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. OT Curve finally refunded the £6.50 Amex topup fee they incorrectly charged me, in the form of Curve Rewards.

    Also I still can’t withdraw cash on any card (even though I’ve been using Curve for non-Amex regular spend after running down my Amex balance)

  2. Tesco pay+ won’t work for me because my account was set up on an old phone which I now can’t switch on. Half a dozen calls to the call centre have failed to resolve it.

    You’d have thought they would have considered such eventualities when implementing the technology around it.

    • Log in on the Tesco website and you can delete the old phone from the account.

    • When I loaded the app it said it was linked to my old phone but had a link to disconnect this link. Was quite simple but a bit annoying.

    • This is what Barclays had with their Pingit service – was absolutely impossible to move it to a new phone without visiting a branch and having your identity verified. Now resolved and streamlined into a couple in-app manipulations

  3. OT: my Curve card stopped working on new year’s day. I STILL have not received a replacement card 🙁

  4. OT – any recent experiences with payments to Brighton on an IHG card via Curve? I still seem to be able to use Curve at ATMs with IHG as the payment card with no cash advance fees.

  5. OT: Any Avios or Amex MR options for Seoul to Da Nang? Thanks.

  6. C F Frost says:

    Afternoon all. Green to plat via the magic link. Upgrade nirvana or a paltry rumour? Can anyone confirm?

    • Someone was in the process of trying this out a week or so back. Would be good if they could provide an update

  7. Shoestring says:

    You could be wondering whether you might buy 300,000 Avios for little more than 1.05p/ point (via Iberia, can be freely switched to British Airways Exec Club).

    I once did buy 100,000 Avios for a penny each – 2014? – & never regretted it. It launched my points collecting into the serious-points-collecting-osphere and was the rocket boost I needed to target 1 million & more.

    At the time we were burning 250,000 Avios a year just travelling on points to our place in the sun – so this gave me some decent forward provision and made me less nervous about buying tickets T-355, one way – I used to be worried that I might get caught out getting cheap or points tickets for the return leg!

    I would say that if you are starting out, putting 100K or 300K Avios in the bank (for a penny each plus change) in one easy transaction is a no-brainer – you now can think about getting your reward holiday flights a year in advance. You now can reject lesser opportunities. You can reject slightly cheaper opportunities if they are too messy or convoluted or fail your personal ethics test. You can happily go for cheap points (eg the current 10,000 cheap life insurance points mentioned earlier which work out little more than 0.2p/ Avios), knowing you are bringing down your average. Similarly, a 18,000 Plat referral to new Amex card is ‘free’ points (or can be) – bringing down your average!

    100,000/ 300,000 easy 1p Avios kick starts you on the points hobby.

    If you wanted, ie his & hers Avios accounts on both BAEC & Iberia, you could even get 1,200,000 easy 1p points in a flash like this 🙂

    • You could even spend £12000 on Avios?!
      That doesn’t sound like a good idea.

      • Shoestring says:

        That rather depends on you, ie the user.

        If you could readily get points redemptions in F or J that saved you money vs the cash tickets, why wouldn’t you want to facilitate that?

        You & your dearest could use up 1.2m Avios rather quickly that way on a couple of long haul holidays.

        • I agree – e.g. a couple of J flights to the Caribbean in the winter can easily cost £6k, if you bought the avios (with a 50% bonus offer) and used a BAPP (taking the £195 fee into account), your cash outlay would be around £2800. I would consider that a decent discount.

        • Agreed. We have First flights booked to HKG for Xmas. Would totally make sense to purchase the 102k avios each for them as flexible revenue flights would be over £8k each. Last Xmas even Y to BKK was £1500 return non flexible, much better to buy 39k avios.

        • One factor to consider is switching universally accepted cash for an airline currency that could devalue at any time entirely at the whim of said airline. If there’s an offer on when you need to buy great. But more likely you’re buying on spec to store them without specific uses in mind, or when you want them you have buy without the offer, meaning the 1p price is somewhat understated.

    • Indeed, that’s the way we operate. No way could we pay or want to pay cash for our many turn left flights. To keep costs (ie “charges” ) as low as possible we hop over to Amsterdam for our KL or partner flights and Madrid for exceptional Iberia value flights to N and S America. RFS awards are the big ones for us in these scenarios.

    • It’s like everything else, if you have a plan and you can exceed your own cost/value threshold then go for it. The other thing I agree completely with is having a decent balance, yes they may be devalued but being able to book at T-355 using a 241, then add the return using full Avios followed by a call and refund of half is a game changer for me.

  8. Interesting thoughts. Personally I wouldn’t buy. I like status so usually buy cash tickets, and hence earn decent chunks of Avios. I also have the fortunate opportunity to put expenses through credit cards, so have no problem hitting sign up targets for bonus. Avios use at the moment is always SH, weekends, short breaks, that sort of thing. If you have or can manufacture spend 100K Avios is easy without buying, and only minimal Amex fees providing you have no issues cancelling and churning.

    • Often cash works but it all comes down to destination, time of booking and date of travel. BKK is a classic example, cash makes most sense most of the year but over Xmas and New Year it is best to get a redemption locked in, even if you need to purchase the miles.

  9. OT: If I cancel my BA premium Amex card, do I lose my companion voucher just earnt?
    Can I wait for 6months and apply to get the sign-up bonus?

  10. I need 1000 points. What’s the best way to buy/transfer from, please?

  11. Let us hope the point break list is half decent for Europe

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