Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Bits: £1000 PremEco to Sydney, Nectar profit falls, Expedia / hotels.com sale

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Some news in brief:

£1,000 Premium Economy fares to Sydney ex-Dublin

Reader Paul dropped me a line to say that he had just booked a very competitive £1,015 Premium Economy fare to Sydney.  This was on British Airways, starting the journey in Dublin.

I was able to find this fare on ba.com for, for example, 6th – 20th January.  If you want to pay in £ to avoid the foreign exchange fee on your credit card, use expedia.co.uk instead.

For some reason I was unable to replicate this fare on ITA Matrix so I could not pull up the fare rules, but it definitely exists!  If you are looking for British Airways Club World fares to Sydney, Oslo or Bergen remain the cheapest European starting points at around £2,100 return.

Sydney Opera House

Luxury Travel Diary auction bargains

The Luxury Travel Diary site has another wave of its luxury auctions closing this week.  These are often worth a look as there are often deals to be had.

The current auction includes a large number of Hyatt and Park Hyatt packages in cities as diverse as Palm Springs, Goa, Shanghi, Istanbul, Buenos Aires, Kuala Lumpur, Abu Dhabi, Beijing, Singapore and Jakarta.

This package at Finca Cortesin in Spain, which has an exceptionally good reputation, is also worth a look – the bid was £68 at 10pm last night.

Nectar thumbnail

Nectar falls into loss

I don’t cover Nectar much on HFP because it is not hugely relevant – although you should always remember that the Nectar e-store is the only place to get cashback when booking easyJet.

Reader Thomas sent me a link to this Telegraph article which states that the company saw profits drop to £14m.  The reason?  People redeemed their points!

This presumably explains the ‘Hive’ product which Nectar trialled – and cancelled – earlier this year.  It paid you 10% interest if you agreed to leave your points untouched!

This page on our sister site Shopper Points shows the best value Nectar redemptions – ie everything which gets you more than the standard 0.5p per point!

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Expedia and hotels.com 72 hour sales

Finally, both Expedia and hotels.com are running 72-hour sales this week (again ….).  I can’t promise you that you’ll find a genuine bargain but, if you’re booking a hotel, you might as well take a look.

The deals close at midnight on Thursday – the links are here (Expedia) and here (hotels.com).

Comments (34)

  • James says:

    OT: Raffles have you seen this from a famous US blogger… BA Eliminates 4,500-Avios Awards in the US!

    • idrive says:

      when what i need to book asap then!

    • Alan says:

      Another HFP mentioned it in the comments earlier – changed to minimum 7,500 points for intra-US redemptions, no doubt a reaction to the massive glut of Avios given out as sign-up bonuses over there!

      • idrive says:

        Well, that was applicable to some flights only i reckon according to distance. when i checked what i needed, though, i saw that availability was very low on direct flights pushing you to book a two segments redemption with crazy 30k! i ll try now again and check

    • Rob says:

      Was on the HFP Twitter feed hours ago 🙂

    • Rob says:

      Yes, saw this. This is not as good a result as a third party (eg one of the rumoured Chinese bidders) buying it because that would ensure SPG remained as it was. This deal is likely to see the Starwood brands wiped out and integrated into Hyatt.

      The upside is that Hyatt points are unbelievably hard to earn in the UK. If Hyatt bought Starwood, I would move a chunk of Amex points to SPG on the basis that they would convert to Gold Passport points and give me free reign to book Park Hyatt hotels for years to come.

      • idrive says:

        well, if you have many MR! and what about the jolly conversion to airlines…20->25k that would go!? would we have some time to make a reasonable choice?

        • Rob says:

          That would be the big loss if the SPG airline partners went. Amex to SPG to Lufthansa is the only easy way to accumulate Miles & More quickly for eg.

  • Paul G says:

    For the BA flights from Ireland, I have looked and can get a flight from Cork to Sydney for £1k. This is a good deal from me. Can I have a stop-over in London on the way back for a few months and then use the remaining leg to Cork for a weekend away?

    • Rob says:

      Depends on the fare rules, which I failed to find yesterday. It won’t be totally free anyway as the stopover means that short haul APD would be added.

  • Mikeact says:

    Back to Nectar, we use ours for a couple of bottles of extra spirits come Christmas….every year. Just need Sainsburys to start their offers.
    Re. Avios and all the other FFP schemes out there……assuming the whole lot were cashed in I guess all the airlines would go bust ?!

    • jude says:

      Nectar are running a double up promotion soon where you can redeem your points for double the value to be spent on among other things Sainsbury wine/bubbly etc

    • Peter K says:

      That’s likely a reason they limit availability!

    • Lumma says:

      You can’t buy spirits with nectar points any more. I used to use them to get a discount on some nice whisky that I wouldn’t usually pay full whack for. Now sainsburys use the excuse that you may be buying alcohol at less than the minimum price per unit. You don’t earn nectar points on spirits and you can’t use them to reach the purchase limits for online delivery. eg. Save £20 when spending £65.

      • Thomas says:

        Wine and champagne are fine though. Sitting on 800£ so I think time to cash out as Christmas deals come up.

  • timewarps says:

    Any idea whether you can have a stopover in Singapore using the DUB – Sydney route?

    • Rob says:

      If you pull up the fare on ITA Matrix, search HFP for my article on it, you can pull up the full fare rules.

  • Rooey says:

    Thanks for the PE tip, Raffles. Needed to go to SYD in ten days for a wedding, so I paid £1155 ex DUB (thank god for cheap Avios redemptions) to fly in PE all the way from Heathrow to Sydney, via Singapore. On the way back, I fly in Cathay PE via Hong Kong to Malaysia, and depart from Kuala Lumpur back to LHR with a one night stopover. Thanks to Jennifer at Trailfinders DUB for helping me arrange everything. 🙂