News in brief:
Last chance to beat AwardWallet’s sharp price hike
There is only one miles and points tool that I use every day – and have done for a number of years – and that is AwardWallet.
AwardWallet allows you to store the log-in and password details for pretty much all of the loyalty programmes you are in. It isn’t just travel, either – Nectar, Boots Advantage, Tesco Clubcard, Harrods Rewards …. they cover over 680 programmes from across the world.
Across their entire membership, they are tracking over 93 BILLION miles and points.
You can store programmes for various different people inside one AwardWallet account. When I log in, I see over over 60 different accounts across my family.
You can sit and back and do nothing with AwardWallet if that is how you want to play it. Once a week, AwardWallet will automatically log in to each of your programmes and update your balance. It will then send you a weekly email with all of your balance changes.
For the more obsessive, like myself, you can log in to AwardWallet and simply click ‘Update’. AwardWallet goes off and updates all of your ‘active’ balances immediately (it takes 3-4 minutes to check my active ones). On a PC you can leave it running in another window. Even faster is the impressive app.
If you are not already a member of AwardWallet, you can sign up for free here.
From 1st February, AwardWallet will be increasing the charge for its premium service from $10 per year to $30 per year. Premium members get the expiry date of their points tracked and email warnings sent out if miles are heading towards expiry. The app also runs faster as it searches for multiple results in parallel rather than one scheme at a time.
If you upgrade to AwardWallet Plus before 1st February you will be grandfathered onto the ‘$10 per year’ plan for life.
If you have a free AwardWallet subscription I would recommend paying $10 to upgrade to Plus NOW. You may or may not find the added benefits useful but you have a year to decide before your next $10 is due and you will have secured yourself grandfather rights to the $10 fee.
For clarity, if you are currently on Plus due to redeeming a free code then you will NOT be grandfathered onto the $10 plan. You need to pay $10 before 1st February to push out the expiry of your current Plus membership by 12 months. You don’t lose anything as they simply add 12 months to whenever your trial period was due to end.
Malaysia Airlines £1500 Sydney / Melbourne deal still available
The Qatar Airways sale may finally be over, but the other exceptional UK travel deal at the moment is still bookable until 31st January.
Via Expedia, you can book London to Sydney or Melbourne in Malaysia Airlines business class for just £1,500 return.
To get this price you MUST book a ‘flight and hotel’ package. If you select the cheapest hostel option for just one night (select ‘I only want a hotel for part of my trip’) it will cost exactly £1,507 for one person to Sydney. You do not need to stay in the hostel and your return flight will not be cancelled if you don’t turn up.
Remember that Malaysia Airlines is a oneworld alliance member so your flights earn Avios and British Airways tier points. Australia would be 600 tier points return (140 + 160 + 160 + 140) which is a BA Silver card, albeit you’d still need to have flown 4 BA flights in your current card year before you were upgraded.
Between London and Kuala Lumpur you will get an A380, with an A330 onwards on most routes. The A330 business class seat is the latest version and has some very attractive solo window seats as the seating plan on this page of the Malaysia website shows.
Bangkok, Phuket and Bali are also available for around £1,100 return. You may want to try other Asian destinations too.
Pop over to Expedia and have a play around. It is VERY easy to find dates later in the year. You must travel by 26th November 2017.