Bits: who won the Heathrow Express Business First tickets?, earn IHG points with OpenTable, cheap UK Hilton redemptions

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News in brief:

Who won the Heathrow Express Business First tickets?

Last week we ran a competition in association with Heathrow Express giving away five pairs of Business First tickets.

We gave away one pair of tickets per day and here are the lucky winners:

Monday: Kathryn B.

Tuesday: Sofiane M.

Wednesday: Simon T.

Thursday: Chris E.

Friday: Ivar v. H.

Well done!  Heathrow Express has already been in touch with the winners, so if your initials are above it wasn’t you, sorry.

IHG and OpenTable

Earn IHG Rewards Club points with OpenTable

IHG Rewards Club has teamed up with OpenTable to allow you to earn up to 500 points when booking restaurants.

You need to download the IHG Rewards Club app and click ‘Offers’.  You will then be taken to the OpenTable site.

A search for London brought up 1820 restaurants.  A standard booking will earn 150 points, which we value at just 60p so don’t get too excited.  Your first booking will earn 500 points – worth £2 in our book – and ‘IHG Featured Restaurants’ will earn double points.

I’m not sure that the return is worth the effort involved to go via the IHG app to access OpenTable all the time, but if you need to make a booking then you should at least try to pick up the ‘first booking’ bonus.

Thanks to Nick for this.

Cheap UK Hilton Honors redemptions

Over the last few weeks a lot of Hilton properties which used to cost just 5,000 points per night have been quietly increased.  There are still around 50 hotels globally at 5,000 points per night (Turkey is most realistic place that most UK residents may come across them).  A few 10,000 per night hotels have also crept up.

Our old favourite, the Hilton Salalah resort in Oman, pictured above, is no longer 5,000 points per night but is now 10,000 points.  We ran a review of Hilton Salalah here.  Because Hilton elite members get ‘5 nights for the points of 4’ it was in reality even cheaper, just 4,000 points per night for longer stays!

If you are looking for a good value Hilton Honors redemption in the UK, we recommend this article from US blog Loyalty Traveler.  It lists the 26 of the 145 Hilton hotels in UK where reward rates are between 10,000 and 22,000 points per night.  It is worth noting that points price and quality are not correlated, with a lot of new Hampton hotels on the list in places where there are pricier, older, Hilton properties.

There are still six UK hotels at 10,000 points per night.  Until 30th April you would get 2,000 points per stay back as part of the current Hilton Honors promotion so a one night stay would only be 8,000 points.

(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.)

All you need to know about American Airlines new Flagship Lounges
Bits: LAST CALL for Amazon / Amex Gold £15 discount, Blacklane adds Krisflyer (and get 10% off), Amex / Red Carnation deal
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  1. Regarding the IHG open table partnership, I have checked the offers section on my IHG app (iOS), and all it mentions is Bonus Points Packages and Points & Cash redemptions. Am I looking in the wrong place?

    • Genghis says:

      I found it under ‘Manage Profile’ as one of the scrolling options. The map view looks terrible.

    • It’s showing under “Offers” on my Android app., as well as one of the scrolling options which Genghis mentions. Have you downloaded the latest updates? Just a thought.

  2. Apologies for the OT. Can you stay in 2 separate hotels on the same night when doing a mattress run? Specifically targeting Wyndham 2 stay offer.

    • Usually you can’t as it would be classed as an overlapping stay, but don’t know about Wyndham specifically

      • I was going to ask a similar question, I have booked two rooms in a Marriott for myself and a friend, unintentionally I booked it while log in so it left my Marriott number on the booking.
        Does anyone know if I would get the points on both or if the overlapping stay would void both?

    • No

      • No? No to getting both sets of points or no to the overlapping stays making it void?

  3. Often with the lesser expensive hotels, I find the cash price even better value Inc HH pts.

    eh Why pay 18000pts for a £55 room?

    • Depends on whether the £55 is a flexible rate

      • Yep, I should of added that caveat, good catch.

        • JamesB says:

          Also, what is better: 5 nights in Hampton Croydon for 80k points with average room rate £1100/night with flexibility and breakfast even without status or one night in Conrad for same points with a prepay rate of £270? It’s impossible to generalise and much dependent on peoples needs and wants, and whether they perceive their points as free.

    • Mr dee says:

      If the cash price is low then cash is the best option assuming at some point in the near future you would need to buy/acquire points at a higher cost.

      There are some good value 10k points hotels outside the UK which sell for 100 euros plus

      • Aye that’s on the other end of the scale, swear I saw Hampton Liverpool for 20k when price was £199. Crazy to pay cash for that.

        • Sandgrounder says:

          I’ve just booked the Hampton at Liverpool Airport for some overseas visitors for 5 nights, 40k points is about 1p per point against cash prices.

          I did stays at the Hampton hotels in Minsk and Krakow last year, both great value at 5k per night. Minsk very central, Krakow £2 in an Uber from the old town.

        • JamesB says:

          Same is true at Hampton Newcastle during Magic Weekend, we considered it when rates was over £200. Hampton Newport is a peach when Cardiff rates are sky high due to rugby etc.

        • RussellH says:

          And you can also get the Aloft Liverpool for 3 000 SPG at weekends (roughly = 10 000 Hilton, I would guess), where the cash rate goes to around £200 on football nights.

  4. Craig Strickland says:

    OT: Did anyone have any luck with the recent Amex Hilton offer, I have 2 stays booked and paid for totalling over £250. I will probably wait a few more days and give them a nudge.

  5. Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

    No need to download the IHG app. I booked through the website. Looks US-focused but works just fine (including points). or Google ‘IHG OpenTable’

  6. Brighton Belle says:

    Yes, offer clicked, 2 Hilton bookings, each £125, £145, cumulately over £250.

    Amex offer triggered £50 off redemption and hit my account.

  7. 10000 points for the Salalah Hilton is still OK, £25 at my valuation and £33 at Rob’s.

  8. Andrew says:

    10k HH points for the Doubletree Sheffield is my personal favourite, some recently refitted rooms with with great walk in showers, decent bar and restaurant and onsite gym and pool

    • +1

    • Didnt realise it had a pool too, will have to check it out thanks 🙂

    • agree, choose it for my Diamond challenge atm, paid 10000 and get 7500 back with current promotion and HH Barclaycard offer is ridiculous. Also free drink reception 3 days a week if you’re gold or diamond.

      • Lee, what is the HH Barclaycard offer you mention?

      • Andrew Fitton says:

        Likewise on the diamond challenge

        They offer warm cookie on check in as well, however as i am allergic to nuts they swap it for a fruit bowl for me

        Small point admittedly but for a cheap points hotel with decent facilities it is a nice little touch

  9. Lottie says:

    I booked a table 10 days ago and still waiting for my points to post so will be interesting to see how long they take to arrive.

    • Genghis says:

      If I was designing the scheme I’d only post points once guests have dined, but who knows with IHG…

    • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

      Booked and dined on 03/02. Points credited 12/02.

  10. pauldb says:

    OT/ discussion points and duplicating from FT:

    There seems to be a new (more official) policy from BA that you can book the inbound leg of a 241 online at midnight then call the next day to have it repriced with half the avios recredited. Useful to know.

    Less clear but more interesting: it appears you retain 2 bookings and the cash element of the inbound is not adjusted into a return. This would matter if you’re returning from somewhere East: no YQ to pay ex-HKG (nearly £300pp saved) and less YQ from NRT, SYD and others. Even useful if you used it to some RFS destinations.

    • pauldb says:

      Sorry, saving ex-HKG £320 for 2.

    • That would be massively expensive heading to the US though where 2 x oneway taxes are vastly more than a return.

    • roberto says:

      Virgin adopted this last year. My Vegas and Barbados rewards trips were both priced as singles. The flexibility of this is nice as it would allow you to change (or cancel) the return even if the outbound has flow. The extra cost was not too steep but I was surprised that it had been Deltafied when I did them.

      However my last BA 241 booking on the 24th of Feb was priced as a return even though both legs were booked 13 days apart. Both legs are on the same booking reference so it appears that this rule has either only just come in or is a non-rule rule.

      • pauldb says:

        The BA bit depends how you book it: if you didn’t use the new option presumably you called in and then, yes, your one-way was changed into a return. But you now supposedly have the option of booking online a oneway inbound and then sorting out the half-avios rebate the next morning … only under that option might you be left with 2 booking and a different cash cost.

  11. Cate ⛱️ says:

    It was inevitable Hilton’s awards would rise given their amex’s earnings per dollar.

  12. I was looking forward to trying the Salalah property.
    I won’t bother now it has doubled in price.

  13. OT. Any recommendations for the best lounge in Singapore T1 accessible with lounge club?
    Many thanks

  14. Did anyone else have any difficulty booking with Hilton yesterday? I tried booking a hotel last night and got an error every time.

  15. LL has all of the Hilton 5k properties here… (newly updated)

  16. Scottydoggiom says:

    With regards to IHG points . I need an extra 12,000 points to book a 35,000 points reward room in a city where the hotel prices have shot up as there is horse racing on there that day .
    To buy 12,000 in the current sale will cost $81 so roughly £57
    Im thinking of using a ‘hack’ that i read about , booking a cheap cash room , then cancelling and getting the points as a refund . Ive found rooms for £49 , that when cancelled will get me 15,000 .
    Anyone have experience doing this and any hotels / countries / dates i should be looking at to make this as profittable as possible ?

    • You can do a ‘cash and points’ and cancel it. Pricing should be the same across all hotels although IHG has occasionally experimented with elasticity by running different options in different cities.

    • JamesB says:

      I think you misunderstand how it works, you are part paying with points you have and buying the remainder you need in chunks of 5k, 10k or 15k points for $40, $70 or $90 the last time I checked. When you cancel, youhet those chunks of points back instead of the cash you paid for them. To cover 12k points you need you need to do one 15k at $90 or two stays one each at 5k and 10k. Regardless of all that IIRC the 100% bonus works out slightly cheaper than the hack.

  17. Since self referring to different cards now seems to be possible, has anyone actually tried working it into their churning? I currently have BAPP and Platinum having done the PRG-Plat upgrade. Before I cancel Platinum, is it worth doing a self referral to SPG and getting 18k referral plus the 10k sign up on SPG? Afterwards then cancelling Plat and SPG for pro rata refund?

    • I’ve done it once so far successfully (BAPP to SPG) and have just referred myself for a Gold card from my BAPP today, so hopefully that will work as well.

    • roberto says:

      Someone mentioned in the comments earlier this week that the self refering from plat was their preferred option to gaining points. I can see that loop hole being closed PDQ as all you need to do is refer whoever, take the 18k reward , cancel the new card a week later and repeat. The sign up bonus becomes a non entity and your just pocketing an easy 18k for a BA and/or a SPG every time you churn.

      90K MR could be racked up very quickly ,however not something I would recommend for your credit score and a sure fire way to getting blacklisted from Amex.

  18. I have 13k of Hilton Points at the moment… Not sure what to do with it… Does anyone have a list of UK Hilton’s where it only costs 10k a room by any chance?

  19. O/T my club europe seat reservations, heathrow to glasgow, have been changed with no notification from BA, is this normal? I have a club europe domestic added on to a San francisco to LHR business class flight. I had 4 seats across row 2 booked, now I have been randomly allocated 4 seats over rows 3,4 & 5. BA cannot explain why they were changed, I was fobbed off with “operational changes”…..

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