Bits: BA Holidays Avios bonus being cut, Flying Blue promo awards, 30% bonus buying Carlson points

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News in brief:

BA Holidays Avios bonus being halved

British Airways has – very quietly – announced a cut to the Avios earned when booking via BA Holidays.

Currently the earning rate is 2 Avios per £1 spent. This is on top of the Avios you earn from the flight and from the credit card used for booking.

For new bookings from 2nd October the rate will be cut to 1 Avios per £1.  The upside is that, going forward, you will also be able to earn 1 Avios per £1 spent on hotels, car hire and sightseeing excursions through BA Holidays when no flight is involved.  You can see the details at the bottom of this page of The Club magazine.

Thanks to Graham.

BA Holidays

Flying Blue promo awards

Flying Blue, the Air France / KLM loyalty scheme, has launched a new batch of discounted redemption routes.

These routes are being released on the first day of every month and can be booked as early as three months in advance.

The Flying Blue promo awards website is here.  The new batch of deals must be booked by the end of September for travel in November or December.

Some of the interesting long-haul premium economy and business class deals include:

Paris to Cayenne (business) – 50% off at 75,000 miles return

Europe to Vancouver (world business class) – 25% off at 93,750 return

Europe to Johannesburg (economy) – 50% off at 30,000 miles return

Europe to Shanghai (premium economy) – 25% off at 120,000 miles return

Europe to Hong Kong (premium economy) – 25% off at 120,000 miles return

Europe to Bangkok (premium economy) – 25% off at 120,000 miles return

Europe to Seoul (business) – 25% off at 150,000 miles return

Remember that Flying Blue is an American Express Membership Rewards partner if you need to top-up your account.


30% bonus buying Club Carlson points

Club Carlson has launched a promotion for a 30% bonus when you purchase points which runs until 5th October.

This is rubbish, frankly, given that there have been promotions as high as 75% lately. I only recommend it if you need to top up your account for an immediate redemption.

On the other hand there is still time to sign up for another Club Carlson promotion which is way better: Free Fridays.

For every two stays you make before 1st July and 30th September, you will receive a free Friday night at ANY Club Carlson hotel worldwide.  We covered this offer here.

(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.)

Earn free travel with the National Express loyalty scheme
HFP ‘Credit Cards’ page updated for September – what are the best deals this month?

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  1. the real harry1 says:

    any news on redeeming Virgin miles on FB? surely will get announced soon

    • The legal approvals for the transatlantic JV required will take 12-18 months, this includes the frequent flyer aspects since regulators treat that as collusion too.

  2. Is the BA holidays bonus avios cut for new bookings made from 02 October or including existing holiday bookings? I was looking forward to a 8.5k bonus from my November holiday booked many months ago.

  3. Joseph Heenan says:

    Good to see some flying blue coverage!

    • My gut feeling (and what do I know, I only edit this ….) is that as the Virgin / KLM integration gets nearer we’ll do more. New KLM route launches will be redeeming with Virgin miles, buying FB miles in a promo will let you book Virgin flights etc.

    • +1 Had some great redemptions with FB. Now I need to earn some more points!

  4. @Tilly

    I had the same concern, but the Ts and Cs linked to below show clearly that it’s new bookings made after 2nd October. Phew.

    • Oh phew! Thanks Dave!

      I was going to leave booking a CE city break until the new year (Jan sales) for travel in March or May. Might be booking that sooner now.

  5. Great to see some flying blue news, any chance we will see similar for delta sky miles? Have been using them quite a lot from UK-US since the VS/DL partnership

  6. Graham Walsh says:

    OT When checking in at an IHG property and using rewards to pay, when they offer welcome points or a drink, take the drink. Welcome points are not issued on reward nights (as I have just found 2 weeks later)

    • I’ve had welcome points on all reward nights

      • Graham Walsh says:

        I know it’s only a few points, but they all add up. This is the message from IHGService on twitter (which is very responsive).

        Hello Mr. Walsh! Pleased to assist one of our Platinum Elite members. I have checked your stay at the InterContinental David Tel Aviv (August 25 – Septemeber 1) and it seems that it was booked under Rewards Night reservation. Please be advised that welcome bonus points are only honored for a qualifying stays. Should you have any other stays under a paying for InterContinental David Tel Aviv, please feel free to send us the confirmation number so we can check. I appreciate your patronage since 2002. Sincerely, ~ Grace

        • We have stayed at several IHG properties on rewards during this current trip. I have received welcome points on most of them ok but in one I was told that if it is a reward night you no longer receive the welcome points – I argued that we had not been informed of this by IHG so she agreed to award them – although not received them yet – will chase up when we get back. Think I am missing pts for 2 hotels so far.

          • REward nights also show on my account as qualifying nights.

          • The free drink is worth more anyway. I only take the points on a mattress run – I suppose if your employer pays for drinks etc then it also makes sense on work stays.

          • I wouldn’t be buying a drink, so to me it doesn’t matter how much the drink is “worth”, I always take the points.

          • I’ve always been offered the welcome amenity even on reward stays. I normally take the drinks, you sometimes get the points on top.

            Oh I wish IHG was more like Hilton, with its free drinks (or lounge), breakfast AND 1000 points on every stay!

          • Agree can sometimes double dip. Also sometimes for points they give you a voucher with code on it so you know you’ll definitely receive them. I’ve also had some double up on drinks vouchers as they have them in the welcome letter and wrote out new ones 🙂

          • I’ve had quite a few welcome stays post twice recently. No idea how they’re processed and reconciled but seems to be working – for me anyway.

      • Graham Walsh says:
      • Barry cutters says:

        If you are offered points at check in you will get them. Reward booking or cash booking it doesn’t matter.

    • Hmm I was awarded points on reward stay

    • That’s complete rubbish, I always get welcome points on reward nights, including at ICs.

    • Or take the welcome drink… and often see the welcome points arrive too 🙂 And on reward nights.

      OT: Spire at CP Bratislava – 20k points, option of lounge access or 500 points or welcome drink. I chose the points of course 🙂

  7. Regarding FB there is a buy miles promotion on where you receive an additional 100% bonus at present

  8. OT :
    I have no status on Iberia, Silver with BA
    If i take a flight on BA metal trough Iberia website & put my Iberia Frequent Flyer number do I get lounge access/Sapphire benefit (by waiving my Silver card?)


    • TGLoyalty says:

      any reason you wouldn’t just post it to your BA account?

    • Scallder says:

      Can always put BA number in and then in lounge change it to your Iberia info

    • the real harry1 says:

      which airport?

      • Thanks for the reply

        Barcelona / Heathrow/ Muscst, yes to activate Iberia account

        So I should put my BA number to get lounge access?

        • the real harry1 says:

          better wait for the experts but Silver card should get you into a lounge at LHR

          • If you have the physical card then that trumps everything else. The Finnair website is your friend here to amend the FF number. However: often even if you change your FF number midway (e.g.: BA number showing OWS to start with then changed to Iberia) points can still find their way to BA. It is possible to have two FF numbers in a booking > one for points, one for status. Physical card comes into play in this situation in least hassle way, and if at BCN/LHR the OWS card number ‘needs to be entered into your booking’, ensure you get an agent who puts the number in the right place, or just in notes. Of course, card will get lounge access but OWS will not show on BP unless you get an agent who can does things the proper way.

  9. OT. Reasonably interesting article on loyalty schemes in general in this week’s Economist

  10. OT (Bits): recently messaged MBNA to close my VS White card (still keeping the Black one) – they’ve offered me an extra 5,000 points for £1,000 spend in 90 days (+1k on the spend itself of course). Combined to the 12,000 sign-up points and £5 in spend so far (signed up in LHR Clubhouse therefor no minimum spend) it’s a pretty nice deal! At 0.75p VS mile valuation it works out 13.4% return on £1,005 spend 🙂

    • Mrs G’s 5k haven’t posted yet. I’m assuming MBNA are enforcing 90 days

      • Ah, interesting. Will be chasing them once I hit the target. Ideally would like to churn it so bit of a pain if having to wait 90 days for them.

    • steven laity says:

      Hi Alan, did you message through online system or phone up? If online which message subject heading did you use. I was just considering canceling my Virgin white and was curious if they would offer anything to stay but none of the online message system headings seem suitable to send the message
      Thanks Steve

      • Hi Steve – online messaging, I picked ‘change of terms’ as topic, what I’ve always used over the years with cancelling MBNA cards (of which I’ve had many!).

        • steven laity says:

          Thanks, I will send that way then, hopefully I get a simillar offer

          • No probs – or could always try calling as Lev441 one did, specifically asking for offers. I wasn’t expecting anything given the singly low-cost transaction on the account but was very welcome when offered!

      • I rang up and said I was thinking of cancelling.. were there any offers on the card to tempt me to keep it – and they said yes we have the 5k bonus for £1k spend.. I took them up on the offer!

  11. the real harry1 says:

    O/T sometimes pays to use the ’email the CEO’ site – some will know Mr Cruz came up trumps for me on F&booze in the summer – more likely his office just sorted it & told CS to get a move on

    anyway, I had a small issue vs Europcar dating from July – nothing in it apart from them not giving me a small refund for service recovery – they agreed it 8 weeks ago but then stalled/ did nothing to pay it

    a 1-liner to the CEO got it sorted in about 30 mins

    as it happens, looks like instead of refunding me, they have wrongly charged me the refund due – not bothered about this as I smell inconvenience 🙂

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