Bits: bonus Avios at Shell, Eurostar adds 3rd Dutch service, QHotels converting to Marriott’s Delta brand

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News in brief:

Earn double Avios with Shell Drivers Club

Shell Drivers Club is offering double points on all Shell V-Power purchases until 31st JanuaryFull details are on their website here.

Double points means four points (two Avios) per litre with Shell V-Power.  Standard fuel will continue to earn one point per litre.

Shell Drivers Club is the loyalty scheme for Shell garages in the UK.  Joining is simple – pick up a card at a Shell station when filling up and register it online.  You earn 100 Avios just for registering your card so it is worth doing this even if you switch to a different reward later.

You can learn more at the Shell Drivers Club website here.

The scheme is simple – 2 Shell points = 1 Avios. As well as Avios, 500 points can be turned into £2.50 of Shell vouchers.  The benefit of taking Avios is that Shell converts your points quarterly in multiples of 20 (ie 10 Avios) with no minimum, unlike the 500 point minimum for other rewards.

The snag is that you are effectively paying 1p per Avios as you could claim a £2.50 Shell voucher with your 500 Shell points instead of taking 250 Avios.  If 1p per Avios is too rich for you (it is too rich for me, I am happier ‘paying’ 0.75p or less) then take the Shell vouchers.

Eurostar adding third daily Amsterdam service

Eurostar adding a third daily Amsterdam service

Eurostar has announced that it is launching a 3rd weekday Rotterdam and Amsterdam service on 11th June.

It will depart St Pancras at 11.04, arriving in Amsterdam at 16.11.  The early morning service will leave earlier, at 07.16, arriving 12.11, potentially making life easier for business travellers.  The 3rd train leaves at 17.16, arriving 22.11.

Whilst the outbound service is direct, the trip back to London still requires a change of train in Brussels.  This situation will continue until Amsterdam gains the facilities to complete passport and security checks.

Here is Anika’s review of the inaugural London to Amsterdam Eurostar service.

How to earn Club Eurostar points via UK credit cards

As a reminder, Club Eurostar does not have its own UK credit card.  However, you can earn Club Eurostar points by converting Membership Rewards points earned from selected UK American Express cards.  These are:

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold – 10,000 Membership Rewards points sign-up bonus

The Platinum Card from American Express – 30,000 Membership Rewards points sign-up bonus

American Express Rewards credit card – up to 5,000 Membership Rewards points sign-up bonus

Membership Rewards points convert at 15:1 into Club Eurostar points.  The cards above all earn 1 Membership Rewards point per £1 spent on your card, so you earn the equivalent of 1 Club Eurostar point for every £15 you spend.

American Express Platinum also comes with a great Eurostar benefit – lounge access!  You can enter any Eurostar lounge, irrespective of your ticket type, simply by showing The Platinum Card at the desk.  No guests are allowed but you can get entry for your partner by issuing them with a FREE supplementary Amex Platinum card on your account.

QHotels switching its properties to Marriott’s Delta brand

QHotels is a small chain of 25 four-star UK hotels.  Some are run as DoubleTree by Hilton franchises, others trade under their historical names.

Properties include:

  • DoubleTree by Hilton hotels in Glasgow, Cambridge (Belfry), Stratford upon Avon, Oxford and Forest Pines
  • The Queens, Leeds
  • Oulton Hall, Leeds
  • Crewe Hall, Cheshire
  • Dunston Hall, Norwich
  • Norton Park, Winchester
  • The Belfry, Nottingham

….. and many more.  A list is on their website here.

It seems that QHotels is about to rebrand the majority of these hotels under Marriott’s Delta brand.  This would be a coup for Marriott which currently has no Delta properties in the UK.

Delta is a ‘conversion’ brand, just like DoubleTree and IHG’s new voco brandA ‘conversion brand’ is a brand without brand standards, allowing virtually any half-decent existing hotel to literally switch overnight without having to worry about the power output of the hairdryer, thread count of the bedsheets etc.

The Nottingham Belfry is already showing on as Delta Nottingham – see here.  It switches in April.

If you look at this page of the QHotels website, you will see that the legal entity for the bulk of its hotels has changed to ‘Delta XXXXX’.  Crewe Hall is now legally Delta Crewe Hall Op Co Limited for example.  This makes it highly likely that these properties will also be converting during the next few months.

Even the DoubleTree hotels seem to be switching.  DoubleTree by Hilton Stratford Upon Avon is now owned by Delta Stratford Op Co Ltd, for example.

(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. OT: May have been noted here already however it’s not now possible to pay off the Brighton based card issuer with either IHG, VS or Curve when previously it was.

  2. DT Cambridge is a great hotel, what in the world would be the rationale behind leaving the DT brand?

    The CP in Cambridge left the IHG system and went independent for a few years, decided it didn’t like it (I guess overseas tourists dried up and Expedia’s commission just replaced IHGs but without the marketing) and came to be a decent Hilton.

    Is Delta well enough known to attract attention?

    • The article is misleading, it’s not the DoubleTree Cambridge (by the river), it’s the DoubleTree Cambridge Belfry that’s becoming Delta. I did worry when I read the article as I sometimes use the DT by the river when visiting Cambridge but wouldn’t bother without the HH benefits.

  3. TGLoyalty says:

    The DT oxford only became a DT this month and the Stratford one a couple months ago. Are they really rebranding as delta hotels already. Amazing.

    • RussellH says:

      That expalins a) why my SatNav did not know about the DT Stratford a week ago and b) why a friend who used to live in Statford had never heard of it!

  4. hingeless says:

    My partner tried using her Australian amex plat card to gain entry to the St Pancras lounge a couple of days ago and was turned away. I know this has previously worked so this is a real shame for international travellers. Amex should be aware that their customers like to travel!

  5. Phew, was worried the (excellent) DT Glasgow was switching but their ‘Glasgow’ property is actually miles outside the city, so it’s not the main one.

  6. OT When can I add amex to to curve?

    • Still in beta and still issues with the app – I’d imagine another month or two.

  7. AndyGWP says:

    OT – has anyone confirmed the latest £200 off £600 Amex Travel offer applies to cumulative spend (I know it has historically, but any data points for the latest offer would be welcome) 🙂 thank you

    • AndyGWP says:

      I’ll create my own data point 😉

      Gone for it and it has worked fine on two separate bookings.

      Booked flights @ £424 a few hours ago
      Just booked hotel @ £182

      Confirmation email from Amex for £200 off £600 received immediately

      • Graham Walsh says:

        Yep worked for me over 2 transactions

      • Good work, gives me reassurance that I should be OK too! £550 spend complete so far, so not far off triggering!

  8. Paul Osborn says:

    O/T – I have 6000 ish e-Reward points left after some surveys last year and would like to redeem them. When I signed up with e-Reward the nominated currency was Avios, so these are still potentially worth 2000 Avios. My old Avios account has been migrated to BAEx / closed – Does anyone know if I can use my BAEx number to redeem as I assume I can’t open a new Avios account? Any suggestions please. Thanks

    • Open an Aer Lingus Aer Club account.

      My Avois account never closed because I keep 25 points in there and also have an Aer Club account.

      I can still credit from e-rewards to Avios.

      • Incidentally, I can also still see my Lloyds upgrade vouchers in Avios, and there appears to still be the functionality to use them from there and book flights.

        Makes you wonder why Avios made people close their accounts!

        • You need to phone up as the website will provide an error, take your Avios, money and not book the ticket from experience.

  9. Can anyone tell me how I can find out if my 2 free lounge visits on the Lounge Club card I got with my Amex Gold have expired and what card they are on? I have 3 Lounge Club Cards, I have definitely used my 2 visits on one of them but not on the other 2. I think I know which one is the one I have used but am not 100% certain and don’t know if they have expired on either of the the other cards. Whats the best way to find out?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Once your gold card is cancelled your lounge club card dies and the two lounge visits are no longer useable.

      I would just try at a lounge and the one that works is the latest live one. Or login to your online lounge club account? Also I assume the latest is the one with the later expiry date.

    • thehornets says:

      Ring Amex. They know your lounge club card number.

  10. Totally OT but first Platinum referral points of the year just landed 🎉. Rob is right, it’s so much better than cash back 😂

    • Graham Walsh says:

      Got mine too 🙂

    • Curious says:

      They actually posted on a Sunday? you also checked yesterday and Friday etc?

      • Graham Walsh says:

        Yep, were not there yesterday.

        • Curious says:

          What was the application date?

        • +1. Arrived some time between early afternoon and early evening! Just need the new Amex to arrive now so I can spending again, it’s been a very dull couple of weeks waiting for the clocks to re-set 😂

        • Jan 1st of course!

        • Curious says:

          Anna – they took (almost) a whole week to appear? Thats very slow in my experience. 2-3 days max following a successful (referred) application

        • When I last did a referral the points posted within 24 hours! But at other times it has taken up to a week. I thought there might be a lot of activity in the first week of the year and possibly a lot of Amex staff still on holidays.

  11. Benylin says:

    OT: When booking via HfP offer via Emyr Thomas / Bon Vivant, is the upgrade guaranteed?

    • I’ve used Bon Vivant and the experience was very good. Drop him a message about the upgrade.

    • Not guaranteed. Also had a great experience. Of three bookings, two were upgraded.

    • At some hotels it is done at time of booking and the upgraded room shows on your confirmation. At others it isn’t.

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