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Bits: 1000 Virgin miles with Shops Away, free London transport with Apple Pay

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News in brief:

Virgin Atlantic shopping bonus via Shops Away

Shops Away is the Virgin Flying Club equivalent of BA’s Gate 365 or the avios.com e-store.  Use it for your shopping this Christmas and you earn miles back.

Until Sunday 20th December, Shops Away is offering double miles at Apple Store, Selfridges, NET-A-PORTER, John Lewis, Marks & Spencer, Argos, notonthehighstreet.com and Currys.  Smaller bonuses are on offer from other retailers.

My wife, who has never used Shops Away, was also offered an extra carrot.  She will receive 1,000 miles if she makes any purchase via the site before 20th December.  This offer is not mentioned on the Shops Away site so, if you didn’t get the email, you should assume that you are not targetted.

Virgin Shops Away

Free London travel with MasterCard and Apple Pay

If you have an iPhone 6 with Apple Pay, you can travel for free on public transport in London on Monday 30th November, Monday 7th December and Monday 14th December.  It was also valid this Monday.

You need to set a MasterCard as your main Apple Pay card and use it for your contactless travel on Monday.  You will be charged as usual but MasterCard will refund your fare back to your card.  It covers the tube, buses, tram, DLR, London Overground and most National Rail services in London.

More details can be found here.  Thanks to Joel.

Southern Railway

More Luxury Travel Diary auctions closing 

Finally, 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 Abu Dhabi, Beijing, Jakarta, Mainz, Singapore and Doha.

If you fancy something different, there is also a four night yacht charter for six in the Caribbean – the highest bid was just £404 last night.

Comments (38)

  • Louise says:

    My MasterCard is not supported by Apple Pay

    • Jonny says:

      you won’t be able to benefit then…!
      Tesco Mastercard works through Apple Pay (even if your physical card hasn’t been updated to the contactless variety yet)

  • Liz says:

    OT: Bizarre thing just happened. I tried to pay my Avivia Household and Motor policies with my IHG Visa credit card. It kept rejecting saying it wasn’t a credit card. I called IHG and was told there was no problem at their end with the card. Called Aviva again to try again. The guy tried putting it through as a debit card and it went through fine – I saved the 1.5% charge! Never had that before – has anyone else had the same problem ?

    • Luke says:

      The Barclaycard and IHG card will always go through as a debit card because before they used their current bin (first 6 digits). Barclays used it on their debit cards.

      • Liz says:

        Wow – I didn’t know that. I have been paying my daughter’s rent while she is at Uni on this card and been getting charged each month. Next month I will try putting it through as a debit card!

        • Danny says:

          I spot a potential with HMRC and BARCLAYCARD then..

          • Funtime says:

            Too right.

            Just paid my council tax, as a visa debit, went through OK, without a surcharge.

            Shall be paying my self assessment in Jan 16, will make the £10000 spend on the Hilton card very easy to hit.

          • Charlie says:

            This is news to me too, how long has this been around?! Is it a temporary glitch?

          • mark2 says:

            This will vary between councils. Mine considers a Hilton Barclaycard to be a credit card, but it does add the surcharge to prepaid Visa debit cards from Gospendit.
            On the other hand, I can pay my council tax on Amex using AllPay at the Coop.

          • BLT says:

            Didn’t work for me. HMRC worldpay picks IHG card up as a credit card payment.

  • harry says:

    Sorry O/T question from a newbie 🙂

    Never had to do it before.

    So I can cancel an Avios RFS flight online? And lose the £17.50 but we get the Avios back?

    I had to book my wife a different date flight.

    How late can I cancel the Avios flight? – as it would make sense to keep it open until the last minute to keep our options open.

    • Rob says:

      BA or Avios.com? BA – cancel online, lose £17.50, Avios back immediately

      Avios.com – ring Avios, pay £35, get Avios back (immediate?), get £17.50 back in a few days

      Must cancel 24 hours before departure or lose the lot.

      • harry says:

        It’s Avios.com. I don’t quite understand. I already paid £17.50. So I have to pay another £35 but I’ll get back 1 lot of £17.50? So cancelling costs me £35?