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Obscure Avios partners – Laithwaites

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This is another post in our series on partners.

Wine retailer Laithwaites, the UK’s largest mail-order wine retailer (it runs The Sunday Times Wine Club as well as pretty much every other branded mail-order operation), has been a BAEC partner for many years via The British Airways Wine Club and is now available to members as well.

The BA Wine Club and the promotion are similar but have several crucial differences.  If you are on the ball, the deal is more attractive.

Let’s look at what is on offer.  The BA Wine Club offers 1,000 Avios for your first order of a 12-bottle case of wine, with a paltry 250 Avios for subsequent orders.  (You need to click here to see any mention of the 1,000 Avios offer, it is not on the home page link above.)  Cases are priced from £70.  There is no obligation to make further purchases after your first case.  Easy but not a cheap way to accumulate Avios.

The offer is more interesting.  Again, you receive 1,000 Avios for your first case order and 250 for any further cases.  However, the current promotion running to August 31st also gives you £50 off your first case of wine.  This means that you will only be paying around £40 for your first case, with a free bottle of prosecco thrown in as well.  However …. every 8 or 12 weeks (your choice), Laithwaites will contact you with details of a new case.  If you do not specifically say that you do not want to receive it, either online or by phone, it will be sent to you and charged to the credit card you used for your initial order.  Here is the small print:

How does Laithwaites Recommends work?

Take up today’s introductory offer and you’ll join  Laithwaites Recommends – the most convenient way to enjoy the wines you  love. Every 12 or 8 weeks (you decide how often) we’ll offer you a new  selection of wine. They are great value at between £79.99 and £89.99 for 12  bottles plus delivery – always at a 10% discount on the usual selling price. It’s better for us to be able to plan and buy ahead and we pass the  saving onto you. Every wine will come with individual detailed tasting notes so  you can keep a record of the wines you particularly enjoy and learn a bit about  them, glass in hand.

If you like the look of the wines, do nothing and the case  will be delivered.  If you want to make any changes you can:

  • Change the whole case to something different.
  • Swap individual wines for your  favourites or a wine you’d particularly like to try – and still receive the  same 10% discount on those too!
  • Change the delivery date.
  • And if we can’t tempt you this  time, you can easily miss the case altogether. Just let us know, either online  or over the phone.

So, in return for the cash saving on your first case, you are going to have to deal with some admin from Laithwaites going forward.  Once you have got your 1,000 Avios banked you can quit Laithwaites Recommends, but this may take a month or so.

Whether you want to go for this depends on how well organised you are.  Overall, to be honest, it is a pretty good deal – 12 bottles of wine at a bargain price, a bottle of prosecco thrown in and 1,000 Avios.  I would assume that Laithwaites would make sure the starter cases were of good quality, as you are unlikely to continue with them otherwise and they will lose money on your first case.  Worth thinking about.