Bits: IHG ‘buy points’ bonus, 250 free Shangri-La points, 25% cashback with Gett, WOW Air going bust?

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News in brief:

Last day for 100% bonus when you buy IHG Rewards Club points

IHG Rewards Club – the InterContinental, Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza etc scheme – is running another sale with a bonus of up to 100% when you buy over 5,000 points. 100% is as generous an offer as you will ever see for IHG points.

The deal ends TODAY, 30th November.

The page to buy points is here.  It does not seem to be a targeted offer but different people get a different level of bonus, either 80% or 100%.

The standard prices, before the bonus, are:

  • 1,000 – 10,000 points for $13.50 per 1,000 points
  • 11,000 – 25,000 points for $11.50 per 1,000 points
  • 26,000 – 60,000 points for $10 per 1,000 points

With a 100% bonus, you would be able to buy 120,000 IHG points for (at current exchange rates for $600) £470.  

At the top end of the IHG Rewards Club portfolio, you have InterContinental properties which top out at 60,000 – 70,000 points per night. That’s what you would pay for InterContinental Le Grand in Paris or the InterContinental Amstel in Amsterdam pictured below.

You should look at this if you have a ‘buy points’ target for the latest Accelerate promotion – although it makes more sense to buy 5,000 and get the bonus than buy 1,000 for no bonus.  If you are topping off your account, it is also a good deal irrespective of the exact cents per point cost.  The maximum number of points you can buy per year is 200,000 (ie 100,000 plus the 100,000 bonus if you were offered the maximum 100% extra).

You can buy via this link.  The offer ends TODAY (actually, 5am on Saturday UK time).

IHG Rewards Club 100% buy points bonus

Get 250 free Shangri-La Golden Circle points and get a free drink in The Shard

Shangri-La Golden Circle has launched a new promotion to encourage you to download their app.

Full details are on the Shangri-La website hereYou will receive 250 points if you download the app and log-in before 28th February.  Non-members will get the bonus if they download the app and use it to open a new Golden Circle account.

Whilst you obviously won’t get a free room or be able to do an airline miles transfer with just 250 points, you CAN use them for a $25 credit towards eating or drinking in Shangri-La Hotels, which includes The Shard in London.  Details are here.

If you are Jade member of Shangri-La Golden Circle, which you can get for free via American Express Platinum, you get a higher rate of $1.25 per 10 points which means you’d get $31 of free food and drink (EDIT: The Shard only gives the standard rate of $1 per 10 points to Jade members).  Be aware that I’m not sure exactly how the process works and whether you need a Golden Circle plastic card in your hand in order to make an instant redemption.

Shangri La The Shard

25% cashback with taxi app Gett

American Express has launched a new cashback offer with taxi app Gett which operates in London, Bristol, Edinburgh, Coventry, Birmingham, Glasgow, Manchester and Newcastle.

The offer may or may not be showing under the ‘Offers’ section on the Amex app or website for one of your cards.  You need to ‘save to card’ if it is.

Once you’ve done that, you will receive 25% cashback on all of your Gett rides between now and 31st January.  The cashback is capped at £50 per card.

If you’re not already using Gett, if you sign up via my referral link here (click) you will receive £3 off your first five rides.  The offer may vary for cities outside London.

Gett Amex offer

WOW Air going bust?

(EDIT: overnight on Thursday, a US venture capital group announced – subject to due diligence – that it would invest in WOW.  Whilst not guaranteed, if this goes through it should take the pressure off for a few months.)

If you have a booking with WOW Air, you need to keep a very close eye on it.

The airline appears to be on the cusp of going bankrupt.  Icelandair has walked away from its agreed deal to buy the airline (we wrote about that here) and on Wednesday the airline handed back two A330 and two A320 aircraft to their lessors.

Whilst the airline is still flying as of today, you should start to research a back-up plan if you have tickets.  This may include, for example, booking Avios redemptions on the same routes which can be cancelled for £35 if WOW does survive.

(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. Charlie T. says:
  2. OT: BREAKING NEWS just came through

    Marriott says its Starwood database was breached on approximately 500 million guests
    Published 3 Mins Ago
    This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

  3. Have you read that article “Marriott learned during the investigation that there had been unauthorized access to the Starwood network since 2014″…….You can’t make this up!!

  4. OT: Using the Lloyds upgrade voucher for the first time. My avios account is now closed so I need to ring in to make a booking. The avios I need for the flight are split across 4 accounts that are part of the same household account. Will this be ok or do the avios all have to come from my account?

    • I used two in one go last week and they took the entire balance from my own account (head of our HH account)

    • Good afternoon everyone.

      Another O/T question but connected with the Lloyds upgrade voucher.

      A family member has the upgrade voucher from Lloyds Card and wanted to upgrade a possible BA flight I will take.

      However Avios informed, that only the person who’s name was on the account, can actually benefit from the upgrade voucher.

      I have heard people say they have upgraded for others, when they themselves are not actually flying.

      Who does my family member need to talk to to make this happen?

      Many thanks


      • The only way you can use the voucher ‘within the rules’ for another person is if you have two of them and use them both at the same time, which will upgrade a return journey for the voucher holder and another person.

        I would suggest HUACA otherwise – another agent may not be so worried now that they’re in their last days.

        • Hello Charlie

          Thank you for your advice.

          Would you recommend ringing BA or Avios itself to reserve?


        • You need to ring Avios as they are the ones that can ‘see’ the voucher. In truth, the agent will process the booking and draw out the correct amount of Avios from your BA account, but they send the request to another office after for them to adjust the booking to reflect the ‘new’ Avios cost and to mark the vouchers as used (which is why some agents ‘may’ not know that the named person needs to use them).

          0344 493 3349 was the number I used.

      • Reports of using the voucher entirely for people who do not hold the voucher is extremely rare. Wouldn’t surprise me if a single poorly trained or intentionally generous CSA was responsible for booking all of them.

    • I made a CW upgrade booking a couple of months ago with 2 vouchers in 2 separate bookings, requiring 100k avios in total. These were drawn from my HHA with no issues.

      Just for info, if you need to call from abroad or use free minutes, I got through by calling 01925 848619.

      • Apologies, the booking required 200k avios in total (2 upgrade vouchers worth 50k each). I didn’t this many avios in my account so they must have come out of the HHA.

  5. Reeferman says:

    OT: BA seems to have “changed” its policy on boarding groups.
    Previously, the boarding pass showed your boarding group based on your individual status – e.g. if you were a bronze card holder travelling with a Gold Card holder (both on the same booking in world traveller) you would have group 2 or 3 shown (I can’t remember which) whereas the gold card holder would have group 1 shown. The verbal advice was to both turn-up and you would be “allowed” to board together in group 1.
    However, for both my outbound flight yesterday – and return tomorrow – the boarding passes now show group 1 for both travellers.
    In effect the actual policy is unchanged, but is now much clearer.
    I asked BA about this when boarding groups were first introduced (thinking it was an error) but was told it was deliberate – which I thought was crazy given you could both book seats for free/ use the lounge etc. Seems I wasn’t alone in that thought – which, to me at least, was always common sense.

    • I was told when group boarding launched that it was an IT constraint rather than a policy decision. In any case it’s never been an issue , we have always boarded together.

    • Shoestring says:

      @Reeferman: Group 1 on the BP doesn’t in itself give access to the lounge or allow somebody to book seats.

      And it was always BA’s published policy that if somebody in the booking group was boarding group 1, then all the others on the same booking could board with that person.

      • Lady London says:

        same thing works for luggage allowance with BA. Not always, with other airlines.

      • Reeferman says:

        I think you misunderstood me. I said if you were travelling with a Gold card holder you would both be able to access the lounge etc.
        It might have always been BA’s policy – but it was never stated as such on the boarding pass – hence the change clarifies things.

  6. OT:
    Is there a way to register a card for Amex shop small without logging in to an account? I know this existed in previous years.

    My additional account card is not appearing on my online account and I can’t register a new account as when I enter the card details it defaults to my existing online account.

    • I have this for one card. It appears on the app but not on the “PC” online account. So I suggest looking on the app?

      • Do you have a link to a map that actually works? I have tried loads of different ones and even though I know the merchant is in ‘shop small’ it is not showing. Thanks in advance.

    • There is a choice o ‘open a new account’

  7. OT – Flybe flights from LHR to Newquay. how would one go about booking these on avios? Is BA now the only way to book Flybe flights on avois redemption? Can’t get any to load at all…keeping routing me via Manchester.

  8. OT. AMEX Paypal offer. Wife used her AMEX card to buy something on Paypal at the end of October. Refund still not showing.

    I used mine last week and that’s not showing either. Neither of us received the “Congratulations on using your offer” email.

    Anyone having any joy with this particular offer?

    • I used mine on 23rd and still no email or indicator on the account other than the original transaction

    • no joy here either.

    • No my paypal spends haven’t triggered here either

      • Sorry for off-topic, but can you top up your Paypal account and still earn the £5 bonus, instead of paying a different company using Paypal payment method? Seems like BA will not accept the Amex card that I have this offer saved on, if I want to use Paypal to pay for the taxes on an Avios redemption flight. Anyone have any advice?

    • I had joy and the saving has even posted. Nothing the first time I used it but I got an immediate email the second time. So at best buggy and at worst broken.

    • OK thanks everyone. I received an email this morning saying “Don’t forget to use your Paypal offer”!

      I guess this is one I’m going to need to chase

      • I received a similar email but then received the cash – their offers system doesn’t seem to be working as smoothly as it used to.

  9. If you make a points booking on melia and then later cancel it, do you get the points back? I wouldve thought so, but I cant remember if I’d seen something that said if you cancel a points booking you lose the points?

    • Also be interested to hear if refunded whether Melia IT is still able to track how they were earned?

    • It depends on the booking. During the booking process it should say whether it is refundable or not.

  10. Shoestring says:

    Raffles – Iberia offering 50% bonus – can buy max 200K + 100K for EUR3601

    = GBP3207 = 1.07p/ Avios

    Not to bad – & excellent if you want a nice big stash, fast, @ little more than 1p

    • Shoestring says:


      Actually the pricing is quite fair with the higher amounts, so 150K Avios is also 1.07p/ point

  11. OT Bit: Anybody got any thought on when BA new year peak dates will end in January 2020…Sunday 5th or 12th? I need to book outward flight by 13 December 19 to get get off peak but I need to guesstimate which date will get me a month away with an off peak return flight.

    • Shoestring says:

      It’s back to state school on Monday 6th January 2020. So BA will go off-peak somewhere around 7th, 8th January. Definitely not as late as the 12th.

      • Shoestring says:

        6th, 7th I should have said.

        Definitely peak for 5th Jan though

        • Thanks for this Harry, inclined to trust your judgment on this as I know you keep a close eye on T-355 and school vacations. My dilemna is do I play it safe and fly on FRIDAY 13 December to get an off peak return a month later or do I do the risky thing and fly December 11…hold on a minute 🙂

  12. OT: Curve linked to HSBC and IHG cards both got declined at FX physical store. Is that normal? Was charging £103 to it.

    • Memesweeper says:

      Yes. I’ve given up trying to buy foreign cash with Curve, it just doesn’t work.

  13. WOW have a new investor…

  14. For all Jersey residents…A Shop Small is now available,quite a few retailers,I believe the number has actually increased compared with last year,about 60 in total.Last Monday a chat agent has raised a tech issue ticket when realised that after 3 months of promoting it..there wasn’t a Shop Small map for Jersey!!!Glad that has been sorted,seen the sign on the doors on a few of the participating retailers when passing by St Helier’s High Street today!Happy Shop Small Jersey,thank you Amex!

  15. Does anyone know when the 250 bonus Shangri-La points will be credited to your account? Just logged into the app, but didn’t see an achnowledgement and my points balance hasn’t changed.

  16. Nice offer although once again I can’t login to my Golden Circle account. ID & password saved in LastPass so definitely correct. Reset password says account details not recognised, now waiting for them to sort – this is the 2nd or 3rd time this has happened for me, anyone else noticed similar issues?

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