Bits: Venice lounge joins Priority Pass, 20% off F&F railcards, that Facebook / Amex / Hilton competition

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News in brief:

Marco Polo Club at Venice joins Priority Pass

The Marco Polo Club airport lounge at Venice has (re)joined Priority Pass.

I have used this lounge numerous times as a British Airways status cardholder.  The main benefit is the size – it is big.  That said, I always found it fairly crowded in peak season because some US airlines run long-haul flights to Venice with a lot of premium passengers.  The decor is poor and food limited, although one comment  below suggests things have changed since I was last there in August.

It is also available to anyone with a free Lounge Club pass from their American Express Preferred Rewards Gold card or a Mastercard World Elite LoungeKey pass.  You can get two free Priority Pass cards, each admitting two people to a participating lounge, with the American Express Platinum charge card.

Marco Polo lounge Venice airport

20% off Friends & Family Railcards

Until 30th March, in time for the school holidays, you can save 20% on a Friends & Family Railcard.   You need to buy via the Railcards website here and use code EST20GA.

The price will drop from £30 to £24.  The card will save you 33% of adult rail journeys in standard class and 60% off for accompanying children.

That Hilton / Amex / Facebook competition ….

On 3rd March I wrote about a competition Hilton was running on Facebook which was exclusive to Amex Platinum cardholders.   The article generated a lot of comments because the entry form was so scruffy that a lot of people thought it was a scam until I got hold of the original ad.

The entry criteria were so restrictive that I was pretty sure a HFP reader would win – and I was right.  The prize was a sleepover at the McLaren Technology Centre in a Hilton Hotels & Resorts bed and viewing of the Australian grand prix.

That’s the good news.  The bad news is that the winner wanted to bring his 9-year old nephew.  Amex / Hilton refused – even though there was no age restriction in the rules, except that the entrant had to be over 18 – because there would be “alcohol branding” on display.  No compensation has been offered.  As the father of a 10-year old, that the fact that my daughter may see “alcohol branding” on display at any event we attend has never caused me any overt concern …..

PS.  Above is a photo from the last daytime Hilton tour of the McLaren Technology Centre, where 80% of the guests were HFP readers.  Note the children in the picture.

PPS.  As per the comments below, the replacement winner is also a HFP reader!

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  1. o/t – a quick thank-you to all on here.

    Just back from our first real HFP inspired holiday. We managed to cram in these offers…

    £50 off £200 on Amex travel (EK economy flights)
    5 nights points redemption at Habtoor Grand. (5 nights for price of 4)
    Amex plat for SPG Gold = Marriott gold = executive lounge (breakfast, afternoon tea and free alcoholic drinks 6-8pm)
    Upgrade to 1 bedroom club suite.
    Held on to plat a little longer than needed to use airport lounges in UK and DXB.
    Travel insurance through platinum also.
    Curve card used everywhere in Dubai, linked to Hilton Visa.

    After all of the above, my favourite achievement was using Deliveroo (with signup bonus) for Five Guys delivery to the pool for lunch – cheaper than a single cheese toastie at the pool bar!

    Thanks again to all – now for planning the next one!

  2. OT: I need £500 more spend on BAPP to trigger my 241 voucher. Q1. any good MS ideas? I’m thinking oyster topup and supermarket gift cards… Q2. if the purchase that triggered the voucher is refunded after voucher is triggered, would the 241 voucher be revoked? Thanks!

    • I don’t know about the refund but I suspect there will be something in place to stop people doing this deliberately. You might just go into minus avios for next time. Not sure what they would do if you’d already used the voucher!

      A good way of hitting your target – if your council takes PayPal it’s a new council tax year in 10 days. Otherwise gift cards for shops you use a lot (or Amazon top ups), or buy Xmas & birthday presents in advance.

      • There aren’t many good sources of MS in this country. I don’t know if anyone has had any success with buying gold (not jewellery) and re-selling it when the price goes up? I know you can buy relatively small amounts as an investment but i’m not confident enough to do it!

    • No, not revoked. However if the refund goes into your new card year then it increases the spend needed next year, so you would have a £10500 target and not £10000.

    • Darren says:

      I triggered a 241 a couple of months early when I had a refund, then paid for something but the refund was not taken into account. So yes it’s possible but not in the spirit of it.

    • Not sure if you have kids or not but parentpay works for me. I top it up using my amex and use it to pay school lunches, school trips etc. Only good if your school uses it though 🙂

  3. OT
    I want to travel LON-NYC on BA.

    I have 40k amex points and 3k avios. I’ve not bought any points. My flights will be a shade over £1k for 2 people in economy. Can anybody suggest the cheapest way to book these flights?


    • Simon before you commit at those prices for economy check Dublin to US as prices in economy can be very low. You can use your Avios for RFS to Dublin.

  4. Scott Lawrie says:

    We were in the Marco Polo Lounge earlier this month and found it to be great. I think it’s maybe had a bit of a refurb since last year.
    Food wasn’t Michelin star quality like in some lounges but did the job.

  5. OT but carrying on the conversation about TripAdvisor Rentals – has anyone used these? Have seen some interesting deals on villa/condo/apartment at popular holiday destinations.

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