Bits: 35% SPG points discount extended, Heathrow to open a gym, Europcar flash sale

News in brief:

35% discount when you buy Starwood Preferred Guest points extended

I had this written as a ‘last chance to buy’ piece.  And then, at 10pm, Starwood went and extended the deal until 14th July!

So, in that case, I only need to remind you that Starwood is offering a 35% discount when you purchase SPG Starpoints before 14th July, which is the new extended deadline. The link to buy is here.

The good news is that the bonus is NOT staggered.  As long as buy more than 5,000 points, you get the full 35% off.

At the top end, 30,000 points will cost you $682.50 (£529).  Assuming that you convert them to airline miles with the 25% uplift for moving chunks of 20,000 at a time, these can be converted to 37,500 airline miles in the majority of programmes.

This works out at 1.4p per airline mile.  This is not a great deal most of the time (you can often pick up Avios for 1.0p) but it might make sense with some other programmes.  You cannot buy Lufthansa Miles & More miles at all, directly, so being able to get them for 1.4p may well work for some people.

30,000 Starwood points would also convert into 90,000 Marriott Rewards points.  If you are working towards a Marriott Travel Package redemption – and they are outstanding value as this article explains – then buying the full 30,000 Starwood points may well make sense.

The rules are straightforward – points post within 24 hours, maximum purchase of 30,000 points per year, your SPG account must be 14 days old to participate.

If you are interested, you can buy SPG points via this link.  But you no longer need to jump in today ……

SPG Starwood

Heathrow to open an airside gym in Terminal 2

Heathrow Airport has announced plans to open the world’s first wellness and fitness studio in an airport.

FlyFit, based in Terminal 2, opens this autumn and will offer passengers both instructor-led and interactive strength, restorative yoga, and cardio classes.

The FlyFit team will provide rental workout clothing, shower facilities and healthy food options.  If the concept works you can expect it to be rolled out to other terminals.


Europcar launches flash sale

Europcar is launching a flash sale today for UK rentals which runs until 4th July.

The following codes, when used on the Europcar UK site here, will give you a discount on your next UK rental:

  • 10JULY17 for £10 off £60
  • 20JULY17 for £20 off £120
  • 30JULY17 for £30 off £180
  • 40JULY17 for £40 off £240
  • 60JULY17 for £60 off £360

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

This is what you get with InterContinental's Club Life package
Thinking caps on - how can you maximise Carlson's 'free Fridays' promo?
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  1. HfP: “Assuming that you convert them to airline miles with the 25% uplift for moving chunks of 20,000 at a time, these can be converted to 37,500 airline miles in the majority of programmes.”

    I think you’ll find it’s 35,000 airline miles! 30,000 SPG points = 20,000 + 10,000 which when bonused is 25,000 + 10,000 = 35,000. The 25% uplift doesn’t apply to the second non-complete chunk. Of course if you were to combine the purchased points with an existing balance you would get 50,000 airline miles (two lots of bonused 20,000 SPG points).

  2. Great news on the gym! I was just doing a 2hr lay over in T2 yesterday and thinking it would have been the ideal time to do a workout, not sure how useful the instructors will be though, if it were me I would rather just have the equipment and machines available and do my own thing (plus you usually only get the most out of an instructor when they know you and what you do)

  3. “world’s first wellness and fitness studio”

    Isn’t there a gym at SIN and also at the spa complex in DOH?

    • I thought of SIN too when I read that, but I think that’s just a room full of exercise machines, without a studio for any sort of classes. I’d always choose the pool over the gym in SIN anyway!

    • daftboy says:

      I believe there’s also a gym concept rolling out to some US airports (possibly Cincinnati?), but that might be landside.

  4. What’s redemption availability like on Lufthansa? Not keen on Marriot package but Lufthansa’s first looks very nice.

    • I’m reviewing LH F next week if I find the time to write it up. Availability if booked via Miles & More is excellent. You CANNOT book LH First via any other Star Alliance airline except within 14 days of departure, which isn’t very helpful unless your schedule is flexible.

      • Hmnn…may have to buy one ticket for Mr Cate and wait for the 14 days to kick in for a redemption. Looking forward to your review Rob. Many thanks for being spot on the money again!

  5. Also re Europcar, they are still doing the one-way hires for £,1

    This has to be the cheapest way to get to the airport. I booked for our August Gatwick departure, saved £60 taxi fare / more for 2 weeks parking…

  6. OT: Virgin upgrade voucher. Only applicable for one person if £10k is spent on the white card, but is that for one person on a return flight or could it be for two persons one way?

  7. idrive says:

    OT: urgent anyone knows if the Amex discount on travel booked via AmexTravel ending today is cumulative or must be in one shot?

  8. idrive says:

    Excellent!! thank you very much!

  9. the realharry1 says:
  10. wally1976 says:

    OT – Air Malta top Resolver’s customer satisfaction league table. Some odd results in there if you ask me!

  11. Very OT but it’s the bits thread – does anyone know what you get foodwise in WT+ these days flight over 9 hours? Still get breakfast or a funsize Twix? And what drink? Never flown BA PE only Virgin. TBH Virgin is a better product but I want the Tier Points.

  12. the realharry1 says:

    Sounds like these solicitors are going to challenge the idea that strikes are extraordinary:

    Coby Benson, flight delay solicitor at Bott & Co, told MailOnline: ‘If a passenger’s flight is cancelled or delayed for more than three hours then they are entitled to between €250 (£219) and €600 (£527) compensation, unless the disruption was caused by extraordinary circumstances: beyond the airline’s control or events that are “not inherent” in the day-to-day activity of an airline.

    ‘In our opinion this is not extraordinary since the events are well within British Airways’s control and the management of disgruntled staff is simply part and parcel of running any business, not least an airline.’

    Read more:

  13. Genghis says:

    Thanks for the reminder on this Rob. I’ve just run the numbers and I’d be 15k Marriotts short of a travel package come August so just bought 5k SPGs. Saves me having to wait around till xmas for my next churn.

  14. J Harvey says:

    Thanks for this Starwood info! – I have just purchased 25,000 SPG points, transferred them to Marriott Rewards for 75,000 and booked 2 Protea hotels in Africa next year – 2 rooms for a total 5 nights. It cost me approx £425 in points and the value based on of the flexible Marriott Reward rate is £1676 – I think that’s pretty good!

    • Result. Yes, the Protea redemptions in South Africa are particularly good value for points. I did an article on it when they first became available. Just like the days when Hilton owned Scandi chain Scandic (now sold) and every single hotel, however posh, was a flat 10,000 Hilton points per night!

  15. Europcar sale runs until 4 July…? That’s very nearly a year!

  16. IslandDweller says:

    I’d urge caution with Europcar. If you read the Telegraph of listen to BBC Radio4 “You and Yours”, you’ll know that they are accused of systematic fraud in the way invoices are handled.

    My most recent rental with them (using the otherwise fantastic £1 one way day that Rob publicised) turned out to be very bothersome. I returned the car to Heathrow at the appointed time. The car was fully checked over by a Europcar agent and I was told “nothing to pay”. A few hours later I received the confirmation invoice, showing total charge of £1. (Correct)
    A few days later I received an additional invoice by email with a £21 “unspecified charge”. Yes, that’s exactly what the charge was – very helpful – not. I disputed this, and Europcar claimed this was for fuel. This was nonsense on a stick. I actually returned the car with more fuel (it wasn’t totally full on collection but I fully refilled it – didn’t have time to quibble about this at the time). Furthermore their check in agent had checked the car when I returned it and confirmed the tank was full. You would have struggled to trickle 21pence worth of fuel into that car let alone £21 worth.
    I did get the charge refunded “as a matter of goodwill” but this left a nasty taste in the mouth. I rent quite often with various providers and the only time I’ve had nonsense like this has been with Europcar.

    Europcar seem to acknowledge that they have a problem as they’ve just made a Stock Exchange announcement of a profits impact of at least £30million because of the Trading Standards Investigation.