Bits: Virgin Atlantic one day Valentine sale, feedback on Avios from Midpoint, use Lufty miles for Tesco vouchers

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News in brief:

Save £279 per person in Premium Economy with Virgin Atlantic’s Valentine’s Sale

Virgin Atlantic has launched a one day Valentine’s sale in case you find flowers and chocolate too boring.

Until midnight tonight you can save up to £279 per person when booking Premium Economy flights.

The landing page had not been updated at time of writing the article, but we were sent a price list yesterday.

Some of the Premium Economy fares you can book today are:

London – Washington from £669

London – Boston from £669

London – New York from £669

Manchester – Orlando from £729

London – San Francisco from £719

Travel dates vary but most fares listed above are for travel between 28th February and 29th March, 8th April and 24th June, 21st October and 12th December as well as 28th December and 15th January 2019.

The sale page is here.

What do readers think about Midpoint?

About two weeks ago we wrote about the new Avios partner Midpoint.

Midpoint is a UK-based platform for making international payments which gives you 1 Avios per £10 transferred.

We asked for reader feedback because the system is quite opaque from the outside.  We received this from a reader who was happy for us to share it:

First time used. Set up is quite labour intensive as you reported. Had to scan and send copy of passport. Then big fuss about sending proof of address as they wanted a utility bill which I didn’t have as I pay everything by direct debit. I scanned and sent a mobile phone bill from Vodafone which they rejected. After a longish telephone conversation we agreed on my driving license.

Flurry of emails from them all on the same day confirming my email address, confirming I added a beneficiary, confirming my account has been authorised and confirming account has been approved and giving me log in details.

I normally pay Currency Direct or Moneycorp £700 a month to transfer to my Spanish account. I could see early in the Midpoint process that there was a charge of £10 for my transaction so I arranged to transfer £690 to make my total bill consistent at £700. Importantly the Euros I received for my £690 were more than I would have got from Moneycorp or Currency Direct for my £700.

On the same day I got an email confirming credit of the money in my Midpoint Account.
I then had to allocate the funds to the beneficiary.

On the next day got another email confirming funds sent to beneficiary. Later that day checked my Spanish bank account and funds had arrived. My Avios have not yet arrived. I spoke to Brad at Midpoint and was told they expect a time delay between 14 and 30 days. As they are a relatively new partner though there is a bit of uncertainty about how long it will take. This for me is not a problem (I already have over 800,000). Therefore within reason I don’t care how long it takes as long as I do eventually receive them.

I will continue to check their rates with the competitors but if all things stay the same I will continue to use them on a regular basis. Ten out of ten!

So far so good, it seems.  Our initial article about Midpoint is here and their Avios home page is here.

Miles & More Tesco giftcard redemption

Terrible Lufthansa offer with Tesco launched

Lufthansa’s Miles & More programme has just added Tesco to its roster of gift card partners.  This allows you to cash out your Miles & More miles for a shopping voucher.

It is, however, a truly terrible deal.

As per this page, you need 3,700 Miles & More miles to get a £10 Tesco gift card.  Given that you should be targeting 1p per mile, this is 70% worse!

It only makes sense if you have some Miles & More miles heading towards expiry due to Lufthana’s draconian policies.  The only way to stop your miles expiring after three years is to be a M&M credit card holder, which is no longer possible for new applicants in the UK.

A slightly better deal is converting your Miles & More miles into Heathrow Rewards points.  You can also use them as part-payment for a hotel room via the Lufthansa hotel portal.

(Want to earn more Virgin Flying Club miles?  Click here to see our recent articles on Virgin Atlantic and Flying Club and click here for our home page with the latest news on earning and spending other airline and hotel points.)

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  1. Have signed up for a Midpoint account but not gotten around to using it yet.

    However, interestingly when I was checking my Amex statement online today I noticed a new section for foreign currency transfers which said BAPP cardholders can now earn 1 avios per £10 of foreign currency transferred when linking their FX International Payment account. Fees are £10 and you can apparently send funds from your credit card (although I assume you don’t earn MR points / avios if doing so, and that it wouldn’t count towards targeted spend).

    Anyone have any info/experience with this?

    • Just looking at this. I assume the rate will be poor compared with OFX but will see. It seems you get 1 MR point per £20 sent…

      ‘Once you have registered your American Express® Card with both the central American Express Membership Rewards® Programer and the FX International Payments Membership Rewards® Programme, you can earn points on foreign currency transactions between the value of £1,000 to £100,000. For every £20 transacted, you will receive one Membership Rewards® point, which will be automatically credited to your American Express Card. You earn a maximum of 5,000 points per transaction. Please note, same currency transactions are not eligible. Points will be credited within 12 weeks after the transaction is completed.’

  2. How can one convert M&Ms into HR points?

    At I see only Emirates.

    I see Munich but not Heathrow.

    • The location on your link is set to Poland.
      Change it at the top of the page to United Kingdom.

  3. They should be able to do a credit check and electoral role verification with your authorisation, to verify your ID as part of KYC.

    I opened a bank account online without providing any ID documents.

  4. I’ve signed up to Midpoint. It took a bit of time and a few conversations with them to get set up but I’m now ready to make a transfer. I usually use Transferwise and whenever I’ve checked the rates between the two the rates are very similar but the Transferwise fee looks a little cheaper. I will give it a go soon so long as the exchange rate is similar to Transferwise.

  5. I thought the planes Virgin are operating out of Manchester at the moment didn’t have premium economy cabins?

    • They have dug an old Airbus out of storage which had been retired, this does have PE.

    • Yes agreed – I tried last month to book PE to Atlanta from MAN – zero seats

    • The Orlando planes from Manchester are 747. Lots of PE as only a small handful of UC seats. Upstairs is mainly PE with Economy at back.

  6. OT: Can I use my Curve debit card linked to my Lloyds avios mastercard to pay tge bill on another credit card?

  7. Out of curiosity: I found myself in OAK recently, and discovered that the Escape Lounge was complimentary for AMEX Plat owners – and promptly sneaked it with my British card. Haven’t been charged yet, but also can’t find anything about this on the UK Amex site. Was I lucky, or is this widely known?

    • We did mention it last year in an article. It is not listed as a benefit for UK cardholders IIRC although no-one ever checks. Was it not a Priority Pass lounge anyway?

    • I used that with my Plat card last year, I thought it was nice although didn’t think it was worth the $45 walk up price if I didn’t have my card. Yes it isn’t a Priority Pass lounge.

  8. Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

    If you’re looking at the SFO fare, worth bearing in mind that BA has WTP fares to OAK around the £700 mark anyway.

  9. TeflonMan says:

    Midpoint: long-winded sign-up process as described by others. The main let-down compared to TransferWise is that you don’t get a guaranteed rate. The actual transfer from EUR to GBP took 4 (four!!) days from confirmed receipt of money in their account and only happened after I chased them.
    Yes, some Avios earned in the process (if they materialize eventually), but not worth the hassle and delay. Back to TransferWise for me.

  10. New Card says:

    Rob – Is there anything you’re allowed to tell us re the new Virgin cards following your meeting with them? Or are you now sworn to secrecy? 🙂

  11. LH M&M > Tesco gift card > earn Clubcard points on spend > Avios.

    Gets slightly more value than 0.0027027027 pence per LH mile. Slightly…

  12. OT: can I use my priority pass card (from plat) at T5 plaza premium lounge? Don’t see it listed on their website. The aspire one is crap super overcrowded.

    • Amex plat get access to plaza premium using your Amex. Did this recently as I don’t like the Aspire lounge.

  13. I sent a payment with Midpoint, when I checked the rates they came out around £5 more expensive than OFX, but earning around 1200 avios so just over 0.4p per point. Interesting option to have, but the avios aren’t free. Will see how long they take to post…

  14. OT: Do BA provide bedding on all club world flights or is just a select few? Having flown recently I was expecting more than the standard blanket you would receive in Economy with Qatar.

  15. Is Tesco club card doing the 20% extra to Virgin points

  16. I flew Virgin Premium Economy on a 747 going to Vegas last year, wasn’t that impressed to be honest, not helped by the person in front of me having his seat reclined as far back as it would go. I ended up moving to Economy for quite a lot of the flight, it was about 25% full I’d say so could lie full length on a row of seats.

    Flew back from Miami on a 787 in Premium Economy and was much more impressed by it. Booked another Premium Economy flight with Virgin this year and managed to get a 787 both way … unless they change the planes.

  17. Just to make sure no one missed the Virgin one day sale…..

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