Bits: Big savings with Amazon Prime Day today, 75% bonus on Club Carlson points

News in brief:

Amazon Prime Day – big discounts today only

Amazon Prime Day has returned for the third time.

What started as a one off event for Amazon’s 20th birthday two years ago, is now an established annual event where Amazon makes certain items available at big discounts to anyone who is an Amazon Prime member (or who is happy to sign up for a free 30 day trial).

Like last year we were given advance notice of some of the deals yesterday.  Full details, including how to join Amazon Prime for a free trial, and some sample offers can be found here at Shopper Points.

Amazon’s major electronic products are hugely discounted:

If you had been thinking about getting an Amazon Echo speaker, today is the day!  It is reduced from £149 to just £79 – a huge £70 saving.  That deal is here.

Amazon has also sharply reduced its Fire 7 tablet.  This is down from £49.99 to just £29.99 as you can see here.

If you’ve been after an Amazon Echo Dot, it is reduced from £49.99 to £34.99, saving £15.  See here for details.

Whilst not strictly travel related, the following deals looked pretty good and will be available all day today:

There are also lots of Lightning Deals available throughout the day.  I am not allowed to give out pricing details on these so you’ll have to look at the Amazon Prime Day site to find out.  As an example, from 23:34 (odd time, I know) Eve mattresses in various sizes are available for a very good price.

If you can’t find anything to buy today, you can buy a £50 gift card via this link and you will get a promo code for a £5 bonus.

If you do decide to buy anything, and you visit Amazon via this link, HFP gets a small commission and you can consider your annual HFP subscription paid …..

Our Shopper Points article is here if you want to know more.

Amazon Prime Day

75% bonus when you buy Club Carlson points

Club Carlson, the loyalty scheme for Radisson, Park Plaza and Park Inn, is offering a 75% bonus when you buy points, however few or many points you buy.

The link to buy points is here.  The offer runs until Friday 14th July.

This deal does potentially offer value if you redeem in the right places on expensive nights, although the fall in the value of the £ makes buying points in $ to use in the UK far less attractive than it was.

The maximum number of points you can purchase is 70,000 (40,000 + 30,000 bonus) for $280.  That is £217.

The key London hotels such as Park Plaza Westminster Bridge – a new London property with a pool and next to the London Eye, London Dungeon, London Aquarium etc – are 70,000 points per night, so £217.  Rob reviewed the hotel here.

The May Fair (which Rob reviewed here, and didn’t like much) is also 70,000 points.  The new Park Plaza Waterloo, which we covered the other day, is 50,000 points which is $203 (£157).

At the more prosaic end of the scale, there are various Park Inn budget hotels around the UK for 9,000 points per night.  Under this promo, 9,000 points would cost you just £22 based on the pro-rata price of 70,000.

Remember that you can also transfer American Express Membership Rewards points at the 1:3 rate if you need a few extra points for a planned redemption.  To be honest, if I had the Amex points I would use those rather than buy points even with a 75% bonus.  You are getting almost 1p per Membership Rewards point compared to buying the points directly.

You can buy points via this page of the Club Carlson site.

(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.)

Review of the BLOC hotel inside London Gatwick's South Terminal
NEW - earn Avios when ordering foreign currency from Travelex
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  1. the real harry1 says:

    If you’re signing up to Prime for the first time, save an additional £10 by using Prime Now with code 10NOW40

    only in select cities for now & most definitely not Cornwall 🙂

    • the real harry1 says:

      Raffles – see if you can moderate that last post 🙂
      only for 9000 people
      Prime Day Offer: Get a £5 promo code when you buy £50 of Gift Cards

      • We edited this into the article this morning, although it wasn’t in the emailed version.

  2. the real harry1 says:

    Get another £5 off
    Prime Day Offer: Get a £5 promo code when you buy £50 of Gift Cards

  3. James says:

    Pay with your Amex Gold and part pay 1p (2 reward points) while using code AMEX16SWP and you’ll get a further £15 off making the Echo down to £64.98 🙂

    • the real harry1 says:

      most of us already used it months ago 🙂

    • Thanks for the code James . Just used it on my Amex Plat account .
      Got the Dot and Echo for £99 with the discount !

  4. the_real_a says:

    OT – Tesco have updated the T&C`s… It now says ALL pre paid bookings…

    The Fine Print

    You can only use the voucher against all pre-paid hotel bookings.

    You can not use your voucher to pay for taxes and fees. You will find this amount highlighted on the final page before payment.

    Please check availability before you exchange as once you’ve received the voucher, we can’t refund it.

    You can use this voucher only once and in full. You won’t be able to use it again, even if you cancel your booking.

    Only one voucher can be used per booking, codes cannot be added at a later date.

    You can’t collect or redeem™ Rewards when you use this voucher.

    You can turn a maximum of £165 in Clubcard vouchers into £495 worth of vouchers.

    • Hmmm …. but the email they are sending out with the vouchers contains a link to the list of hotels above saying that these hotels are not included – hence the negative comments on the Tesco site.

      Someone is clearly wrong here, either Tesco (who don’t understand the restrictions are adding) or (who are sending out incorrent information in their emails).

  5. James says:
  6. Nick_C says:

    OT. Just booked a hotel only (no flights or car hire) through BA (Hilton Olympia for one night only, cheaper than I could find it anywhere else). Paid with my BAPP Amex, so should get 3 Avios/£ from Amex, but do BA themselves award any Avios on bookings for hotels only?

    • JamesB says:

      Before booking you should have called the hotel directly to enquire if they could match or beat the BA price. If they could then you would also have received the current double/triple points and 2000 avios offers, or whatever comes next if booking is later.

      • Nick_C says:

        Thanks but I’ve given up on booking directly with Hilton. Stay in Hilton group hotels quite a bit, but always find them cheaper through an on line TA. Never tried to get a price match in case they get the original deal taken down. I seem to recall reading that Hilton use price match as a way of finding franchisees who are undercutting approved rates. Negotiating directly with the hotel is too much hassle.

        • JamesB says:

          It’s with hotels themselves, I ask for inhouse conference and events. More often than not it doesn’t work but sometimes I get lucky.

        • Genghis says:

          Lots of stuff we do is hassle. But contacting a hotel to ask for a better price isn’t that much hardship.

        • Nick_C says:

          I’ve already done the hassle of checking half a dozen different web sites. BA were cheaper than anyone else, and undercut Hilton by 15%. On that basis, BA deserve my business.

          But can anyone answer my question? Do BA award Avios on hotel only bookings?

  7. Alex W says:

    The Surface Pro 4 with Type Cover was a stonking deal, actually down to about £475. Sadly couldn’t convince Mrs W that she needed one though!
    I got a North Face jacket, bottle of Tattinger, Bluetooth headphones and 128GB Micro SD card for just over 120 quid – minus about 10% after buying Amazon gift cards in Tesco with a £X off £Y spend voucher.
    Thanks HFP – hopefully there’s a bit of commission coming your way too.

  8. RussellH says:

    An utterly OT question about IHG (sorry …)

    Just checked in to the HI Express near the Grand Canyon, but the hotel policy “is not to recognise IHG status on points bookings”. Anyone know if this is compatible with official IHG policy? Always had normal recognition in the UK and Belgium on ponts.

    We did get recognition at the HI Express in Reno last year, but as that HIX had no bar, it was not terribly useful. And this one has no bar either… Is that usual in the USA??

    • JamesB says:

      In my experience it is IHG ‘policy’ not to recognise status on cash bookings most of the time too. if you are go,d or above Ithink you shouldget a few points. Would not lose sleep over one hotel drink.

      • Alex W says:

        Exactly, what benefits are you expecting from a HIX?!

        • RussellH says:

          In Europe you always get a choice of 200 points (at HIE – more elsewhere – not a lot, I know, but one has principles) or a free drink. In practice this year it has always been two free drinks at every IHG property we have stayed at, except a week ago at the CP Gatwick where the receptionist went through to the back office to ‘check with her manager’. Twice we have had both bonus points AND free drinks.

          The drinks are well worth having after a long drive, as is often the case for us, and particularly yesterday when our hire car picked up a nail in one tyre in the back of beyond, meaning a 60 mile detour in 37 degree sun to find a repair place. Given the agressive attitude of the receptionist here I am quite happy to make trouble for him with IHG if he is not sticking to their official policy.

        • Alex W says:

          Imagine your relief after a long drive when you know you can get lounge access with basically unlimited free drinks and snacks. That’s what you definitely won’t be getting with IHG!

        • the real harry1 says:

          Alex W where do you mean exactly for unlimited free drinks (slightly confused by the convo or it might be the cider!) 🙂

        • Alex W says:

          I meant, for example, Marriott or Hilton hotels with a lounge.
          I am just having a dig at the lack of status benefits offered by IHG.

        • You chose to stay in a HIX….and you don’t realise they’re junk?

        • In the US some are very plush indeed, pushing four star in my experience.

        • RussellH says:

          Sorry for replying here, but no alternative…

          John wrote…
          > You chose to stay in a HIX….and you don’t realise they’re junk?
          You should see the alternatives… mainly classic western motels. The former HI is now a Ramada, no idea how it compares.

          Actually I would dispute that HIX are junk, there are many worse places out there, and in many of the places where we want to stop a HIX is often far and away the best on offer.

          Alwx W wrote…
          > Imagine your relief after a long drive when you know you can get lounge access
          > with basically unlimited free drinks and snacks.

          Yes, that would be fine if one had the status to get lounge access. There is no way I shall ever get Gold Hilton or Marriott or SPG, and they give precisely zilch with silver status. IHG Gold **does** give you something, even in a HIX at £37 per night.

          I also seldom see either Hilton or Marriott in many of the places I want / need to stay!! I do see IHG.

        • Genghis says:

          “There is no way I shall ever get Gold Hilton or Marriott or SPG”
          All easily achievable with Amex Plat.

    • Simon Schus says:

      I stayed at a HIX near the Grand Canyon on points and with IHG status recently- it is the Williams, AZ, USA. The hotel is quite basic but was one of the few ‘chain’ options we could find that was on our driving route. There were no real status benefits at the hotel as I somewhat expected. However, this wasn’t problematic as we only used the hotel to sleep. The hotel is well situated for a walk into the town of Williams (about a 3 minute walk from the hotel), they have a great deal of free parking, and the hotel is clean. The breakfast is the equivalent of a Hampton Inn or Best Western, so nothing particularly special. I rarely stay in HIX but I’ve had some good experiences, and some bad – and this hotel fits into the non-descript.

      Also: many US hotels don’t offer the drinks benefit due to local state alcohol laws. I’m not sure on AZ, and that doesn’t seem to be the issue you’re facing here anyway. I’m also not sure how the hotels adhere to those laws but airport/airline lounges don’t, irrespective of the bar being self-service or not.

      • RussellH says:

        That is where I am writing this now. Breakfast was probably better than most UK HIX, but not up to the standard of the Newcastle Hampton. The room is, as you say, pretty non-descript!

        The HIX in Reno NV last year was much nicer, though the breakfast there was dreadful.

        I must admit that I had not thought of the possible impact of US alcohol laws. We came here from 6 nights in the Sheraton Petaluma CA and 1 night in the Tropicana in Las Vegas (officially a Doubletree!!) and while I got no status recognition in either, I did not expect it, being SPG+ and Hilton silver. Both those serv ed plenty of alcohol, too.

        • Alex W says:

          I’ve stayed at the Tropicana as Hilton diamond. Think I got breakfast and a couple of drinks. I was very miffed not to get a room upgrade but the wife wasn’t bothered so didn’t fight it!

        • Simon Schus says:

          I’ve used the Regus next door to the Sheraton Petaluma several times, as we lived over there for a few months 🙂 I’ve never stayed at that Sheraton – we had a small place in Sonoma when we lived there – though I’ve certainly sat in their lobby whilst waiting for my wife.

          I don’t think that the alcohol laws are what is going on with your stay. I only mentioned them because it has been noted as the problem in some hotels I’ve stayed in before. Those laws are on a state-by-state basis (and some of them are a little unexpected such as when my wife and I hosted an event near Boston recently… we only found out a couple of days beforehand that there was a 5-hour alcohol limit for serving alcohol at private events in the state with your own alcohol license).

          I’d suggest sending an email and ask the HIX Williams AZ manager to explain why benefits are not extended to points bookings.

        • The Tropicana is appalling – the thread on FT shows how it has just got worse and worse over the past couple of years. Dreadful status recognition.

          I always wondered if it was a (pardon the pun) ‘hangover’ attitude from Prohibition days? (perhaps as codified in State laws I guess). Most US hotels seem to not offer free booze in lounges and the airline lounges are almost always pay-only with one or two drinks for international guests.