Bits: £30 Virgin Atlantic Economy Delight upgrades, IHG redemptions at Regent Hotels, IHG price rise

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News in brief:

Upgrade to Economy Delight on Virgin Atlantic for just £30!

Starting today, and running until Saturday, Virgin Atlantic is offering upgrades from Economy Classic to Economy Delight for just £30 each way.

This is an EXCEPTIONALLY good deal and you’d be mad to turn it down.  There are two good reasons – one relating to comfort and one relating to miles.

First up is comfort.  Here is the difference between Economy Classic and Economy Delight:

Economy Classic:  Standard Economy fare with checked luggage included, can be upgraded to Premium Economy with miles

Economy Delight: Extra legroom (34″ pitch), priority check-in and priority boarding, can be upgraded to Premium Economy with miles

So …. for £30 you are getting extra three inches of legroom, priority check-in and priority boarding.  This is clearly worth doing.  Both tickets types come with free seat selection.

And that’s before we get to reason two to upgrade – more miles.

Economy Classic:  earns 50% of miles flown plus 25 tier points each-way 

Economy Delight:  earns 150% of miles flown plus 50 tier points each-way

This makes the £30 deal a no-brainer.  Flying to San Francisco, for example, you’d earn an extra 5,350 Virgin Flying Club miles (which I’d value at £53.50) each way.

We reviewed Economy Delight last year on a flight to New York which you can read here.

This page of the Virgin Atlantic site shows you the differences between the fare classes.

The Virgin Atlantic booking page is here.  Date restrictions apply.

Virgin Economy Delight offer

IHG will let you redeem for Regent Hotels on 1st February

I wrote last week that the Regent Hotels portfolio of luxury hotels was now available for booking at ihg.com.  Stays will also earn IHG Rewards Club points.

Redemptions are not currently available.  IHG has now confirmed that members will be able to redeem from 1st February.

As a reminder, you can find Regent Hotels in:

  • Beijing
  • Berlin
  • Chongqing
  • Porto Montenegro (looks nice – see below)
  • Singapore
  • Taipei

The Regent Berlin, which used to be a Four Seasons, booking page is here.  The Regent Porto Montenegro booking page is here.

Regent Hotel Montenegro

IHG Rewards Club price increases take effect tomorrow

Talking of IHG Rewards Club, remember that TODAY is the last day to book before the annual round of redemption price increases.

12% of IHG hotels are increasing in cost, mainly by 5,000 points.

This HFP article explains what is going on and highlights some popular properties which are changing.

(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.)

British Airways repaints a 747 in BOAC livery (and a potted history of the airline)
Which BA Club Europe routes earn 160 tier points return?
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Comments

  1. Quick one re IHG accelerate

    If I stay in 3 brands I get 28k points

    Also have an offer to get 4K points back if I do a points and cash redemption

    Can I mix n match these two offers? I.e. use the second offer in a hotel that would get me one of my 3 brands?

    Thanks

    • No. P&C stays are redemptions and so don’t count for your targets UNLESS you have a specific redemption driven one. It therefore won’t count towards the 3 brands, I am pretty sure.

      • Thanks. I won’t risk it and just pay the cash rates which TBH aren’t too bad

      • Brian W says:

        I can confirm this is correct, I’ve met my P&C stay target but the same stay didn’t count towards my ‘Discover 2 Brands’ one.

    • I can also confirmed Rob is correct while P&C won’t count towards your accerate targets as I learnt it in my last experience.

  2. Bits OT: Hilton status finally updated.

    I’ve retained Gold but not sure if this was due to me having £10k through HH Visa Plat…

    Anyone retained Gold just by having the card and not making £10k spend target?

    https://loyaltylobby.com/2019/01/24/hilton-honors-2019-tier-tracker-ready/

    • Funtime says:

      Just check your Barclays points activity in the app. Clearly shows how many points you’ve racked up.

      • Sorry poorly worded.

        I know that I spent more than £10k.

        What I asked was…

        “Anyone retained Gold just by having the card and not making £10k spend target?”

      • Funtime: I’m not sure how reliable an indicator it is that you’ve put k10 spend through. You can get double points for some spends.

        TripRep. I’ve always hit the Gold spend so can’t help. My understanding is you need k10 to trigger Gold elite status, not to keep it. Will you keep Gold status this year without triggering it? Barclaycard would know so may have to email unless someone here comes forth.

  3. Booked a Virgin flight to JFK last year, the £30 deal doesn’t seem to apply to those that are already booked!

  4. Robin N says:

    O/T – any news on the Marriott Bonvory update to credit cards in UK as Marriott launched in America couple of days ago?

    • Nope – just because it’s launched in the US doesn’t mean anything for here though I’m afraid. Just look at all the Hilton & Hyatt card options they have!t

    • Yes, the news is that there is no news, they are not even rebranding the UK cards. Marriott website confirms.

  5. Nice tip, thanks. £2.12/month for me on £10k cover.

  6. “So …. for £30 you are getting extra three inches of legroom, free seat selection from time of booking, priority check-in and priority boarding. This is clearly worth doing”

    As stated earlier in the article, free seat selection is included with Classic so that isn’t an additional benefit for your £30.

    Plenty of other benefits though

    • I struggled with this because it is a cut-and-paste from my old article on this which was taken from Virgin PR stuff. Can you book seats IMMEDIATELY on a Classic booking for free, or is it only a few days before travel?

      • Cool Guy says:

        You can reserve the seats as soon as the booking is confirmed.

        I find this as a major advantage over BA as seats can be reserved for free immediately regardless of the class of travel and airline status.

      • Yep, as Cool Guy said, when Virgin turned economy into 3 bands, the Classic got immediate free booking of seats.

  7. Does anywone know if £30 upgrade offer apply to the reward bookings? From my memory reward bookings are in Economy Classic…

    • According to Virgin’s rules there is no way to upgrade from Classic to Delight when you have booked a reward seat. Not with cash nor with points. Bit stupid, but that’s the way it is

  8. A few questions re Amexes:

    – am I correct that if I cancel my BA Amex (I will keep my Plat), the 241 voucher, already in my Executive Club, will remain mine to use? Ie no risk of it being cancelled?

    – with the Avios site shut down, how can I check the validity of my Lloyds Upgrade vouchers – by phone only?

    – with the Avios site shut down, should my Lloyds Amex still collect Avios? Upon ‘migration’ to BA Executive Club the balance at the time was transferred just fine, but I don’t see any new Avios from this card in my EC statement

    Thanks

    • 1. Yes but Amex will tell you the opposite
      2. Yes
      3. Yes, they will go directly into your BA account

      • Thanks Rob. I contacted Avios after your comment, and it turns out they started sending my Avios points to some other BA account – even though they migrated the existing pool to the correct BA account back in the September, and even topped up the next month with newly earned miles!

        And if used for a return ticket, can the Lloyds voucher be used for a booking in my name only only?

        • Mikeact says:

          Of course.

        • I’m sure others have reported that you can use Lloyds vouchers for others, even if you aren’t flying with them.
          Maybe a case of keep asking until someone does it.

  9. OT – but someone was asking recently about using debit cards for car leasing payments. I’ve been in negotiations for my new lease vehicle today and finally got them to acknowledge that VW finance for one will accept the initial payment by debit card. Delivery isn’t till May, it would be even better if Curve has made the Amex function fully available by then!

  10. I have actually managed to bag 2 flights to JFK in April but this is in Economy LIGHT. Any one flown this before? Presumably it is just Economy without check in?

    If you are wondering why… It is a day flight and got it in the sale+AMEX spend 600 and get 200 back promo… So got these flights for effectively £200 pp rtn…

    • Light does not allow you to pre-book seats and you get no baggage allowance

    • You can take hand baggage so no issue if you travel light and as Alan mentioned, no seat selection (unless you pay).

  11. OT Anyone received Curve Metal invite?
    Can you drop to Standard card after using for few months?

    • Yes just got it. It really isn’t clear from the email as to whether you have to sign up to the metal card in order to be on the beta or if you have to be on the beta to sign up for the metal card! I’m taking it as the latter but we’ll see once the link to the beta app is sent out

      • Open to everyone VERY shortly.

        In my experience, as I’m trialling Metal, they reissue it with a new card number (and cancel the old card number) if you trade up or down so you can’t use the Metal card without paying for it.

        • Well I’m glad I hadn’t got around to paying my HMRC bill yet! This should let me hit my 2-4-1 voucher much sooner than expected

        • Indeed – Curve Community worth joining to see latest info. Beware though if you upgrade to Metal you lose the ability to return to grandfathered Black if you decide you don’t want to stay on it.

    • Genghis says:

      AFAIK, you can trial new curve black and then drop down to old curve black and then pay nothing. But if you go for Curve metal, you then can’t go back to the old curve black.

      • Yep as long as you get Black before subscriptions launch you’ll have the option to drop back to the existing version via grandfathering. Once subscriptions launch publicly then if you sign up as a new user and opt for Black at that point then you’ll be stuck with that or dropping back down to Blue. Their plan is for existing Black users to automatically retain existing benefits.

  12. Dominic says:

    OT Curve

    Hi. apologies if something similar has been asked before.

    Have been counting down the days for a while now as its my Curve anniversary today. Not been able to use the card for several months after reaching the 50k.

    My 50k limit hasn’t reset however. Instead, I am now able to spend £10. I’m thinking now that this is a 365 day rolling limit? So in the coming days and weeks I will be able to spend more and more as my old transactions go past 365 days. Gutted if so.

  13. How long do hilton usually take to enable status matches to diamond via ihg plat? I completed the form early tuesday but im still showing as gold, i had hoped it wouldve been completed by tomorrow as i have a stay over the weekend.

    Would calling them be likely to expediate things?

    • You will stay gold until you have completed 8 stays. Time to respond to status match requests varies. I can be as little as two days and often as much as a week.

      • Brian W says:

        Not true, you get upgraded to Diamond first so you are Diamond as you complete the 8 required stays, if you fail you lose Diamond. Complete it and you keep it until the agreed date.

        I completed mine in December.

        • Genghis says:

          Indeed. Marriott is opposite

        • Thanks Brian. Yes, you are correct, forgot that. Must have been thinking of Marriott where status does not come until stays are completed.

  14. OT,anyone know if it’s possible to change your amex offers to that of another country? Also, how long out of the UK do you have to be before you are obliged to tell them you aren’t living here permanently? Will still have a residence here but have a long scheduled break starting next year and don’t want to give up my amex cards. Thanks

    • They don’t really care – you can keep the card unused. If you have a BA Amex do not change your BAEC account to your new address, however, as Amex won’t be allowed to send the points or voucher over.

  15. Qwerty Bertie says:

    OT: request for Hilton advice. A few days ago I booked a ten night resort stay far in advance, fully with points, and it can be cancelled for a long time yet without charge. Noting the banner at the top of this site about the Hilton sale, I looked at the same stay again out of curiosity, as I was initially considering cash instead of points. I noticed though that not only is the cash rate lower, but also the points rate.

    It is now over 50k points cheaper for the stay. Is it too simple/am I overlooking something, when I think to myself just cancel the stay, wait for the points to return, and re-book at the lower rate?

    • Points refund is almost instantaneous (you might need to log out and in again after cancellation). No reason not to cancel and rebook provide you are certain wholestsy is available for less points.

    • If you’ve got enough points I’d make a second booking at the new rate first, but if not then you should be fine as long as no one snags it in the time between you cancelling and your points returning (should only take a few minutes, you sometimes need to sign out and back in). I’ve done quite well in rebooking at times, always worth keeping an eye from time to time on existing reservations!

      • Qwerty Bertie says:

        Thanks very much to both you and BJ.

        The stay at both rates is between 300k and 400k total in points, net of the two free nights, and I don’t have anywhere near enough points to book again prior to cancelling. However, I will risk cancelling first as logically there must be at least two rooms available for the stay, the one it would let me book now whether points or cash, and the one I’m reserving…so here goes everything…

        • Cool, I’m sure it’ll be fine – let us know how you get on though 🙂

        • Shoestring says:

          Nice one, both! 🙂

          Just as good as the Virgin life insurance if you’re young enough! BTW I have screenshots of all the original Virgin life ins T&Cs if they end up being needed.

        • AndyGWP says:

          *urgh* i’m normally quite good at tapping into these things but I can’t find what you’re referring to here TRH – any pointers? 🙂

        • Shoestring says:

          see @Alan 22.47

        • Qwerty Bertie says:

          Was successful, saving 58k points. Value per point of 0.46p against the current cash price, which I’m happy with. Was prepared to pay cash, but this seemed like a good use of points, as not planning any other international trips this year/had possible future devaluation of points in mind.

        • Great result, that’s a decent saving!

      • Aha! Got it!

  16. The miles earning for economy classic isn’t totally accurate as I regularly fly on expensive economy classic fare codes and receive 150% of the miles and 50 tier points.

  17. Richard says:

    The £30 upgrade doesn’t work if you booked with miles 🙁

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