Important dates for your diary – year-end edition!

Here is a special edition of our fortnightly weekend feature which summarises offers that are ending soon. It pulls together the different deals mentioned on our Avios Promos, Hotel Promos, Credit Cards and regular article pages.


This list looks at just one day – deals which are ending on New Years Eve!

The key one, for most people, will be the chance to match your British Airways (or any other airline) status to Alitalia.  As Alitalia is a member of the SkyTeam alliance, your new status would be valued across a huge number of airlines including Air France, KLM and Delta.  It would also get you privileges when flying Etihad due to its shareholding in Alitalia.

(EDIT: at the last minute, Alitalia has extended the closing date to 31st January. However, there is no reason not to apply now if you have some time over the holiday period.)

I have mentioned the 100% higher bonus on the IHG Rewards Club credit cards.  However, the small print of this offer says that you must apply AND make your first purchase by 31st December.

Do they mean this?  After all, the 31st December deadline is only mentioned in the ‘big print’ as the deadline for applying.  The problem is that Barclays has brought in strict rules on card churning recently and you wouldn’t know, until you had got your card and made your purchase, whether you were getting the higher bonus or not – and by then, it would be too late.

The 100% bonus on Heathrow Rewards transfers is also worth thinking about.

It is also worth noting that the and RocketMiles ‘3,000 miles for your next hotel booking’ offers only need to be booked by the 31st.  The stay can be at any point in the future.

Deals closing soon:

Thursday 31st December

Alitalia status match ends – match your British Airways or other airline status to SkyTeam.  Article.

Last day for a 100% bonus on converting Heathrow Rewards points to Emirates, Virgin and Avios.  Article.

25% Etihad Guest transfer bonus, from almost all hotel and credit card partners, ends.  Article.

Last day to book a hotel via RocketMiles and earn 3,000 miles in seven different airline schemes including Avios.  Article.

Last day to apply for the Lufthansa Miles & More credit card and receive 10,000 miles.  Article.

Hilton ‘Triple Your Trip’ promotion ends.  Article. ‘3,000 Avios for your first booking’ promotion ends.  Article.

Last day for a 25% bonus when you buy Starwood Preferred Guest points.  Article.

Last day to earn 2,015 bonus Starwood points from a stay.  Article.

Double IHG Rewards Club points (20,000 on the free card and 40,000 on the £99 card) when you take out their credit card – but see my caveat above.  Article.

Bits: Avis airport car rentals now £2!, 100 free Heathrow Rewards points, Tesco deals summary
My review of the Qatar Airways First Class ...... bus!
About Head for Points

We help business and leisure travellers maximise their Avios, frequent flyer miles and hotel loyalty points. Visit every day for three new articles or sign up for our FREE emails via this page or the box to your right.


  1. Thanks for the info on status match with Alitalia. Had my silver BAEC matched to their frecia alta a few weeks ago.

    • Lady London says:

      I was a bit surprised. My A3 Gold was only matched to Freccia Alata.

      I had been expecting they would match this to Freccia Alata Plus. Was I wrong to expect this?

      I could book 4 longhauls out of Italy next year to destinations served by Alitalia. I was kind of looking forward to that. I would need to use certain features of Gold on most of my longhauls (short hauls I could care less). It’s a pity to get a status match I really won’t be using though. Freccia Alata does not seem to have Gold features? I sent them a polite note back asking if they would consider a match to Plus instead, but haven’t heard.

  2. Earn double miles on all Heathrow Rewards Points to Avios transfers before 31 December 2015!

  3. Just clicked on the Alitalia link on the previous article. Seems that the status match is now running until end of Jan 2016

  4. Gold Circle points from the 2013 competition Raffles wrote about expire on 31st December.

    I have exchanged the 1000 points (on a couple of accounts) for US $100 F and B voucher valid for 6 months. The only restriction is that you have to choose the hotel you want to redeem the voucher at.

    It looks like the vouchers can be used by anyone.
    “To share, simply provide your nominees with the Non-room Award redemption confirmation e-mail to validate the award and exchange for a GC redemption voucher at the selected hotel’s Business Centre.”

    I have a spare GC account with 400 points (US $40) in, so only good for instant dining awards until the 31st, if anyone can make use of it it yours, it can be used via the digital membership card or the QR of that account.

    Not sure if Raffles allows email addresses here if not PM me at FT same name for the account details.

  5. Has the status matched to BA silver, but then gained an unexpected few hundred TPs that pushed me to Gold

    Currently trying an Alitalia re-match… Ignored my first email (tho it was a bad picture of Gold card), so recently re-sent it with a better pic. Will let you know how it goes! 🙂

  6. Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

    31st is the last day to clear out any Red Spotted Hanky points that people might have from the promos.

    • Yes & no – I’ve also got some long-dated ones 2020. Can I do anything worthwhile with about a tenner’s worth of expiring ones?

    • Thanks, though, I have got a few strange points knocking about, not sure where they came from but you can just convert into a rail voucher presumably with a decent validity date.

      I never fail to think RSH navigation is awful, but if you persevere you get there in the end

  7. avidsaver says:

    Does anyone know how long it takes for Heathrow Rewards to transfer to BA Exec or Virgin Flying Club?

    2016 is a leap year, so Xmas holidays jump 2 days. My schools’ authority will start Xmas holidays on Saturday, December 17, 2016. I’m under strict instructions not to pinch any days now they’re in secondary school. So if I pinch the 16th December (which I’m hoping SWMBO won’t care about), then I need to book RFS flights TONIGHT @ midnight or so. [Shame as 15th December has all 4 seats on 3 different flights still available, but I guess I can live with that as 16th December is 1 day earlier out to our place abroad than this year lol. Unfortunately goes from off-peak to peak on 15th Dec but can’t be helped.]

    Anybody else going to grab the RFS flights with perfect timing whilst we can?

    • 7,500 Avios
      + £17.50 Reward Flight Saver = £92.5

      List of other price options
      6,000 Avios + £15 or (= £92.5)
      5,300 Avios + £20 or (= £90.50)
      4,500 Avios + £25 or (= £87.50)
      3,800 Avios + £30 or (= £85.50)
      2,500 Avios + £40 (= £82.50)

      For a 1p/ Avios valuation, difference would be lower if you valued Avios @ (say) 0.7p.

      I guess it comes down to Avios-rich or not, what I think I acquired them for etc. Can’t really argue with 1p on some as I paid that @ Iberia, then again I also paid 0.75p @ Iberia.

      BA clearly want my cash 🙂

      • Note to self: check the cash prices, last time the HBOs were much cheaper @ midnight, which sort of defeats the object of this collecting hobby, but don’t ignore the obvious, old son.

        • And what’s the difference between Avios + money
          Money + Avios?

        • Right so HBO = £82 but I can see

          5625 Avios = £37 off
          3750 = £25 off
          2250 = £15 off
          750 = £5 off

          so all a bit rubbish – at a glance 0.67p

        • But you earn some paltry Avios, maybe 250 on RFS economy

        • So actually the best deal of these Money + Avios is:
          the Money + 750 Avios = £5 off + c.250 Avios earned, that’s the one I’ll check against, whereas don’t forget at Xmas the luggage allowance is worth having at least x2

        • Lady London says:

          @harry I was doing these same calculations yesterday! Defo not worth giving BA back any Avios at the rates offered on Avios+Money.

          What I did miss, was how much cheaper Easyjet, Ryanair, jet2 were for my trip. I went ahead and booked an RFS with Avios+£17.50 anyway. Then I realised yesterday evening that I had better review my current avoidance of Easyjet in particular. For close enough to the same route Easyjet is offering a fare whose cost was under half my valuation of the RFS cost. (Avios+£17.50)

          Now that Avios are harder to earn for some of us, even the cost of RFS might be able to be bettered occasionally by some of the low-cost airlines.

        • Certainly not enchanted except that I do manage to get them (BA) sub-0.75p on average (well below that). Unfortunately for us, the best alternatives are Wizz & Ryanair, both nearly as inconvenient, Wizz can be cheaper at cheapest but both Wizz & Ryanair work out more with luggage, don’t care about snacks.

        • Looks like I did OK with my 4 RFS (16/12/2016) flights at midnight UK – I’d nodded off to that comedy girl on BBC but woke up at 2 minutes past 1 local so was OK, I went for highest cash + lowest Avios in the end (10,000), 4 tickets cost £330 so not quite as cheap as no-frills – but then again, we have got 4 x 23kgs plus snacks, Coke for kids & booze for dad lol

          Same tickets currently priced @ £480 but we’re a few hours later, obviously I ate up the RFS 4 & a few other people will have been booking early.

          Anyway, can anybody explain if/when HBO get to choose seats in advance these days? BA site says ‘never’. We had a couple of HBOs 10 days ago and I could choose seats at check in, 24 hours ahead of flight. Is it maybe because I got the HBO seats so long ago & the rules have changed? Or because I linked the HBO seats & Avios seats together, so that we’d all (potentially, ie on BA’s seat allocation) sit with my 10YO ‘child’ (as opposed to with my 12 & 14 YO ‘adults’ lol)?

  9. Sebastian says:

    That IHG thing is a nightmare. Is anyone going to risk the application on the 31st?

  10. Been trying to match Gold to Alitalia for 2 months now send them screen grabs of my card, page on Executive Club with all details but they still come back and ask for more proof of status. Any suggestions?

  11. If you didn’t get to Ting Tang restaurant or whatever it’s called, you might want to convert your $100s into some handy Avios lol

    The usual limit does not apply, just press ahead & they will convert.

    They expire on 31st December (for those of us who got the 1 year extension)

    • Or you can redeem those Shangri La Golden Circle points by the 31/12/15 expiry date and still have till June 2016 to use them as then the voucher you get is valid for another 6 months from that date as I just discovered today!

    • The usual limit (2,500) doesn’t apply, but there is still a minimum amount of 1,000 points before they will let you convert.

      Unfortunately the remaining 200 points I have left on each account are going to remain unredeemed.

      Seems a shame, but the free lunch we had at Ting was very nice!

  12. JamesWag says:

    The Alitalia website seems to state that the status march is available up until Jan 31st, not Dec 31st.
    If this is true it would suit me better as I will become a Qatar Platinum status holder in the new year thanks to the Qatar Globetrotter promotion.

    Any idea if this is correct ?