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Bits: Cathay Pacific sale, book HEx tickets inflight with Virgin, Shangri-La conversion bonus

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News in brief:

Cathay Pacific flash sale

Cathay Pacific is running a three day flash sale this weekend, albeit only in Economy. 

You can’t argue with £469 to Hong Kong, however.  Bangkok is the same price and Manila is just £439.  Auckland is £749, not bad for Economy although you’d be mad to book that when yesterday it was £1,300 in Qatar Airways Business Class (that sale is now over).

Full details are here.

You need to book by 13th November for travel by 19th June.

Book Heathrow Express tickets in the air with Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic will soon become the first European airline to offer wi-fi on 100% of its aircraft.

In a new deal with Heathrow Express, which I can imagine will soon be emulated by hotel and car hire groups, you can access the Heathrow Express website for free in-flight in order to book tickets.  Access to Virgin’s wi-fi is usually chargeable, with passes starting at £2.99.

Shangri-La Golden Circle conversion bonus

If you are sitting on any Shangri-La Golden Circle miles which are due to expire on 31st December, you can currently get a 25% bonus if you transfer them to selected airline schemes.  Asia Miles is offering a 50% bonus.

The minimum transfer has also been reduced to 1,000 points, which makes it easier to empty your account.

Participating airlines are Air China, Air France / KLM, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Etihad, Lufthansa, Singapore, United and Virgin Australia.

Remember, though, that you can also turn your points into vouchers for food and drink at Shangri-La hotels.  If you are in London, it means that 1,000 points gets you a $100 voucher which you can spend in their hotel in The Shard.  This is CLEARLY better than taking 1,250 Avios instead!

Details of all Golden Circle redemptions can be found here.

If you stay at Shangri-La hotels on a regular basis, remember that you can get instant mid-tier Jade status in Golden Circle by taking out an American Express Platinum charge card.

Hotel offers update – October 2021:

Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.

Want to buy hotel points? There are currently special offers running with Hilton Honors (100% bonus to 7th December) and World of Hyatt (30% bonus to 31st October).

Comments (89)

  • Tom says:

    Sorry – another o/t.

    Hilton – if I book a reward night for my wife and her friend, on my account (gold), if I add my wife as a named guest can she check in and get the upgrade/breakfast for them both?

  • the real harry1 says:

    O/T some worries expressed past couple of days about Amex getting tougher with churners

    judging by what just landed on the doormat, I’ve just been approved for Gold again (it wasn’t immediately approved online, which is quite normal with us)

    just in time for Shop Small

    • Cate says:

      I’m not sure they were getting tougher with churners in fact, I think it may be a positive move by Amex so they can keep on churning.

      The government’s worried about how much credit people have and may make moves to curb this.
      By CC providers such as Amex reigning it in a little now they may look more like they’re being sensible lenders. To be fair we have about 15 dormant credit cards between us and I think it’s time we should have a cull to look like we’re being sensible for our next churn.

    • Polly says:

      Hope you got referred by the OH this time and get both sets of MRs!
      Can you make it up on the 1st???

      • the real harry1 says:

        no way – though I would love to meet you guys

        4 hrs up, 4 hrs back

        • Polly says:

          Well, maybe the xmas party then. It’s such a hike l agree….if you are ever in town do give us a heads up, and am sure a bunch of us could meet up with you in a ( large ! ) pub somewhere…not meaning to step on any toes here, Rob….

        • the real harry1 says:

          I could always send my wife to deputise -she is always in London 🙂

        • the real harry1 says:

          probably say bad things

    • Grimz says:

      I just got a letter through my door saying I had been refused the BA blue CC because of my credit rating. I had applied online for this card as a downgrade from the BAPP because I had hit my 10k and banked the companion voucher in 4months, so I was looking for pro rata refund on £195.

      I called Amex as they should not be doing a credit search on this application and apparently they have a new accounts department and treated this as a new application.
      I have to call Amex accounts department on Monday for this to get sorted but the lady said that this has happened a few times recently. Any others had this happen?

      • Andrew M says:

        I was refused the Blue BA Amex this week. It’s the first time I’ve ever been refused an Amex or any other card as far as I can remember. I have a flawless credit history and only one other Amex at present (SPG) as I canceled my Platinum recently. I’m scratching my head on this one and wondering if it’s to do with previous churning.

      • Rob says:

        There seems to be some tightening of Amex credit standards in the last 2-3 weeks. I got another SPG with no bother 2 weeks ago but as my Mrs is a senior banker our numbers are atypical.

        • Bryan says:

          My experience was totally opposite.

          For some reason I ‘always’ get referred, then accepted the following morning. Would really make me cross because my partner was always auto accepted and we both have excellent credit profiles. No idea why (maybe related to self employment).
          Anyway I applied for the SPG amex card a week ago and got an auto accept for the first time ever. (It was my 4th Amex application over the past 15 months).

        • Liz says:

          I am planning on applying for an SPG Card tomorrow with referral from hubby. Normally get accepted ok – I have no income so use household income only and usually get a £1500 credit limit which is fine. I don’t have any other Amex cards in my name at the moment but have an IHG and Virgin white Card. Wonder what my chances of getting accepted are?

      • Genghis says:

        The “upgrade” and “downgrade” malarkey have always been treated as new applications with Amex reserving the right to do a credit check. I guess you’ve just been caught out by Amex tightening up their credit standards.

        • Optimus Prime says:

          It’s been 7 months since wife cancelled her Amex Gold. Is it okay to refer her for Amex Plat now or should wait a bit longer?

        • Genghis says:

          You’ll be fine

        • Temp says:

          I’m doing my first ever churn – on Amex Gold! Its been about 7 months since I cancelled but my old gold card still shows on my Amex online account (as ‘cancelled’). Will this make any difference to me getting the bonus?

        • David P says:

          I thought downgrades weren’t treated as a new application? That’s what the Amex agent told me a couple of weeks ago when I downgraded to the blue card. I was asked a couple of questions relating to salary and address, but was told they would use my Amex history to decide whether to approve the downgrade rather than a full credit check. It all went through smoothly within a couple of days.

        • GRIMZ says:

          Yes but the the operator said to me that when they get these requests they are told to say ‘there will be no credit check’ on this application.

          Im awaiting a call back from a customer services manager.

  • BlueThroughCrimp says:

    Recently used quite a few Shangri-La points in the Ting bar. Managed to shift 3500 points in a pleasant evening.
    The “A Cat With No Name” cocktail was rather nice 🙂

  • Cate says:

    Iberia are also running a mini sale too. Yesterday I priced up 2 return biz class seats to Pudong for around £2,000 cash plus…..wait for it…………350,000 avios!!! Don’t all rush at once….

  • Steve O'Hara says:

    O/T – apologies

    With a companion voucher, is it possible to open jaw it from London to SFO then SFO to NYC? Ie not return to the UK with it?


    • Polly says:

      Must be flown on BA metal, so no not poss from SFO to NYC, am afraid…unless somebody else knows better!

    • TripRep says:

      Not possible, have to rtn to UK on BA, but if you visit the US frequently you could save the rtn for a few months later?

    • Prins Polo says:

      Has to be BA metal and SFO-NYC is not served by BA.

    • David says:

      Quite apart from anything else, this would not count as a valid open jaw, as the distance NYC-LON (the open jaw) is greater than one of the sides of the jaw (SFO-NYC).

      If suitable flights were available for use with the voucher (i.e. BA flights SFO-NYC) then it could be viewed as a oneway. But you will have problems with the lack of BA flights.
      So, just do a one-way to SFO, then book SFO-NYC separately.

      Anyway, the main point I was making was that would not be a valid open-jaw.

  • elt says:

    O/T sorry
    How do you refer from blue amex to premium plus amex?
    I spoke to amex agent a week ago who gave me avios bonus info and said could not be done over phone has to be done online.
    Now i’m trying to do it online and does not seem poss.
    So I phoned amex who now say you can only refer blue to blue .
    Please can anyone help as have urgent spend to put thru on prem plus card.
    Many thanks

    • Polly says:

      Don’t mind that agent. You send the referral link from your blue to who ever. They then open that link and apply. See the the drop down box that gives them the choice of both cards. Just chose the BAPP, and you are done. And hope it gets approved of course….

  • Drav says:

    You would be mad to save £550 because you’re not so precious that you have to fly business everywhere?

    • Alan says:

      For that length of flight though you’ll arrive in a much better state to enjoy your holiday from the first day and also reacclimatise quicker on your return. Personally I find it’s almost like adding a day or two to my holiday so definitely worth that difference in price. The difference in the amount of Avios (let alone TP earned) also can’t be discounted – even if you never wanted to use them for flights you could get a hotel at 0.5p per point so clearly the price difference is significantly reduced.

      • Temp says:

        Weren’t the Qatar flights ex-Europe? So there is the extra hassle and potential hotel night cost to also factor in. From memory, Cathay economy is also one of the better products (if they are still 9 across)…

        • Alan says:

          I believe so, although if I can get a good option from AMS or OSL that makes little difference to me when flying from EDI – nice to avoid LHR! Obviously different for folk leaving from London.

        • Temp says:

          Oh of course, forgot you’re in Scotland Alan. The ex-EU fares are perfect for those in the regions… Saving money to avoid heathrow on a better product is a triple bonus.

          I have still not used any as I just don’t like changing if I don’t have to, let alone collecting bags etc. I remember coming back from Sing/Bali one January and there was a big saving on flights involving a long layover in Paris. Thought it may be quite nice to spend a day in town… Who doesn’t like Paris? But it was bitterly cold, a lot of things (eg Louvre) were shut (maybe because it was just after new year), and after a couple of hours I just wanted to be home! Never again.

    • John says:

      It’s 27 hours! I think club europe is a waste of money and nobody is holding a gun to your head and forcing you to go to new zealand

  • Nicole says:

    OT – one of my Amex cards has the Amazon offer again (spend £25, get 500 bonus membership points), but the T&Cs state “Offer not valid on purchases made with Amazon Prime or subscriptions to Amazon Prime.” Does anyone know if that means any purchases that are eligible for Prime discounts/free shipping wouldn’t qualify? I’ve made the purchase and got the email saying I’ve used my offer, but curious about whether the points will actually show up. Can’t remember if that condition was listed in previous versions of the offer.

    • Alan says:

      Prime subscriptions excluded but fine for purchases – otherwise they’d be disadvantaging existing Prime subscribers.

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