Bits: last chance to buy Avios with 50% bonus, extra Clubcard points, new IHG PointBreaks list on Monday

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News in brief:

Last chance for the ‘50% bonus when you buy Avios’

Tomorrow is your last day to take advantage of the current ‘buy Avios’ bonus promotion.

Until 24th February you will receive 50% bonus Avios when you buy or gift points.

This is as high a bonus as we see these days and there is no minimum purchase.  The bonus kicks in with the smallest 1,000 Avios transaction.  You need to visit via this page in order to buy.

British Airways has increased the number of Avios you can buy under this deal – the cap is now 200,000 points per year!  This means that, with the bonus, you will receive 300,000 Avios for a whopping £3,215.

This is not necessarily a great idea as the best value is generally obtained by buying a small number of Avios to top off your account.  If you saw me on BBC1’s Rip Off Britain last year (you can watch the segment here, it is only 3 minutes long) you will know that one of the members of the public I tried to help had bought 100,000 Avios for £1,600 without fully understand the restrictions behind them.

What does it cost?

In general, you will pay around 1.1p per Avios under this offer.  Based on my spreadsheet of the last 7 million Avios I redeemed, I got 1.15p of value.  This is using very conservative valuations for the flights booked, eg I value a Business Class flight to Dubai at £1,500 because even if BA isn’t charging that there is usually a deal with a secondary airline.

I am clearly not a buyer at 1.1p.  However, as my core article on ‘What is an Avios worth?’ shows, it is easy to get a lot more than 1.1p.  My valuation is low because I do a lot of Gold Priority Rewards (using double Avios to force open a seat, mainly due to school holiday restrictions) and don’t always have a BA Amex 2-4-1 voucher to use.  I also tend to use Avios irrespective of the value, because I am sitting on a lot of them.  If you are strategic you should do better than me.

The link to buy is here.

PS.  The current Groupon offer via Iberia Plus is still running too – see here, in Spanish but Chrome can translate.  Compare the prices for the amount you want, but the UK offer is likely to be cheaper and less messy.

50% buy Avios bonus

Bonus Avios and Virgin miles from Tesco via Pay+

Tesco Clubcard bonus point deals are thin on the ground these days, so it is good to see the Pay+ promo back – and it runs until the end of August.

Tesco has a smartphone payment app called Pay+ (previously PayQwiq, a name that was dropped when they realised no-one could remember how to spell it).

It is Tesco’s payment app which let’s you pay your shopping and automatically collect Clubcard points.  Pay+ works a bit like Apple Pay or Android Pay, but with the added benefit of automatically adding your Clubcard number to the transaction so you don’t need to dig out your blue card.

To encourage people to try Pay+, until 31st August 2019 you will get 1 extra Clubcard point for every £4 spent in Tesco.  This is a decent offer, worth an extra 0.6 Avios per £1 or 0.625 Virgin Flying Club miles for every £1 of Tesco shopping you do.  Once you’ve set it up you’re good to earn bonus miles for the next six months.

You can read more about Pay + here. You will still receive all your usual loyalty points from your credit card too.

New IHG Pointbreaks list

New IHG PointBreaks list released on Monday

IHG Rewards Club will be releasing a new PointBreaks list on Monday.

These hotels will be bookable from Monday afternoon UK time.  It seems at the moment that we won’t see the list until it is officially published.  I would expect to do an extra post on Monday evening if I have the time.  If you are on our email list you will have to wait until Tuesday morning or pop onto the site on Monday evening.

The 100+ PointBreaks hotels on the list will be bookable for the period 1st March to, probably, 31st May.  The cost will be reduced to between 5,000 and 15,000 points per night depending on hotel.

There is no teaser list this time so I can’t give you an examples of what hotels will be included.  The quality has been improving since they changed the pricing from a flat 5,000 points to 5,000 / 10,000 / 15,000.  Check back on Monday evening and hopefully the list will be up.

(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.)

£250 wine, £790 cognac - part 3 of my review of the new Emirates First Class suite on a Boeing 777-300ER
Bits: Virgin Atlantic credit cards get an app, Etihad adds 4th Heathrow service, Haynes Manual on Heathrow
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  1. According to LoyaltyLobby these four properties will be included…

    InterContinental Pattaya (Thailand) – 15,000 points
    Hotel Indigo Mt. Pleasant (South Carolina) – 15,000 points
    InterContinental Sofia (Bulgaria) – 15,000 points
    Crowne Plaza Oxford-Manchester Road (United Kingdom) – 15,000 points

    • I think that should be Manchester – Oxford Road … in Manchester!

      • Ahh lol – just copied and pasted it!

        • LL always does a typo on the IHG list usually sticks a South American hotel in the Europe list. It catches other bloggers who copy and paste the list.

          • Fair enough them doing that – I did give them credit in my comment, was just as Rob said none were yet known.

    • IC Pattaya is a very nice hotel. We loved the Tropical Terrace Suite. It’s probably the nicest IC room I’ve ever had after the terrace room at IC Danang. Pattaya in general is a shithole.

  2. I don’t shop too much in Tesco these days but I have Pay+ installed on my phone. Everytime I open the app it wants me to sign back in to my account even though the app is protected by Face ID. It just adds more faff at the till, particularly when the scanner won’t pick up code from the phone.

    • Exactly the same for me; really annoying. The Clubcard app is the same, and given it wants certain characters only from the password, it doesn’t work well with a password manager.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Suggest you both may need to delete the app and re install.

        On the odd occasion I have had to log back in using password but in general Face ID logs me in fine 99/100

    • Can you change it for fingerprint access? That’s what my android phone asks for which unlocks pretty much instantly.

      • Yup. Mine too. And the app is linked to my Tesco debit card, which I otherwise don’t use so don’t have carry. I’m getting 2.25 points per pound spent at Tesco. 🙂

    • That’s strange, mine doesn’t do that. Are you on android or iOS? My Pay+ is set to fingerprint security so it’s as easy as waking up my phone. I find it pretty useful, and the bonus CC points are most welcome back.

    • I had this issue with scanning until one of the cashiers told me that if you lie your phone down flat on the counter it scans more easily.

      • BlueThroughCrimp says:

        Putting the bottom of the phone on the flat surface, and slowly tilting the phone upwards was how I was shown. Works like a treat for me.

      • Pay + isn’t accepted at the tills in isle of man and the self service had it for a few weeks and them they updated the software and it disapeared

    • I find the newer self service tills in Tesco struggle with the Pay+ code on my phone.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Sometimes fine the app doesn’t turn the screen brightness all the way up

      • I find is your lay the phone flat and swipe up as you would a product you’re buying this often works. I had a cashier show me and it hasn’t failed me yet

  3. Heinztein says:

    O/T – IAG Holidays – looking to book outbound flight from LHR to X, a couple of nights hotel accommodation (but not for entirety of trip and then inbound flight from Y to LHR.

    LHR to X is an Iberia flight with no BA codeshare as far as I can tell, and U to LHR is a BA flight but with an Iberia codeshare.

    I want to book via the BA or Iberia holiday function so I don’t have to pay for the trip until nearer the end of the year when we plan on going. When trying to book, the BA Holidays website says that X (Havana) is not a destination that BA flies to so won’t let me book. The Iberia Holidays website does not have the same multi destination functionality that the BA website has, nor does it allow you to book a hotel for only part of the trip in the way the BA site does.

    Is there anything I can do with either airline to get this trip booked in as a “holiday” and so only pay a deposit now?

    • Have you tried calling BA Holidays? They’re effectively a travel agent so should be able to help out. Always had really good service with them.

    • Scallder says:

      Try with Virgin Holidays as Virgin fly direct to Havana?

  4. Ian McDowall says:

    Rob. Can you tell me the top two ways you accrue BA avios. My wife and I both use BA Amex cards and use them for everything, we use top cash back where possible, convert Tesco club card vouchers, but we don’t fly BA very much. Where are you collecting your points?
    Thanks, Ian.

    • If you’ve hit your welcome bonuses on the Amex BA credit cards, refer yourself for the Amex Gold Charge card (free for first year). The welcome bonus (£2k in first 3 months) via the referral is 22k membership points (worth 22k Avios @ 1:1 rate). When got that, you can refer partner (another 9k referral bonus membership points) and then they can do the same.

      Depending on how you play it, that’s 50-60k avios for £4k spend and very little effort

      • P.s. you can hold the BA Avios cards and the Gold Charge cards simultaneously so don’t have to worry about other potential clash issues

      • Mr(s) Entitled says:

        Si has given you one of the top two. The other is to start a very successful blog and earn comissions and referrals that way.

        • Give me a day or 2, and it will be ready for launch on Monday.

          First article will be how to immediately add 15k IHG points to your account.

          All you have to do is book a points-break room with your existing points, immediately cancel it, and then watch the points be debited straight into your account… 100% winner!

        • @Si,
          What am I missing? If I spend 15k existing IHG points, whether it’s points break or not, and then cancel, I just get 15k back. How does that get me an extra 15k? I’ve done it before with points+cash to get extra points, but any advice appreciated!

      • New Card says:

        I thought Rob earned a lot of his avios when Lloyds were offering 24 per £1 or something crazy…!

        • I got over 1 million from that, yes. Those were the days! 25 Avios per £1 on foreign spend, so I booked £40k+ of refundable rooms (pay up front option) and refunded them later. I thought Lloyds might deduce 2.5 per £1 but they didn’t deduct anything.

        • In my view that crosses a moral line and is a deliberate act to cost Lloyds a lot of money. If you need the purchase, fair enough. If your only intent is to get a refund, not cricket.

      • What? Refer yourself for a card? I didn’t think that was possible? I’ve never seen that referenced anywhere.

        So I have the free BA Amex right now, and hit my bonus ages ago… I can hold both cards AND refer myself AND still get the bonus?

        • At least one reader has been pulled up by Amex and told it’s against the rules so it’s a risk you take. You wouldn’t be able to refer yourself for a card you’ve already got anyway- so if you have the free BA, applying for the BAPP would result in getting your blue upgraded (with fee charged) but no sign up bonus and no referral points. Better to cancel and wait 6 months.

        • Oh dear, some hasn’t been reading the comments section on this website enough 🙂

          Yes, that is eminently possible.

        • Just wait until you’ve got yourself an Amex Platinum – 18k points per referral (5 referrals / 90k points per year limit). That’s the real ‘cash’ cow when combined with the welcome bonus offers.

        • If you are concerned about referring yourself then just refer your wife (and vice-versa). Problem solved.

        • Question to the self-referrers. Do you enter anything when the application asks if you have any other Amex cards?

        • Shoestring says:

          @Waddle, sure just tell the truth (I think it helps a lot particularly in this instance as Amex know, anyway)

      • Apologies for being pedantic, but the Gold charge card if of course no longer available. New applicants have to go for the Gold credit card – welcome and referral bonuses are the same.

      • Pedantic, but here is no gold charge card any more. Gold credit card.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Churning Amex cards and making referrals has to be the best way.

      Spending if it isn’t for a sign up bonus won’t earn many points.

      • Shoestring says:

        Life ins for 10K cheap points, rinse & repeat

        • Which is the best Life Ins offer currently?

        • If you are into Avios then More Th>n via the normal route will yield 10,500 if you keep the policy for 6 months. £10k cover for approx £2/month

          Thanks to Harry for this tip.

      • I’m a bit very about being declined due to multiple card applications and not ideal credit rating. This already happened a couple of times… should I hold on to existing cards and find other options to increase Avios accrual ability?

        • Shoestring says:

          Easy to exaggerate this risk in your own mind. If you spread them out over the year, getting (say) 6-8 different Amex cards annually in your name won’t be much of a problem if the other factors that affect your credit score are all OK.

    • The Savage Squirrel says:

      Own a business. Pay suppliers with Amex and employersHMRC with Curve and the spending turnover gets significant in a hurry.

      Or just be rich and spend on Amex. Although If you can put 100s of £1000s through Amex per year on personal spend then you don’t need to be dicking around with Amex referrals (or indeed paying attention to loyalty points generally).

      • If your spending high amounts personally then the charge card is the least amount of hassle with high spend limits.

      • Saving loyalty points isn’t just for the phlebs, Princess Anne used to save The Times coupons for the buy one get a second meal free for one of your party at select restaurants (blowed if I can remember what it was called). It’s still a hobby 🙂

        • …of course your spelling of plebs deteriorates the more money you have…..

        • I’m sure phlebotomists definitely aren’t the only ones to like saving points 😛 (sorry, couldn’t resist)

        • LoL! Yes. Thank you. Alan!

          You can’t slip much past the best HFP’ers 🙂

  5. Shoestring says:

    300.000 Avios por 3.601€ (IB)
    That’s £3128 – so a decent saving with free FX card

  6. Shoestring says:

    The Groupon 2000 packs for EUR19 were on stock earlier on this morning but have gone already

    • Damn you Harry, why didn’t you wake me up and tell me?! 😉

      • Shoestring says:

        Would only have been worth waking you up to save a couple of quid as they’re limited in number you can buy.

        Why not spend those few minutes extra sleep you got ‘doing a Virgin life insurance’ or 2? – as that offer (or near equivalent) is still going, I got another one yesterday. 6 months payments @£3.79 as I am an old frat, you’d probably get away with £2/ month, cash out 10,000 Avios for my £22.

  7. Wondering what are people doing with their ib accounts with negative balance? I tried closing it but they want my passport details for verification? (It’s an old account opened nearly 4 years ago)

    • On my to do list….
      Can we not just open a new account using different email address without shutting old one down? Or does the system flag up duplicate accounts?

      • Qwerty Bertie says:

        I think, based on what I’ve read here and bearing in mind I’ve never dealt with Iberia myself, that if you put a fake passport number in you would initially get away with it. If you ever want to fly with them though, it might then cause a problem…?

      • I think it might, I wouldn’t want to risk it tbh, seeing as they did put my account in negative after I moved avios to ba (after they said it was allowed)

    • Qwerty Bertie says:

      I seem to remember reading a while ago on here that there is a process you can follow to close it easily, something to do with EU data protection law. I’m sure one of the main regulars will remember the details and help.

      • Yes that’s what I was thinking, and so I thought the process to close it online following their links would be quite simple

      • Shoestring says:

        GDPR route – IB respond within a couple of hours

        ask for all your data to be removed and a/c closed

  8. Bits OT : at a foggy LHR.

    Just spied the new BOAC livery. Looking good.

    Got a pic for my spotters scrapbook (jk) 😀

  9. Ian McDowall says:

    Thanks to all those you advised me on points accruel. When we’ve got to our targets, both approaching another companion voucher, we’ll look at a switch to gold.

  10. There is no “faff” in setting up Pay+,it’s a standard process now, you can drop this bit when copying and pasting from old articles

    • Ok 🙂

      • It was a bit of a faff for me just now! I hadn’t used the app for months, went to install on my new phone and had to leave the app to go to a website to remove my old phone linked to pay+ then sign back into the app to set up the account there, add my new card details etc.
        Admittedly only took a few minutes but was still a faff.

  11. OT; I have a amex gold card which i’m looking to cancel – I have 2 referrals left – If i copy and paste the link and keep it on my laptop. I then cancel the card and someone then uses the link i’ve saved – will the points still hit my account? I have another Amex rewards card so i will still have an active points balance

    • TGLoyalty says:

      They won’t hit your account as your MR account is closed when you cancel your card.

      I suspect even if your MR account is open because of another card it wouldn’t work as the underlying card is closed.

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