Bits: get tier points and a flat bed on FRA-MAD, Virgin / Avis deal, Hyatt partners with Small Luxury Hotels

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News in brief:

Fly Frankfurt to Madrid in LATAM business class for £172 return

LATAM, previous LAN, is a oneworld partner airline.  You can use Avios points to redeem for its flight from Madrid to Santiago, Chile, amongst other routes.

It also has an impressive business class seat which we reviewed here.

Few people know that the LAN flight from Chile does not terminate in Madrid. It carries on to Frankfurt.  This allows you to earn some British Airways tier points in style.  Why? Because you can buy tickets just for the Frankfurt to Madrid flight.

If you want to try out the very nice business class seat below, here are the current special prices currently as per the LAN website here:

Frankfurt to Madrid one-way – £172

Madrid to Frankfurt one-way – £150

Return trip – £172 irrespective of where you start

You will earn roughly 1,100 Avios points and 40 tier points for each segment. The flight is 2 hours and 40 minutes so you will get a decent amount of time to enjoy the LAN seat. Lounge access is also included.  You will be flying a Boeing 787 Dreamliner which many people have not yet been able to experience.

The timings are not ideal, to be honest. The Frankfurt flight departs at 19.35 and lands in Madrid at 22.00. The Madrid to Frankfurt flight leaves at 15.05 and lands at 17.45.

There probably aren’t many HFP readers who actually need to fly from Madrid to Frankfurt, or vice versa. However, if you are after some cheap BA tier points and fancy trying out a different airline then this is a fun deal.  You can book this on the LAN website here.

One option would be to tie this in with the A350 flights that Iberia is currently running from Heathrow to Madrid and which I reviewed here.

LAN LATAM Boeing 787 Business Class

Virgin Atlantic and Avis bring back their bonus miles promotion

Virgin Atlantic is re-running its generous deal with Avis, albeit that you don’t get quite as many miles as last time.

If you book a car for 3+ days you will pick up 4,000 bonus Virgin Flying Club miles!  This is on top of the standard 500 or 1,000 base miles depending on the length of your rental.

That’s the good news.  The bad news is that a lot of people had trouble getting the miles to post when this offer ran last year.  This time the offer has been clarified to say that you must book via the special Virgin / Avis site – this clause was also there when it ran in the Spring and the miles did seem to turn up promptly.

Full details of the offer are on the Avis / Virgin Atlantic partner website here.  This is the small print:

Booking dates:  until 15th August 2018

Rental dates:  1st September 2018 to 30th April 2019

Qualifying countries:   North America, UK, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia

Rental requirement:  3-28 days in a Group C or higher vehicle

You can earn the bonus up to three times.  On top of the 4,000 bonus miles you will receive 500 base miles, increasing to 1,000 base miles for a rental of 7+ days.

I would be happy to value 4,500 Virgin Flying Club miles at £45 – especially as redemptions on KLM and Air France should be available to members within the next 12 months – so your rental could end up being close to ‘free’.

You can see full details of the Virgin / Avis partnership on this page of the Virgin Atlantic site although it has not been updated with this offer.

How to earn Virgin Atlantic miles from UK credit cards

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Virgin Flying Club miles 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 Virgin Flying Club miles.  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.

Avis and Virgin Flying Club offer

Hyatt announces a partnership with Small Luxury Hotels of the World

The Hyatt hotel group has taken a few knocks recently.  After Marriott acquired Starwood, it was the clear baby of the big international hotel groups.  A bodged shake-up of its loyalty scheme, creating World of Hyatt, alienated many loyalists.  The most recent attempt to gain scale by mounting a last-minute bid for NH Hotels went nowhere.

There is now some positive news.  Sketchy details have been announced of a partnership with Small Luxury Hotels of the World, a marketing group representing 500 boutique high-end properties.

It isn’t clear what this will entail.  Some SLH properties will become bookable on the Hyatt website and you will be able to earn and redeem World of Hyatt points and enjoy status benefits when you book.

It remains to be seen how many SLH members will take advantage, but we could soon see UK hotels such as Luton Hoo, 11 Cadogan Gardens, Danesfield House, Langshott Manor and Stoke Park available for points.

(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.)

Review of the Aspire lounge at Belfast City Airport
My review of the new Hyatt Centric Madrid hotel
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  1. OT: re Hilton Europe/Amex MR offer, how do I pay in GBP for European hotels to trigger the offer? I tried a dummy booking but on the payment page it seems the only option is Euro.

  2. ArianaGrande says:

    Incredibly off topic – I currency hold 2 credit cards amex with combined limit of 40k + charge card, I would like to apply for another amex, possibly SPG but I don’t want to trigger some flag for too many credit card apps + too high limit (no idea why its this high), second crd was approved a month ago, statement 1 generated and paid off in full…

    Wise to apply? or close one then apply?

    • RIccatti says:

      There was a limit on 4 cards with AMEX, if memory serves.

      Definitely reduce limits and yes, close a card if there is no other benefit. Sign up benefit will be of more value, even if you get rejected now but accepted in 3 months time.

      I would have waited for 3M between applications (and even that is less than lenders prefer to see these days) but it’s possible to have accounts opened in 1M interval.

    • RIccatti says:

      There are other considerations, such as what is the age of your oldest card/current account. Things are very different for people who have >10-15 years history on THE SAME OLDEST account.

      The average age of credit account does matter, and it makes sense to keep accounts opened for next months and only close them before the new application — but this is an approach to take if you are going to wait 3M.

      The impact of hard credit search itself is rather miniscule. It is possible to have 3 and above recent hard searches (1-2M) and still get approved. If you are known this lender and if the lender need signups for the card you are applying to.

  3. OT – if anyone’s after last minute AA redemption flights within the, some availability seems to have appeared this morning. I’ve just got MIA – BOS for 3 of us in business for the princely sum of 60,000 avios plus £12.90 in tax. The cash price for 3 seats is £1551.

  4. Lady London says:

    Wasn’t there something with QR in the Middle East? Something like Doha to Abu Dhabi in an amazing First?

    • Lady London says:

      This was for the poster asking about luxurious short haul flights.

      • You won’t be flying Qatar to Abu Dhabi any time soon!

        But, yes, a cheapo F tickets inside the ME got access to the bonkers Qatar F lounge in Doha.

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