Bits: £26 4* and 5* London hotels!, double Avios at London City, got a Tesco Bank account?

Over Easter I will be dropping more stories than usual into these summary articles.  Whilst these are normally less important deals, I would keep a close eye on them as I will be kitchen sinking all the news here, big or small!

£29.99 London hotels deals with is running a promotion called ‘The Big Pink Sale’Part of this is selling a number of hotels for just £29.99!  Use promo code VCPINK10 and it drops to £26.99! 

Some of the hotels have been identified:

These are all very nice places, especially Theadneedles.   The £29 rate seems to be available on selected Fridays, Sundays and Mondays between now and the end of October, although the website is broken and won’t display anything after the end of June.  For later dates you need to plug in dates via the box at the top, one at a time.  You really can’t go wrong at this price – the Park Plaza properties come with free internet for everyone, I think, and if you have Club Carlson status you may even get upgraded.

You need to book via this page by 10am on April 7th.  Remember to use code VCPINK10 for the extra £3 off (code expired).

Park Plaza Westminster Bridge

Double Avios on British Airways flights from London City

British Airways is offering double Avios points on flights to Edinburgh, Dublin and the Isle of Man from London City Airport.  Discount economy tickets are NOT included – applicable booking classes are J, C, D R and I for Club Europe, Y and B for Euro Traveller and J, C, D, R, I, B and Y for domestic flights.

You can earn until May 31st but you MUST register by April 27th.  Full details and the registration page are here.

British Airways City Airport

Did you open a Tesco Bank current account?

I wrote about the Tesco Bank current account last July when it launched.  It seemed underwhelming – you earn 1 Clubcard point for every £8 spent on the DEBIT card, but payments to ‘bank and financial institutions’ do not count, according to the rules.  This means that you can’t settle your credit card bill with it.  Following an interesting email from a reader, I’d be interested to know if anyone else has any experience of this rule in practice!  Thanks.

Love Clubcard, don’t collect Avios?  You should be reading our sister site, Shopper Points (, which covers the latest Clubcard and Nectar offers without any distracting frequent flyer talk!  Why not check it out now?

Good long-haul Avios bargains with Iberia and their new spend chart - save £380 tax AND Avios!
What is the best hotel scheme? - Club Carlson - The Opinion
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  1. Use my Tesco debit card to pay Amex bills, never got points.

  2. Off topic says:

    Off topic I know but looking for some opinions. I am due to arrive from Hong Kong to London Heathrow at 5.25am on Monday morning via Virgin. Do you think it’s possible to collect luggage clear customs and then drop my bag for the 6.55 London Heathrow to Manchester or do I have no chance?

    • Andrew says:

      Norfolk ‘n’ chance I’m afraid. Bag drop (officially) will close at 5.55 in Terminal 5, you will be lucky to have your bag from the carousel at that time in Terminal 3.

      I’d look at changing the flight now.. If not then hope you get lucky and it arrives early and check out the Heathrow Express connection times and have a London Underground app ready to help you connect between terminals.

      • JoshBosh says:

        Having been at heathrow for the first flight of the day to manchester, you will be very lucky to get the heathrow express. The shuttle at that time will be every 30 minutes at the least (if running at all). I had to get a black cab from outside T3 to T5, and it had to be summoned. It took 10 minutes to arrive, but the transfer was quite prompt.
        T5 security, even with status, is a nightmare too don’t forget!

      • Calchas says:

        Bag drop closes at 45 minutes before departure, not 60 minutes
        Security is likely to be alright at that time of day
        I have done much tighter T3s to T5s before. But BA knew I would be late and expedited me through immigration and security. Moreover I had no bag.

    • RIccati says:

      Even if you have different itineraries and airlines, you can ask ‘to interline’ your luggage.

      All non-lowcoster airlines tend to have agreements allowing to do that (regardless of alliance, in fact, Star Alliance airlines are bad at interlining with each other outside a single itinerary). Show details of your onward itinerary at your first check-in.

      I was writing all of that and discovered that even if it is technically possible BA has a policy not to check bags through. You can try the other way around with Virgin to BA.

      It also looks like someone would have to manually take your bag to bring it to T5… and we all know how service-oriented Heathrow is…

      Even with the luggage being interlined, I think there is an option of an airside bus transfer between T3 and T5 and a bottleneck of security at T5 (have to go through even if you are transferring flights). Airside they are picker and slower, not many counters available.

      • Calchas says:

        Yes, if you have the bags interlined you can proceed directly to the airside bus.

    • Everything might go smoothly until you get to the T5 immigration (airside), they are incredibly slow and never have enough staff on – the slightest delay with a passenger causes long delays for those in the queue. I did this (from a CX HK flight) in January and I am certain I would have been much quicker going landside at T3, transfer over to T5 and back through security.

      The most exasperated people at T5 are those who have just transferred and had to go through T5 immigration, it’s a big bottleneck.

      But interline agreements exist for your bag transfer – just tell the check in staff that’s what you need and have your onward flight details to hand.

      • James67 says:

        Is my memory playing tricks on me; I thought we went through passport control at T3 before going downstairs for transit bus? May well have changed since last time I did that. Oh well, seems I set my partner up for surprise on arrival.

        • Perhaps something to do with arrival gate? But after my CX flight i didnt get to the ‘UK Border’ until T5. Although it was actually a short queue we still waited for nearly 30 mins.

        • James67 says:

          Just checked the heathrow website and it’s as you stated. I guess I better see my GP!

        • Calchas says:

          No, unless you took the tube or Heathrow Express or a cab or something.

          If the queue at transit immigration in T5 looks long you can double back and use the T5 landside immigration instead, then go upstairs back to check in.

    • James67 says:

      My partner arriving off CX329 today at 18:10 connecting to EDI at 20.15. To be honest I am not even very optimistic about that but at least it’s all on one ticket so bag checked through etc, and there iare still later flights. CX329 supposedly coming in about 30 minutes early so feeling more confident now. My own preference is to try and allow 3 hours for connections between terminals at Heathrow with the theory being I can take my time, relax in the lounge and get to my destination as planned. It beats threating throughout journey about connection.

      • Erico1875 says:

        Ive got 90 mins arriving T3 from Helsinki and then T5 to Edinburgh. Bags should be checked thru.
        Reading this, im now a bit concerned.

        • James67 says:

          If all goes smoothly 90 minutes is definitely doable. The problem is if the plane is even 5 minutes late, or they are slow with the airbridge, or you just miss a transit bus or many other ifs and buts that are chronic at LHR then you start to worry. All that said, sometimes it’s been a breeze too.

        • James67 says:

          My partner just got from door of plane at T3 to south lounge in T5 in just under 45 mi nutes so can clearly be done comfortably if no issues arise.

  3. flibbly says:

    I only pay with my Tesco Debit Card where there is a charge for Credit Card payments – otherwise I just use it as a small 3% savings account. I’d be very interested if it transpired that some financial transactions were earning points, but then as soon as such a thing were publicised it would be stopped of course.

  4. Pawel says:

    booked park plaza Westminster for 21 June code VCPINK10 expired,

  5. Akkers says:

    I’ve got a tesco debit card.

    The only luck I have had is with gift card scheme through my work where there is a credit card surcharge, but using my tesco debit card I do get 1 point for every £8 I spend. .

  6. Stuart says:

    Vcpink10 code expired 🙁

  7. Waribai says:

    Thanks Raffles. Just booked Threadneedles for 2 nights in August.

  8. Umberto says:

    I have the tesco bank account too. I paid my tax bill and received clubcard point. Also, when I pay at the post office it gives me points. I have tried paying a couple of credit card bills but no points at all.

    • Froggitt says:

      Slightly OT, can I pay my VAT bill with 3V cards (if I can find any)? A secret stash Tesco location would be great purlease!!!! Any other suggestions about good ways to pay VAT/PAYE/NI?

      • St Andrews, Fife had a stock this time last week.

      • sandgrounder says:

        Not any more. Paid cards will work, the price per Avio is acceptable if you factor in the 2p per litre of fuel.

        • Jason says:

          Even better if you have an amex PRG with esso offer and can get a tesco gift card, at esso, to buy the GSI card.
          Triple MR, £5 off and 150 cc points for the paid Visa card in tesco and 2p off a litre 🙂

        • Matthew says:

          So you are allowed to buy a visa gift card with a Tesco gift card?

        • Jason says:

          I’ve been able to use the tesco gift cards to buy the visa paid cards 🙂

        • Polly says:

          Jason, just to clarify, did you use a paid for Visa card worth £50 to pay for petrol, as no points are given if you buy an actual tesco gift card loaded with £50. I did that to try, and they told me it’s only when the tesco gift card is actually used the clubcard points are allocated. Then just given normal cc points. Very confusing.

      • mark2 says:

        There are reports of cards appearing, but I have not seen any yet.

  9. 12%! Not to be sniffed at

  10. I think “Exceptional 5-star hotel located by the River Thames” is the Grange City Hotel

  11. The £29.99 top secret hotel described as being on Oxford St is The Cumberland.

  12. Gerry says:

    Thanks, Rob. I managed to get a midweek night at the Threadneedles in August – amazing!

  13. Chris says:

    The 4* Edinburgh with parking for £29.99 is HI Edinburgh next to the zoo.

    No plans to go to London soon but a cheeky night out the house up here for £29 wasn’t to be sniffed at. The promo code said it had expired but managed to get it through a cash back portal so it’s all good. Thanks again and have a good weekend

  14. Hilly says:

    Two rooms at Threadneedles booked for end of July for less than £60, a great schools-out-for-summer treat. Very pleased. Thank you Rob, and thanks also to Waribai for convincing me to keep trying ways to wangle dates beyond June 🙂

    • If you’re taking kids, the Bank of England Museum is only a minute or so away.

      • Waribai says:

        Yes, also reasonably close to the Museum of London. One of my favourites with kids! One New Change is also quite close with good eating and shopping options and a great view from the top towards St Pauls!

  15. George says:

    Arg, I am too late for Threadneeles, aren’t I?

    🙁 and for the discount code…