Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Bits: good Amex / Nespresso deal, Vueling sale, BA flights to Tehran resumed

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

News in brief:

Amex / Nespresso deal

Three people dropped me a note about a new American Express promotion which, to be honest, I saw on my account but dismissed without investigation.  Two readers rated the deal highly, one thought it stunk!

Details of this deal should be under the ‘Offers’ section on your American Express online account. Check under each card you hold.  It should be there for one of them.

This is the deal – you order a specific coffee machine (link removed as broken overnight) which sells at £129 but you pay just £39.  However, you must order 400 Nespresso coffee capsules at the same time which cost you a minimum of 29p each.

Nespresso products are rarely heavily reduced so this is a decent deal in terms of value for money.  Whether you want to commit to buying 400 capsules upfront – especially as you may not be familiar with most of the flavours – is a different question.

Vueling

Major Vueling sale

Vueling is the little known sister of British Airways and Iberia.  International Airlines Group, the parent of BA and Iberia, took full control of the Spanish low cost carrier in 2013 and since then it has expanded rapidly to serve over 160 airports across Europe.

You can redeem Avios points for flights on Vueling as long as you transfer them to Iberia Plus first.  This is good news for travellers outside London who have a wider range of regional Avios redemption options.

From the UK, Vueling flies to (some services seasonal):

Birmingham – Alicante, Barcelona, Malaga

Cardiff – Alicante, Barcelona, Majorca, Malaga

Edinburgh – Alicante, Barcelona, Paris, Rome

Leeds Bradford – Barcelona

Liverpool – Barcelona

London Gatwick – Asturius, Barcelona, Bilbao, Florence, Paris, Rome, Santiago de Compostela

London Heathrow (T3) – La Coruna, Barcelona

London Luton – Amsterdam, Barcelona

Manchester – Alicante, Barcelona, Rome

Newcastle – Barcelona

Until 13th September, Vueling has a major sale with 1 million seats at €29.99 one way.   This could be a decent option for a cheap Autumn break in Spain.  Details of the sale are here.

Tehran

British Airways resumes flights to Tehran

British Airways flights to Tehran resumed last week, opening up an interesting range of new tourist options for more intrepid readers.

The service will operate six days per week with a four class Boeing 777.

British Airways’ only Farsi-speaking captain, Kami Johnson, explains the appeal of Iran for first time visitors in this video: https://youtu.be/QmBBdYB41Ao

Comments (78)

  • nate1309 says:

    Is anybody else struggling to find any €29.99 seats? Some of the “promo” seats I have looked at are €100+.

  • Simmo says:

    OT/
    Strange Amex offer on my gold account (I had to google the retailer…)
    10,000 Bonus points – Yes 10,000 for £1,000 spend at BOTTEGA VENETA

  • Bryan says:

    The nespresso deal looks good but as raffles pointed out being forced to buy 400 cups of coffee you have never tasted before could be a waste of money. Might be a good idea if you wanted to buy one for the workplace though and just chose a selection of coffees

  • David2910 says:

    Anyone ever flown srilankan? I did economy years ago and it was fine, but i understand the biz seats are hugely improved these days, and they’re also now OW. I get sporadic emails on e.g. weekend fare deals. Example from today in below link. Direct flights to Colombo or Maldives from London are both interesting. This particular offering is pretty cheap for a direct, but econ only. Note, however: you can (sealed) bid online for upgrades close to departure; I bet it’s quite easy to win those bids at still very good prices-surely one of the cheapest ways to the maldives direct in style? Would be interested to hear if anyone has experience of the auctions. Note also: they often have cheap business seats outright (sometimes even 2for1) through these offers. Worth signing up to receive the emails if you’re interested.

    http://www.srilankan.com/en_uk/special-offers/ibe-promo-ex-london?utm_source=EC_UK_3991_GBP-399_fares_EDM&utm_medium=EC_UK_3991_GBP-399_fares_Email&utm_campaign=EC_UK_3991_GBP-399_fares

    • harry says:

      hey raffles – send Anika to the Maldives! she has to buy economy but is allowed a sealed bid to possibly upgrade 🙂

      [stuck in a BK, wasting away nearly 7 hrs – took my daughter to her new school Y7 & have to wait around until going home time! – she has to learn how to get on bus/ take train/ travel independently etc so I’m holding her hand day 1. Not sure how you guys get much work done in the temporary offices lol, this background music is a bit rubbish]

      • Callum says:

        You live so far away from her school that it’s not worth going home for only seven hours? That must be one horrible commute for her!

        Though at that age surely she can work out how to use the bus alone (excuse me for prying, but you did bring it up!).

    • Clive says:

      There are some trip reports on FT regarding Sri Lankan. SFO77 did one I believe.

    • James67 says:

      I have fliwn Sri Lankan a couple of times in J: ow back from BKK. I was impressed with the service, and their local cuisine for main meals are as good as any inflight food I have experienced but their foray into other stufv like mini burgers for the second meals are poor. They have nice comfortable leather seats immediately adjacent to each other so good for couples. They are full flat and although not comparable to the best flat seats, personally I rate them above CW. The front row should be avoided because the AVOD screens mounted on the wall ahead are much too low to provide comfortabke viewing regardless of whether seat is upright or reclined. The lounge in CMB is very good. Flysmiles is best avoided as most of burning chart is expensive, other collection and redemption opportunities are limited, and the mile expiry is stringent so best credit flights to BAEC or elsewhere. Once, on a third flight they made a schedule change that did not suit me and they rebooked me BA direct to LHR no drama at all. All in all, they provide great valud for money. Fof this reason I would be wary of booking economy with a view to upgrading it; given their premium cabin prices I doubt there will be many unsod seats between CMB and LHR.

      • David2910 says:

        Thanks james

      • Alex W says:

        I did Sri Lankan business return from DXB to CMB. Loved it. The only irritation was economy Pax boarding first while you wait for the special J bus.

        The best part – 280 BA tier points for £400. Thank you very much!

  • Chris says:

    Was looking on Nespresso’s website and it seems they are doing their own deal (for those that don’t have access to the Amex one)

    £139 machine down to £69 if you order 150 capsules – less of a reduction but less on an outlay on capsules

    https://www.nespresso.com/uk/en/order/machines/pixie-carmine-coffee-machine?icid=MOS_UKen_Menu_Machines_PosA1

    • Chris says:

      (Actually looks like machine is just £69 and only need to buy 150 capsules if you want to get a £50 Aeroccino for free)

      • Imbruce says:

        This offer is available at House of Fraser.
        Nespresso has a boutique store at Piccadilly and also at Bluewater shopping centre
        Greenhithe Kent.
        I am moving away from this type of machine as there are too many capsules in landfill.

        • Fenny says:

          I bought the most amazing bean to cup machine a few weeks ago after my last coffee maker died. I tried a Tassimo pod machine once and I find all the drinks capsules disgusting, so I gave it to a friend for her aged Dad to make instant hot chocolate without having to boil the kettle.

    • Francis says:

      I’m a big fan of Nespresso and purchased this as a Christmas gift.

      I’ll then split the capsules order which is a win-win as far as I’m concerned 🙂

  • harry says:

    20% off today only on Wizz Air, all tickets

  • Artem says:

    OT – If a Mercure hotel has a lounge – will I get a free breakfast as an Accorhotels Platinum member? On this site Rob says yes. And when I called the hotel directly they said I will need to pay for the breakfast.

  • LEE says:

    Just booked my first 2 for 1 tickets (2 Adults) for New York flying out on Boxing day On the Dreamliner with the New First class cabin thanks to Head for points .

    Im going to use my points from IHG to stay at the intercontinental in Times Square over New Year any ideas for getting some good hotel deals would be much appreciated. Is annoying that the IHG card is holding back my free Night award to my card anniversary date im looking for Hotel dates for the 26/27/28/29/30 Dec 2016

    Ive seen the W downtown for £280 for 2 nights and 1400 airmiles so far…

    • Polly says:

      Lee, congrats on getting F using your 241, ESP flying out of JFK??? The F lounge there is Amazing. Truly enjoyable. We upgraded from J to F coming bk from JFK on the Dreamliner. Fab experience all round. Hotels don’t know, we did Airbnb, chap with a garden near times sq. another great experience. Perfect for summer but not winter!

      • lee says:

        thanks polly , We are flying in and out out of Newark as the new Dreamliner 787-9 doesnt seem to fly to JFK but We cant have it all we choose to have the New First class cabin rather than fly 747 or 777 to JFK ,

        Whats the best lounge to use at Newark ?

    • Simmo says:

      Did F from JFK also, really enjoyed the experience – Get there early if you want to experience it all! However don’t get there too early as the First security and Concorde room doesn’t open until a certain time before the flights, we had to ‘slum’ it in the regular queues and the First Lounge for an hour or so until the Concorde room opened up.

      We also stayed at the Intercontinental Times square using points (IHG Spire/ambassador) and although I cannot fault the location for a first time NY visitor, I wouldn’t stay again due to the fact I felt that they didn’t like the fact I used points (no mention of status, no upgrade, no real perks etc) and then had an uncomfortable call from the front desk following my feedback from the check in experience. Personally felt that I’d be more suited to a Hilton property, where I feel the tend to look after Diamond guests a little better.

    • Leo says:

      I really don’t rate the IC TS at all – and wouldn’t stay again. That said room rates are high over new year so doubtless you are getting good value. I can see why a first time visitor might try the IC TS for location (very touristy which can be a good thing) but if you have been a few more times I’d try the IC Barclay or Indigo Lower east side. Or the Conrad if you have HH points. I mainly paid cash at the IC TS and am an ambassador – got no perks either aside from 4pm check-out which was very useful. I cashed in the IHG visa free night as well – no issues. Rob has said many times here that the IC TS is a “bed factory” and he is spot on.

      • Kinkell says:

        Currently in the IC TS. Agree, it’s fine for location. Used points and Ambassador weekend voucher for all of our 5 nights. Very pleasant check in, all staff wished us a pleasant stay and no attitude regarding the fact it was all on points etc. Upgraded to sky view room on 32floor , view up 8th Ave. Got welcome fruit platter, chocs, water, papers and late checkout. Suited us fine, but if we come to NY again, would probably try somewhere else.