Bits: two Virgin Clubhouses join Priority Pass, Goodwood Festival of Speed tickets, Miles & More drops gift vouchers

News in brief:

Two more Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse lounges join Priority Pass and Lounge Club

Two additional Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse lounges have joined the Priority Pass lounge network.

Last November, Virgin began to let Priority Pass guests use its Los Angeles Clubhouse during the hours it was normally closed.  It operates with a different food offering which is cleared away and replaced before the Upper Class passengers begin to arrive.

The service is now extended to Washington Dulles and New York Newark.  It is effective immediately for Priority Pass and Lounge Club with Mastercard World Elite’s LoungeKey to follow next week.

Details are (note the opening hours):

Washington DC Dulles International

Location: Concourse A, across from Gate A32

Availability: 06:00 to 13:30

New York NJ Newark International

Location: After the security checks in Terminal B

Availability: 14:00 to 18:00 

Remember that American Express Gold cardholders get two free Lounge Club passes which would be accepted at either lounge.  Alternatively you can get a Priority Pass via American Express Platinum or by buying one.

Get tickets for Goodwood Festival of Speed with Hilton

Waldorf Astoria is an official sponsor of the Goodwood Festival of Speed this year, and has made a selection of ticket packages available on the Hilton Auction site for ‘buy it now’.

We featured these a couple of weeks ago but all of the packages went to HFP reader by 7.15am!  Hilton has now made some additional packages available for Thursday and Sunday.

For 25,000 Hilton Honors points, which I value at around £85, you get tickets for two people plus access to the trackside Waldorf Astoria viewing platform.

To put this in context, two tickets for the Sunday plus grandstand access (which may not be as good a view as the Waldorf Astoria viewing platform) would normally cost £270.  Even on Thursday, the cheapest day, you would normally be paying £122 for two.

Two new options have also been added.  There is a Saturday package with a 5-minute helicopter ride around the Goodwood estate (auction) and a Friday package with a drive in a rally car around the circuit (redeem for 75000 points).  These are VIP packages and also include car parking and access to a special enclosure, although there is no food or drink included.

You can redeem your Hilton points via the auction site here.

Miles and More expiry options

Lufthansa drops UK gift voucher redemptions

Lufthansa Miles & More has a strict expiration policy for its miles.  Irrespective of what other activity you have on your account, miles expire after three years.

The only way around this is to have either Miles & More status or to have a Luthansa credit card, which is no longer possible in the UK.  I am expecting a letter from MBNA soon to confirm the closer of the UK credit cards for existing cardholders.

Because of the strict expiration policy, I get quite a few emails from people looking to use up miles about to expire.  Beggars can’t be choosers and the options are not great.  They are now even fewer, because the range of UK High Street retailer gift cards has gone from the Miles & More website.

The only redemption options for small amounts of Lufthansa miles now seem to be Heathrow shopping vouchers (£20 for 7500 miles, a terrible deal in any other scenario) or a discount on a hotel room via the Miles & More booking portal.

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Comments

  1. Andrew says:

    OT: Amex PRG – if I book a trip using it and then cancel the card is the travel insurance on that trip also cancelled? Thanks.

  2. GRIMZ says:

    OT has anyone had this done – beware of churning!
    Amex have just called me to ask why I have applied for so many cards. They’ve sent me a letter asking for financial information, and I can’t use my starwood card until they receive this information. They say I’m under financial review.

    • how many did you apply for?

      • GRIMZ says:

        This is after being accepted, has just hit the bonus on the 1000 spend and has churned a couple of cards recently ie Plat and BAPP but nothing compared to others I know.

        • the real harry1 says:

          Doesn’t sound exceptional…I think you got unlucky for some reason

    • I’ve heard stories about it happening in the US, but never in the UK.

      You must’ve done something special/thay aren’t particulary impressed with your credit record if they triggered a financial review.

    • Peter K says:

      Maybe you used different amounts for your personal/household income on the application forms. They track this story of thing.

    • James T says:

      Always the small possibility it’s a phishing scam. Chack before supplying any details.

  3. O/T: Just paid DVLA for VED using my Amex

    No £2.50 fee was applied, ie no card charge at all. 🙂

    Seems to only apply them on corporate cards?

  4. Mikeact says:

    My local Honda garage still refuse to accept Amex…..I would like to point them to something that shows them in Black and white that they will pay no more than me using my Visa/MasterCard.. any ideas ?

    • Your Honda Garage is quite right to refuse. The best rate they can get from Amex is 1.99% with a long wait for payment.

      Amex havent budged on their merchant rates for 2 years despite what is printed in black , white or blue.

      • Mikeact says:

        I see……..I assumed, wrongly, that they had fallen in line with Visa and MasterCard after the earlier EU ruling.

        • I think it’s two separate issues, the retailer can’t charge you, the customer, for paying by credit card, but Amex can still charge retailer for the privilege of accepting it. That’s why so many places don’t accept it.

        • the real harry1 says:

          Are we not talking about different things here? Interchange fees are capped (for consumer cards) but merchant service fees are not. So Amex can legitimately still charge 1.99% in merchant service fees, within which (for consumers) the interchange fee will be only one element, @ 0.3%

        • the real harry1 says:

          Anna beat me to it (yet again!) sigh 🙂

        • Yes Anna has got it right on the button.

          Last week I cancelled my merchant agreement with Amex after 28 years. Im sick of my staff getting shouted at by consumers that this or that is against the law..

          Pleased to read that hfp readers rise above this and see both sides of the fence

        • the real harry1 says:

          yep but playing devil’s advocate here, Axel, ‘staff getting shouted at’: the consumers wouldn’t know about the 1.99% or whatever unless you told them – so were you charging them ‘Amex surcharge’, probably perfectly legally given merchant service charge?

          binary: either you absorbed the Amex fees (kept quiet to consumers) or you didn’t

        • Harry at 1950,

          Ive had this legacy rule that cards are a mimimum of £5 thats all.

          Its impossible to check what card is being used because of contactless especially for my staff who have no interest in understanding the theory snd practice of manufactured spend.

  5. Peter says:

    I have just received the supplementary card for the OH. I noticed the 3000 points are already in my account, do I need to activate the card or can it go straight in the bin?

  6. the real harry1 says:

    Very O/T bits but Tesco Direct have now cut many prices on Lego by 25% plus are offering triple CC points on all Lego (I think). Part of the online clearance as Direct goes kaput.

    Real interest here would be getting Lego for presents at an unbeatable price, all things considered.

    https://www.tesco.com/direct/search-results/results.page?catId=4294967294+4294959246&currentPageType=Search&imagePreset=imagePreset-Detail&pageViewType=grid&sortBy=0&searchquery=lego&SrchId=4294967294&lastFilter=Sold By|Tesco&responseToRender=ALL&loadMoreTile=true&pageType=undefined&offset=0

  7. the real harry1 says:

    My SPG points have gone out of my Amex a/c to my Starpoints a/c – I can now close the Amex a/c, right? if no longer need the card etc

  8. Miles and more clearly turning the screw so that people lose their balances when the card goes. I just checked out their hotel booking service using miles and the message is

    “Dear Miles & More Member,

    Until further notice, Miles & More Hotels and Miles & More Cars are not available due to a technical change. We regret any inconvenience this may cause.
    Should you have any questions about your existing bookings, please contact the Miles & More Service Centre at +49 (0)69 – 209 777 777 in the meantime.

    Your Miles & More Team”

  9. Jimbob says:

    OT trying to time the triggering of my ba 241 voucher. Do I get it immediately after triggering the £10k spend, or does it get rewarded at the same time as the Avios points after transferred following the Amex statement

  10. So just opened the post and the MBNA United card is no more, last day to earn miles is 20 July 18☹️

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