Bits: Travelex flash sale today, Hilton improves lifetime status, Starwood / Caesars

News in brief:

Travelex holding a flash sale today

Travelex is having another of its occasional ‘flash sales’ today.  Between 11am and 1pm, it will be improving the spreads on currency purchases.

This may be a good chance to pre-order for collection at Heathrow if you are heading off for Christmas and the New Year later in the week.  Go here between 11am and 1pm today.

Travelex flash sale

Hilton makes it easier to hit Lifetime Diamond

In late October I ran this piece on how to earn lifetime status with your favourite hotel loyalty programme.

Hilton HHonors launched Lifetime Diamond (top tier) status last year.  You can find the – sparse – details on the Hilton website here.  You need to have been a Diamond member for 10 years, not necessarily consecutive, and to have knocked up a whopping 1,000 nights in Hilton properties!  Reward nights do not count towards lifetime status, unlike standard status qualification.

Someone at Hilton seems to have decided that this was too aggressive.  Effective immediately, Lifetime Diamond can now be achieved by:

10 years of Diamond status plus 1,000 nights (but reward nights DO now count) or

10 years of Diamond status plus 2 million base Hilton HHonors points

At 10 base points per US$, Lifetime Diamond now becomes easier if your average Hilton spend is greater than $200 per night.

You can compare this with Marriott, Starwood and Hyatt in my October article.  IHG does not offer lifetime status at this point.

Linq Caesars Vegas

Starwood Preferred Guest and Caesars ending their partnership

Finally, the joint venture between Starwood Preferred Guest and Las Vegas-based hotel group Caesars will end on 31st December.

My original 2014 article on the partnership is here.  This is either a side effect of the Starwood / Marriott merger or the financial problems at Caesars – it does not appear clear.

What IS clear is that you will no longer be able to earn or spend SPG points in 2017 when staying at:

  • Bally’s Atlantic City, NJ
  • Bally’s Las Vegas, NV
  • Caesars Atlantic City, NJ
  • Caesars Palace Las Vegas, NV
  • Flamingo Las Vegas, NV
  • Harrah’s Atlantic City, NJ
  • Harrah’s Lake Tahoe, NV
  • Harrah’s Las Vegas, NV
  • Harrah’s New Orleans, LA
  • Harrah’s Reno, NV
  • Harvey’s Lake Tahoe, NV
  • Nobu Hotel at Caesars Palace, NV
  • Paris Las Vegas, NV
  • Planet Hollywood Las Vegas, NV
  • The Quad Las Vegas, NV
  • Rio Las Vegas, NV
  • Showboat Atlantic City, NJ

Full details of what you can get until 31st December at these hotels can be found on here.  The site has not yet been updated to reflect the end of the deal.  Stays booked before 31st December for 2017 using SPG points will be honoured.

2,400 Avios or 2,500 Virgin miles with £75 of LEGO - Christmas delivery guaranteed
Extended until January - 3000 Flying Club miles with Virgin Money International Money Transfer
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  1. Has Travellex moved out of LGW?

    • Alan Hunt says:

      Yes, at Easter a couple of years ago – we returned from Athens to find that our “buy-back” reimbursement purchased before we left couldn’t be made as Travelex was gone and their replacement did not honour that deal…. Took some effort to get the compensation back from Travelex but they did eventually pay us the difference

  2. JoshBosh says:

    The Quad (formally Imperial Palace) was renamed Linq back in 2014.


    bottom left

    168000 Points

  4. Can advance orders at Travelex be combined with collecting Heathrow Rewards points (and receiving the HR signup bonus)?

    • the real harry says:

      Lloyds Banking Group is to buy credit card firm MBNA from Bank of America in a £1.9bn deal.

      yep – we discussed this a few weeks ago – you have to hope that customer service Lloyds end will improve because of the marriage though I somehow doubt it

      • RussellH says:

        “We will focus on providing its customers with excellent service and value,” said Lloyds chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio.

        Actually, the only time I have ever had to deal with Lloyds was over an insurance claim around 12 years ago (a falling tree went through the garage and summer house). Lloyds were responsible for contents.

        Not unreasonably they wanted evidence of value for the damaged items, but I was having difficulties. One Saturday afternoon they phoned up to ask if I had all the valuations yet. I was able to give them about 60% of them – the person then said “OK, would you accept £x00 in full and final settlement?”. Since x >> what I was expecting….

        • RussellH says:

          And the shares are currently up 2.86%, the biggest riser in the FTSE100 today.

          Which means, I suppose, that initially at least, it is seen as a positive.

    • ‘Lloyds said the MBNA deal would bring a “significant opportunity for cost synergies”. ‘ .

      “Froth” ?

      Lloyds=Shambles=Avoid 🙂 .

      • Are they buying the whole of MBNA (as article suggests) or just the UK business?

        • MBNA itself is pretty much all UK (and a small part in Ireland) now. The US brand has been absorbed into various BofA ML brands, and the Canadian bit sold off to TD.

          Not sure I understand the fit for Lloyds here – but am sure Raffles will feature an article on this soon – so will save my comments for the article itself!

  5. Mr(s) Entitled says:

    What is the relevance of the $200 to the Hilton lifetime? Surely it is now easier if you average $300, $500 or $1,000? The greater your average the ‘easier’ the target.

  6. OT – FlyBe announces flights from LHR to EDI & ABZ.

    Rumours confirmed by the company today. Good luck is all I can say!

  7. Terence Semmence says:

    Happy hour eh…….other sites have better rates than this

  8. OT: I have 2 transactions from the Small Shop promotion which didn’t credit or send the email but were on the list and took Amex – one is the MBNA Virgin card and the other the Lloyds card – has anyone had experience of getting the credits posted on those accounts ?

    • I had one out of 4 not credit on Sunday and it was my MBNA Virgin Amex. Don’t know if its because I only registered a matter of hour before triggering the spend but it was the only one I didn’t get an email for… I’m hoping it’s just because of the different registration process rather than because it didn’t work 🙁

      • My transaction was a week ago – did 6 in the shop and no emails came through for the Amex cards either – got 4 credited manually by Amex – just need to tackle MBNA and Lloyds now!

        • Lloyds have agreed to credit it straight away – Virgin needs to raise a query with the Amex team – they said hopefully someone will get back to me by 3/1 – why are things never straightforward!!!

        • Lloyds was a tough one last night for me. 40 mins on the phone. Agent hadn’t heard of shop small. My only 2 purchases hadn’t credited the fiver. Got there in the end. Not a single shop small auto credited for me on any amex. Thankfully amex themselves (BA Amex) allow you to just email and they credit it without any phone calls required.

        • The Lloyds guy knew what I was talking about at least but had to get the ok from his manager to do the credit. It’s pot luck who you get on the phone. VIrgin kept me on hold for ages only to say she wasn’t authorised to credit it and needed to raise a claim. Pain in the wotsits!

      • Brighton Belle says:

        +1 no Virgin Amex £5 credit.

  9. Andrew C says:

    Ending the Caesars partnership might be because SPG have their own properties in Vegas now with SLS and from December the new W Las Vegas (inside one of the SLS towers).

  10. Even with the flash sale, Travelex rates are pretty poor on Canadian Dollar when compared with most of the London money shops.

  11. OT: For BAPP card, do you pay the membership fee when your card is issued or at the end of the year?


  12. the real harry says:

    Amazon £15 off £25.00 if using Amex rewards to shop – eligible Amex cards

    Get spending with your points at using your discount code
    We’ve organised a special winter discount for American Express Cardmembers. Save £15 on an eligible order of £25 or more when you Shop with Points at between 20 December 2016 and 31 January 2017.1

    How to claim the discount:
    If you haven’t already, make sure to link your Membership Rewards account to your account. Once this has been done, select your Card at checkout to view and use your Membership Rewards points, and input the code below:

    Your code: AMEX16SWP
    Shop now

    Valid between 20 December 2016 and 31 January 2017 when you spend £25 or more on one purchase. This offer does not apply to the purchase of digital content, Amazon Warehouse deals or to purchases from third-party sellers on Amazon Marketplace. The promotion will end at 23:59 GMT on 31 January 2017 or when 33,333 customers have claimed the promotion code, whichever is earlier.

    • the real harry says:

      Confirmed – you only need to spend 1p (2 points) to get the £15 discount.

      • the real harry says:

        needs a bit of digging – I get ‘The promotional code you entered cannot be applied to your purchase.’ – using that dude’s code

        are the codes unique?

        no got enough time to check a I am busy doing other stuff
        somebody pls report back

        • the real harry says:

          code looks generic as I just got the email from Amex

        • the real harry says:

          Three easy steps:

          Sign In

          Link rewards account

          Begin shopping with points

          OK so you probably need more than 1 Amazon a/c plus separate Amex cards for each one

          I’ve got 4 Amazon a/cs and 4 Amex cards if supps are allowed, so will give it a try for £60 later 🙂

        • Sussex Bantam says:

          Can confirm code is generic – it worked for me without receiving the email – but doesn’t work on gift cards sadly

        • Sussex Bantam says:

          Also can confirm doesn’t work on supps

        • Worked for me – got a few books for the Mrs 🙂

        • Excellent. Great timing. My remaining purchase should post post tomorrow and I’ll be clearing out the MR account. Would have had 2 MR points left over. Applied to an Amazon purchase just now and saved £15. Excellent.

        • the real harry says:

          can’t blimmin get it to work – just trying to buy some Crucial memory supplied by Amazon

          did stumble across a free £5 when you top up £100

          which works on my son’s a/c, haven’t tried the others

        • the real harry says:

          Order Summary

          Items: £37.42
          Postage & Packing: £3.99
          Total: £41.41
          Promotion Applied: -£18.99
          Rewards Points: -£1.00
          Order Total: £21.42

          It’s not that intuitive. You need to choose the Amex card enrolled with Amazon, at how many points to use, apply your £15 code – plus in all that confusion I forgot to get free P&P 🙁

        • the real harry says:

          actually I got free delivery! you can go back to orders and change delivery speed

          can’t seem to register my other card on my son’s a/c, probably because it is already registered elsewhere

        • the real harry says:

          won’t work for BA cards so don’t waste your time

        • Worked perfectly,

          Cleared my Gold MR account ready to churn.

          £40 worth of prosecco and Ales, delivered for £16ish +£4.70 of points.

          Free delivery also combines (just select that option)

        • Got the email this morning too. Bit of a hassle finding something direct from Amazon plus it kept trying to use my Amazon gift credit which kept negating the pormo -finally got it to stick with charging rest to the Amex. Extra £1 credit thanks to no-rush delivery 🙂

  13. OT. Bit of advice needed on flights. Need to travel London to Tel Aviv in early Jan for work in J. BA coming out ridiculously expensive (over £2k), Turkish and Swiss more reasonable. Turkish to Istanbul on a A330-300 then A321 to Tel Aviv or Swiss to Zurich on a combination of A321, A330 and A320. Which one would you choose – Turkish or Swiss?

    • Avoid Swiss if you can only get A320s at it will just be a blocked middle seat (eurobiz). If you are able to pick up an A330 leg though then I would go with them. TK will be pretty decent regardless as the 330 has flats or angle flats and the A321 should have decent recliners (think US airlines F product).

  14. annoyingly, theres now only 1 Hilton in the uk thats 5000 points for anyone wanting to copy that guys easy route to diamond -and its in wales!

  15. Lewis Watson says:

    You managed to get the Linq in the picture but forget it on you list. The quad closed years ago