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Bits: BA closing Toronto lounge, new SPG Moments concerts, new Amex offer at Thistle, Amba, Guoman

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News in brief:

British Airways closing Toronto lounge

It was rumoured on Flyertalk earlier this week that the British Airways lounge in Toronto was closing.

The closing date has now been confirmed by the Twitter team as 31st October.  BA will be using the Plaza Premium lounge instead, where an area will be roped off for BA passengers with a separate sub-area for First Class passengers.  It isn’t clear how pre-flight dining will be catered.

Looking at the Flyertalk comments this is another move in the wrong direction, especially as this does not appear to be one of the better Plaza Premium facilities.

Medium term, Plaza Premium is going to take over the existing British Airways space and develop a new lounge.  This will be available exclusively to BA passengers for part of the day and used as a third party lounge at other times.  It will not be staffed by BA employees, unlike the current lounge.

New SPG Moments added

Starwood Preferred Guest has released tickets for a few more O2 concerts in London.  All of these are for the SPG Suite, and include all you can drink and a very decent hot buffet.  This is the updated list of concerts currently available with the newly added ones in bold.

  • Bluesfest presents Chic feat. Nile Rogers, 27th October (15,000 points for two tickets)
  • Bluesfest presents Daryl Hall & John Oats, 29th October (15,000 points for two tickets)
  • Queens of the Stone Age, 21st November (15,000 points for two tickets)
  • Depeche Mode, 22nd November (15,000 points for two tickets)
  • Deep Purple, 23rd November (15,000 points for two tickets)
  • Little Mix, 25th November (15,000 points for two tickets)
  • Kasabian, 1st December (15,000 points for two ticekts)
  • Jamiroquai, 3rd December (15,000 points for two tickets)
  • Gorillaz, 4th December (15,000 points for two tickets)
  • Mariah Carey, 11th December (15,000 points for two tickets)
  • Disney On Ice presents Passport to Adventure, 21st December (15,000 points for two tickets)
  • Disney On Ice presents Passport to Adventure, 28th December (15,000 points for two tickets)
  • Paramore, 12th January (15,000 points for two tickets)
  • Chris Rock, 27th January, (20,000 points for two tickets)
  • Chris Rock, 28th January, (20,000 points for two tickets)

(I saw Paramore in one of Hamburg’s tiniest concert venues about 10 years ago – my friend’s boyfriend’s band was Paramore’s support act.)

You can get your tickets via the SPG Moments site here.  Click on ‘see all music moments’ and then choose Europe, London.

Amba Hotels American Express cashback offer

New Amex offers with Thistle, Amba, every and Guoman

American Express has added some new hotel cashback offers.  These are probably – but not guaranteed – showing on the ‘Offers’ section on the online statement page of one or more of your cards.  They are:

£35 off £100 at Thistle Hotels, excluding Thistle Express

£55 off £200 at every Hotels

£55 off £200 at Amba Hotels

£55 off £200 at Guoman Hotels

All offers are valid at participating London hotels, plus Thistle Poole, for stays until 17th December.  The cashback will be triggered on both prepaid and ‘pay at check-out’ bookings. Remember that you need to ‘save’ the offer to your card to trigger the payment.

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

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

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:

American Express Business Gold card

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

Disclaimer: Head for Points is a journalistic website. Nothing here should be construed as financial advice, and it is your own responsibility to ensure that any product is right for your circumstances. Recommendations are based primarily on the ability to earn miles and points and do not consider interest rates, service levels or any impact on your credit history.  By recommending credit cards on this site, I am – technically – acting as a credit broker.  Robert Burgess, trading as Head for Points, is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a credit broker.

Comments (81)

  • Peter K says:

    I’m trying to book a Marriott Travel Package. The first (American) lady I spoke to was saying these are not bookable with points, only cash!! She also said I needed to say what “hotel and state” I wanted to book into and refused to go any further without this. Eventually she has put me through to someone else and I’m on hold.
    Do I need to have decided which hotel I want to go to as I just wanted to get the 270k Marriott point package while the BAEC 35% conversion bonus was on then choose a hotel later and upgrade to more than a category 1-5 when I had decided?

    • Peter K says:

      I’ve just got through to another representative (after 20 mins on hold) and they have done it perfectly fine with no need to choose a hotel in advance. 3 days to transfer the miles to BA apparently and as previously been said you can upgrade the package at a later date to a higher category of hotel.

      • the real harry1 says:

        sounds good & nice success to you, I think Genghis also mentioned it?

        how are they making any money out of this?

        • Peter K says:

          I imagine they hope you will be loyal to them and also buy lunches/dinners at the hotels you are staying at. Or pay cash to upgrade like Rob does.

        • Genghis says:

          They seemed equally useless when I called on Wed but then I called it what it was: a 7 night stay and airline miles package and they then understood. Miles posted within 2 days for me

        • rams1981 says:

          7 days is a hard stretch for me. Maybe Cape Town as not booked that yet. Where do people tend to stay for 7 days in the same hotel?

        • Genghis says:

          Relaxing stays. We stayed in a Bali beach hotel recently for 7 nights and could easily do a similar holiday again. I used to love rushing around exploring but as I’m getting older can appreciate more relaxing stays – have a nice breakfast, have a swim, do some reading, a nice lunch, some booze etc.

          Cape Town only have Protea hotels, a bit of a waste of the certificate perhaps

        • Genghis says:

          Sorry – there is the African Pride brand too

        • the real harry1 says:

          breakfast/ booze? sort of interchangeable at the weekend 🙂

        • N says:

          I booked at African Pride in CPT using a cert in January.

          Will report back after!

  • Harry says:

    BA do this in Tel Aviv where they use one of the Dan Lounges that is available exclusively to BA passengers for part of the day and used as a third party lounge at other times. Like all the Dan Lounges at Tel Aviv, this one is not worth going out of your way for. They are dated, crowded and without any decent food or any computer access.

    • Genghis says:

      One of the worst lounges I’ve been to. I was starving after my proper search at security

  • Lee says:

    Can u earn 2 Ba companion vouchers on 1 acc in 1 year by completing 10k spend on premium card then reverting to the free ba card and then spending another 10k on the free card to make 20k total spend in a year to trip the voucher for 20k spend ?

    Hope this makes some sense.

    • Genghis says:

      No. You can spend £10k, wait 6 months, apply again and get another bonus and then spend another £10k for a total of two vouchers earned within the year though. I guess it’s possible to do it again and have 3 vouchers sitting in your account

      • Stuart F says:

        But with the free card voucher having only 1 year validity vs 2 years on the premium card, wouldn’t the first voucher have expired by the time you qualify for the third using this scheme?

        • Genghis says:

          There was meant to be a “and cancel” in there and assuming all BAPP.
          Ie. Month 1 apply, spend £10k, cancel
          Month 8 apply, spend £10k, cancel
          Month 15 apply, spend £10k, cancel
          Voilà, 3 vouchers.

  • Brian says:

    The new Amex website is horrendous. They have totally ruined it. Almost unusable. What on earth were they thinking????