Bits: last day to buy Hilton points with a bonus, 1p Avios Groupon deal update, Curve / Tesco credit card problem

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News in brief:

Last day to buy Hilton Honors points with a bonus

TODAY (Thursday) is the last day to get a 100% bonus when you purchase 5,000+ Hilton Honors points.  This is the highest bonus we have seen for quite a while.

The Hilton ‘buy points’ page is here.

Regular readers of Head for Points will know that I tend to value Hilton points at 0.3p each.  You are paying 0.35p here (the maximum is $800 / £570 for 160,000 – although some people have been offered a higher annual cap) so it isn’t a slam dunk.

Five star Hilton, Conrad and Waldorf-Astoria hotels typically run to 80,000 points per night.  In this sale you would be paying $400 for 80,000 points.  You will rarely find a cash room higher than that but it does happen.

However, Hilton Honors IS a decent deal at cheaper point levels.   To dig out my ‘usual suspect’ examples, the Hampton by Hilton in Sheffield, for example, is 10,000 points per night on most nights.  At 0.35p per point you would be paying roughly £35 per night if you bought the points.  That is a 65% discount on the typical nightly rate of £100.  Hampton properties include free breakfast as well.

If you just buying a handful of points to top off your account, the price per point doesn’t matter anyway.  If you are a few thousand short of a redemption then this is a decent opportunity to buy them.

How to earn Hilton Honors points via UK credit cards

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Hilton Honors points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Hilton Honors points.  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.

Avios / Groupon Ireland deal update

If you were thinking of picking up some cheap Avios (around 1p) via the new Groupon Ireland offer, note that the cheapest package (2,000 Avios for roughly 0.7p each) sold out on Tuesday.

The remaining five packages are still available and you can buy up to 82,000 points at an average of 1.0p.

If you are having issues creating an Aer Club account, a comment below suggests a) not putting a space between the two parts of your postcode and b) under the mobile box, putting just two digits in the first box and the rest in the second one.  It seems to help!

My original article on the deal is here.  The relevant Groupon Ireland page is here.

Curve and Tesco Bank

Curve hits a problem with Tesco Bank credit cards

If you are using a Curve Card to earn points from your UK cash withdrawals and to reduce your FX charges when travelling (see here for more on Curve) you should be aware of an issue with Tesco Bank credit cards.

From 1st June, transactions recharged by Curve to a Tesco Bank credit card are being treated as cash withdrawals.  This means that cash advance fees of 3.99% are being added to every purchase.

Curve believes that this is an error due to the way that Tesco Bank interprets the category code used on Curve transactions.  It will hopefully get sorted soon, but in the meantime you should link your Curve Card to a non-Tesco Bank credit card.

(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.)

Virgin Flying Club launches new redemption seat sale on selected Economy routes
Hilton has launched its Summer Sale for weekend stays
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  1. Martin Lewis is on Good Morning Britain warning of negative changes to Tesco Clubcard deals…

    • Though actually it’s only the delayed changes from earlier in the year.

      • the real harry1 says:

        Big positive – Redspottedhanky goes to 3x, joining the select few offering real 3x value vs Avios – Uber/ Ubereats, Eurotunnel.

        All those eating deals going 4x —> 3x raised a lot of hot air from the numpties 🙂 but weren’t particularly special in the first place.

  2. Federico says:

    Re the Tesco-Curve situation. I usually use it for big transactions – inc paypal payments – because I have 0% till 2019.

    Last Sunday I found myself to have only the curve card with me and I charged my Tesco but then straight away moved those charges to a debit card with the function “back in time”.

    Now I have the 2 charges for the shop on the statement then reversed straight away, and also the cash fee withdrawal for those 2 which fortunately is just £1 in total.

    Talking to Tesco they have said that it’s curve giving wrong type of transaction to them..

    I hope that I’m not going to lose my promotional rate for this mistake and what’s Curve going to avoid this happening in the future with other cards?

    • Andrew says:

      I asked Tesco and they said cash advances won’t impact my promotional rate. I’m hopong they weren’t mistaken… anyone disagree?

    • Andrew25 says:

      Nonsense. Dump Tesco!

  3. Nick_C says:

    I’m finding Curve extremely useful.

    I have had a number of big transactions declined recently and couldn’t understand why. I finally realised I was very close to my 30 day limit, and these transactions would have taken me over that limit. Worth remembering to check your limits if you are being declined!

  4. Louie says:

    Please could someone jog my memory as to whether there are bonus points for adding a first supplementary cardholder on an SPG Amex card. Thanks!

    And on that subject, do we know of any rumours about the future of the SPG card?

  5. Mikeact says:

    I’ll try my TBS credit card with Curve later today, for my monthly £200 cash withdrawal, and report back. (ps And TSB would never be my bank account in a million years.)

  6. Ralph says:

    I hope Curve can sort this out. I did a small overseas transaction yesterday without any problem. I made quite a few HMRC payments last month ahead of Tesco’s changes as, although I couldn’t see in the T&Cs any basis for catching Curve transactions, I feared the worst. If it isn’t resolved, eventually all the other underlying recharge card companies will kill Curve. Without Amex and now potentially other miles earning cards there won’t really be a lot of use for Curve.

  7. OT:
    Is there likely to be a Qatar (or any LH business class) sale soon? Been holding off buying flights in hope….

    • Not sure what is happening with Qatar. They have huge overcapacity due to the blockade (how full do you think the Gatwick flights are given they only had 2 months to sell tickets?) but have cut back on price promotions. The number of redemption seats has also dropped.

      • Hey Rob,
        Do you know why Qatar have only loaded Gatwick flights until mid October? Looking to fly from LGW to AKL in November. Currently it is giving the option of a National Express transfer to LHR!

      • Thanks Rob,
        Decisions decisions decisions….so far I have 3 options almost identical price wise, all ex-EU: BA from AMS, Qatar from Pisa or Ethiopian from Dublin…..

  8. Nigel says:

    Can anyonr tell me how many HH Points are needed for 1 night at the Hampton LGW?
    I cant find the points price anywhere, it may be because I don’t actually have any. Wondering if it’s cheaper to pay for the room or buy the points with the bonus.

    • Craig says:

      It was 30k lasts time I booked. Rates for September are ludicrously high.

    • Mr(s) Entitled says:

      I tried a number of dates and kept getting

    • palcsaky says:

      If you search without being logged into your HH account it will show the number of points required.

      • It is no more than 30k for a standard redemption – I priced it up myself the other day.

    • Surprisingly the Hilton is frequently cheaper than the Hampton, though no breakfast for Silver and lower. Haven’t stayed in the Hampton since gaining Diamond.

  9. Joseph Heenan says:

    OT: How long does it normally take the amex gold 10,000 points for spending £15,000 to post? Card anniversary was 22nd May and they’ve not shown up yet. (The T&C’s say it may take up to 60 days, but I’m presuming it’s usually faster than that.)

  10. Re Curve/Tesco card issue – I made a few transactions that have been treated as cash transactions, and I have been charged a fee. I never pay any interest on my credit cards as I pay them all off.

    I have spoken with Tesco, and they dont seem to be reverting the charges – I hope Curve will do something about it, as the only reason for using curve was for efficiency etc. Still waiting on Curve customer service to come back with a concrete answer.

    • Holly says:

      Tesco Bank. TSB. Santander. RBS. Halifax. Lloyds. Barclays. Competitive, collusive, or just inherently shite? Time to properly regulate the lot of them and let the weaker ones fail. Failing to adequately regulate the playing field of capitalism will let Corbyn through the door in several years time. I would say at least I’ll be able to use my Avios points to escape the country But they will probably be devalued by such a large percentage that I’ll probably vote for Corbyn and swim to Bermuda.

    • Same here. When I called Tesco Bank, they told me Curve was a virtual card and therefore subject to the 3.99% surcharge. I wonder whether the option of going back in history and changing the transaction to a different card would cancel the surcharge?

      • Mr Dee says:

        It better had cancel the surcharge if it is refunded.

      • Lady London says:

        Why not just dump the card?
        Tesco has unwound too much over past few months – certainly the little that made them worth stretching a point to spend with.

        • the real harry1 says:

          About the only things that keep me going are the clubcard points glitches (Direct soon be gone), use in Lidl (soon be gone if Amex get in same as Aldi), the Purchases credit card, the Xmas Saver steal. No pet insurance these days! Car insurance still competitive but you don’t need a credit card for that.

          I will see if I can get the Xmas Saver deal/ steal to work out of normal stores this autumn, otherwise maybe dump. I wouldn’t shop in Tesco otherwise, they lost their way a few years ago and the food range is right yucky.

        • Genghis says:

          Keep the Xmas saver steal trick on the DL closer to the time…

  11. mednec says:

    I am about to hit the 50k in a year limit on the curve card; does anyone know if this limit can be increased?

    • KevMc says:


      I’ve seen it mentioned that this is a Mastercard imposed annual limit, and have not seen or heard of anyone who has managed to get a limit higher than £50k…but I would love to know if anyone has been able to…

      • Genghis says:

        A regular poster has a limit many times this.

        • lev441 says:

          Good to know… Sounds like I need to get back on to customer services…

        • Interesting – I asked and was told that was the hard limit, but they were working with Mastercard to increase it.

        • New Card says:

          On the prepaid – yes.
          I’d be surprised if they got more than £50k on one card on the debit version.

        • I thought that was only on the old prepaid cards, not the debit one?

      • Andrew25 says:

        Curve has a £50,000 yearly limit.

    • I think it is a Mastercard imposed limit.

      • Lev441 says:

        Any idea why the £50k limit is so low? I will also soon be getting to the limit – surely as a card that was originally marketed for businesses this seems quite low!

      • Lady London says:

        Probably that’s all Mastercard will cover them for.

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