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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 (111)

  • 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… :))

  • Doug M says:

    My Waitrose points track fine from Wandsworth, but always fail from Holloway Road, Possibly a store by store issue?

  • Jon says:

    O/T but talking of things being discontinued – apparently Virgin will no longer offer Flying Club miles redemptions on Malaysia Airlines after August 31st. On the plus side, you can redeem until then for travel up to eleven months thereafter, and London to Kuala Lumpur return is still only 145,000 FC miles (do a dummy Avios booking on to check availability, then call Virgin to book). Shame – that was one of my favourite redemptions.

    • Jon says:

      ^in First.

    • Rob says:

      Thanks, will take a look.

      • Jon says:

        Malaysia Airlines have also announced a devaluation (sorry, enhancement) to their own Enrich programme, switching from distance-based redemptions to price/demand based. Etihad do the same as I recall, and no doubt others do or soon will – shape of things to come etc 🙁

    • CV3V says:

      Also, MAS are switching to the Amadeus booking system.

      • Jon says:

        Will be interesting to see how smoothly that goes. Given that their online booking stopped working on anything Safari-based for about three weeks recently and even now, if you’re viewing on iPad or iPhone, none of the main site content / manage my booking / chef on call etc can be accessed…

  • Simon says:

    O/T – Flying out of Gatwick South at 7am on Monday morning. Any ideas how busy the lounges will be then? Any need to pre-book the No1 lounge or will it be a waste of money. Thanks

    • Klaus-Peter Dudas says:

      We flew out of Gatwick South a few weeks ago at 6:40 AM (to Dubrovnik). Skipped the BA lounge and had breakfast in the Grain Store (£30 off for the two of us). At that time in the morning I’d say that’s better than the lounge if you have a Priority Pass.

  • Jamie Carter says:

    The timing of this article couldn’t be any better for me as I need to top off my FC account by c2000 miles for a planned redemption – £500 of Waitrose giftcards ought to do the job nicely. Thanks for the advanced notice Rob, I would’ve been gutted to find out after it had already been pulled/reduced.

    • Jamie Carter says:

      So after rushing out to buy £500 of Waitrose giftcards last night, I just logged on today to find they’ve increased the offer to 5 points per £1. Well I definitely didn’t see that coming!! Missing out on an extra 500 miles isn’t the end of the world I guess.

  • Tom says:

    OT The Tesco Now TV Boxes Offer is now back in stock.

    • Kathy says:

      The entertainment package is still OOS – it’s the cinema one that is showing up in stock.

      • Tom says:

        Sorry, yes, you are right, it is just the Movie package in stock.

        Also, you can buy multiple and use the current discount code available for spending £40/75/150 on electronics. Which works out as: buy 10 for £130 and get 5130 clubcard points – converts to roughly 12,300 avios => £0.0105 per avios plus you have 10 Now TV boxes to gift as gifts/resell.

        Pretty good deal in my eyes!

  • Gavin says:


    My 2nd bonus batch of IHG points has credited for taking out the Creation White credit card

  • Jeff says:

    OT – Supercard is closing down!

    • Mark e says:

      Yep just got my letter from supercard. Finishes July 24th. Not financially sustainable it would seem.

      • Lev441 says:

        To be honest, I stopped using it when they rolled it out to the general public. I signed up for the card during the beta, and also the final version but there are better alternatives out there and I don’t think I’ve used it once!

      • The Original Nick. says:

        Yep, got mine too..

      • Carl says:

        Yeah, got mine too. Reall shame. I feel like I remember Rob making some comment about how he didn’t see how they’d make money at some point. I guess he was right.

    • Graeme says:

      Also got my letter today. It’s a shame as I was still using it for card transactions abroad – perhaps Rob could do us a nice article about the alternatives (to take the thinking out of it for me!) and the trade-off between points and costs? 😉

      • Rob says:

        Tomorrow ….

        • Axel says:

          Would be good Rob if you include a review of the replacement called the “Travelex Money card”.

          Email if you need a link

          • Rob says:

            It isn’t a replacement. I did an article when it launched if you search.

          • Alan says:

            Not a great card – better going with 0%, Lloyds Avios or Curve with 1% fee than bothering with that sort of one. If you really want prepaid then Monzo is better as no inactivity fees and can withdraw cash at UK ATMs.

          • Graeme says:

            I think what Axel is referring to is the e-mail I received last night about my “NEW prepaid card” that I haven’t applied for.

          • Alan says:

            Although I’m not sure it’s any different apart from being labelled Platinum and potentially having some weak travel insurance benefits!

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