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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. GUFs are for gold card holders and above, rather than gold guest list members.

    Also perhaps the point has been missed – the main improvement I can see is that use of the voucher is no longer only permitted at the time of booking but at any time up to the day prior to travel; meaning that if one earns a voucher some time after booking a trip, and Avios availability is there, you can upgrade the trip at that point.

  2. Genghis says:

    Can’t GUF2s also be used to upgrade by one class an underlying redemption ticket?

    • Yes they can. Again, previously only if done at the time of booking the original redemption. Change is it can be done at any time up to a day before travel if Avios availability in the higher class appears after the booking is first made.

  3. Genghis says:

    “offering 5,000 Clubcard points (12,400 Avios)”
    5,000 x 2.4 = 12,000 avios?

  4. Nothing from Tesco, but I received an email from BA offering me a 30k bonus for taking out the BAPP card. Valid until the end of Jan.

  5. Just had my BAPP card cloned tho it hasn’t been out of my desk for two months. Might be worth checking yours…

  6. Michael says:

    A couple of my US-based colleagues are obsessed with Kimpton Hotel. It was very easy to build status that had good benefits.

  7. Bits:- I have a standard Blue BA Amex card and have the regular refer offer available. My brother is interested in the Amex Rewards card. If I do a referral to him from the BA Amex, will he get a choice of all Amex branded cards or just the BA versions?

    • Mr(s) Entitled says:

      Current process is that you earn the reward in the currency of your card irrespective of the card they take out. So if you have an Avios card you will earn Avios. SPG card = SPG etc.

      When you send them the link it will be to a BA Card but they can navigate to select another earning card type. My spouse just got 18,000 MR points for referring me, from which I opted for the free BA Card.

      • ColinJE says:

        That’s a great tip. So if I refer someone from my Gold Amex and they get the free BA Amex I still get 9000 points? Bizarre. But great if true.

      • Thanks

        And spookily, I received a letter from Amex this morning with a stack of Amex referral cards to hand to friends/family that promise bonus points no matter which card the recipient chooses to take out.

  8. OT:

    Re the Hilton triple avios offer with BA/Iberia – offer says its for stays up to 31st Jan

    I have stay booked for Jan 28th to Feb 2nd, does this mean i will get triple avios for all of the stay, just the 1st 3 nights, or not at all?

    Thanks

  9. O/T accelerate question. I completed a stay 29th December. This stay was the last stay needed for the bonus accelerate points. Stay points posted to my IHG account on 4th January but not to my accelerate yet. Should I wait or chase?

  10. O/T : Can we have an update on this post please – https://www.headforpoints.com/2012/07/06/exploiting-amex-referral-bonuses/

  11. Reeferman says:

    Bits:
    Just checked-in on-line for a BA flight to SJO. I’m Gold card holder, the other passenger (on same booking) is Blue. We are both in Club. The boarding pass has the new “Group” boarding numbers on it. While I’m shown as Group 1 , amazingly, the other passenger is Group 2!
    I rang BA to let them know the error in their IT programming – the lady said she’d pass it on.
    Within 5 mins I had a call back (full marks for service, btw) saying that this is BA’s policy – it is not an error!
    We both agreed it was ridiculous that 2 passengers travelling together on the same booking can not board together – unless one “downgrades”. She said to “have a word” with the boarding gate personnel. .
    Another piece of BA ‘logic”, I guess!

    • It seems odd to me that BA would want to discriminate between passengers flying in premium cabins on the basis of status, particularly given the cabins are very small. So, does a gold flying economy on a reward ticket go in Group 1 while a blue flying on a flexible CW cash ticket go in Group 2? What about children, elderly and disabled, which group do they go in, or do they still make a preboardinb call for them regardless of group number on their boarding pass? It will be interesting to see how this develops but it looks like British class values might still be alive and well on BA.

    • Genghis says:

      Was the “bring a guest” if you have status for boarding ever a published benefit, or just the way things were done?

    • It’s not policy, but it is how the IT is currently set up (it’s a FLY thing). There is a plan to change the system to allow it but it won’t be ready for a few months-the decision was taken not to wait for everything but to make it live anyway. BA have been totally open about this (though clearly not with your agent!)
      Currently the advice to gate staff is to manually allow a ‘reasonable’ number of guests where people are clearly travelling together.
      Knowing how complicated airline systems are, I don’t actually think they’re being unreasonable here.

  12. Always wondered if Christopher Wilkinson minds having his old BA gold card flashed around periodically :p

  13. OT, any guesses on the first 2019 off peak date for BA redemption? Wondering if 6/1/2019 will be.

  14. Very please with the Kipton redemptions I made yesterday for August. Grand Suite @ Portland Monaco. $1000+ room for 50k points. 3 nights in Seattle Alexis $600+ room for 60k points.

    • But would you have paid those amounts? I’m currently looking at a Seattle redemption, and the cash rates are crazy.

    • Perhaps not in Portland but quite possibly in Seattle. I really enjoy the kipton hotels I have stayed in.

  15. OT – Does anyone know if the Lloyds upgrade voucher anniversary restarts on Jan 1 or on the anniversary of being approved for the card? They don’t make it easy to find out or track progress to the £7 target!

    • On, the anniversary. It is a bit daft because if you hit the spend target early in your card year then there is little incentive to use the card again until after the first anniversary because you can only earn one voucher per year. I keep my monthly statement totals in a spreadsheet, if you want to manage the point at which you trigger the voucher precisely then you might want to consider doing the same because calling Lloyds for the information is useless.

    • 12 month anniversary of card opening date for definite, despite poorly worded T&Cs. I end up spending near but not over the target then trigger late on in the year to maximise validity.

  16. ColinJE says:

    Some of those Kimpton redemptions look steep. I stayed at the Muse in NY and the rooms were tiny, though nicely appointed. Not comparable to the IC Times Sq though, particularly with the Muse’s elderly bathrooms.
    The Chicago Burnham was good, but it’s not on the list. Wonder if that’s significant.

  17. I’m not sure what the change is for GUF? I could always call BA GGL after booking flights (including via BA Holidays) and request the GUF upgrade if Avios reward space was available. Also I haven’t received any correspondence from BA (yet). Is it a case that this was always an undocumented benefit maybe?

    • This is for flights booked via proper 3rd party travel agents, not BA Holidays, where the GUF2 had to be applied at time of booking.

  18. Dark times – One of my staff just cancelled his Amex Platinum… was told on phone that in the next month they are bringing in a new rule for people who cancel platinum – Can not reapply for 1 year if you want another sign up bonus….. Churn while you can maybe….

    • Scallder says:

      No… my wife and I are both due Platinum cards at the start of March… :'(

      • Lady London says:

        I take it dogs and fish can’t get these and no child under 18? Still sounds a lot better than the US situation.

    • Wouldn’t surprise me. There is also a rumour that the free BA PP Amex is being removed for long-term Platinum cardholders who still have it.

      To be honest, a move to a 1-year rule would be good to the extent that it would still be a lot better than the US rule and, once changed, you would expect it to stay where it is for a few years.

      • When calling yesterday an agent told me that it was not possible to get more than two sign up bonuses per year. At the time I thought nothing of it as I thought she just meant we can only have a bonus every six months. Given the comments here I am now not sure that is what she was saying at all. Could it be she meant one bonus per card per year with a maximum of two bonuses per year across all their cards?

        • Genghis says:

          Not ideal if all this is true as it’s where I earn most of our points but i completely understand the business decision – Amex paying out less cash buying points for bonuses and I would likely keep my cards a lot longer (therefore more revenue). Whatever the case, I’ll (try to) maximise the benefit.

        • Agreed, I would not like it but I could live with it. Not juggling so many cards and tracking schedules constantly might be something of a relief.

    • Scallder says:

      I would assume it would count for Gold too (or perhaps dreadfully all Amex cards) but if only Platinum could have a Gold card after 6 months (with upgrade bonus potential)

      • That upgrade bonus would also have to wait a year i presume

      • If they bring this in for Gold it will seriously restrict referrals if you don’t want to start paying the 2nd year fee, i.e. you will have to hang onto the card a lot longer if the person you’re referring also has to wait a year between new cards. Hope they aren’t taking away the fee-free year as well though!

  19. Must admit I couldn’t figure out any benefit on Gold Card Upgrade when I read the e-mail. I was hoping for some real change as the whole scheme is pretty useless, 1 Year validity only and never any availability when I try! Surely a better reward scheme is called for (Qantas used to send out high quality wines). Avios would probably be better, at least they have no expiry date.

    • Lady London says:

      MR points can be kept as MR points until you need them for something in a wife variety of programmes not just Avios. That’s why they’re so useful and why any negative news about Amex is so important to know about

    • If you’re referring to GUV2 then you can almost guarantee a 6/12 extension by requesting it from BAEC.

  20. Chelseafi says:

    O/T looking to refer OH for SPG next month but just churned mine recently. I know things have changed recently with referring from any amex but I’m still unsure, can I refer for an SPG from my Platinum? If so how many referral points would I receive? Or is it the same if my son refers from his gold? How many points would he receive? Thanks

    • Scallder says:

      Yes you can (from either Plat or Gold). Plat referral would be 18k, your son would get 9k from Gold.

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