Bits: 2400 Avios with Tesco Mobile, Qatar Airways launches Cardiff!

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News in brief:

2,400 Avios with a new Tesco Mobile phone

If you’re looking for a, possibly spare or second, mobile phone, Tesco Mobile has a new offer.  Buy any of these six phones and you will receive 1,000 bonus Clubcard points, worth 2,400 Avios or 2,500 Virgin Flying Club miles.

The phones start at £69.  I’m not an expert on this but there might be some eBay resale potential here too.  Full details are in this Shopper Points article.

Alcatel Pop 4

Qatar Airways to launch services from Cardiff Wales Airport

Qatar Airways had promised the announcement of a “ground-breaking experience for passengers” at Arabian Travel Market this week, but I don’t think anyone was prepared for something this ground-breaking.

Qatar Airways is launching services from Cardiff Wales Airport in 2018.  Cardiff joins San Francisco, Kiev and Lisbon among 12 new cities earmarked for services.  There is no word of whether the Welsh Assembly has oiled the wheels with a route support deal or what aircraft type will be used.  Qatar does occasionally use short-haul planes for connections from second-tier airports.

Qatar Airways is, of course, a oneworld partner airline which means that you can earn and redeem Avios points, and earn British Airways tier points, when flying with Qatar.

Anyone expecting exceptionally cheap deals may be disappointed though.  The Qatar / British Airways partnership deal, under which the two airlines share the revenue from services on both airlines between the UK and Doha, may well restrict the ability to discount to the levels we have seen in Europe.

(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.)

What is the best Avios credit card? (Part 2: on-going earning rates)
New Premier Inn directly at Terminal 4 now bookable for £29.50!
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  1. OT – new Amex deal with £10 back at ASK Italian, if anybody ever goes there – they are one of the in-store retailers for BA’s new venture for awarding Avios on in-store purchases, so would combine nicely.

    • Rats, didn’t know about that and went to ask on Sunday! Lovetheatre is on amex with 5% back and also is BA/avios partner.

  2. Wow Cardiff is so much easier than LHR if you are Devon/Cornwall! Is there a good lounge at Cardiff Airport?

  3. Sorry but completely O/T but hoping someone can answer: I am about to book flights using avios and Lloyds upgrade vouchers. I know I can only use BA as the carrier and that I won’t earn air miles but but will I still earn tier points?

  4. O/T – but need help please. I already have an Amex Gold card in my personal name, but I need a business credit card too. I’d like to get an Amex business card (Gold). Has anyone had any positive experience of getting the sign up bonus for the business card while also having a gold card in your personal name. I know that the site says that you do not get the bonus in this case, but i wondered how strict they are in applying this. Alternatively, does anyone have any advice or personal experience regarding which business credit card are best or highly recommended?

    • RussellH says:

      Might I ask why you (anyone) need(s) a business credit card?

      The following may well not be tru for Amex, but was certainly true for Visa/MC al least until the end of 2013:

      1. Business cards charged an annual fee whereas personal cards did not
      2. Business cards never offered any points / rewards / avios etc.
      3. The charge for accepting business cards was significantly more than that for accepting personal cards – IIRC WorldPay wanted an extra 0.5%.
      4. Today there is no interchange fee cap on business crads, so that margin may well be significantly more!

      I never had any problems with using personal credit cards for my business, and I seem to recall that Raffles has mentioned that HfP is all run from an Amex Platinum card.

      Business credit cards always seemed to be the ultimate bank rip-off IMHO.

      • I think an article on business credit cards might be good since the Amex cards have slightly different benefits to the personal ones.

        I currently use the MBNA black Virgin cards (personal) for my business but I’d like a Avios one as well.

        • Mzungu says:

          Yes, I think that would be useful – although as RussellH says, business cards are probably a bit of a minority interest on here.

          I have an Amex Corporate Gold, which I only keep as I use Amex foreign exchange services in my business. Forex earns MR points provided you link it to a Corporate Gold or Plat card. These days I’m not sure of the other benefits, so I use my BAPP for day-to-day spending.

      • I have a new limited company through which i contract my services and my accountant is telling me that i should keep my personal and business affairs clearly separate. So when i pay for business flights etc, this should ideally be on a business account credit or debit card. The risk apparently is that when your client pays the expense reimbursement into your business bank account, and you transfer it to your personal bank account, that this can be seen as a taxable disbursement from the company and you will therefore pay higher levels of NIC. At least thats the way I think it was explained to me. I prefer to pay for everything using my Gold Amex and BAPP cards for the rewards benefits. What does the taxman think about this, if anything is my accountant being too conservative??

        • Ask your accountant why, when you go online to pay your PAYE or Corporation Tax bill by credit card, the HMRC website specifically recommends that you pay with a personal credit card because the fee will be substantially lower.

          The idea that anyone from HMRC is going to come in and spend a few days going through your accounts just to hit you with a £50 NIC bill because your expenses were paid into one account and then transferred to another is beyond ludicrous.

          • When I’ve paid HMRC bills with a personal credit card, I’ve treated it as a director’s loan. Please note I’m not offering professional advice though.

            I do have a separate set of credit cards (but in my name, not the company’s) that I use for day to day business expenses, which helps to separate out expenses from personal expenditure. I pay this credit card bill straight from the company bank account.

          • Genghis says:

            Exactly. If pay business expenses personally, treat it as directors loan, Dr expense, Cr directors loan acct. We then clear that down regularly and definitely at year end, Dr directors loan acct, Cr cash. It’s not treated as a dividend.

          • Genghis says:

            I’m not offering professional advice either. But that’s what I do and I’m an ACA

        • Mzungu says:

          I have personal cards that I use in my Ltd company. I keep separate cards for business use, and pay those cards off directly from the business bank account. No need for the funds to touch the Directors’ loan account. (I do use the Directors’ loan account for other things, as detailed above by those who know far more than me!).

          This has worked fine for me for the past 10 years, and with the blessing of my accountant.

          • Genghis says:

            In theory, intra month they should be booked to the directors loan acct and then cleared down once you pay your credit card bill, but why bother. I’d do it exactly the same

          • Plus remember that Amex are happy to issue an additional card in your own name if you want to make it easier to track business vs personal spend – it just has “A.C.” added to the end of your name. Sometimes can be handy for ShopSmall, etc. too as it has a different card number 🙂

  5. The ever lovely Mr Cate suggests that anyone outside of the UK looking to book a flight into Cardiff airport is going to be mightily disappointed if they think the picture used on Cardiff airport site is Cardiff :

  6. Gareth says:

    OT hopefully OT ok on and bits article, I have the Amex offer for 50 off 250 Hilton spend to use still which expires 8th may. It refers multiple times on offer to checkout spend, if I simply prepay for the room will that be sufficient for the 50 back, thanks

  7. the real harry1 says:

    O/T data point – couldn’t use my usual Co-Op for council tax as they got sold a week ago and the new owner won’t take Amex thru PayPoint (we tried it & it didn’t go through). So I went to Texaco>PayPoint instead and it went through fine. Probably depends on your particular Texaco though as I think a lot of them are franchised.

  8. JamesR says:

    O/T because im a total moron, ive paid for another Amex annual insurance policy when I already had one. Amex arent going to refund me on that are they… ?

    • the real harry1 says:

      most insurance policies eg car, house etc MUST be refunded pro rata by the insurer on your demand, though they are entitled to charge you service fees – worth simply asking if they’ll refund you

    • Sundar says:

      U can call and ask to cancel stating duplicate insurance and they will cancel and refund.

    • RussellH says:

      IIRC, you must have a 14 day cooling off period during which you can cancel for any reason at all at no cost.

  9. JamesB says:

    In the past hour I’ve received two separate email witb avios logos etc confirming transfer from something called abas and ucount. I have never heard of these and email contained no personal information. Take care not to click any buttons in these emails and just delete them if received.

    • bossman81 says:

      Yes, had the same. Deleted

    • Looks related to a Scam spoofing Standard Bank reward points in Zimbabwe…

      There’s info on the genuine Avios site, delibrately not posting links here…

      But yes, don’t open & delete/block.

      • Looks more like a system error rather than a scam.

        Still best to ignore and delete the messages though!

  10. Same here.
    Its troubling that they have my avios balance correct….

    • JamesB says:

      Interesting, never noticed that. Might be prudent to go to BA and combibe avios there and change avios log in details.

      • Tweet from @AviosUK, looks like a cock-up rather than a scam.

        “We’re aware that an email for our South African customers has been sent to some of our UK base in error, please disregard. Thx ^VW”

  11. JamesB says:

    OT: Plans for a 50% reduction in APD on flights from Scotland passed their first hurdle today:

    • It’s a good idea. Once implemented I’d like to see reductions in APD for airports in the north of England to remain competitive then introduce a tiered charge throughout the country so that only LHR/LGW/LCY remain at 100% APD.

      • Alex W says:

        Presumably BA will just increase their surcharges on redemptions to make up the difference?

        • Callum says:

          Why? The majority of airports they serve don’t levy APD (to a similar level as us anyway) but they didn’t increase surcharges from them to match the UK level – including Aberdeen.

      • JamesB says:

        You will likely find some take exception to your comments on the London airports. I used to share your views but I’m now less convinced. Regional expansion is taking place all across the UK despite LHR so penalising it and the other London airports might just be self-defeating by reducing choice, not increasing it. London area will always be able to attract both greater frequencies and a broader range of destinations than the regions ever could simply due to the density of population and commerce in the south east. A more interesting question might be whether it is in the interests of passengers to meddle with BAs monopoly at LHR, however, I am now against that too as the most likely outcome would be a decrease in the number of nonstop longhaul destinations.

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