Bits: 80%-100% bonus buying Hilton points, BA introduces Pressreader, 15% off Flybe at Belfast

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Some more news in brief as I try to clear the World Travel Market backlog!:

80% – 100% bonus when you buy Hilton Honors points – save 55% in The Maldives!

Until 18th December, Hilton Honors (the new-ish Hilton Tallinn Park, reviewed here, is pictured below) is offering an 80% or 100% bonus when you purchase 10,000+ points.

The Hilton ‘buy points’ page is here.

I have been offered a 100% bonus but I know some people are only seeing 80%.

Regular readers of Head for Points will know that I tend to value Hilton points at 0.33p each.  You are paying 0.38p ($1,600 / £1,222 for 320,000) here if you buy the maximum so the maths in general doesn’t work.

HOWEVER ….. there ARE real bargains to be had at peak periods.  At the top end, the Conrad Maldives is usually 95,000 points per night.  Via this offer you would be paying under $500 per night which is a great deal.  We did a big review of Conrad Maldives here.  Remember that you can pool points between Hilton members for free so it is now easier for different people to buy points and merge them together.

Hilton also does ‘five for four’ if you have Hilton Honors status.  As Hilton will status match you from any other hotel scheme where you may have status, most HFP readers should qualify for this.  Taking 10th – 15th February as an example, five nights would cost you (95,000 x 4) 380,000 points which would cost $1,900 with this deal.  A non-refundable cash rate would cost $4,558.  

Similar deals are available at peak times in other major cities.  Conrad New York, for example, costs $3,693 for a five-night stay from 1st to 6th December.  Buying 320,000 points via this deal would cost just $1,600.   Conrad New York is an ‘all suite’ hotel which I recommend.

If you are just buying a handful of points to top off your account, the price per point doesn’t matter anyway.  If you a few thousand short of a redemption then this is a decent opportunity to buy them.

You can buy points via this link.  The offer ends on 18th December.

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.

hilton hotel tallinn park exterior press picture

British Airways introduces Pressreader

British Airways has announced a six-month trial of the Pressreader service.

From now until May, BA customers who booked via, or who are physically in selected BA lounges, will be able to download more than 7,000 newspapers and magazines to their mobile device before they fly.

A link will be sent in your pre-departure email, 24 hours before your flight takes off, and will remain active for 72 hours.  The content does not expire, which means that you can download a holiday-worth of pool reading if you wish.

The content covers publications from 156 different countries in 63 languages, so it will be difficult to claim that you can’t find something of interest!

Flybe special offer at Belfast City Airport

15% off Flybe flights at Belfast City

Flybe is offering 15% off all flights to and from Belfast City which are booked by 16th November.

You can book for travel dates up to 31st March 2019.  Routes include:

  • Aberdeen
  • Birmingham
  • Cardiff
  • Doncaster Sheffield
  • Edinburgh
  • East Midlands
  • Exeter
  • Glasgow
  • Inverness
  • Leeds
  • London City
  • Manchester
  • Southampton

Here’s the small print:

The promotional code is valid for flights booked between 02.11.18 – 16.11.18 departing between 07.01.19 – 31.03.19 on direct Flybe operated flights to and from Belfast City Airport (excluding codeshare and franchise partners) and is applied against the gross seat price displayed at the point of booking. Valid only for web bookings made on Offer is subject to availability and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.

The code you need to use on – and which is case sensitive – is BELFAST15.

Remember that you earn Avios on all flights booked on Flybe.  Details of their Avios scheme are 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. Phil Duncan says:

    The LH offering is very limited, I downloaded the Beano recently in the absence of anything else I had ever heard of. It was a bit of fun fifty years later though!

    • RussellH says:

      Beano is still worth a look, I reckon. I shall admit to some childish behaviour over 40 years ago when I was working as a research assisitant in an American university. Montreal was only 2 hours drive north, and WH Smith at the railway station sold the Beano, so I always picked up a copy when visiting.
      I pinned up the centre double page spread of the Bash Strret Kids on the outside of my lab door; once I opened the door to find a huddle of very young (presumably freshman) students who had been studying the Bash Street Kids and trying to work out their signicance to Organic Chemistry..

  2. Exchange rate ???

  3. Not sure if this is something new or not.

    My other half ran away to Germany on some organised R&D freebee thing the other day. When booking the flights, the company refused to let her fly back on the weekend for compliance purposes.

    However, I noticed that from 24hrs before her outbound flight, in the exec account, she was able to make changes to both flights via BA rather than directly via the travel agency.

    We didnt do it, but the change fee was £60 (ticket Ts&Cs) and pleanty of availability – the other note was that if she did change the flights via, then all subsequent changes would have to be done via BA and not the travel agency.

    Is this something new or is it just because I havent looked for it previously ? I thought all travel agency bookings had to be changed by the travel agency prior to the 1st outbound flight?

  4. OT just a quickie. AW says my wife’s Marriott Rewards due to expire next week. She has no stays but has been earning points through SPG Amex (accounts combined) – this is “activity” right?

    • This is what I was trying to sort out with Amex and SPG the other day. I called Amex to ask them to change my hubby’s old SPG number to the new merged number but was told it was already changed. I have loaded Marriott twice to AW – with the old SPG number and the new combined number. His Amex pts are going into the old SPG account and have an unknown expirry date against it. But when I phoned Amex they say it is correct at their end – while I was on the phone she called SPG rewards and I was able to speak to them too – she said even though I couldn’t see the actual expiry date as long as I had activity ie SPG Amex spend or MR transfer the date is 2 yrs from the last activity. Keep an eye on it though just in case. I have made a purchase on his account via the shopping portal which closes on 15/11 and an MR transfer on my account using the new account number in the hope that it all resets. Still waiting for both points to post to see if it works.

  5. OT: 8% back on Hilton in ME, Africa and Turkey from Halifax cards. Might be useful for those who have already used their amex offers.

  6. Stephen Lee says:

    Not sure where Rob gets 320,000 Hilton Hhonors points for £640.

    $1,600 = around £1,200, not £640, making such a deal completely pointless. It values 1 point at only 0.004 pence and would cost more in points than paying cash for a room.


    • Genghis says:

      Honest mistake, like I guess your 0.004 pence. As always with buying points, it can work for some people for targeted redemptions.

      • The exchange rate conversion in the article is a cut and paste error. All of other maths is correct though (I think).

  7. Stephen Lee says:

    Sorry I forgot to mention – I am being offered, with 80% bonus, 144,000 points maximum at $800 = £610 which is where I got my figure from.

  8. Jimmy Mac says:

    Very OT- Called AMEX on 26th October to transfer some points to Carlson, was told it would take up to 10 days. Called back 10 days later to query why they hadnt appeared, and was told it can take 14 days to register with Carlson, then could take another 10 days for the points to convert. I’m looking to book a hotel with Rewards for 17th November.

    Anybody got any advice on how to rush this along?


    • RussellH says:

      Sorry, no idea on how to rush this, but perhaps a lesson to learn?
      I make a point of linking my MR a/c to the hotel and airline partners I want as soon as the MR a/c is set up, and then making a small transfer into each one as soon as possible, as the first transfer always seems to take longer than subsequent ones. Particularly with Radisson Rerwards, where you only need to transfer 3 MR points, and the transfers are so slow.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Anyone know if you need to add or leave off numbers to do this online?

      Running into an error

      • Jimmy Mac says:

        Your Membership Rewards points will be transferred to Radisson Rewards within 10 working days upon your request. When entering your 16 digit account number, drop the first 6 digits and populate the last 10.

  9. OT but I just popped into the kids school and saw the infants being forced to use the loo before lunch. This seems an excellent airline cost saving measure. If no passenger was allowed to board until they visited the loo and got a stamp to prove it, there would be a noticeable reduction in weight and fuel burn ….:

    • You can take the man out of Rotherham but can’t take…

    • Steve-B says:

      Brilliant. Comment of the week, Rob ????

    • Don’t give Ryanair an idea, because this would developing into something along the lines of:

      You have to put in your verified weight at time of booking, you get some sort of “rewards” off your next flight if your weight has decreased between booking and checking in. On the other hand if you are heavier a penalty is due (and being Ryanair it will be a hefty penalty)…..

      • Off-topic, recently there was an Amex offer to earn 1000MR for an online spend with Curry’s, boots and some other retailers. We purchased something from Curry’s online, but we were not given any opportunity to pay online, being instructed to pick up and pay for the reserved product at a local Curry’s store, which we did. I assumed this would trigger the awarded points, but a week later, still nothing.
        I contacted Amex last night who said the purchase didn’t qualify because it was paid by chip and pin and not online. While I understand that is correct, I feel a little cheated that they have not awarded the points when I had no other online payment option offered on the site. In peoples’ experience, is this fair or am I able to present an argument that may get Amex to award the points. The web chat representative and their supervisor were adamant that they could not give me the points. Any advice appreciated.

        • You’ve chosen to reserve something online, the bonus was for online spend. Amex are correct. You could have chosen a different item that was available to buy online.

        • The rules were clear on this. Curry’s offer delivery and click and collect with payment online.

          Paying in store isn’t online spend.

          I was slightly worried about the Boots offer, because I paid on line and had the goods delivered, but then I went into the store to get a £10 price match refund. On my till receipts, it looked like a £150 refund and a £140 purchase, but it showed on my card as a £10 refund and the MRs posted fine.

        • I wouldn’t say you have a keg to stand on – the terms were clear, purchase online. Your purchase was in store (and you knew that at the point of purchase) – frustrating perhaps but transparent on their part..

      • @EwanG a “hefty” penalty

    • Spend Apenny says:

      This has actually already been done. By ANA in Japan.

    • I’m ‘relieved’ you’re blogging and not working for BA.

    • Maybe they could provide suppositories at check in

    • I can tell you now how that conversation would go:
      “Go to the toilet” “I don’t want to” “Just try” “But I don’t NEED to” “Just try because there won’t be a toilet stop for quite a while” “Well I’ll try, but nothing will come out” (a couple of minutes later) “Nothing came out, I told you I didn’t need to go!”

      • I’m just glad to have BA status when this kicks in, luckily i’ll be boarding with the ‘just a number one’ and not the ‘queuing for a number two’

      • ankomonkey says:

        We go through this type of conversation with my son on a daily basis.

    • Oh that is bad. Forcing people – especially children – to try and use the loo when they don’t need to can can cause all sorts of problems later in life.

    • Lady London says:

      Don’t give them ideas !

  10. OT: How do I know if I have a Curve Black (my card is black) but I have no tumi-wallet nor do I remember paying £50. The reason I am asking is that the foreign atm withdrawal limits are double and I am currently abroad!

    • Richard says:

      If you didn’t pay, it won’t be a Curve Black. Physical card colour is not determinative.

  11. BlueThroughCrimp says:

    OT – Hilton / Lufthansa 25 year points.
    Since the website maintenance, I’ve had 2 stays, during, and after.

    The one during definitely qualifies, but none are shown. (I have a gold myway bonus, despite being silver though!)

    The other was a 2 night stay 31 October to 2 November.

    Is anyone in the same boat re-points not posting, and secondly, is the stay starting on the last day of the promotion eligible for the 2500 points?

    • Voltron says:

      Stays had to have checked out by 31st October

    • I’m still awaiting one stay c/o 20/10 – all the others posted beautifully!

    • Brian W says:

      I had 4 stays (with the Garden Inn brand) over the course of Sept and Oct that show the 2,500 M&M points being awarded by Hilton but they haven’t transferred to my LH account. Ironically the last two stays I made in the last week of October before the upgrade (both DoubleTree’s) have been awarded and transferred to LH.

      Hilton are saying all the miles have been sent. LH say they haven’t. Some work required as is often the case in this game.

      For the record, my stay on Monday 5th this week is still pending albeit this isn’t valid for the M&M offer. The upgrade has clearly not gone to plan.

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