Bits: 40% ‘buy Hyatt points’ bonus is a great Mallorca deal, large number of £1 Europcar rentals available

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News in brief:

40% bonus when you buy World of Hyatt points means a good Mallorca deal

Until 23rd May, Hyatt is offering a 40% bonus when you buy World of Hyatt points via this link.

This is as big as World of Hyatt bonuses get.  It is also the most generous, with the full 40% bonus kicking in with a purchase of just 10,000 points.  Last time they offered 40% it only kicked in at 30,000 points.

It comes after a turbulent time for the loyalty programme, with its CEO leaving amid much criticism of the new benefits package and ludicrously high (given Hyatt’s small footprint) qualification requirements.

The deal is obviously worth a look if you need to top up your account.  It may also be worthwhile if considering a stay in a top tier Park Hyatt such as the ones in Paris or Sydney, where buying the points may be cheaper than paying cash.

The bonus is staggered:

30% bonus on purchases of 5,000 to 9,000 points

40% bonus on purchases of 10,000+ points (the annual cap is 55,000 points pre bonus)

At the top end, you are paying $1,320 for 77,000 points (55,000 plus a 22,000 bonus).  That works out at 1.71c – or 1.22p – per point.

Park Hyatt Mallorca is a great way to use this

The new Park Hyatt resort in Mallorca is a location where buying points may make sense.   Prices for cash are still a little scary – rooms from Euro 484 (£422) in August 2018, or Euro 550 (£480) if you want a cancellable one.  A redemption at 20,000 points per night (£244) would be a great deal.

But …. it gets even better.

For the first time since it opened, Park Hyatt Mallorca is offering ‘points and cash’ rooms in August.  Instead of paying €484 or 20,000 points per night, you can book for 10,000 points plus €114 per night.

This takes the cost per night down to (£122 for 10,000 points plus £99 for the €114 element) £221 per night.  More importantly, it means that you can book a full week using the maximum 77,000 points you can buy under this offer.

£221 per night for a 50 sq m room in a brand new 5-star resort in Mallorca in August is an outstanding deal.  The Park Hyatt is actually fairly cheap for cash at £480 per night because it is still new – the St Regis Mardavall is €800 (£700) per night for a cancellable room in the same week.

The Hyatt ‘buy points’ site is here.

Save 50% of Park Hyatt Mallorca by buying points

Europcar vastly increases the number of £1 car rentals available!

This is one of those odd little deals which has been running for a while – at least two years – but which you won’t know about if you are a new reader, and may well have forgotten about otherwise.

Europcar offers one-way UK car rentals for a flat fee of £1, including basic insurance.  Most are for trips to Heathrow or Gatwick.

This is not a marketing ploy.  The company is trying to save itself money by using you as free labour to get cars back to their original location or to re-allocate vehicles across sites.  Why pay a truck to haul a vehicle across the country when you can find someone willing to pay you £1 for the privilege?!

The Europcar £1 rental page is here (this may not work on mobile).

Historically availability under this deal has been spotty.  In the last few days, it seems that literally hundreds of vehicles have been added and are available for booking.

You need to pay for petrol, of course, so this is not necessarily cheaper than taking the train.  You also need to complete the journey within 24 hours of when you collect the car, and of course you need to get yourself to your nearest Europcar depot in the first place.  That said, I’m sure there are occasions when this could work out nicely.

(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.)

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Comments

  1. Crafty says:

    OT: Flying BA F from JFK tomorrow. No status, no priority pass nor currently active Amex Plat. BA app says F lounge closed.

    Do we really have to go to Club Galleries as they direct, or does our F ticket give us any better alternatives?

    • If the Concorde Room is open (not sure if that was being refurbished) you should go there. The F lounge is for Gold Card holders, not passengers flying F.

  2. O/T new SPG at the o2 have been released, pretty wide ranging concerts from the muppets, iron maiden to Britney spears.

  3. Anybody know of a Europcar which is open on a Sunday (and therefore doesn’t charge a £60 admin fee for picking it up outside office hours)? I have a flight on Monday 23rd July, and would like to do one of these one-way rentals to avoid a parking charge for a week, if possible.

    • What area

      • I’ve generally found it’s the airport stations that are open all week, but I’ve noticed these are only ever drop-off’s on the £1 deal, never available for pick-ups. You will find July is too far into the future to find cars anyway – you can generally only find them 4 weeks in advance (at least in my experience).

        By the way – is it just me or is their website/script really slow?

        • yes very slow!

        • Londonsteve says:

          Agree the website is ultra slow. Does anyone know why only airport drop-offs are permitted, never collections? Does the manufacture undertake to deliver cars to a location of their choosing but will only collect from airports?

    • Lady London says:

      Gatwick (at times only at one of the 2 terminals, but it’s only a short train ride to the other one) and Heathrow are reliable 24-hrs mostly for car rentals. I think these rentals are from other places and you’re intended to pick up at the remote location and drop at the airport. Not the other way round.

      Also so far as I can recall on the one way deals they only give you a specified length of time usually 1 or possibly 2 days to drop the car at the other end. So even if they allow a week you might be paying 5 days. 5 days usually costs the same as a week btw most of the time.

  4. RussellH says:

    OT:- Amex puzzle

    Yesterday I hit my spend target (£1000) for my BA Amex; I got 5000 Avios credited, not the 6000 expected for being referred. Phoned Amex and they said I had already received the 1000 bonus back in March, a month ago, when I had only done about half the spend.
    In March I needed to book a room via AirBNB – my sister gave me her AirBNB referral link, which she told me might give me a discount – sadly it did not as the cost of the room was not high enough. I paid using my BA Amex; when the Avios came through there was a bonus 1000 Avios on the AirBNB transaction marked ” Additional `Refer a Friend¿ bonus Avios”. At the time, I assumed that this was an AirBNB / Amex offer, since I had been referred to AirBNB .
    However, when I complained to Amex CS that I was missing the 1000 for hitting the spend target, they insisted that I had already received them – they insist that the bonus Avios I received with the AirBNB booking were the additional bonus for spending £1000, even though it was long before I had qualified for them.

    Anyone else seen something like this?? Am I missing 1000 Avios? Or was it a pure coincidence that I had been referred for AirBNB and my 1000 Avios really did turn up at exactly the same time, only after spending £500?

    • Andi F says:

      This sounds like pure coincidence – this is exactly how my last couple of bonuses for the referral have posted.

    • Relaxo says:

      Whats the puzzle here? You are not missing any avios…..the 1000 with your ABB transaction would be the referal bonus. Any Airbnb referal credit would only be a £ discount off your booking total……Nothing to do with Avios…..

      • RussellH says:

        Thanks both.
        I just assumed that as I got a bonus 1000 Avios marked refer a friend from AirBNB that it was from AirBNB, given that I was nowhere near qualifying for any bonus from Amex.
        Previous referral bonuses from Amex have always posted as part of the transaction that took me over the threshhold, with the main bonus separately on the same date.
        So the puzzle is why did Amex pay a bonus when I was only halfway to the spend target!

        • JamesB says:

          This is the way amex typically post the referral bonuses now Russell as others state. I like it as it is usually a good indication things are working as they should

  5. Mzungu says:

    O/T Planning to transfer my Avios from Iberia Plus to BAEC before my Avios account closure in about 4 weeks (I have about 2k left there). Just realised that I was nearly up to 2000 eReward points, which would convert to 750 Avios with Iberia (best conversion rate). So I quickly got my eRewards balance up to 2000, and sent 750 Avios to Iberia. The acknowledgement says that they will take 6-8 weeks to post!! So:
    – Does anyone have any experience of posting time from eRewards > Iberia? Might they arrive before the Avios closure?
    – Should I transfer the 2k anyway and risk the 750 being orphaned? (can you transfer any amounts, or are there fixed multiples?)
    – Any other strategy yet for transferring from Iberia > BAEC yet? I’m assuming others will have Avios stuck in Iberia in the future, so maybe they’ll have to fix the transfer… I’ve only succeeded going via Avios so far.
    All suggestions gratefully received 🙂

    • RussellH says:

      I have regularly transferred 2000 e-Rewards points to Iberia – usually takes around seven to ten days, but has been as much as a month. Never as long as the 6-8 weeks as per the Ts+Cs.

      You should be able to transfer any number of Avios from Iberia to BA; I have often transferred dribs and drabs. I think my last transfer was just 16 Avios. I do wonder whether or not I should leave a couple in the Iberia a/c though.

      I have never had any problem transferring directly between Iberia + BA, either direction, using either the IB or the BA website (apart from the period around the closure announcement of avios.com, whenall sorts of things were going on).
      I do not use the same e-mail address for IB and BA either, though the domain is the same.
      Also, since splitting our avios.com household a/c I have not had problems moving from avios to BA either, and that is on a completely different e-mail address, different domain too.

      • Mzungu says:

        Thanks RussellH.

        Useful to know the that eRewards transfer could happen in time to transfer via Avios. I’ve always had to do that, it never worked directly. Sounds like you’ve been one of the lucky ones!

        I’ll try the direct transfer first, just in case it decides to work this time – it would be good if it does.

        H

    • Lady London says:

      Are miles left in Iberia seriously going to be orphaned? Did I miss something?

  6. Andrew says:

    OT (and perhaps a little niche!): Currency strategy for Antigua – any recommendations or tips?

    I am hoping to put the majority of my spend through the Lloyds Amex/MasterCard and take as little cash as possible. I’ve heard various things:
    – you can get better rates exchanging GBP for ECD while over there,
    – it’s often better to use USD in touristy places and ECD in local places.
    – there’s something on immigration about having sufficient money for your stay.

    Any truth in any of those? I’m guessing the immigration one is not particularly enforced and a wallet full of credit cards would pass the test?

    Thanks for any advice!

    • We we’re in Antigua in November. From experience, only big hotels accept amex. They’re not keen on credit cards and so apart from our hotel every time we used the Hilton Visa to pay for anything there was a surcharge added.

      Took £ and US$ out with us. US$ widely accepted. Then changed some £ to local currency when we realised we didn’t have enough cash.

      • *were not we’re

        • Andrew says:

          Thanks Tilly. Guess buckets of USD it is then. So glad sterling always crashes before my transatlantic trips! Any advice on a rough budget per person per day? Lunch and dinner, irresponsible levels of booze, and one activity say?

        • Lol. We were all inclusive at our resort and as it was a very very nice one we had no need to purchase any food or drinks out. Even the excursions we took on a few of the days had meals and drinks included so I’m afraid I can’t really help much there. So we only used cash and Visa to pay for excursions and give tips.

        • To add, for 1 week we took I think it was 3 excursions, helicopter over to Montserrat, catamaran trip for day sailing all the way around the island with snorkelling and a private day tour of the island. Deposits were all paid in cash with balances paid on Hilton Visa card. IIRC the excursions cost us around £650 – £700.

  7. Mac326 says:

    O/T

    Travelling to Gran Canaria shortly for a week, and want to rent a car. Any recommendations for any agencies over there? All the reviews I read on the internet make it seem like car rental firms are these sadistic outfits inflicting scam upon scam on customers…

    Unfortunately I only have Amex Gold so I was planning on getting 3rd party excess insurance as I usually don’t go for the expensive and intense upsells. Any recommendations on this much appreciated as well.

    Thanks.

    • Daniel Macdonald says:

      Autoreisen every time. Google it.

      More expensive but zero excess and return full.

      Avoid goldcar like the plague….

      Seriously.

      • Have found Goldcar pretty good so far. Unbelievably cheap as well 😉

      • +1
        With Autoreisen in Tenerife the cars are never as new as the Hertz/Europcar etc, but the zero excess is peace of mind (actually I always get fuel like-for-like – not return full).

        But the best with Autoreisen is the free cancellation and you don’t have to pay until you get there.
        So I make a booking as soon as I have travel plans, then keep an eye out every few weeks. If I find the price is lower, I make a new reservation, and type in the comments to please cancel the original booking, and reference the original confirmation. Always receive email back confirming within 24-48 hours.

    • We’ve had policy from iCarHireinsurance – never had to call on it so can’t say how well it would work if needed. About £40 for 12 months. We’ve never had a car hire company say it’s not valid.

    • I would also recommend Autoreisen plus if you have kiddies free child seats or boosters.

    • Waribai says:

      Only one company I use in the Canaries these days https://www.cicar.com/EN
      Local firm not a franchise so their reputation is important to them. Also, they never try an up sell on insurance.
      While all the global brands have a large queue, cicar are always a safe bet to have you out of the airport in no time.
      Can you not upgrade to AMEX plat for the duration of your holiday? I’ve never been charged when upgrading and you get a nice points bonus too!

  8. OT – hotel choice
    Planning a trip this summer to Tokyo and Singapore for first time, found two hotels on AMEX FHR with third nigh free offer. They seems really good on TripAdvisor, just need some insider opinions from HFPers, thanks!
    Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong
    Conrad, Tokyo

    • I have Hilton Diamond if that help

    • Darren says:

      Do you mean MO Singapore? The Hong Kong property is very good, as is The Landmark in Hong Kong which is also an MO.

      In Singapore I like The Fullerton Bay Hotel but the MO gets mixed reviews (never stayed myself).

      I’m sure others will help with Tokyo.

      • thanks Darren, we are looking at Hong Kong MO

        • Darren says:

          Its a very nice place and 3rd night free is good, its a pretty regular offer (3rd or 4th night free depending on the property).

          If you have F&B credit I would recommend using it at Amber in the Landmark, the weekend lunch option is extremely good value.

    • We had a great stay at conrad tokyo as hilton gold – no upgrade but a phenomenal free breakfast, a really nice standard room and a fantastic pool.

      In terms of location – it’s good if you want to do some high-end shopping in Ginza, but it’s not the best location for exploring other parts of Tokyo. It’s not in the most walkable part of the city. We started off our trip staying somewhere cheap in Shibuya which was a bit better situated for exploring (but YMMV depending on where you want to go and how much money you want to spend)

      • we will stay for 3 nights and mixed of shopping and exploring, it’s good value with pay 2 for 3 nights though

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