Bits: those £50 Amazon vouchers, 1.1p Groupon Avios back again, Accor buys 3 top London hotels

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News in brief:

Your £50 Amazon Business voucher

Last week we covered a very generous offer for anyone with their own SME.  Amazon offered HFP readers a 50% discount on their next order (maximum discount £50) when they created a free Amazon Business account.  See here if you missed it.

There were some delays getting the 50% discount codes out, but most who signed up on the first day should have had their codes yesterday.  If you didn’t, please wait another couple of days – I will do a tidy up next week.  Look in your spam folder though as a large percentage seem to have ended up there.

If you didn’t sign up last week, you can register your company by following the instructions in this article.  You ONLY qualify for the code if you use our sign-up link.

PS.  Using ‘pay by invoice’ means you cannot use the 50% discount code, as per the terms and conditions.  You need to add a credit card and then wait 48 hours.  The code should then work against any qualifying order which is charged to the card.

PPS.  One reader said yesterday that to get the code to work he had to do the following (no idea why!):

“1) Go to “Business Settings”
2) Click “Shared Settings”
3) Change from “Individual…” to “Do not allow…” and update
4) Go back to “Shared Settings” and change it back to the first option”

Amazon Business free £50

1.1p Avios via Groupon Spain back again

The Groupon ‘cheap Avios’ promotion in Spain, with Iberia Plus, is back again.  Click here for details.

The cheapest – and best value – 2,000 Avios package is sold out but the rest are still available.

Here are the prices:

  • 4,000 Iberia Plus Avios for €54 (1.2p)
  • 8,000 Iberia Plus Avios for €99 (1.1p)
  • 15,000 Iberia Plus Avios for €189 (1.1p)
  • 20,000 Iberia Plus Avios for €249 (1.1p)
  • 35,000 Iberia Plus Avios for €439 (1.1p)

Whilst these deals were administratively messy when they first appeared, I haven’t heard any reader complaints for a while.  The IT seems to be working now.  Of course, all of the information is in Spanish but Chrome can translate the page for you.

You can buy a LOT of points.  The limit is 5 coupons per Iberia account for the 4,000, 20,000 and 35,000 Avios packages and 10 per account for the 8,000 and 15,000 Avios packages.  These Avios can be transferred across to British Airways via ‘Combine My Avios’ without any problems once the Iberia account is 90 days old.

The Groupon Spain page you need is here.

Groupon Spain Avios deal

Accor buys three top London hotels

Accor, owner of Novotel, Ibis, Sofitel, Mercure etc, has been on a massive spending spree in the last couple of years.

Some of the investments made sense, eg Raffles, Swissotel and Fairmont hotels.  Others in more tangential spaces such as home rentals were more questionable, to put it mildly, and the company has already started writing some of them down in its accounts.

The latest investment seems sounder.  On Tuesday, Accor confirmed that it has completed the acquisition of 50% of SBE Entertainment for $319m.  Full details are here.

You might not know the SBE name, but it includes brands such as SLS, Delano and Morgan.  This means that, in London, Accor is gaining:

  • The Sanderson
  • The Saint Martins Lane Hotel
  • Mondrian London (in the old Sea Containers building on the South Bank)

Hopefully it won’t be too long before these are folded into Le Club AccorHotels.  It is only a shame that Accor’s revenue based redemption model means that there won’t be any bargains at SBE’s notable South Beach hotels in Miami.

(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.)

Competition & Markets Authority launches probe into the BA / AA / Iberia / Finnair transatlantic JV
Bits: TAP one-ways UK to US, more BA Nashville services (with Avios seats), my Clare Smyth lunch
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  1. OT, anyone else playing Marriott 29 ways ? Daily prizes available, just won a big 50 points!

    • Yes, let’s see if they can credit the points to our accounts without any drama.

    • Thanks. Hadn’t heard it had finally started.

      • Started working last night, will cover tomorrow.

        • Sussex Bantam says:

          I won 50 points as well ! Woo hoo

          On the positive side I didn’t know that Marriott had “curated TED talks” in its rooms and one of the clues (at least for me) was the Heidelberg Marriott which is where I am staying right now !

    • 500 points for me!


      Ritz-Carlton, here I come!!!!!

      • Stuart_f says:

        1000 points!
        This is almost as good as the NFL giveaway last year 😛

      • Seems the points are not guaranteed, even if you get the answers correct. Got 50 points yesterday, none today, only an entry into the grand draw. Looks like YHA/YMCA for me 🙂

    • Thank you for mentioning this I just won 50 points whoop! Hopefully, it will reset my points expirations.

      • Doesn’t matter if your answer was correct or not. Ans I think you only have one chance to win instant win. If you’ve won 50 points, then that’s it for next 28 days I guess.

  2. OT – my points from my last month spend on SPG Amex have actually posted into my combined Marriott account. Still missing the two months prior though.

    • You are the first I have heard of in getting SPG Amex points transferred – congrats(!). I guess we couldn’t expect them to get everything right… Did last month’s points transfer around the statement production date as they used to? What have they said about the missing two months?

      I need my missing 3 months’ transfers to work later this month for a booking I have at the end of Nov,

      • Went at the date they usually would and arrived pretty much straight away. I have had zero response to me emails regarding the missing points (don’t have the energy to sit on the phone over it)

    • Update from Marriott:
      Thank you for providing permission. I have followed up with my colleagues regarding both accounts. I can confirm the issue was stemming from the UK Card technical issue I referred to below. My colleagues have confirmed all missing points will be caught up in your account by this Monday October 15th.

  3. OT: anyone know if we can still merge points across two SPG accounts?

    • SPG accounts no longer exist. Your old SPG account is now a Marriott account with a new 9 digit number.

      Marriott allows 100k to be transferred per year.

      • General housekeeping. im assuming there is no need to keep both SPG and Marriott apps now… Im originally a Ritz Carlton gold member – is there any reason to keep SPG over Marriott to log in etc?

  4. Kevin C says:

    The SBE hotels in Miami Beach are often discounted in the HotelTonight app though the resort fee is on top. I’ll be in Miami Beach next month. Any tips? I have accommodation.

  5. barnaby100 says:

    i registered via the link but no amazon voucher, I have emailed them but no reply, how long does it take?

  6. OTT – I happened to visit this tower. This new hotel elevation looks stunning .

    This is coming up in East Village in Olympic park, apparently it’s neighbour is going to London’s 3rd Curio collection.

  7. Dimitri says:

    Does anybody know, for European flight upgrades with BA, does the reward flight saver still apply? I was quoted a £80 additional taxes for an upgrade from economy class to business class plus 17000 avios! I was expecting £50-£35 = £15

    • Shoestring says:

      I just get a message (for tomorrow’s RFS flight) that redemption flights can’t be upgraded with Avios – & the with money upgrade is not being offered

    • Might have to cancel and rebook. In any case I think you would have to pay the £35 change fee?

      • Dimitrios Konstantinidis says:

        Sorry I was not clear. The ticket was paid cash and I want to upgrade within europe by using avios. But I was quoted a very high fee on top of the avios necessary for the upgrade.

  8. OT – Amex referral question

    My wife has BAPP. Can she refer me for Amex Gold? The refer link only shows BAPP card and no other options. Anyone know how this can be done?

  9. Has anyone else had issues receiving/viewing the Groupon voucher? I can only see the ‘View Details’ button in ‘My Groupones’

    • Ignore me, it takes about an two hours to appear below ‘View Details’… it did for me anyway…

  10. OT SPG card.
    If I only collect Avios and sometimes go for hotel redemptions(so flexible on which hotel program), is it better to collect on my SPG rather than Plat? I get more in SPG points and Avios if I transfer 60k


    • Yes, you get more Avios (assuming you transfer in chunks of 60k points) at 1.25 per £1, and a lot more value if you want Marriott / SPG hotels. You lose Hilton / Radisson / Eurostar as transfer options but gain a lot more airlines.

      • Thanks. So to get SPG points, sign up bonus, CC spend. Any other way?
        If OH transfers me some points and it adds up to 60K, could I still transfer at 1.25?

        • Note that there have been numerous reports of Marriott short-changing people by a couple of points on these transfers since the integration eg getting 24,998 instead of 25,000, leaving people a handful of points short of a desired redemption.

  11. I have a SPG Amex

    Anyway I can get some points by getting a supplemental card for my wife?

  12. Very restrictive T’s and C’s – Limited to Hilton hotels in London (no mention of whether this includes Heathrow or not, but I’d hope so?). Also excludes Hampton and Garden Inn properties.

  13. OT: BAEC Combine My Avios

    Just logged in and saw “Sorry, you are not eligible to combine your Avios”

    Any idea why this would be?

    I haven’t done anything. (Except for not taking some very cheap Iberia flights I booked a while ago…)

    • Never mind – It’s gone back to normal. Maybe just caught it in the middle of an IT update

  14. whyalwaysme says:

    OT: VA CC miles clawback

    Awardwallet just alerted me to a major clawback from VA CC today, seems they may have been over generous with the miles this month. Online statements on both accounts hiding the mistake. Anyone else see this?

    • Yes – I noticed exactly the same thing. Only know about it thanks to AwardWallet.

      • whyalwaysme says:

        Having rang both VA Flying Club & VA CC they deny any deductions to my account. Obviously the agents only see the front end source of truth.
        I would presume the FCA would take a very dim view on retrospectively changing issued financial statements! Raise a VA CC complaint regarding this, they have to investigate & respond.

        • Roberto says:

          I got twice as many as I should have had. The next day the overpayment was clawed back.

  15. Mr(s) Entitled says:

    OT Bits: I’ve an Amex platinum card and I want to refer the wife for the free BA Avios. Will I still get the 18k MR, a lower amount, or none at all? Thanks in advance,

  16. whyalwaysme says:

    OT: Existing Amex Gold CC, any way to upgrade to plat for bonus. Tried upgrade link but no dice from CC. Looking for the preferred method for maximum points to go plat. Could always refer Wife
    to plat I suppose. Thanks!

  17. OT Does anyone know what the deal is with churning the IHG Creation card? Is it possible to get the sign up bonus again?

    • I don’t think anybody really knows yet so if you are going to try best leave at least a year.

  18. O/T

    Any advice for HKG accommodation for one night stay (arrive 11am one day, depart 11pm the next day)

    I’m travelling solo and am thinking Kowloon but no real plan except to see about the place, enjoy some food etc.

    (I believe James67 might have good knowledge on this topic?)


    • Shoestring says:

      Not sure about current hotels but Kowloon is easily the best choice in your situation, I lived there for 3 months and it’s perfect/ central (more central than Central!) for getting to all the bits you’ll want to see & very lively.

    • I agree with Harry. I like Kowloon best too, the vibe in the streets it better there and various markets all within a half days walking distance. Second day you can go over to Central. Would strongly recommend taking the public bus from Airport to Kowloon, get front seat upstairs. I forget the route number but I am sure somebody will add. I like to ride the bus to Aberdeen and NT but in time you have got best focus on main attractions. Don’t forget to find a good vantage point for the light show in evening.

    • Ooh I prefer the island, wherever you go see if you can get a late checkout. It’s gauranteed with Amex Plat FHR and free breakfast with other credits can stack up, especially on a one nighter.

      • Good call sir! Thanks for this idea. 4pm is late checkout, right? which would be ideal. Maybe price is prohibitive though, esp as am travelling alone, thus don’t need ‘luxury’ pricing. I don’t have Plat currently but would consider if viable. 19 Feb 2019 if anyone can check 😉

        • Cheapest FHR is The Langham, £200 p/night with 4pm guaranteed check out, US $100 f&b credit and the usual upgrade if available.

          Not a bad deal but I don’t know that hotel.

        • Thank you Darren, I really appreciate you taking the time out to check this for me.

        • Darren’s suggestion is good if you have more time in HK and want to spend time in hotel. However, I got the impression you wanted to see HK on your stay. If so then the late check out and hotel meals is more of a hindrance than a help so little point paying over the odds for it either even though rate is good. If you are really just looking for a bed for the night then best just get a tourist hotel in my opinion and money saved will cover rest of your HK break.

        • Hi BJ, you’re absolutely spot on. But I was nonetheless very grateful for Darren’s effort. Am sure Darren won’t mind if I book a (decent looking) hostel in Kowloon for two nights, at a total cost of £34, and thus acquire a late checkout :-0

        • For HK the “in town check-in” is a wonderful thing. If you buy an Airport Express ticket you can dump bags at Central or Kowloon stations any time on day of departure and they go through to HKG and onto your flight. You then go through airport HBO and are no longer tied to a hotel and can spend the day doing what you feel like. We prefer HK Island to Kowloon but both have merits.

          Have stayed at Harbour Grand on the Island which is great value and only 20 mins from Central by MTR or Ritz Carlton which is undeniably expensive but a great location. Gins at Ozone one of the best things we have ever done.

        • To add to Stu’s comment. You can combine the use of Airport Express for your return journey and still have the arrival experience of taking the public double decker bus from the airport into town. When you enter arrivals hall at the airport you will see a big circular information desk. with several counters. Go there and they will set you up with an Octopus card(like Oyster) and you can have your airport express for return journey loaded on it. Then just follow signs to bus station. If you need to top up the Octous you can do that easily in a 7elevem store.

        • @HKG

          A HOSTEL!!!

          I’m bitterly disappointed. ????

    • Ihg indigo in Wan Chi was a good shout I found. 25k points and upgraded to a corner room with a view towards the peak. Quite a cool rooftop swimming pool and bar also.

  19. O/T How does the Virgin Atlantic credit card 2 for 1 voucher show in your Virgin Atlantic account? I passed the £10k mark a couple of weeks ago and the statement has rolled over. The points are showing in my account for my last statement but I can’t see a voucher?

    • It doesn’t. There’ll be a line in your statement about “reward qualification” or something (forget the exact words) but no other evidence in your CC account, VA account, or by mail. Nothing.

      To use it you have to phone. Make your note of when you got it because it’s up to you to track the expiration.

      It’s not a user friendly way of doing things.

  20. OT- Had a new Amex Gold CC for a week now and want to add a supplementary card for my OH. Had been advised not to do it on application but when can I add her and get the additional points – straight away?

    Also, can someone explain what a complimentary card is and how I add one of those at some stage for the spend bonus.

    • You can apply now your card is up and running, I think it’s hit and miss as to whether you will get extra points for the supplementary card.

      I have no idea what the complimentary card is, unless it’s the same as having your first supplementary card free of charge. I’m not aware of spend bonus on it but have only applied for them and not really spent on them!

      • Thanks – think I might have meant ‘companion card’ – for which I thought I had seen something about a bonus – or is that referring to the older charge card??

        • I think the companion card is only for the older gold charge card, as it was a credit card? I think you can still get a companion card for the plat, as it is still a charge card.

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