Nutmeg Avios

Bits: Air New Zealand Skycouch just £199, 5% off Qatar fares, how to dispose of old credit cards

News in brief:

£100 off the Air New Zealand Skycouch to LA

Regular readers will know that we gave away a flight to Los Angeles on the Air New Zealand Skycouch last year.

The Skycouch, which I reviewed here, allows two people to pay a supplement to reserve a row of three economy seats.  These are special seats, however, as the base flips up to create a bed!

As long as you fly to LA before 22nd June, Air New Zealand will let a group of two passengers book the Skycouch for £100 off – just £199 extra (in total, not each).  Even if you aren’t bothered about making it into a bed, this is a bargain price to guarantee a row of three seats to yourselves for 13 hours.

Full details can be found on the Air New Zealand website here.

Skycouch 2

5% off Qatar Airways flights

Qatar Airways has launched a short-term discount code worth 5% off Economy and Business Class flights from the UK.

Remember that the new Birmingham service is now up and running!

The code in FLYFIVE and is valid for bookings until 18th April.  You must travel by 15th December.  Full terms and conditions and the booking link are here.

However, a warning.  Some heavily discounted Qatar business class flights are now being sold in ‘R’ booking class.  At present, British Airways is not recognising ‘R’ and will not award any Avios or tier points for such flights if taken today.  Recent reports on Flyertalk, from BA sources, say that ‘R’ class WILL earn in BAEC from early May.

Qatar A380

Using up old credit cards

Finally, reader Mark dropped me a line to say that he had just had a clear-out of all of the travel credit cards which he had applied for recently and now no longer needed.

Like a good boy, he cut them up neatly before disposing of them (click to enlarge):

Thanks Raffles

My disappointing visit to the new BA lounge and Concorde Bar in Dubai
Time to make final plans to hit your IHG 'Accelerate' targets
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  1. I do have a pile of used 3v cards that I could make a “thank you Raffles” message that I am sure could be seen from space !!

  2. Danksy says:

    Haha love the credit card picture.

    I think I’ve probably had 15 credit cards for this hobby and approximately 500 3v cards

  3. Stuart says:

    Maybe mark should take the names off the cards before sending a fairly high res images. Including his wife’s 🙂

  4. Waribai says:

    Thanks for the clarification regarding QR. We almost booked flights because a well known website said that R fares now qualified for tier points.

  5. Thanks Raffles indeed…

    While I started collecting (18 months ago) before finding HfP it’s been a massive help in terms of learning the ropes so thanks very much to Raffles and all the posters!

    However, seeing the cut up cards and mention of all the churning etc I wonder if I’ve been either stupid or lazy?! I’m fortunate in that my business spend brings in plenty of Avios per month but have only held BA Premium Amex and Amex Gold.

    Given that I can meet sign up bonuses within a month should I be churning? For some reason churning feels a bit naughty!

    Do you guys have a process you follow to make the most of churning and if so s there a good way to keep track of when to cancel and re-apply etc. One thing I really cannot risk is losing the Amex accounts.

    • Genghis says:

      Churning is a way for many of us to make lots of avios. An Amex Plat application, refer to partner and then partner applies yields (2 x 35k + 18k) = 88k MR points every six months or so. I keep a record of when we can next apply for the same card.

      If you can’t risk on losing the Amex accounts though (i.e. you need to keep the accounts), then there’s no churning for those cards.

      • Belatedly seen the updates to my original post after driving back from Scotland today. Thanks for the thoughts 🙂

        It seems that this is working out for many of you which is great. I suppose there’s nothing specific in the terms to forbid churning and they will have records on all that do it… I guess I’m being ultra risk averse in this case as I earn a lot through spend anyway and almost feel greedy going for more bonuses.

        Has anyone heard horror stories of being blacklisted for accounts or do you get warnings fist??

        • Sorry couldn’t reply to the last post by Genghis add in on my mobile and the reply doesn’t show on the narrow comments!

    • Mr(s) Entitled says:

      I just keep track on a s/s showing the dates I cancelled and therefore the dates I can reapply. I’m on a permanent rotation of:

      Amex Gold -> Amex Plat upgrade -> refer spouse for Amex Gold -> Amex Plat Upgrade -> Barclays Hilton -> Barclay’s Hilton Spouse

      • Genghis says:

        Good call actually with the Amex Gold > Platinum initially but are you not better off referring straight to Platinum rather than to Gold and then upgrading?
        With referral to platinum: 18k + 35k = 53k MR points (on £2k spend)
        With referral to gold and then upgrade to platinum: 9k + 22k + 20k = 51k MR points (on £3k spend)

        • Mr(s) Entitled what are the time frames of the below churning and how many points does it bring in?

          “Amex Gold -> Amex Plat upgrade -> refer spouse for Amex Gold -> Amex Plat Upgrade -> Barclays Hilton -> Barclay’s Hilton Spouse”

        • if you are referring platinum to platinum then you must be paying at least half the £450 fee every time making it an expensive option – we are doing gold to gold for free albeit for less MR’s.

        • Genghis says:

          Comparing gold to gold for max (22k x 2k + 9k) 53k MR points and plat to plat for max (35k x 2k + 18k) 88k, there’s a difference of 35k MR for what for us is about 2 months’ plat fee (£75) or effectively buying avios for 0.2p

        • But if you have to wait 6 months to take the card again how can you hold the card for only 2 months – surely one of you needs to hold the card longer – I can’t get my head around the timescales. If you take a platinum card out in April – spend the target asap refer your partner and cancel your card by June then continue with your partners card – surely you need to pay at least 4 months on that card before you can have the card again – making that at least £225 between the 2 cards ??? Or am I wrong?

        • Genghis says:

          1) get referral from friend / Raffles
          2) spend £2k in month 1.
          3) refer wife for plat. Once approved and all bonus points paid cancel my card
          4) wife spends £2k in month 2. Cancel after receive bonus
          5) repeat after 6 months or so

          I think with your method Liz you’re thinking of constant plat > plat > plat… referrals between 2 people which would involve costs of around the cost of one plat card a year, £450.

        • Ok Genghis I get you now – you completely cancel and start again every 6 months. We have gold at the moment and was planning on my hubby refering me in July for gold again – think I will try your method and go for Platinum – take it on holiday in August and cancel when we get back. Thanks

  6. mohamed says:

    If i spend tge night from 30 april to 1st may does it count or not.

    • Brian says:

      Yes, I don’t think Air New Zealand mind which date it is – as long as you pay the extra for the Skycouch…

    • Good question, you would to look carefully at the wording. I have seen promos work worth ways in the past.

  7. Has anyone had personal experience of the sky couch? Is it anything like a fully flat bed?

  8. Cheshire Pete says:

    I suppose this qualifies under this “bits” topic but did anyone else receive an email from Accor late last night stating memberships extended to Dec 2017 at your current level? Great for Amex Plat holders!?

    • Brendan says:

      Yep, very happy with that. My status was up at the end of this month so applied for the Amex Plat again in Feb and have the extension to Dec 17 showing now.

    • The_Real_A says:

      Yes – also very happy to receive that since the AMEX deal is going away. Seems the scheme is changing which i’m sure Raffles will cover at some point. I still find the Accor revenue points scheme frankly boring.

    • That only applies if your existing expiry date was in 2017. More tomorrow.

  9. mark2 says:

    H anyone had any news on their Hilton status match yet please?
    If so was it until 2018 or only 17?

  10. idrive says:

    what a joke! the 5% QR discount is on the base fare! which means saving £2 on the quote I just had!

  11. Genghis says:

    Very OT – but 4k Tesco cc points hit my account after having applied for the Tesco Home Insurance offer online and entering the code (at the time others were put off after HfP advised only available if you call up)

  12. James says:

    Id love to know where to find these “heavily discounted” fares!
    I flew the 787 and A380 to BKK ex AMS and back recently and I was blown away. The seat, the food, the staff, IFE, everything top notch!

  13. Timothy Arnold says:

    Sorry for hijacking…

    If you’ve already got a Gold card, BA Premium (already hit 2-4-1) and the wife has a BA Premium with a very low credit amount, and you’ve got the ability to spend £7.5k in the next month or so in one hit… what’s the best card to put it on? existing gold card would mean I get an extra 10k bonus points but could take out another card…. ?

    • Genghis says:

      It depends what you value. Could your wife get her BAPP limit increased? Can the 7.5k be split payments? You could refer your wife for an Amex gold for total of 31k MR points (better than putting it on your Amex). Or if you value status could take out Hilton Visa and then be 75% towards gold status…

      • Genghis says:

        Or as I’ve said above, perhaps refer wife for Amex platinum for total of 53k MR points, spend the £7.5k (and perhaps apply for all of the hotel bens) before then cancelling for hardly any cost?

  14. Kirill says:

    What about the lloyds card with raffles referral and companion voucher?