Bits: the future of the SPG / Marriott credit cards, Virgin Hotels San Francisco offer, cheap Avios via Groupon

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News in brief:

What is happening to the Starwood and Marriott UK credit cards?

Over in the US, a major rebranding of the Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest credit cards has been announced ahead of the launch of Marriott Bonvoy on 13th February.

Over here …. nothing.

The latest official update on the UK credit cards is:

Marriott Rewards Mastercard (no longer available) – “For now, your Marriott Rewards Mastercard will stay the same. Keep using it, and you’ll continue to receive the exclusive benefits and rewards you earn today.  When the programme name change occurs, you’ll earn Marriott Bonvoy points just like you earn points today.”

Starwood Preferred Guest American Express (still available, 30000 points sign-up bonus) – “For now, your Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express will stay the same. Keep using it, and you’ll continue to receive the exclusive benefits and rewards you earn today. When the programme name change occurs, you’ll earn Marriott Bonvoy points just like you earn points today.”

So, nothing to get excited about.

Here’s something to make you jealous though.  The US version of the SPG Amex is getting this very cool new look.  There is no guarantee we will see the same over here as the current UK card does not use the same design as the US one.  I’d really like to see this design used:

Special offers at the new Virgin Hotel in San Francisco

The new Virgin Hotels chain is gearing up to open in San Francisco next month, following the successful launch of the first property in Chicago three years ago.  It is a new-build property at 250 Fourth Street, South of Market.

If you are a Virgin Flying Club member you can get special deals on stays between 1st February and 31st May:

All Flying Club members will earn 2,000 miles per stay, double the usual rate

Silver Flying Club members will receive a free upgrade (subject to availability at check-in)

Gold Flying Club members will receive a free upgrade (subject to availability at check-in) and free breakfast

You can enter your Flying Club number during the booking process on the Virgin Hotels website.

The Virgin Flying Club page which explains the benefits you get at Virgin Hotels is here.  You cannot, at present, redeem miles for free nights at Virgin Hotels.

Next up will be properties in Dallas and New York.  The first site outside the US will be Edinburgh where Virgin Hotels is converting the historic India Buildings in the Old Town.

Groupon Avios

Buy cheap Avios via Groupon Spain

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 has already sold out.  You were only paying €19 for 2,000 points, which is 0.84p each.

Here are the other prices, which are less of a steal – although substantially cheaper than buying Avios directly via ba.com:

  • 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)

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.

(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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Comments

  1. People mentioning grandfathered black Curve card, has it been confirmed that you will get to keep the black card without paying a monthly fee or any other benefit?

  2. OT Curve related. Just received the following email from curve:

    “Thanks for waiting.
    You’re almost ready to join Curve Amex Closed Beta Programme.

    You have been selected to take part in the Curve Closed Beta, but we need some more information from you first.“

    Is this the same email that other have receined today? I’ve now completed the form but unclear as to what happens next, am I meant to be receiving a link next? If so how long after submitting the form does the link come through?

    • RakishDriver says:

      You’ll probably next receive a ‘crashlytics’ email to register your device for the beta rel.

  3. How do we use the Curve Amex Wallet? I added £500 and it charged my Amex Card, just tried using the curve card online and it didn’t go through?

    • If your balance is topped up and showing in the Curve app then should work fine. If having problems then I’d contact Curve support.

      • I topped up, but the balance is still 0 right now? I’m guessing it has to be not pending on amex then? Would I be correct saying this

        • If showing as pending on Amex then should have gone through. If it doesn’t show up in a couple of hours I’d contact support to try and work out what’s happening. I’d also try force closing and restarting the app.

        • Peter K says:

          @Alan. “Try force closing the app?” Didn’t know that only Jedi’s and Sith would be able to use the curve beta!! 😉

        • Haha 🙂

        • Yeah I’ve sent them a message through the chat- it shows the top up but the balance is still 0

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