Bits: 2400 Avios with £50 of toys, Etihad dropping Edinburgh?, massive Nectar shake up

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News in brief:

2,400 Avios or 2,500 Virgin miles with £50 of toys

Tesco Direct has brought back another generous bonus promotion on toys.   Specifically, on Play-Doh, My Little Pony, Nerf and Hasbro board games.

Until 8th April you will get:

  • 500 extra Clubcard points (1,200 Avios or 1,250 Virgin miles) when you spend £25
  • 1,000 extra Clubcard points (2,400 Avios or 2,500 Virgin miles) when you spend £50

Full details are on Shopper Points here.  There is also a 25% discount on selected board games which doubles up with this offer.

Etihad dropping services from Edinburgh

Etihad dropping services from Edinburgh?

The Scotsman has reported that Etihad is planning to drop services from Edinburgh from October.

The service is believed to have been performing poorly.  Pressure from Qatar Airways, which is upgrading their Edinburgh route to an A350 from October, and from the upcoming Hainan Airlines Beijing service is also believed to have contributed.  The report has yet to be confirmed by Etihad and at present flights can still be booked for November onwards.

How to earn Etihad Guest miles via UK credit cards

As a reminder, Etihad no longer has its own UK credit card.  However, you can earn Etihad Guest miles by converting Membership Rewards points earned from selected UK American Express cards.  These are:

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold – 10,000 Membership Rewards points sign-up bonus

The Platinum Card from American Express – 30,000 Membership Rewards points sign-up bonus

American Express Rewards credit card – up to 5,000 Membership Rewards points sign-up bonus

Membership Rewards points convert at 1:1 into Etihad Guest miles.  The cards above all earn 1 Membership Rewards point per £1 spent on your card, which converts to 1 Etihad Guest mile.

Etihad Guest is also a partner with the HSBC Premier Mastercard (0.5 miles per £1 spent, reviewed here) and HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard (1 mile per £1 spent, reviewed here).

Massive Nectar shake-up being trialled

With Anika in a Business Premier seat on her way to Amsterdam for the inaugural Eurostar service, I put my Shopper Points hat on yesterday and headed over to the Sainsbury’s head office on Holborn to hear about their plans for Nectar.

Regular HFP readers will remember that Sainsbury’s bought the business from Aimia back in February.

A trial is launching on the Isle of Wight today.  The plan is very radical – no more base points (no more ‘1 point per £1’) but a massive push into giving bonus points on specific products.  This will be fully tailored via a new Nectar app.  The full article is on Shopper Points here.

What is relevant for HFP readers – in the context of airline loyalty – is why Sainsbury’s is making these changes.

Whilst there was obviously an element of PR in how it was presented to us, the bottom line is that Sainsbury’s wants to reward EVERYONE who actively chooses them.

They don’t just care how much you spend.  Someone who spends all of their £30 weekly food budget at Sainsbury’s should be treated better than someone who spends 30% of a £200 budget.  Algorithms will now rank you based on how long you have been a Sainsbury’s shopper, how often you visit them, how much you spend and (presumably by comparing your basket to a typical ‘full shop’) how much of your weekly spend you are giving them.  The higher you score, the better deals you will get.

Compare this to what we are likely to see from British Airways Executive Club, and have already seen this year from Miles & More and Flying Blue.  Increased rewards for big spenders (even though it is their employer who is paying, and the employer may have a BA route deal which locks in the passenger) and decreased rewards for low spenders, even though leisure travellers and SME owners have a genuine choice over who they book with …..

(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.)

Bits: BA and Accor Economist promos, Heathrow Rewards transfer bonus, Avios gender pay gap
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Comments

  1. mark2 says:

    It would be interesting to see what Sainsbury’s make of an analysis of my purchases there. Every six weeks or so I buy a load of coffee and some compostable food waste bin liners.

  2. Andrew says:

    “Someone who spends all of their £30 weekly food budget at Sainsbury’s should be treated better than someone who spends 30% of a £200 budget”

    Isn’t this missing rather an important aspect of loyalty schemes? Offer lots of bonus offers to the £30 spend customer and the best return you’re ever going to get is £30. Offer bonuses to the 30% of £200 customer and you can potentially capture the other 70%. While I can understand the good intentions behind the approach I can see it being tossed aside as soon as someone runs the numbers.

    • Yes. From that point of view they are approaching it differently to Tesco, who tend believe that their Gold should be to get a little bit more from EVERY customer.

      This should, of course, also be the BA perspective. If every Blue member of BAEC spent an extra 10% with BA it would dwarf the impact of throwing a few extra Avios to fully flex ticket holders. They have this obsession with courting investment bankers whose fully-flex tickets are bought on an airline they can’t choose anyway due to a corporate deal …. (I was such a person for a long time, nothing against bankers in general!).

      • We have the opposite policy……we can book pretty much any airline except BA (Need to get special clearance to fly BA). Will make do with the very good ANA service when I am off to Tokyo on Saturday.

        The policy does provide good opportunity to sample some of the offerings on airlines that I would not otherwise fly (e.g. Jet Airways, Garuda), but not so helpful with Avios collection.

  3. AlanC says:

    I see that Norwegian also making cutbacks at EDI on US flights according to the Edinbrgh Evening News.
    O/T IHG
    Will food and beverage spend on a non qualifying points stay count towards a $40 Accelerate challenge?

    • Roger I* says:

      Not in my case.

      We stayed at the Helsinki airport H Inn on a Pointbreak stay a week ago, bought dinner and breakfast, but so far only the 500 points welcome has posted and the Accelerate score is unchanged.

  4. I hope the Sainsbury’s changes don’t happen. I’ve just moved my weekly shop business there from Waitrose because Waitrose ended the PYO scheme which worked well for me. I didn’t want the faff of using coupons. Similarly, there is no way I am going to be wasting time clicking through weekly offers on an app.

    • Tim W says:

      Just shows what works for some doesn’t for others. I didn’t like the faff of Waitrose PYO so never used it. However the vouchers received since they scrapped the PYO have already saved over £100.

      • Fenny says:

        I’ve not had any Waitrose vouchers in the post since last September. I’ve had a couple of till spits, which were valid for less than a week. £4 off £40 expiring midweek 3 days hence is of no use to me, as I’m not carting £40 of shopping home from work.

  5. Fenny says:

    I have a Waitrose and a Tesco 15 minutes walk from home (5 mins from work). My nearest Sainsburys is 12 miles away. I occasionally shop there if I’ve been to the cinema and I need something on the way home, or the car needs a wash. I go to Waitrose most days at lunchtime to get coffee, so buy most of my “weekly” shop in bits that can be carried home easily. So it sounds as though any offers I might get from Sainsburys will be slightly less useful than 1 point per £1 spent!

  6. Gerry says:

    Flew with Etihad last year into EDI with a packed Business Class and very busy Economy. Shame they are pulling out, but with their recent cutbacks and the excellent service on B787 and A350 from Qatar out of Edinburgh it is little wonder. Adding to that the arrival of Hainan to Beijing ex-EDI, something had to give.

    • Erico1875 says:

      Maybe the way forward is splitting the load I.e EDI and DUB as Hainan have done.
      When etihad and Qatar arrived. I thought Turkish would pull out but they seem to be doing ok

      • JamesB says:

        TK check in has always been packed when I was there at the time. I believe TK also has significantly more destinations than any other airline so that probably helps too, and at times their fares are very competitive.

        • But JamesB do you know anyone who has flown TK from EDI? I dont or they weren’t willing to confess.

          I also presume, ironically, if we fly from EDI with Hainan we can collect and redeem our Etihad miles through them. Can anyone confirm?

        • JamesB says:

          Everybody in check in line I guess but I didn’t stop to see if anybody I knew was trying to hide in there 🙂 Only thing that has put me off is the relatively long sector to IST on a737 compared to an hour to AMS for a KLM connection.

  7. Also regarding the proposed charging of different amounts of Avios on different (i.e. on the more popular for travelling) dates BA tried that before about 8 or 10 years ago (when a lot of their marketing for this idea was all in yellow) but withdrew it within a year as their marketing people quite clearly found collectors of Avios didn”t like the uncertainty of not knowing how many Avios they had to collect to take a particular journey. Additionally I still don”t understand why BA now offers such an appalling deal (because they refuse to offer an equivalent of Reward Saver for journeys beyond the old Zone 3) for using Avios long haul in World Traveller due to the fuel charges = precisely the same as other airlines cheapest cash fares ripoff. Surely they must have unsold inventory in World Traveller on many routes Off Peak so why on earth don”t they want Avios collectors to book these unsold World Traveller tickets?

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