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Bits: 100 bonus Heathrow Rewards points, immigration kiosks for BA at JFK

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More news in brief:

100 Heathrow Rewards points when you spend £70

Heathrow Rewards has launched a new promotion which will give you 100 bonus points when you spend £70 in one transaction before 5th September.

As well as spending at the airport, spending on Official Heathrow Parking and Heathrow Express will also count.

You don’t need to register for this offer.

It may or may not combine with the current ‘500% bonus points on Official Heathrow Parking’ offer – see here for my article on that.

If you are not a Heathrow Rewards member, read this article on how to get a VERY generous 2,500 bonus points for joining and spending £150 in one day.  This would transfer into 2,500 Avios, Virgin or other airline miles.

Heathrow Rewards

New York JFK launching immigration kiosks in BA’s Terminal 7

Immigration queues at New York JFK may be about to get shorter with the launch of 14 Automated Passport Control machines in BA’s Terminal 7 next month.

The kiosks can be used by anyone travelling on a US or Canadian passport, the ESTA visa waiver programme, or a B1/B2 tourist visa.

You will no longer need to fill out a paper customs form.  The kiosk will scan your passport, take a photograph and ask you various customs related questions similar to those found on the old paper document.  A receipt is issued which must be presented, along with your passport, to an official to finalise your entry.  More details on the kiosks can be found here.

I have never used one of these kiosks – there were not active in Newark when I landed last week – but anything which improves the situation at JFK is welcome.  Having used Newark for my last three New York trips, I recommend that as a better way of avoiding long immigration lines – it is also a far quicker trip into Manhattan.

Buy starwood preferred guest points

Last day to buy SPG Starpoints at 30% discount

Finally, a reminder that today is the last day to buy Starpoints for a 30% discount.  As well topping up your Starwood Preferred Guest account for a hotel redemption, this can also be used as a way of buying cheap(ish) airline miles.

In particular, it is a way for Lufthansa Miles & More collectors to buy miles, given that Lufthansa does not sell miles directly.  20,000 SPG points would convert, with the 5,000 mile bonus for converting 20,000 points, into 25,000 miles.

You can combine this offer with the current British Airways ‘35% bonus on transferring your hotel points to Avios’ promotion.  This lets you buy Avios points at 1.0p.  If you can’t buy Iberia Plus Avios in the current sale for 1.0p due to your Iberia account being inactive, this is an alternative.

You can see the maths on buying SPG points in this article.  The website to buy SPG points is here.

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Comments (57)

  • Smid says:

    They’ve been in use at LAX for nearly a year at least. I really don’t think its made things any better, I think its made it worse.

    I queued for an hour to use the kiosk. I get a big cross on mines every time I use it (I have a common name). Then I queued for an hour and a half to get through the stamp. I knew I was going to get the cross, so I might as well have lied and got put in the stamp queue immediately. But I’m not sure if I can do that…

    I had 3.5 hours to catch my next flight. It was a rush through to AA, and 10 minutes in the lounge.

    • Sussex Bantam says:

      Same thing happens to me every time at BOS. Fortunately there they have a shorter queue for “machine rejects” so no need to go to the back of the line.

      The CBP officer told me it was because my passport was “old”….whatever that means..

  • Fenny says:

    Used the booths in BOS last summer with no problem. Less than 5 minutes through immigration. Used them quite happily in and out of various EU countries last week, then coming in to LHR on Friday morning, it wouldn’t accept my passport. Perhaps this was a post-referendum thing? Although there were several rejects before me, so I suspect the scanner might have needed cleaning.

  • Rob says:

    Saw it, did not – in all honestly – see there were that many prizes. Will run it over the weekend, cheers.

  • Kinkell says:

    Much as I would love to win something , and you’ve got to be in it to win it, my experiences of Heathrow are pretty boring. Outward bound, Flight connections always goes smoothly, inbound, minor delays at security ,and the staff are getting so much more pleasant, so nothing to really complain about. Staff falling overthemselves to get me to spend at World Duty Free. Copious amounts of varieties of perfume to spray on as the mood takes me….but not all a once! Always a pleasant ‘welcome back Mrs K’ on entering the lounge..CCR.! Just a bog standard welcome at Galleries. . So no particular experience with which to bag an adventure to Australia.
    Good luck to the rest of you, I look forward to the stories.

    • harry says:

      You might have to engage the old imagination if you fancy a decent prize. ISTR I met my wife-to-be by chance when I was upgraded to First at check-in, met this stunning witty amazing girl dressed in roses in the Flounge – and by chance since I’m Irish I was dressed as a daffodil. True love ensued.

      Australia here we come.

      • harry says:

        Actually I might have been Welsh

        • Rob says:

          I did actually meet my wife when I sat next to her on a plane, but it was a private charter (of a A319, not a Cessna!) which departed from Luton unfortunately …..

        • Kinkell says:

          Can’t compete with your tales of fancy, Harry.! Enjoy the trip, you’re bound to win, and we’re all expecting a cracking yarn!

  • zsalya says:

    At ORD (from TXL) and IAD (from MEX) the kiosks work very well, so long as one has used one’s ESTA before.

  • Matthew says:

    I took part in the Shangri-La loyaltyIs contest at the beginning of the year which was similar in that you had to write something about loyalty or an experience at a hotel etc. I entered a few times and ended up winning one of 250 lots of 20,000 Golden Circle points they handed out. Off to the Shard again for yummy meal in July :-).

    • harry says:

      wow that’s $2000 of free food!

      • Matthew says:

        Yep! Which has increased in value since the £ plummeted. It’s completely not worth redeeming for one night in the Shard for example worth about £350 when I can get £1500 worth of food/drink instead! 🙂

        • harry says:

          bit of a result! 🙂

        • Mr Dee says:

          A HFP party would be a good way to spend it 🙂

        • Matthew says:

          I think my wife has earmarked it for a foreign trip…to essentially upgrade a B&B shangri la hotel holiday to all inclusive for the week!

          If not…then party it is 😉