Bit: 10% off duty free voucher, 100% IHG ‘buy points’ bonus ending, Club Eurostar launches

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News in brief:

Save 10% off duty free purchases at Manchester and Stansted

Biza is offering 10% off all purchases, excluding tobacco, at its duty free stores during December.

You need to print off the voucher which can be found here.

The discount is valid at the Biza stores at:

  • Manchester Airport (Main, Express, Arrivals)
  • London Stansted Airport (Main, Express, Arrivals)
  • Bournemouth Airport
  • East Midlands Airport

Thanks to Sean for this.

IHG’s extended ‘100% buy points bonus’ ends today

IHG Rewards Club – the InterContinental, Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza etc scheme – extended its recent ‘100% buy points bonus’ promotion but IT DEFINITELY ENDS TOMORROW. (Although don’t blame us if it doesn’t, we don’t control them!) It is as generous an offer as you will ever see for IHG points.

The page to buy points is here.

The standard prices, before the bonus, are:

  • 1,000 – 10,000 points for $13.50 per 1,000 points
  • 11,000 – 25,000 points for $12.50 per 1,000 points
  • 26,000 – 60,000 points for $11.50 per 1,000 points

The bonus rates are:

  • 40% bonus when you buy 5,000 – 19,000 points
  • 100% bonus when you buy 20,000 – 60,0000 points

With a 100% bonus, you would be able to buy 120,000 IHG points for (at current exchange rates for $690) £515.  This assumes your credit card has 0% FX fees.

At the top end of the IHG Rewards Club portfolio, you have InterContinental properties which top out at 50,000 – 60,000 points per night. That’s what you would pay for InterContinental Le Grand in Paris or the InterContinental Amstel in Amsterdam.

With a 100% bonus, IHG is effectively selling you a night at a 50,000 point property for £215 all-in.  A 60,000 point hotel would be £257.  At the bottom end, the points for a 5,000 point PointBreaks night would cost just £22.

You should look at this if you have a ‘buy points’ target for your Accelerate promotion – although it makes more sense to buy 5,000 and get the bonus than buy 1,000 for no bonus.  If you are topping off your account, it is also a good deal irrespective of the exact cents per point cost.  The maximum number of points you can buy per year is 120,000 (ie 60,000 plus the 60,000 bonus).

You can buy via this link.  The offer ends tomorrow, 8th December.

Club Eurostar launches today – and a competition on Monday

If all goes to plan, the new Club Eurostar loyalty scheme should be launching today.

We wrote a long article here with our initial impressions of the changes.  I will write something else once I’ve had a chance to look at all the bits and pieces which were not covered in the first announcement.

Starting on Monday, we have a fantastic Club Eurostar competition on Head for Points.  Not only can you win a big pile of Club Eurostar points, you can also receive top-tier Carte Blanche status in Club Eurostar.

And, thanks to the new ‘Anytime’ feature with the new Club Eurostar, the winner can be 100% certain that they will be able to redeem their points for the train of their choice (unless it is completely sold out for cash, of course).  And, with no taxes or charges with Club Eurostar redemptions, your ‘free’ ticket is genuinely free.

Make sure you visit Head for Points on Monday to enter.

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

Bits: Qatar Airways £1350 Australia tickets are back!, 250 Heathrow Rewards points with Heathrow Express
Flying Qatar Airways soon? New bonus miles and fast-track status promo launched

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  1. IHG account page now looking totally different. Sadly not an improvement IMHO – have to click through to another page to see activity so although looks a bit prettier more clicks are required.

    • Graham Walsh says:

      Just logged in and seend the new design. Noticed that I have 2 upgrades available, 25k points and Hertz upgrade. Shame they haven’t upgraded the security of the site.

      • Agree – a clear missed opportunity!

        Correctly (sadly!) showing my existing 25k as redeemed and Hertz 5* pending (although already have President’s Circle so not going to use it!)

  2. Like others I’m having no luck clicking on the IHG 100% bonus purchase link.
    It just takes me to my account home.
    If I click through to purchase points that link just takes me to account home
    Is it working?

  3. Good old Eurostar IT.
    Never been great with loads of bugs that they always claim don’t exist, but today logged in to my ‘old’ account, can’t find my old points and encouraged to sign up for new programme, so tried this , only to get a message: ‘Something has gone wrong, please try later’.
    I actually want to book travel with them today, but want to earn the points.
    At least their trains usually run on time, although even that is not as punctual as it was several years ago.
    Also they did not introduce a new ‘enhanced’ program that is actually a reduced one. Seems like it will be equal to the old one – if it ever works!

  4. There are only two positive things about Club Eurostar for current Carte Blanche members :
    – Carte Blanche status has been extended for 1 year for free in the transition to the new scheme
    – Earning rate has definitely improved.

    But apart from that it’s truly a devaluation :
    In particular, the Amex MR to Club Eurostar rate has remained at 15:1 while redemption prices have gone up sharply : previously 450pts for a single journey in Standard to 500pts now for regular availability and 750 for any time availability.

    Since Carte Blanche members used to get any time availability at no extra cost, this is in effect a 66% redemption price increase !

    • Exactly, a huge devaluation. And redemption tickets for Carte Blanche used to be fully flexible (could be exchanged an unlimited number of times before departure). Now it’s only once as for non-Carte Blanche holders.

      As for the earning rate, it has only very slightly improved for the business premier tickets, which I guess is the most commonly purchased tickets for Carte Blanche holders.

  5. OT, I see SQ has started its push towards roll out for partner airlines online. Really interested to learn what the tax/fees are going to be for Lufty.

  6. O/T registration for IHG’s accelerate promotion on Q1 (although it runs until 30th April) is now open. Once registered you should see a preview of what your targets are. Mine should be an easy 30k, as it’s the same as the current quarter, which I finished off with a mattress run to a HIE near me last week

    • My offer was worst I ever got, 15 or 18 nights for 34000 points, gave up counting at the point I decided I will not stay with IHG during the next four months.

      • 22 nights for 35,000 + had to refer a friend. Compare and contrast that with Marriott who’ve just given us two one night vouchers from their last offer. That translates to two airport hotels …….with brekkie.

    • Simon J says:

      Best accelerate promo for me so far.

  7. I just checked my Eurostar account, earlier in the day membership, status, points, and travel history were all missing

    checking again, it’s showing Carte Blanche, points are there, including from a journey yesterday, history is minimal with only a migrated total, no itemised previous trips

    I have a feeling I’m missing some points that had been ‘pending’, but can’t be sure, without trip history there’s no apparent way to check this, I’ll give it a few days in case there’s some internal catch-up going on

    on the plus side, my partner then enrolled (she wasn’t in the program previously) which was set-up immediately, then put in the booking reference for the trip we just made, the points for both legs were instantly credited, and then we moved 200 of her brand new points to my account (looks like transfers must be multiples of 100), the transfer was also immediate, that’s quite impressive

  8. the real harry1 says:

    Mr Cruz said airlines must learn from companies such as Uber, Amazon and Deliveroo about how to respond when things go wrong.
    “They are incredibly wonderful on how they recover from any problems they may have. They are fast, generous and they leave you with a sensation that they really will do everything in their power to fix whatever problem and to make sure it never happens again.”

    • the real harry1 says:

      losing that bonus must have worked wonders

      he’s gone from the Wenkmeister incarnate to the epitome of customer service in 12 months

      • Reading between the lines I took him to mean their workforce and UK taxpayers were both screwed and the passengers could go whistle but perhaps I’m being a touch cynical.

      • I’m sure that was a good chat, pity we cannot have a full transcript. I have often found that peoples public persona and their private person are often vastly different so it is very likely that Mr Cruz is a nice guy and not the villain we frequently make him out to be. I have enjoyed the newspaper ‘clippings’ on anything travel or miles related you have increasingly posted in recent months. It might be an idea for Rob and/or Anika to compile a list of such articles and publish them once a fortnight like the Diary posts. If that’s not viable then good that you and others continue to highlight them in bits posts.

        • the real harry1 says:

          I am 100% sure that a dinner invitation with Mr Cruz would be a charming affair – especially in Spain, where dinner is so much better – I bet you he would take enormous pride in showing you the best of Spain and all that Spain can offer in terms of drinks & food – generous hospitality and warm friendship to guests are in-built to decent Spanish people

    • This is bull.

      All front line staff at The Ritz-Carlton hotels have the authority to spend $2,000 WITH NO APPROVAL FROM ANYONE if a guest has a problem that needs fixing. I doubt a front line BA employee has the power to lend you the biro on their desk in case you take it.

      • the real harry1 says:

        he might come round, though?

        look @ Ryanair – they changed their tune – making gazillions and increasing passenger numbers by a huge factor in short period (up to 120 million pa soon I think) made them reconsider niceness

        so BA are also making gazillions & have plenty of areas they could reconsider

  9. O/T: I’m trying to book a BA 2-4-1, LHR to HKG return. I would like to do LHR-HKG economy and HKG-LHR business.
    If I load up availability as two separate one-way flights, it comes to just over £500 taxes. But if I book it as a return, the flights come to over £800 taxes. I cannot work out why this is. Does anyone have any thoughts? I want to minimise cost and was hoping that by booking business from just HKG (less taxes) it would achieve this. Very confused!

    • You only get lower taxes out of HK if your journey starts in HK. Your journey starts in London if you book a return. If you book a 2 x one way, your return flight starts in HK and is exempt.

      • Can i do this using the 2-4-1 voucher?

        • Yes, just call them. Also, to add to Rob’s comment, consider departing the IK from likes of Inverness or Jersey to avoid APD on the outward journey if it is practical for you to do so.

        • No. You can book the 2 outbounds on the 2-4-1 but you would need to pay for 2 normal Avios tickets to come back, which wipes out your saving.

      • Ok so just to clarify, I can book the one-way LHR-HKG. Then call BA and get the HKG-LHR one-way added to the booking, creating 2 one-way flights and therefore the lower (£500) taxes? And both flights will be covered under the 2-4-1 voucher? Also, would there be a change fee for this, as I have to call BA?
        I did look through some guides about the 2-4-1 but didn’t read anything regarding keeping the taxes low like this…

        • Apologies, follow Rob. I read 241 but was thinking Lloyds avios voucher when I replied to you. Regarding taxes, there are a few places like Inverness you can depart without paying APD. This is true regardless of whether ticket is on 241 or not. However, only with doing if it is practical, I.e. you live nearby, the saving is worthile or if yo want to use the APD saving to cover a short break in Inverness or Jersey immediately before your flight.

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