Bits: free £18 with a $ prepaid Mastercard, Virgin launches NYC Pride flight, HSBC Premier gives Langham status

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News in brief:

Get £18 ‘free’ with a FairFX prepaid Dollar Mastercard

Groupon is running an interesting offer on FairFX prepaid currency cards at the moment.

Via this link you can, for £7, buy yourself a US$ prepaid Mastercard.  When you load the card with £50, £25 is deducted which means you are just charged £25. 

Netting off the £7 cost of the Groupon voucher, you are £18 ‘up’.

It’s not that simple of course, because you have a prepaid Mastercard with a US$ balance on it.  You could spend it in the UK but there will be an FX fee attached to what you buy.  If you are heading to the US soon then you could use it there without fees.

Many of you may find the deal too fussy but I know some readers will find it up their street.  It will sell out quickly – a Euro version has already sold out.  The link to buy is here.

Virgin Atlantic pride flight New York 2019

Virgin Atlantic launches special NYC World Pride flight for 2019

Virgin Atlantic is launching a unique flight to take you to the World Pride event in New York next June.

This will be a flight like no other, it’s fair to say.  Staffed entirely by LGBT+ pilots and cabin crew, it will be hosted by Tituss Burgess – a Broadway musical actor and star of the Netflix show Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt – and will feature special guests and live performances.  It will include an on board DJ, ‘Drag-Queen Bingo’, a Judy Garland singalong, inter-seat speed dating and special in-flight entertainment.

A portion of ticket sales from the flight will be donated to The Attitude Magazine Foundation in the UK.  Further fundraising and raffles will take place on-board.

The flight departs from Heathrow to Newark on 28th June.  Flexible return dates are available.

Flight-only information is on the Virgin Atlantic website here.  Economy seats start at £380 so there doesn’t seem to be any surcharge for the entertainment, given that June is approaching peak season.  You can only book by telephone.

Flight plus hotel packages are available via Virgin Holidays here.

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.

Free Langham hotel status for HSBC customers

Free Langham ‘1865’ Voyager status for HSBC Premier credit card holders (and BA Gold members)

One of the lesser known benefits of being a British Airways Gold member is that you can get free mid-tier Voyager status in the Langham Hotels ‘1865’ loyalty scheme.

I wrote about how the Langham upgrade works for BA Gold members here.  The snag is that you can’t get the status in advance.  You need to show your BA Gold credentials at check-in and the hotel will then set it up for you, which is a bit of a drag if you’ve just landed in Asia after a 12 hour flight.

Langham Hotels offers a similar deal for HSBC Premier credit card holders.  The good news is that you can sign up to Voyager status online, so your benefits will be sorted out before you check in.

‘Voyager’ level would usually require five stays or 15 nights and gives you the following benefits:

6pm check-out subject to availability – very handy for evening flights

a one category room upgrade subject to availability

free fruit and water

your choice of personalised welcome amenity

free internet

500 Avios per NIGHT (maximum 3 nights) or 250 per night at Eaton

If you have a HSBC Premier credit card, you can find out how to claim your Langham Hotels status on the HSBC website here.  Note that this is only available to new members – if you already have an active ‘1865’ account then it cannot be upgraded.

The picture above is the smart Club Lounge at the Langham London on Portland Place, opposite the BBC.

(Want to earn more Virgin Flying Club miles?  Click here to see our recent articles on Virgin Atlantic and Flying Club and click here for our home page with the latest news on earning and spending other airline and hotel points.)

Literally everything you ever wanted to know about the BA Amex 2-4-1 voucher, in one article!
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  1. OT can a holder of a personal platinum amex get the welcome bonus for the business gold (where the business card is for a company)?

  2. O/T £25 off £100 spend at Bloomingdales

    Participating locations are selected stores in 13 US states. Terms also state “Promotion is intended for UK, CMs only” – what does “CMs” mean? cardmembers?

  3. Nice deal – all sorted for USD card 🙂

  4. I take that to mean that 40 retailers give you rewards (but there are a few million others where you can just spend it).

  5. Rob, Marriott’s 29 ways to stay is finally live today. I played and won 50 points!

  6. Bloke in India says:

    OT, marriotts 29 ways to stay game often gives prizes of a few marriott points and is finally live (after a false start) at

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