Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Bits: LAST DAY for 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? – July 2021 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit or charge card, here are our July 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. Here are the other top current deals:

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 offers.

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

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)

  • Tim says:

    I have similar offers via a First Direct CREDIT card!

    • mark2 says:

      Lloyds and Halifax (same group) have offers which apply to credit and debit cards.
      I have a new First Direct card but cannot see where offers would show; any advice please? Is it because the little reader has not arrived yet perchance?

  • RussellH says:

    I do have access to nationwide Rewards, though this was something I had totally forgotten about.

    I also found a bookmark which took me to Royal Bank of Scotland Rewards; could not log in, phoned the help number, only to find that it is only for people with an account for which you pay £2 per month… At £24 a year, unlikely to be of any value. The N’wide one might be though…

    • Alan says:

      It’s superb value at £2/month – 2% off council tax, mobile, electricity, gas, etc. Used to be £3 for 3% which was even nicer! Still better than Santander 123 (they’re only 1% on some things), although no in-credit interest.

  • Neil says:

    Santander has 5% off Emirates just now.

  • the real harry1 says:

    12 new offers on Halifax debit card – Co-Op only 5% but I guess that’s a free £10 on council tax

    • Peter K says:

      Until your factor in the petrol cost of getting there and my wife buying magazines she never buys elsewhere. I lose more than the £5 saving!

  • Gavin says:

    Off topic: Mrs Gavin treated me to a day in London for my birthday yesterday – not much of a treat for her as she commutes 4 hours a day to St Paul’s during the week – anyway after brunch at Aqua at the Shard – decent views and food – we went on the Emirates Cable Car over to Victoria Dock. Great fun! Finished off with a quick trip to the science museum where there are some interesting flight related stuff in one of the galleries including a cross section of a 747!

    • Cate says:

      I’d forgotten all about the Emirates cable car. Will give it a go next time I’m up town. Thanks for the heads up!

      • JamesB says:

        Save it for a good day weather wise, personally I love it and everybody I have taken on it was very impressed.

  • Andrew says:

    Try logging in as a BoS customer instead.

    It doesn’t matter whether you log in as or it’s the same user name and password.

    For general banking it’s also something to watch out for – especially with savings accounts. It’s a “market dynamic” thing – but they often offer different rates under the different brands for the same products.

    • JamesB says:

      Tried this but it didn’t work for me. My ID is ancient though so that might have something to do with it.

  • Genghis says:

    Today’s Marriott Twitter: 15 mins. #RewardsPoints

    • thehornets says:

      Beat me to it!

      • Genghis says:

        You’re much more detailed (and therefore helpful) than me though! 🙂

    • JamesB says:

      OT @Ghenghis: Did you check your Sainsbury insurance? There was indeed a fault with mine, they backdated my double points and credited the 14k points manually even though I have not made five payments yet. Happy with the result, I can now cancel in a couple of weeks as soon as they take my fifth payment.

      • Genghis says:

        Nice. Was that through Nectar?

        I called Nectar and both mine and wife’s accounts have a double points indicator on them so should be on track to receive the bonus. I don’t shop at Sainsburys but made a purchase last Wed. The guy on the phone said the bonus points post in batches every month.

        • JamesB says:

          You are ok then, hope you get your bonus quickly. I called Sainsbury Insurance, l&g In practice, who emailed Sainsbury who fixed it in a few days.

  • thehornets says:

    O/T: just like the last three or four weeks, there are 1,000 free Marriott Rewards points TODAY for those on Twitter. Just answer today’s question (the answer is 15 minutes), tag itv with #rewardspoints and within the day you will have 1,000 points in your Marriott Rewards account.

    Click here:

    There is a new competition each week- many of us have already earned thousands of free points for a few minutes work.

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