REMINDER: Last chance for higher BA Amex bonuses and 100% Hilton ‘buy points’ bonus

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A quick reminder that two decent offers are closing tomorrow (Wednesday):

Current offers on the British Airways American Express cards ending

The special sign-up bonuses on the two British Airways American Express cards are due to end on June 17th:

The Premium Plus version, with the £150 annual fee, offers 25,000 Avios instead of 18,000 Avios. You must spend £3,000 within three months to receive the bonus.

The basic, free, card offers 9,000 Avios instead of 3,000 Avios. You must spend £1,000 within three months to receive the bonus.

The representative APR on the Premium Plus card is 56.4% variable including the fee based on a £1200 credit limit. The representative APR on the free card is 15.9% variable.

My full review of the benefits of the Premium Plus card is here. Amex’s own home page is here.

My full review of the free card is here. This is actually the most improved deal jumping from 3,000 to 9,000 Avios. Amex’s own home page is here.

Remember that you can receive an even higher bonus if I refer you via the refer-a-friend programme – click the review links above for full details.

If you can’t apply now then I wouldn’t be too concerned.  It is very likely that we will see this offer repeated before the end of year, judging on past form.

BA Premium Plus Amex

100% bonus when you buy Hilton HHonors points

Hilton HHonors is currently offering a 100% bonus when you buy points – see this page.

This may or may not be a great bargain as it depends how you redeem them. At the top end, you can buy 160,000 Hilton points (80,000 plus 80,000 free) for $800. That is 0.5 cents each.

Regular readers of Head for Points will know that I tend to value Hilton points at 0.3p each, which is roughly what you are paying here.

Hilton buy points

Five star Hilton, Conrad and Waldorf-Astoria hotels typically run to 80,000 points per night. In this sale you would be paying $400 for 80,000 points which is roughly what you would be paying for a five star in a major city. This is not a bargain.

However, Hilton HHonors IS a decent deal at cheaper point levels. The Hampton by Hilton in Sheffield, for example (photo below) is 10,000 points per night. At 0.5c per point you would be paying roughly £35 per night if you bought the points. That is a 65% discount on the typical nightly rate of £100. Hampton properties include free breakfast as well.

Hampton Hotel Sheffield

On the other hand, the Hilton Sheffield is 30,000 points per night. You would be paying around £105 for those points which, whilst a bit less than the typical £125 cash cost, is not a fantastic deal – especially as you would earn points and miles back on the cash rate.

At the most extreme, you could buy the Hilton Salalah resort in Oman, reviewed here, for £17.50 a night. That would be the rough cost of buying 5,000 points in this promotion.

(Remember that if you have Hilton elite status, and you get Silver status just for taking out their free credit card, you get 5 redemption nights for the price of 4. That takes the Hilton Salalah resort down to under £15 per night!)

What I can say is that you shouldn’t lose money buying Hilton HHonors points at 0.5 cents. There will not be another major devaluation for a few years, given the severity of the 2013 changes, so I don’t see that as a risk.

If you just buying a handful of points to top off your account, the price per point doesn’t matter anyway. If you a few thousand short of a redemption then this is the cheapest opportunity you will ever have to buy them.

The link to buy is here.  As with the BA Amex deal, the offer closes tomorrow, June 17th

Bits: BA Cambridge flights on Avios, T5 Priority Pass lounge picture, new Tesco bonus point deals
My experiences with using my Travelex Supercard
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  1. fiona says:

    I applied for premium plus on Friday but didn’t get an instant decision. I will probably get the decision after the 17th.

    • Jason says:

      It’s when you apply, not when the decision is made is the cut off for the bonus 🙂

      • Caroline says:

        Although Amex didn’t honour this for my Gold supplementary card. Running an offer of 5,000mrp is apply by 28/02. I applied just before then but card not authorised until 03/03. Amex did not honour the 5,000 points. I complained and they gave me a ‘gesture’ of 2,500 points.

  2. Jason says:

    First query, if you use points to buy a room does it count towards status?
    Second, if you have 2 gold holders in a room, with 2 children, does the free breakfast apply to 4 guests, if they are in the same room?

    • James says:

      Yes reward nights count for status at Hilton. As for breakfast they should give it to you I would imagine, most hotels don’t follow the rules on reakfast exactly (they almost always give a full breakfast instead of the required continental breakfast for example).

      Personally I bought points and used them for 10 nights in a king deluxe room at the Hilton sharm dreams resort, 4000 points per night and rooms selling at $156 (summer sale rate). 40,000 points = $200, total saving $1360. Bargain!! Thanks Rob 😉

      • xcalx says:

        Have you completed your stay at the Hilton Dreams, if so, could you advise re upgrades, lounge? It seems to get good reviews with Hilton and mixed reviews on tripadvisor. I really want to try Sharm but need to convince mrs xcalx.

        • James says:

          No it is in November. To be honest I’m not expecting too much.. Probably a big standard Sharm hotel.

          Also I bet there is a thread on the hotel over at flyertalk which will probably have some more info?

      • Jason says:

        Think I may email Hilton, about it, as it is worth getting gold for the breakfasts, otherwise I’ll just take silver with the credit card.

        • Strictly speaking, the complimentary breakfast rule is only for the Gold/Diamond member who booked the room + up to one registered guest staying in the same room.

          However, I found most Hilton hotels are usually very accommodated and generous. I have received free breakfast for the 2nd room many times without asking. It really depends on the hotelI, but I think most of the hotel will provide your children with breakfast without the additional charge.

          There is certainly no harm to contact the hotel to enquire about it, so that you know what to expect.

        • Jason says:

          Planning to book 2 lots of 5 days, at Rangali Island, for 2 adults and 2 children.
          Both gold holders will be staying in the same room.
          Just working out the best way to attain gold at the moment.
          Does the free night with the credit card, last 6 months from when you hit the £750 spend or when you receive the voucher?
          Looking at travelling April 2017, so assume if voucher is valid from when you hit the £750 spend, I should apply April/May next year, book rooms on points asap and trigger voucher around November?
          Does that make sense to experienced Hilton card holders?

        • It is from the date the voucher is issued, which seems to be 2-4 weeks after hitting the target. They are done in batches so it is impossible to predict. For safety, do NOT hit the £750 until you are within 6 months of your stay date.

          At the moment vouchers are coming with a 12 month validity but this may be a mistake as the Barclays website still stays 6 months.

  3. Mrs_fussy says:

    Can I apply for this and still get the bonus, even if I have the Etihad card and previously held a Virgin mbna ?

  4. Kevin says:

    At the risk of appearing greedy, I have had the premium card for a number of years, can I apply for the free card as well?

  5. Roger says:

    My wife is HH gold until 03/16 and is unlikely to retain it next year. I am also HH gold and plan to retain it.

    We have a trip next spring and we would like to use her HH points before mine. Possible stays:
    1. 31.3.16 – 5 nights for 4;
    2. 5.4.16 – 5 nights foe 4;
    3. 10.4.16 – 5 nights for 4;
    4. 15.4.16 – 5 nights for 4.
    She has enough HH points for at least the first two, the others would use mine.

    If anybody has been in a similar position, could they please advise:
    – do Gold benefits (e.g. free breakfast) apply when booked now, on Stay 1 (only the first night as Gold) and on Stay 2?
    – I would be the named 2nd person in the reservations, so would my HH Gold help?

    I had thought of her gifting her points to me but that’s not cost effective.

    Many thanks.

    • If your wife phones up Hilton she should be able to book a redemption in your name, and I think she could have them add your hhonors number to the booking so your hilton gold would apply to the booking. Once the booking is made you could then add you wife to the booking as a second guest through the manage your reservation page.

      • Roger says:

        Ingenious, Alex! Thanks very much for what looks like the answer to our situation. 🙂

  6. high end hobo says:

    I cancelled my last BA card on December 25th (i got the bonus much before that date)
    AmEx language says you have to have not ehld the card for 6 months in order to get the bonus (which would me june 25) do they Enforce that? if not i’ll apply now, please email me a referral link

  7. OT: I just checked in at BA for our USA flight tomorrow – this is an economy flight booked last year before I started collecting via this site. I noticed that we had a 2 bag allocation and not 1 as per normal! Has this changed or is it because I now have a BAPP card? I’m sure it’s not normally 2 bags for economy flights?

  8. krys_k says:

    Re. Amex bonus – does this affect the current referral bonus? i.e. 10k for recipient and 4k for referrer

    • Usually the referral,bonus goes up too. However, Amex has messed up and has pulled the referral bonus 2 days early. The referral links are already back down to 19k and 4k which is where they should have been on Thursday.

  9. xcalx says:

    OT is anyone having problems referring Amex . I have tried to refer a few friends last week and the emails are not getting through.

    • I have heard this from numerous people today.

      I’ve got even worse news for you. Even if the referral comes through, the landing page no longer shows the higher bonus and only says 19,000 points on the BAPP and 4,000 on the free BA card. The covering email does correctly say 26,000 / 10,000 respectively. You therefore have to decide whether to apply via a webpage which tells you that you will not get the current special bonus in the hope that you will.

      • Jason says:

        I had this problem referring my wife fir a platinum card.
        I did 2 referrals, neither email received on my iPad, sorry my wife’s iPad :-), I emailed her the referral link that arrived in my email thanking me for the referral.
        All points and bonuses went through no problems.

      • Nik Marsh says:

        I went for it just now, cutting it fine! When the application loads up the right hand side shows bonus being 9000 even though the landing page said 4000, took a screenshot just in case.

        A bit late to be any use.

  10. Got up at 1am to get 4 RFS flights back at the end of summer half term ie Sunday 5 June 2016.

    Sure enough there were 12 avios flights there (3 flights daily) so I got the best one for us.

    Raffles maybe you could add this ‘availability @ 1am – 355 days out’ point to Avios University.

  11. mark2 says:

    I have bought some Hilton points and since I have booked some stays in good hotels in Canada I want to do four stays quickly to get gold status via a link from this site.
    We are having trouble booking a cattery at short notice, so I wonder whether I have to actually go to the hotel. Can I book and not turn up, still paying the points obviously. I notice that the app allows me to ‘Check-In From Anywhere and Swing by to Pick Up Your Room Key’. What if I book in and neglect to swing by? Will the stays still register?

    • Hilton is talking porkies with that service.

      Without getting technical, it is illegal under the Innkeepers Act to check you in without you signing a check-in document in person. The website may allocate your room but without a signature in person you are not considered checked in.

  12. Just read the comments and I was one of the ones that didn’t get a referral email from my husband’s card and he didn’t get his email thanking him for the referral (so no referral link). Should I sit on my thumbs and wait for the bonus to show up again or try to apply for the lower points?

    • The ‘social sharing’ option is now back on the referral site. On the page for the email address, click the Facebook icon instead. Have Amex post a referral link on your FB, G+ etc page but set it to ‘Only Me’ so no-one else sees it.

      You can then go into Facebook and apply via that link.

      Whether or not you wait until the higher bonus is back – which I am guessing happens in September / October – is up to you!

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