Bits: Groupon / Avios offer problems, 75% bonus buying IHG points, 20 years since Heathrow Junction

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News in brief:

Groupon / Avios issues

EDIT: Comments below suggest that Groupon has fixed its IT overnight, so if you had problems yesterday please try again

On Saturday I wrote about the repeat of the Groupon / Iberia promotion which let you buy Avios for 1.1p.

When this offer first ran in 2015 there were terrible IT issues which meant that many people had real problems receiving or redeeming their vouchers.  My later articles, when the deal re-ran, came with a note of caution.  However, after 3-4 outings with no reported issues, I began to recommend it again with no caveats.

It seems I gave Groupon too much credit.  The new Iberia / Avios offer seems beset with issues with no-one able to redeem their vouchers. The ‘good’ news is that, because everyone seems to be impacted, you can be sure it will be fixed if you sit it out.  (A problem which only impacts you is never easy to solve, but when everyone is hit it is better!)

If you’ve got a voucher which you currently cannot redeem, I would put it to one side for a few days, let others – in Spain, who speak the language – put pressure on Groupon Spain and Iberia Plus and just wait for it to resolve itself.

InterContinental Times Square

75% bonus when you buy IHG Rewards Club points

Until 28th February, you can buy IHG Rewards Club – the InterContinental, Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza etc scheme – points with a bonus of up to 75%.

The page to buy points is here – log in and see what is available.

This is not the most generous offer IHG has had, and it is also staggered:

  • Buy 5,000-19,000 points, get a 50% bonus
  • Buy 15,000+ points, get a 75% bonus

I wouldn’t buy speculatively with a 75% bonus as I am fairly sure that a 100% bonus for everyone will be along in a few months.  If you need to top up your account in advance of a planned redemption, however, you might as well do it whilst the bonus is on.  It is also worth buying if your IHG Accelerate promotion has a ‘buy points’ target you need to hit.

It’s 20 years since Heathrow Junction railway station opened (and closed)

For those of a certain age, this article published last week is worth a look.

In January 1998, Heathrow Junction railway station was opened in record time following the partial collapse of the tunnels being built for the Heathrow Express.  You would travel from Paddington to Heathrow Junction and connect to a waiting bus to be transferred to the terminals.  Six months later, with the collapsed tunnel rebuilt and full services able to begin, it was closed.

(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.)

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  1. Finally after HOURS of trying to get this to work on Saturday and this morning my Groupons have been accepted.

    Couldn’t get it to work (or log in to Iberia) in Chrome but managed in Firefox.
    Couldn’t get it to work if I copied and pasted my Iberia Plus number but it then did work when I typed it in.

    Also got the IberiaPlus emails for an extra 1076 Avios! Think it was all worth it . . .

  2. Working for me now and the Plus Store Avios have been tracked as well.

  3. OT: Tesco Clubcard have reduced Redspottedhanky back down to 2x (from 3x), although National Express remains at 3x. I thought I’d read that, whilst the 4x to 3x was reversed until June, the 2x to 3x would remain at the higher multiple (but now cannot find such text)? If the reduction was also included in the backtrack, then why has National Express not also changed back to 2x? Very confusing!

  4. AMEX PLAT says:

    OT: How long does the Hilton Gold status take to be recognized once you take out an AMEX PLAT, and does your Hilton GOLD status stay even after you cancel the AMEX PLAT? Has anybody here had any experience with Hilton GOLD status whilst staying in the Seychelles? Have a trip in June and was wondering if getting the AMEX PLAT just for Hilton Gold status is worth the effort/cost, will i be guaranteed the free breakfasts, and what is the likely hood of an upgrade. I am looking at staying at both the both Hilton Seychelles Labriz and Northolme Resorts. Amy help appreciated

    • If you already have a Hilton account and give the number on the Amex Plat form (at it should take under a week based on when I did my wifes last year. Others have reported longer waits.

    • Mine is still pending after 2.5 months. My supp card’s status came through in 48 hours. Both without HH accounts prior to Amex Plat registration.

  5. OT, but this morning I received an email from Singapore Airlines with an offer of 1000 Krisflyer points by signing up for a KF account and using the code JOINKFSQ.
    Don’t know whether this is standard or not but thought I’d share just in case its useful to someone.
    There’s also a competition to win 100,000 KF points (purchase is required)

  6. OT: My 241 voucher expires the day before I want to fly the outbound leg. Could flying from Jersey the week before it expires, layover in London for 7 days and then fly onward to my destination be a work around?

    • In theory no but in practice might let you do it.

      • I checked with a cash fare and wasn’t given the option but from within my exec account, using points I am. Seems like a useful work around.

        • Although I am skeptical that the entire outward leg has to be flown before the 241 expiry, which would mean such a scenario would not work.

  7. OT – For you Lego fans (or those who like me, have not amassed many points this month), Tesco have one of their usual 1k points for £60 on Teknik, lots of it seems normally (not inflated) priced

  8. O/T – Anyone still getting an error when trying to set up & send Amex MR points to Nectar? I get an error message when adding my number (full number on card inc spaces) and dob.

    Last time I did this I needed to phone but hoping for a workaround.

  9. O/t – if I book Hilton hotels via the Amex fine hotels scheme, do I still benefit from Hilton Gold privileges and earn points? The resort credit would be handy.

    • No points but you should get privileges if you contact hotel beforehand (in my experience)

      • Fine Hotels & Resorts stays should get points I think – I have never not had points with other chains when booking via FHR. As it happens, I am doing a Waldorf Astoria stay on a FHR rate next week so if you give me 10 days I can confirm.

        • ok thanks – will set a reminder to ask you in a couple of week.
          Do you still need to hold the platinum card at the time of the stay, or just to book ?

          • You need to pay with an Amex card. Sometimes the hotel forgets but that is the rule and they are meant to insist. Can be any Amex though.

    • What Gold privilege are you thinking of? You get free breakfast and an upgrade (probably better than a Gold would get) via FHR anyway.

    • Dominic says:

      Stayed at the Waldorf Astoria through FHR last year. Points and stay tracked fine with Hilton for me as I added my Hilton number on booking. Pretty good suite upgrade too!

  10. OT – Rob posted a code for German residents to sign up BA account with 4500 avios in Oct, it finally arrived after 3 months. Thanks!

  11. How do I check the expiry date of my Hilton Gold? And am I right in thinking now is the best time to get Amex Plat (if I need to renew it) in order to maximise the time I get the benefits for?

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