Bits: 25% off New York redemptions at five IHG hotels, 20% off Heathrow Express, check your Virgin card payments

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News in brief:

Save up to 25% on redemptions at five IHG Rewards Club hotels in New York

IHG Rewards Club, the Holiday Inn / HI Express / Crowne Plaza etc loyalty scheme, is offering discounted redemptions at five of its New York hotels.

You need to stay before 30th April to get the reduced rates.

The participating hotels are:

Hotel Indigo Lower East Side – usually 55,000 points, now 45,000 points

EVEN Times Square – usually 50,000 points, now 40,000 points

EVEN Midtown East – usually 45,000 points, now 35,000 points

EVEN Brooklyn – usually 40,000 points, now 30,000 points

Hotel Indigo Brooklyn – usually 40,000 points, now 30,000 points

Click through the links above for more information on each hotel.  Our review of EVEN Midtown East is here.

Full details of this promotion can be found on this page of ihg.com.

20% off Heathrow Express for the next week

Heathrow Express is running a Chinese New Year promotion.

Code LNY2019 will get you 20% off an Express Saver return ticket.  The outbound must be used by 20th February whilst the return half is valid for a month.

Full details are on the Heathrow Express website here.

You can’t earn Avios from Heathrow Express if you use this deal as promo codes are not allowed on the heathrowexpress.com/avios site.  You can earn Heathrow Rewards points.

Heathrow Express discount

Check your Virgin Atlantic credit card repayments

thisismoney ran an interesting piece last week about issues with the Virgin Atlantic credit cardsYou can read it here.

It appears that if you agree to pay by Direct Debit when applying for the card, your account is set up to only take the minimum repayment each month.  This is made clear in the direct debit instructions but you could easily miss it.  If you want to pay the full balance by Direct Debit each month, you need to log in to your Virgin Money account and change the settings.

It seems that quite a few people did not read the small print and were not aware of this, although arguably after the first month they should have spotted what was going on.  If you have a Virgin Atlantic credit card on Direct Debit, double check what is being taken out.

PS.  The article also flagged some commentary on the Virgin Atlantic cards from Virgin Money’s 2018 half-year accounts, which were the last to be published before the company was taken over.  I hadn’t seen this before. It says:

we successfully launched a range of Virgin Atlantic credit cards, with a stronger than expected customer response driving high quality new customer acquisition and increased levels of retail spend;

we issued [to 30th June 2018] over 37,000 new Virgin Atlantic cards, reflecting strong customer demand. A significant proportion of Virgin Atlantic customers are choosing a card with an annual fee, supporting other income;

as expected, the credit quality of the new Virgin Atlantic card customers is superior to that of the existing portfolio, reflecting the more affluent nature of the customer base

Remember that you can get an increased sign-up bonus on the cards if you apply by 28th February.  The free card is offering 10,000 Flying Club miles whilst the £160 fee card is offering 25,000 miles.  Full details are on the Virgin Money website here.  Just be careful how you set up your direct debit …..

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Comments

  1. Thanks for the heads up on the Virgin card, I assumed the same and I caught it just in time before my next payment was due. I didn’t spend anything in the first billing period so the only charge was the £160 card fee. For that one, the minimum payment is £160, so seeing that go through did not ring alarm bells about the direct debit only taking the minimum payment.

  2. Shoestring says:

    Yep I saw this article in the Daily Mail a few days ago – a fine read in many respects, ahead of the game when it comes to personal finance.

    I recommend it as one of your primary information sources for pensions, amongst other elements of the family finance ‘mix’ 🙂

      • Shoestring says:

        …& you won’t find that info in The Times!

        I rest my case. Make the Daily Mail your daily read on personal finance 🙂

        • Not only that Harry but the reporting in the first Times article was poor did little for those featured to get my sympathy. Customers were not aware the cards were not a transfer (unsure how you can get confused if you are filling in a new application for a new provider, and get letters from the old provider explaining what they are doing) and those not keeping an eye on their finances / not noticing they did not clear the outstanding balance via Direct Debit. If the customer instruction was to clear the balance and VM reverted to minimum balance (as now seems to be the case based on the latest articles and feedback above) there is clear grounds for VM to refund all charges in full!

        • While my dislike for that vile rag has been made clear under several of your regular recommendations, I clicked on that article.

          Why exactly are these financial experts who give advice you won’t find anywhere else quoting the representative APR while talking about interest payments? Can they write anything without resorting to sensationalism?

        • The article is just a way for the Mail to make some money selling credit cards.

        • Shoestring says:

          The other newspapers don’t have Steve Webb as a pensions expert

        • You could argue, Rob, that the majority of “Frequent Flyer” websites fall into this category too…

          Not yours, obviously…

  3. An off topic for you. Anyone who booked a load of flights in the Iberia promotion had cancellations? I have had three of my 10 cancelled now over the last few days. Not going to do anything about it since more than happy with the end result (avios that I have used), but it seems odd

    • I had some cancellations but mainly due to BA cancelling the route (or postponing the start of it). I believe you can call and change date. In one occasion, they did not allow me to reroute but simply change date

      • Shoestring says:

        we both had several cancellations – I’ve done nothing but others have got refunds without losing the 90K bonus Avios redemptions (so far)

        • I contacted them and they issued refunds. Had 5 flights cancelled and my partner had 2. I bought very early on in the sale meaning with refunds I picked up 90k Avios for £77. What a promo! All my redemption flights are intact. The agent actually confirmed that on the phone.

        • Shoestring says:

          I think we have 4 or 5 cancellations each as well…, I was going to see how it pans out for others first as our cheapo flights aren’t until May

  4. OT. how can one book HAV – MIA on avios? BA website just gives an error.

  5. OT
    A few days ago I reported that I had only received 9,000 MR points for a referral from a Platinum card.
    They have now agreed to manually credit the other 9,000 but are unable to offer any explanation.

  6. Shoestring says:

    mercure dot accorhotels dot com/promotions-offers/week-end-holidays-offers/owm010035-001-valentines.en.shtml

    (From £129). Make this Valentine’s Day one to remember with our Ready for Romance package.
    You will get a box of chocolates on arrival, a three course dinner, glass of bubbly for two, plus breakfast and late check-out until 2pm.
    Choose from one of our beautiful, locally inspired Mercure properties throughout the UK.
    Valid for stays till 30/04/2019.
    Enter the Preferential Code MERVAL to book.*
    MERCURE ABERDEEN CALEDONIAN
    MERCURE ALTRINCHAM
    MERCURE AYR
    MERCURE BEWDLEY
    MERCURE BLACKBURN DUNKENHALGH
    MERCURE BOLTON GEORGIAN HOUSE
    MERCURE BOXHILL BURFORD BRIDGE
    MERCURE BRADFORD BANKFIELD
    MERCURE BRANDON HALL HOTEL
    MERCURE BRIGHTON SEAFRONT
    MERCURE BRISTOL GRAND HOTEL
    MERCURE BRISTOL NORTH GRANGE
    MERCURE BURTON UPON TRENT
    MERCURE CARDIFF HOLLAND HOUSE
    MERCURE CHESTER ABBOTS WELL
    MERCURE DARLINGTON KINGS HOTEL
    MERCURE DARTFORD BRANDS HATCH
    MERCURE DONCASTER CENTRE DANUM
    MERCURE EDINBURGH PRINCES STRT
    MERCURE EXETER SOUTHGATE
    MERCURE GLASGOW CITY
    MERCURE GLOUCESTER BOWDEN HALL
    MERCURE HATFIELD OAK HOTEL
    MERCURE HAYDOCK HOTEL
    MERCURE HULL GRANGE PARK
    MERCURE INVERNESS
    MERCURE LEEDS PARKWAY
    MERCURE LEICESTER THE GRAND
    MERCURE LETCHWORTH HALL
    MERCURE LIVERPOOL
    MERCURE LIVINGSTON
    MERCURE LONDON BLOOMSBURY
    MERCURE LONDON WATFORD
    MERCURE MAIDSTONE GREAT DANES
    MERCURE MANCHESTER PICCADILLY
    MERCURE MILTON KEYNES
    MERCURE NEWBURY ELCOT PARK
    MERCURE NEWCASTLE GEORGE
    MERCURE NORWICH
    MERCURE PERTH
    MERCURE SHEFFIELD PARKWAY
    MERCURE SHREWSBURY ALBRIGHTON
    MERCURE ST ALBANS THE NOKE
    MERCURE SWANSEA
    MERCURE TUNBRIDGE WELLS
    MERCURE WALTON HALL
    MERCURE WETHERBY
    MERCURE WINCHESTER WESSEX
    MERCURE YORK FAIRFIELD MANOR

  7. Fed up with Virgin Credit Cards. Sign up bonus fine. Credit limit of £1700, not enough to hit the minimum spend for reward flight without a lot of effort. No app so I don’t use it often. Just had emailed asking me to contact them. Basically My card has been cloned and had £1690 spent on it in last 3 weeks. All credited but big faff. Apparently lots more transactions were attempted but declined eg £2k at Argos! (who does that?) and 15 x Dominos. Most payments were manually overriden when swipe failed. NO ALERTS WHATSOEVER. Amex you get a text for everything. And thr app. May keep new card for the lounge in London, thats cool.

  8. Gail XYZ says:

    Got turned down for the Virgin credit Card. I have the VC plus card. No idea why. Credit score fine.

  9. O/T I have a question re. lounge access. I have an Iberia business class flight from JFK to Madrid (thanks to 9k promotion :-)). I have a couple of follow on flights Mad to LHR Iberia, LHR to EDI Iberia operated by BA, both economy on a separate ticket to the business flight but on same ticket to each other. What lounge access am I entitled to in Madrid and LHR?

  10. Froggitt says:
  11. Is it still possible to do a “cross-referral” from Platinum to, say, BAPP? I have the referral link but don’t see the option of a BAPP in the “Other Cards” section. I only see Gold and Green cards.

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