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Bits: Qatar Airways deals from Oslo, Waitrose shopping tracking

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News in brief:

Interesting Qatar Airways deals from Oslo

Qatar Airways has launched some interesting deals from Oslo if you need to travel to Asia, Africa or Australasia over the next couple of months.

These Qatar Airways deals are worth a look because:

you earn Avios and BA tier points when you fly with Qatar – 560 tier points, almost enough for BA Silver, with a return in Business Class to anywhere outside India or the Middle East via Doha

the Qatar Airways business class product is excellent

the fares are very good value

You can take a look at the Oslo deals here.  Highlights are:

Cape Town for NOK 15,939 (£1,488)

Auckland for NOK 19,469 (£1,817)

Singapore for NOK 13,989 (£1,306)

….. plus the cost of getting to Oslo and back!  But that is what Avios ‘Reward Flight Saver’ redemptions are for ….

Note that whilst two people need to travel together to get the Economy deals, this is NOT the case with the business class deals.

You need to book by 10th April for flights between 21st April and 20th June.

As Qatar Airways flies a Boeing 787 on the Oslo route, you will get the latest – and very impressive – business class seat which I reviewed here and which is pictured below.

Qatar 787 350 business class

Waitrose shopping now tracking via Virgin Atlantic

My recent article on the ability to earn Virgin Atlantic miles when you shop in-store at Waitrose generated more excitement than most recent pieces.

Following the initial enthusiasm, people started to get concerned when nothing was tracking.  The good news is that the Virgin portal is now catching up.  As of yesterday, I was showing miles for transactions dated 30th and 31st March:

Virgin miles from Waitrose shopping

It isn’t clear if that is the date of the transaction, the date it was processed or the date it posted.

Note that the Virgin Atlantic site is now saying that the ‘4 miles per £1’ deal is a special offer which will only run until 24th May.  It isn’t clear what the on-going earning rate will be after that.

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (October 2022)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Virgin Points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.

You can choose from two official Virgin Atlantic credit cards (apply here, the Reward+ card has a bonus of 15,000 Virgin Points):

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 points bonus and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review

Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard

A generous earning rate for a free card at 0.75 points per £1 Read our full review

You can also earn Virgin Points from various American Express cards – and these have sign-up bonuses too.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is FREE for a year and comes with 20,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 20,000 Virgin Points.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express comes with 30,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 30,000 Virgin Points.

EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points (SPECIAL OFFER), £200 travel credit and unbeatable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Small business owners should consider the two American Express Business cards. Points convert at 1:1 into Virgin Points.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Virgin Points

(Want to earn more Virgin Points?  Click here to see our recent articles on Virgin Atlantic and Flying Club and click here for our home page with the latest news on earning and spending other airline and hotel points.)

Comments (79)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Loads Money says:

    Who’s got time to go to Oslo when you can fly direct from LHR to any destination in
    First Class any time of year from £4,000 to £10,000……

    • Loads Time says:

      I do

    • Paul says:

      I would assume most people don’t have 10K to spend on a flight. And not everyone lives close to LHR.

    • John says:

      Strictly speaking First Class is not available on _most_destinations accessible directly from LHR.

    • Anon says:

      Overheard in Waitroise? 🙂

      • Cate says:

        A genuine overheard in Waitrose yesterday when one of the assistants and I were chatting someone asked if they could buy one mushroom even if the weight was too light to register on the scales!

        • the real harry1 says:

          not quite sure how that qualifies

          just a stupid person with no other faux posh aspects

    • James says:

      I don’t think some heard the sarcasm there…

  • Mycity says:

    My first Waitrose purchase was 27th March, nothing tracking for me currently.

    • Metatone says:

      Similar, although I’m pretty sure I registered on the 21st or 22nd & I definitely shopped on the 23rd. I wonder if there is a batch cycle and if it depends on your statement cycle?

    • Lumma says:

      I’ve made 2 purchases since it started. One on the 23rd of March which hasn’t shown up as tracked (it was only just over £1 so I’m not too bothered) and one on Friday which has.

      They were both at little Waitrose locations, so that doesn’t seem to be the reason either

    • Fenny says:

      I made purchases on 22 & 23 March which have not tracked. Purchases from 28 March onwards seem to be coming through, but nothing for yesterday yet.. Maybe they didn’t actually start tracking until w/c 27th.

  • Alex W says:

    Boo, i thought 4 miles to £1 was too good too good to be true! Back to Tesco when that deal expires then!

  • Roger I says:

    Mrs Roger and I flew QR Oslo-Doha-Cape Town in March and were very impressed, except that we had 4x turbulence instead of the 2 on direct flights! 🙂 I thought that would have been enough to dissuade Mrs R from future QR CPT trips, but no, she loved the experience (especially the 787) and is up for it again.

    Not sure about the Oslo ‘long way round’, though. It was 0 degrees in Oslo when we left and 28 degrees in CT when we arrived. This requires more planning for clothing. We stayed overnight in Oslo on the way out.

    It may not be necessary. I’m finding BA flights from AMS for about £1,500 and from £1,600 from LIS for our next trip. Yes, BA but we can live with that. Less favourable cancellation terms than QR.

    Oh, add me to the missing Waitrose miles list.

    • John says:

      I’d agree that LHR-CPT beats xxx-DOH-CPT regardless of airline

      Lesson for next time may be to go to Scandinavia when the UK** is also cold, so you need to pack a big coat anyway. This will certainly be the case for my ARN-AKL-CPH trip in November. In fact I found HEL and TLL to feel less cold than London in early March despite being -1 deg over there and 5-10 deg here

      **perhaps just London, since Scotland and the north are going to be as cold as Norway

    • Doodles says:

      I got back at the weekend from my first QR ex EU trip. I flew HEL-DOH-SGN. I flew on 3 different planes and really enjoyed the food and service, so much better than with BA. Didn’t sleep very well on any of the flights but that’s just me. I had an 8 hour transit on the way back and didn’t ask for the transit hotel. This was a mistake and I would definitely take that option in future. The business lounge at Doha looks impressive but all the best seats for those wanting to sleep were taken. Given the good standard of food on board, I thought the food at breakfast in the lounge was really poor. One other thing that people don’t seem to mention on here is the complete shambles of queuing for transit passengers. On my outbound flight, we were dropped off by the business class bus only to join a disorderly queue for 20+ minutes, those behind me were waiting even longer. On the return journey, I saw a queue for business passengers but the guy who allowed you to join that queue kept walking off. On the way out, that time spent in the queue somewhat spoilt my impression of the whole thing, at least on the way back I knew exactly what to expect. I should say that both flights arrived in Doha just before midnight, it seems to be a really busy time then but, knowing that, they should plan accordingly. I know people complain about queues at Heathrow but I don’t remember such an experience at LHR ever, maybe I have been lucky, and only once at Gatwick passport control.

      • Rashad says:

        Wow, what an opposite experience you’ve had Doodles. I, on the other hand, have had most amazing experience flying through Doha although I was dreading 13hours lay over on the way back. Flights were fantastic and A380 with fantastic bar and IFE was truly amazing experience.

        No Queues were experienced at any time nor in transit not when we left the airport for the City Tour, which I recommend. Everything was priority Q and moving ver fast, we were like fist in and fist out.

        As for Doha Business Class lounge I would not stay in a hotel as transit hotel was about £300. we have managed to get private cabins in Quiet Area and had a sleep for 5 hours then showers in showers that beat most of the 5star hotels.

        I would definitely do this again 🙂

      • Polly says:

        Hi Doodles, you did the same trip as we did in Jan. Hope you enjoyed Hanoi as much as we did. Much as you describe, but l don’t think people care if you have to queue for a bit to connect. Usually the breakfast food is good, you can order food too. They are very willing to please.
        One thing to note about the 8 hr+ layover hotel, they won’t give it to you if you bypass a more expensive flight booking with less layover time. They say you chose to have the long layover. We were caught out by that clause last time, but luckily did get those black couch like sleepers… On the whole the ex eu option is very good value for lovely planes, great J space and on demand dining. But unless you are chasing TPs as we were, then as James67 says constantly Finnair do great direct deals non stop from HEL. Of course far preferable, but needs must.
        We are waiting for their QR Autumn sale to see if we can grab another one next Jan Feb toAsia. Too good a chance to miss out on. As long as they are around the £800-£900 mark. Then spend our avios on RFS fares.

        • Doodles says:

          Hello Polly,
          Yes, I enjoyed my holiday, thank you for the replies to my earlier questions before I set off. I flew back to LHR on the Finnair A350 so got to see their business class long haul seat. I was looking for the quiet seats in the lounge in DOH but all were taken and I didn’t have the energy to keep walking round looking every hour. Now that I have seen the airport and know that I am not missing much, I would definitely take the hotel option if available. I was sat next to someone flying to Miami when I left Vietnam and with the hotel included, that is his preferred route. I did like the Finnair lounge in HEL (non-Schengen zone) and thought the food there was perfectly acceptable although some have not been positive about it on here. The miles/TP have not posted automatically so I will have to chase that. I have my first HBO ticket (will try Harry’s tip to select a seat at the airport) next month but will still be 25TP and 1 flight short. Still, I have until early December to sort that out. Overall, I would fly QR again but would certainly consider CX or Finnair if the price was competitive.

          • Polly says:

            Doodles, Glad it all worked out for you. We hope to do an AY at some stage from HEL, probably in our soft landing year. We are also doing our final TP run to DUB this summer, to retain our silver. We got a v g fare, Y out and CE back, so pleased with that. If we don’t get a QR J sale to suit, you are correct, there will always be a CX or AY sale that come quite near QR price wise. Re the sleepers there, my OH had already settled into one of their very large comfy armchairs before we were shown the quiet area. It is such a treat to fly J, it’s def worth the effort to do an RFS into Europe. But good to discuss the pros and cons of uk v eu departures.

  • Talay says:

    NOK 13799 is just about £1300 to BKK plus the inconvenience and cost of the LHR/LGW to OSL – hardly good value and no checked through baggage – that will be fantastic after 2 x circa 7 hour flights before your 2 hour schlep home !

    Finnair still (occasionally) has £1309 from LHR with no nonsense baggage issues. I feel the discount button is being pressed a little at Etihad and we are seeing some steeper discounts not seen since the last 30% off.

    For my money, if ex LHR is £1500 then an ex EU city alternative needs to be circa £1000.

  • James says:

    Funny this article came up today. I booked Sydney on Qatar out of Stockholm last night for £2227.
    Id been searching for a decent Australia fare for months on one of the ME3 that wasn’t sky high. (Right now Qatar LHR-SYD is £4K!)

    I also checked out other fares to Asia and there are some good deals there too. Stockholm seems to be miles cheaper than most other euro countries.

    Also if you sign up to the Qatar newsletter (even if you already are signed up) you get a 15% off promo code.

    Also if you have time to kill, Stockholm also has an Etihad fare ARN-DUS-AUH-SYD. You fly to Düsseldorf on air Berlin then Etihad to SYD, MEL or PER for around £2100. Fly out of Düsseldorf and it shoots up to £2800.

    • mark says:

      15% promo code? News to me and I’ve just signed up again with a different email address and no code…what am I missing?

  • Ash says:

    Waitrose is doing a sign up deal for first time online shoppers. £20 of each of your first five purchases. Not sure if this has any impact on the bonus miles though. Being a regular tesco shopper I’ll have to give this a go until May.

    • Frenske says:

      Bonus miles??? You mean the Virgin Miles. It should not, Virgin shop cannot know the details of the transactions.

    • Frenske says:

      Bonus miles??? You mean the Virgin Miles. It should not, Virgin shop cannot know the details of the transactions.

      Coincidental Waitrose gave me 4 x £8 off vouchers (min £40 spend), so giving Tesco a miss for awhile.

  • Tracy says:

    Re waitrose, I have done 3 shops. 22/3 not posted, 29/3 posted today, 1/4 not posted yet. I have made a claim for the shop on 22/3 so will see what happens….

    • Stevie G says:

      I shop in Waitrose more or less daily. I registered on the 21st March and have had zero miles added. All cards definately registered :-/

      • Leo C says:

        This is cheeky but can I get virgin miles if i use my BA AMex card at waitrose?

        • avidsaver says:

          Yes! If you’ve registered it on the Virgin site.

        • the real harry1 says:

          no you can’t

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Not sure I understand why you say you can’t

            No issue registering AMEX with the virgin miles instore offer

          • the real harry1 says:

            BA Amex yo don’t get the choice

      • thomas says:

        added 4 cards as soon as this was offered and all transactions are showing in pending.
        might it have anything to do with the wait 24 hours after signing up to using use card ?

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