Bits: ‘Buy Avios’ bonus, more on Kimpton / Accelerate, new JAL London service

News in brief:

Up to 30% bonus when you buy Avios

Iberia Plus has launched a new ‘buy Avios’ promotion which runs until 30th July.

The offer is:

10% bonus when you buy 2,000 to 15,000 Avios

20% bonus when you buy 20,000 to 80,000 Avios

30% bonus when you buy 85,000 to 100,000 Avios

At the top end, you will be paying €1,800 for 130,000 Avios.  Given the weak £, this works out at 1.22p per Avios based on £1,593.  You would need to add a 3% foreign exchange fee to this price if your credit card has one.

I would not usually be a buyer at this price unless I had a very specific redemption in mind which I knew would be worth more than I am paying.  Don’t forget that BA had a 50% flash sale just three weeks ago and such offers appear to be more common than they were.  I don’t see why a 20% bonus – which is what most people would get given the price ranges – is too exciting.

The exact rules for who can buy Iberia Plus Avios are always confusing.  You MUST have been an Iberia Plus member for 90 days before you can transfer Avios from Iberia to BA via ‘Combine My Avios’.  I think you also need to have earned at least one Avios point in your Iberia account before you can buy points although that may have changed.  Thanks to Andrew.


More on Kimpton Amsterdam and IHG Accelerate

I wrote yesterday that IHG Rewards Club was denying credit for their Accelerate promotion to guests at the new Kimpton De Witt hotel in Amsterdam.

Whilst every other Kimpton hotel globally is part of the Kimpton Karma scheme, De Witt Amsterdam is part of IHG Rewards Club.  You can earn and redeem IHG points with the hotel, so it was bizarre that it did not count towards the major Accelerate promotion this quarter.

IHG has now told me that this is a mistake and that it will be corrected.  My Accelerate home page has not yet updated, but I will give it time.  You don’t need to start moving bookings away from Kimpton De Witt due to the lack of Accelerate credit.

This means that my stay in Paris next week will trigger 11,200 bonus Accelerate points for ‘staying in two overseas countries’.  Which is nice.

JAL SkySuite

New Avios redemption option to Tokyo

Japan Airlines, a BA partner in the oneworld alliance, has announced a second daily flight from Heathrow to Tokyo from 29th October.

The flight will depart Heathrow at 09.30, landing at Haneda at 06.25.

JAL has said that the service will feature the new Sky Suite product in Business Class, pictured above.  This uses the herringbone layout favoured by Cathay Pacific, Qatar Airways and – on refurbished planes – American Airlines.

You can redeem Avios points for flights on JAL although you cannot use a British Airways American Express 241 voucher.  You should also remember that partner redemptions always charged at peak day pricing, irrespective of whether BA is charging peak or off-peak prices at the same time.

That said, if you are redeeming for just yourself and on a British Airways peak day, I would be very tempted to seek out this new JAL seat over a British Airways Club World service.  I am guessing that the cabin is not as dark as the PR photograph implies ….

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)

Good news or bad news? Government bans credit card acceptance fees from January
Bits: Good Hilton Auctions deal, 1200 Avios with LEGO, 375 Avios with Now! 97
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  1. Gavin says:

    The return JAL flight from Tokyo is overnight landing at Heathrow at 06:30 which means you can do a full day in Tokyo and get back to the UK for the next business day. Previously one has to change at Frankfurt or Paris first thing in the morning to do this

    • JL 41 will depart HND at 0245! Operated by a 788.

      Wow, Dinner, Drinks, Ropponi + Plane! Bosh!

      • It’s Roppongi – and it’s a sh!t ex-pat area of Tokyo (which otherwise is a fantastic city)

  2. Genghis says:

    OT. Response received by Mrs G re Marriott sign up, “There is a delay with British Airways. The points will be added once the error is corrected, which should be within two weeks.” I’d rather she have been given 10k Marriott!

    • Wally1976 says:

      The range of different responses we’ve seen from Marriott on this is very interesting!

    • RussellH says:

      1 000 Miles + More points arrived last night from the Marriott sign up (and I never even registered the Marriott a/c). (They refused to give me Avios, as I used to change marriott points into Avios many years ago.)

    • Pierre says:

      Same here, 1k M&M points posted for me a week ago on a new account. No sign yet of the avios for the other new account I signed up for (did not validate either of these)

  3. One way first class from HND to LHR is only 60k JAL Mileage Bank miles in low season too. 50k SPG well spent.

    • Genghis says:

      What are “taxes” (ie the cash element) like on JAL?

      • gastrocnemius says:

        I paid £79 tax for a first class redemption from HND to LHR last year…..

        • £18.80 for HND to LHR economy (12 months ago).

          Also, for anybody flying premium economy JAL is by far superior to BA on this route. BA’s offering is economy plus a little extra legroom, whereas I like to think of JAL’s as mini business class…

  4. Relaxo says:

    OT: applied for the Hilton status match challenge through their dedicated page, however not sure if the uploaded proof docs actually went through as the page just refreshed when I hit ‘Send’. Does anyone remember if they got an acknowledgement email about their application or does Hilton just email you with their decision ?

    • Paulm says:

      From memory you don’t get an acknowledgement. They did process it within 3-4 days and you do then get an email confirming your new status

      • Relaxo says:

        Great, thanks. Hope I hear back from them before my Sunday night stay.

        • Paulm says:

          If you do get it in time, you will need to ask the hotel to refresh your details when you check in otherwise it will just show them your current status and they won’t automatically give you the diamond perks.

      • scottnothing says:

        Per Paulm’s comment above, you should receive an email acknowledgement within a couple of days. My email came from [email protected] with the subject title “You’ve been upgraded to Diamond status!”.

        I completed 8 stays in 90 days and within 48 hours from the final stay, received an email from the same email address confirming my Diamond status was good until 31 March 2019.

        • Alex W says:

          Better than my status challenge with Delta Airlines then. Took about a month to come through, by which time I’d already done my 4 translants and 4 US domestics! And that was it. Too late.

  5. BrianDT says:

    OT Did a very cheap one day Iberia/Avis rental yesterday….now just need the promised 18k Avios reward.

    • Lev441 says:

      What offer is this for?

    • Canuck says:

      Wasn’t the 18k offer months ago? or have I missed a trick?

      • Alex W says:

        +1.. that was December I think. What an absolute steal that was for €45!

        • the real harry1 says:

          there was another 1 recently – check ‘Iberia’& ‘Avis’

          don’t worry, you haven’t missed a massive opportunity – but for those where it can work, easy points – nice one BrianDT

  6. OT – is the Hilton Honours visa an absolute one-off, i.e. once you’ve had a free night voucher you can never sign up again and get another one?

    • Genghis says:

      Not necessarily…

      • Go on…

        • It depends if Barclays is able to match your new application to the details of your previous application…

        • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

          T&Cs say it’s a one-off. In practice it’s a maybe.

        • Genghis says:

          Exactly. As with many things in this game, what the T&Cs say isn’t necessarily what happens in reality.

        • Alex W says:

          Agreed Genghis. Oh how I wish I’d realised that years ago! Heathrow Rewards and Etihad credit card comes to mind. I’m sure there are many examples.

        • Although you have to be aware you might not be successful when reapplying & be left without the card – I’ve occasionally been rejected when applying for Hilton Honors card when churning (which then being accepted the next day by MBNA and/or Amex, so definitely more a case of Barclaycard varying whether they want good credit risks or not!).

  7. Wally1976 says:

    OT – It might be of interest to some on here that I sent Amex a secure message (very politely) asking for a bonus of 20,000 MR points for upgrading my preferred rewards gold charge card to the platinum charge card. The reply came back that this would be no problem and there was no mention of a spend requirement :-).

    Am I right in thinking that to do the upgrade I just go through the online platinum application and when it asks if I’ve got other Amex cards I just enter my Gold card number? I know not to request another supplementary card (you are automatically issued one if you had one on the Gold card as I understand it).

    • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

      You can call up and they’ll sort it out for you

      • Wally1976 says:

        Thanks Andrew but I’d rather do it online if possible…

        • Sam Goss says:
        • Scottydogg says:

          I was in the same situation when upgrading my girl friends ~Gold to Plat , I wanted to do this online but there was no option , my girl friend doesn’t really like speaking to banks etc on the phone but we had to do it that way , turned out to be easyier than she expected and Amex customer service were good to her 🙂
          After the cards were delivered and activated , I emailed Amex and they put the 20,000 points in there , no spend needed at all

        • Wally1976 says:

          Thanks all, I guess I’ll do it by phone. Thankfully this is for me and not my wife as I wouldn’t be able to get her to phone up. Doing it this way rather than using Sam’s link avoids having to spend £1k for the points :-).

    • Doug M says:

      I did the Amex Gold to Platinum online last night. Said couldn’t give me an immediate decision. Got an email today saying my Android Pay had changed to my new card. So logged in to Amex account and seemingly I am now Platinum. No actual confirmation yet.

  8. The South African Avios web site has a offer to buy Avios with a 50% bonus until tomorrow (21st). So for those with ZA accounts (all three of you!) there’s a better deal.

  9. Chris says:

    Brutal timing for that flight to HND…

    • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

      Agree – I thought the BA flights were bad enough.

    • I do enjoy the 1900 JL / NH flights that land into HND at 1600 odd. The BA NRT flight was just as bad as arrival into NRT at 1030, hotel then afternoon meetings..

  10. scottnothing says:

    Thanks for (pursuing IHG and) following-up on the Accelerate / Kimpton Amsterdam issue Rob, much appreciated.

  11. Marty says:

    OT I finally received 1000 lifemiles for Marriott promo but no sign of the avios yet

  12. the real harry1 says:

    O/T just having a play around with how theoretical/ dynamic seating is working on our flight tomorrow – 4x RFS redemptions. (Very intriguing thread on this over on FT.) At T-24 I moved us all up from toilet zone to the 20s. All other good stuff blocked off. An hour later I moved the 3 of them up another row & myself the same in another window. Another wait, now just bagged the 3 of them a nice row 7AB&C & advanced up another row myself but still in the 20s.

    Will update later.

    • Yes, I should write something on this but it is painfully complex. I was surprised to be able to move my wife and son (Silver) to Row 1 in CE today. Previously the first 3 rows had been fully blocked for Gold which seemed excessive.

      • the real harry1 says:

        it’s you people with status who stop us blueys with your blocked seats & middles (when travelling economy) 🙂

        luckily this flight is almost certain to be fully booked, so no status holders in theory should block me/ stop me moving up later

        still a few exit seats on my flight (£23), one of which I am hoping to grab for free tomorrow at self check-in machine

  13. OT

    So I posted the other day saying I had won my case against EasyJet for my 5+ hr delay. Just had the CEDR full report and the first reason for them not paying out is because EasyJet claimed that I had not presented myself for check-in. Unbelievable. The adjudicator was able to view my photos and video from my seat and see the meta data associated with it to prove that I was only the plane.

    Plus they awarded me more than I claimed 🙂

    What a joke.

    • the real harry1 says:

      nice result

      EJ can be a right hard nut when claiming compo – did you do it yourself or go through a specialist like Bott & Co?

      • Did it all myself. Only took a few minutes as I had everything available to me. The CEDR portal was easy to use and upload documents etc. Pointless paying someone to fill a form in. Plus CEDR will only pay the person claiming and not a company.

  14. I finally got to grips with using the 141 system to try and get through to the UK call centre, and succeeded! Had the most refreshingly competent csa who linked our separate bookings for August so we are pretty much guaranteed to be seated together, and told me that only 18 seats in CW had been sold so there was little chance of not sitting together – or being downgraded! He also expressed dismay on checking and finding out that we can’t order a meal as our flight has 2 stops, and offered to take it up with his manager. I’m fairly sure the answers to all this would have been, “I’m sorry, that is not possible” if I’d called the 0844 number.

    • That’s not a photo of sky suite, it’s much more like club world (with aisle access) than anything else, I recommend it

  15. Crafty says:

    OT: Closing in on a first ever Avios redemption. Looks good value on the dates I need, LHR to JFK for about 120,000 Avios plus £1,000 cash for the 2 of us using a companion voucher – out in CW, back in F.

    Before I pull the trigger – any obvious “newbie mistakes” you wish you hadn’t made that first time? Alternatives I ought to consider or things I should watch out for? Thanks very much ahead of time.

    • Alex W says:

      You might want to consider which aircraft you book on. I think that route has A380, 777 and 787 although the latter seems predominantly to Newark. It’s all much of a muchness on BA I find, though.
      Personally I think I would prefer to sleep in CW overnight and enjoy F when awake.

    • Alex W says:

      You might want to consider which aircraft you book on. I think that route has A380, 777 and 787 although the latter seems predominantly to Newark. It’s all much of a muchness on BA I find, though.
      Personally I think I would prefer to sleep in CW overnight and enjoy F when awake.

    • What factors led to your decision to go J outbound and F inbound?
      F outbound would allow LHR Concorde Lounge – if you are interested?

  16. Different offers for everyone. I have 3 per £1.

  17. Guys, I am looking forward to book 2 ine ways – Lon-Tokyo and Tokyo-Lon on around late mar 2018 and return in between April 9-11th 2018. I have app 92k avios and expecting 40k avios in next 2 months. After moving my head around for too many times I think I may have to settle down with one leg on business class and another leg on Prem eco or eco. Lon -tok bus class with jal is 90k avios +£245 and Prem eco is 56k avios + £140. But Tokyo to Lon business class is 90k avios + £88, and Prem eco is 5650 avios + £44. Please can you suggest which leg leg I should choose bus to get the best possible experience and enjoyment? if I book onward in Prem eco and return on bus, costs goes down but avios used will be same. I am bit confused as I never flew jal before.
    Thanks guys and any help is much appreciated.