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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? – 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 (56)

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

  • Stephen C says:

    Of the ones mentioned I only see Hilton on my Halifax Visa debit offers. My wife has Costa, but it’s 25% on up to £30 and the same for Subway

    • Oh Matron! says:

      I’ve only a 5% on Hampton on Santander, but a whopping 8% on Singapore Airlines!

      • Alan says:

        Nice, not got any of those – mainly restaurants, airport parking, etc.

  • Sam Wardill says:

    Be careful with IHG Flash sale. Non-refundable offers on local HIEx hotels (Wandsworth / Wimbledon) were more expensive than flexible standard rates when I checked.

    • Lady London says:

      @Sam yes I noticed the same. For the period the sale operates several of the hotels I saw regularly sell at or below the ‘sale’ price. One apparent bargain I did notice was Crowne Plaza in Neuilly, Paris at 39 Euros though.

    • Peter K says:

      Just checked a hotel in Birmingham I’m staying at on points in December and yes, it’s £4 cheaper to book direct than via the “flash sale”.

  • Roger I* says:

    Interesting article about EgyptAirPlus. Trying to find out more, I was wondering if the SWISS deal to JNB featured by Rob recently would qualify for MS credit. But how to find out?

    The MS website has a calculator, but for MS flights only. Trying to enter LHR/LON-ZRH, ZRH-JNB, LHR/LON-JNB produces no results. (After all, MS don’t fly those routes.) But there is this comment on the calculator page: ‘Classes not eligible for earning miles X – I – O – R – N – F – A -P ‘

    Hmm. The LX deal looks like P class, so no 200% credit. Back to Miles&Less for this trip, then.

    • Andrew M says:

      P earns 100% in MS and many others according to

      • Roger I* says:

        Thanks, Andrew. Interesting! But, MS website shows 200% for other biz fares (not P) with the excluded note I mentioned. Wheretocredit shows 100% for P. It seems only a call to Cairo would confirm.

        Do I risk joining MS+? Dilemma!

  • Lumma says:

    OT but I don’t seem to have gotten the 20% bonus for Clubcard transfers to virgin Atlantic.

  • Elaine Hand says:

    thanks Rob
    Consider myself to be pretty good with signing up for deals but had no idea HSBC did this
    Just registered so will be interested to see what I am offered
    Why dont they tell customers about this ?

    • Fenny says:

      Same here. I was wondering if it was because I wasn’t signed up for marketing emails, but they send me enough crap through the post that I would have expected to get it.

  • Ahop says:

    OT: Are there any rumours as to when the Lloyd’s Avios cards will close?

    • Alan says:


    • Rob says:


    • Anna says:

      I’m wondering now. 26 weeks has now passed since I made my complaint about avios not posting from LLoyds, and nothing’s happened. I’ve reported it to the FOS but it’s making me think that maybe Lloyds never intends to rectify the problem because the cards won’t be around much longer…?

      • mark2 says:

        have you had compensation?

        • mark2 says:

          I have never had any problem at all. Have you tried 0800 072 3572?

        • Anna says:

          Yes x 2. Which phone number is that? I’ve completed by phone and online but it’s still not resolved!

      • Alan says:

        I wouldn’t conflate the poor CS from Lloyds with timing of card closure – suspect it’s more c***-up than conspiracy!

      • Liz says:

        I contacted my complaints manager last week and was told that I seemed to be only person that he knew about whose pts didn’t transfer after the magic 26wks. I am now in another wait period of 2 wks but have been told I will get some more compensation. I only have a couple of hundred pts not transferred now but would like to start using the card again soon. I will get round to reporting it to the FOS next week too.

        • Cate says:

          Gosh Liz that’s really shocking. Would you be comfortable using the card again though?

        • Liz says:

          I will use it as long as they transfer the pts across manually every month. It means I need to phone up and ask them to do it though. Don’t want to get rid of it. I haven’t used it except for a couple of times for the last 4 months. Will see what they offer after the 2wks.

        • Alan says:

          Ooh nice result, Liz! Sadly mine has always worked so no compensation!

  • Rich says:

    With Lloyds the offers cover all your cards, i.e. Visa debit, avoid rewards Amex and MC that you have with them – regularly including supermarket shops as well.

  • Tilly says:

    My bank gives visa debit card offers but whenever i look at them it says “no offers currently available”. Must be because i hardly ever pay with a debit card.

    • Fenny says:

      I never pay by debit card, but having signed up to the HSBC offers, I’ve got a bunch. I wouldn’t use most of them, but they don’t have any history of spend to target me with as yet. I will probably use the Costa and Clarks offers, but don’t need anything from any of the other places at this time.

      OTOH, British Gas Rewards includes 10% off at Waitrose for a month. I shop there every day. My boss has been using this and the 10% comes off the gross bill, before any other offers are implemented, so you can get 10% off your free coffee and newspaper and the stuff you get 20% off as myWaitrose picks.

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

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