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Bits: 2400 Avios with LEGO, ALDI taking Amex, Plaza Premium lounge in Abu Dhabi re-opened

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News in brief:

2400 Avios or 2500 Virgin miles with LEGO City

The second LEGO / Tesco Clubcard deal of the year has arrived. Until 4th February, you will receive:

  • 500 extra Clubcard points when you spend £30+ on LEGO City
  • 1,000 extra Clubcard points when you spend £60+ on LEGO City

1 Clubcard point is worth 2.4 Avios or 2.5 Virgin Flying Club miles.

Full details are on Shopper Points here. You can also see the sets available on the Tesco site here.

Aldi Amex payment

Does ALDI now take Amex?

It looks like ALDI is starting to target American Express cardholders.  There have been rumours about the discount supermarket starting to accept Amex but as we couldn’t find anything online, I got on the tube.

As the picture above shows ALDI is promoting contactless payment with Amex but the Amex icon has been covered with black ink for now …..

The cashier told me that Amex should be accepted from February, but she couldn’t confirm a date.  (I had to use my Mastercard to pay for the German bratwurst).  Others have been told that 1st February is the launch.

Thanks to the two readers who tipped us off.

Plaza Premium lounge Abu Dhabi

Plaza Premium lounge in Abu Dhabi re-opened

The newly refurbished Plaza Premium lounge at Abu Dhabi International Airport Teminal 1 has re-opened and here are a few pictures.

Here is the official website, where you can also book a slot.

See above and:

Plaza Premium lounge Abu Dhabi airport


Plaza Premium lounge Abu Dhabi airport

With a 47% increase in seating capacity the Plaza Premium lounge can now host 300 people.  As well as sitting areas the lounge features a family room, an all-day dining room, business amenities and massage facilities.

Entrance on the door costs AED200 per person for two hours or AED350 per person for five hours. You can pre-book access here.

You can also get in with Priority Pass or Lounge Club or by showing an American Express Platinum card at the door.

(Want to earn more miles and points from credit cards?  Click here to visit our dedicated airline and hotel travel credit cards page or use the ‘Credit Cards Update’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

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  1. O/T I have an IHG accelerate target I was hoping to complete in one go. I had a stay, spend $39 on food, book a points package and pay with credit card. I should have met 4 targets in one stay. However, only the stay target has been ticked off. Should I contact IHG or is there a chance they will still complete?

    • Peter K says:

      They can be slow to update. Wait a bit then context them.

    • Lady London says:

      be very very careful when meeting any in-hotel food and beverage target for Accelerate.

      – VAT component of spend does not contribute to the total so that’s 1/6th less value you spent towards the target.
      – they also use the in-hotel exchange rate if your target is in a different currency. The only way I found to protect against that is to vastly underestimate the exchange rate (like, at least 20% worse than bank/MC rate). Ideally allow a bit more.

      The net effect on one of my targets to spend $39 was that I spent $40-42 or so and only just exceeded the required minimum spend.

      • Lady London says:

        Actually correction to the above my hotel spend was in GBP so I spent £40-42 or so and recall that I did not exceed the $39 target by much.

        • Yes, just found this out. I spent £42.60 at dinner but some of that was on bottles of pepsi from the fridge as I don’t like draft coke. Looks like the pepsi has been classed as vending purchases and not included in the food and beverage charges. I have a receipt from dinner that adds the drinks on to the receipt so might have to argue this one…..

  2. Same here when promotions are on but try to move between different hotels in the same chain if they’re close together. We only take carry on anyway and typically rooms in one hotel are all the same and with guaranteed late checkout you’re covered for the time between check out and check in at the next hotel. Anecdotally IMHO if you look like you’re staying for just the one night you’ve got more chance of getting an upgrade.

  3. Was queried in Curve beta group recently but they didn’t say it had. Was it in a location where you’d used it before? (some of them seem to have slightly unclear wording for the retailer name which can occasionally cause issues in rewards tracking).

    • No-one told me it had ended …. although that does explain why I never got any notification of points on recent M&S trips.

  4. Nick Burch says:

    OT The Amex Hilton offer that ended yesterday, for spend £250 get £50 back, does anyone know if it was supposed to be cumulative or just a single payment? (I hit the spend but over 3 stays, and hasn’t credited yet, wondering if it’s worth asking Amex about it or not)

    • Supposed to be single but previously worked cumulatively

      • Definitely worked cumulatively for me on Plat and Gold (£200 off £600 on Plat).
        Have you had the confirmation email through that you’ve triggered it? If so, mine took about 10 days after that to show on statements.

        • Was the £200 off £600 not for amex travel rather than Hilton?

        • I got the £50 back for Hilton cumulative spend, despite being on a ridiculously cheap winter sale pre-paid rate, which they said wouldn’t count. I also got the £200 back for AMEX travel cumulative spend.

          I was delighted!

  5. Tom Cook says:

    OT – bought two one for all post office gift cards when the AMEX £5 back offer was on. Long story short I have had a mare getting them accepted in two M&S stores in Leeds so needed up getting them (thankfully the full £20) refunded direct to my bank account, after having to go back and forth to the customer service email. What a shame!

    • I am surprised to hear that. As well as the Post Office offer, I buy One4All all the time as I can buy them at 6% discount. I am sure that I have used them at M&S and definitely at John Lewis (including café), Debenhams and TK Maxx among others.
      Did you swipe the card or try to scan the number. The only slight glitch is that they ask for a signature but there is none on the card to compare but this has never stopped use.

      • Tom Cook says:

        Tried to swipe the cards but to no avail. On a number of visits not one employee recognised the card or knew what to do with it.

        Oneforall said that the issue was that the merchant number differed to what they had on their approved system, and then when I tried (and failed) again, that it again differed…so basically they blamed M&S and M&S said they didn’t recognise the card.

        • It only works in main M&S stores, not train station / airport / service stations

          You could also have used them in Boots

        • Tom Cook says:

          The two M&S stores were main stores – hey ho. I don’t shop in Boots unfortunately.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Credit to Amazon just need to use the all4one website. Very easy

  6. Genghis says:

    M&S is no longer in Curve rewards as of a couple of months ago.

  7. Lewis King says:

    I’ve got a banner at the top of AMEX promoting the Aldi news.

    • Yep, same here. I guess that’s confirmed then.

      • RussellH says:

        Just paid for two bags of shopping with Amex at Aldi, so yes, I can also confirm that it works. I shop there regularly, not least because the cats insist on Aldi – they will not touch Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Tesco, Lidl or Asda. But also because I like Aldi, though they have dropped a lot of the European stuff that they used to have. But, as Rob mentioned, their Thüringer Bratwürste are still good.

        • Lewis King says:

          I much prefer Lidl, and have a Tesco Clubcard credit card that is used almost exclusively there. Let’s hope they follow and add Amex, it’s a big chunk of my spend!

    • Probably an amex offer coming soon as tgey have a track record of media offers.

  8. One thing I find slightly annoying with Amex is Android pay, and contactless. Often places that say they take Amex and Android pay reject payment. Try the actual card contactless and it may work, if not do a full chip and pin and it almost always does. Sort of defeats the so called convenience of Android pay and contactless. Is this retailers, Android, Amex, my card or something else. It’s almost always smaller retailers like pubs. Never a problem in Pret, supermarkets, Eat etc.

    • RussellH says:

      AFAIK, when contactless works with Visa/M’card, but not Amex, but Amex does work on chip+PIN, it is simply because the retailer has not realised that they have to configure their terminals separately for contactless Amex, as well as contactless Visa/M’Card.

      Wilko for one I always have to use Chip+PIN.

      I would guess that the same may apply to pay-by-phone, but since I do not have that sort of phone, that one is not a problem for me.

      • Amex contactless always failed in my local Cafe Nero, but Chip & Pin was OK. Today I was told that they have new terminals that now take Amex contactless – and it worked! Maybe they are just configured properly as you suggest.

  9. OTish, I’ve just logged on to Amex and found this statement on the The Preferred Rewards Gold Card card:

    ‘Choose a return flight from London to one of over 100 destinations using your bonus Membership Rewards® points when you spend £2,000 in your first three months’

    Is this new?

  10. Thanks Rob 🙂

  11. Haven’t see it mentioned, and as I recall someone asking a couple of weeks ago

    Heathrow rewards have relaunched the 3k bonus points for £150 spend for 2018

    My pet dog is looking forward to buying some gift cards.

    • Is that even if you used the offer last year?

    • Where did you see the offer – I asked a couple of weeks ago

    • RussellH says:

      Does your dog need its own Avios a/c?

      • Just applied again.

      • Slightly related
        I have a ‘spare’ avios account, that i’ve accumulated approx 5k avios (genuine error, not a pet), how do I go about utilising this (adding them to our BA family stock pile),
        We have a BA family account ( comprising 3 members, 2 adults and 1 child)
        Each adult has their own avios account, linked to their respective BA account.
        The avios accounts are not not part of any family account.
        I also have one Iberia (linked to both the BA and avios account)
        and then this spare avios account, What is the process to absorb it into the fold?
        Thanks in advance

        • probably easiest to just transfer the points to your BAEC account. That is what I do with my ‘spare’ Avios account which is useful sometimes.

      • @Russell, I cannot speak for anybodies dogs, but your nanny might benefit from her own account!

        • I think your Nanny needs to be over 18 to sign up. This discounts most Nannys in Europe.l!

          Easier to be 18 in Dog years

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