Bits: TopCashback 25% bonus to Avios scrapped, Miles & More gift card deals – any good?

News in brief:

No more 25% bonus on TopCashback transfers to Avios

Quietly TopCashback has withdrawn their 25% bonus when converting TopCashback cashback directly into Avios.

First launched in September 2016 with no expiry date, the 25% bonus with TopCashback for converting cashback into Avios came after Tesco Clubcard pulled their partnership with TCB.

Giving no mention of an end of this 25% bonus prior to the expiry date is especially annoying if you had been wanting to convert your paid cashback into Avios but simply hadn’t got around to doing it.

Converting TopCashback to Avios is still not a bad deal.  You get 1.05 Avios for every 1p of cashback you convert, which is far cheaper than buying points directly from BA.  It just isn’t as good as it was.

If you are not already a TCB member, you can sign up via our refer a friend link here.

TopCashback 350

Miles & More gift card deals – a redemption to be avoided?

Lufthansa’s Miles & More scheme has been sending out emails to their UK members promoting their new gift card redemptions, making it look like a great deal.

‘Did you know that you can get your favourite awards for 3,000 miles already?’, asks the email in badly translated English.

A look at the website shows that for 3,600 miles you can, for example, get a £10 Amazon voucher.  Great.

That is the equivalent of 0.27p per mile!  Considering the 1p value we give to 1 Lufthansa mile when used for premium flight redemptions, this is a deal to be avoided unless you have some miles heading rapidly towards expiry.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)

What are the best points credit cards with 0% interest on purchases?
January Sale Bits: BA Holidays extra £100 off, Opodo extra £20 off, Monarch flights £29 or less
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  1. Frenske says:

    Usually I convert smaller amounts (£30-50) to Amazon gift cards and load to my Amazon balance and it sits there until needed. Basically anything I buy on Amazon has 5% discount.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      M&S is a better option at 7%

      Won’t get 5-7% is any bank account

      • Genghis says:

        But you might get at least 7% if you take the cash and have a credit card sign up bonus ongoing

        • Genghis says:

          I hope I’m not stepping on Rob’s toes here but happy to offer you a Nationwide referral. We’d both get £100. Let me know and I’m sure we can get in touch via other means.

        • Feel free

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Is that offer good if its a new account and not a switch? If so my twitter is the same as this if you want to get in touch that way?

        • I would be grateful for a nationwide referral too. Thanks

          I don’t even know what I am asking for but I am guessing it is good. I only have a Santander zero current account if that makes a difference (usually with money just sitting there coz I feel savings account interest bad for higher rate earners so never bothered opening one)

        • I can also help out with Nationwide referrals if Genghis is too swamped or there’s a cap 😉

          I’ve got their FlexDirect a/c (5% on up to £2.5k, have to pay in £1k per month, no fees) regular saver (5% on £500/mo) and loyalty saver (0.75%). Transfers to/from RBS (and thus I presume other Faster Payment banks) are instant. Very good customer service via Twitter.

        • Genghis says:

          @Boi. Nationwide offer an account of 5% on £2,500 and then a regular saver of 5% on £500pcm. Best package in market IMO. You need to pay in £1k a month but on the first of the month we just do a £1k payment to Nationwide from our Santander account, then £500 goes to the regular saver and £507 goes back to the Santander account.

          The £100 bonus is if you switch (i.e. transfer at least two direct debits).

          Remember there’s the £500/year tax free on savings now for higher rate tax payers.

          If this works, message me on twitter, Genghis1232.

        • Genghis says:

          @Alan I’ve always got time for fellow HfP readers 🙂

        • Teehee your generosity knows no bounds 😛 😀

        • Love the sushi cake you got for your bday!

      • Genghis says:

        Also Nationwide still offering 5% on £2.5k for 12 months and a £500pcm 5% reg saver.

        • Barry cutters says:

          Nationwide are great . Iv been with them forever and the flex plus account for £10 a month is great for the free cash withdrawals, mobile phone insurance and holiday insurance for the whole family.

  2. I expect the fact that Rob cannot see a scenario where he would use cash is down to his having millions of Avios that he is unlikely ever to use up, rather than him thinking that 0.8p per point is especially wonderful.

    • Correct.

      I just used 250k Amex MR for o.65p (4 Emirates J, one way) which I would not recommend anyone else do, but I get ‘free’ cancellation option on the flights.

  3. Wally1976 says:

    I agree that even with the 25% offer this wasn’t an especially good deal, I was still taking cash or Amazon credit.

  4. Wally1976 says:

    Each to their own but personally I check my account most days and withdraw straight away if there’s any available. Wouldn’t trust that lot to look after my cash!

  5. Different people will have different valuations, depending on their balances. If someone needs to top up their balance to achieve a redemption worth 1.5p per avios, clearly 0.95p is still a good deal. But if (like Rob) you have millions of the things, then he’d quite sensibly burn a few on a BoB sandwich. I don’t think there’s any conspiracy theory for you here.

  6. Czechoslovakia says:

    It mostly comes from one retailer, whos IT is so bad, it cannot distinguish what should be non qualifying items. And they take AMEX.

  7. OT: am I correct in thinking a Lloyd’s upgrade voucher cannot be applied in conjunction with a BA 241?

  8. I’m not sure what they’re like now, but in the good old days of phone ordering with Viking in the late 90s they were great – you’d just give them the second part of any item number and they’d go find a special sale price for most things. Always need up paying way below catalogue price!

  9. Any cheap ways of getting 1500 M&M miles? I’ve got 2100 already which I’m unlikely to use given their strict expiry policy – given that, a £10 Amazon voucher is worth more to me! Unfortunately would cost 750 HR points so that route seems more hassle than it’s worth to get an extra £2.50!

    • Hotel booking via their new portal? Current offer is 1k bonus plus 1k base miles minimum.

      • Reasonable idea, but wouldn’t want to miss out on loyalty benefits by going through booking portal (and would probably take a more lucrative Kaligo or Rocketmiles sign up if doing so).

    • Czechoslovakia says:

      Cheap hotel room via m&m hotels? They were running a 5000 bonus on your first night. This was the cheapest way of getting a chunk of miles, but seems overkill in your situation, unless the room is useful.

    • Are M&M points transferrable between accounts? I have 500 about to expire in a couple of months and no way of redeeming them. If I can transfer them, you can have them.

  10. Cut off was 5th at noon, in theory

  11. Any ideas what to do with small amounts of Miles and More? I do a couple of short haul economy flights a year and have a balance of about 5k miles. No use for flights (no desire to go to FRA for anything other than work) but any scope to use for hotels or transfer out to hotel programs? Otherwise vouchers may be the way to go. They will start expiring in early 2018 I think as earned in early 2015 onwards.

    • RussellH says:

      Have a look at Lufthansa Worldshop – you might find something there of use, perhaps on a points and cash basis. I have rather more M+M points than you, though nowhere near enough for a premium flight.

      I got a couple of new suitcases from them last year, mid-range ones and the price seemed reasonable at the time.

    • Heathrow Rewards transfer for a shopping voucher.

      • HR is minimum 7,500 transfer, think the duty free at FRA is better value redemption with same minumum. Will have a look at the M&M shopping portal but may have a trip to Frankfurt in mid-Feb that will get me up to the threshold depending on how it books. Makes spending Avios look dead easy!

  12. When it comes to redemptions though its just avios coming out of the pot. We normally only do 2for1 and Lloyds upgrade long haul in J/F or occasionally straight short haul redemptions so tend to get better value (against what we would pay for the flights rather than necessarily what the cash fare is). Therefore my rule is never redeem at less than 1p and never pay more. Any ‘free’ avios such as work flights or signup bonuses don’t change that since in the long run the ‘non-free’ avios are additional redemptions that could otherwise be covered in cash. The only exception would be a very small number required to top off an immediate redemption that otherwise fits the rule.

    The threshold will vary depending on redemption approach of course, and part of that is how avios rich you are and how often you travel / how many of you there are travelling together. The number of 2for1s and upgrade vouchers you can earn for example is limited. However as a principle it’s a pretty sound one.

  13. TGLoyalty says:

    The 25% bonus was nice but it didn’t make up for the clubcard offer when it comes to Avios

    £50 transfer to clubcard was worth 12,000 Avios (some still get the old rate so 16k) or 12.500 flying club

    Even at a 25% bonus to get that level of avois you would need to convert £96 (£128)

  14. I think the Avios/BA/Virgin (not to the same extent) are usually better earning portals, no? Certainly now!

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Agree anyone wanting to convert £332+ @25% bonus for 41.5k Avios were better off than those that used £50 for club card into 12k Avios plus up to £280 @5% bonus for 29.4K

  15. No, Virgin has never done that.

  16. OT – any good deals for the Economist subs, the Mrs needs a new one

  17. OT:
    Closed my platinum account after reaching bonus (and MR transferred out). I now had to return one of the items I had bought with the card and get a refund. I have two issues:
    1. How will I get the money back from amex?
    2. the refund will tip me below the spend target (£1879 instead of the £2000 required), what will Amex do as I have already transferred the MR out?
    3. will this put me in Amex bad books?

    • the_real_a says:

      Easy – call up amex and they will either BACS the credit back to your direct debit account, or raise you a cheque.

      • the_real_a says:

        You wont lose your transferred points, and unless you make a habit of it AMEX will still be friends with you.

  18. the real harry1 says:

    (Krankyfly) same here, I got 25% extra though this was 5 Jan in the afternoon

    happy now, was cursing at the time 🙂

  19. You used to be able to go via Clubcard.

  20. the_real_a says:

    But in essence your points would be tax deductible Vs a cash discount at the till. Of course this depends on how much tax your business is paying. Ryman is very expensive IMO 🙂

  21. Avios and BAEC conversion now has a 5% bonus which is not as good as 25% but still better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.

  22. No, they changed that after the fact. I used that article as the basis for the piece I wrote on HFP and there was definitely no closing date listed.

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