Bits: BA GUF2 changes, Kimpton now bookable on IHG points, Tesco Premium Credit Card deal

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News in brief:

Changes to BA ‘Gold Upgrade for 2’ vouchers

If you are a British Airways Gold Guest List member, you will have received an email from British Airways about changes to the ‘Gold upgrade’ benefit.

Earn 2500 BA tier points in a year and you receive a voucher known as a GUF2 in the trade.  This lets you upgrade a cash ticket by one class (more details on here).  These can be used in two ways:

Book a cash ticket via and you can upgrade to the next category if there is Avios reward availability in the higher class

Book a cash ticket via a travel agent and you can upgrade to the next category if there are cash tickets available in the cheapest ticket bucket (‘I’ for Club World, ‘A’ for First Class) in the higher class

Using a travel agent means that you have substantially better chances of finding availability to use your GUF2 voucher.  The snag is that few travel agents know how to process the upgrade – the best bet is to use a specialist such as Propeller Travel.

Under BA’s changes, you no longer need to have your travel agent process the upgrade.  You can book a standard ticket via the agent and then contact BA to upgrade the ticket.   There is a snag, however.  If BA upgrades it for you, it will only do so if there is Avios reward availability in the higher class.  You need to continue to have the travel agent process the upgrade if there are no Avios seats available in the higher class but there are I/A class cash tickets available.

Kimpton Hotels now bookable with IHG Rewards Club points

A modest three years after it bought the company, IHG has finally made redemptions at the US luxury boutique chain Kimpton Hotels available via IHG Rewards Club.

As I outlined in this article, you can also earn IHG Rewards Club points and get your status benefits recognised at Kimpton properties.

Courtesy of US blog Point Me To The Plane, we have this list of Kimpton Hotels and the points required.  These numbers are high and reflect the high $ rates charged.

What I don’t know is how these properties compare with the top InterContinental hotels.  In New York, for example, we have the Muse and Eventi at 70,000 points per night.  This is the same as the two InterContinental hotels will charge from next week.   TripAdvisor ranks the Eventi at 44th best and the Muse at 79th best compared to 103rd for the IC Barclay and 171st for IC Times Square.

Kimpton Hotels at 40,000 IHG points per night:

  • Baltimore (Inner Harbor) – Kimpton Hotel Monaco Baltimore
  • Cleveland (Downtown) – Kimpton Schofield Hotel
  • Salt Lake City (Downtown) – Kimpton Hotel Monaco Salt Lake City
  • Winston-Salem (Downtown) – Kimpton Cardinal Hotel

Kimpton Hotels at 45,000 IHG points per night:

  • Chicago (Downtown) – Kimpton Hotel Allegro
  • Milwaukee (Third Ward District) – Kimpton Journeyman
  • Minneapolis (Downtown) – Kimpton Grand Hotel Minneapolis
  • Pittsburgh (Downtown) – Kimpton Hotel Monaco Pittsburgh

Kimpton Hotels at 50,000 IHG points per night:

  • Alexandria (Old Town) – Kimpton Lorien Hotel and Spa
  • Amsterdam – Kimpton De Witt Amsterdam Hotel (here is my review)
  • Charlotte (Uptown) – Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel
  • Chicago (Downtown) – Kimpton Gray Hotel
  • Chicago (Downtown) – Kimpton Hotel Monaco Chicago
  • Chicago (Downtown) – Kimpton Hotel Palomar Chicago
  • Denver (Union Station) – Kimpton Born Hotel
  • Denver (Downtown) – Kimpton Hotel Monaco Denver
  • Manchester (Manchester Village) – Kimpton Taconic Hotel
  • Phoenix (Downtown) – Kimpton Hotel Palomar Phoenix
  • Portland (Downtown) – Kimpton Hotel Monaco Portland
  • Portland (Downtown) – Kimpton Hotel Vintage Portland
  • Portland (Waterfront) – Kimpton RiverPlace Hotel
  • Sacramento (Downtown) – Kimpton Sawyer Hotel
  • San Diego (Downtown) – Kimpton Hotel Palomar San Diego
  • San Diego (Gaslamp Quarter) – Kimpton Solamar Hotel
  • Santa Barbara (Goleta) – Kimpton Goodland Hotel
  • Savannah (Historic District) – Kimpton Brice Hotel
  • Seattle (Downtown) – Kimpton Palladian Hotel
  • Seattle (Downtown) – Kimpton Hotel Vintage Seattle
  • Seattle (Downtown) – Kimpton Hotel Monaco Seattle
  • St. Petersburg (St Pete’s Beach) – Kimpton Hotel Zamora
  • Washington DC (Dupont Circle) – Kimpton Carlyle Hotel
  • Washington DC (Dupont Circle) – Kimpton Hotel Madera
  • Washington DC (Dupont Circle)- Kimpton Rouge Hotel
  • Washington DC (Dupont Circle) – Kimpton Topaz Hotel
  • Washington DC (Glover Park) – Kimpton Glover Park Hotel

Kimpton Hotels at 55,000 IHG points per night:

  • Boston (Cambridge) – Kimpton Marlowe Hotel
  • Boston (Downtown) – Kimpton Onyx Hotel
  • Huntington Beach (Oceanfront) – Kimpton Shorebreak Hotel
  • Miami (Downtown Waterfront) – Kimpton EPIC Hotel
  • Miami (Oceanfront) – Kimpton Surfcomber Hotel
  • Philadelphia (Downtown) – Kimpton Hotel Monaco Philadelphia
  • Philadelphia (Downtown) – Kimpton Hotel Palomar Philadelphia
  • San Francisco (Japantown) – Kimpton Buchanan Hotel
  • San Francisco (Union Square) – Kimpton Sir Francis Drake Hotel
  • Washington DC (Downtown) – Kimpton Donovan Hotel
  • Washington DC (Downtown) – Kimpton Mason and Rook Hotel
  • Washington DC (Dupont Circle) – Kimpton Hotel Palomar Washington DC

Kimpton Hotels at 60,000 IHG points per night:

  • Austin (Downtown) – Kimpton Hotel Van Zandt
  • Boston (Downtown) – Kimpton Nine Zero Hotel
  • Miami (Southbeach) – Kimpton Angler’s Hotel
  • Nashville (Midtown) – Kimpton Aertson Hotel
  • Los Angeles (Beverly Hills) – Kimpton Hotel Palomar Beverly Hills
  • Los Angeles (Hollywood)- Kimpton Everly Hotel
  • Los Angeles (Miracle Mile) – Kimpton Hotel Wilshire
  • Palm Springs (Downtown) – Kimpton Rowan Palm Springs Hotel
  • Seattle (Waterfront) – Kimpton Alexis Hotel
  • Washington DC (Capitol Hill) – Kimpton George Hotel

Kimpton Hotels at 65,000 IHG points per night:

  • New York (Hell’s Kitchen) – Kimpton Ink48 Hotel
  • Sedona (Uptown) – Kimpton Amara Resort and Spa
  • Vero Beach (Oceanfront Location) – Kimpton Vero Beach Hotel and Spa
  • Washington DC (Downtown) – Kimpton Hotel Monaco Washington DC

Kimpton Hotels at 70,000 IHG points per night:

  • Grand Cayman (Seven Mile Beach) – Kimpton Seafire Resort and Spa
  • Los Angeles (West Hollywood) – Kimpton La Peer Hotel
  • New York (Chelsea) – Kimpton Hotel Eventi
  • New York (Theater District) – Kimpton Muse Hotel
  • Santa Barbara (Downtown) – Kimpton Canary Hotel

Were you targetted for a Tesco Premium Credit Card deal?

Tesco Bank has been emailing some Tesco Clubcard customers this week offering 5,000 Clubcard points (12,000 Avios) for taking out the £150 Tesco Premium Credit Card.

If you got this offer (it is strictly for targeted people only) then this article on Shopper Points yesterday may help you decide whether to jump in.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)

Avios scraps its restaurant booking partnership from 20th February
Bits: Emirates flight sim bargain in North Greenwich, Miles & More car rental deals, Avis / BA Holidays competition
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  1. MansNotHot says:

    I have a CW flight to SFO next week (cash ticket) – if I use my GUF2 voucher to upgrade to first for which class would I get tier points/avios?

    • The rules say you should get the miles and TPs for the cabin you paid for.

      In practice BA’s IT sometimes cocks it up, and you get the upgraded cabin TPs. Especially if you use a travel agent and it goes into A class (revenue) rather than Z (redemption).

  2. OT: if I’m approved for IHG credit card – how soon will my status be updated?
    Thinking of getting IHG Gold that way for my stay tomorrow.

    • That is so not happening! If you got it in a month I’d consider it lucky.

      • Genghis says:

        lol. No chance. Creation are not the best at customer service, v slow, and they put someone else’s statement on my account. Cowboys

        • Thanks for the quick replies. I probably confused it with some other card giving immediate status boost.

        • Genghis says:

          You get status with the card, I think just not so “immediate” for a stay tomorrow

        • Waribai says:

          Cowboys….I hear you there Genghis. Once I cancelled a refundable booking to the tune of £2k which meant my Marriott card was £2k in credit. I asked for this to be credited to my bank account. It must have taken a good month of phone calls before they did this. Another time, I cancelled my car insurance halfway through the year and was due a £350 refund. I assumed that the insurance company had just been slow paying it back. 3 months later I phoned the insurance company up. They had indeed refunded it straight away but Creation had linked it to another card!

    • I took the Card out early November. Had my account upgraded from Gold to Platinum before the Card even arrived so was only 3-4 days…

      …the Ambassador pack on the other hand I have been waiting for since October…any idea of the best way to chase up?

      • Genghis says:

        Drop them an email? [email protected]. They respond to my follow up questions quickly.

      • Michael Jennings says:

        My experience was that I got the Gold status two days after I made the card application – well before I got the card.

        (It wasn’t a particularly positive experience otherwise, though. I applied on the Creation website, clicked “submit”, and it told me my application was being considered for a minute or so. I was then returned to the submit page, without any information as to whether I had been accepted or not for the card. After thinking about it for a few seconds, I hit “submit” again, and after a minute or so I was told I had been declined. Two days later, though, I was upgraded to IHG Gold, and the card came in the mail a few days after that. Clearly the first application was accepted, but for some reason it then took me to the wrong page. A subsequent check of my credit file showed two hard searches rather than one). However, I did get the IHG Credit Card and the Gold Status promptly.

  3. 2 months after getting my plat card through and enrolling hotel statuses and I am still awaiting Hilton Gold.

    Made even more frustrating as I’ve had a week stay last week and due another in a couple of weeks.

    Has anyone else experienced the same or is this an anomaly?

    • Tom Cook says:

      Same here – Hilton and Club Carlson just haven’t happened for me and it has been about 2 months. SPG took 3 1/2 weeks. Avis won’t let me get past the final page, annoyingly.

      • I’m tempted to ask for my first two months worth of fee back from amex. Their service has been atrocious in applying for the plat card.

        Repeatedly told that I couldnt be referred by a partner on the BAPP card and then offered 2k MR as a goodwill gesture has also been somewhat infuriating.

        • Tom Cook says:

          Touch wood, I haven’t been hit with any charges for the plat card yet. Just waiting for a couple of things to clear and then I will probably look to cancel it by the end of Jan I would think. IT is annoying re the hotels but I’m kind of focussing on SPG to be honest so I’m not too upset about Hilton and CC.

    • First time I had the plat I found applying for Hilton Gold online a bugger – I don’t know why that was but I had to phone in the end with my (H)Honors number and it was sorted straightaway.

    • Did you have existing accounts? Updating existing accounts is usually faster than getting Amex to open a new one (and it will take an age to find out the number anyway).

      • I didn’t have existing accounts unfortunately Rob. This is the first occasion where I’ve had such bad service from Amex.

        I do wonder if it’s worth pursuing the bonus – I was repeatedly told over chat (I saved the transcripts) that it is only possible to refer Plat – Plat.

        • Genghis says:

          Amex agents don’t always give the most accurate info. They always insist 241 vouchers will disappear from BAEC accts on BAPP cancellation

      • Waribai says:

        Funnily enough though, with my exisiting Club Carlson, my gold match via amex plat has taken nearly 2 months and still hasn’t been done. I might phone up and finding what is going on. My wife on the other did not have a Club Carlson account and opening a new account straight to gold for her took 3-4 days.

  4. O/T: Reminder – today is the last day to pay your taxes to HMRC using your credit card.

  5. Philip White says:

    I was planning on staying at the Kimpton Monaco in Philadelphia in May/June and had a reservation via Amex Hotel Collection. So went on the IHG App to check availability and it would appear they are charging 55k per night, not 45k. However you can book any room available at that rate so I booked the deluxe suite, which equated to 0.6p per point. It’ll be interesting to see how the Spire Ambassador status is treated.

  6. O/T would you pay 100£ more for Cathay P.E. and associated TP/Avios vs VA? Both direct LHR/HKG & times equally convenient.

  7. OT

    Some exceptional BA return flights in ET from LGW now. ALC is widely available for less than £50 return, with Barcelona return under £45!

  8. OT: Do IHG January sale rates qualify for points? I’ve just booked a stay but it did not quote the estimated points earned that I have been seeing on bookings since their website upgrade.

    • Genghis says:

      Should be as I’m expecting points for last night’s stay. What does the app say?

      • They’re fine Genghis, just checked th*e email confirmation and estimated points earned are showing there. Which hotel did you opt for in Glasow in the end, didthis sale make you switch from points to cash?

        • Genghis says:

          Went for the Indigo. I prepriced with sale and still decided on points. Only getting 0.4p (not taking into account points earned) but I have loads of IHGs I need to spend. It should be a decent weekend away.

    • Yes. I booked one for next week and it showed points earned.

  9. I’m sure you will enjoy, any Indigo at 30k is a relatively good redemption compared to the cost of some HIE. Dumping IHG points was also the main driver for our European tour last year, was having difficulty using them since becoming Hilton Diamond.

  10. OT
    I previously asked if anyone could tell me how to get a few Marriott points to round up; well I have found an answer.
    You can make a small purchase at Debenhams or Boots (or any of the other retailers) and make it ‘Click and Collect’. This can be tricky as it desperately wants to deliver it, so say yes to home delivery and wait until after you have said no Marriott points used at the top to have it delivered to a branch.
    Also I discovered by accident that if you return the goods to a branch neither of them ties the refund back to the purchase so that you retain the points (and Boots points too). So the till does not know which card you used to pay and you can put the refund onto current account debit card or any other.

    • Is this from the rewards more app ?

    • Waribai says:

      This might work once or twice. If they spot a pattern though of you returning items and never keeping them, you run the risk of having your Boots account closed.

      • Not suggesting to do it regularly, but since they don’t tie it back (as I said above) how can they spot the pattern? The assistant just keyed the amounts into the till.

  11. Were the cards you paid with in her name or yours?

  12. OT: Due to fly to OGG tomorrow. This morning, wife has been told she cannot fly. Question: how good have people found the Amex Plat Trip Cancellation insurance? I have a few flights and Marriott points bookings that are passed their cancellation date. Anyone had any experiences with their claims process? Appreciate any insight. Thanks.

    • Had to curtail honeymoon (major expense), and AXA (the insurers) have been good but thorough. Be prepared to scour emails and provide lots of evidence of booking dates, cancellation dates and partial refunds. Best advice is to cancel everything quickly so you get as much back from suppliers as possible.

    • Also, even if there is no refund due to you, you still have to cancel and get confirmation of that, to prove the product hasn’t been used.

      What I didn’t realise is that the Amex Plat insurance also covers anything paid for on other Amex cards that you have in addition to the Amex Platinum card, and anything paid for on non-Amex cards when the retailer doesn’t accept Amex.

      Online claims portal good and replies from claim handlers usually well under the promised 5 day turnaround. Good luck.

    • luckyjim says:

      I had to cancel a Sheraton booking at short notice last year for similar reasons. Points booking aren’t generally covered by insurance but starwood were happy to move my booking to a later date for no charge. A few days later I cancelled the booking with no penalties.

      • Thank you both for your replies. I found the same – no coverage for points bookings but Marriott generously cancelled the booking and refunded points. I am also in the same boat as Jen with trying to get confirmation of cancellation. Hawaiian policy is to give us a credit note for flights but we won’t ever use it. Insurance wants full cancellation. It’s going to be a long week of admin tasks.

  13. I used Propeller Travel on the recommendation of this site, but had an extremely poor experience. They managed to find availability, however communication was patchy, and they couldn’t tell me how much the flights would be until after they were booked. The return flight involved a connection from KUL to SIN, and Propeller booked us on a connecting flight which departed the day before we arrived (!), which meant we had to book a brand new flight once we reached KUL to avoid being stranded in the airport overnight (we managed to get the last two seats on a flight 5 hours after landing) not ideal when travelling as we were with our six month old twin boys! Propeller promised me compensation, which failed to materialise after chasing for over 9 months.

    • Sorry about that. Amex Travel reportedly has some agents who can do GUF2 too. I know the process and it is mindblowingly complex including needing a 24 hour wait after sending a request to a BA team in India.

      • Nick Burch says:

        Anyone from the Amex Plat travel booking team should be able to do it. There’s a document in their system that lays out all the steps. They’ll probably need to call you back 10-15 minutes later when they’ve found it and read all the steps, assuming they haven’t done it recently. Last time I booked with Amex and a GUF2, the lady I spoke to had never done a GUF booking, but knew about the magic document, and was able to get it all sorted without too much trouble!

  14. Have got a GUV2 that’s valid for another 9 months but no email received from BA – not a surprise I guess!

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