Bits: 400% Apple bonus with Heathrow Rewards, 10 x Nectar points on petrol, Qatar launch date for Sydney

News in brief:

Up to quadruple Heathrow Rewards points on Apple products at Dixons Travel

If you are planning on getting a new iPad or Mac, or an old iPhone (6S excluded) before 30th October, Dixons Travel is offering bonus Heathrow Rewards points.

The bonus is:

  • Double points when you spend £399 – £699.99
  • Triple points when you spend £700 – £999.99
  • Quadruple points when you spend £1,000 or more

The saving on Apple products at Dixons Travel is not huge – it is nowhere near the 20% VAT level.  They are cheaper than the High Street, however, and this bonus is an extra perk.

Note that the following products are excluded: ‘Apple branded audio and accessories, Apple WATCH, WATCH Sport and compatible accessories; iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.’

Heathrow Rewards points convert at 1:1 into Avios, Virgin Flying Club, Miles & More, Etihad and Emirates miles.  Take a look at our ‘Avios Promos’ page for a couple of generous sign-up deals if you are not already a member.

Dixons Travel

Sainsbury’s offering 1,000% Nectar bonus on petrol

Nectar is not a core part of HFP but as it’s the weekend ….  For the whole of October, you will receive ten times the usual number of Nectar points when you buy petrol at a Sainsbury’s supermarket.

Full details are on the Sainsbury’s website here.

This is the equivalent of 5p off a litre, and more generous if you redeem your Nectar points for one of the – admittedly few – redemptions which offer more than 0.5p per point.

This page on our sister site Shopper Points shows the best value Nectar redemptions.

Nectar thumbnail

Qatar Airways announces a date for Sydney services

I mentioned earlier this week that Qatar Airways had agreed a deal with the Australian Government to increase flights to the country.

Qatar has now announced a daily Doha – Sydney flight which will launch on 1st March 2016.  As Qatar is a oneworld member airline, this service will be available for redemption using Avios points.

It adds to the existing Qatar Airways services to Melbourne and Perth.  Further Australian destinations can be expected next year.

Earn 125,000 bonus American Airlines miles with BA transatlantic flights this Autumn!
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  1. Is dixons travel actually any cheaper for the latest Apple gear? Eg the new iPhone.

  2. Qatar to SYD could be very good news especially if they use their superb A350 or 787 ( though I have no idea if they have the range ) MEL is a 777 operation which has the older style seats.
    Now that the Aussie $ has returned to something approaching a sensible level it might mean returning to OZ for me where o have not been since 2009.
    Wonder if QR will offer some different routes such as recent OSL fares from CX. Could make for an interesting trip

  3. Chris L says:

    iPhone 6S and 6S plus are exactly the same price at Dixons Travel as at the Apple Store so no saving. You also don’t get the bonus Heathrow Rewards points if you buy them as they are excluded from the offer. They’ve also started selling the Apple Watch which is also exactly the same price.

    I think the only things that are marginally cheaper are the MacBooks and iPads.

  4. O/T Iberia Plus is giving a 200 Avios free ‘welcome’ present for new joiners, which presumably count as your minimum earning points so that you can in future transfer points to Am I right in thinking I need to wait 90 days to do this transfer? (I did also transfer a few MRs over, so possibly the 200 free Avios were as a result of this instead of just opening the a/c).

  5. Shame that being over 7000 miles, the DOH-SYD leg alone will be 150k avios in J. That makes it the same cost as BA LHR-SYD, or QF LHR-(DXB)-SYD booked as one segment. So redeeming from Europe on QR (best case 375k J return) would have to be a last resort. More chance of this being of use to HFPers through cash sale fares.

    • Sebastian says:

      With the sale prices Qatar do for Business Class from Europe and the the earning rate you’ll get in Avios and Tier points, paying cash rather than an Avios redemption is the way to go. Unless of course you have mountains of Avios.

  6. Just something to watch. You won’t receive a VAT receipt from Dixons Travel, so if you are personally VAT-registered, or if you’ll be claiming back the purchase from your employer, the purchase will actually be 20% more expensive than purchasing from the Apple Store or elsewhere in the UK…

    • RIccati says:

      Presumably, they (Dixons) will be reclaiming that VAT…

    • Yes you will, if you ask for one, and if you are flying to an EU destination. You can’t get one if you are flying out of the EU for obvious reasons. The savings on iPads and. MacBooks are good at Dixons Travel, and that’s before you take the Heathrow Rewards into account.

      • They must give you a VAT invoice by law if you request one & you are flying within EU.

  7. Thanks for pointing out the Nectar petrol deal raffles, I always like to get something back for fuel purchases and right now this seems the best deal going. Worth saving the nectar points for when they do that ‘1,000 points for 2 pizza express main courses’ deal again, that made a nectar point worth about 2p I think!

    • The Morrisons petrol deal is far better, I got 90p [ninety pence, no mistake] off a litre (on 60 litres tank) yesterday plus 1800 Avios = another £18 for me. And a £6 off £50 voucher.

    • The Esso deal, if you got it on your Amex card(s), is probably better though, isn’t it? 10% off beats 5p off…

      • It ranks like this:

        Best: Morrisons, get up to everything off (ie free petrol), plus your Avios points on top; if you are prepared to buy £1000 worth of giftcards, you’ll get £1 off a litre up to 100 litres + maybe 2000 Avios (=£20) – let’s call it up to 120p off a litre

        No 2: £5 off £50 with Esso & Amex – so, 11p off a litre

        No 3: 5p off a litre @ Sainsbury if you can use the Nectar points

        • Morrisons are paying you to buy petrol, provided you can justify buying £1000 of giftcards every time you fill up.

        • They’re paying you also for the time it takes to process the cards, I assume…

        • Which means you can pay someone else to do it… (your kids?)

        • Depends on the fiddliness of the bill you are paying. Ie Amazon (new HFP route) is a cinch, no need for CVV code = about 1 minute. But South West Water needs all sorts of details incl address, a/c number etc = about 3 mins.

          Probably averages people 2 mins per £25 card if you use Firefox on save details + a nice bit of cut & paste. (I’m much faster than that 🙂 )

          £1000 = 40 cards, so maybe 90 mins, which sounds onerous but you can watch TV/ listen to radio etc at the same time.

        • Sussex bantam says:

          Don’t forget you also get avios on your 50 spend at Esso and JS but I agree morrisons is by far the best if you can find a home for significant gift card spend.

          No in my local two stores though – so hard to find a home for that many Amazon cards !

  8. This is a really noddy question, but what is tax-free shopping at airports all about? As I understand it, shops should not charge VAT on sales of goods to passengers travelling to a non-EU country. Why is that? If I’m flying to the US for example, is DIxons deemed to have made an export of the goods and so treats it as a zero-rated supply?

    Do Dixons actually charge a different price to long-haul and EU passengers?

    • On this: my wife was going to buy a ludicrously expensive handbag at LHR recently, because it was £200 cheaper than the high street. The saving was presumably due to the tax-free thing. She was flying to Asia. They offered to put it aside for her so she could collect on her return. IF they are zero rating stuff because the goods are exported outside of the EU, it strikes me as dodgy that they apply this treatment for stuff that they put aside and allow you to collect on return.

      • That’s within the rules, so not dodgy.

        • Not doubting you, but why does an airport get special treatment? If the goods don’t leave the store, I don’t see how it is an export, That morning my wife could have strolled in to a dept store, told them she wanted the bag but was flying to Asia, so she’d pay for it now and come and collect it a week later. They couldn’t zero-rate it based on those facts (nor, I suspect, could they if they let her take it with her) so why can a shop at an airport do it? That’s what I don’t understand.

        • That’s why they would have taken a scan of your wife’s boarding pass.

          Basically the airside ‘duty free’ shops set their prices, generally one price for all which includes VAT. They can reclaim the VAT on purchases made by passengers flying outside the EU. This may allow the shop to offer lower prices than in the UK high st. For passengers flying within the EU, the VAT cannot be reclaimed by the shop.

        • ‘Reclaimed’ is poor choice of words, for passengers flying outwith the EU, the shop just doesn’t pay the VAT in the first place, ie profitability is higher on that item.

        • Thanks. As regards reclaim: I actually think it is the right choice of words. As you say, the shop doesn’t collect the VAT from the customer so they keep every penny they get, making it more profitable for them. However, it’s still treated as a taxable supply (its zero rated not exempt) so they can recover/reclaim input VAT.

          I’ve just spoken to my wife who has corrected me on the facts anyway: the shop actually made her take the bag with her to Asia – she wanted to collect it and I thought that’s what she did, but they made her take it. Presumably, this is so the shop could treat it as a zero rated export rather than a taxable sale, although from what Raffles says it seems that the ultimate price to my wife would have been the same. Anyway, that’s enough VAT for a Saturday morning

    • No, same price to all, which is presumably averaged out across EU and non EU pax volumes. If T5 was only long haul flights if could be different.

  9. Seems to be a few petrol deals for me at present:

    Tesco were offering double points up to the 4th Oct. Filled up on the 30th Sep and got 20 CC points for my £41 spend + 41 bonus points.

    Going to use Sainsbury later in the month, possibly twice so that’s 800-900+ Nectar points there.

    Also getting offer 45 Shell points when I fill up £35 + another 15 if I use their costlier fuel but at 5p or so a litre more, not worth it. (do use Shell if I’m going out of town as they’re right on the dual carriageway so it saves a 4 mile trip to Tesco and then back again – 2p a litre more usually though)

    Morrisons would be interesting if they stocked cards but can’t say I’ve seen any.

    • Try another store, most Morrisons have 2 pegs full of pay.coms, I bought 36 yesterday to get my 90p a litre.

      • Sebastian says:

        Can you use cards for paying off your Amex and/or Visa statements?

        • It was closed down last month.
          Preferred buying pay.coms at tesco but they are thin on the ground these days so using the free fuel option at Morrisons for a while.

  10. whiskerxx says:

    Good news about the Sydney route.
    ( A portion of humble pie JQ?)

    • I never said it wasn’t going to happen, I said that nothing had been announced at the time.

  11. Although I totally agree that nectar shouldn’t be a core part of hfp- I would be interested in reading some analysis of what the best redemption offers are. I’ve been saving mine for years p, on the assumption that one day I’ll need to make an easy jet booking – which you can do with nectar I believe.

    • I decided years ago that Nectar wasn’t worth the bother, it’s a rubbish points earning opportunity for most people.

    • Gourmet society card is 2000 nectar points at the moment, usually £69.95. You can get your money back (£10) by dining out once! Also they give discounts on airport lounge access.

    • Raffles does generally cover decent (by Nectar standards) redemption options. The recent Caffe Nero one, where you could essentially get a free coffee of any kind at Nero for the equivalent of 25p is a case in point. But Nectar is simply one of those schemes that are not worth going out of your way for – sure, collect the points if you’re shopping at Sainsbury’s etc anyway, but don’t make any special trips.

      • Back in August I redeemed 10,000 nectar points for the pizza express vouchers. For the last 2 months we’ve consumed approx £250 of eat-in pizzas for £50. That is one of the best redemptions ever. It was much cheaper than even buying pizza in a supermarket and cooking it at home!

    • But you only get the standard 0.5p on easyJet so there is no real advantage. The occasional eBay promos are very good – there is one running at present where if you convert 2000 points into £10 of eBay credit you get 1000 points back. You need to link your Nectar account to eBay and be opted in to eBay promotional email to get these.

  12. Hi everyone- are there advantages joining Heathrow rewards?
    Many thanks

  13. What I really meant to ask is are the rewards from “Heathrow Rewards” worth applying for and carrying yet another card etc, or will I be open to lots of spam/ ads etc for minimal reward?
    Have you all joined the scheme?

    • You don’t need to carry the card if you have an iPhone – it goes into Passbook / Wallet.

      Decent sign up bonuses at present, see our ‘Avios Promos’ page at the bottom.

      Once you’ve banked the bonus, you need to spend £250 to get 250 points for any redemption so not hugely useful if all you ever buy is a newspaper. If you do spend real money in Heathrow it is worth it, especially with the bonus promos. HEX tickets and Heathrow Car Parking also earn.

  14. Depends when you join to an extent. I recently got the 2500 sign up bonus (thanks HfP) which translated nicely into 2500 Virgin points almost immediately.

  15. andystock says:

    I prefer QA 777 to BA club world, the cabin feels much more spacious and the food is so much better than BA.

  16. [Deleted due to affiliate link]

  17. One interesting thing I have discovered in the last few days is that you can get double Heathrow Rewards points until 30 November on purchases from WHSmith, and that includes the Rugby World Cup shops.