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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.


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? – September 2021 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit or charge card, here are our September 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.

The following offers will end soon:

  • 2,000 Virgin Points on Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard (ends 15th October)
  • 30,000 Virgin Points on Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard (ends 15th October)
  • 10,000 Avios on British Airways American Express (ends 2nd November)
  • 40,000 Avios on British Airways American Express Premium Plus (ends 2nd November)
  • 60,000 points on The Platinum Card from American Express (ends 2nd November)
  • 30,000 points on American Express Preferred Rewards Gold (ends 9th November)

Here are the top current deals:

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

10,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and an Economy 241 voucher for spending ….. Read our full review

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

40,000 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 – 30,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Rewards credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard

The UK’s most generous free Visa or Mastercard at 0.75 points / £1 Read our full review

Virgin Rewards Plus credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

30,000 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

60,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios 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)

  • Alex W says:

    Fed up with Waitrose/virgin. Several transactions not posted. I did a £1 test the other day and only got 2 points instead of the 5 points I was supposed to get. Give up!

  • will says:

    OT, anyone tried a clubcard to virgin transfer in the last 7 days. I initiated one last thursday and 7 days on the points have still not posted in Virgin. I’ve transferred to Virgin previously so the accounts should be linked and it’s usually much quicker than this.

    • Genghis says:

      Usually posts overnight…

    • Fred says:

      Did a small transfer yesterday to see, and have received a 20% “Annual Summer Bonus” in addition to the points.

      So time to move the rest.

    • Lumma says:

      Done a couple of small transfers first to see if I got the 20% bonus before doing the rest. Posted the next day.

      Noticed that I had to put my flying club number in each time though

  • Hello says:

    OT but hotel related: Do Ambassador weekend certificate stays/nights count for IHG Accelerate targets?

    • Genghis says:

      Yes – officially for only one night (the first night) but the hotel might put two nights though (mine did in Singapore).

      • will says:

        Same, 2 nights posted for my recent stay in NYC. For reference highly recommend club lounge in Barclay IC. Excellent breakfast and evening service.

    • Jason says:

      I hope so…just checked out of San Fran can recommend the lounge breakfast was excellent free flowing champagne for 2 hours in the evening.

  • Liz says:

    OT Is it possible to earn points for meals when not staying at a hotel if you hand over your membership card? Having a meal at the Sun Dial restaurant in Atlanta next week which is at the top of the Westin Peachtree Plaza hotel – thought I might be able to earn some SPG pts – probably not I suspect.

    • Genghis says:

      SPG is one of the only chains where you can earn points for restaurant spend even though you’re not staying there.

      “Even without a stay, all members may earn Starpoints for eligible spend on food and beverage at participating hotels or resorts.”

    • ankomonkey says:

      I have done this at a Westin and had the points when not staying.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Some even offer 20% off for SPG Members

  • Wally1976 says:

    Another OT, sorry. Has anyone recently transferred Amex MR points to Club Carlson? I initiated a transfer last Friday and they haven’t hit yet. I did a small transfer (same accounts) a few weeks ago and didn’t think it took this long (but maybe my memory’s not great).

    • Frenske says:

      The last time it took a bit longer than a week.

    • RussellH says:

      They do say it takes ten days; the last one I did was much quicker, but yes, it usually takes a good week. Never had any problem with a transfer though – and I have done more to CC than anywhere else.

    • Wally1976 says:

      Thanks Frenske and RussellH for the replies which have reassured me. Want to cancel this card ASAP but would rather that be another day or two than god knows how long sorting out an errant transfer.

  • Ant says:

    Any idea when we could expect another Qatar sale? been holding on to book flights for January to Auckland but the prices have been in the £2400 range for last few weeks.

  • Fred says:

    Presumably the Melia deal stacks with the 10% off code from the Hotels page.

  • RussellH says:

    None of the Amex offers on either my Gold Credit Card or my PRG Amex, which needs to be cancelled very soon, now I have paid off the balance.

    I am keeping the Gold Credit card for the moment since, like others above, I intend to go for SPG for (probably) the last time. But I shall cancel that as soon as I reach the spend threshold, as I do not believe in paying card fees unless absolutely essential (I paid around £12 for my last SPG Amex).

    I suspect that having another card account to credit the card fee refund makes things easier for Amex too.

    Long term plan is to go for a blue BA Amex after binning the SPG, then cancel the Gold Credit card so that I can get my partner to refer me for a new PRG Amex before she cancels hers.

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