Bits: Tesco and Peninsula Amex cashback deals, BA’s Venice lounge, LivingSocial competition

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News in brief:

New American Express cashback deals for Tesco and Peninsula Hotels

A very generous new American Express offer with Tesco has appeared on a lot of Gold and Platinum cards, although unfortunately not on any in our house.  You need to look under the ‘Offers’ tab on your online statement page.

If targeted, you will receive 400 bonus Membership Rewards points for a £10 Tesco spend.  This is worth 400 Avios, 400 Virgin Atlantic miles, 600 Marriott points, 800 Hilton points etc.

Going substantially more upmarket, Peninsula Hotels is offering £100 back on a £500 spend, valid until the end of the year.  The Chicago and Manila hotels are excluded.

If you were thinking of taking advantage of this, our hotel booking partner Emyr Thomas can access exclusive Peninsula benefits for you via PenClub.  You would pay the standard Best Flexible Rate but also receive free breakfast, $100 food and beverage credit, flexible check-in and check-out times, upgraded room amenities and a room upgrade if available at check-in.  These are ‘pay on departure’ rates so they would also trigger the Amex £100 cashback.  You can contact Emyr via the form on this page.

Much improved Venice lounge for British Airways passengers

When we were flying out of Venice two weeks ago, I was delighted to see that – as part of a major airport redevelopment – the Marco Polo lounge used by British Airways passengers (it is also in Priority Pass and Amex Gold‘s Lounge Club) has been overhauled.

The two photos above and below do not really do it justice.  There is now an outdoor terrace, an indoor Winter garden and decent food, and the variety of seating works well for solo business travellers as well as holidaying families.  There is even a barista – you are not allowed to make your own coffee!

One other benefit from the redevelopment is that there is now a direct elevated travelator link between the water taxi dock and the terminal.  You do not need to weave your way through the car park in the rain any longer.  If you have been to the Marco Polo lounge in Venice before and been disappointed, I recommend trying it again.

Win a £50 LivingSocial voucher

Finally, we are giving away a £50 LivingSocial voucher, valid for any of their daily deals, over at Shopper Points todayClick here for the article.  It will only take 30 seconds to enter.

Interesting Sunday Times piece on what caused BA's data breach - and possible cash compensation
Review: Why the JW Marriott resort in Venice continues to frustrate me, and why we return (Part 1)
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Comments

  1. OT: How can anyone living in the Republic of Ireland get on to mile collecting game? I have a few friends there and they are envious.

    • Not easy, especially as Amex is not there. There is a credit card which lets you earn SuperValu supermarket points which convert to Avios but that is about it.

      • The strange economy makes incentive schemes really difficult to operate.

        If you’re rich you only really pay full tax if you want to (fun fact: Saint Bono uses legal tax avoidance strategies, Enya and Michael O’Leary don’t)

        Apart from SuperValu (personally don’t like their stores much), Tesco clubcards registered with UK addresses can collect 1 point per €1 in all ROI Tesco, then convert to usual 600 avios for 250 points online (deselect paper vouchers).

        This is a boost for UK tourists visiting ROI but a bit underwhelming for ROI residents.

        Also, occasional ROI offers on avios aer lingua e-store.

        Otherwise pretty hopeless I’m afraid.

      • Although you should be able to get a UK issued Amex charge card in EUR.
        https://www.americanexpress.com/icc/index.html

        (With the key bit to point out being it uses a different rewards catalog, some partners and rates are different compared with non-ICC normal UK issued cards).

    • Have to laugh sorry…you first posted your question on a FF blog over 9 hours ago and nobody has yet volunteered the most obvious and fundamental answer 🙂

    • Given the annual 30 Euro stamp duty collected on each card you have, surprised anyone uses credit or debit cards in Ireland!

  2. OT: Do the new terms for the Lloyds Avios Reward Cards (cancellation of Amex, implementation of FX fees, lower Avios earning rates) kick in for everyone towards the end of September? We still have not received any communications from Lloyds.

    • I havent heard anything more from Lloyds (the original letter said the card would close in October) but I can say that the voucher I earned in Aug has posted already to my Avios account.

      • Thanks, we had confirmation our voucher would come in when the statement is released in September. Does it go to your Avios account or BAEC? (Lloyds keep sending Avios to this special Avios account they created rather than the BAEC number provided…when they can be bothered to transfer the correct amount at all). I imagine you have to call BA when booking to use the voucher?

        • No, you call avios.com, but if you want to use your BA avios they can transfer them over instantly. I have done this twice in the last 3 weeks.

        • Can this be checked online in advance on avios.com? i.e. to confirm availability & price?

          e.g. oneway INV-LHR-KUL

        • Jim – I don’t know, but I took my availability from BA.com and there were no issues.

        • Hi, Sorry just seen this reply. Mine got sent to my Avios account, the same one that has last years voucher on it.

  3. OT – (albeit this is bits). Arguably being a tad lazy here but can anyone provide any info’details on what I could expect to pay in taxes etc. if I [somehow] manage to score a ticket to Tokyo via a 241 redemption? Thanks

  4. OT: I’m thinking of doing the Hilton Diamond status challenge soon as we have a few stays coming up this year and early next. A question when it comes to how Hilton count the stays, I have a 3 night booking at a Hilton and a 1 night Conrad stay booked on the last night for the family, so on the same night I have a Hilton and Conrad booked. Will this count as two stays?

    Sorry if the message is a bit confusing!

    • No, one will be seen as overlapping and not count – this would probably the the Conrad. And, as the challenge is stay based, your 3 nights only count as 1 stay.

      • Thanks Rob so it would more sense for all of us to stay at the Conrad on the last night if I want an additional stay…

        • Yes, keep them separate if you want the stays to count separately. Check out of one then check in to the other.

          If you do the status challenge then you should get 3x points at the Conrad (I say ‘should’ because their initial list did not include some Conrads in the triple points offer, but I think they fixed that after being inundated with complaints).

  5. OT: 1Y anniversary coming up, any recommendations for a nice hotel to book? I am looking for a luxury or 5* hotel, or best that I can get for £150-180. I am in London with car so can travel an hour or 2.

    • Not sure how much Four Seasons Hampshire is midweek (very pricey at weekends) but room-only, with Emyr booking it so you get free breakfast and $75 of hotel spend credit, would be a good deal if the pricing worked. Potential for low £200s.

      Whilst you’re not going far, I have a soft spot for Hilton Syon Park but it is only pseudo countryside – and is attached to a garden centre!

      Chewton Glen, The Grove, Whatley Manor (Wiltshire, no kids) worth a look but, again, would need to be midweek to avoid the weekend price surge.

    • Personal soft spot for Hanbury Manor (Marriott)

    • I second both Hanbury Manor and Syon Park. If you like spas, Pennyhill Park…

    • Nick Burch says:

      The Crowne Plaza at Heythrope Park in Oxfordshire (about 15 mins drive north of Oxford) is pretty nice, solid 4* rather than 5* but decent restaurant, fairly good spa, lovely huge grounds. May also help with your accelerate targets too!

      If you want a huge spa but only average hotel, Whittlebury Hall near Silverstone is another option, and you may be able to get a good spa+hotel+dinner package from them or from a spa break reseller

  6. OT: Hilton Leeds

    Any folks stayed there or the DT, doesn’t look like either has an exec lounge…

    • Neither have a lounge. I stayed in Hilton Leeds recently for 1 night. Got an upgrade to a suite, assume courtesy of my diamond status, as I didn’t as for an upgrade. A complimentary gin and tonic in the room.

      Didn’t rate the air con, it seemed pretty inefficient.

      Fine but not an overwhelmingly great hotel.

    • Marriott has a lounge and is a slightly better location. Stayed at the Hilton and it is fine for an overnight but beds leave alot to be desired. Ask for a drink voucher when you check in as they don’t hand them out.

    • johnny_c-l says:

      I prefer Hilton Leeds to the Doubletree despite it being old. Diamond upgrades are good and service is quicker than the Doubletree. Food (incl. breakfast) is best avoided.

  7. Chelseafi says:

    OT trying to book NY flights via amex travel to use the £200 cashback. I am searching economy but it doesn’t seem to give me the option of adding checked bag, it just says contact airline direct to add? Anyone else had this?

  8. Hsergio10 says:

    OT:Emirates is offering up to $1000 Discount If Flight is Paid By Any American Express Card From U.S. Gateway (*)

    Save on qualifying round-trip flights with Emirates after you book and pay with any American Express® Card from August 26, 2018, through December 31, 2018, for travel September 1, 2018, through May 31, 2019. Use the promotion code EKAMEX2.

    Depart from any Emirates gateway in the U.S., travel to the Emirates destination of your choice, and receive:

    • $50 off Economy Class fares
    • $300 off Business Class fares
    • $1,000 off First Class fares

    (*)Offer valid when you pay with any American Express® Credit or Charge Card.

    a US colleague forwarded this to me. Hope it helps

  9. OT:
    What airline & hotel partners apart from BA and Emirates lets you pool points? Is there a way to pool Marriott?

    My entire family have points now on the Amex gold that I’m trying to pool now and just assessing my options.

    • Marriot by phone, relatively low limit which is waived if you need them for a booking. Also Hilton that you can do online. Not sure about any others.

    • Mlies & More, but only if registered to an address in DACH (Germany , Austria, Switzerland)

    • Hilton lets you pool, Marriott lets you transfer up to 100k per year between people.

      • isn’t Hilton ‘pooling’ just transferring between accounts?
        I have done it a few times recently and I just entered the account number I was transferring to and their email address. went through next working day in all cases.

        • Yes, they call it pooling but in reality that’s what it is. Which is handy as my Mrs was in one last night and I want her (double) points!

  10. Does availability of Cathay cash flights to Hong Kong generally mean that Avios seats on those flights will also be released/available too?

    Final destination is Denpasar via HKG. I know other alternatives are available but really would like to fly Cathay in PE. Conversation with BA call centre ended with me being fobbed off with Cathay reward seats haven’t been released, keep trying. Groan!

    Any tips on how to nab Cathay award seats pls and do I have to be an Air Asia member to view reward availability on Cathay website?

    TIA

    • Out of curiosity why are you keen on Cathay PE? We were discussing it on here yesterday. It’s an option for at least 2 of us for upcoming trips. Previously the person who had travelled said it was nothing special.

  11. Hey Rob, thanks for highlighting the new card offers on Amex; I seldom look at these unless prompted, but not only did my Gold account show me the 400 MR Points for £10 Tesco spend offer, it also offered me 500 MR Points if I spend £10 in Boots.
    Neither of these targets will be difficult to achieve !!!

  12. OT: has anyone been able to confirm whether the £100 back on £500 Hilton US in store spend works when buying online?

  13. There’s a spend £10 in Boots get 500 MR in my list of AMEX offers, in addition to the Tesco spend £10 get 400 MR

  14. OT: Has anyone had success with Hyatt £60 off £300 (Amex) with a prepaid rate?

    I’ve used it successfully at checkout, but have it on multiple cards, with a scheduled Hyatt stay unfortunately after the offer expiry date.

  15. OT Amex spg compensation for complaint – what were people getting? I got offered cash credit instead of points which I found odd.

  16. OT, IHG premium credit card related.

    Purchased something online abroad and paid with IHG cc a month ago. Just been advised today that the purchase cost would only attract 2 IHG points per pound rather than 4 points per pound despite 3% FX being charged. It appeared that all international online payment will only receive basis 2 IHG points only rather than 4 IHG points for an international transaction.

  17. The Original Nick says:

    OT, I’ve just pretty much checked the whole of April 2019 for Avios reward availability via BA for CX flights HKG-AMS and HKG-SIN with nothing showing at all. This is very odd.

  18. Steve O'Hara says:

    OT – if I book a 241 redemption from LHR now, can I alter the booking before departure if necessary to begin and end in Belfast, in a straightforward manner? Is there the option of changing departure of booking online in manage my booking or is it a cancel the whole thing and rebook job?

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