Bits: Hilton summer sale ends Monday, Irish Independent Avios deal dead

News in brief:

Hilton summer sale ends on Monday

The Hilton summer sale has been running since June, so you might have forgotten it still existed!  However, now is the last chance if you want to book Europe, Africa and Middle East weekend stays at up to 25% off.  It is valid for stays until 8th October 2017.

Included is, for example, the Hampton by Hilton Alexanderplatz in Berlin (which I reviewed here) for £79 per night instead of £91 (the Hilton Honors changeable and refundable rate is £94) on a sample date.

That said, the ‘25% saving’ is based on the Best Available Bed & Breakfast rate.  Sale rates are non refundable so it is cheeky to compare them to a refundable rate but these deals do usually offer a saving on the usual ‘advanced purchase’ rate.  A full prepayment needs to be made at time of booking.

This rate is only available for weekend stays before 8th October 2017.

The 25% saving are for Hilton Honors members only. The normal sale discount rate is 20%.  If you aren’t a Hilton Honors member, you can sign up when booking your stay.

Full sale details and the booking site are here.

hampton by hilton alexanderplatz berlin

Irish Independent deal dead

Last week we wrote about a great deal for subscribing to the digital version of the Irish Independent newspaper – click here.  You don’t need to live in Ireland to take part.

You would receive 18,000 Avios points for taking out a €160 (£146) digital subscription.

This was obviously a great deal and lots of readers jumped in.  The vouchers starting arriving promptly after 7-8 days.

Unfortunately, the newspaper pulled the plug on the deal yesterday.  The Irish Independent is now only offering 9,000 Avios on digital subscriptions.  If you would value a digital subscription to the paper then this remains an excellent deal.  If you were only buying it for the Avios, however, it no longer makes sense at 1.5p per point.

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Comments

  1. PaulyRoad says:

    OT: I have now been rejected for the Amex Gold card the last two times I have applied. I seem to satisfy all criteria apart from maybe “a permanent UK address” (I currently work and live in Norway). I still consider myself to have a permanent UK address however. Does anyone else have experience of this? Thanks in advance.

    • Amex use an internal check in most cases if you are a previous customer, you can write to the executive team to appeal, maybe that will help. Contact Amex for the details.

    • Are you still on the electoral roll and have other credit products at your UK address? If so I wouldn’t have thought they’d even know you were abroad.

    • Do you currently hold any other amex issued cards? If you hold a card it is usually easy to get another from amex but if you cancel all of their cards you hold then it is more difficult to get another and start with them again. This happened to me a few years ago and when I queried it with amex they suggested I reduce the number of non amex cards I held, wait a while and reapply. I reduced my cards to two, applied about eight months later using a referral from Rob and got accepted. I suspect applications from existing cardholders are largely dependent on current amex file while applicants who don’t currently have a card are subject to more rigorous external checks on their credit file.

      • Michael Jennings says:

        I was just turned down for a BAPP Amex Card. I have had at least one card with Amex UK since 2005 (and about ten years of further history with Amex Australia before that), This is despite the fact that their “Check your eligibility” test said I had a 9/10 chance of being approved for this card.

        I still have a gold charge card with them, and I have cancelled two other of their credit cards (with combined credit limits of about £20,000) in the last year. One of these was a Blue BA card six months ago, so I was hoping to get the premium card for the signup bonus and then work towards a companion voucher. I have never missed a payment on any credit card and my utilisation rate is miniscule. What has changed is that I have made rather more applications and have more UK credit cards in the last year than at any other time, and I suspect they have decided either than I have too many credit cards or I have made too many applications in too short a time.

        What I am now going to do is cancel some of the other cards I am not using, and try again in six months.

        • Thanks for sharing your experience. You seem to have been very unfortunate. How many credit card applications have you made recently? I make on average 8 or so a year and have never been rejected. One thing I did learn recently is that a v low amount of credit (and therefore utilisation) vs income can affect credit scoring (I was paying off credit cards mid month but now keeping max 25% credit limit as month end bill).

          • the real harry1 says:

            8 for you & 8 for your wife makes 16

            seems a bit over the top?

          • Perhaps. Works for us though. 6 of the Amex suite a year (approx) and two other misc ones = a shed loads of points

        • Hope you get it sorted. It would be useful if HFP readers could routinely post comments for applications being declined so that we could get a better picture of the issue.

          • Johnny_c-l says:

            I’ve been having about one credit check per month for the last few years (of which most are for credit cards) and the only one I’ve been rejected for was the Sainsbury’s card!

            Out of interest I’m thinking of upgrading Gold to Plat – for the purposes of credit reporting does anyone know if this is recorded as one continously account, or the ceasing of Gold followed by a new Plat being reported?

          • OK, here’s my contribution – which doesn’t appear to have been covered in the comments to date.

            I have a couple of Amex cards, and my wife applied for her first Amex card (BAPP) and was declined. Contacted Amex, and they said there was nothing untoward, just leave it 6 months and re-apply. Carried out a credit check and all was good, re-applied after 6+ months – rejected again. Similar conversations with Amex, on about the 3rd call, actually got a helpful agent, who looked more closely, and noticed a discrepancy between our address and the address on the application. Corrected this, and bingo! Card issued.

        • Michael Jennings says:

          Six applications in the last six months and ten in the last year. I had allowed total credit limits to creep up to something like 150% of my income, which was probably a mistake and I should cancel cards earlier in future. (I have just cancelled several cards). I always pay everything off in full every month, though, so I don’t think I have ever used more than about 5% of my total approved credit.

          None of this matters very much, really. I don’t actually *need* any of this credit. It’s just nice to take advantage of the introductory offers. MBNA seem happy to give me any card I ask for with a large credit limit, but if I want more Amex cards in future, it might be better to back off for a bit.

          • Thanks for reporting back. As you say, it’s most likely the credit to income ratio but @Clive may be along soon to say I’m wrong. I find it’s about trying to maintain the Goldilocks “just right” principle. Ie. Not having too much overall credit, not too little, not too much credit utilisation, not too little etc. It’s worked for me (so far).

  2. What do you think will happen to those of us who bought the Irish Independent before they changed the avios amount to 9,000 but have yet to receive our Avios? Would we get 18,000 since we purchased before the change or the newly changed 9,000?

  3. Crowtraval says:

    I’ve made a few HIlton bookings recently and they have all offered HIlton Sale rates – including for August 2018 and during midweek between Christmas and New Year, so the October 2017 travel period cut-off isn’t a hard rule.

  4. Gutted about the Irish Independant offer. As there seemed to be a pretty decent deadline, I opted to wait until pay-day before paying.

    It always shocks me when this happens. Either Avios or the Independent didn’t do their homework and deliver a viable/sustainable offer and had to pull the plug when “surprise surprise” it turned out to be popular.

    Lesson learned – when there’s a good offer out there, grab it before everyone else realised how good!!!

    • I would suggest that in any instance where the implied cost of the product alongside the Avios is less than or equal to nothing you should jump in ASAP as it is likely to be pulled early.

    • Indeed – at least a benefit of having lots of credit cards from this game is you’ll normally have at least one that will have over 30 days until you’re next due to make a payment so cashflow is easier to manage.

      I wasn’t a buyer at this price, pretty much bang on my own valuation but have over 1m Avios just now so more in spend mode! At 0.5p I’d have gone for it.

  5. the real harry1 says:

    shame about that II deal – now would only have been 0.74p/ point 🙂

  6. I also was waiting a bit before jumping in, simply too many expenses lately. Thanks for letting us know. There’ll be another deal along some time.

  7. Anika, completely OT but in a previous article regarding access to the VIP Lounge at Madrid Barajas Airport you said you were given a paper invitation at the check in desk. Was that because you checked in at the terminal or can we just got to the lounge if already checked in online? Thank you.

    Original article: http://www.headforpoints.com/2017/02/09/review-sala-velazquez-latam-vip-lounge-madrid-airport/

    • She’s in Porto for a birthday party 🙂

      • How selfish LOL!! 🙂

        No, really I hope she’s having a great time.

        • I’ve got into Air Canada lounge at Frankfurt on a LATAM business class boarding pass no probs, they asked if I had an invitarion but I said I was on hand bags so hadn’t gone to the counter and that was fine. Suspect the Madrid end will be easier for that flight as they will be much more used to LATAM customers.

          Other trips to Madrid have been fine for lounge access on boarding pass, both Dali and Velazquez, but that was IB flights though.

          • Thanks Stu N. We only do hand luggage to so unless I hear otherwise think it’ll be fine.

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