Bits: IHG 20k bargain in Amsterdam, Melia triple Avios extended, £80 Opodo discount code

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News in brief:

IHG redemption bargain in Amsterdam

The changes to IHG Rewards Club redemptions are now live with top InterContinental hotels costing 70,000 points per night.  Still no email to members to let them know, of course.

If you are looking for somewhere to get good value for your points, take a look at the Holiday Inn Express Amsterdam City Hall (website here).

Due to open on 1st July, this is currently available for just 20,000 IHG Rewards Club points per night.  Many new IHG properties do this in order to fill rooms in the first quiet few months. 20,000 points is excellent value for a centrally located property in a major European capital, and as a new hotel should be modern and in good condition.  As with all Holiday Inn Express hotels, you will get free breakfast.

Cash rates for the hotel in July are currently €222 – which is about right for central Amsterdam at peak tourist season – so you’re getting 1p per IHG Rewards Club point.  That is a very good result.

There is a risk that the opening date slips back.  In general, hotel groups will usually move guests to another hotel in the chain if an opening is delayed, rather than unilaterally cancelling.  If you had enough points you could also book another hotel as back up and then cancel that one nearer the time.

Note that IHG is currently offering a 75% ‘buy points’ bonus – see the link here, if you are targeted it will show – which would actually make sense here.  $529 gets you 80,000 points which is four nights, so £95 per night.

You can find out more on the Holiday Inn Express Amsterdam City Hall website here. Hat-tip to Ric @ Loyalty Traveler.

Melia extends its ‘triple Avios’ promotion – get 9 Avios per €1

Over Christmas I ran a long article on changes to way that you earn Avios when staying at any of the Melia hotel brands – see here.

Melia has moved from giving a fixed number of Avios per night to a variable reward of 3 Avios per €1 spent.  This means that your food and drink spend now counts towards your earning.

It was offering triple Avios for stays booked by 30th December.  This offer has now been extended – you will get triple Avios (9 Avios per €1) for Melia stays booked by 30th January for stays by 15th March.

Do read my original article before booking as it covers all of the small print.

Remember that American Express Platinum cardholders get automatic Melia Gold status in Melia Rewards which gives you additional benefits on your stays.

Melia ME London

New Opodo discount code released

Opodo has released a new discount code as its January sale continues.

For bookings made until 25th January via this page of the Opodo site, code SALE2 gets you:

£25 off a £450 return flight booking or

£80 off a ‘flight and hotel’ package costing £900 or more

All flights must depart from the UK.  You can book via this link.

(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: Lady Gaga tickets, buy Avios for 1.1p via Iberia, 3000 Avios or €60 of Accor vouchers with Europcar
My review of the Holiday Inn Southend Airport hotel
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Comments

  1. How central is it ? For leisure, not business ?
    I don’t really know Amsterdam.

    IHG sent me something about a 75% bonus on buying points yesterday or today (didn’t pay much attention) so I wonder how much it would cost to buy the 20k vs the €222 cash price.

    I don’t / didn’t have any plans for an Amsterdam trip but this could be the catalyst 🙂

    • It’s pretty central. The area is probably rather busy, since it’s in (or close to) the area where all the tourists congregate. Amsterdam isn’t that big, though, and it’s a good place to walk around. Definitely a good choice for a budget break, therefore.

      If you have Hilton status, I’d still go for the Doubletree NSDM Wharf, though – it’s a free, short ferry ride from the Central Station, but quiet for that reason, and the breakfast is incredible. Rates can be as low as 70 euros a night, which is pretty good for Amsterdam!!

      • Cheers, had Diamond ’til a few months ago. A lowly gold now with Hilton – need to brush up on what benefits that gives me now.

    • At 105,000 points for €565 in the current +75% IHG buy points promo, you’d be getting this hotel at half its expected cash price.

    • Google.co.uk

    • Lady London says:

      100% bonus would be more normal (and still not necessarily worth it unless you have a specific need and do your sums). If your sums work out borderline then you might want to hang on and see if 100% comes along again in a few months.

  2. How do I get my veiling number to match my avios number? I’ve set an account up but can’t see how to link them.
    Staying at a Melia next week and 10,000 points will come in very handy

  3. Lottietiger says:

    Does anyone know how long it takes to get Melia gold status when requested through the platinum Amex portal. They all say 10-15 days but wondrered if any one had real time experience .

  4. Concerto says:

    Watch out for opodo, that is a cowboy outfit with no customer service whatsoever. Once they’ve got your money you’ll never see it again.

    • That’s not very fair, especially with no evidence or anecdotes to explain it. For balance, I’ve booked through them and had no issues. There can be very restrictive T&C but if you read them and know what you’re ‘signing’ then it’s not a problem.

    • Peter K says:

      I found them fine the one time I used them. They were the cheapest place for a LHR-LAX-JFK-MAN itinerary as well.

    • Lady London says:

      My experience was same : just impossible to get them deal with an issue once they had my money. I’d avoid booking via them and try others first .

  5. Melia – does anyone know if they’re ever ‘clever’ with the benefits? E.g. The 2-4-1 breakfast is useless to me as I’ll be staying alone, but if I stay two nights would they accept that as a 2-4-1 and give me the second day’s free? (Thinking very hopefully here!)

    • That would be purely at the discretion of the hotel ….

      • Yeah I guessed as much. I’ve not stayed with them before (despite being Gold) so don’t know how flexible they tend to be – in my experience in other Spanish hotels it’s usually poor English (or my poor Spanish!) that’s the biggest hindrance in any discussion on benefits. But I’ll ask them – I’m likely to have 2×2 nights in different cities in Feb, so will ask at check-in. I won’t take their breakfast if they don’t as it’s horrifically expensive for one… so will report back with the answer!

  6. OT but IHG related. I will be applying for a Hilton Diamond status match as my Diamond is expiring end of March. I need to do a cheap, paid stay at an IHG property. If I use the Friends and Family link available, I am positive that it will still count as a paid stay as I will be paying it by card but just a discounted price but I would like to check it here to be sure. Thank you.

  7. Also, I signed up for IHG Ambassador using 32,000 points and was expecting 10,000 points back but they haven’t posted. Has anyone tried emailing them? I would be grateful if someone could put a link to the IHG Ambassador sign up promo we had in November as I can’t see it by searching.

    • For Ambassador when you get your welcome pack it will include the 10,000 points your expecting. It takes 6 to 8 weeks to arrive once you’ve joined or rejoined.

      • I already received the pack about a month ago. I think the offer expired in November so been almost 8 weeks. Will wait a few more weeks. Thanks.

  8. Hello, does anyone know how to add an Iberia Plus number to their Melia Rewards account to convert the points directly without transferring or credit the stay directly? Thanks.

  9. OT – I have an SPG Amex. Do the points transfer automatically into an SPG account or can we transfer the maximum anytime like we do with Gold and Platinum? Need to transfer and cancel as it says next statement date is about a week away. Thanks.

  10. OT – does anyone know if you will get MR points for getting gold supplement card from Platinum? I’v already got 5000 for first platinum supplement. Thanks

  11. Matthew Goode says:

    I got an email from IHG on 10 Jan with my January statement with the following message about the change in redemption rates:

    Reward Night Update

    On 16 January 2018, the point requirements for Reward Nights will be changing at some of our hotels.

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