Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Bits: new Amex cashback deals, Amex wine deal, 35% ‘buy Avios’ bonus

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News in brief:

Amex launches new travel statement credit deals

A new batch of statement credit deals has appeared from American Express.  Some, all or none of these offers will appear on the statement page of your online accounts.

Remember that the offers differ for each card you hold.  You need to ‘save’ the offer in order to take advantage.

Amex does a bad job of explaining which deals allow cumulative spend and which do not.  For safety you should assume that you need to do the spend in one transaction, but in reality some will pay out if you cumulatively hit the spend target over the promotional period.

Here are the new offers I saw:

Monarch – £20 back on £200 spend, expires 14th May

Addison Lee – £10 back on £30 spend, expires 4th June (app link is here)

Hyatt – £50 back on £250 spend, expires 31st August – 5% back on all spend, expires 21st June (LOVEtheatre is an Avios earning partner)

Avis – £15 back on £100 spend, expires 6th May

If you ‘saved’ the recent Hilton offer (£50 back on £250 spend, which IS proving to be cumulative) remember that you need to hit the target spend by 8th May.

And a wine deal ….

There is also a Laithwaites wine deal available exclusively for American Express cardholders until 30th April.  Via this page, you can order 12 bottles of New Zealand sauvignon blanc for £66.60, which is just £5.55 per bottle – half the usual price.  Delivery is FREE.  (Oddly, whilst the deal is for Amex cardholders, you can pay with any card!)


Up to 35% bonus when you buy Avios

Iberia Plus has launched a new ‘buy Avios’ promotion which runs until 30th April.

The offer is:

10% bonus when you buy 2,000 to 15,000 Avios

20% bonus when you buy 20,000 to 24,000 Avios

30% bonus when you buy 30,000 to 80,000 Avios

35% bonus when you buy 85,000 to 100,000 Avios

At the top end, you will be paying €1,800 for 135,000 Avios.  Given the weak £, this works out at 1.12p per Avios based on £1,523.  You would need to add a 3% foreign exchange fee to this price if your credit card has one.

I would not usually be a buyer at this price unless I had a very specific redemption in mind which I knew would be worth more than I am paying.

The exact rules for who can buy Iberia Plus Avios are always confusing.  You MUST have been an Iberia Plus member for 90 days before you can transfer Avios from Iberia to BA via ‘Combine My Avios’.  I think you also need to have earned at least one Avios point in your Iberia account before you can buy points although that may have changed.

(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.)

Comments (102)

  • JamesR says:

    OT – Ive realised a bit of an issue I have regarding a positioning flight return DOH-ARN-LON

    Im flying back to Stockholm from Sydney in November and Ive realised I land in Stockholm at 7pm which on the surface is fine.. however the latest flight back to london that night is 9pm, with Norwegian.. Am I up a creek here? Is 2 hours enough to get through customs/baggage, Check in bag then be back at the gate?

    (keeping in mind ive already gone a bit over with my holiday from work and I ideally need to be in the office the next morning, so a hotel overnight isnt really ideal)

    • Sam says:

      Difficult to say but I’ve been there once and it was busy. If it’s the Qatar flight then at least both flights will be at Terminal 5… Doesn’t the Doha flight land at 2000 anyway?

    • the real harry1 says:

      You might get serendipitous but for me that would be cutting it very fine – yesterday we landed early, de-planed & breezed through an empty Immigration @ T3 – then got stuck waiting for checked luggage (along with everybody else) – finally clearing Customs nearly an hour after landing.

      Unlucky? Yes – but what if your flight is half an hour late and the checked bag slow similar to ours? Then re-check-in & re-Security etc…

      Is hotel + taking the 7.05am the next day an option?

      • JamesR says:

        According to my itinerary its 19:00 it lands (seems it goes back an hour before November)

        The Terminals being the same is lucky. I might have to book the 21:00 and the 07:05 as a backup and grovel immensely if it all goes terribly wrong.

        I would hope at late time of night check in would be at the quieter end of the scale.

        • the real harry1 says:

          yep I was going to suggest buying both so that you had Option 2, I suppose Norwegian don’t do fully flex 🙂

          • JamesR says:

            Or… If I book the 20:10 BA to LHR couldn’t I get Qatar to check my baggage through leaving me airside the whole time so I can head to the gate with my boarding pass on the BA App??

          • the real harry1 says:

            better men than you have tried to get airlines to check luggage through like that – used to be straightforward, so worth a try

          • TGLoyalty says:

            All reports suggest Qatar will through check with other Oneworld carriers

        • Aliks says:

          Remember the gates for the London flight will close 20 or 30 mins before takeoff, and the arrival is timed as the moment the plane’s doors open up. You should probably lookup the Minimum Connection Time (MCT) on the ARN website.

          We got burned in a similar scenario on a Qatar flight returning to CDG at 7:30 pm. Our Easyjet flight to London was at 9:40 but then the Qatar flight was retimed and baggage was slow to arrive – etc etc. Net result we arrived at Easyjet checking 10 mins after it had closed and locked up for the night.

  • rick says:

    What is the best way to upgrade Amex PRGC to platinum.
    Using the link that is posted in last couple of weeks here or by calling customer services?
    Appreciate if anyone has applied recently and also to share when does the fee (£450) hit account?

    • Louise says:

      in theory the 450 fee should go on straight away, it was reported last year that this wasn’t happening but not heard any recent reports of this continuing. Best to factor in that you will be charged it from the off.

    • Sam says:

      Posted this in another comment but do not upgrade by phone. You do not get the 20k bonus doing the upgrade this way. The only way to get the bonus is via the link. The offer is different but everything else is the same. Fee is with your first statement.

      • Genghis says:

        Someone posted yesterday that £450 isn’t charged straight away?

        • RM says:

          Yes – we upgraded using the link, just had first statement and no fee charged. But as Louise suggests we hadn’t been counting on this and had factored the fee into our spending for the month.

        • Brembo87 says:

          @MattyS how did you go with your spending target? Did you get charged the fee?

          @TripRep I call them today and i was not offered 20k for the upgrade, however i might give it a go and see if I got any luck(via the link). I will report back once receive the card.
          I have the feeling that I wont get charged the fee either, however I will consider the fee.

      • Graham Walsh says:

        When I sent them a message online about upgrading they said phone up to upgrade and I’ll get x amount of points. Think it was 10 or 15k.

  • Optimus Prime says:

    Just in case there are any spanish HfP readers with a spanish amex card: looks like Amex Spain is giving a 20% bonus when transferring MR points to Iberia Plus until 4th May 2017.

  • the real harry1 says:

    that’s pretty good

    can you explain a bit more: was it online etc? otherwise how are you getting the Virgin miles?

  • TGLoyalty says:


    Online shopping tracks too, payments are processed by the store on the day.

  • the real harry1 says:

    O/T @ Sussex Bantam

    GBP1 = USD 1.32 this week looks possible! (OK, that would be stretching it.)

    But given Trump has said he favours the USD not strengthening any more going forward, I stand by 1.45 EOY.

    Big implications for points people if it works out like that.

  • David says:

    Just realised I might be spending £400 on an end of May Hilton trip – any chance I would get the cash back if I went for a pre-pay rate? Not 100% certain, but the extra cost saving would probably sway me towards booking now.

    • Alan says:

      A very good chance and not much risk if you are happy booking non refundable anyway. If your card isn’t charged within a day or two just call or email the hotel and ask them to process the charge.