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Bits: Qatar Airways sale starts Monday, Hilton / American Airlines promo

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News in brief:

Qatar Travel Festival starts on Monday

Last January Qatar Airways ran an astonishing sale.

This is my article on it from January 2016.  As long as you were happy to start your travels in Europe, you could get business class tickets to most places Qatar flies for £800 – £1000.

Flights to Asia would also have earned you 560 British Airways tier points (140 points Europe to Doha, 140 points Doha to Asia and return) which is 90% of a British Airways Silver card.

Remember, too, that Qatar’s business class product is one of the very best on the market.

The 2017 Qatar Travel Festival launches on Monday 9th January.

It is impossible that the deals this year can be as good because the £ has fallen sharply against the €.  However, if you are planning any long haul travel to the Middle East, Asia, Africa or Australasia – for any dates before mid December 2017 – I would hold off booking until this sale is live, just in case.

American Airlines

Hilton / American Airlines bonus miles promotion

Hilton HHonors has launched a new promotion with American Airlines.

Until 31st March, you will earn 500 bonus AA miles per NIGHT if you choose to credit your stays to American Airlines.

This deal applies at the main Hilton, Curio, DoubleTree, Embassy Suites, and Hilton Grand Vacations chains.  The bonus is smaller at Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton by Hilton and Homewood Suites where you only get 500 bonus miles per stay.

This is on top of the standard mileage you would earn.

In order to take part in this offer you must register at this page of the Hilton HHonors website AND ensure that your Hilton account is switched to the ‘points and miles’ option, with American Airlines set up as your preferred mileage partner.

You will NOT receive a bonus at Conrad or Waldorf Astoria hotels but all of the other Hilton brands are participating.  There is cap of 10,000 bonus miles over the course of the promotion.

This offer is good for stays until 31st March.   The link to register is here.

How to earn Hilton Honors points from UK credit cards (August 2021)

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.

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points 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 via American Express Gold, the American Express Rewards Credit Card and – for small business owners – American Express Business Gold and Business Platinum.

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 (137)

  • Christopher Kaye says:

    OT. I gained Spire Elite in November and didn’t claim my free gift (25,000 points or platinum for a friend) until 1st January.

    Does that mean I missed out on my 2016 gift forever? Was I even entitled to one last year and another this year?

    • John says:

      No, you get a gift every time you achieve Spire. You only achieved Spire for 2017 so you didn’t get a 2016 gift. If you happened to reach Spire again tomorrow (which means for 2018) then you’d get the 2018 gift

    • Rob says:

      It is per membership year. It should still be claimable via your online account.

      You should take the points. If you have a friend desperate for Platinum, tell them to pay £99 for the IHG Premium credit card which comes with free Platinum, and 20000 points!

      • Kathy says:

        You have to be on the desktop site to see the option, by the way. Not visible on the mobile site or the app. My friend hit Spire last year and had no idea about the welcome bonus because she normally uses the app or the mobile site, so couldn’t see it. I had to direct her to the desktop site over our pre-Xmas dinner so she could claim them.

  • John says:

    “£ has fallen sharply against the €”

    If anything it’s the euro which has fallen sharply against the USD! GBPEUR is within a few percentage points of what I consider fair rate anyway

    The best deals I found last time were priced in NOK and SEK and the £ has not fallen that much against them since they haven’t been doing so well either. So I expect there will be something good out of Scandinavia, although I probably won’t be able to book since my ___ rota designer still hasn’t finalised our shifts for February onwards despite this being her only function!!

    • John E says:

      Rob is talking about the difference between the rate for the Qatar sale last Jan and now. Euro:USD has gone from 1.09 to 1.05. GBP:EURO from around 1.33 to 1.17.

    • Ro says:

      try working in the NHS…. we are lucky if we get a rota the week before we start a job.

      • Alan says:

        Haha or indeed the first day – always fun to turn up to a new job to have to sit through induction to be sent home before coming back in to start a week of nights…

  • Stefan says:

    Hi everyone,

    If these deals with Qatar are not available for uk departures, do we need a “separate” ticket for the connection and so possibly an overnight stay prior?

    I’m hoping to book tickets for a flight to Australlia for Dec, I have BA 2-4-1 vouchers, but am aware that the BA fees are often pretty high.


    • Wayne Phillips says:

      Yes, need to position in the departure city with a separate ticket and prudent to go the day before and make a mini trip out of it and keep stress levels down especially if travelling with someone who has doubts about whether it’s a good idea (it is btw)

    • Rob says:

      Yes, because you need a separate ticket to avoid paying £165 of UK Air Passenger Duty.

      You need to think carefully about the logistics. The best way is to fly from a city you want to see and then go the day before, do some sightseeing, stay overnight (which obviously costs £ or points) and fly the next day. Alternatively have a late evening flight but connect early in the day, giving you flexibility in case things go wrong.

      • Polly says:

        Yes, that’s the best. We do an RFS the day before. We are holding BA F on our 241 for KUL next November. But if a good cash deal appears next week, we will cancel the F deal. Then we decide which city in the EU we will fly out of. Usually CPH, or from OSL eg this Sunday to Vietnam. Hoping for PSA next time. Prefer to spend the cash saved visiting as a mini city break. But equally if we can get the Dreamliner etc in J it’s the same feeling as BA F. The 1-2-1 bed config is fantastic. It’s worth cancelling the 241, if we can get an ex eu deal for around £300 more in cash than the fees and taxes we pay out of LHR. Then we can use the 241 for a later date.

  • Stephanie says:

    Re the Qatar sale – so I am looking to book business class flights to either Bangkok or KL, but the snag is it will be over Xmas 2017. Can anyone tell me if Qatar run a similar sale around March time? Or any other carriers for that matter? Last time we flew I booked as soon as flights were released with Turkish and had a terrible experience, and it turned out there were better offers with Qatar and others that were released a few months later…

    • Kip says:

      Qatar ran several sales last year. I booked for KL/SIN in August/September time for a winter departure.

      It depends on where you live, but I find it’s not always best to rush into these ex-EU departures. The flight times from the Far East to Scandinavia are often 20hr+ and by the time you add in possible overnight stays and the cost of the positioning flights (I know London-based pax can use RFS for this but they don’t really work outside London) there’s not a huge difference in price from a UK departure.

    • Ro says:

      yeah qatar do lots of flash sales throughout the year

  • BA Silver flyer says:

    OT: I’m 170 tier points away from making BA Gold for the first time (3 months to go in my collection year but no further BA flights planned). Is Gold worth my spending the £300 for a tier point run to, say, Malta? Or are the Gold benefits not that much greater than what I get with silver anyway?

    • Rob says:

      If it was me, I would go for it. Not simply for the benefits but because you never know what status match offers may come up in the next year. There may be none but if a good status match came up and I’d missed it by 300 I would be gutted.

      • Rob says:

        The two benefits of Gold are:

        a) soft landing – you don’t need to get ANY tier points next year because you are guaranteed a soft drop to Silver for 2018

        b) Gold Priority Rewards – if you’ve got kids, being able to book ANY seat on ANY BA flight, for double Avios, can be great during half term or on peak Summer dates

        • RIcatti says:

          BA prices for short haul can be astronomical at times, out of sync with competition.

          500-600 GBP in Economy to an EU destination 2-3 hours away.

    • Genghis says:

      Depends how often you fly. Flying lots in Y during the year – and using the Flounge – could be worth £300 in itself. Also get extra 50% avios bonus and RFS availability.

      • Lawro says:

        I think Genghis meant Gold Priority Reward rather than RFS in the above.

        • Will says:

          Golds also get extra avoid availability in economy too, very useful if the cash price is high!

          Talinn makes the best TP run at the moment, 200TP’s for £230

          • Possumboots says:

            Opinions wanted 😉 Is it worth chasing Silver with 160 to go and a few trips in Euro economy planned for work before a March deadline that would take me to circa 100 short?

          • Polly says:

            Possumboots, get yourself off to Tallin for lunch one of these days, as Will says best TP run ATM. The benefits far outweigh the costs. ESP if you have several Y trips in the making, then you get lounges, seat choice, bags etc… Def worth it. My friend missed out last year and was kicking themselves. I was unaware of the exp date and only found out after the two weeks leeway that BA give you. Or is that gone now? So book today!

          • Polly says:

            Plus you actually get a second year on silver, so the pressure is off, a soft landing. So even more beneficial to your plans!

          • Ro says:

            how do you get 200 TP for tallin? that direct in business? surely its not as cheap as £230 in business?

          • Genghis says:

            With AY via HEL in J. (80+40) x 2 = 240 TPs.

          • Possumboots says:

            Thanks Polly. I cannot find a one nighter to Tallin in the next few months. You have to stay for 4 or 5 nights to hit the £232 business ticket. Still lots of 1 night economy ops but obviously with less TPs.

          • Polly says:

            Possumboots, just thinking as Ghenghis says with AY via HEL a good idea. But also thinking we accepted an upgrade offer on a couple of our BA Y tickets for around £100 which gave us our extra TP/s. But you need to find 100, that’s quite a few. When we do our ex eu Asia runs, l often book our sectors as one way seats. Maybe you could find really awkward timings on AY as one ways to get those TPs. Even if it means a youth hostel sleepover! Hope you succeed, as it would be nicer to be silver sooner than later with all this Y flights to do. Good luck. Might have to wait for a better not unforgettable BA sale!

  • RussellH says:

    For clarity, Co-operative Energy is run by Midcounties Co-op, who also have their own Travel Agency.

    NOT the ‘The Co-operative” (which re-branded back to turquoise trim recently) which also recently ended its Travel Agency joint venture with Thomas Cook, selling its stake to Thomas Cook. Any Co-operative Travel shops you see will soon be either closed or re-branded Thomas Cook.

    • James67 says:

      Thanks for that, I was unaware of any of it. I saw the product while searching for a new provider last night so decided to flag it up in a bits post as travel-related.

  • Matt says:

    OT: Paying councils using a credit [email protected] Co-op paypoint has come up more than once in comments but I’ve drawn a blank trying to find the articles which spawned those discussions…any chance someone can provide a link or a brief outline of the important points? Who can benefit? Is amex accepted etc etc? Thank you.

    • Genghis says:

      When I get a council tax bill it has a PayPoint barcode on it. I then go to Co-Op and say I would like to pay my council tax by PayPoint. They scan the barcode, I pay (Amex accepted). Easy peasy.

    • Rob says:

      There is no article. Basically, you are not meant to use Amex with PayPoint terminals. For some reason, some Co-Op stores do allow this. You simply pitch up with your council tax bill at your nearest Co-Op store, ask to pay it via PayPoint and pull out your Amex for payment (have a back-up card in case it is refused).

      • Eric the half a bee says:

        Is there any reason why one could not take the bill and pay at a post office branch instead (no local Co-op options near me)?

        • the real harry says:

          Because Post Office don’t take Amex for non-Counter services

          • Eric the half a bee says:

            Wasn’t aware of that. Thanks Harry.

          • the real harry says:

            You could try Amex @ any Paypoint though, they are often in other stores/ supermarkets – maybe not widely accepted though 5 within a couple of miles of here & only one a Co-Op – know for a fact 2 of the others take Amex as they were on my Shop Small run though admittedly I never tried Paypoint there

    • mark2 says:

      I do this all the time, but not all councils accept payments through Paypoint. Look on the back of your council tax bill first, if it does not say Paypoint ring the council. Ours, Stratford-upon-Avon, issues a separate card (Allpay) to make payments against.
      Do not ask if you can use American Express. Just put the card in the machine; they are unlikely to notice.

      • Genghis says:

        Good point – just pay with your card of choice. To add, you might have to cancel any existing direct debit to get a PayPoint barcode on your bill.

    • Polly says:

      You can also do this will all your bills apart from darn SKY. It takes the great pain out of our bill paying, knowing we are earning towards an RFS one way most months, depending on other insurances TC coming up for payment. Car tax etc. So mostly paying by PP at comps or at the post office for car tax def worth doing. Most coops take Amex, do a trial run on some groceries or something so then you don’t have to actually ask, do you take Amex!

      • Matt says:

        Thank you very much everyone…gotta love Rob’s site and the people contributing! Barcode in hand and 3 local Co-ops to try. Council just told me I didn’t need to cancel the DD.

        • Alan says:

          Only thing to watch out for is if you do switch back to paying by DD you may find that although it is still showing on you bank account it is disabled if not used in (IIRC) 13 months – I got caught out by this, had to make a one-off initial payment then re-setup the direct debit.

        • Polly says:

          Matt, make sure you prepay then at least 10 days before the direct debit is due, as they call for the dd payment way before the due date. Same with any other direct debits you have for bill payment. I did stop my direct debit as l didn’t want to risk a double payment. As they wont return it to you, it stays as credit on the account until next bill is raised. That’s what ours did anyway. Good luck, and it’s the fun part getting round these bureaucrats!

  • Rob says:

    So what do you think my chances are:

    I registered for the triple Avios offer (Again) at 10:30 but my flight was booked at 9:15 by our company travel team. Do you think that booking and regsitration in the same day will be good enough or is it a flag that needs to be on the account at the point of booking?

    On that, it states that the Exec Club Number must be entered at time of booking but my Corporate Travel won’t add it so I have to add it through manage my booking later, would this invalidate me anyway? I love a straight forward promotion.

    • Rob says:

      I doubt it was ticketed at 9.15 so odds are you’re OK.

    • Genghis says:

      No idea. But do your corporate travel agent get the booking ticketed when booked? Ours takes at least half a day.

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