Bits: Avios invests in Monese, No 1 Lounges / Virgin Atlantic deal, new O2 concerts for Marriott points

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News in brief:

Avios invests in Monese

On Monday I published a mini-rant about the bloated state of the UK credit card industry.  As part of that, I asked why investors were pouring vast sums into online current account start-ups (Monzo, Revolut, Starling etc) when such products have never made money even for legacy banks.  On the other hand, few start-ups are pushing into UK credit cards which have historically been hugely profitable.

A reader pointed out to me that Avios Group recently invested in Monese as part of a $60m funding round – see here.

If you’ve never heard of Monese, it is like Revolut, Starling or Monzo but aimed at people who are new to a country and would otherwise struggle to meet the checks required to open a traditional bank account.  You can open a Monese account in various European countries, including the UK, simply by uploading a scan of your passport.  Monese is, of course, also happy to open an account for you if you are living and working in your home country.

I am assuming that Avios has a plan for Monese – we need to see what develops over the next few months.

Avios and Monese

New No 1 Lounges / Virgin Atlantic offer – big savings on new My Lounge Gatwick South

No 1 Lounges has launched a new ‘double miles’ deal with Virgin Atlantic see here.  This leads to an exceptionally good deal for the new My Lounge at Gatwick’s South Terminal.

My Lounge, the ‘hipster’ offshoot of No 1 Lounges, opened at London Gatwick’s South Terminal this week as we wrote here.  Reader reports so far are that it is refusing Priority Pass and Lounge Club guests, even though the lounge website here clearly states that they are accepted (EDIT: the website has now been upgraded to confirm that only DragonPass is accepted).

If you are heading to Gatwick South over Christmas, this new Virgin Atlantic deal is a good value way of getting in.  For bookings made by 31st January, you will earn double Virgin Flying Club miles and get a discount on the list price.

The Virgin Flying Club member prices are:

  • £35 – The House (Heathrow T4)
  • £35 – Clubrooms
  • £25 – No1 Lounges
  • £15 – My Lounge

…. and the miles you currently earn are:

  • 800 miles at The House (usually 400)
  • 800 miles at Clubrooms (usually 400)
  • 700 miles at No1 Lounges (usually 350)
  • 400 miles at My Lounge (usually 200)

This is very good value for the new My Lounge.  As the website shows, My Lounge Gatwick South costs £30 on the door and £24 if you book in advance, which includes Fast Track Security.  Via this link, you would only pay £15 per person and you would get 400 Virgin Flying Club miles.

You can book the Virgin offer via this link.  As the miles are earned per booking, you should make separate bookings for each adult in your group.

No 1 Lounges Virgin Atlantic deal

New O2 concerts available for Marriott Rewards points

Marriott Rewards has added a new batch of O2 concert tickets to its website.  These are for the Starwood Preferred Guest suite, which comes with full catering and free drinks all night.  Here is a review of a Muse concert from the suite, and I am there myself on Sunday to see Paul McCartney.

These concerts are now bookable.  The first few have been available for a while but the remainder are new:

  • Davido, 27th January, 45000 points
  • Disney on Ice, various dates, 45000 points
  • The 1975, various dates, 45000 points
  • Boyzone, 7th February, 45000 points
  • Ozzy Osbourne, 11th February, 45000 points
  • Massive Attack, 22nd February, 45000 points
  • George Ezra, 19th March, 45000 points
  • Nicki Minaj & Future, 11th March, 45000 points
  • Country to Country, various dates, 45000 points
  • Post Malone, 14th March, 45000 points

All pricing is for two tickets.  Availability has been split between the Marriott Moments site here and the SPG Moments site here.

(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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Comments

  1. OT: any good wine deals/offer stack for wine out there. It’s that time of year where I have to get wine for friends (I don’t drink).

    • Don’t know if this is the best offer out there but I got 14 bottles of wine, 2 glasses and 1000 Avios (posted a few days after delivery) via BA code in a magazine for £54.99. If anyone still has the code maybe they can post as I’ve thrown in the bin or try googling it. Just remember to cancel subscription!

  2. Peter Taysum says:

    OTT: Question.

    Have Hilton Grand Vacances (timeshare). Transferred out “bonus points” to go to the Conrad Rangali (obviously). Will these expire? The HH points (my co-owner in timeshare) account has points added recently.

    Help!

    Thanks

    • Hope your not a “Tesco Tourist” thinking of going to Rangali, you won’t be able to mix with the well healed that go there and you will obviously be astounded by paying for your dinner at a 5 STAR Resort as some other poster put on here other day? Geez, some people….what a KH!

  3. Sunil Sood says:

    JAJA are a credit card fintech currently raising funds on the Seedrs platform (https://www.seedrs.com/jaja/). I believe they plan to launch in the next month or so.

    https://jaja.co.uk/

  4. Tom Morris says:

    All though I have never earned Marriott rewards I have a rewards account but it has zero balance, could I buy the 45000 points and then use the purchased points to book one of the above packages? Any body had any experience of this ?

    • No practical reason why not, as long as there is no rule on accounts being ‘active’ before you can buy. Long term, easier to get the Starwood Amex and pick up 30,000 points as a sign up bonus.

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