Bits: 10% Tesco bonus to Virgin, 20% off CityJet, Bink / Curve double pizza bonus!

News in brief:

10% bonus on Virgin Atlantic transfers from Tesco Clubcard

Virgin Atlantic has launched a 10% bonus on transfers of Tesco Clubcard points to Flying Club miles.

However … this is only valid if you have never transferred to Virgin before.  This makes it relatively useless for most Head for Points readers.

A 10% bonus doesn’t make a bad deal into a good deal or a good deal into a great deal so I won’t go into a major analysis of the pros and cons of Flying Club.  If it isn’t something you’ve considered before, a 10% bonus shouldn’t change your mind.

The deadline for converting your vouchers is 15th March.  Full details can be found on the Virgin / Tesco page here.


20% off CityJet flights

CityJet is offering 20% off base fares on its routes from London City.  This includes routes such as Amsterdam, Antwerp, Avignon, Dublin, Florence, Nantes, Rotterdam and Toulon.

You need to book on the CityJet site here by 5th February (EDIT: originally said 17th February in error) for travel by 28th October.

You must use promo code INSPIRE at the time of booking.  Remember that, unless your fare is very expensive, a 20% discount off the base fare will be nothing like 20% off the total fare due to the taxes element being fixed.

The CityJet website is here.  Our review of CityJet’s service to Amsterdam is here.


Bink / Curve / PizzaExpress bonus

Bink, the loyalty card management app which we discussed here, lets you earn 3 to 6 Avios for every £1 you spend at PizzaExpress when you pay with a credit card registered with Bink.

Regular readers will also know that Curve Rewards, the cashback scheme linked to the Curve payment card, offers you 1.5% back on your PizzaExpress spending.

Thanks to a bit of reader testing, I can report that it seems you can get BOTH of these bonuses on the same transaction!

Link your Curve Card to Bink and then pay with Curve at Pizza Express.  You will receive 3-6 Avios per £1, depending on the day of the week, for your pizza spending and a further 1.5% back in cashback loaded to your Curve Rewards accont.  Which is handy.

If you don’t have a Curve Card, you can find out more in this article.  Curve will pay you £5 for trying it out – and the card is free.

(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.)

Virgin credit card sign-up bonus raised to 10,000 (White) and 25,000 (Black) miles
Club Carlson scraps its generous 2-4-1 and 4-4-2 weekend deals
About Head for Points

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  1. Rob – and you were at LGW the other week, wondering why VS don’t love you anymore… 🙂

    But I have to agree – 10℅ not enough to lure any folks across that normally punt CC pts to Avios..

    • Genghis says:

      I haven’t converted from Tesco for a while. We’ve got lots of vouchers ready to go for the next 20%+ avios bonus

      • James67 says:

        Same here but they forced my hand this time as I need avios early next month to book our sole BA redemption for 2018. However, when combining the tax and fees with the poor BA products and services compared to miles-earning business revenue tickets on Finnair or KLM for under £1500 I now wonder why I bother. I think it’s time for me to reevaluate how I use clubcard points, cc-virgin(with better bonus)-hilton now looking more attractive than BA.

        • ^^^^^^ This ^^^^^^

          Was starting to think the same.

        • James67 says:

          Based on scenario above with z7 CW op rtn at 150k and £700 tax and fees pp compared to £1500 revenue fare I’m getting only 1.28p per clubcard point which is…! If I were then to factor in the avios or FB miles lost on the revenue fare the value in real terms of spending clubcard points on BA falls to…? Already regret transferring them. Really needs the 241 or Lloyd’s voucher to sweeten the deal for my own scenario.

      • Over £500 worth waiting in the wings but it’s not going to happen, is it ?

  2. Pizza Express – shame the Avios doesn’t work with PE gift cards.

    • ps I know HFP isn’t MSE, but a Wee handy reminder for pizza freaks, O2 Priority gets you a Pizza for £5 any day if the week.

      • Wally1976 says:

        Also spending your Tesco clubcard vouchers on Pizza Express gives 4x value.

        • Genghis says:

          Only on a Friday or Saturday. During the week it gives generally 2x value as you can always get a 50% off coupon. Or for me during the week would only give 1.2x value (I stocked up on PE gift cards during the spend £50 get £20 back Amex promo and these combine with a coupon)

        • Or better still just avoid pizza – saves even more

        • Clearly Mayfair Pizza company is the best value Pizza with the Amex offer. Anyone actually been there to eat?

        • Yes, only because of the Amex offer. It’s better than pizza express but nothing special, the offer makes it good value but I won’t be going back in normal time.

      • It is far better to buy the Pizza Express giftcards from Tesco with your Amex card. They often give 20% discount as it running at the moment:

        Combine with vouchers on the website, NUS discount (upto 40% off) or O2 Priority discount (worth getting a free sim to install the app for lots of discounts/freebies anyway) for the best offer.

        Do be careful they we accept whichever voucher you want to use before ordering, and sometimes you might need to split a table in two to get the best offers. They can be quite difficult about it! Even making up rules that you can’t have more than one o2 codes per table (which is fine).

        • Or tastecard, 241 on any course mon-thu, except this weekend, which is included in the 241

  3. Genghis says:

    “accont” = account.
    I assume the 1.5% curve reward on the PE spend double dipping was on a blue card with 3% on a black

  4. OT_ SPG Amex

    What is referral bonus for me (as a non SPG card holder; will be using my PRGC link) when my gets SPG card as referral from me.
    It does show up for me in other cards at bottom of apply page.
    so assume I can still get 9000 MR + she gets 11k SPG for qualifying spend.

    • Wally1976 says:

      I think that’s what people have been reporting yes. I tried last night to refer PRG -> free BA as someone reported on Thursday but couldn’t see how it’s possible – it only offered platinum and the business gold and platinum as alternatives.

    • Genghis says:

      IIRC people were reporting yesterday of the failed referral from a MR family card to a non-MR family card. Have a look through the comments on some recent articles

    • I asked customer services and was told that there’s no referral bonus if you refer someone to a non-MR card from an MR card. Would love to find out they’re wrong though.

    • I asked this question two days ago and the replies indicated both from plat and gold that no referral bonus posted. So looks like it’s a no go

  5. Johnny_c-l says:

    Pizza express gift cards are currently 20% off in Tesco, so unless you value Avios at over 3p, gift cards are the more attractive route.

  6. Richard Shakeshaft says:

    Another loophole posted here meaning it won’t last very much longer #bink

  7. Londonbus says:

    Tesco this quarter is poor. I’ve not received any coupons and there have been minimal extra point promotions.

    The strategy seems to be around deep discounting on the sticker price of products – i.e. competing with ASDA and the heard discounters (Aldi/Lidle)

    • Andrew* says:

      Got 3 x double points coupons. Better than nothing but not like before where you could get 250 pts for one product.

      • I got these recently – first coupons I’ve had from tesco for well over a year !

    • Aeronaut says:

      I think Tesco have been pretty upfront (to investors at least) that they were going to focus on that as a strategy.

  8. Londonbus says:

    hard discounters damnit. Lidl

    • the real harry1 says:

      I admit we have switched to Lidl 🙂

      All the basics are fine quality just cheaper – plus it’s also a European deli (processed meats & cheeses etc).

      Excellent wine buyers as well. Decent beer variety.

      Apart from limited choice vs Tesco/ Sainsbury/ Morrisons, they are better value in every respect.

      • Lady London says:

        I think even Waitrose must be seeing some customers also consider Lidl for European deli.

        I really don’t know why the UK press still keep insisting on calling Lidl and Aldi “discounters”. Since being turned on to them by my partner around 1997 their own brand products are what distinguishes them, and not discounting brands. I’d describe Lidl as “value with some refinement options’ and Aldi as ‘stunning value if you know how to assess quality yourself’

        • the real harry1 says:

          we unfortunately haven’t got an Aldi near us so don’t know much about them

          but our Lidl has gone from being an empty ghetto 3 yrs ago to overcrowded this last year – they really have upped their game

          apparently the family split in two & divided Europe in half so we are part of northern Lidl

          in Germany I read they command 30% of the market – so there might be a long way to go before they reach peak!

          it’s a fine tradition to sell more for less – I remember my parents would not set foot in Tesco because it was such rubbish quality compared to Sainsbury’s – you wouldn’t give that argument these days

          not so different to BA getting stuffed by the usurpers – I must say I am now more negative about BA than at any other time in my life, mainly because of them cheating on the food & beverage provision without giving automatic remedy – what awful cheats BA are!

        • That’s Aldi you’re thinking of – and we have Aldi south not Aldi north.

        • Never knew which one we had before!

        • I can’t say I’ve ever noticed a difference between Aldi north and south though – is there any?

        • They are totally separate companies – but if the UK is all Sud then you would be comparing UK vs another country anyway which would have sharp differences.

        • Lady London says:

          The international part of Aldi is pretty much all Aldi South. I prefer the Aldi South stores even in Germany.

          Lidl and Aldi are getting a bit like McDonalds for me – when I travel if I see one then in whatever country I know I’ll always find some basics there that I’m prepared to eat. And possibly quite a bit more besides.

        • Yeah I know they’re different companies, but I’ve been to Aldi North and Aldi South branches within Germany and not noticed any difference. I’m curious as to whether that’s because I was unobservant or they’re genuinely the same (they share a brand, it wouldn’t surprise me if they have joint brand use policies etc).

        • Because that’s exactly what they are? While its getting fashionable for the well off to cherry pick their high quality range, the core of the business is still to provide no frills cheap food.

        • Axel heyst says:

          No frills cheap drink here

  9. Slightly OT: I have just got my first major haul of points on AMEX. Is there any reason why I shouldn’t transfer them to BA/Avios immediately? Or do AMEX ever offer a bonus for transferring points?


    • Andrew* says:

      Unless you need them for a redemption, or you’re planning on closing MR account to churn the card, general advice here is to leave them where they are as they’re more flexible – should you decide you want to convert them into something else.

  10. rams1981 says:

    OT nightmare with Amex. Charged the £140 year 2 fee for gold card and still not posted bonus points for 15k spend. And no reply to email about referral points. This is the worst service I’ve had from Amex

    • It normally takes 4-6 weeks for bonus points to post, how long has it been?

      • rams1981 says:

        It’s been a month. But the reply to the mail hasn’t arrived and it’s been a week. They normally respond far quicker than that

        • Re: Amex emails. I’ve sent 3 emails via Amex’s “contact centre” over the last 2-3 weeks and only received one reply, seven days after it was sent. Usually this service is great but recently standards seem to have slipped.

        • +1

        • Aeronaut says:

          I wonder (in all seriousness) whether any recent supposed decline in Amex customer service might have anything to do with the ongoing Southern rail dispute, given Amex is based in Brighton. Staff struggling in to work, or leaving for work much earlier than normal, or not making it in at all or on time etc etc… can’t be good for morale.

        • the real harry1 says:

          or is it because they keep going to those parties where you throw your keys in a bowl & grab a partner for the next 24 hrs?

          that’s Brighton – allegedly 🙂

          too busy doing something else, throw a sickie

    • The 10k should arrive 1 month after the renewal date.

    • It says 60 days after renewal when I log in to my account.

      • rams1981 says:

        Maybe they are taking their time to get some extra fee before it’s cancelled. Every little counts

    • ankomonkey says:

      @rams1981 – I was in exactly the same position as you. I’d been charged the 2nd year fee last week and not received the 10k points. In the past I’ve had them on the same day. I secure messaged customer service and haven’t had a reply. However, the points posted this morning. Hopefully yours have too!

      • rams1981 says:

        thanks @ankomonkey. The 10k posted today. Still no reply on the referral points – 9k clearly worth waiting for before cancelling.

  11. Slightly OT: Just remembered when HFP promoted another startup, 3more, last year. A competition (Amazon vouchers) and much more had been promised – did anybody ever win anything? The 3more app doesn’t seem to work for me anymore… Any update on this, Rob? Or did I miss anything?

    • I did the surveys. Didn’t win anything. Had forgotten all about it.

    • I had emails from a couple of winners so I know they went out. Last I heard they are still tweaking the product and looking to line up clients for the full launch.

      They are in WeWork Chancery Lane now and pop up at various WeWork events we attend.

  12. Off topic but Virgin have told me they currently cant redeem Mileage bookings with Singapore Airlines .

    • It was impossible anyway due to the small print which excluded all aircraft types which fly to the UK ….

  13. Sergeant Major says:

    OT: Do you have to pay with Amex Plat to get the travel insurance or can you pay with other Amex cards for flights and/or hotels? I know Rob has covered it before but I can’t find the link. Help anyone? 🙂

    • Genghis says:

      An Amex issued Amex

      • Never knew that and we’ve had one for years. Have always paid with the plat as we assumed no cover if any other Amex was used. I really must learn to read.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      It needs to be an AMEX issued card. Amex issued by lloyds etc don’t count.

      I have a question. What happens with travel booked/paid when holding a platinum but later cancelled before taking the trip.

      If more complicated what happens if I book travel for a years time when holding a Plat then churn it and hold a Plat at the time of travel. Am I covered or not?

      • As long as you are a cardholder at the time of the incident, you’re fine (as long as it isn’t under one of the items which requires original payment by Amex).

        • TGLoyalty says:

          ie flights/hotel paid with my AMEX issued card at the time and then churn the Plat.

          Since you could easily book 8/9 months ahead and churn a Plat in that time does it matter I’m not holding the same Platinum or even if I didn’t hold a platinum but now am when travelling.

          Probably Q and A for an FAQ section if it ever happens.

        • Genghis says:

          Not crystal clear from T&Cs but doubt you’d be covered.

        • I actually think you’d be OK. Look at it another way. What would happen if you bought a flight with a BA Amex, cancelled it and then made a claim under the Platinum insurance for a flight delay?

          The Amex Plat rules AFAIK just say ‘you must have paid with a personal UK Amex’ for those things where payment by Amex is required. There is no mention that you must still hold it.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Yea that’s the issue. Effectively means the Platinum Travel insurance if you’re a churner and possibly even if you’re not. Can buy some top class travel insurance for the 3% I save by using my lloyds card on my Flight/hotel costs, may even look into the nationwide offering when my current insurance ends in May

    • Not that simple. Big Stuff has you covered irrespective of payment. Little Stuff like flight delay comp requires payment with a UK issued personal Amex IIRC.

  14. the real harry1 says:

    Why’s that better than buying Amazon cards @ Tesco or Morrisons?

    • the real harry1 says:

      fair enough but you’d weigh also the Tesco points or Morrisons reward scheme – not 1.5% but not insignificant

      Tesco 1 point / £1 = 2.4 Avios = 2.4p?

      • the real harry1 says:

        OK don’t say it 🙂

      • Tesco stopped giving CC points on gift cards some time ago, very sadly.
        Morrison’s is different: I make it 2.5% cash back and I can buy Morrison’s gift cards at 5ish % discount.

      • Didn’t know morrisons did a loyalty scheme, then never used to; perhaps something that needs covering in shopperpoints!
        I’m not happy with the way BA are going and am making no more effort to collect avios.

  15. OT – Avios in-store Caffe Nero offer has dropped from 10 Avios to 5….

    • Johnny_c-l says:

      That’s good to know, I see it also has dropped the line about collection rate varying based on previous spend. Hoping that the transaction I made today will get the 5 / £1….much more enticing than the 1 / £1 rate.

  16. Sarah Gregory says:

    I did the 10% bonus virgin miles on conversion of Tesco vouchers last time, November 2016, and I still haven’t got the bonus added only the base miles added. Anybody else?

    • There was an issue here. This offer was on the Red app but only for first time transfers IIRC. When it was put on the main site I’m not sure if they meant to also make it ‘first time only’ but forgot to add it?

      • TGLoyalty says:

        They did. Unfortunately I didn’t take a screenshot of the T&C’s so can’t claim my 10%. Lesson for future offers like this

    • Sarah Gregory says:

      That’s a bit unfair, I might not of changed any if I’d known this 🙁

  17. Quick correction on the Cityjet sale: the email I got says

    “book now until the 5th of February for travel from February 17th to October 28th 2017.”

    …so tonight is the last chance on this one.

    • Someone else flagged this but I had cunningly managed to delete my email and could not check. Apologies.