Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Bits: planning a UK credit card, good deal at Corinthia London, Avios with a car seat

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

News in brief: planning a UK credit card

To be honest, I thought that the 0.3% cap on interchange fees meant that we would, over time, see a major thinning out of UK travel credit cards.

The losses so far have been few.  Ryanair dropped its card, as did Marriott – but that was apparently for FCA compliance reasons.  Lloyds dropped the premium version of its Avios card, and TSB dropped its Avios cards altogether.

There are some signs of new life.  According to this job advertisement, is looking for someone in London to:

develop a launch strategy for a new co-brand credit card, and provide ongoing account management for the product

Because of the way that Rewards works, it would be difficult to give points in that scheme in return for card spending.  It may end up being something boring like x% back on spend and y% back elsewhere, all paid in credit.  Let’s see.

What is clear is that the impact of 0.3% interchange fees has not totally stopped the desire of big travel brands to get their logos into your wallet.

Corinthia Hotel London review bedroom rpt

Good Amex deal at the luxurious Corinthia Hotel

The Corinthia Hotel in London – website here – is one of, if not the, most luxurious hotels to open in the capital for decades.  What is even more surprising is that the rest of the properties in the small chain are fairly pedestrian.

I was lucky enough to get a tour of The Corinthia a couple of years ago, which I wrote about here.  The photos above is from that visit.

American Express is offering a special deal with the hotel which could out quite nicely.  For any stay between Thursday and Monday, you will receive:

a free bottle of Laurent Perrier champagne

£125 to spend on food and drink in the hotel

free breakfast

The offer runs until April 2018.  There is no minimum stay so if you can find a decent deal on a cheap weekend night then you could do well.  The only condition is that you book a Deluxe room or higher and pay a flexible rate.

You must book via a special Amex booking page which is here.

Hotel offers update – August 2022:

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

Want to buy hotel points?

  • Hilton Honors is offering an 80% to 100% bonus when you buy points by 18th September 2022. The annual limit is doubled to 160,000 points plus your bonus. You can buy here.
  • Marriott Bonvoy is offering a 25% bonus when you buy points by 15th September 2022. You can buy here.

Comments (44)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Alex W says:

    Sorry to start with an OT. Since the “unlimited” Marriott offer I’ve has 3x one night stays at 3 different brands. The second 2 stays I’ve only had 2000 bonus points each instead of the 4000 each I was expecting. Anyone else had the same issue? I know you’re supposed to wait 6 weeks or something for the points, but I’ve received some, not all, so there be a problem?

    • Anna says:

      The 1,000 avios promised for signing up have still to materialise as well!

      • New Card says:

        Me too – no sign of the points. I think they were due to post on 1 July

        • Enigma says:

          Same here, no points posted even though all the sign up steps were followed. Any updates on this Rob?

          • the realharry1 says:

            why should you need an update on 1000 free Avios you (nearly) got for about 2 seconds’ work?

            get it in perspective: wait & see

          • Genghis says:

            Win some you lose some

    • Lee J Thornton says:

      Which brands have you stayed at? I’m planning to utilise this bonus on some upcoming stays but haven’t stayed outside of the main Marriott brand yet (for info the ‘stamdard’ 2,000 bonus points posted the next day for me).

      • Alex W says:

        So far I’ve done courtyard, Renaissance and Moxy. Got a Marriott booked in aug.

        • mark2 says:

          Can highly recommend Delta Suites. We stayed in one in Vancouver 2nd week June.
          Enormous recognition for my loyalty (Gold status via Platinum Amex; first stay in Marriott).
          Upgrade to corner suite on top floor of completely refurbished hotel.
          One criticism: when the wallpaper had been hung in the corridors they had not matched the pattern!

    • Pangolin says:

      The brand bonuses will post separately at the end of the reservation, so I wouldn’t be too worried yet.

      The situation you described is the same that’s happened to me and others – you get the 2K stay points but not the brand bonus. I’m not sure why they’re doing it like that but the consensus is that the brand points are totted up later.

      • Alex W says:

        Excellent, thanks for that. Just my second lot of missing Marriott points from a Hertz rental to claim , then.

  • JamesB says:

    OT credit card: Barclaycard have a platinum travel card. Benefits are fee-free payments and ATM withdrawals overseas, and every 11th uber ride free up to £15. Apologies if it has been mentioned before but it’s the first I’ve heard of it.

    • John says:

      Been around for a few months. Cash withdrawals not in £ count as purchases. The uber thing is for all Barclay cards.

      • JamesB says:

        Thanks John, missed your comment earlier, I’ll swich uber over to my hilton card now.

    • Alan says:

      Have heard it mentioned but if you have the Lloyds cards you get fee free plus Avios and if you combine it with Curve and set the card currency to the local ATM one then you’ll have zero ATM fee too, plus some Avios 😛

      • JamesB says:

        Yes I know, I used to have the Lloyds cards but unfortunately cancelled it before they started dishing out £200 for the avios transfer issues although I got double avios for 9 months until an error on my cards required them to be replaced. My benefit with this card was 72000 avios per £7000 spend based on voucher alone so 10285 avios/£1000 spent. I can beat this by using the £7000 to churn and hence also refer other cards. More importantly, by doing so I also diversified my portfolio and maintain balances in flexible currency such as MR at a time when avios are of little value to be due to inexpensive revenue tickets. Although easy to use, the Lloyds voucher does have some restrictions. I have fee free overseas cards but not earning anything on those but that is not so important to me at the moment since I was lucky enough to change a substantial balance into € @ 1.41 in autumn 15 which I’m still working my way tbrough.

        • Alan says:

          Ah nice, I had a good few hundred in USD at 1.6 which I’m gradually working my way through too – combined with using points for hotel I’ve thankfully not been hit quite as badly with the GBP drop!

          Good work on the Lloyds card too – sadly mine all worked precisely as planned, points and voucher posted fine and double Avios stopped after 6/12, so not been as lucrative. Always getting 50k+ benefit from voucher though (used 2 of them with another due soon), no hassles booking via call centre, so I’ve been happy with it in that regard – just wish it offered something for when you went over £7k or if you could pick when the voucher was issued!

          • JamesB says:

            Only cancelled it because my double points dried up and that £7k+ spend issue. Otherwise I might still be getting double avios plus that £200. I might have another slice once I’ve used up my euros if card is around and worth having. Like you I wish I had done the same with dollars, IIRC it was about 1.63 at the time for a few weeks. Nothing compared to my student days at 2.1 though 🙂 By the way, I think it’s time you changed your pic to a City of Edinburgh 20!

      • Paul says:

        Hi Alan, thanks for this. I’m going to USA shortly so would you advise using Lloyds Avios card for $ store purchases and Curve (with Lloyds Avios $ default) for ATM. Would this combination minimise cost and maximise Avios OR just use Curve (Lloyds Avios $ default) for everything? Thanks

        • Alex W says:

          Curve doesn’t work with Amex so you’ll want to use the Lloyds Amex directly whenever it is accepted.

          • Alan says:

            Ah yes good point – higher earnings rate than the MasterCard component of the Lloyds package 🙂

        • Alan says:

          Hi Paul – yes, agree that would be the best combo. No need to use Curve for straight purchases (you can just use the Lloyds card directly), but ATM should be free if you make sure Lloyds card set as a USD card. I haven’t done it yet myself but have read multiple reports of it working (and no issues at all using Curve for ATM withdrawals in the UK).

          • New Card says:

            Isn’t there a fee imposed by Curve for ATM withdrawals of more than £200 per calendar month?

          • Alan says:

            I think so – I’ve never taken out that much though and have read some reports indicating it isn’t always enforced.

          • Harry says:

            Hi Alan.

            I was about to apply for the Barclaycard in order to have the facility of withdrawing local currency whilst abroad – I already have curve and lloyds

            What do you mean by having the lloyds (MasterCard) set up as a USD card?

            Do you mean in the Curve app, I should set the Lloyds MasterCard currency to USD?


            If so, does this trick also work in any other country or is it restricted to the big currencies like Usd and eur ?

          • Alan says:

            Hi Harry. If you set the currency of the linked card in Curve to the currency you’re going to be withdrawing in then Curve won’t charge you a forex fee. However you then need to make sure the card you’re using doesn’t charge their own forex fee – the Lloyds Avios card doesn’t. Looking in the app there are about 18 or so currencies currently supported by Curve, so most (although by no means all) of the big ones are supported – just click on info next to the card, then card currency to see the options. Obviously return it to GBP when you get home!

      • Anna says:

        Issues with avios posting and also upgrade vouchers – I’ve put a post on the first item today re this.

        • Alan says:

          Yes, I wish I’d had some of these issues so I could have had some compo – has all worked too well for me 😉 Also no IHG card issues either. Did manage to have Barclaycard Hilton Honors issues previously at least!

  • David says:

    It probably makes more sense to book a Corinthia room using the Fine hotels and resorts rate with Amex and get early check-in / late check out , an upgrade, 100 dollars spend ,breakfast and an amenity (which could very well be a bottle of fizz).

    • Talay says:

      I Checked 3 different dates in October, December and January and the cheapest room rate was £590 per night.

      Thus a £20 bottle of Laurent Perrier and £125 of credit is hardly going to make much of a dent in a £1200 weekend stay is it ?

      • Mike says:

        £20 for LP – where ? I’ll be buying some soon lol. Struggling to get Lanson for £20 never mind LP

        • Gareth says:

          28 is cheapest at Waitrose

        • Talay says:

          They are all about £20 come Xmas, at least the bottom rung offerings.

          Even now if you claim the VAT back you can drink it for just over £20.

          Surely an allowable expense. It isn’t Krug after all 🙂

      • Sam Goss says:

        Yeh – I fancied a post-Xmas, pre-NY treat but over 600 quid a night is a bit steep!!

  • Mike says:

    As an example, Thursday 21 September 1 night £738 !!!!! No wonder there’s free bottle of LP

  • Brian says:

    I don’t think the Corinthia in Budapest is pedestrian – its spa alone makes it worth a stay.

    • JamesB says:

      Stayed at one of their hotels in Prague some years ago and loved it. I cannot recall the details but they had many great value package offers on their own web site. At that time even using their own hotel limo service was cheap, I used them to and from the airpirt and like taxis throughout thd city. I imagine no longer so inexpensive though since they joined tbe EU,

    • Rob says:

      True. Budapest is the 2nd best hotel in the portfolio, but still a big gap in standards between that and London I believe.

  • Chris says:

    This is not entirely OT: Carseats. USA. Any info from anyone?

    What I know so far is that a) They have an ISOFIX-like standard called LATCH which I’ve heard is broadly interchangeable. and b) They apparently require in most states that carseats are federally approved.

    b) seems unlikely to be an issue unless I guess involved in a serious accident and then there could be insurance issues, but anyone got any advice on either point, or any I haven’t thought of?

    • Alex W says:

      Try mumsnet…

    • Anna says:

      Not sure what you are asking but we went to Florida when my son was 6, bought a £10 lightweight booster seat to take with us instead of paying the daily hire fee for exactly the same product, it was fine. Discarded it on the way home to make less luggage!

      • Chris says:

        Sorry – was asking whether it’s true (as it was suggested on mumsnet funnily enough) that the US require carseats to be federally tested and certified?

  • Sussex Bantam says:

    Airlines will let you check them in for free so when we went to Florida we just took our own. More comfort in knowing we were using one we had selected ourselves.

    its a bit of a faff between the car and the check-in desk though with luggage plus 2 car seats !

    • Anna says:

      The one we got was so light we just packed it in one of the cases so one less thing to lug around.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.