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Bits: new SLH scheme with free Amex upgrade, who buys Air Berlin?, currency converter app

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News in brief:

Small Luxury Hotels launches new INVITED loyalty scheme

I mentioned back in May that hotel marketing consortium Small Luxury Hotels of the World was scrapping its loyalty scheme, The Club.

Small Luxury Hotels of the World is a consortium of 520 luxury hotels in 80 countries. These are primarily independent properties, many of which are well known in their respective markets.

The Club is currently an Avios partner, and you are able to earn 500 Avios per stay at any SLH property.  Details are on ba.com here.

The new SLH loyalty scheme – INVITED – has now launchedThe details are here.

Taking their cue from the stupid tier names used by the new World of Hyatt programme (Discoverist, Explorist, Globalist), SLH will name its tier levels Invited, Inspired and Indulged.  

What is interesting is that you get decent benefits just for joining.  As an ‘Invited’ level member, which is what you get for signing up, you will receive free continental breakfast, early check-in if available, late check-out if available and free wi-fi.

If you are not already a member of INVITED, this link for American Express cardholders lets you join at ‘Inspired’ level.  This usually requires one previous stay so it is useful if you only have a one-off Small Luxury Hotels trip.  ‘Inspired’ gets you all the benefits of ‘Invited’ plus a birthday gift and a one-category room upgrade if available at check-in.

Air Berlin’s future to be revealed next Monday

Last Friday was the last day to bid for the insolvent airline Air Berlin, but we won’t find out the results until next week.

According to Der Spiegel there were at least six bidders in total.  The main contenders are Lufthansa, easyJet and Niki Lauda, who put in a joint offer with Condor to regain control of his airline Niki.

It was also reported by Reuters yesterday that IAG, BA’s parent company, has bid for something – although what is not clear.  The only obvious asset would be some slots to be used by Vueling or perhaps new low-cost long-haul carrier LEVEL.

Who gets what will be revealed on 25th September, four days later than previously announced.  The reason for this delay is rumoured to be the German election this coming Sunday as the current government gave Air Berlin a loan of €150m – unlikely to be seen ever again.

Who will buy airberlin?

Currency converter app

Fast Currency Converter is a free Android and iOS app (download Android here, download iOS here) written by a long-time Head for Points reader Lee Stenning which I offered to mention.

It has had over 50,000 downloads so far.  The key benefit over other similar apps is that Lee isn’t trying to sell you any foreign currency services – the app is funded by a small ad at the bottom – so it is very clean and is totally focused on delivering the information you are after.  It is worth a look if you’ve struggled to find something similar so far that suits your needs.

You can find out more on the Currency Converter website here and there is a YouTube video on how it works here.

(Want to earn more miles and points from credit cards?  Click here to visit our dedicated airline and hotel travel credit cards page or use the ‘Credit Cards Update’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Comments (31)

  • John says:

    Amex upgrade to Inspired link doesn’t work. Tried multiple browsers.

  • Tim H says:

    OT but Air Berlin / Top Bonus related.
    I’ve booked a revenue BA flight and have added my BAEC number, which is Bronze right now. I also have Top Bonus Gold (OW Sapphire), so rang BA and they added that to my booking as well, so both are now on the booking. This allowed the agent to select the seats I wanted for free, and appears to give me lounge access (although weirdly it refers to the BA First lounge at Heathrow in MMB rather than the BA Club lounge).
    Does anyone know which scheme the flight will be credited to? I don’t collect points with Top Bonus, and my preference would obviously therefore be a credit to my BAEC account. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

    • Rob says:

      You need to change it at check-in and get a new boarding pass issued showing your BA number. Topbonus is now suspended and the miles effectively worthless so you really don’t want them going there!