and blue tailfin? Yes, Cruz told me on the Dreamliner flight. His big idea is to split BA in two, making it a premium airline at the front of its planes and a budget one at the back. The market has polarised, he explains. The rise of no-frills carriers, notably easyJet and Ryanair in short haul and Norwegian in long haul, has made the economy class market “a commodity product. What people want is a cheap ticket,” he said. Adding more seats and scrapping free food mean lower prices — Cruz is aiming as low as £21 one way to Alicante and £379 return to New York, Florida and Dubai. That’s cheap enough to compete with the low-cost carriers.
    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/t…rier-qchj9jg5z