Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Bits: last day for the IHG Flash Sale, is EgyptAir the best Star Alliance scheme?, Visa cashback

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News in brief:

LAST DAY to book in the IHG Flash Sale

IHG has been running a flash sale this week covering Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Crowne Plaza, Hotel Indigo and Staybridge Suites.

This is ONLY for hotels in Europe.  600 properties are included.

Rooms are priced at either £39, £59, £79 or £99 (or € in Europe).  Here is the list.

There are some impressive hotels includedCrowne Plaza The City in London, which most see as comparable to the InterContinental in quality terms, is £99 for example.  The Paddington and Kensington Hotel Indigo hotels are also £99.  Even the very good Crowne Plaza Kensington which I reviewed here (and pictured below) is £99.

You need to book by tonight, Sunday 5th November.  Stays must be between 1st December and 28th February 2018.  Start by checking the list of properties included here.

Is EgyptAir the best Star Alliance frequent flyer scheme?

Last week I ran this article on which Star Alliance air miles scheme was the best.  There seemed to be no clear answer, as it depended very much on how you earned your miles and how you spent them.

One scheme that I did not consider was EgyptAir.  This may have been a mistake.

Here is an article written for the Award Wallet blog which looks at EgyptAir in detail.

This is the key point – you can set up a family account with EgyptAir and (amazingly) the status miles from all flights taken by family members count towards YOUR status.

This means that you may be able to earn yourself a Star Alliance Gold card simply by taking your family on one holiday.  There is no requirement to take any flights on EgyptAir itself to get status with them.

It isn’t all good news.  You will need to ring a Cairo call centre to book any redemption flights, which could be fun.  That said, this could well be a viable option for people who travel on Star Alliance with their family.

visa mastercard

New travel Visa cashback deals launched

If you a have Visa debit card from your bank, you should find a new batch of cashback offers have been loaded onto your deals portal assuming your bank runs one.

This is what I see over at the HSBC portal but it should be similar across other providers:

10% cashback on UK Hilton stays over £75 (expires 13th November)

10% cashback on Heathrow Express tickets (expires 10th November)

15% cashback on Affordable Car Hire (expires 14th November)

Other deals include £10 back on a £40 Lidl spend, £10 back on a £40 H&M spend and £3 back on an £8 Costa spend.


Want to earn more points from credit cards? – August 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 BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

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 Amex Gold

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

60,000 points, £200 travel credit 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 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:

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

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 card

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

10,500 points bonus – 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 (3% on business travel for four months) and no annual fee Read our full review

Comments (56)

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

  • LostAntipod says:

    Dont have the Hilton offer. Am registered.

  • Buddy says:

    I am a Star Alliance Gold through Egyptair. LON-CAI is a route I often travel. I was eligible for their Egypt based credit card as well and in its first year or so all miles earned though spend were qualifying status miles so I earned gold in no time. I have just requalified partly because of contributions from family member travel. The other great perk with their credit card is it gives you a 25% discount on award pricing if you are flying Egypt Air metal.
    Small tip dealing with the program: don’t bother trying to contact the Egypt based call centres. Difficult to get through to. I just call their Dubai office (numbers on the website) and they are able to sort everything I need. Never been a problem
    Other downside is they don’t seem to have a published award chart, so you need to call to find out what awards will cost.

    • GUWonder says:

      Egyptair charges fuel surcharges on tickets using their miles, right? That’s something to consider.

      I’ve been promoting the MS program for a while now due to the MS*G status being very easy to acquire. For example, when SAS has its “children fly free” (well, just for taxes/airport-type fees) promo, it can lead to some insanely cheap ways for a person to earn *G status. But be aware that it can take some time to set up the MS family account and it must be set up before taking the flights according to the policy (or, perhaps in practice, before the flights are credited and doing the missing flight credit approach???).

  • Marcelo says:

    Tks for sharing about Visa Cash Back offers, Rob! I have a bank account with HSBC and they had never told me about this!

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

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