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Bits: Emirates revamps its family accounts, free Happy Socks for Virgin passengers, Opodo flight discount codes

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News in brief:

Emirates launches a new style of family account

Most people don’t realise that the British Airways style of family or household account is actually very rare.  Few other airlines let you pool 100% of the miles earned by your wider friends and family.

Until now, Emirates had a family policy that could best be described as a token gesture.  Your family were allowed to credit their miles to your account, but only at a rate of 20%!  All of the other miles were lost.

You had the situation where, for example, you and your three family members could earn 10,000 Skywards miles each from a particular flight, or one person could earn 16,000 miles (10,000 + 2,000 + 2,000 + 2,000).  Hmmm …..

Emirates has now launched a new family programme called My Family You can find the details here.  And it is just as weird.

Up to eight family members can come together.  They do need to be family and there is a list of acceptable relationships.  You open a new My Family account and, going forward, you can agree that either 25%, 50%, 75% or 100% of your miles earned from flying go into the pooled My Family pot.

You can see the snags here:

You cannot pool your existing miles

You cannot pool future miles earned from non-flying activity

This means that you are likely to continue to have a small balance in your own personal account which is at risk of expiry

It is interesting to see Emirates taking a fresh look at family account structuring, but I’m really not sure this approach is much better than the previous one.  The British Airways model is clean and simple.  You can learn more about My Family here.

How to earn Emirates Skywards miles via UK credit cards

As a reminder, Emirates no longer has its own UK credit card.  However, you can earn Emirates Skywards points 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 Emirates Skywards miles.  The cards above all earn 1 Membership Rewards point per £1 spent on your card, which converts to 1 Emirates Skywards miles.

Emirates My Family account

Free Happy Socks for Virgin Atlantic customers

The socks which are often given out as part of business class amenity kits are generally dreadful.  I don’t think anyone would deny that.

Virgin Atlantic has teamed up with trendy sock retailer Happy Socks to launch a substantially upgraded model – see below:

Unfortunately these will not be available to everyone.  They are only going to be given to passengers flying in Upper Class on selected ex-airberlin A330-200 aircraft (probably as a trade off for not having an Upper Class bar!).  They will be available to purchase via in-flight retail by all other passengers.

PS. Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Virgin Flying Club miles.  That page is regularly updated with the latest special offers and will still be accurate even if you are reading this article months after publication.

New Opodo flight and flight + hotel discount codes

Opodo has launched two new discount codes, valid until tommorow, 1st June.

SAVINGS30 gives £30 off a £450 flight booking departing the UK

SAVINGS80 gives £80 off an £800 ‘flight and hotel’ booking departing the UK

Book on Opodo here.

(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.)

How to get a 35% bonus on your Membership Rewards balance - but why it isn't always a great idea
Something I never knew: VERY low-tax AA redemptions with Avios from Spain
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  1. Jamie says:

    I don’t get the point of socks on flights, at least in business class…slippers rule.

  2. Chris says:

    OT: Has anyone else had success with the Harrods £30 back for spending £100 when buying a gift card? If so, was it online or in-store? TIA

    • Mikee says:

      Purchased online recently and triggered the £30. Have also done the same instore previously with the same result.

      • Thanks for confirming Mikee! Was looking to buy some before cancelling Plat card but hadn’t got a chance to go instore. Will buy online instead now.

        • Ammar says:

          Reading the T&C – you may have to wait 90 days post end of offer for the moneys, so not sure if you downgrade/cancel Platinum whether you will get it?

  3. Mark2 says:

    Many of you will have the Amex £5 wys £50 offer at Esso especially on BAPP.

    If you find an Esso station which has Tesco Express attached you can get this offer on gift cards including Tesco’s own which can be used at Tesco stores and petrol stations. So you can buy a gift card at Esso and get 12p per litre off at Tesco. Or get 10% off gift cards for Amazon, Waitrose etc.

    • the real harry1 says:

      Our Esso offer is on our Gold cards. Even if your local Esso isn’t a Tesco Express, you still get Tesco clubcard points if you get your clubcard scanned.

    • ankomonkey says:

      I thought Tesco stopped accepting gift cards for petrol about a month ago…

      • Mark2 says:

        I used one yesterday.
        They have stopped accepting gift cards that they did not sell e.g. reloadable sold by SVM

        • ankomonkey says:

          Thanks. Useful to know the distinction. I suspect many of their staff don’t know it…

      • Yes, I posted about this a week or so ago – they’ve stopped accepting corporate ones, which unfortunately includes those sold by Zeek. I believe ones bought personally in-store should still work.

      • lev441 says:

        There was a sign up at my now new local tesco PFS saying gift cards are no longer accepted, however the one by my work is still accepting them.

        I think i’ve got two £50 vouchers left from the last time the esso promo was on at the back end of last year!

    • Dave Barron says:

      Good call – thanks 🙂

    • Faithy says:

      If you want £100 of gift cards, do you need to make 2 separate purchases of £50 each or do you get £5 for each £50 spent?

      • Mark2 says:

        I would be amazed if you got more than one statement credit for a purchase.
        I did each of three £50 separately but with the same card and got three emails.

      • lev441 says:

        Yes, split into 2 purchases and you’ll get £10

    • Alex W says:

      I’m getting really cheesed off with this. Not had any of these decent amex offers for months maybe even years.

  4. OT: Can anyone advise on creating a BA household account for two people, each of whom have 2-4-1 vouchers?

    I have been doing a points inventory in advance of my honeymoon next summer. We will need roughly 200k avios for our flights, and seeing as me and my fiance each have about 100k, it would be great if we could draw from both accounts, while using a 2-4-1. I’d then be able to spend my MR stockpile on the hotels.

    Any problems with this approach? Anything to watch out for?

    • Genghis says:

      There’s nothing to say really. It works as you expect with your points pooled and when anyone in the household account makes a redemption, the points come on a pro-rata basis in terms of existing points balances from the respective individual pots. The only thing is that you cannot then make a booking for anyone not on your friends and family list but not an issue for most.

      • Great, thanks Genghis. Was a bit gutted to miss the cutoff for creating household account so I’m glad that the BA version seems to meet our needs.

        And there’s no problem having two 241s in one household account?

        • Genghis says:

          No problems whatsoever. Simply the 241 you want to use, make the booking from that BA acct. You didn’t miss anything with the HHA. We never had one. It just made transfers more difficult

  5. Fraser says:

    I also got a free pair of branded Happy Socks last month as part of my Accor Gold welcome gift at the Novotel in Bruges. Must be becoming a thing!

  6. kovacsi76 says:

    Going to LHR T5 on Saturday around 5am and flying out around 7am on BA business class ticket, no status and no other lounge passes: Which lounges would be available to us, and which one(s) should we visit?
    Flying back from CPH next Saturday/Sunday afternoon on same ticket, Any tips about lounges there?

    Many thanks,

    • Only choice option are the 2 BA Galleries Club lounges in the main terminal or, if long haul, Galleries Club in the B satellite which the quietest of the lot.

    • Craig says:

      Galleries in T5B is quieter, there is a transit walkway that you can use to return to T5A or continue to T5C if needed. If I’m flying from A, have the time and don’t have lots of baggage then I take this option. There’s an article on FT about it.

    • kovacsi76 says:

      Thanks for the replies. We’re only flying short haul, does that mean we can’t use the T5B lounge, or was it just mentioned for logistic/timing reasons? Last time we flew to GOT, it did depart from T5B.

  7. Does one knows how long the status match will last from SPG Gold to Marriott Gold (i.e. the Expiry Date of Marriott Gold)

    PS: Thanks for answering my question on Hotel Redemption yesterday.

    • Ends in August, because that is when the new scheme launches. You will get them status in the new scheme, but if you only get Gold (and it seems you will) the benefits will be a lot worse than the current Marriott Gold benefits.

      • Thanks

      • Alex W says:

        I’m getting really cheesed off with this. Not had any of these decent amex offers for months maybe even years. Rob, email received from Marriott today implies status is based purely on nights, therefore instead of gold I’ll get no status whatsoever!

  8. Craig says:

    Cancelled my gold card a few months ago and upgraded to platinum this week. Added a supplementary card holder onto the account to find that the old supplementary cardholder on the gold card has been readded. I have missed out on 5,000 points and been charged £170 for a 2nd supp card. Amex customer service web chat not much use and cancelled the 2nd card with a pro-rata refund. I don’t think they really understand the seriousness that they have issued a card to someone without my authorisation. Luckily it was my partner and not an Ex! I’m sure I read somewhere else on a previous post that this happened to them. Maybe a glitch on Amex systems? I know the gold supp was definitely cancelled as it deactivated on Apple Pay.

  9. OT bit…


    50% off all WT redemptions booked in the next two weeks (travel Sep-May). Details on (exec club pages). Usual TFC apply.

  10. Optimus Prime says:

    OT – Etihad introducing dynamic award pricing as of 30th June 2018.

  11. Andrew says:

    OT: does the BA 24 hour cooling off period apply to RFS too? Or will I still get charged the £35 fee? Thanks in advance.

    • Yep applies to RFS as well as paid-for bookings. There may be a telephone service fee charge for non-Gold, but if the website doesn’t let you cancel they should waive this.

    • the_real_a says:

      The policy is actually extended past 24 hours if your local “service center” is closed which saved my skin a couple of times.

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