Bits: Buy Avios for 0.84p via Groupon (again), 1000 Avios or €20 for stays at Sofitel Heathrow or Gatwick

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News in brief:

2,000 Avios for under £17 via Groupon Spain

(EDIT: the 2,000 Avios package is sold out. The other packages are still available.)

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 was still in stock last night.  You are only paying €19 for 2,000 points, which is 0.84p each.  That’s not a bad price if you know you will get 1p+ when redeeming.

Here are the other prices, which are less of a steal:

  • 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 get fewer complaints these days.  The IT seems to be working better now.  Of course, all of the information is in Spanish but Chrome can translate the page for you.

The Groupon Spain page you need is here.

Groupon Avios

Get 1000 Avios or €20 credit at selected UK hotels

Accor Hotels, which own Novotel / Ibis / Mercure / M Gallery / Sofitel / Pullman / Raffles / Swissotel / Fairmont etc, is running a generous promotion to earn 1,000 bonus Avios or €20 from just one UK stay.

This offer is ONLY available to Gold and Platinum status members in Le Club AccorHotels.  You are also restricted to a small number of hotels:

You will receive 1,000 Accor points, worth €20 of Accor hotel vouchers or 1,000 Avios (or a variable pile of other airline miles), if you complete a stay at any of the hotels above between 2nd January and 31st March.

You must book your stays between 17th December and 27th January.   You need to book via the Accor website or a corporate travel agent.  Stays booked via hotel wholesalers such as Expedia,, etc will not count.  Existing bookings do NOT count. These need to be cancelled and rebooked.

More importantly, you MUST register for this promotion via the offer website All you need to do is to go that page and log in.

The bonus is dropped into your account in the form of 1,000 Le Club AccorHotels points.  These would convert into. amongst other options:

  • Flying Blue 2:1
  • British Airways Executive Club Avios: 2:1
  • Iberia Avios: 1:1 (so don’t convert to BA!)
  • Emirates Skywards: 2:1
  • Etihad Guest: 2:1
  • Miles & More: 2:1

However, whilst 1,000 Avios is certainly attractive, you need to remember that by converting to Avios in the Iberia programme, you are effectively ‘paying’ 2 Eurocents per Avios compared to taking €20 in Accor hotel vouchers.  You will get better value from the hotel vouchers.

You can find full details of the offer, and the link to register, on the Accor website here. Remember that bookings must be made by 27th January even though you do not need to stay until the end of March.

(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.)

HILTON REMINDERS: Save in the Europe and Asia sales, get a status match, register NOW for the new points promo
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  1. Sofitel T5 charges £20 for kids beds. Does it mean kids stay for free if they use the cot we are travelling with or would they charge £20 regardless? Also, is it possible to check in luggage the evening before flying with BA at T5?

    • The charge should only be if they actually provide a bed, unless they specify otherwise. We always check luggage in the night before when flying down from MAN.

    • You cant drop bags off to BA the night before at LHR.

  2. Mud Island Mlungu says:

    Hi Rob

    I’ve had my Iberia Plus account for nearly a year but can’t seem to get it to accept transfers from IP to BAEC. I’ve read your article from January but no luck. It only ever shows BAEC to IP.

    Any thoughts?

    • I have the same problem. I tried an Aer Club account but it failed on set up despite all my details being exactly correct.

      I’m an experienced points collector but am stumped by this one – and surprised by the lack of coverage and comments on this situation.

      • Shoestring says:

        Not sure what you mean by ‘failed on set up’ – try pulling points *from* IB, ie you are logged into your AerClub a/c doing the points movement.

        If all else fails, you can phone BAEC to get your IB points moved across.

      • I’m having a similar problem. Have had an IB account for years and usually have “pulled” the points from and then “pushed” into BAEC.
        I’m not a regular earner with IB and haven’t transferred in about 4/12, but this last week I can’t login to IB on the Combine my Avios page of either BA or AerClub. I can however login to BA and Avios partners on the IB website but annoyingly have only the radio button for BA into IB, not vice versa!

        • Did you try to log into with your AerClub username and password, Harpo? It works for me.

        • I moved Avios to IB yesterday via an AerClub log-in, and back again. Article tomorrow will show why.

    • Shoestring says:

      Set up AerClub a/c and move points IB—>AerClub—>BAEC

  3. My Iberia Plus a/c is showing -9,000 Avios following the transfer of Avios gained from the cheap flight promotion earlier in the year to my BARC a/c. Any Avios bought through the Groupon promotion would be swallowed up by the negative balance position until I reach zero with IP. Any suggestions to avoid this most welcome.

  4. Sorry to be off topic.

    Yesterday I booked a very good deal with BA (flight and hotel) for a 5 star all inclusive Corfu hotel.

    My flights are economy. Can I upgrade to Business with points? There is availability.


    • Spurs Debs says:

      Yes but you have to phone call centre if it’s a BA holiday.
      And sometimes they will only let you upgrade if you have paid in full, but others have said they
      Might let you upgrade if you have only paid some. As normal with call centre staff it’s hit and miss.
      Only way to find out is to make the call.

      • Also, I don’t think it’s a good deal to upgrade for Europe as the taxes are very high and not capped as they would for a flight booked solely with avios. Someone correct me if I am wrong.

  5. OT FT article (not that interesting) “Rich People’s Problems: How to fly first class for free” behind paywall but made me laugh as James Max mentions his Centurion Card as much as Nigel. It must be a thing 🙂

  6. Shoestring says:

    Here’s a handy table showing why you should go through IB’s Plustore to buy those Groupon points:

    Un total de 2.057 avios por 19€ 2000 bono + 57 IberiaPlustore
    Un total de 4.177 avios por 59€ 4000 bono + 177 IberiaPlustore
    Un total de 8.297 avios por 99€ 8000 bono + 297 IberiaPlustore
    Un total de 15.567 avios por 189€ 15000 bono + 567 IberiaPlustore
    Un total de 20.747 avios por 249€ 20000 bono + 747 IberiaPlustore
    Un total de 35.317 avios por 439€ 34000 bono + 1.317 IberiaPlustore

    • Harry/all,

      How are you getting the IB+ store Groupon link to work? Just will not link for me.

      If I go to the normal IB+ store I can log in, but then if I try and find Groupon (under “leisure”?) it takes me to hotels or something strange, no mention of Groupon anywhere on the site.

      If I just Google IB+ Groupon I can find the right link, but on the page it takes me to I’m not logged in, even if already logged in under another tab! If I then click log in it says “sorry, page not available”. If I just click on the Groupon link it says “please log in to go to Groupon”. Same issue every damn time this offer is up.

      Are you using a VPN to make it think you’re Spanish or something?

      I know it’s only a handful of extra euros but this is really annoying me lol. Any advice appreciated.

    • Hi, bought some avios from the Spanish groupon offer. I went through the link to add groupon code and Iberia number to the voucher. However the voucher is still sitting in my accound and detail says “Ready to redeem”. Is this what happens or has something gone wrong?

  7. Did anyone else find Curve payments for this being rejected?

    • Graham Walsh says:

      I just did PayPal linked to my Lloyd Amex.

      • I tried that, got a message from Spanish Groupon saying they couldn’t process the payment and it never appeared on my Lloyds card.

        • Graham Walsh says:

          We all know how good their IT is so it was probably hit and miss on what works.

  8. OT but bits – how is the Curve/Amex trial going? Have there been any hints about when the rest of us can join in?! (Platinum referral year re-starts next week…)

    • The Real John says:

      It’s working… I topped up £1000 per month and no problems with Curve getting rejected

    • Graham Walsh says:

      Gone very well. No issues at all.

      • Going well for me too – although payments to Brighton based finance company seem to be blocked (as are cash withdrawals, although that’s clearly set out in the terms anyway).

    • Top-up has worked fine. Were some major issues with the app last weekend (kept crashing everytime you opened it!) but thankfully an update was released that sorted it. 0.65% fee for top-up above £1k which limits utility although price plans coming that will offer higher limits – although likely packaged with insurance, etc. so probably not of too much interest for those with Amex Plat, etc.

  9. Chelseafi says:

    Sorry very OT I’m thinking of Vegas this year maybe Sept as got 241 to use up any advice appreciated for Hotel if good value for points, otherwise I’d use cash. I’ve got Amex Plat so only Hotel status from this, Currently got 150k IHG points, can get around 250k Membership Rewards from amex Plat and have around £1k in Tesco Clubcard. Looking at around 5 nights. Thanks

    • Not one of the groups you mentioned, but the old Mandarin Oriental has just converted this year to a Waldorf-Astoria. So basically a way to stay at a MO on Honors points.

      If you are going to stay at a Caesar’s property (about half the properties on the strip) then look into status matching at Wyndham and then matching further to Caesar’s Total Rewards program.

    • Graham Walsh says:

      Depends on time of year and what events are on. You might be better off with a cash rate as there are so many hotels. Look on Hotwire/Priceline etc too see if you can get a mystery booking but that’s probably better for last minute instead.

    • For Vegas especially if you’re going midweek, rooms can be quite cheap and not worth burning points. You can earn points with various hotels, we’ve done the Tropicana (Hilton) and Venetian/Palazzo (IHG). Both were good, although we didn’t get an upgrade at Tropicana as a Diamond (I didn’t try that hard).

      • Chelseafi says:

        Thanks so much for replies, we haven’t been for over 12 years so I know lots has changed, stayed MGM and Venetian (good old Virgin holidays on Tesco Clubcard free holiday days!!) but I know lots more additional charges and taxes are now added. Thinking could do a points back up booking and keep an eye out last min on cash rates, as agree rather get value for points for another holiday. Flexible on time of year thinking Sept Oct might be good?

      • We’ve got the Venetian booked on points for 2 nights in February. Everyone says Vegas hotels are dirt cheap mid-week but everyone I’ve looked good 5* hotels are £250+ per night. I must just be lucky!

        • Yeah, it’s cheap midweek if you’re ok staying in the Excalibur or Circus Circus. Decent hotels are cheaper than weekends but not by much

    • dgsupersonic says:

      My go to hotel is the Cosmo but not necessarily the best use of points. As well as being my preferred hotel I like the fact I can double dip with Identity points too. Basically I got a free night stay thanks to my identity points/level for the last 12 months.

  10. 1967stuart2 says:

    My free 250 Shangri-La points have posted and so have my wife.

    Is there anyway to transfer from one account to another as to redeem them for a US$50 voucher now requires 500 points.

    Thanks for any advice

    • If you can get Shangri La to send you a plastic card then you don’t need to hit $50 for a voucher as you can use (in most venues) as many points as your want.

      • Received my points now too, although I did need to send them an email to chase them. Need to look out my GC membership card now, am sure I have it somewhere!

  11. Re Accor offer if you book in next couple of days you may find the triple points if booked with their App more generous? ( especially if you don’t have status )

  12. OT: I would appreciate thoughts on a few BA options I have?

    I fly into JNB using the recent sale pricing, this will earn me 280TP, I already have 10 and have an Economy flight to CPT earning 5. This leaves me 5 short of Bronze with 3 months until TP collection year expiry.

    1. I could upgrade the economy flight for around £400 (£200pp) which would give me enough TP for Bronze and access to the Slow lounge in JNB. We have a 5-hour layover but with an Amex Plat would have lounge access anyway.

    2. I could cancel an Avios booking from PLZ-JNB and book in economy, this would effectively cost around £200 (£100pp) after forfeiting the fare and paying for the economy flight but would recoup 15500 Avios.

    3. Hope to be able to book a return BA economy flight over the next few months.

    My gut feeling is option 2 but have I missed anything obvious?


    • Seems a very expensive way of getting 5 TPs, especially for just bronze. In your shoes I wouldn’t bother / go for option 3 if you really want to (cheap day return to LUX?)

      • TGLoyalty says:

        I don’t know if it’s 15,500 Avios then personally I’d py the c£200 cash and earn the 5 tp for hitting bronze. It’s a useful status if you travel ba alot.

        Any reason why you cant keep one and only pay cash for the other? If you always book with your partner you both get the bronze benefits. Only really worth both hitting status if it was silver/gold and you needed lounge access for 4

        • Not sure Mrs S would be too happy if I’m in business and she’s in economy?

          Genghis, thanks, I know Bronze isn’t worth much but it seems a shame to be so close and not go for it?

    • 5tp is the lowest number you can earn on any tp earning flight.

      Have a look around for the cheapest one-way deals you can find – either in Europe or domestic. Remember about partner airlines too…. you could probably get something for next to nothing…

      For example – Return to Glasgow on BA from Gatwick on 8th Jan – £92 – this should get you 10tp and 250avios:

      London (LGW) to Glasgow (GLA) — Tue, Jan 8
      British Airways 2956
      Dep: 7:20 am
      Arr: 8:50 am
      Airbus A319
      Economy (O)

      Glasgow (GLA) to London (LGW) — Tue, Jan 8
      British Airways 2959
      Dep: 1:40 pm
      Arr: 3:05 pm
      Airbus A319
      Economy (O)

      • Shoestring says:

        Amsterdam return for £40-50 at times

        • TGLoyalty says:

          But there’s the 15500 Avios too.

          They are worth c£150. So it’s effectively costing £25 each to make them revenue flights rather than redemptions.

          I know what I would be doing here.

      • Or of course even cheaper – a whole host of days to many destinations at £47 one way and an RFS back (or vice versa) – would be £64.50…..

    • If all else fails, ring BA close to your year expiry and ask them nicely if they will gift you the 5 TPs. I remember from a couple of years ago that they were willing to gift me 20 TPs as a Silver (or extend my year by 2 weeks, so that I could earn the TPs I was missing). Perhaps someone who has done this recently might confirm whether BA still entertain such requests?

      • They offer 2 weeks extensions pretty routinely I believe. Not sure they’re quite as keen on gifting TP though, haven’t heard as many successes on that front.

  13. Totally missed the dead Qatar Airways Milan to Bangkok business class deal, though convincing the good lady wife to route LHR-MXP-DIA-BKK would never happen (and I couldn’t blame her). Coupled with the Amex offer, tier points and Avios was certainly an attractive offer.

    Anyway, it was a far easier proposition to convince my wife to go for the Swiss / Lufthansa deal which we are doing in April, LHR-ZRH-BKK return for a bargain £2.5k all in. After a bit of research we settled on booking seats 1D and 1F both ways on the ZRH-BKK section and first time we’ve ever flown indirect to LOS but saved at least £1.1k over direct flights.

    And thanks to Rob for running that article back in August otherwise I would have been none the wiser.

    • Is that in F delbert? I ve convinced the wife to fly LHR-AMS—LHR-BKK-LHR- dropping the last leg for 1.25k eachin CW which I didn’t think was too bad

      • Apologies as should have clarified it’s in business, Tom H. Notwithstanding, first class isn’t available.

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