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. OT – I’m trying to order a supplementary card for my Amex gold. Every time I click on “Add someone to your Account” it triggers the form for an additional BA card instead.. (I have both under the same account). Any ideas?

    • Mark2 says:

      I have had that problem before.
      I solved it by splitting them into two separate online accounts.

      • Thks. How would I do that? Remove a card completely and just register again w/ a new email address? I kinda like having all cards under the same account. Maybe I should call them.

    • Dougie Forde says:

      You have to call them up, can’t add a supplementary online to the Gold Credit Card as yet

    • Clive says:

      I had a Glitch when adding a Supp to my Gold it moved it to SPG. Called and explained the problem CS manually added the Supp and noted the account to manually trigger the 3K and add after 10 days from activation.

  2. OT: Discovery Every 36th Booking Is On Us promo
    Am I missing something in the terms or can I simply make 3 refundable bookings and cancel them if I don’t win a freebie?
    Surely that’s what everyone will do?

  3. OT. If I have the Amex Plat and add Mrs Ben as a supp does that mean she can use my lounge card while she is on her own?

    • Peter K says:

      If she is the first supplementary card holder then her card will also be platinum. She will then get her own priority pass for lounge access. Only you can use yours (+1 guest of course with you).

    • she should have her own priority pass card as a supplement amex plat holder

    • She will get her own PP card to use

    • No. She will get her own Priority Pass card as a supplementary platinum card holder on your account

    • Mark2 says:

      if it is a Platinum sup she will have her own lounge card.

    • No, but she will get her own Priority Pass.

    • Lady London says:

      So…. err… is that enough confirmation for you ? 🙂 what a great place HfP is.

      6 confirmations in well under 2 hours.

      • Haha. I have only just got back online and seen all the replies! Thanks guys.

        Slight hiccup as mrs Ben is out the country at the moment, returning on Monday. Was hoping to add her as supp so she can use it at the airport on Monday. Never mind I’ll just add her for her next solo trip.

        Thanks again

  4. Off Topic…
    I was booked on BA233 from LHR – DME (Moscow) on 30th December in First Class as a redemption booking. I’ve been emailed by BA this morning to inform me “Your seats have been changed”. I’m now marked as being in the same seat but it says Club World not First..

    So I’m guessing they’ve changed planes? But it won’t even let me view a new seat map. How do I find out what plane is now flying this route? There’s no mention in the email from BA about what happens with the Avios I paid for the First class booking..

    • Genghis says:

      Look on expedia. BA233 now a 321 so no F. Call up BA.

      • Oh that’s horrible, thanks for the info. I’ll call them

      • Lady London says:

        You might want to see if they are offering compensation first. A la the switch to Qatar planes that is getting some interesting offers on here in past day or so.

    • Lady London says:

      Er…. or maybe British Airways has just downgraded you. I’ve had an airline try to tell me the flight I had booked a reward seat on was cancelled when the local sports team had just progressed further in a major championship. The flight was still flying and had loads of seats, but the airline thought they could offload me and sell my seat for more.

  5. Adam Smith says:

    Rob – I used my Curve to pay my Amex balance and charged it to my Tesco card. Will this incur a fee, or is it only cash and overseas transactions? Thanks

    • Are you saying you did or are looking to do it? I tried this before and it didn’t work.

      Any transaction is attracting the fee when the underlying card is a Tesco credit card currently.

      • Adam Smith says:

        Mine worked, but is listed as pending on the Tesco app

        • Geoff says:

          They always go pending for a day or 2. You will probably be hit with the ‘cash’ fee as all Curve / Tesco transactions seem to be currently.

        • Andrew25 says:

          You guys need to be careful because using Curve to pay off other credit card debt is a big no no and they could cancel your account for abusing the Curve T&C’s

    • Looks like it will incur the fee, yes.

  6. Jovanna says:

    Very OT: My husband wants a pair of ‘classic’ Tod’s for his birthday later in the month, ‘to wear down the pub’.

    I’ve no idea what he means by classic. Any ideas?

    • I would assume he means the standard driving shoe with the pebble sole, eg although they come in every colour under the sun if you go for nubuck.

      I assume this is a leafy country pub or somewhere in West London because there are many parts of the UK where wearing a pair of, say, green nubuck Tod’s driving shoes to the pub would not be a good move …..!

      • Alex W says:

        330 quid! That’s obscene. Who is he hoping to impress at this pub? Lewis Hamilton?

        • That is going rate for designer ‘everyday wear’ shoes if you pop into the Harrods shoe department. To be fair you’ll arguably get better value out of £300 designer shoes than a £300 designer shirt.

          Worth noting that Tod’s revenue was €963m last year. Far more people spend £300 on shoes than you think.

        • Lumma says:

          Not to mention that they’re absolutely awful shoes

          • I have a pair of nubuck ones that I wear on the beach, and which I’ve had for about 10 years. They are kind of compulsory in Caribbean or 5-star Middle Eastern resorts, along with a linen shirt and some Orlebar Brown bulldog shorts. I wouldn’t actually wear them around London, and the ‘pebbled’ sole means that they feel a bit odd anyway (although flat soled versions are available). The pebbled sole leaves a nice pattern in the sand too 🙂

        • Lady London says:

          Classic. I love it.
          Btw I love those shoes. They are not worth £330 but they do last.

          There used to be some very good imitations available in Italy. But Tod’s is very very efficient as suing anybody that offers their classic nubbed rubber pebbled sole and threatening to close them down. A company I bought a lot of them off complied.

      • Jovanna says:

        Thanks, Rob!

    • This site is going downhill.

      • Happy to help if you’ve got any fashion queries Evan 🙂 Anything for a 35+ metrosexual should be within my remit ….

  7. NotALaunderer says:

    Slightly OT
    I need to withdraw around €20,000 in cash in Spain, a load of vendors want paying cash in hand for an event im organising. I am going to be in Spain for 4 days, any idea on good methodology of doing this?

    • Alex W says:

      Report them to the Spanish tax authorities?

    • I bet they do! I can’t see how it would be practical to do this via ATM withdrawals, so unless you can arrange for your bank to send the money to a bank in Spain where they would let you withdraw it in cash, you might have to take a sizeable chunk with you, which might also attract attention when it goes through the scanners, and you need to declare anything above 10k euros.

    • Lady London says:

      I believe Spanish banks do offer a sort of escrow for this.
      But of course your vendors want cash.
      What a risk.
      I’m really not sure I would pay out that much in advance, in cash. Fine to pay in cash at the point services are delivered.

      I think H M Customs wants to know if anyone is carrying more than 10000 euros on them in or out of the UK, no?

  8. Craig says:

    OT: Mrs S about to sign up for an Amex MR card, what’s the most lucrative bonus route assuming no upgrade path from Gold Credit to Plat Charge?

  9. Ot- refund protection insurance on my spg Amex. Bought two bags for 70 from tk maxx but have lost reciept so sellar refusing refund/exchange. Would Amex give me a refund?

    • the real harry1 says:

      Bought in store? There’s no right to refund/ exchange unless faulty, when retailers do allow returns because item not wanted, that’s not required by consumer law, just retailer being consumer-friendly. So TX Maxx insisting on receipt is fairly normal otherwise they’s get shoplifters bring back items for cash refund etc. Nothing Amex would do here IMV.

      Bought online? You have the right to return (for any reason you like) so that isn’t an issue – and I don’t understand why you wouldn’t have proof of purchase in your email inbox. If you mean you lost the receipt that came with the package, that’s not really essential as you can prove purchase in other ways. Yes, in that situation you might get Amex to agree to chargeback the item if you explained it as above. But surprised in scenario 2 if TK Maxx wouldn’t accept other proof of purchase ie email trail and credit card statement.

      • Ammar says:

        Thanks for the insight….I think I will try to sell them on ebay. Thought I could claim via Amex refund protection on the credit card.

    • the_real_a says:

      For reference there IS refund protection on the AMEX charge cards over £50. You can claim on the insurance for any reason (if the store refuses to accept back your purchase) upto 90 days. I did this on a a computer chair that i decided i hated after 30 days so the store refused to accept it back, but AXA refunded the money and we agreed i would donate the chair to the local hospice charity shop (and get a document to prove i did). The only issue if that you would need the original receipt for the refund protection insurance.

  10. OT, if you refer someone from a BAPP what bonus do you get for that referral?

  11. Im tempted to buy the full amount but please check if I’m not being stupid. Buying the full amount will give me enough points book 5 nights at the Hilton Tokyo, being Hilton Gold this would get me breakfast. This would then allow me to cancel 5 nights in the Prince Sakura tower (autograph collection marriott) which when I booked, I thought I’d get breakfast and lounge access. This would release 160k marriott points and leave me within touching distance of the cat 1-5 120K avois travel package.

    Hope I’ve explained that well enough, what are peoples/Rob’s thoughts?

    • Genghis says:

      Put some pound notes to your analysis

      • essentially £570 would turn into 5 nights stay plus I’d then be able to get a marriott travel pack and 120k avois, would that make it almost like buying avois for 0.4p? Genghis your expertise is always welcome.

        • the other option is to pay for the hotel at £1300 (we’d probably pick the Hilton Tokyo anyway for location and gold recognition.) Thus alleviating the need to buy points but still releasing the marriott booking but I think the buying points seems a better options. The Hilton is 60k per night but get 1 night free.

        • Genghis says:

          Based on the info provided:
          – the Hilton Tokyo costs 60k points and if buying would need 240k points bought at 0.35p – £840 in total (you’d have to get your wife etc involved as max purchase is 160k). That is obviously much better than paying £1,300 and you’d get the free breakfast as Gold etc.

          As you say, this would free up 160k Marriott points (nominal value of £800 IMO so very close to paying for the Hilton points). You would then need to top up somehow to 270k (so not exactly touching distance but a bit of his n hers churning would get you there) and that would get you 120k avios and 7 nights. Essentially it depends how you’re then going to use the points and the 7 nights.

          If you have (or could have) up coming plans for them, I’d go for the buy Hilton points route. However, if no concrete plans, I’d save the cash. I’ve been sensibly running down points balances (i.e. redeeming IHGs at 0.4p instead of waiting for just outsized redemptions) as cash is a much more solid a currency

    • Craig says:

      Hilton Tokyo is very good, the Japanese breakfast was offered one morning, I’d go for that if you can. Have you not considered a Diamond status match just before you go? Lounge access would be very valuable for a 5 night stay.

      • Thanks gengis, I already have 100k marriott in the back so would put me at 260k marriott and I’ve got some MR points I could move. I’ll give it a think over this afternoon.

        • I did consider that but it isn’t until september and I’m not sure on the hit rate is on marriott gold being offered diamond.

        • Charlie says:

          You can get a Hilton diamond challenge by being a Hilton gold. They’ll upgrade you immediately, with a challenge to hit a number of stays from that point in a small timescale to then be given diamond on a longer basis. Time it for Tokyo for a diamond upgrade :).

          PS – fairly sure the diamond challenge is a one time offer.

        • Craig says:

          It is a one-time offer unless the terms change, last time it was a straight match. This time it was the 8-stays challenge, ideal for me as I had 6 booked within a 90-day bracket already. Having IHG Spire probably made the reply come through quite quickly.

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