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Bits: Virgin Atlantic scraps Combi Fare, Hilton Visa application criteria eased

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News in brief

Virgin Atlantic scraps CombiFare

In a surprise move, Virgin Flying Club scrapped CombiFare this week.   This was odd because CombiFare was the sort of unique product which Virgin likes to use to show it is more flexible than the competition.

As I wrote recently, British Airways has even been exploring the idea of launching exactly the same thing.

CombiFares allowed you to book a flight with one leg booked using Flying Club miles and the other leg booked for cash.  The key, though, is that the cash element was 50% of the equivalent return ticket, not the extortionate cost of a one-way ticket.

Let’s assume a return flight to San Francisco was £800 in Economy and that you can only find a reward seat one way.  Virgin would let you book one leg with miles and the other leg for £400 (in reality they adjust for taxes on each leg).  On BA you would be stuffed in such a scenario, because the cost of a one-way cash ticket is charged at a premium price.

I would be interested to know why Virgin dropped this.  I was told that it is due to a new ticketing system which will make it impossible to make ‘half and half’ bookings going forward.

Virgin Atlantic

Barclaycard relaxes application criteria for the Hilton HHonors credit card

Following up my article on Tuesday on why I think the Hilton HHonors credit card is a fantastic ‘first card’ for anyone starting off collecting miles and points, it now seems that Barclaycard has improved the eligibility criteria for the card.

You are NOT now blocked from getting this card if you hold any other cards from Barclays.

This rule caused a lot of problems when it was introduced, especially as Barclays issued both the Hilton and IHG Rewards Club cards at the time.  This meant that you could not apply for both which probably annoyed both firms.  Whether or not this had anything to do with IHG moving their card to Creation Financial Services is not known.

If you have been put off from applying for the Hilton card because you have a Barclaycard or the old IHG Rewards Club card, you now now apply without any problems.  The website has also been changed to remove references to multiple applications.

How to earn Hilton Honors points and status from UK credit cards

How to earn Hilton Honors points and status from UK credit cards (August 2022)

There are various ways of earning Hilton Honors points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.

Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Hilton Honors Gold status for as long as they hold the card?  It also comes with Marriott Bonvoy Gold, Radisson Rewards Gold and MeliaRewards Gold status.  We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.

EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points, £200 travel credit and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Did you know that the Virgin Atlantic credit cards are a great way of earning Hilton Honors points? Two Virgin Points can be converted into three Hilton Honors points. The Virgin Atlantic cards are the only Visa or Mastercard products in the UK which can indirectly earn Hilton Honors points. You can apply here.

You can also earn Hilton Honors points indirectly with:

and for small business owners:

The conversion rate from American Express to Hilton points is 1:2.

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which can be used to earn Hilton Honors points

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

Comments (120)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • David says:

    Bit OT, but as VS are mentioned in this post, its kind of appropriate ! Has anyone received their points from the Virgin Trains Offer? Aren’t these now 6/7 weeks overdue now ?

    • Genghis says:

      Yes but you’ll have to chase them I think

      • Graeme says:

        as per Genghis’ post, a chase is required but they normally post quickly thereafter, and without any notification in my case.

  • Jordan D says:

    Is the UK Marriott card ever going to come back?

    • Rob says:

      I reckon they will wait until 2018 now for the new programme to launch.

  • Billy says:

    Another case of the IT tail wagging the service ‘dog’!!
    Either it’s being used as an easy excuse, but this is about the 4th time I have heard ‘Computer Says No’ excuses for dropping features.

  • Wally1976 says:

    OT – £20 credit to Moneycorp card finally arrived for me today 🙂

  • Wally1976 says:

    Another OT sorry! Bought an Amazon git card from Tesco yesterday lunchtime and another first thing this morning (same store). Neither of the codes will work on the Amazon site – I’m hoping it’s just a delay to the funds being available. Any other experiences? I have successful activation slips for both so will query on Monday if still not working.

    • Genghis says:

      I activated quite a few on Tuesday night. As harry / harry1 has previously reported, the font used on the GCs is awful – watch your Bs and 8s in particular. Play a substitution game until Amazon takes it.

      • Genghis says:

        And note that I added the GC to my account about an hour or so after purchase

    • Liz says:

      It took me ages to activate 3 cards yesterday – what looked like Z was a 2 , S looked like 8, play around the letters and numbers – they are really badly printed !

    • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

      Worked immediately (10mins) for me.

    • Mr Dee says:

      I’ve activated a fair few of the new ones and the letters can be a pain but try to rearrange them and they should go through if activated already, I’m not sure about the waiting times I thought it would be immediate (even though Tesco claim it can take some time)

    • wally1976 says:

      Thanks all – I couldn’t see what I was entering wrong but turned out to be an S that looked like an 8 on the £25 card. The other one just hadn’t been activated earlier I think. All sorted now anyway 🙂

  • Cuchlainn says:

    OT – Nectar AMEX arrived today – having binned my BAPP in Sept I thought I would have been nobbled for £25 annual fee but clearly states £0.
    Alternatively it only states 20,000 Nectar points as bonus, not 40,000 as I signed up via Nectar.

    It does say bonus is due within 28 days of £2K spend – will Amex tell me now if 40,000 points will be credited, or must I wait till spend is confirmed ?

    • Genghis says:

      Aren’t the additional 20k points added by Nectar themselves, not Amex?

      • Cuchlainn says:

        I believe it’s 20K from both Genghis – according to original screenshot I kept 🙂

    • wally1976 says:

      Drop Amex a secure message (via ‘Contact Us’) and they should be able to advise if you qualify for the 40k points.

      • Cuchlainn says:

        Will do Wally – will update when known – thanks

        • Cuchlainn says:

          Bump – Amex secure msg worked :
          Confirmed 20K from Amex + 20K additional Nectar points from Nectar and no £25 initial fee ( on OH’s BAPP as a supplementary !! )


  • Arrow says:

    10.8p/ Avios – 2000

  • rams1981 says:

    Not a buyer at that price

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