Hilton

Bits: new ‘buy Avios’ promo, use Priority Pass for a whisky tasting, Tesco Clubcard conversion competition

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News in brief:

New ‘buy Avios’ promo launches today

British Airways Executive Club is launching a new ‘buy Avios’ promotion today.  It will also apply if you gift Avios to someone else.

BA has lifted the annual purchase limit to 200,000 Avios as part of this offer.  Here are the bonus tiers:

  • Buy or gift 1,000 to 15,000 Avios and receive 20% bonus Avios
  • Buy or gift 20,000 to 35,000 Avios and receive 30% bonus Avios
  • Buy or gift 40,000 to 90,000 Avios and receive 35% bonus Avios
  • Buy or gift 100,000 to 200,000 Avios and receive 45% bonus Avios

AerClub members in Ireland will have a similar deal.

The offer runs until 6th August.

At the top end, you are paying a whopping £3,215 for 290,000 Avios.  That is 1.11p per point.  This is not necessarily a great idea as the best value is generally obtained by buying a small number of Avios to top off your account.  If you saw me on BBC1’s Rip Off Britain recently (you can watch the segment here, it is only 3 minutes long) you will know that one of the members of the public I tried to help had bought 100,000 Avios for £1600 without fully understand the restrictions behind them.

I am not a buyer at 1.1p.  However, as my core article on ‘What is an Avios worth?’ shows, it is easy to get a lot more than 1.1p when redeeming.  My valuation is low because I do a lot of Gold Priority Rewards (using double Avios to force open a seat) and don’t always have a BA Amex 2-4-1 voucher to use.  If you are strategic you should do better than me.

The BA ‘buy Avios’ page is here.  If the offer doesn’t show, check back later in the day.

BUT … BUT … BUT …

Before you buy, you should know that Groupon has launched another cheap Avios promotion in Spain, with Iberia Plus.  Click here for details.

Here are the prices:

  • 4,000 Iberia Plus Avios for €54 (1.2p)
  • 8,000 Iberia Plus Avios for €99 (1.1p)
  • 15,000 Iberia Plus Avios for €189 (1.1p)
  • 20,000 Iberia Plus Avios for €249 (1.1p)
  • 35,000 Iberia Plus Avios for €439 (1.1p)

You might find this a cheaper option for smaller quantities.

These Spanish Groupon offers – unlike the recent Irish offer – can get messy.  All of the information is in Spanish (Chrome can translate) and if you have problems you are dealing with the Iberia and Spanish Groupon contact centres.

You can buy a LOT of points though.  The limit is 5 coupons per Iberia account for the 4,000, 20,000 and 35,000 Avios packages and 10 per account for the 8,000 and 15,000 Avios packages.  These Avios can be transferred across to British Airways via ‘Combine My Avios’ without any problems.  Buyer beware though.

The Groupon Spain page you need is here.

Buy Avios bonus

Where your Priority Pass gets you a flight of whisky ….

As airport lounges get fuller, lounge access card Priority Pass (buy one here or get one free with American Express Platinum) has started doing deals with airport bars and restaurants to give you free food and drink.

In the UK there is only one option so far – The Grain Store bar and cafe in London Gatwick’s South Terminal, used by British Airways.  I wrote about The Grain Store here.

Reader Nick was in Portland over the weekend and found himself blocked from the Alaska Lounge which was full.  He decided to head down to House Spirits Distillery instead!

Your Priority Pass gets you a $28 credit per person, which is exactly enough for each to get two cocktails AND a flight of whisky to taste.  The photo below shows what Nick and his partner got between them ….

Tesco Clubcard to BA Avios conversion competition

British Airways has launched a new competition to persuade you to convert your Tesco Clubcard points to British Airways Executive Club Avios this quarter.

For every £5 of Clubcard vouchers you convert (worth 1,200 Avios) you will receive one entry into a prize draw to win a holiday in Rome.

If you have set your Tesco Clubcard points to auto-convert to BA Avios, you will be entered automatically – and receive two entries for every £5 of points converted.  (I don’t recommend having your Clubcard points auto-convert, however, as it means you might miss out on good temporary deals from other Clubcard Boost partners.)

The prize includes Club Europe flights and three nights for two people in a five-star hotel.  You must travel between 1st October and 14th December – unless you believe ba.com rather than ba.com’s email, in which case you must travel between 1st November and 14th December!

You need to convert your Clubcard points to BA Avios by 24th August to be included.  The conversion page on the Tesco website is here although it does not mention the competition.

There is no word yet as to whether Virgin Atlantic will be running a competition or conversion bonus to persuade you to send your Clubcard points to Flying Club.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)

Earn 250 Avios per booking at 45,000 restaurants in ten European countries
My review of the Melia Barcelona Sky hotel (Part 1)
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Comments

  1. Lady London says:

    OT can anyone provide link to request seats using rj or finnair? finnair is not allowing on ib booking. Can;t find the right page on rj. Can this only be done 24hrs before the flight? I’d like to do it much earlier… Travelling Y not sure if this makes a difference.

  2. Genghis says:

    Add to “My Family and Friends”

  3. OT – Help please
    Re: Amex Plat insurance when travel company does not accept Amex.
    Amex help folks tell me travel protection insurance must be paid for on Amex Platinum card.
    OK, BUT: Amex T&C’s definitions state: “Purchased” means items paid for or pre-booked using your Card **or items paid for where Your selected provider would not accept your Card**
    It seems clear, but Amex help guys can’t / won’t confirm this point.
    Does anyone have personal experience of this?

  4. Steve says:

    4th (or possibly 5th?) Avios bonus points offer from BA this calendar year, which coupled with the recent Iberia & Groupon Avios offers has made collecting/buying Avios ‘easier’ than usual.

    Does this mean a points devaluation is definitively on the cards…? I have read infrequent comments from posters’ and Rob to this end but unsure whether this is based on any info’ from BA, or just a gut-feel?

    Apologies the ask is a tad open-ended but sitting on a slew of points that I was hoping to use for specific flights next year but am now thinking it would be better and more economical to use them sooner rather than later….

    • Alex W says:

      Rob has already predicted that a devaluation looks likely. When that will happen, I’m sure is a closely guarded secret. Whether we will get any advanced notice – who knows. Some airlines give no notice of devaluations at all.

  5. Another O/T from me, but one for any outdoor enthusiasts. I thought I’d make the most of the Hilton £50 off a £250 spend and book two nights at the Hilton in Syon Park. I got off the train from Waterloo in Mortlake and did a 9.6km hike through Richmond Park and by the river to get here. Lovely! Tomorrow I think I’ll head towards Bushy Park and Hampton Court Palace…

    Once my room is ready, I’ll be spending the rest of the day by the pool!

    Check out this trail!
    https://www.wikiloc.com/hiking-trails/mortlake-syon-park-26861070 (Mortlake – Syon Park) at #wikiloc

    • Very impressive – especially as you could have got off the train at Syon WhateverItIs station and walked down the road!

    • That moment when you’ve done a long, sweaty hike and they tell you that you’ve been upgraded to a Junior Suite! Bliss!

    • Optimus Prime says:

      What’s the hotel like? My OH is eager for a night away in a property with a pool not very far from London.

      Though we’re likely to go on a Saturday and I reckon it won’t be as pleasant as today…

      Thanks.

      • I’m liking it so far, the junior suite is huge, has a freestanding bathtub and has an odd almost (but not quite) modern take on a 4-poster bed. Frankly, it’s a little odd, but I’m not complaining. I have more cupboard space than you can shake a stick at right now. In fact, I think I have more storage space than I have in my 2-bedroom flat.

        Toiletries are Crabtree & Evelyn, rather than the usual Peter Thomas Roth, and the bathroom is a riot of marble.

        I’ll have to report back on the pool, gym and spa in a couple of hours. Bring on the sauna and steam room!

        • Syon Park was opened as a Waldorf Astoria and has Waldorf Astoria quality furnishings.

        • I do quite like the dark green velvet chairs (this may be my inner goth of the 90s talking here), I do love a good freestanding bathtub in a marble bathroom, and I’ve never come close to objecting to a 4-poster bed before, but the actual posts on the 4-poster bed are mirrored…

          The gym is pretty well equipped, the swimming pool is lovely, the jacuzzi was lovelier, and the sauna was exactly the right temperature. Marvellous! Enjoy Optimus Prime & OH!

        • Optimus Prime says:

          Thanks for the update!

    • Solo?

      • Yup, I’m a teacher, but my OH isn’t, and has a lot less holiday time than I do. I’ve been travelling solo since I was 19, so a < 10km hike and an evening by the pool on my own with a book isn't too much of a hardship. The OH might join me for the second night.

  6. Chris says:

    I’m flying through LAX next week and i see in Terminal2 you get a $28 credit at barney’s beanery

  7. OT: pointsbreaks loaded

    CP Heathrow 15,000
    HIX Croydon 10,000

  8. Chris Palmer says:

    OT: will there be an article about a no-deal Brexit and the planes no longer flying to the USA and Europe. I would have thought this would be quite important to readers?

    • I don’t think the world needs even more Brexit speculation!

    • Lev441 says:

      I highly doubt planes will stop flying!!

      • Bagoly says:

        Next time you see a row of Easyjet ‘planes, look at the registration numbers.
        They have already (re?) registered quite a few in Austria (OE-) , as well as the Swiss ones (HB-).
        That will deal with their intra-EU operations.

        Flights between UK and EU will surely be subject to some of agreement, however last minute.

        BA (and Iberia) falling out of the US-EU deal would be much more of a risk, were it not for the AA-Iberia-BA-Finnair JV across the Atlantic.
        I regard that deal as generally bad for the consumer, but in the case of NoDeal meets Trump, it could be a major lifesaver.

        Is Virgin now in the AF/KL/DL deal?

  9. rams1981 says:

    OT would people churn SPG Amex or is there a chance it’s withdrawn in next 6 months?

    • Cancelled mine in March with intention of reapplying again late September.

  10. OT what happens to my SPG points on the 1st August? Do they transfer to my linked Marriott account as Marriott points? Will my continued SPG Amex spend appear as Marriott points going forward?

    • Nothing happens on 1st August. Mid month the new scheme launches and your accounts are pooled.

    • In theory it is an entirely new rewards currency and both Marriott and SPG points will be turned into it.

  11. Graham Walsh says:

    OT So I booked my ticket to Cairo the other week, when I looked at WT, it was about £1200, WT+ was £1450 and Club world was £850. You can guess which one I picked 🙂

    I went to look online today as I reached Bronze on Friday and it said I could select a seat. It had me in 1E – first class on the 787. There was nothing to confirm/change on MMB. Come to check in time, I am back in CW, guessing someone paid to upgrade so bumped me back down?

    • AndyR says:

      I didn’t think they had First to Cairo? 1E on the 787-8 is a Club World seat so maybe you were in that?

      • Graham Walsh says:

        I didn’t think so either unless Seat guru was incorrect or I had the wrong plane loaded.

      • Graham Walsh says:

        Sitting on the plane now and can confirm it has a first class section.

        • CAI is scheduled for a 788, which has no F so F is not sold on the route. However it is occasionally substituted for a 789, where the F cabin will be closed unless the loads dictate that it has to be used, at which point Golds are moved forwards followed by anyone else they fancy. This is why you’re getting confused.

          Incidentally, don’t be so surprised that SeatGuru is wrong. It’s a crap tool and has no official link to BA so no one keeps it up to date anyway.

  12. So, i’m thinking about buying the 200,000 points as I don’t travel with work as much as I used too. Is it good value if I use them on long haul 1st / club redemption using the 2-4-1 on the BA premium card?

    Need a bit of guidance as looking for a tokyo trip next year…

    Thanks for any help

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