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.


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 2022 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit card, here are our top recommendations based on the current sign-up bonuses.

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the best of the other deals currently available.

EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

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

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

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points, £200 travel credit and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 points bonus and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend 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 Platinum

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

American Express Business Gold

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

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

50,000 points bonus until 2nd October – the most generous Avios Visa 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)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • RTS says:

    OT – Has anyone tried manufacturing spend using say bet365 to deposit into the account using paypal linked to say your Hilton Honors card or Lloyds Avios MasterCard?

    • Mr Dee says:

      No but expect some wagering to be done otherwise your account would be closed sooner or later.

      • Genghis says:

        Combined with a bit of matched betting for sign up bonuses, could work?

    • Toby says:

      I have. Combined it with Matched Betting though – so far put through £5k – all via Santander earning 5% back! (Santander will hate me…)

      • Genghis says:

        Given you’re likely to have exhausted most sign up bonuses, what kind of wastage are you finding with matched betting? Aren’t betfair fees 5% alone?

        • The Urbanite says:

          Entirely possible to place bets where you’re guaranteed not to lose any money, whilst evading the attention of their AML and anti-arbing staff. The more you cycle, the more secondary the points collection element becomes!

          • CC says:

            Do you mean like betting on horses and then waiting for the price to drop in exchange and then placing you lay bet?

    • The Urbanite says:

      Expect a cash advance fee to be charged for deposits via Paypal.

  • Tom says:

    OT, but my other half and I are flying first on BA and I wonder if anyone can comment on the best seats to get for a couple?

    Personally I want to take 2a and 2k which I have blocked out to ensure we have them (not gold so cannot get 1a/k). My OH is not a great flyer so wants to sit near me.

    Having not flown first before are 2a/k close enough or do I need to take the non-window seats?

    • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

      Answer will depend a bit on what aircraft you’re flying in.

      • Peter Taysum says:

        Agree with the above; if you share the aircraft, can advise better.

        • Tom says:

          Ah, yes of course that would help. All it says at the moment is Boeing 747 jet.

          • pauldb says:

            As Scott says below she’ll be able to get your attention in 2AK but not really hold a conversation. 4/5EF are side by side for that, or 1AK are to me the best of both worlds.

          • Tom says:

            Thanks Paul – it’s an overnight flight so we should be getting some rest, but at the same time it’s our 1st experience of F, so as you can imagine it’ll be nice to experience the full service.

    • Scott says:

      I’m going to take a guess you are talking about a 747. If so I would book 4E/4F or 5E/5F as a couple if you want to be close. 2 A/K are just too far away if you want to be close to each other. On our first First flight I booked 2 A/K for my wife and I, this was based on internet research saying there weren’t that far apart. Upon boarding we realised they were too far apart and we asked to move to 5 E/F which they were happy to do as the load was light.

      Obvisously if 1A/K opens up nearer departure time grab them. I was checking all the time in the run up to our flight in the hope that a Gold hadn’t taken them, but in the end they didn’t open up.

      • Tom says:

        Thanks Scott – we’ll keep checking 1a/k but we’re bronze so we only get to reserve these a week before departure. I’d heard conflicting rumours about 2a/k being close to each other. Personally we’re in first, it’d be nice to have the windows but I understand that she’s not a brilliant flyer if it gets bumpy.

        • Genghis says:

          1A/K should open up at t-72h if not been taken.

        • Scott says:

          We were only Blue members so had no opportunity to get 1 A/K in advance. It all comes down to if there is a GCH on that flight who has booked into there or not. In our case there was.

          For us it was about it being a shared experience. Were flying LHR-JFK and chosen a mid-afternoon departure so we could make the most of it by having a few glasses of LPGS and then a long lunch and a few digestifs afterwards. We then followed that by a short nap before afternoon tea. We had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, sitting in 5 E/F we were able to share that together. All thanks in no small measure to Raffles for opening up the world of Avios that made it possible for us to experience it. Enjoy your trip!

        • HAM76 says:

          Row 1 is close, but there is still a whole cupboard inbetween, so about 1.5m, row 2 is more like talking from one window seat to abother on an A319. There is not just empty space between the two seats, but also the table with choclates.

    • Leigh says:

      We found the seats fine, 1 a/k are separated by the cupboard for coats etc

  • Fenny says:

    My Waitrose/Virgin points post regularly. I’ve had about 300 come through in the last week. Considering that apart from a £52 (gross before assorted discounts) shop to use a £5 off voucher, my usual transactions are between £1.29 (pack of yumyums and a bottle of tonic) today and maybe £7.50 on a daily basis to get the free coffee, I honestly don’t care what the earnings rate is. I think I’m getting 3/£, but 1 or 2 is fine by me. I still buy most things cheaper in Aldi – reading glasses and new shades for my hols this week!

  • Cate says:

    OT – some may remember that Hilton Hampton couldn’t provide all of us with breakfast over the weekend. The sticky point was the comment that they didn’t have to provide breakfasts because they were complimentary. Well today we got a grovelling apology (i.e. the stock apology letter) saying our account was going to be receiving a nice chunk of base points over the incident.

    However the question whether breakfast was complimentary or not was not mentioned at all. So the jury is still out on that one then…,

  • David2910 says:

    Saw this comment from Leff on VFTW re air Berlin: ‘anyone who spent more for a refundable ticket as a hedge against the financial problems at the airline not only is holding a ticket in a time of instabiltiy but paid more for the privilege of doing so’ in relation to their statement that refundable tickets are no longer refundable.

    Anyone in any universe who thought that a refund promise from an insolvent company is some kind of hedge needs their head examined. I only hope no hfpers thought a credit impaired/ phoney option had value.

    • the real harry1 says:

      with respect, I don’t think you understood Leff’s point

    • pauldb says:

      Presumably your credit card company would pay you out on AB’s refusal, making it a sensible strategy.

  • Cate says:

    New offer on mine at Waitrose, spend £100 and get a 1000 bonus points.

    +1 “Roger I. Nothing on either mine or partners.

    • Rob says:

      That is home delivery, new customers only.

      • Cate says:

        How would they know I’m not a new customer if they don’t ask for my Waitrose green card or number? I can have the groceries delivered to neighbor.

    • mark2 says:

      This has now appeared on mine too, but looks to me like an online order rather than a shop purchase. Does anyone know different?

  • Toby says:

    Anyone thinking of buying wine from a Waitrose, hold off until next week. 25% off three bottles or more starts then!

  • Alex says:

    Completely OT – I’m trying to convert LeClubAccor points that I’ve earned from a recent stay and the earlier promotions which HFP so usefully made me aware of to IberiaPlus avios. However everytime I click through to use them it just presents me with a Login/Join page despite the fact that I’m already in. Has anyone else had this problem? Contacted them but no response yet.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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