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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 ba.com here).  These can be used in two ways:

Book a cash ticket via ba.com 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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Comments

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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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