Bits: Luxury Travel Diary auctions closing soon, see NFL at Wembley with Marriott, free Manchester Fast Track

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News in brief:

Luxury Travel Diary auctions ending soon

The Luxury Travel Diary site dropped us a line about a new wave of its travel auctions that are closing within the next 48 hours.

Most of the items offered tend to go for far less than the standard retail price. Included are hotel stays, travel equipment and various gift vouchers.

Interesting options closing either today or in the next few days include:

3 Nights At 5* Columbia Beach Resort, Pissouri Bay, Cyprus (pictured below)

4 Nights At 5* Bab Al Qasr Hotel & Residencies, Abu Dhabi, UAE

1 Hour Private Intensive Ski Lesson in London for 4 People

It’s worth taking a look at the different auctions. Not everything will work for you, either in terms of location, length or dates, but you’ll probably find something of interest if you poke around.

Columbia Beach Resort, Pissouri Bay, Cyprus

See NFL at Wembley with Marriott and SPG

Marriott Rewards and SPG are offering various packages for the upcoming NFL games at Wembley in October, both for auction and for immediate points purchase.

25,000 points gets you two premium tickets and an NFL gift – see here

Auction packages (some with no bids so far) get you two tickets and a chance to get onto the pitch before the game – see here

45,000 points gets you two VIP hospitality suite tickets – see here 

Auction packages (all with no bids as of last night) get you two VIP hospitality suite tickets and a chance to get onto the pitch before the game – see here   

There are similar packages on the SPG Moments site.  It isn’t clear if these use separate availability (in which case check both sites) or if they are effectively selling the same seats.

Based on Rob’s valuation of 0.5p per Marriott point, you are “paying” £225 for the hospitality package.  That is £112 per person for the ticket, gift and food and drink throughout the day, which sounds good to me.

Manchester Airport free Fast Track security pass

Free Fast Track security access at Manchester Airport

(EDIT: The offer has changed this morning – potentially because of this article – and now requires a £20 Duty Free purchase)

The security queues at Manchester Airport are known for being painfully slow and many end up paying £5 per person for Fast Track just to avoid them.

The airport is running a promotion which effectively makes Fast Track free if you are planning any duty free spending.

Pre-order £10 of duty free purchases via the Click & Collect service and you will be emailed a code which allows two people to book Fast Track security for free.

If you were planning to pay for Fast Track anyway, this is clearly worth doing.  Save the £10 by pre-ordering £10 of duty free instead.  It is also clearly worth doing if you were planning to buy something in duty free anyway.

Note that “If the Click & Collect order is not collected, the customer will be contacted and billed for the full cost of the Security FastTrack Pass”.

Full details are on the airport website here.

(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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  1. Off topic question – not sure wherebest to ask, so trying here.

    Newbie at this and love this extremely informative site and discussions on it. Basically I want to check what’s the best way to maximise my avios. I put through 10-15k a month on credit cards.

    Right now I’ve just started and got the APRG -referred via Rob. I also have the Virgin Atlantic free card.

    From reading this forum, my next step is the BAPP. Question, can I, and is it the best option to refer myself for this?

    I’ll soon be cancelling my APRG as I believe is correct once I’ve triggered the bonus, and it will only take me a month I’d estimate to trigger the 2-4-1 on the BAPP. What is my best move after i trigger the 2-4-1. I understand most people refer themselves usually for the APRG but I wll be 45 months short of bveing able to apply for this again.



    • TGLoyalty says:

      If you have the gold charge card upgrade to the platinum for 20k point then refer yourself to the bapp as you get 18k MR instead of 9k MR with the Gold.

      • Thanks for replying.

        I’m not sure I understand your post. Are you saying you can upgrade to a platinum and pay 20k points rather than £450? Or pay to upgrade to platinum, get bigger referal bonus then close platinum? It’s the 20k points I don’t follow.

        Platinum was my guess as being what to use after a couple of months when I have closed both APRG and downgraded BAPP.

  2. Thanks,everyone, i understand now. And Ali is correct, it’s the Gold credit card I have.

    Any thoughts of which is best card to get after getting APRG and closing it, and getting BAPP, reaching 2-4-1 threshold then downgrading it before I can apply again for APRG.

    I was thinking it’d be either standard BA or Platinum but not sure which.

    • You won’t get a bonus on either without a 6-month gap from Gold / BAPP. Starwood is the only way of filling the gap.

      • Thanks, Rob. Been rereading your card reviews again studying this problem of how to maximise Avios on 100k+ annual spend with bonuses, referals etc included.

        I had forgotten about the 10k bonus points for spending 15k annually on APRG. This may well give a better return completing this spend, it will delay closing the card and hence reapplying for a new bonus, but the bonus on a new BAPP will be closer once this is completed, and BAPP bonus is, at present at least, bigger.

        Rob, it seems there is an agreed strategy to maximise Avios on a 20-30k annual spend. A good article suggestion might be how to maximise Avios on 100k+ spend.



  3. I miss your meaning.

    They would not like people to figure out how to get more rewards for their spend? Would you not publish an article if you thought Amex would disapprove of it?

    • Exactly, Hank…lucky you, having that available monthly spend. Your avios count will mount up rapidly.
      Just aim to rotate your cards every 6 or 7 months, between the 3 cards the gold credit, the bapp, and the spg. Or go for a plat instead of a gold every 2nd time. Your self referrals from plat give you 18k MRs, from the others 9k.
      Do you have a partner you can also refer or parents to swallow up all that spend? So that you can refer each other, and establish a family BAEC account to contain all those avios ?
      Always be spending towards a bonus.

  4. O/T. I upgraded from the Amex Gold Charge Card to Platinum in June this year. I had only held the Gold Card for approximately 6 months prior. At what stage do I pay the £450 yearly fee for the Amex Platinum?

    • I thought it was added to the first month’s bill, but that obviously hasn’t been case if you have not yet been charged. Maybe they took 20k points for you for the upgrade rather than £450. This would be a better deal for you anyway. Check your points statement.


      PS I have always found the Amex customer service staff excellent. All their contact numbers are listed under Contact Us on the website and are freephone numbers, too.

      • They don’t take 20K points…
        They used to give you 20K points if you spent a certain amount on the upgraded Plat card.

        However you could only upgrade to Plat Charge Card via this offer if you had a Gold Charge Card, not a Gold Credit Card.

        When upgrading via this offer, it seems some people get charged, others do not. if you don’t the first time round you would on your yearly anniversary.

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