Some news in brief:
Virgin Trains closes a loophole I never knew existed
Last weekend, Virgin West Coast closed down a loophole that, unfortunately, I had never heard about.
It turns out that, if you used a Railcard to buy a ticket on Virgin West Coast, you were charged off-peak pricing on ALL trains. This meant that you were effectively offered a double discount on peak time trains – you got offered an off-peak price not available to other travellers AND it would be discounted with your railcard.
This was not an error – it was a generous Virgin policy which they have now removed. More details in The Independent here.
If you ever took advantage of this, you no longer can. And if you never did, you never will!
New Crowne Plaza Newcastle opens
I don’t cover many new hotel openings on Head for Points but I make an exception for upmarket IHG or Hilton properties, where many HfP readers have points and status, in popular cities.
The new Crowne Plaza in Newcastle officially opens tomorrow and is already in its soft opening phase. Located directly behind the main railway station, it is a new build four-star hotel which looks pretty good from the website (photo above).
Reward nights are 30,000 points per night. Cash rates will be pretty low for the first few months, however, so you may prefer to pay – especially if you participating in the generous IHG Accelerate promotion this Autumn.
Remember that new IHG Rewards Club members will get a free night – anywhere in the world – for two paid stays they make under the Accelerate offer. Click the link above for more details.
I have been told, unofficially, that all IHG status members – Gold, Platinum and Spire – will be upgraded to club rooms or at the least given free club access for the first month. You may want to reconfirm this with the hotel before you book but it sounds a decent deal.
Royal Mint £100 coins
Finally, it is worth noting that the Royal Mint is currently selling a £100 commemorative coin at face value, with free postage.
A reader has bought some of these and paid them directly into his bank account. Royal Mint does not accept American Express but he had the old bmi Diamond Club Mastercard which earns up to 2.5 Avios per £1.
Not all bank branches will accept them although as legal tender (albeit not circulating coins) they should – you need to ask around.