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Bits: 15% off Leading Hotels, Etihad buying Air Malta

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News in brief:

15% off Leading Hotels of the World with American Express

American Express has teamed up with Leading Hotels of the World to offer a 15% discount on stays of two or more nights.

Stays must be completed by 12th August and you need to book a specific rate code. Full details are on the Leading Hotels website here.

Etihad to buy a major stake in Air Malta

The Maltese Government is expected to sign contracts with Etihad over the next couple of days to sell a ‘substantial’ stake in Air Malta.  This is likely to be the maximum 49.9% allowed under European Union rules.

This does seem a little bizarre.  There is some logic in their investments in airberlin, Alitalia, Jet, Air Serbia etc which can provide regional ‘feed’ into an Etihad hub.  Passengers can then be whisked off to Abu Dhabi and from there to pretty much anywhere.

Malta, population 400,000, is unlikely to provide huge amounts of ‘feed’.  The Air Malta fleet of, erm, 10 aircraft is unlikely to justify the time and money that Etihad will invest.

The upside is that Air Malta flights will become available for Etihad Guest redemptions.  You can, of course, already redeem Avios for Air Malta flights via avios.com as I discussed here.

More details on the deal can be found here.


Earning Flying Blue miles from credit cards

How to earn Etihad Guest miles from UK credit cards (July 2021)

Etihad Guest does not have a UK credit card.  However, you can earn Etihad Guest miles by converting Membership Rewards points earned from selected UK American Express cardsThese are:

Membership Rewards points convert at 1:1 into Etihad Guest miles which is an attractive rate.  The cards above all earn 1 Membership Rewards point per £1 spent on your card, which converts to 1 Etihad Guest mile. The Gold card earns double points (2 per £1) on all flights you charge to it.

Etihad Guest is also a partner with the HSBC Premier Mastercard (0.5 miles per £1 spent) and HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard (1 mile per £1 spent).

Comments (18)

  • mark says:

    Did the Mongol rally last year, great fun, but the company who runs it……

    If this was posted before they signed up i could have saved them hundreds…

    Anyway, have fun and i will be doing it again in 6 years for my 40th, shame you are missing out Iran and Turkmenistan…. southern route or nothing!

  • Boris says:

    There a quite a few wealthy British Expats in Malta, CGT for the avoidance of.

  • Tom C says:

    What a shame that Laucala isn’t part of that LHW deal. At £4500/n for a room, that would have been a nice deal.

  • BigDave says:

    the LHW amex offer with 15% is still way more than what I could get the same room with the likes of travel replublic etc…

  • Liz says:

    OT Just did a survey about whether I would shop at a retailer more or less if they DIDN’T accept MasterCard or Amex. That’s a bit worrying. I wonder who is asking?

    • James67 says:

      Not really a cause for concern Liz, just carry the best earning or most needed versions of amex, mc and visa (and curve or supercard if desired) in your purse and you’ll be fine regardless of what merchants want to accept. For me it will be Lloyds avios duo amex, DC mc, and DC visa which I’ll swap out for others as prioities change. A much bigger issue is possible reductions in card earning rates as contracts come up for renewal.

      • Liz says:

        I do that James – I just thought the questions regarding spending habits and how they might change if a retailer did not take MasterCard or Amex. Some company must have commissioned the survey! I wonder who?

  • Xcalx says:

    OT. Cheers Raffles, sat in the Blu bar Sydney overlooking the harbour eating and drinking with a $AUD 340 voucher thanks to Raffles and his long ago article on Shangri La .

  • BLHD says:

    Air Malta have been absolutely skint for 8+ Years with questionable financial subsidy. I’m not surprised Etihad are coming in at all.

  • AndyGWP says:

    OT: Raffles – am I going mad, or did you do an article once on advice for hitting the spend requirements for credit cards (things like buying gift vouchers, pre-paying mobile phone bill etc).

    I was sure I’d seen one, but I can’t seem to find it (maybe I am using the wrong search terms?). Looked at the beginners article and also the favorites too 🙁

    Any pointers? 🙂

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