Bits: Amex Travel £200 cashback returns, BA launches Islamabad with special deals, BA’s work experience scheme

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News in brief:

Generous Amex Travel cashback credit launched

American Express Travel has launched a new cashback credit promotion.

There are a couple of versions.  The most generous, which I got, is a whopping £200 back on a £600 spend via Amex Travel.  The other version, which my wife has, offers £50 back on £200 of spend.

(EDIT: reports from readers suggest that a very limited – 800 sign-ups only – version offering £400 back on £1000 spend also exists.)

Only 14,000 people can register for the £600 version so I recommend looking at the ‘Offers’ tab on your Amex online statement pages and signing up, if it is there.  The ‘£50 back on £200’ version is capped at 40,000 people.  The offer is more likely to show on a Gold or Platinum card than on a British Airways or SPG American Express card.  You have until 28th February to do the necessary spend.

Historically these offers have been based on cumulative spend although it is not specified here.

This offer is only valid for pre-paid products.  It is best used for a flight.  Whilst there is clearly value in booking hotels this way too, Amex Travel is counted as a third party booking site and you won’t receive hotel points or status benefits.  You can’t use it for Fine Hotels & Resorts bookings as these are not pre-paid.

British Airways relaunches Islamabad

British Airways announces Islamabad route

The rumours we reported a couple of weeks ago were true.  British Airways is resuming flights to Islamabad in Pakistan after a ten year absence.  The original service was suspended following the bombing of the Marriott Hotel, the main international hotel in the city, in 2008 which killed 54 people.

There will be three flights per week, departing Heathrow Terminal 5 on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.

The first flight is 2nd June 2019.  The aircraft will be a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner with a three-class configuration.

BA is running a special offer for flights booked at before 3rd January:

World Traveller – £499 (travel out 15/6-16/7 or 21/8-30/9)

World Traveller Plus – £773 (travel out 5/8-10/12)

Club World – £1799 (travel out 15/6-16/7 or 21/8-30/9)

Avios seats are also available and bookable.

British Airways work experience programme

Send your children on the British Airways work experience scheme

If you have a child at school or sixth form college (not university), British Airways is currently accepting applications for its Summer 2019 work experience scheme.

Positions are available at Heathrow (customer facing, operations, engineering, Waterside HQ), Gatwick (customer facing and engineering), Glasgow (engineering) and Cardiff (engineering).  There is also a gliding scholarship in High Wycombe available.

There were 600 roles offered in 2018 and BA is promising to increase the number in 2019 as part of its 100th birthday celebrations.  Each placement lasts for five days and will require a week off school.

You can find out more on the British Airways careers website here.  The deadline to apply is Friday.

(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. Andrew M says:

    OT: Am I able to book an IHG reward night for a friend, and if so how? Thanks.

  2. Andrew M says:

    OT. Am I able to book an IHG reward night for a friend and, if so, how? Thanks.

    • Usually OK – book for 2 adults, and then click the button during the confirmation process to add the name of the 2nd guest, and in the notes put ‘Reward night for Mr XXXXXX’.

      Only an issue in countries where there are laws over the guest matching the lead booker, eg some Spanish hotels can be troublesome (but I’ve also got away with this in Spain).

  3. Got the £50 off £200 offer on my Amex Rewards Credit Card.

    • Same here

    • Word of warning – I looked at domestic flights today with BA. BA are £79 on their site – AMEX Travel are £119. Pretty much a con from Amex.

      • Amex travel doesn’t offer hand baggage only fares which is why you are seeing a higher price. If you select a fare with a checked bag on the BA website the prices will match. Of course, if you don’t need the checked bag then absolutely – booking via amex wouldn’t make much sense for you!

  4. Uknoobie says:

    Not seeing ANY offers recently on my Gold cards – have both the charge & the credit. Any tips on how to sort this out?

    • Recent discussion on this topic seems to be that you need to cancel cards (maybe at the next churn) and when you next get them to add them to a DIFFERENT and NEW online account (still in your name of course). This seems to have resolved it for some. Chatting to Amex does not seem to help apparently.

      • Yes, exactly that. I am not a churner normally for BAPP or Plat, but have decided to do it after Amex refused to look into it. I haven’t had a single offer since August. Somebody suggested to remove all cards and create separate new accounts for each of your card (main and supp), but that didn’t work for me. You might want to try that. It seems this is getting more common by the comments here, so Amex should really look into this.

  5. Any possibility of getting the Amex travel offer added to a BAPP, although not showing in current offers?

  6. OT. Will surveys done on E-rewards that previously transferred to Avios .com now credit to the linked BA account?

  7. OT: looking to buy a car, how much does it cost the dealer to take debit card Vs credit card (MasterCard)?

    • Only the dealer will know

    • In theory, credit card surcharges are banned…

      • Shoestring says:

        Not true. How about personal vs corporate credit cards?

        And I think you are hinting that you think the dealer couldn’t care less which card you pay on, as he’ll end up paying the same fee to the credit card co. Far from it.

        • Well it’s consumer protection legislation so obviously doesn’t apply to business cards. B2B can still carry a surcharge.
          But credit card surcharges for consumer transactions are banned, it’s not theory.

  8. OT2: 0% spend / balance transfer cards, being offered for 26-28mths by Sainsbury’s, Santander, Halifax.

    What kind of credit limits have people received on these and is it a material impact on credit score? Trying to see how much of my car purchase I can fund on 0%.

    • £14k and £10k on my two BT cards (I am in the process of refreshing my 0% period by switching borrowing to new card) – I think the limit depends on income and possibly home owner status. The impact it has on your credit score is that car loans are looked at more favourably as a debt rather than credit card borrowing (regardless of this being at 0% compared to car loans). I think Experian credit scores are impacted when debt is at either £10k or £20k sorry cant remember which, there are other factors such as % of borrowing compared to your aggregate credit limit.

      • It absolutely does depend on income and homeowner status (how could it not!), amongst a myriad of other things including how much existing credit you have, how much existing credit you’re using, what type of debt you have, whether you’re on the electoral roll, how long you’ve been at your address, how long you keep your credit accounts for, whether you’re making payments on time etc etc

        Experian credit scores are beyond useless, and they aren’t impacted by being £X in debt – that’s ridiculous if you think about it. A millionaire who is £50,000 in debt is a much safer bet than an unemployed person with £5000 debt.

        I also highly doubt that, on a typical report, a car loan would be seen as better than a credit card by most/any lender. Perhaps if you’re already oversaturated with credit card debt it will be better, but you can’t make a generic statement like that.

        • Not a generic statement callum, I am talking from my experience, though if you like a quick search on google will tell you the difference between how loans and credit card debts are treated differently. The full experian reports tell you in detail the negative and positve impact on your score, I have both a car loan and borrowing on balance transfer cards, when my card borrowing reached £10k it had a negative impact, where as when I dropped below £20k on my car loan it had a positive impact, when my car loan dropped even further to below £10k it made no difference. Moving either side of £10k on my credit card always had a relative impact.

        • Ok Steve I’ll correct that – an anecodatal statement, so even worse than a generic statement!

          Your figures are nonsense. Not only do they ONLY apply to you, what Experian thinks is neither here nor there. They aren’t the ones lending the money.

          You clearly do not understand how credit reports work properly, as evidenced by you not even being able to give a certain answer as to whether income affects what credit you can get – it’s an incredibly obvious “yes”. I don’t mean to be disparaging as you do seem to know more than most and its great you’re taking a keen interest, I just don’t think your advice is particularly good. Sorry!

        • Callum I thought OP was looking for anecdotal evidence when he asked what kind of limits people were getting, I think the question would have been what is the algorithm used by credit card companies if OP wanted non-anecdotal statements. I am no expert like you for sure hence the ‘maybes’ and the ‘i thinks’ I am offering my experience. Though what puts me into doubt is how you think credit card debt and loans are treated the same, I am sorry but that is quite basic. To be clear you know mortgages are treated differently too right? And maybe I am wrong I thought credit card companies get their info from the likes of experian when deciding if they are going to offer the advertised rate (something about only 51% of people need to be offered the rate advertised) and deciding on credit limit. Maybe I am wrong and should keep my nose out while you offer sound advice like ‘try it and see’ and ‘you will probably get a decent limit’ well obviously OP can do that but no harm in finding out about others experience, but what do I know i just a keen but rubbish giver of advice

        • Rubbish, medium term loans (i.e. installment debts) always has less impact on your credit score than a credit card debt (revolving debt), of comparable value.

      • BT as in British Telecom?

        Was wondering if anyone had any specific experience with Santander / Halifax / Sainsbury’s.

        Obviously this is a how long is a piece of string question, but trying to put the car on credit card Vs taking a car loan / personal loan out as it’s going to be cheaper.

        • I assume BT is for Balance Transfer

        • You’ll need to find a dealer who will accept large credit card payments. A lot of them will only take small deposits on cards and insist on bank transfers for the rest.

        • You’re not going to know if it’s a viable option until you apply for them.

          If you have a good, solid credit history with lots of repayment history, no bad things and a small amount of available credit you’ll probably get a decent limit. Unless someone here is willing to go through your credit report line by line for you, you aren’t going to get any more accurate advice than that (which you weirdly seem to know, but are still asking for regardless!).

          As to paying for the car by card, ask your dealer. How are we meant to know what they’ll take when we don’t even know who they are! Saying that, I cash out my 0% cards by withdrawing cash over the counter from my Halifax Clarity card then paying it off with the bank transfer. A bit convoluted if you don’t already have the card though.

        • Sorry that should read that I pay off the Clarity card with a Balance Transfer.

        • Historically always rejected by Sainsburys, recently accepted by Halifax, previously, nearly 2 yearas ago, accepted by Barclaycard

  9. I booked yesterday for Avis for next May – as long as it’s prepaid now it will work. I received the activation email straight away.

  10. Got £200 back on £600 spend, second time for me, successfully used it the last time it appeared too, so quite pleased. Not sure I can use it this time though, annoying since I just booked a few flights…

    Works easily over multiple transactions and even over multiple statement dates…. I did mine booking 3 lots of £200 flights over a 2.5 month period.

  11. O/t EC 261 help please

    My brother and his wife had an eligible flight cancelled yesterday morning by email, for a flight that same evening. They were given new flights the following day, around 12 hours later but they were no good in terms of their schedule.
    Short flight, so I think 250eur.. but how do I help them find the reason the flight was cancelled? Just ask the airline? Or another way?

    • Doesn’t matter. It is up to the airline, if they refuse to pay, to provide proof of an acceptable reason for cancellation – and very few reasons, except weather, are acceptable.

  12. OT: Received a new Lloyds Avios Amex card today as my old one expires 1/19. I had assumed they would just close it then as it’s being axed. Any ideas on what the timescale for closure is?

  13. Wifes 1000 VS miles for Tesco Auto Tip posted today

  14. O/T – have Amex Plat which I might not keep too long. Is there any benefit in waiting until Jan 2019 before registering for hotel/partner benefits? (in order to get longer duration memberships)

    • TGLoyalty says:

      there would be as you would keep the status for longer as it’s usually all of the year you reach the status and the year after. So if you get it now it’s only for a year vs 2 if you achieve in early 2019

      • If you signed up to hotel status this year (2018), is there anything I can do come 2019 to extend my hotel status length?

  15. Can I assume if the cash back deal did not show up in my offers today, it is not going to?

    • Shoestring says:

      Not always a correct assumption.

      • Has it been a case that some people get the same offers few days later?

        • Shoestring says:

          With other offers, definitely yes. I haven’t specifically tracked this one but probably same principle. Ie Amex want to release it to (say) 10,000 people. If, after some days, only 5,000 people have saved it, they’ll release it more widely to make the number.

  16. I have the offer in my Platinum (200 pounds back when spending 600+)
    Anyone know if it should be done in one single transaction?

  17. I had a wonderful time in the late 80’s doing my work experience with BA engineering at Glasgow. From boarding BAC1-11’s and dousing myself with the club europe aftershave , to visiting the 757 cockpit. Lovely memories

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