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.)

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Comments

  1. AndyR says:

    The Priority Pass website doesn’t list the Alaska lounge or the House Spirits Distillery in PHX, only The Club. Is there anywhere with a complete a list?

  2. Claire says:

    O/T: The expiry date on the new style IC Ambassador weekend cert is just month/year. Mine says 01/2019. I’d think that means trips can be taken until the end of Jan, but just wondered if anyone can confirm as I don’t want them telling me it has expired at the beginning of Jan!
    I don’t suppose there’s any way of transferring these now they have the name and number on them?

  3. Calvin says:

    No sign of the Clubcard to Avios transfer bonus email. Where can I find this promotion? Not too keen on transferring before any black and white confirmation is available.

  4. OT: Heading to Lyon this weekend (family of 4) a bit last minute and I haven’t booked a hotel. What would people recommend as a genuine last minute hotel booking site for the best prices? I’ve gone through the usual suspects (booking.com, lastminute, hotels.com etc.) there may be on I have missed…

    • Weekend in Summer in a major tourist city? Not sure I would hold out much hope for a bargain, I’d be more worried about not much being left.

    • Graham Walsh says:

      Laterooms, hoteltonight?

    • Brian says:

      Airbnb.

    • Lady London says:

      Accor can sometimes be vaguely reasonable at the very last minute in France and Lyon is not a particularly popular tourist destination as compared so, say, the Cote d’Azur, at this time of year.

    • RussellH says:

      I use HRS

      http://www.hrs.com/?client=en__blue&customerId=416873103 ios my personal link – they do sometimes, if they remember and have not ‘lost’ the data, pay me a very small commission.

      As a German firm, though, it is best for Germany, but does cover the rest of the world. Has in the past found me some excellent prices, though obviously not always!

    • pauldb says:

      Trivago and then Hotwire if you’re happy to spend a few minutes figuring out the “secret hotel”

    • Lady London says:

      “To Fly, to Serve”

      I could ask why is this more interesting given that it’s a bloke doing it.
      Sorry, I’m having a most unlady-like Lady London moment over this 🙂

      • I’m guessing this is gearing up for a demanding week at the office for many of the male FA.

  5. grammer says:

    O/T
    Hi Rob,
    Have you had any confirmation from Amex re a devaluation of MR points transfer to Marriott (via SPG?) starting in August?
    https://www.turningleftforless.com/book-hotel-stays-discount-marriott-spg-merger/

    If so anyone planning on a Marriott redemption would do well to transfer points from Amex asap…

    Cheers,

    • Nick M says:

      Is this just for the Australian Amex?

    • I am not expecting a devaluation – the SPG Amex will remain better than MR so no need to take MR worse.

    • Peter K says:

      Quoted from the article:
      “These are just some of the hotels on offer. American Express Membership Reward Points transfer rates to Marriott Points will be devalued after 26th July, from 1:1.5 points, to 1:2/3 points.”
      That basically takes them to the level we already get in the UK…i.e. 2 MR points go to 3 Marriott points.

      • You need to understand, though, that there are many other Marriott card products in the US and that Marriott has a dominant relationship with Visa. Amex, despite weasle words to the contrary, is being squeezed out in the UK in a way that is unlikely to happen here. The SPG Amex card in the US is also being devalued whilst in the UK it is not.

        • Graham Walsh says:

          Just a thought, should I clear out my SPG account of points before they head over to Marriott as I want to them for BA/Avios?

      • Genghis says:

        Though 1:2/3 is 2:4/3 ≠ 2:1?

  6. OT

    I’ve got a week in Seoul and a week in HK in October and will have a Marriot 1-5 TP. I can attach the voucher to Courtyard Namdaemun but interested to know if it’s currently possible to switch a voucher to another hotel once it’s been applied? Courtyard HK would be cat 5 post Aug and wondering if there is a (hopeful) chance it would be bookable with a pre Aug TP.

    Final question – How long after statement does it normally take for SPG Amex points to transfer across?

    Thanks

  7. Elijah says:

    Hi there

    I can’t seem to be able to book a flight using Avios for family member. Already added as travel companion. No drop down menu appears. Help! Thanks

    • Peter K says:

      Can you not go into their BAEC account and book it from there?

      • Elijah says:

        I’m the only member and this is what It says.

        Due to restriction on ba.com, you must be a passenger to make this booking with Avios.
        To make this booking for someone else, please contact your local Executive Club service center.

        ????

  8. 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.

  9. Genghis says:

    Add to “My Family and Friends”

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