Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Bits: 10% Qatar Airways discount code, Waitrose / Virgin saga, Amex hotel deals

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News in brief:

10% off Qatar Airways business class

Qatar Airways has released a 10% discount code to selected partners, including HfP.

Code UKPREMIUM will get you 10% off the base fare of a business class ticket.  You need to book by 30th August for travel by 14th June 2018.

Full details are on this page of the UK Qatar Airways site.

rsz_qatar_a320

Waitrose / Virgin Flying Club saga continues ….

The saga of the Virgin Flying Club / Waitrose ‘in-store earning’ promotion continues.  It seems that the two sides can’t go more than a fortnight without changing the rules of the offer.

Yesterday morning, the Virgin / Waitrose page online was changed to say:

Rewards only given when you spend over £85

This would be a pain if it was applied, given that our average spend in Waitrose is usually sub £50.  As we carry it all home by hand, this could be the end of our in-store earning.

Yet, by yesterday evening, the line had disappeared.  There is now no minimum spend requirement showing.

Virgin also continues to offer different rewards to different people.  I am currently getting 3 Virgin miles per £1 whilst my wife is only offered 1 mile per £1.  All very odd ….

PS.  Looking at my Virgin in-store transactions last night, it seems that I earned 54 miles at Habitat recently.  Except that I didn’t …. presumably my wife bought something using one of the credit cards which I have registered.  This shows how odd these schemes are …. Habitat is paying money to Virgin for my miles, even though the miles literally had no impact on the purchasing decision.

ME London strand

New American Express hotel cashback deals launched

A couple of new hotel cashback deals have appeared for American Express cardholders.  You can find some, all or none of these under the ‘Offers’ tab on your online statement page.  You get different offers for each card you hold.

My new ones are:

Small Luxury Hotels of the World – £25 back on £150 spend

Offer runs until 26th January.

Melia Hotels (click for website) – £50 back on £200 spend

Valid until 26th October.  Note that only a small number of hotels are participating, mainly in Spain, although ME London, photo above, is on the list.  Remember that if you have an American Express Platinum card you can now get automatic Gold status in Melia Rewards.

The following offers are still running:

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 nightas well as getting £50 back!  Ends 13th September.

onefinestay – 10% back

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


Want to earn more points from credit cards? – August 2021 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit or charge card, here are our August 2021 recommendations based on the current sign-up bonus

You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the other top current deals:

British Airways American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and a companion voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

BA Premium Plus American Express card BAPP

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Rewards Plus credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 points bonus and the most generous non-Amex for day to day spending Read our full review

Earning miles and points from small business cards

If you are a sole trader or run a small company, you may also want to check out these offers.

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

Earn both Avios and BA On Business points with your business spending Read our full review

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company Read our full review

For a non-American Express option, we also recommend the Barclaycard Select Cashback card for sole traders and small businesses. It is FREE and you receive 1% cashback on your spending:

Barclaycard Select Cashback Credit Card

1% cashback and no annual fee Read our full review

Comments (133)

  • Genghis says:

    Instead of churning the SPG card like I normally do I’m holding the card and putting some spend through since SPGs are the best thing since sliced bread (and double points at SPG / Marriotts until end of Nov 17). Anyway, I’m quite disappointed with the Amex offers on the card.
    To long term card holders: will they get any better and have ones I might actually use on there? (I know unlikely to have other hotel offers like BAPP never has Eurostar).

    • Aziz says:

      Hi Genghis. Just a thought but have you tried copying the URL of the deals from your other cards to your SPG? I managed to copy the Amazon deals and they both triggered. On this occasion the points haven’t arrived but I think this is because the offer was for MRs, expect it would work for simple cash back ones.

      • Genghis says:

        Thanks for the tip but no other Amex cards currently.

        • will says:

          Try setting up some additional cardholders and registering them online, I’ve seen different offers for different cardholders on the same account.

      • RTS says:

        How the heck do you copy the deals to another card?!

    • JamesB says:

      With a number of issues suggesting the very future of this card, at least in its current form, and 6 months taking you into next year then I wouldn’t churn either. Presumably you would normally do so with a referral cycle with Mrs G. If she is not currently holding the card it might be best she get one soon, even if breaking your churn cycle. I queried lack of offers on SPG with amex last year, they said it is up to SPG which offers can go on the card so obviously no competitor hotel chains. However, have you thought about trying live chat, you might just get lucky.

      • Genghis says:

        Hmm. I think there’s still time to churn again (will be Mar 18) and as I need to work on 2x BAPP from next month I’m going to risk it. But after next getting the card I will keep it until it dies.

        How have Amex handled previously withdrawn cards? Eg. Any compo? Any credit for spend for end of year bonus (even though v unlikely to spend £25k for a crappy reward)?

        • Polly says:

          G,
          Thought you would be doing the referral churn with Mrs G on SPG cards. We now run them along the others, just for the spend bonus and referral points. Offers useless, l agree. But l will call up next time and ask for something if a good offer comes to Plat or BAPP. It’s a useful 25k avios, (we don’t use hotel points) on a minimal 4k spend tho. Plus we get a pro rata refund.
          Like James says, refer OH sooner than later, we are doing that this week.

          • JamesB says:

            @ G & P, hopefully we will get some clues on longevity if the cards if amex take further action on contended cards. Perhaps Andrew S or Rob will know something. If they are throwing in the towel I doubt current benefits on contended cards will last long.

            @G no idea on amex withdrawing a card, I think they have had the same portfolio for years.

            @Polly, did you hear that QR niw flying to Chiang Mai, so now 4 destinations in Thailand.

          • Genghis says:

            Of course referred Mrs G. It’d be a waste otherwise.

    • Nick M says:

      I’ve held onto my SPG for circa 18months now… obv no hotel offers, but otherwise similar to Gold/Platinum offering. Some discrepancies when differing amounts offered – but assume that is due to spending history on that card/if I’ve had a similar offer before

      • Genghis says:

        Thanks Nick. I’ll hold onto the card for another month or so and see what happens.

    • Lumma says:

      I had a period late last year where i wasn’t getting any offers at all on any of my amex issued cards (I think it was shortly after cancelling the Gold charge card). I emailed them and they basically told me there was nothing they could do and told me I could complain to the financial ombudsmen (Not sure they’d be intetested).

      Seems to be back to normal now though

  • Roger says:

    Any further tips for Heathrow airport parking?
    Looking for purple parking discount code. Not much other than MSE code via one of the providers.

  • Andy says:

    I’ll continue to ship in Waitrose what ever happens with Virgin Atlantic Flying Club as its just a small added bonus that I’ll just let build up over time.

  • Richard says:

    If there is a minimum spend at Waitrose you can always top up with Waitrose/ John Lewis gift cards

  • Richard says:

    2 x live chats would add the Melia offer yesterday – and tips to get it added?

    • Ro says:

      i get more success from speaking on the phone rather than the online chat

  • Wally1976 says:

    Completely OT sorry – going to be flying into LGW South late on a Saturday night in a couple of weeks with wife and 2 children. Then staying overnight at Courtyard Marriott and don’t want to pay their breakfast prices for the Sunday morning so just wondering if anyone can suggest anywhere for a cheap breakfast in the vicinity – within walking distance – as I don’t know the area. We have Amex plat with supplementary card and hence Priority Passes for all if that opens up any opportunities (landside of course). Thanks.

    • John says:

      There is nowhere within walking distance of LGW if you have hungry kids.

      You could walk 30 mins through a muddy park to the small town of Horley and try your luck with the cafes there or take the train to Crawley otherwise it’s airport terminal breakfast for you.

    • Genghis says:

      It’s certainly not great but OK for a one off and cheap: McDonald’s

    • Frenske says:

      There are shops e.g. M&S and WHSmith at Gatwick Airport Station. There might be also a coffee place but it has been awhile and memory has faded.
      Otherwise there are coffee places Costa/Cafe Nero land-side which do sandwiches and croissants.

    • john says:

      There’s a Tesco about 10min drive away with a Harris & Hoole. Might be afflicted with Sunday trading rules but with taxi could be cheaper than hotel breakfast!

  • Rom says:

    Does anyone know if the Thistle hotel offer is spend by or book by 29th Sep?

    • Rob says:

      Payment must be taken by then, so a prepaid rate for a later date is ok as long as they charge your card on booking.

  • Keith says:

    OT can anyone recommend any hotels within 2 hour drive of London to escape for the weekend? Up to £250 p/n with pool? Thanks.

      • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

        Agreed, although I think I’d choose Ettington, in the same portfolio, over it.

        Might be able to do Lainston House at £250.

        • Keith says:

          Thanks both will check them out.

          • Mark says:

            depends how far you want to go, we really rated Hilton Syon park (although still within london), great pool and spa facilities and as gold we got a free upgrade and breakfast. plus if you are a plane geek you get to watch all the heathrow planes come in.

          • Rob says:

            Syon Park is good, I have reviewed it if you search.

          • Keith says:

            Have Hilton Plat so did check out Syon Park but booked on the dates we were looking for unfortunately. Thanks.

    • Ro says:

      ok it doesnt have a pool but the beckford arms in wiltshire is awesome, great for a couple and their breakfast is unbelieveable… even includes a bloody mary station. 2 years on i still dream about their hash browns.

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