Bits: LAST CALL for Amazon / Amex Gold £15 discount, Lufthansa to buy Norwegian?, 50% bonus buying Radisson points

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News in brief:

£15 Amazon discount code for Amex Gold and Platinum cardholders ending soon

For the last 20+ months, Amazon has been offering an exclusive £15 discount code for Amex Gold, Green and Platinum charge card holders when they spend £25 or more. 

This offer expires on 30th June unless it gets extended again, which is absolutely not guaranteed.  If you haven’t taken advantage of it yet – probably because you didn’t have an Amex Gold or Platinum when it launched – this is your last chance.

You will save £15 on your next Amazon order of £25 or more as long as you part-pay with Membership Rewards points from your Amex Gold or Platinum card.  This is what to do:

If you have not already done so, link your Membership Rewards account with your Amazon account by visiting this page on the Amazon website

Buy £25 of items on (these MUST all be sold by Amazon and not third party merchants, and excludes digital content and gift cards)

You MUST select your Membership Rewards-earning Amex card as your payment card (you cannot use gift cards or any other payment source)

Part-pay for your order using Membership Rewards points.  The sneaky option is to redeem just 2 points for a 1p discount.  This saves you ‘wasting’ MR points on a low value redemption.  You will only get 0.45p per point and you shouldn’t waste more than 2 of your valuable points on such a poor deal!  (One comment below suggests that 10 points may be required, so 5p!).

Enter code AMEX16SWP at check out (the code must go in after you have selected part-payment with your Membership Rewards-registered card)

The Amazon link above (and here) pays HFP a small commission if you use it – thank you.  You pay the same regardless.

This offer is open to all UK American Express Gold, Green and Platinum cardholders.  There were comments under an older article suggesting that it does not work for American Express Rewards cardholders.  Your Amazon account must have been opened before 28th October 2017 – creating a brand new Amazon account just to take advantage of this offer will not work.


Lufthansa to buy Norwegian?

Shares in Norwegian Air Shuttle surged yesterday after the CEO of Lufthansa announced that it was in talks with the company about a bid.

IAG, parent of British Airways, bought 4.6% of Norwegian earlier in the year and stated its interest in buying the whole company.  Initial discussions did not lead to any agreement, however, and in mid-May IAG’s CEO said that it was not ‘a must-have’.

On the face of it Norwegian is not as good a fit with Lufthansa as it would be with IAG, albeit that its low cost arm Eurowings has been beefed up considerably in recent years.  Lufthansa may be worried, however, about the threat that Norwegian would pose if it was bought by IAG and its focus changed to those countries where IAG is not currently strong – like Germany.

You can read more on Bloomberg here.

Up to 50% bonus when you buy Radisson Rewards points

Radisson Rewards, the loyalty scheme for Radisson, Park Plaza and Park Inn, is offering a bonus of up to 50% when you buy points.

The link is here.  It runs until 18th July 2018.  The bonus works like this:

  • 10% bonus on purchases of 3,000 to 10,000 points
  • 25% bonus on purchases of 11,000 to 30,000 points
  • 50% bonus on purchases of 31,000 to 40,000 points

I am not hugely keen on this deal, given that we saw a bonus of 75% earlier this year.

Remember that you can also transfer American Express Membership Rewards points at the 1:3 rate if you need a few extra points for a planned redemption.  To be honest, if you have the Amex points I would use those rather than buy points even with a 50% bonus.

Under the 50% deal you are buying points for no less than 0.46c, which means 1 Amex point gets you (3 x 0.46c) 1.38 cents of value.  This means you are getting a decent 1p per Membership Rewards point compared to buying the points directly.

(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.)

Why - financially - hotel loyalty programmes are different to airline schemes
What you need to know about the HFP Summer Party on Monday 9th July (note the new date!)
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  1. Vasco says:

    OT: Tesco Premium card appears to be gone from the Tesco Bank website now.

    • Thanks. Yes, they just sent me an email. Better late than never …

    • AndyK says:

      But still no word on when Curve cash fees to be refunded

      • William Squires says:

        It appears they’ve stopped charging for new transactions now.

        • AndyK says:

          Have you tried?

        • William Squires says:

          Yepp, the last Cash Transaction Fee I can see was applied on June 15th, relating to a transaction with a date of June 13th. The two dozen transactions I’ve done since haven’t be ‘cash fee’d’. No refund for all the fees I did have though, although humorously I did get a final response to my complaint asserting that they’d acted fairly…. dated the day after Tesco said they would stop and reverse the charge on their forum.

          The Ombudsmen can have fun with that.

        • AndyK says:

          Thanks, good to know.
          And I believe they still maintain that they were right and refund/pause is a good-will gesture to improve on the process.

        • Lady London says:

          As usual. Never admit fault but pay out as though you’d actually been sued. Best alternative to admitting it and opening the door to hordes of claims.

          have you learned NOTHING from seeing how British Airways suddenly settles a justified claim, eg for EU261, complaints when you finally put in a moneyclaim dot gov dot uk claim?

        • the real harry1 says:

          yep but that means BA can be more generous with anybody savvy enough to get informed & challenge the BS rebuffs – they give BS reply to initial claims, 95% of people walk away tail between legs, 5% challenge the BS reply & get their compo

          works for me, if it was as simple as sending an email to BA saying pls give me compo & you got compo back by return, all the fares would go up £50

        • So BA deny *everything* to start with, regardless if they know they’re on the hook? Nice business model. Not exactly ethical, but with devotion to cost-cutting ‘in the DNA’, what do you expect?

        • the real harry1 says:

          There are many examples of both BS replies and prompt compo paid. Some people don’t have any problems and just ask for & get their rightful compo with no more ado. Many others get rebuffed with the BS at first and need to pursue their rightful claim a long way before BA folds.

        • Personally I CBA to deal with service providers who treat their customers like that. YMMV!

  2. OT: Any recent experience with IHG cc applications? My last remaining accelerate target. Worth chancing the basic card or best to opt for the fee card?

    • Nigel says:

      I recently got the fee IHG card. Hit the spend bonus and the 20k bonus awarded within a week of the card arriving.

  3. Tom Cook says:

    Flew out of LBA at the weekend and was intrigued to see the new lounges. There were 6 of us in the group, 2 of us had passes so we planned on signing in a guest each, the final two had pre booked so paid for access.

    However on turning up, 2 1/2 hours before our flight we were initially denied access on a Priority Pass due to the number of pre booked paying customers. We pressed our case and after a 10 minute ‘firm’ chat they relented and let us in. The lounge that we were in then only had 2 people when we walked in and when we walked out 2 hours later it could only have been 2/3s full!

    Pretty much a joke – just shows that as more people pay for lounge access those with access as a PLAT benefit or subscription are going to be the ones to be denied.

  4. OT: Looking to go to Bali next year. I have a BA companion voucher and plenty of Avios. What is the best route to go? Any help appreciated!

    • Out to BKK zone 7 or KUL zone 8 depending if/where you want stopovers. KUL has F, BKK does not so that might sway you when using your 241. (BKK-)KUL-DPS in J with MH on avios. For return, DPS-HKG on CX J with avios. HKG back to UK on BA J or F with 241. This should be on a separate ticket from DPS-HKG so you can use your 231 and take advantage of low tax from HKG. If you want to save APD outwards consider departing INV or DUB.

      • AndyR says:

        You can’t take advantage of low taxes from HKG when using a 241 unless it is a one-way flight from HKG-LHR which isn’t really a good use.

        • Yes and no. That was misleading on my part because as you indicate it is effectively an open jaw return from UK, and the return on BA from HKG will attract the usual BA surcharges. However, the actual passenger departure tax is low but it is also misleading of me to imply that this is lower than BKK or KUL becauses they are all quite similar. Thus, in that reslect there is no reason for Tom to route back via HKG unless he wanted to stop there, try regional CX or because it was necessititated by award availability.

        • yorkieflyer says:

          It’s widely reported on Flyertalk that you can book the return on a Amex 241 online as two singles provided you have enough points and then call in to have the 241 applied to the second flight, half the points refunded, the taxes apply for each one way booking, bad idea ex USA but good idea ex HKG. It also obviates ringing at midnight and trying to secure the returns for 241, wish I’d known this when trying and failing to book returns on the phone for early Jan 19 returns from SA.
          Incidentally you can for sure go ex Inverness to save APD, very cute lounge with friendly staff and a great scenic (if late) ride on the Highland Chieftain with a mini break overnight, definitely recommend as a one off. Not sure that you can use an Amex 241 ex Dublin?

        • DUB is a no-go, it’s ex-UK only – but that includes ex-JER in the BA worldview!

        • Thanks shd, I thought DUB was an exception.

    • Check very carefully whether your Avios and 241 is actually getting you a good deal.

      SQ Business fares to Bali start from £1790 r/t for Jan/Feb, ex-EU.

      • There is also a Swiss First class companion sale on at the moment with some Asian destinations at around £1500pp. The best (only real?) value with the 241 to south east Asia is in First unless flexibility arguement can still swing it for CW.

        • After four BA F flights, three of which were poor, I’m done for good. Got better things to do with my miles/points.

  5. Peter K says:

    OT Someone a few days ago asked about whether the priority pass comes in the same box as the amex platinum. I can confirm mine both came today but one in a box and the other in a separate envelope.

    • Yes, they always arrive independently but usually within a few dats of each other. If that person was in a hurry to get their priority pass they can call priority pass to get their account number and activation code to use the app -based card.

      • Peter K says:

        I did that with the lounge club card last year with the gold charge. The charge card came but not the lounge club one. I didn’t need the physical card, just the details on it that i could ring up to get.

  6. Alex W says:

    OT. Just had an email from Virgin offering free credit card with 5k signup bonus plus 3x 5k bonus for spending 3x £500 in first 3 months. Total 20k points. Not bad for a free card.

    • Louise says:

      I just received this offer in the post

      • I assumed it has a targeted sign-up URL?

        • Alex W says:

          Seems targeted. Says “it’s almost time to say goodbye to your Virgin Atlantic White Credit Card”.

          I only had the Black credit card and cancelled it ages ago.

        • Louise says:

          Letter says this is a bespoke offer for you so please see for all the information you need

        • the real harry1 says:

          Seen that Raffles? Looks open to all

          Bonus Smiles.
          A welcome bonus of 5,000 miles. An extra 5,000 miles a month when you spend a minimum of £500 a month for the first three months your account is open. That’s a huge 20,000 bonus miles when you take out the Virgin Atlantic Reward Credit Card and it’s an offer bespoke for you.

        • the real harry1 says:

          AND! you can choose the premium card:

          Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Credit Card
          Earn up to 60,000 bonus miles when you sign up – That’s enough for a Premium return flight to Las Vegas
          1.5 Flying Club miles for every £1 spent on card purchases
          A welcome bonus of 15,000 miles
          An extra 15,000 miles a month for the first three months your account is open when you spend a minimum of £1,500 each month on your card. Terms apply

          I happened to be logged into VAFC so maybe that helped. I’m not previously a Virgin cardholder.

        • Louise says:

          virginatlantic/bonus redirects there Harry so no login required.

        • the real harry1 says:

          cheers for the lead – I might just apply for the 60,000 miles, seems a no brainer if you can hit the spend target, I don’t think Virgin refund the £160 fee pro rata, can anybody confirm?

        • You won’t get it, I’ve been through this with the team at Crawley.

        • Louise says:

          no pro rata refund, i am currently a white card holder, held black previously.
          I think i will go for the 60k too, even though the letter doesn’t offer me that but does say all the info i need is at that url.

        • the real harry1 says:

          shame – looks like you can choose either, Louise – not me though could be worth a try

          Who is eligible?
          You must be the primary cardholder of a Virgin Atlantic Credit Card issued by Virgin Money plc and you must have received a personalised email or letter from Virgin Atlantic inviting you to take part in this bonus Flying Club miles offer (the “Offer”). This Offer is not transferable.
          You must have applied for your Virgin Atlantic Credit Card on or before 30 September 2018.

        • Strictly NOT transferable, they are checking each name against the list.

        • the real harry1 says:

          Yep I’m out – but it’s clear anybody holding any existing Virgin card can go for the 60K points deal if they choose

        • the real harry1 says:

          Raffles just a guess but you seem to be implying that ‘not transferable’ means you can’t go from old free card to the new paid card £160 and get 60K miles.

          That’s simply not what ‘not transferable’ means. The website invites applicants (ie existing cardholders) to choose between free/ paid cards.

          So any existing Virgin cardholder can go for the 60K option if they wish.

        • Sorry, what I meant was that if you didn’t have EITHER MBNA card then don’t bother trying to get this offer because you won’t. You can toggle it seems.

        • I’ve held the Virgin Black card for almost 2 years and spend between £25-30k per year, paying off in full each month. I’ve only been offered the Reward+ card with a 15000 mile welcome bonus plus 6000 miles per month for 3 months if hit £1000 each month spend. My alternative is the standard reward card with 5000 mile welcome bonus plus 2000 miles per month for 3months if hit £500/ month spend. Initially was congratulating myself for not signing up for the new card when it first came out but now feeling a bit let down that my “bespoke” offer isn’t as good as everyone else’s! Tempted to ring Virgin Money and see if I can haggle for the better offers

        • Nothing to do with VM. VA is funding this.

      • Matt B says:

        Bit annoying I was hoping my partner who currently holds the white mbna card would get an offer for the new VM free card but only received an offer for the premium +card. Is there anyway she can apply for the free one instead and still get the spend bonus?

        • lev441 says:

          Click the apply online link in the email – in the text below it says ‘Choose from one of our two cards below and apply today.’ You can then toggle between the different cards and different bonus offers. This is different to what came up last week – Also t’s & c’s changed and now has a closing date of the offer of 30/9/18

    • David says:

      I just recieved an email – inviting me to an ‘undefined’ offer, if I applied for an ‘undefined’ card, earning ‘undefined’ miles per £.

      Apparently it was ‘just for me’ – really it looks a heck of a lot like a very bad mailmerge. 😉

      • Had a similar one but for the paid card….

        Hello Adam,
        As you’ve heard from MBNA, it’s almost time to say goodbye to your Virgin Atlantic Black Credit Card. But don’t be sad – you can apply for our brand new Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Credit Card!

        Copied from email…

        As well as earning 1.5 miles for every £1 you spend when you take out the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Credit Card, we’ve got an exclusive offer to get you off to a flying start:

        A welcome bonus of 15,000 miles,
        Plus, a bespoke offer for you – an extra 15,000 miles a month for the first three months your account is open. You just need to spend a minimum of £1,500 each month on your card to qualify.
        That’s up to 60,000 bonus miles in your first three months – enough for a Premium return flight to Las Vegas.*

    • Frenske says:

      Meh I only have 3x 2000 point for 3x £500 spend.

      • the real harry1 says:

        you can get 60K points if you choose the premium card 15K + 3x 15K, see other comments by myself & Louise tonight

    • Gin and Tonic Please says:

      Annoyingly I have a lower offer on my email: 15k signup + 6k/month for 3 months if I spend £1k. So total of 33k vs the 60k on the other link.

  7. Dev C says:

    Thanks for this Rob, I had somehow missed this Amazon offer, just redeemed on a purchase I was making anyway, nice little discount! Thanks very much for the reminder

  8. Crafty says:

    OT: Please could someone remind me of the bonus mileage transfer offer when buying a Marriott travel package – i.e. instead of receiving the standard 120,000 Avios, it’s possible to receive more? Does this require me to actually buy the package at a certain time of year?

  9. Dave Barron says:

    Clarification required please Re EU261 Compensation…..

    My mother in law who is a US Citizen was booked to travel on BA296 from Chicago to Heathrow today but yesterday she received an email advising her flight had been cancelled (no reason provided). Consequently she was offered and rebooked onto a flight tomorrow instead (BA294). Am I correct in thinking she will be entitled to compensation under EU261? Although she’s a US citizen it’s British Airways flying into an EU airport.

    If I’m correct then presumably a claim couldn’t be made until after she arrives into the UK (some 20 hours later than originally planned).

    Also how long does it normally take to receive? Any recent experience? Is money credited to original payment card or is it a cheque in post etc???

    Many thanks!

    • the real harry1 says:

      Citizenship irrelevant

      Reason for cancellation is important – ‘if it wasn’t the airline’s fault, don’t expect to receive anything. Delays caused by things like extreme weather, airport or air traffic control employee strikes or other ‘extraordinary circumstances’ are not eligible for compensation.’

      So you need to determine the reason. If there are no extraordinary circs, it’s slam dunk. Operational problems such as the Trent 1000 engine issue are not extraordinary circs.

      Once agreed, compo is paid promptly.

  10. DaveL says:

    Anyone know if amazon is limited to one per amazon account or one per CC? Many will have churned their gold/platinum since taking up this offer initially…

    • Per Amazon account

      • Think it might be per credit card. The terms and conditions for the promotion seem to say ‘per eligible card’. The IT doesn’t seem to allow a second card and gives an error message but the Amazon CS will manually add it for you.

  11. Stuart says:
    • Graham Walsh says:

      Still not received anything. Odd that they are doing all sorts of different offers. Keep it simple and consistent!!

    • Gin and Tonic Please says:

      Looks like they’ve segmented cardholders – the URL even says “seg-a” or “seg-bc” at the end…

  12. Memesweeper says:

    OT: on the MBNA Virgin Atlantic card. Customer service just told me the vouchers I’ve earned (upgrade, 2-4-1) will transfer to Virgin FC within 30 days of 7 July. This was provided I had hit the spend target before 7 July.

  13. AndyR says:

    Do the new Virgin cards work ok with Curve?

    • Geoff says:

      No.,mine got no points. Blocked

    • Andrew M says:

      I’d also be interested to know people’s experiances using the new Virgin cards with Curve. I can’t see why they wouldn’t work. Has anyone sucessfully topped up Revolut or Starling with the Virgin cards?

      • Genghis says:

        Starling specifically only take actual debit cards

      • AndyK says:

        Now that Tesco CC cannot be used to top up Revolut without fee I am not sure if there is any good options left

        • Scallder says:

          There was an article in the Sunday Times Money section about Tesco charging Curve users. The article had a fair bit on what would incur fees or not:

          “While some pre-paid currency cards may fall into this category, FairFX said it did not believe any credit card provider — including Tesco bank — charged customers for loading money onto its currency card. Some, such as Caxton, do not allow top-ups from credit cards anyway.

          Barclays confirmed its bPay customers are affected by Tesco’s fee. Confusingly, the bank said Barclaycard’s own 2.99% fee (with a £2.99 minimum) for “sterling cash transactions” would apply to some pre-paid wallets and cards, but not to bPay.”

          Followed by:

          Money asked five other providers whether they levied fees to load pre-paid cards in the same way as they do for cash withdrawals. Three said they did, although none charges as much as Tesco bank. Nationwide has a 2.5% fee and TSB charges 3% (£3 minimum).

          Santander levies a 3% fee on pre-paid cards and transactions such as the purchase of travellers’ cheques, foreign currency and lottery tickets.

          Lloyds and Halifax charge 3% (£3 minimum) for cash transactions, but said this did not include pre-paid cards.

          Daley said customers should bear in mind most cards also treat deposits into a gambling account as a “cash withdrawal”. The same goes for buying foreign currency on your card at the airport.

          So on that basis for those of us with Lloyds Avios cards – could perhaps load up with that card onto Revolut etc. Although don’t blame me if you do get a charge 🙂

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