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Bits: should you buy Waitrose gift cards today?, Amex MR and the Heathrow Rewards deal

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Deals in brief:

What happens to the Waitrose / Virgin Atlantic deal tomorrow?

For the last few weeks, the ability to earn 4 Virgin Flying Club miles for every £1 spent in-store at Waitrose has been a good earner for many Head for Points readers.  Details of the deal are here.

According to the Virgin website, the Waitrose deal will change tomorrow.  It isn’t clear how.  It could go away entirely or the rate could drop from 4 miles per £1 – which I personally see as over-generous, given that margins are paper-thin in grocery retailing – to something more sustainable.

The ‘ends 24th May’ deadline is not showing on the Waitrose page of the Virgin website.  It is only shown on a rotating banner on their shopping home page.

If you are nervous, you might want to pop into Waitrose today and buy a gift card for a few hundred pounds to cover your shopping for the next few weeks.  The gift card would also be valid in John Lewis.  I’ll let you know what happens to the offer after the 24th.

Waitrose Virgin Flying Club miles

Cashing out Amex Membership Rewards points via the Emirates / Heathrow Rewards promotion

I wrote yesterday about the new Heathrow Rewards offer, which is offering a 100% bonus this week when you cash out your points for Heathrow shopping vouchers.  You will get 2p per Heathrow Rewards point via a paper gift voucher valid at Heathrow for shopping, food or drink for 12 months.

I mentioned yesterday that, because you can convert Emirates Skywards miles into Heathrow Rewards (3:1 ratio, chunks of 6000 miles) this is a good way of emptying out any orphaned Emirates miles.

This could also be a way of using up any Amex Membership Rewards points you have.  Be clear that you can get better value than this elsewhere, but it is more valuable than redeeming Amex points for other gift cards.

This is how it works:

Transfer Amex Membership Rewards points to Emirates Skywards in chunks of 6,000 points (1:1, transfer is INSTANT)

Transfer Emirates Skywards miles to Heathrow Rewards in chunks of 6,000 miles (3:1, transfer is INSTANT)

Redeem Heathrow Rewards points before Monday for paper shopping voucher in chunks of 250 points

6,000 Amex points would get you 6,000 Emirates Skywards miles which would get you 2,000 Heathrow Rewards points which gets you a £40 Heathrow Airport shopping and restaurant voucher.

That is 0.66p per Amex Membership Rewards point.  You can do better than this in terms of ‘notional’ value (you should get double that if transferred to Avios and spent smartly) but if you just wanted to ‘dump’ your Amex points then this isn’t a bad route.  Because the transfers are both instant there is no risk of missing out.

Comments (109)

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  • Paul Welch says:

    Any idea how long it takes to get the paper voucher or can this be collected at Heathrow?

    • Rob says:

      You can’t collect it. I ordered some yesterday, will let you know when they arrive – although I guess they are a little swamped this week and it is almost certainly a manual process.

  • DV says:

    All my shops have registered successfully since 29 March, and the points have begun to post to the VS account, so it’s probably worth buying a card. Given you can then use it to buy food in Waitrose, or in John Lewis, there is no risk in doing so

  • Janet Thomas says:

    OT: Re. Supercard. Just received letter informing me Supercard will be closing on 24th July! what are people’s thoughts on applying for Curve card whilst not actually having a business?

    • Lumma says:

      Just say that your a freelancer and an entrepreneur. They’ll not check.

      • Rob says:

        Curve don’t check what you write but they do monitor statements and randomly cancel a few cards a month for people who use them too often in places where there is little business need to be there. That said, Curve Rewards pays you rewards at loads of places which are not business related – I got 1.5% back at Marks & Spencer yesterday!

        My personal view is that this is a token gesture to convince MasterCard that they are monitoring the situation. If you only use Curve abroad for hotels etc then that clearly can be business related.

        There is a ‘personal’ version in the works. The issue for Curve is that they won’t make any money on interchange fee arbitrage on a personal version so they need to find another way of monetising it.

        • Genghis says:

          We’re doing alright out of Curve rewards. 3% extra at M&S, DP for my wife, Debenhams etc. Not as good as Tesco vouchers previously but better than nothing.

          When Curve rewards came out I contacted them and asked if they’d send me a Black card as I planned on putting more spend through. It worked.

  • Jovanna says:

    OT: Just had an email to inform me that Supercard is closing. I think I applied last summer and the application was never processed.

  • john says:

    OT: Signed up for Creation IHG Mastercard (free version) via the link in email from IHG offering 20,000 points. Only got 10,000 points credited. I emailed them on 11th May requesting the extra 10,000 and heard back today that they would appear in June 2017 statement. Not sure if other people have had this issue but thought I would share my experience.

    • Genghis says:

      I was told 3 months so that makes sense

      • Liz says:

        @Genghis – my additional 20k posted today – less than the 90 days quoted.

        • Alan says:

          Out of interest how long did it take, Liz? They quoted me 8 weeks…

          • Genghis says:

            Thanks for letting us know Liz. Soon after I got the offer, I got the card and spent £200 straight away and received the first 10k within the first month. It’s now been the second month (although statement not yet produced) but no sign of the second batch. I’ll wait till the third statement produced next month before complaining.

          • Liz says:

            Can’t remember Alan – took it out in March sometime so probably around 8 weeks – travelling home today so can check when I get back – can’t remember what we did 2 days ago – this trip was so jammed packed we’ve forgotten half the stuff we’ve done or where things were – going to read my journal on the plane and relive it all again.

          • Alan says:

            Ah OK – great to know you received them (someone on FT just reported getting twice the sign-up bonus they expected, would be delighted if their IT makes that mistake for me too!).

            Glad you’ve had such a good trip and enjoy reliving it on your flight back 🙂

          • Liz says:

            @Genghis – this must be my 3rd statement although not checked yet

    • johnny_c-l says:

      My 10k additional appeared this morning in my account, without any chasing.

      I had a letter from IHG offering the card and think I applied a week or two before the article on here.

      • johnny_c-l says:

        They arrived with my second statements normal points posting.

        • Genghis says:

          Just checked. Nothing here

          • Dougie Forde says:

            Just checked and found they were there – didn’t expect it to happen at all as I hadn’t used the link. Result!

    • Jamie Carter says:

      The same has happened to me, though I went for the premium card for the 40000 points. I emailed them on 10th May and got their reply yesterday, though their response doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence – especially as I used the link in my sister’s email:
      “I confirm we are due to transfer 21,604 points to your IHG rewards account when the May 2017 statement issues.
      If you have received a communication from us regarding the bonus points, these will be added to your account at a later date.”

    • Alan says:

      They said 8 weeks from making the qualifying spend when they replied to my email, so they’ve got another month to go before I start chasing them again.

  • the real harry1 says:

    good job I never bothered with it! 🙂

  • RTS says:

    Bugger – has the upgrade from gold to platinum card been pulled again?

    • Genghis says:

      Looks like it. Not available for me

      • Moktar says:

        Just when I was thinking to upgrade next week 🙁

        What are the chances that the the link will resurrect in the next couple of weeks? Have a trip coming up in the last week of June and was planning to use the priority pass..

        • MarkH says:

          You can still send a message to CS asking to upgrade and if there would be any bonus points for doing so.

          They initially offered me 10k MR to upgrade with no spend required (others had 15k/20k offered I think) but I ended up using the upgrade link as I thought 20k for £1k spend was a better deal

  • Janet Thomas says:

    Thanks Rob & Genghis. Is there any useful links for Curve & do you think there’s any chance of a promotion due to closure of Supercard?

    • Genghis says:

      Use Rob’s referral code?

      • Rob says:

        You get £5 credit for free using my refer a friend code which is OQB4J

    • Brian says:

      Search for Rob’s article on it – has all the details and his referral code, which will get both you and him £5 in rewards – helps to keep the site ticking over, as he would say… :))

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