Bits: new Amex cashback deals, easyJet launches Southampton

News in brief:

New American Express cashback deals launched

American Express has launched a new wave of travel-related cashback deals.  Some, all or none of the offers below will be found on the ‘Offers’ section of your online statement page, or in the Amex app.  You need to ‘save’ the offer before it is activated.

Airbnb – 2% cashback

This is an older deal but it has been extended to 25th August.  You can also get £30 off your first stay via our refer-a-friend link here.

Guoman Hotels (click for website) – £50 back on £195 spend

Valid until 29th September.  Includes The Tower and The Cumberland in London.

Thistle Hotels (click for website) – £35 back on £100 spend

Valid until 29th September.  Remember that the Thistle at Heathrow allows you (for a £5 fee) to take the driverless pods from the car park behind the hotel directly to Terminal 5 – more here.

Red Carnation Hotels (click for website) – £50 back on £250 spend

This may not be a well known brand, but they own the impressive Ashford Castle in Ireland as well as a few upmarket London properties.  I wrote this article about them because they are also a Virgin Flying Club partner, so you’ll earn 2,000 miles per night as well as getting £50 back!  Ends 13th September.

onefinestay – 10% back

This is a more upmarket airbnb!  Ends 30th September.

The existing Heathrow Express deal (£10 back on £50 spend) is still running until 23rd July.

Ashford Castle Red Carnation

easyJet launches flights from Southampton

easyJet is trialling flights from Southampton, albeit in a small way.  A thrice-weekly service to Geneva will begin on 14th December.

If you live in London and have never flown from Southampton, you may not appreciate how convenient it is.  The train trip from Waterloo to Southampton Airport Parkway is a touch over 1 hour.  The station is directly at the airport and you will be in the terminal within 5 minutes.

When visiting the south coast, I have even rented cars from the airport in the past and travelled down by train from London.  It is quicker and less stressful than hiring a car in Central London and driving all the way down.

The airport even has an Executive Lounge – Breeze Priority – which we reviewed here.

It is worth noting that Flybe also has a huge number of routes from Southampton (list here) which you can book using Avios points.   Many of these are routes which are not served by British Airways, such as Brest, La Rochelle, Biarritz etc.

(Want to earn more miles and points from credit cards?  Click here to visit our dedicated airline and hotel travel credit cards page or use the ‘Credit Cards Update’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Another Qatar business sale! Cape Town £1583, Auckland £1667, Jo'burg £1470
Review of the BLOC hotel inside London Gatwick's South Terminal
About Head for Points

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  1. Andy McIntyre says:

    Regarding EasyJet flights out of STN, interesting move given that they already fly the same route out of BOH 30 miles down the M27/A31.

    • Genghis says:


    • Unless you live west of BOH or in the immediate vicinity, it’s somewhat difficult to get there. Rob is spot on with the excellent train connections to SOU. I’m Surrey based and 20mins drive from T5 and 30mins drive to LGW but still consider SOU a handy alternative from this part of the world. The short term parking there is also reasonable and just as close to the terminal as the railway station is. The M3 is the only downside for me getting to SOU these days. Until the smart project is completed, I would only consider getting to SOU by train at the moment from the London/Surrey area.

      • pauldb says:

        The M3 is now reopened but on the other hand I find SOU s-t parking extortionate!

    • Phatbear says:

      STN is stansted

  2. I also have 10% off on Monarch flights until 03/09.

    • Michael Jennings says:

      I have the 10% on Monarch, too. At least, I do in theory. I booked a one way AGP-LGW on it, and the 10% rebate hasn’t appeared. Could this be because it is a foreign currency transaction in euros? (I would have used my Post Office or Halifax Clarity cards to pay for it if it weren’t for that offer..)

      • Could be, this is a common exclusion – but if it isn’t in the rules, I would send Amex a Secure Message and ask for the money.

  3. fiona says:

    The Thistle hotels offer is only for a limited amount of hotels.

    • Brian says:

      I think that’s probably because there is only a limited number of Thistle hotels! I don’t think there are many more than are on the list.

    • And the Impressive Ashford Castle featured in the article is one of two expressly excluded in the Red Carnation T&Cs

  4. OT- with reference to a post yesterday. Flybe changed their policy in June and Trinki suitcases can now be carried as hand luggage by kids even if their size is 1cm more than the authorised hand luggage size.

    • the real harry1 says:

      Don’t you think kids riding on Trunkis should be forced to wear crash helmets?

      Fall off, crash into the concrete, goner.

      • pauldb says:

        They’re not exactly made for speed: a child can probably do themselves more harm running and tripping.”Goner” is highly unlikely.

    • pauldb says:

      Thanks for that, hadn’t noticed. I actually though it they were more than 1cm width over the limit – in which case it was an understandable policy as the Dash8 overheads are very slim, but at 21cm I assume they’ll just about go up there.

  5. Martin says:

    Possibly of interest to some here is that UK Amex cards (directly issued by Amex, not other banks) can now be used with Android Pay.

  6. Relaxo says:

    What are the alternatives to get to T5 thistle without using the Pods? Also, can the pod fee be part of the room bill, thereby contributing towards the £100 spend?

    • Chris says:

      Still get the pod, but instead walk out the car park (where cars would drive out) and follow the Perimeter Road Eastward until you reach the Thistle. About 3 extra minutes of walking.

      • Genghis says:

        You sure? I remember a couple of years ago trying and had to walk the long way round west along the Bath Road from the Thistle and then onto the Western Perimeter Road.

    • Brian says:

      Take a free local bus.

  7. Clive says:

    Sorry for the OT but does anyone know the approx value of a Malaysian Enrich mile?

    • The programme is switching to a fundamentally revenue based spending model so the value is now more fixed, and at a low level. Sure some of the Asian focussed sites have covered this in depth, with head in hands,

  8. rams1981 says:

    OT I need a tony number of miles to upgrade an etihad flight (20 or so). Don’t have an Amex account open nor my HSBC anymore. What’s the easiest and cheapest way to top up?

  9. pauldb says:

    There are many Flybe routes not served by BA but Biarritz isn’t one of them. 😉

  10. Nigel M. says:

    The 423 bus runs to and from Terminal 5 past the Thistle hotel. Free of charge both ways.

    • Gavin says:

      Also a 25 min walk, though I’d only do it with a small backpack or briefcase, and you have to walk across the bus gate and the pavement runs out near the end!

    • Harpo says:

      Not just the 423 – also near the secret free car park!

  11. FreddieTheFrog says:

    Secret free car park ? Do tell us more

    • Harpo says:

      I Recommend Car park (sorry – not great at cryptic clues – happy to tell people if there’s ever another HFP get together.)

  12. the real harry1 says:

    Airport users have reacted angrily to the prospect of a £15 congestion charge for motorists at Heathrow.

    Sir Howard Davies, chairman of the Airports Commission, had speculated that the idea of a charge for driving to Heathrow would not only be political acceptable — it would also be “popular”.

    Expansion at Britain’s busiest airport is contingent upon air quality limits. Private cars are significant contributors to pollution at Heathrow. Sir Howard told the Evening Standard: “The idea that you should have to pay £10 or £15 if you really want to drive to the airport and maybe you pay more if you are in a diesel car — I think that is a perfectly politically acceptable thing. Indeed I think it would be popular.”

    • Fantastic idea!! The congestion and pollution are horrendous at Heathrow, but if you build big car parks at major motorway junctions and provide quick bus links no less than every 5 mins, you’ll solve both of them in an instant. Interestingly the charge is to apply to everyone – passengers, visitors and staff alike.

      • the real harry1 says:

        so you work at (say) WHSmith as a till girl – you’ll end up paying £15 to park in the staff car park?

        • Sussex bantam says:

          There is already a charge to drive to Heathrow. It’s called the outrageous cost of parking.

        • the real harry1 says:

          I seem to have methods to mitigate that by about 50% 🙂

  13. in case anybody is interested in the SOU-GVA flights – they’re on Tue/Thu/Sun – with departing from SOU at 09:00 on Tue/Thu (10:25 on Sun) and arriving back into SOU at 08:15 (painfully early start the other end) with a slightly better 09:45 arrival on a Sunday.

  14. With the Thistle offer, the pay and stay by 29th concerns me. If I pay up front for a non refundable stay in October, amex should charge the card prior to the 29th so the credit should work, right?