Bits: Hilton / Amex cashback, bonus Avios with stationery, Avios debit card now available again

News in brief:

Hilton / Amex cashback deal now open to all Amex cards

American Express has been running a cashback deal recently with selected Hilton Group hotels across the UK and Europe.

You receive a £50 statement credit when you spend £250.  Whilst it is not stated in the rules, the spend appears to be cumulative and does not need to be hit in one stay.

The offer has now appeared on the Amex Connect website – click here.  This means that any personal American Express card can be registered even if it is issued by MBNA, Barclays or Lloyds.

You need to stay (or have a prepaid booking charged to your card) by 8th May.  Don’t forget to register and remember to check the list of participating hotels before you stay.

Thanks to Dan.


2,400 Avios or 2,500 Virgin miles with £70 of stationery

Tesco Direct has launched a new style of promotional deal – with stationery.  Until 27th April, if you spend £70 on these stationery items at Tesco Direct you will receive 1,000 bonus Clubcard points.  These transfer into 2,400 Avios or 2,500 Virgin miles.

You can learn more in this Shopper Points article.

Post It Notes

Only Avios-earning debit card now available again

Tesco Bank has reopened its current account to new applications.  It recently relaunched with an exceptionally generous deal but, swamped by applicants, it was withdrawn and the criteria tightened.

You receive:

a debit card which earns 0.3 Avios per £1 spent (you actually get 1 Clubcard point per £8 spent which gets you 2.4 Avios per £8 spent, note that you need to spend at least £8 per transaction to earn any points from it)

you will earn 3% credit interest on up to £3000, guaranteed until April 2019

your debit card will earn 1 Clubcard point for every £1 you spend on it in Tesco – this is a very generous 2.4 Avios or 2.5 Virgin miles – and this rate is guaranteed until April 2019

There are new rules on opening an account:

you must set up 3 direct debits

you must pay in £750 per month

If you make a lot of debit card payments or spend a lot in Tesco – or just want to earn an easy £90 per year in interest on £3000 of your savings – this is worth a look.  You can apply here.  Thanks to Taran.

(Want to earn more miles and points from credit cards?  Click here to visit our dedicated airline and hotel travel credit cards page or use the ‘Credit Cards Update’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

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  1. the real harry1 says:

    My wife asked me to check her in for HBO flight.I was shocked t se that while emergency exit is now £23, moving her from middle to aisle IS NOW £11!!!

    What an enhancement rip-off 🙁

    • the real harry1 says:

      For those that don’t know, when you are flying from airports with self check-in machines (eg LHR), you can check in online T-24 BUT don’t print the ticket or save to mobile.

      Then at the airport check in again at the self check-in machines and you can choose any seat on the plane for free, including emergency exits. (Obviously not Club Europe if you didn’t pay for it.)

      Which is what I told my wife to do. Thinking about it, better remind her not to BOB – not totally tight – she does have access to Club Aspire 🙂

      • At T-24, can’t you just select the seat you want online for free anyway?

        • Genghis says:

          “Unless you have booked a Basic ticket (economy, hand baggage only), you can reserve your seat for free when check-in opens (24 hours before departure).

          With a Basic ticket (economy, hand baggage only), you can either

          – pay to reserve your seat from the moment you book until check-in opens, or
          – we’ll allocate you a seat for free when check-in opens. You can then pay to change to a different seat, although your choice may be limited.”

          Or use the real harry1’s method

        • the real harry1 says:

          HBO rules explains it, thanks

          makes the £15 difference between HBO & +1 Checked luggage fares less of a factor if you hate middle seats, not that they bother me that much on European flights

      • Nick M says:

        Is there any advantage/need to check in online if you’re going to use a self-service machine at the airport anyway?

        • Maybe. It will show you the seats BA has assigned you, if you’re happy with those then you can just keep them, generate the BP and go straight to lounge.

          Sometimes, you won’t be able to use the self-service machine because BA may want to see your passport – even if they didn’t want to see it for similar flights in the past few days. If this is the case, then you won’t be able to change your seat anyway. But if you check-in online early, then you may get a seat towards the front of the plane (sometimes it gets assigned long before check-in, but sometimes it appears not). If you wait to get to the airport then you may be sent to the back, maybe not.

          If the flight is overbooked it may reduce the risk of offloading, but that is a very tiny risk anyway and less likely for status holders.

        • the real harry1 says:

          there’s a massive advantage checking in T-24hrs online – it means close to 100% certainty you won’t get bumped off your flight if it is overbooked

    • At checkin???

      I thought “normal” seat selection was free by then?

      • the real harry1 says:

        you can either trust the check-in agent…or not

        do you really think they’ll always offer you the full selection of available seats?

        At the self check-in machines, you can see the whole plane for yourself

        • Callum says:

          Why would you not trust them? The only time they’d refuse to move you is if your ticket doesn’t allow seat selection

        • the real harry1 says:

          might be true for HBO tickets

          at the self check-in machines @ airport you can still move seats for free

      • Genghis says:

        I thought you get what you’re given?

        • Presumably the checkin agent is able to move you wherever is available if you ask nicely enough. Able, but maybe not willing (or allowed knowing BA)

        • the real harry1 says:

          the check-in agents often won’t move you when the flight is full – and as we always fly peak (start & end of school hols), our flights are always packed

          whereas the airport self check-in machines let you see every seat where the passenger hasn’t yet checked in – surprisingly on our usual flight route it is usually as much as 60-70% of seats at T-3hrs

    • James67 says:

      Just curious Harry, do you have a choice of airlines to your place or are you stuck with BA? Wondering if you are going to reach a tipping point anytime soon where it makes more sense to use your clubcard points and avios for something else. I think BA seat fees are outrageous, especially in premium cabins given costs of the fares.

      • the real harry1 says:

        nope we have a choice of 4 airlines and have used them in the past – our route doesn’t tend to get discounted much by any of them so eg yesterday’s 4x [Good Friday 2018] flights for £230 + 10,000 Avios = c. £77.50/ seat is competitive, checked luggage included.

        LHR is more convenient than all but 1 of the other airport possibilities – and that one is infrequently scheduled by the LCC concerned whereas BA is daily x3 or x4 slots

        I must say that no more free F&B and the very idea of paying for seats makes BA much less appealing than a year ago but no worse than the LCCs, probably quite a bit cheaper if you include the luggage factor

        • James67 says:

          So, it looks like BA will continue to work for you despite the enhancements unless there is a sea change in RFS. In that event I guess you can still offset costs by using avios for car hire although based on your hire exploits reported here that might not be so great either. If worse comes to worse maybe best just hedging on saving avios until the day comes when you resume your longhaul travels.

        • the real harry1 says:

          incidentally, my daughter turned 12 before our recent [Avios] flights out here for Easter – making her a young adult

          I was somewhat fearing that means we wouldn’t get seated together any longer by the B computer, as I thought that was for under-12s only so that they always sat with an adult?

          but we did get allocated 4 seats together – I changed mine for a window seat free of charge at T-24hrs, and again I don’t know if this £11 charge for seat change is new from a few days ago or if having Avios seats means it stays free to move to window or aisle & it’s only HBO cheap seats that have to pay for any move? (unless you use the self check-in machines at airport)

        • Genghis says:

          At nearly 2m, I think @the real harry1 is very well set up to resume long haul travel.

        • James67 says:

          @Genghis, even so, I believe his daughter is his youngest so six years is a lot of hedging, particularly if Cruz remains at the helm. However, if the scheme goes revenue then those with huge avios stashes could potentially hit the jackpot.

        • the real harry1 says:

          yep it’s a 6 year wait & then we’ll pack her off to university and head somewhere hot, I guess first choice might be a couple of months in Thailand Jan/ Feb as my wife & I love it out there (& yet to try Vietnam & Malaysia, which sound similarly good for the things we love, ie great food esp seafood & island/ coastal life away from the masses)

        • James67 says:

          @Harry, if you like to avoid the tourist crowd then Songkhla might be perfect for you.

        • So what happened to your MCOL for BOB?

        • IIRC he’s waiting for a few more flights to have passed in case BA try to take any punitive action!

        • the real harry1 says:

          yep that’s it, I’ve got 6 years after all

          they might also be more willing to concede my points compo if most people in my position have flown already

        • Genghis says:

          I was doing some bedtime reading yesterday and noted that BA’s CoC:

          “You will have no right to damages if an action is not brought within two years calculated from:

          the date of arrival at the place of destination
          the date on which the aircraft ought to have arrived or
          the date on which the carriage stopped.”

          No idea how BA can be 2 years yet statute of limitations 6

        • the real harry1 says:


          it’ll be this late summer/ autumn anyway, ie 12 months after I got my last T-355 tickets with F&B included

          got my screenshots all lined up x3 🙂

  2. Nick_C says:

    I don’t agree that there are new rules for opening an account. The new rules only apply to getting interest. If you just want the debit card and are happy not getting interest then you don’t need 3 direct debits. You just need sufficient funds in the account to cover your debit card payments.

    • Nick’s right. Also, it might be worth making clear that the debit card Clubcard points are on top of the normal Clubcard points. So every £1 you spend in Tesco (or every £8 outside) gets you 2 Clubcard points, or 4.8 Avios.

      • Would you not only get 1 club card point for every £8 spent outside as you don’t collect club card points outside of Tesco normally?

      • James67 says:

        Agreed, I read it the same way as you guys. I’m not sure what to do about fuel though, just pay with debit card or use credit card for points and pay with the debit card?

        • For fuel it works fine as a Clubcard – just tell the cashier that’s what you want to do. Unfortunately doesn’t seem to work like that in-store, you have to actually pay with the debit card.

        • James67 says:

          Thanks Alan

  3. Gareth says:

    When you say spent on the Tesco debit card could this include ATM withdrawals i.e. £300 per day or whatever the max is

    • Nick M says:

      You don’t get points for paying financial institutions (eg credit card bill) so I would be very surprised… I’m sure there may be one/two that slip through the net though

      • You can pay the Revenue.

        • Genghis says:

          I wouldn’t call “the Revenue” a financial institution though.

        • It isn’t a payment for ‘goods and services’ though. Some bank accounts lets you make deposits with a debit card, those should definitely not earn points. I’m sure, somewhere, there is one that would slip through though ….!

        • Genghis says:

          But also not a bank, insurance company, investment manager, broker etc.

        • Genghis says:

          Oh – I’m interested in hearing about the potential one. Please email me 🙂

        • James67 says:

          @Genghis, if you want to know how the magic works join the magic circle!

  4. So comparing it with say with using a BA premium plus card which gets you 1.5 avios plus normal club card points you are earning 0.9 avios more per £ on Tesco store spend. On petrol I think you get 1 cc per £ rather than the normal 0.5 with a normal clubcard so you earn 2.1 more avios per £.

    • Klaus-Peter Dudas says:

      On Tesco spend you’re earning an extra 2.4 Avios/£ (on top of what you earn with the club card anyway, which you get regardless of how you pay…)

      • Genghis says:

        The Tesco cc point earned in store should never be included in payment option calcs though should perhaps be for fuel if you don’t hold a Tesco credit card

      • Surely you only earn 0.9 extra because if you had used a BA card instead of the Tesco card you would earn 1.5. The Tesco card gives you 1cc or 2.4 miles which is 0.9 more than BA. On both methods the standard club card points for spend are the same so cancel out

    • Oliver says:

      Don’t forget the fee for the BAPP a Tesco debit card is free

  5. CatherineXX says:

    Hi, I have an OT question about AMEX.
    I have a gold card and want to refer my husband. Can I refer him for a platinum card or just a gold one, and would the bonus for both of us be the same?
    Thank you to anyone who can help

    • Genghis says:

      Same for both at 9k.

      Potential options:
      Straight to Gold -> 9k+22k+2k(+UG to Plat, 20k+1k) = 54k MR for £3k spend and a few quid in fees
      You UG to Plat then refer Plat->20k+1k+18k+35k+2k = 76k MR for £3k spend and a few more quid in fees

      • James67 says:

        What is a “few quid in fees” Genghis? Annua plat fee and cancel? At one time the platinum fee on upgrade was not applied until the anniversary date of the upgraded gold if I understood correctly? Is the £450 fee now applied soon after upgrade?

        • Genghis says:

          Not sure when fee now applied.

          Obviously people spend at different rates. Assuming a reasonable £2k per month spend based on the target audience being “UK-based business travellers and high-end leisure travellers” and that fee charged when UG to plat:

          Straight to Gold option then UG to plat only requires £1k spend on Plat so 1/12*0.5*450 = £17.50 fees if straight in straight out

          Upgrade to Plat then refer to plat requires £3k spend on plat so 1/12*1.5*450 = £56.25, thereby effectively paying £37.50 for an extra 22k MRs or 0.17p/MR.

        • James67 says:

          Yes, but people used to upgrade to platinum and didn’t get hit with the fee for months afterwards. I believed this to be the anniversary date of upgrade gold card. That was great because you took out PRG for free, got your bonus, upgraded to platinum, got another bonus and enjoyed platinum benefits for months fee-free. If the fee is now applied soon after upgrade then we have to choose between paying for platinum or cancelling the card. It would be useful if people using the new upgrade offer could report back on when the fee is applied,

      • Hubby is due to cancel his plat ( he hasn’t been charged a fee yet as it was an upgrade)….I am not due a churn til July….. Genghis would you wait or cancel in this situation?

        • Genghis says:

          You’ll have to do the maths to calculate if it’s worth it. Or if you answer the below I’ll do some rough calcs for you:
          1) When did your husband upgrade to Plat?
          2) When is your husband’s anniversary year?

        • He upgraded in June 16. I am assuming his anniversary year is may 17 as he got PRG last May.

        • Genghis says:

          If your husband upgraded in June but the fee for this year hasn’t crystallised (almost a full year but say £420), your husband would then have to pay for 2 more months (£75) to then refer you in July. £495 for 18k MRs. I’d cancel and then you can refer him 6 months after he cancels.

      • Are Amex actually offering 20k to upgrade Gold to Plat? At the end of last year there were several comments about how no upgrade bonus was being offered anymore.

    • James67 says:

      You can refer him for platinum.

    • Piggybacking on this – apologies – can anyone tell me how long from approval of the referee, the referrer gets their bonus avios for the BAPP?

    • Catherine, if you actually want your husband to end up with the Plat card, then you are best to refer him for the gold card, and then once he’s done the spend to trigger the bonus, get him to upgrade to platinum. You’ll end up with 7K more points than if you just referred him to platinum.

      You can of course upgrade youself to plat before referring him, but when all is done and dusted, you’ll both have platinum cards. So If your intention is to keep an amex card, then that means one of you will end up paying the full £450 in fees.

      For long term amex spend, it’s best you keep the gold card and refer him for gold for him to upgrade to platinum.

  6. Very important update that Hilton spend is accumulative!
    If only I’d known before…oh well.

    Related issue, I have pure Amex cards and MBNA one, the connect page mentioned above keeps sending me to the main Amex page, where I can’t see how to add the Hilton offer to my MBNA.
    Do I need to make another account for MBNA, with another email address?

    • I kept getting sent to the main amex page where the offer didn’t appear but if you don’t on a computer, type in card number and click stay on connect then it does eventually take you to the registration page

    • Alex W says:

      Yes i think you need a separate account for amex connect. Don’t try to login with your normal amex username and password.

    • It was mentioned quite a few times in the comments previously 😉 If you made enough tx and it didn’t credit then drop Amex a secure message..

  7. Hilton offer doesn’t appear on my supplementary Amex-Amex, it is possible to get it? When I try to register on Amex Connect every route still forces me to log in to the normal Amex page, where it doesn’t appear.

  8. Mr Bridge says:

    wonder if BA will adopt a similar policy to UA when overbooked!

    • Are you referring to the policy of overboarding and then asking people to get off, or calling the local thugs to assault them when they refuse?

    • It would be interesting to know what circumstances allow for force to be used in the UK where the passenger is not drunk or otherwise disruptive. There may be different regulations for issues aboard aircraft, however in all other circumstances the person could be said to be exercising their right to freedom of expression and peaceful protest by continuing to occupy their seat!

      • Nick_C says:

        Article 78 of The Air Navigation Order 2005 basically says you must do as you are told while on board an aircraft.

        • the real harry1 says:

          yep it’s an interesting one

          on ship & planes the captain is the Big Boss & can decide on whatever action he/she sees fit to take for the good of the vessel & pasengers

        • Doesn’t say you can be smacked in the mouth and dragged down an aisle though!

        • the real harry1 says:

          yes he can f he feels like it

        • the real harry1 says:

          OK frivolous but if the plane captain asked the rugby teamsters on board to ‘subdue’ a drunk & aggressive passenger, using force (ie punching him in the gut & face) – that would be fine, as long as it was proportionate

        • I’m looking at the secondary legislation not wikipedia.

        • “77. Every person in an aircraft shall obey all lawful commands which the commander of that aircraft may give for the purpose of securing the safety of the aircraft and of persons or property carried therein, or the safety, efficiency or regularity of air navigation.”

          It would hinge on whether the command was “lawful” – this doesn’t give the captain carte blanche to do what he/she likes. In the case of the UA plane (if this were to happen in the UK), I’m not sure wanting to swap one passenger for cabin crew would be classed as “securing the safety of the aircraft”.

        • Nick_C says:

          Which is why I quoted 78 and not 77.

          “No person shall while in an aircraft —
          (a)use any threatening, abusive or insulting words towards a member of the crew of the aircraft;
          (b)behave in a threatening, abusive, insulting or disorderly manner towards a member of the crew of the aircraft; or
          (c)intentionally interfere with the performance by a member of the crew of the aircraft of his duties.”

          If the crew have been instructed to remove you from the aircraft and you refuse, then you are in the wrong. (Even if they are also in the wrong!)

        • Genghis says:

          Is it the crew’s duty to offload passengers that have already boarded such that the airline can operate effectively the following morning?

    • James67 says:

      What does one do when they drag your other half on a 2for1 off the plane kicking and screaming? Answers to Alex on a postcard please, he needs more feedback from passengers to deliver the service improvements we all crave.

      • what happens when they drag you out of club world into economy, screaming ‘no i am not going there, i want my champagne’?!?

  9. Wally1976 says:

    Completely OT – was down in London with the family at the weekend and used Uber for the very first time (using £15 free first journey as advertised here :-)).

    Felt very strange not handing over any cash at the end of the journey but it set me wondering – what is the etiquette regarding tips for Uber?

    • The same etiquette as for tips in any other situation in the UK

      • You do not tip Uber drivers. It used to be specifically noted in the T&C’s that you shouldn’t although that wording has now been relaxed.

        • Genghis says:

          The only extra I give Uber drivers is my great chat…

        • Yes you need to keep your Uber rating up, dont the drivers get to rate you?! I always chat about experiences with Uber in other countries, they seem interested in that.

        • Genghis says:

          Yes. First time I’ve ever checked and I’m 4.58. Perhaps my chat isn’t as good as I thought 🙂

        • the real harry1 says:

          out of 10?
          not so hot, Genghis 🙂

        • Just checked mine and I’m 4.63. Time to up your chat Genghis 🙂

          When I was in Orlando a few weeks ago, the driver had a notice on the back of the headrest saying tips are welcomed. I love being able to get out and not worry about having to tip etc. Also knowing that you haven’t been taken on an extra 5 mile journey is a bonus.

        • Even that seems a bit poor, I’m on 4.59 and my kids cause chaos in Uber cars, including once throwing up (luckily into a bag), on a regular basis 🙂

        • LOL Rob, good shot from your child.

          Uber ratings are out of 5.

  10. With the Tesco accounts, do the direct debit need to be set up, or actually pay out each month?

  11. For the Hilton offer:
    4 of us are having a few days away so need 2 rooms, currently selling at £140 each.
    Staying for 3 nights Is it feasible for 3 of us to each book a night with the offer? If I rang up would the hotel be likely to link the bookings to avoid checking in & out each day? Or would that be too difficult to organise?

    • Hotels can usually do this fine. I’ve done similar with my girlfriend and I booking separately using points. Hotels have always been able to keep us in the same room so far.

      • Genghis says:

        I’ve also done this many times. Good for combining say a Hilton free night with a paid stay or if you want to remain flexible by booking a fully refundable (cash or points) stay in one night batches so you can chop and change nights etc.

    • Easy to link bookings. I have 3 separate bookings here in Tokyo for 3 nights (because middle night required a Premium Room Hilton redemption) and in HK we had 2 separate bookings over 4 nights. Very easy for hotel to link.

  12. Oh man, I’ve already done the lump sum payment for my council tax and service charge. Oh well, there’s always next year

    • Genghis says:

      You mean you’d like to have paid using the Tesco debit card? 0.3 avios /£ is not great. Note you can ‘accidentally’ overpay your council tax and then ask for a refund (to your bank account).

    • James67 says:

      You can ask for a refund minus amount already due, and then pay all over again with a method of your choice.

      • Thanks guys. I can’t be bothered with installments/DD, and just pay the whole lot as a lump. My council charges for CCs, so DC is my only option.

        Yes, weird people like me do exist 😀

    • Oliver says:

      Santander 123 lite does 1% back on council tax direct debit don’t forget

  13. OT Fingers crossed my points transfer problem with Lloyds Avios credit card has now been resolved. Points for the missing 4 months were transferred manually last week – received a refund of the £24 fee, £275 comp and £13 for phone calls – total £312. Proof will be on18/4 if the next statement points transfer automatically. Points to date were 12818 – been told that once the issue has been resolved completely by Lloyds I will receive all those points again (within 26 wks)

    • Genghis says:

      The 2.5 avios/£ might just continue past six months as well if you’re lucky…

      • Nick_C says:

        Sounds interesting! Could you elaborate on that?

        • Some folk have been lucky and it has continued, for most of us it stopped though – don’t think there’s anything you can do to change it though!

      • James67 says:

        Mine was still going great ar 2.5 after 9 months then following issues with my card they sent me a new one sans doubld points. In the end it didn’t matter as I no longer have great interest in avios so cancelled the card. Now focussing on MR and SPG points (for LH F, nig yet sure) or hotels. Clubcard points I will likely use for Hilton in the UK by cherry picking good value stays.

        • Genghis says:

          There’s value in Intrepid travel too at 3x for Tesco cc vouchers.

        • the real harry1 says:

          good spot

          somewhat niche but interesting

        • James67 says:

          Right up our street Genghis, thanks. We much prefer independent travel but this is still worthy of exploring although I cannot see us earning any more than about 10k clubcard points a year excluding bonuses.

        • Genghis says:

          I’m an independent travel kinda guy too but I used them to book a tour in Kruger next Feb. Might use them more if we like this one

    • Nicely done, Liz 🙂

    • Alex W says:

      I thought the every day offers were just for the Lloyds debit card. I thought the credit card cash back was only through Amex connect?

  14. OT I have received an alert on my Equifax credit file showing a company called SYGMA Ltd for a credit card – is this part of Creation – just recently taken out the IHG Creation Card.

  15. Hi Rob
    I have had 2 Tesco bank accounts for a couple of years with 2 direct debits- do i have to increase it to 3 or is that for new applicants?

  16. Genghis says:

    Earning 3 avios / £ on the BAPP?

    • the 3 x avios were for making a purchase through I’m hoping for 600 virgin miles for buying john lewis gift card in waitrose instore, 450 miles for spending said giftcard at john lewis online through, 225 avios for spending £150 on my BAPP to buy the giftcard. Sound right? Only waiting on the virgin miles…..

  17. Nate1309 says:

    O/T sorry, is anyone else having trouble accessing today, especially the manage my booking page. Trying to print the car hire voucher for a trip tomorrow but keeps coming up as an error. I have tweeted BA and messaged them but no response…

    • Optimus Prime says:

      I’m having the same issue.

      • sprout7 says:

        +1. Can’t access my upcoming flights at the weekend.

        • Same problem too but it says they are doing a test today to try again later

        • James67 says:

          [email protected], not sure if it’s something you would be happy to do with a new van Liz but you could make great money renting it out for a week for the Open at Carnoustie next year. If of interest yoh would need to get the site booked asap.

        • Wouldn’t rent it out – I know people who rented out their old large house in Barry for the last Open in Carnoustie. It was rented to 5 top Nike execs – they made a fortune – enough for a family of 6 to go to Florida and then some!

      • Nate1309 says:

        Thanks, they finally messaged me back and said to ring them.

        • Nate1309 says:

          Speaking to the woman on the phone she said to try after 4pm. But that is was a major issue and they couldn’t access any booking information in the office either. She did say that the airport computers were working and if needs be my car hire voucher could be printed there. If that helps anyone. As there is no BA desk at CWL I guess I will take my chances with my email conformation if it still isn’t working before I leave.

  18. Magarathea says: is down for me as well. I have a query about seat reservations on business class redemption bookings. I have done about 10, 2-4-1 redemptions in the last few years either in First or business class. Previously, seat reservations have not been a problem as First redemptions are free and I was BA silver for the business class bookings therefore also free. I’m now however BA blue and booked a business class 2-4-1 redemption to Los Angeles for March 2018. When I last looked at a few days ago it said I could only book seats at checkin. No option to pay extra to select seats. Is this correct? Any feedback would be appreciated.

    • sounds to me like you have been forcibly downgraded, like anon…hope not for your sake.

    • Nate1309 says:

      you should be able to pay to reserve seats. But as blue you do have to wait until check in 🙁

    • Nick_C says:

      When you find out how much they charge, you may not want to! I’m flying to LA in June this year in J on a 241. Seat reservation starts at £77 but the best seats are £95 pp each way! Free in first, but very rare to find first redemptions on this route.

  19. the real harry1 says:


    Airspace Explorer is a flight tracking and airspace education app. It has been developed by NATS (the UK’s leading provider of Air Traffic Control services) in partnership with FlightAware (the global flight data provider) and supported by AirTeamImages – the aviation images library. It’s currently in beta format

  20. Does anyone know if the same Tesco CC point conditions work on the debit cards? i.e. you won’t be getting any CC points for buying a gift card in store? Or would I be getting 50 cc points for spending £50 on a gift card?

    • Genghis says:

      Regardless of payment method, no clubcard points on gift cards now I’m afraid.

      • Indeed – Morrisons the only decent options for points earning on GCs – 25 per GBP, so 2.5% (5000pts=£5 voucher)

      • You get the pts for the gift card spend using the Tesco credit card but not for using the Clubcard

  21. Crafty says:

    OT (slightly): as Hilton Gold, is breakfast included for both occupants of my room, or just me?

    • For both of you – some hotels picky re the 2nd occupant being listed so you’d need to have booked the room for 2 rather than 1 – most don’t care at all and will happily let lots more in (eg if 2 parents/2 kids)

    • TzarChasm says:

      I was wondering this too. If I was to book Hilton Rangali, apply for Amex Plat and upgrade my status before I reach there, would both of us get free breaky?

  22. Callum says:

    I know you added the caveat after but it really should be changed to “up to 0.3 Avios per pound”. I don’t think normal debit card usage will get anywhere near that amount. I know when I had the Tesco credit card my average was far lower than the maximum.

  23. OT – how long does a BA Platinum Plus 2 for 1 voucher take to appear after hitting the spend target? Some juicy reward flights have come available and I am £50 short of target, I can pay a little bit of a BA holiday balance to hit the target.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      A few days for me but might of been becuase of my statement timing as it’s posted on the 26th of the month, possibly just coincidence.

    • Genghis says:

      I had to wait well over a week last time

      • Oh well, fingers crossed the seats are still around. Might buy some iTunes vouchers with my lunch so there’s an online and in store charge too…

  24. Excellent timing for the Amex/Hilton offer. I originally only got it on my BAPP which I used for two seperate stays, including the Hilton I am currently in. Have now managed to register my BAPP Sup, Plat and Plat Sup. I can use one for the incidental spend t this hotel and the others for advance bookings for summer holiday to Hong Kong/Tokyo. Looking forward to Rob’s reviews from his trip.

    • Hi Pid
      You may want to double check the T&C, if I remember correctly the hotels that are eligible for this offer are mainly Hilton hotels in Europe. I think there is a PDF doc with list of Hilton hotels.

  25. James67 says:

    OT: Munoz appears to have changed his tune

  26. The stationery offer is great for the self employed. There is three boxed paper options (5 reams) options. From £17 which is compariable to other retailers pricing. You can mix 3 of these and 1 of the £21 one to get to £72 with £3 for delivery or free store collection..

    I’m on old grandfathered rates so getting about 3500 avios for £75 spend which I can reclaim VAT and use as a tax deductible (£44 or less) and will make use of the paper in the office.

  27. Alex W says:

    Would the Tesco debit card get Clubcard ponita on foreign currency purchase?

  28. O/T – I wish to book BA flights for myself & partner travelling together, one on a cash ticket, one on a RFS reward ticket. Can this be achieved online somehow? (I doubt it)

    And if by telephone, presumably it can be done but I shouldn’t be charged for the pleasure?

    Ideally I want same PNR for free seat selection (I have BA silver, partner has nowt) unless there is a way round this?


    • I’m not sure Amadeus can mix two fare basis codes for the same flight in the same PNR, so even if they were willing to do it I don’t think it’s even possible to have one pax on a cash fare and the other on a redemption in the same PNR.

    • Alex W says:

      You could try 2x one ways. Or 2 returns with part pay with Avios.

  29. Thanks guys, I agree, I don’t think its possible (the cash fare will be on expenses, so can’t mess about with one-way options or use part pay with Avios unfortunately) – separate seats it most likely will have to be!

    • the real harry1 says:

      worth asking whoever authorises your expenses if you can buy 2 tickets on part pay with Avios (or whatever) then claim the correct cash back based on online information of the right amount?

      I did this with a friendly boss & swapped a business return to USA for a RTW ticket in cattle so that I could start my hols after the business trip & scuba dive off the Great Barrier Reef for 2 weeks

      he saved the business nearly a couple of £thou and I got to Australia for free

    • Alex W says:

      If you can go Virgin, get the black credit card, spend £7.5k and get the companion voucher 🙂

  30. OT- MBNA has upped their EK card sign up bonus to 25K miles on paid (£150 fee) card.

  31. Apologies if already mentioned but with the Tesco debit card you get the 1 point per£1 spent for using your card plus the normal 1 point per £1 spent from Clubcard . Tesco bank will add up the bonus points every quarter and add it to your statement.

  32. Oliver says:

    Hi Rob, i believe the best tesco debit card is now the best way to get avios when buying fuel? Tesco debit card at tesco filling station. Using the Tesco credit/debit card as your clubcard and paying with the tesco debit card you would now get 2 points per £ which is 4.8 avios per £? or 5 virgin miles per £

  33. Yes, not an issue – just ask the hotel how much you want charged to one card, then change it to the 2nd one for the remainder.

    • Thanks Alan.

      Can anyone also confirm whether it works for cumulative stays of up to £250 spending before deadline?

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