Bits: free hotel night with HSBC Premier credit card, Hilton to open at Silverstone

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News in brief:

HSBC Premier credit card offering a free hotel night

HSBC Premier has brought back its ‘free hotel nights’ offer on its free HSBC Premier Mastercard credit card.

If you take out the HSBC Premier credit card before 9th November you can claim a free night in one of a number of – surprisingly decent – UK hotels.

You need to have a HSBC Premier current account in order to get the credit card, and strict financial criteria apply.  There is a similar offer available if you do not already have the current account, so you would get two free nights if you applied for both.

The credit card offer requires you to apply by 9th November and spend £1,000 on the card, or make a £1,000 balance transfer, within 30 days.

The offer does not apply to the £195 HSBC Premier World Elite credit card.

This offer comes with a catch, to the extent that you need to give HSBC three possible dates and three possible hotels from the list.  This leads to a fairly decent chance that they will not be able to find anything you can use.  I am guessing they refuse to make rooms available if the cash price on that particular night is above a certain level.

The HSBC Premier credit card is the most generous free Visa or Mastercard available if you want to earn Avios.  You get 1 HSBC point, which converts to 0.5 Avios, per £1 spent.  You can also choose to earn Etihad Guest, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer or Asia Miles.

My full review of the free HSBC Premier Mastercard credit card is here.   You can learn more about the ‘free hotel nights’ offer here.

Thanks to Alex and Stewart for this.

Hilton hotel Silverstone motor racing circuit

Hilton to open a hotel overlooking Silverstone motor racing circuit

Hilton has announced plans to open a Hilton Garden Inn overlooking the Silverstone motor racing circuit in Northamptonshire.

Due to open in early 2020, it will include a rooftop terrace and offer raceday hospitality experiences for all the major sporting events held at the venue.  It will also have direct access to the Silverstone conference centre.

The new build hotel will be constructed on Silverstone’s International Pits straight, with extensive views over the track.  Guests will be able to enjoy views of the circuit from their guestroom balconies.

Hilton has a slightly odd niche in stadium hotels.  In the UK, it already has the Hilton Ageas Bowl in Southampton, the catchily named Hilton Garden Inn Manchester Emirates Old Trafford and the soon-to-open Hilton Garden Inn Doncaster Racecourse.

How to earn Hilton Honors points via UK credit cards

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Hilton Honors points 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 Hilton Honors points.  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.

(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.)

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  1. Simon Barlow says:

    OT – do airlines offer last minute cheap flights? If so, is there a web site that offers last minute deals?
    Currently working within spitting distance of Gatwick and would love a lucky dip of seeing what is available on a Friday afternoon for a last minute cheap weekend away!

    • Shoe string says:

      BA offers Avios availability at the last minute – sort of, ie last few days before flight. If the flight is full – no go, of course. But for non-peak times, there is surprisingly good availability even when the cash cost has gone astronomical. This works especially well with business availability – or so I’ve found on my route to our place in the sun. Patchy Economy availability, the flights look full.

      So in a way, that’s ‘last minute cheap’.

      Check it out. one way Business £650 for the next 10 days, 12500 Avios to you, sir.

      • I needed a flight to Frankfurt with 36 hours notice this week, £450 return in economy, checked avios and managed to get it as a reward flight saver. That’s the power of avios, opens up trips where you might not pay the cash price. As an extra bonus the Sheraton Frankfurt airport was EUR350 as there was a big event on. Checked on points and managed to use the SPG amex free night there. Absolute result, would have been a very expensive 12 hours there otherwise.

    • Would be interested to find out, as well. I always wondered whether you can turn up at the ticket desk at the airport and try your luck there…

      • You can turn up at a ticket desk and buy a ticket a few hours before a flight, but it will be at the going prices and they won’t be very happy if you ask them to search every possible destination.

    • Websites like Skyscanner should show flight availability – in the old days we used Teletext lol!

    • Not these days. More chance with miles.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Try google flights. You can set Gatwick as start and Europe as the destination. Make it direct flights only and It will show prices for everywhere on the dates you pick

      Ive only ever tried that on an actual pc though.

    • I recall an article in the Independent some years ago now, describing a difficult-to-find office in a remote part of Gatwick that did just what you are looking for.
      Apparently people in the know would turn up with a suitcase and a passport and just take what was on offer.
      So you would think that there would still be some sort of facility still today.

      • Did they find you accommodation as well, because that’s what is expensive nowadays… unless HFPers are prepared to turn up to hostels without a booking

        • When I visited the States often I used the bank of phones and hotel ads in arrivals halls with good results. I think given they knew you were there and standing in front of ads for many other hotels they probably felt they had little alternative except to offer a great rate if they wanted your custom. No longer visit the States much and cannot even recall if they still have those hotel ads in this mobile age.

  2. OT, apologies if this has been answered before. My gold charge card has just renewed (and I’ve received the 10k bonus points and been charged the annual fee). I’ve seen the link to upgrade to Platinum for 20k points. Firstly does this still work? And if I do that, will I get a pro rata refund for the gold fee and just be charged the fee for the new card? Thank you 🙂

  3. OT: Platinum House.

    We went along last night. Was impressed.

    There are various rooms: A big bar, a disco/performance space, a whisky room with various varieties including Hibiki, a fashion shop, a chill out room with chewing gum and The Queen Is Dead on vinyl.

    Cocktails were excellent as was the finger food supplied I think by Hakkasan.

    We got a gift of a camera lens for your phone. There’s lots of opportunities to have your photo taken in front of an Amex logo in case you’re an influencer.

    There was a contemporary dance performance which looked great but was hard to see from the back of the room.

    Don’t think you can just turn up tonight as it is the end of fashion week party. Hard to tell what it would be like for the morning sessions but the map mentions brunch bowls.

    • We went on the opening night, and was also impressed especially by the James Bay performance and how intimate it really was with very few people. The food and alcohol selection was good and everything was free! I was very surprised to see that most people seemed to be in their late 20s (I’m 26) which wasn’t at all what I was expecting for the Amex Plat membership base.

      • Also on Android at least they have removed Support option as well.
        Tried Iphone App while the option is there, tried sending a support message via App and that did not go through.

        I have new front clear (no numbers/name) “commercial debit” card.

    • The Streets says:

      +1 had a great evening!

  4. OT – Curve seem to have removed the right to withdraw up to £200 cash on a linked credit card and have it appear as a purchase. This was announced on a blog yesterday and is effective immediately. There’s also some speculation that payments to HMRC will also be seen as a cash withdrawal. Would be great if someone can confirm. The link from an email they sent out:

    • Nobody really knows about HMRC yet but Rob made veiled reference to an annoucement coming next week so something is coming.

      I can’t see that credit card providers will code HMRC charges as cash advance when they come through Curve- they didn’t when it was direct payments. Easy to test though – pay a £50 contribution to VAT/SA/CT/PAYE and see how it goes. I’d do it but I’ve hit the usage limit on my Curve and they aren’t returning my emails!

      • Memesweeper says:

        +1 — by no stretch is HMRC a cash advance.

        I’ve only really used the cash at ATM feature abroad, but it will be a shame to see it go. What’s a Starling or Revolut top up going to be coded as? That’s my big concern.

        • Shoe string says:

          Not usually defined as cash advance but as financial services, so buying currency, paying HMRC, paying off credit card bill, anything like that.

          Having said that, I bought a couple £thou foreign currency with my Tesco Purchases credit card and that was seen as a real goods purchase (via HIFX if you want to give it a go).

        • swhostring says:

          Not usually defined as cash advance but as financial services, so buying currency, paying HMRC, paying off credit card bill, anything like that.
          Having said that, I bought a couple £thou foreign currency with my Tesco Purchases credit card and that was seen as a real goods purchase (via HIFX if you want to give it a go).
          And there’s still £21 c/b for your first HIFX transaction = easy Avios
          His ‘n hers a no brainer even if you don’t ever use them again

        • Optimus Prime says:

          Before the interchange fee cap HMRC did accept personal credit cards and people didn’t get charged an extra fee for paying taxes with Creation or MBNA cards, did they?

        • HMRC is not a financial institution.

        • My SA payment to HMRC was classed as ‘Business Services’.

      • Zero notice given.

        I tried to pay my tax at HMRC yesterday. It failed several times, but one attempt went through. If that comes through as a cash advance and I get charged for it I’ll be livid.

        I tried again just now, and it was declined every time. That’s why I came here looking to see if anyone else is having trouble, and now I learn that Curve have changed it without warning.

        Bad enough to lose the option to gain points and miles while paying my VAT bill, but to do it like this without any notice, and in a way that may well cause people to get charged for cash advances is really bad.

        If only I’d paid my tax on Thursday…

        • Same here, repeated attempt all declined without any proper message on App.
          Just says declined without any further explanation!

          Might hold off just in case (as wildly speculated now) Amex is a go again from next week!

    • I withdrew £10 yesterday from an ATM on curve linked to IHG premium card to see what will happen. I’ll report back when it stops pending.

      • Done the same on white card, nothing to update yet.

        • Argh. The frustration for me is that was announced with zero notice. No matter what the new improved offer might be, curve have self inflicted some reputational damage here.

        • Agreed @Dan. Trust is hard to gain but easy to lose… especially when you are a faceless company like a fintech is.

      • The improved offer may be that Amex can be used again. If that’ turns out to be true I guess you’ll forget all about this “reputational damage” and happily continue using Curve

        • Shoe string says:

          giveth/ taketh away —> taketh away this time? or both?

          My guess: no HMRC, but Amex coming back

        • Shoe string says:

          and in that case, I might demean myself with ATM withdrawals to hit spend targets 🙂

        • I’m not sure. I think the introduction of amex *might* be a reasonable trade off – but I find I don’t shop too many places that don’t already accept Amex now – so it would be largely useless to me.

          Unless, of course, the loophole remains!

        • Amex is much more widely accepted than it used to be. I put very little value on being able to charge an extra few hundred quid to Amex (or for that matter, a few hundred quid of cash withdrawals).

          The value comes from being able to pay tens of thousands of pounds of tax. Very disappointed to lose that. On the same day my regular Hiltons shot up from 10k to 20k points…..

          My free Etihad custom luggage tags arrived, but I’d rather have all the points I got from paying taxes via curve last year.

  5. Would that work for paypoint purchases at Co-op?

  6. Annoyingly not seeing the co-op offer on my account

  7. OT – hotel reward related
    Looks like Hilton has increased the points redemption rate yesterday quietly. Sweet spot
    DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Sheffield Park has went up to 20000 from 10000.

    • Thanks for the heads up. Was a bargain, and I use it to visit family in Sheffield. Don’t think I’ll bother with Hilton Points in future. I see the Hampton in Sheffield has also gone to 20K points.

    • Add the Hampton Liverpool Airport to the list of 10k to 20k.

    • Also up to 20K: DT Johor, Hilton Salalah, HGI Krakow Airport, Hampton Gdansk Airport, Hampton Warsaw Airport, Hampton Minsk, DT Aqaba. HGI Tangier now 30K.

      If paid rates are cheap they may be less than 20K but unlikely to be as low as 10K any more.

      Still 10K: Hampton Newport (Wales), Hampton Krawow, DT Bratislava, some Turkish ones (HGI IST still 5K, but no point staying there once the new airport actually opens), DT Kuala Lumpur, Hilton Petaling Jaya.

  8. Optimus Prime says:

    OT – has anyone successfully applied for both Virgin Money credit cards?

    • Needs 6 month gap and not 6 months old yet. Apparently. We will find out in 6-8 weeks I guess.

    • No, but with a lot of hassle I’ve managed to migrate from Rewards to Rewards+. Had to apply, get rejected, then call up to initiate request, then clear balance on existing card, then call back. They’ve promised existing credit limit will transfer across to new card and be eligible for sign-up bonus, will know in a week or so when it (hopefully) arrives!

  9. OT
    I have looked at the referral links on my Platinum, SPG and BAPP cards and they all only allow applications for cards with the same reward currency.
    So it looks like they have reverted to the previous policy. Still it was very good while it lasted: we did seven referrals @ 18,000.

  10. OT,

    BKK to city car service, any promos with Blacklane or similar available?

    • 10% off code from my recent article should still work.

    • On similar note, I need a transfer from SIN to Orchard Road, Marriott.
      Any Singapore expert here?

      Looking for best mode of transport, coming in late evening, departing early morning with a week’s stay in Singapore. Obviously with transport, will not be hiring car but with luggage would like easy airport transfer.

      • Axel Heyst says:

        Taxi or Uber S$24.

        Then use public transport or Uber like everyone else in Sing.

      • Memesweeper says:

        Grab Taxi

      • From SIN there’s a reasonably priced shuttle bus which goes to many of the well known hotels.

        Don’t know if it stops at the Orchard Road Marriott but it did stop at the JWM South Beach (I just told the driver after buying the ticket and he took me there).

        You can buy tickets near the main exit/entrance. Grab is just okay – as others said, the app’s a bit crummy and drivers can end up at the wrong places for pickups.

    • Why not just use a taxi, much cheaper and no hassle finding it.

  11. OT – similar to Simon’s post above, is there a website, or other way, to search for flights by date rather than destination (for points and/or cash)? Quite often we have a window of opportunity for travel, but with no particular destination in mind. As far as I can find there is nothing like this, and doing countless reward searches on is not ideal (and worse with the map tool gone).

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