Bits: Luxury Travel Diary auctions, Amex Travel cashback deal, a warning from Hilton?!

News in brief:

Luxury Travel Diary auctions

The Luxury Travel Diary site dropped me a line about another wave of its auctions closing soon.

Interesting options closing in the next 48 hours include four nights at the Sofitel in Essaouira, Morrocco and two nights at the Four Seasons Nile Plaza in Cairo.  If you are near Batley, there is a £100 voucher for the Potting Shed Spa currently at £3!  Not everything will work for you, either in terms of location, length or dates, but you’ll probably find something of interest if you poke around.

Amex Travel promotion

New American Express cashback travel deal

American Express Travel is currently offering £50 back on a £200 spend.  This should show as an offer on your online statement page and needs to be ‘saved’ to your card in order to activate it.

The transaction must be made online, which limits you to simple transactions which do not require a telephone call, and before 28th February.  This could be attractive for some prepaid hotel bookings and cheaper flight bookings although you would need to weigh up the risk of any hotel stay being non-qualifying.

Annoyingly, a generous offer of £200 back on a £1,000 Trailfinders booking seems to have reached its cap of 4,000 registered cards very quickly.  I can no longer find it against any of our six family cards.

Hilton Park Lane

A warning from Hilton ……!

Hilton HHonors kindly sent me a New Year greeting.  Unfortunately, it didn’t fill me with the kind of cheer I had been hoping.

“Thanks for making us a part of your travel journeys over the past year”, they wrote.  “We have some new things in store for 2017 that we know you’ll love because we’re making the program more about you.  Stay tuned for more soon!”

And signed, worryingly, “Your friends at Hilton HHonors”.

Be afraid.  Be very afraid …..!

(Want to earn more miles and points from credit cards?  Click here to visit our dedicated airline and hotel travel credit cards page or use the ‘Credit Cards Update’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

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  1. Genghis says:

    Tidy. I’ll come to you next time I renew!

    • Haha it’s the benefit of an extra bank holiday in Scotland today – tidying up all these household things when the companies are open down South! 😀

  2. Genghis says:

    When I was at LBG I was always jealous of my Scottish colleagues’ extra bank holiday.

    • Haha well I’ve made the most of it, Wed to Fri last week was very busy at work!

  3. I’ve looked at that too over the Xmas period as I am on the Eon V19 tariff. Also Eons new v21 does not include the rewards – only their standard rate. I have till the end of the month to decide where to go.

    • Ah, someone else that’s getting shafted by Eon. I’m on v19 and it’s just about to expire. The new offer is shocking – £60 a month more. Last year they done the same and I sat it out and they came along with a much better offer. I’ve got 1600 pts sitting on the account at the moment but noticed the new tariff offers don’t come with rewards points. Time to move on I think.

  4. By the way last night I got a free drink voucher at a Hilton for the first time since I was told they were gone several months ago. Mistake or u turn?…

  5. the real harry says:

    Just heard on Sky News the BA second tier cabin crew are going on strike 10-12 January

  6. James67 says:

    OT: Norwegian reported to be launching services from Edinburgh to US East coast using 737MAX. Somewhat sceptical that they will have the range in practice as they are only just capable on paper. Should be a little more doable than LGW though. Wish they would do EDI-BKK direct using a 787, I’m sure the market’s there for several days a week.

    • Saw that in the Scotsman / Herald.
      Yep BKK would be impressive.

    • That’s an economy only flight though isn’t it?

      • James67 says:

        They have a premium cabin with 46″ pitch cradle seats with decent recline and leg/foot rest. I could live with that for a nonstop EDI-seAsia; no worse than the old United business seat I shuttled back and forward to SFO on twice monthly for years.

    • Given the South American experience how close to the range of the aircraft are the flights going to be?

      • James67 says:

        If you mean the flight with the football team, I thing it was reportedly underfueled. Regarding the 737MAX I believe on paper it has a range of about 300nm more than UK-US East coast destinations. In practice it is unlikely to be as much but there are ways around it, mostly through weight reduction so it is very likely possible. I’d be a little uneasy myself going Eastbound but reality is many airlines routinely fly many aircraft on routes close to their range and they do so safely.

  7. Has anyone been successful getting this amex travel offer via a telephone booking with an agent. Stupidly just upgraded to platinum. Currently cardless and concerned flights with go up ……

    • If you’ve just upgraded to platinum from gold, your gold card should continue to work and have platinum benefits as soon as you upgrade until your platinum card arrives and you activate it…

  8. Just seen this on my Hilton Account,
    We’re hitting reset! Sorry for the inconvenience, but we’re in the process of updating your status bar for the new year. Check back soon.

    • James67 says:

      And the ‘Happy You Year’ now featuring as main page of the app.

      • There is a lot of good stuff Hilton could do:

        * last room availability like SPG and Hyatt (if they have a basic room, you can have it on points)

        * simple to understand upgrades to premium rooms or suites, either via points or bookable as a cash premium to a standard room (like Marriott)

        * added benefits for Diamond members to create a gap between Gold and Diamond (but the risk is they devalue Gold, which is the best mid tier status of any chain)

        • James67 says:

          Yes, I’m begining to think it might be good news given it is being much heralded. Hilton seem smarter than IHG, they have cottoned on to idea that they can create a lot of goodwill amongst their customers at little extra real cost and I suspect the diamond status match has been a massive success for them.

          Did you get my email about Tesco last week? It finally went through at third time of trying.

  9. Looking at redeeming some hhonors points as a gold and not seeing the 5th night free on any of the search results. 5 nights at an 8000 property totals 40000 points, 5 nights at a 30000 points property totals 150000 points etc.

    • It won’t show unless you are logged in and then go through to the booking summary, then you should see 5 nights with a lower rate against each night (e.g. If the rate is 30k/night and you book 5 nights I should show 24k/night)

  10. Just had a night away at the Cadbury Court Double Tree to ensure 4 stays and subsequent Gold until March 18 (temporary diamond from IHG status match). £62 for a twin, upgraded to deluxe twin, plus voucher for breakfast and a bottle of red delivered to the room.

    As far as I’m concerned that’s being looked after.

    Thanks to a heads up off here I registered for the visa 5k offer and thanks to other stacking offers ended up with 11.5k points. Almost the points for my next stay there; £40 plus &12k points.

  11. Corrine says:

    Im about to use the £50 amex travel offer, booking a hertz rental in Boston for nearly 3 weeks. Will I still get the Amex benefits ? upgrade and additional driver ? or do I need to book direct with Hertz to get these extras ? thank you 🙂