Bits: Etihad goes to FIVE per day from Heathrow, changes at Radisson Rewards, Malaysia Airlines sale

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News in brief:

Etihad goes to FIVE flights per day from Heathrow

The battle between Qatar Airways, Emirates and Etihad for traffic from the UK has just taken an extra twist.

As we covered recently, Etihad gained three additional slots at London Heathrow when India’s Jet Airways collapsed as part of a sale-and-leaseback transaction done a few years ago when Jet was in need of money.

We now know what Etihad is planning to do with the slots.

Between 22nd May and 22nd June, it will add a fourth daily Heathrow service

Between 23rd June and 8th September, it will add a fifth daily Heathrow service

Between 29th September and 26th October (the end of the Summer timetable) it will drop back to four daily Heathrow services

These additional services will be operated by a two-class Boeing 787-9 aircraft.  The business class seat is the same Business Studio which is on the A380.  I reviewed the Etihad A380 Business Studio here.

I would expect excellent Etihad Guest reward availability on these new services, especially over the next couple of months, and hopefully some competitive fares too.

If you are booked on Etihad between now and 26th October, note that EY11/12 and EY17/18 are being cancelled on certain dates, being replaced by a flight at roughly the same time but with a new flight number.  You should keep an eye on your booking to ensure any seat reservations etc don’t change.

If you are wondering what has happened to the 3rd Jet Airways slot, Air Serbia – in which Etihad still has an equity stake – will be using it for a service to Belgrade.

How to earn Etihad Guest miles via UK credit cards

As a reminder, Etihad no longer has its own UK credit card.  However, you can earn Etihad Guest miles by converting Membership Rewards points earned from selected UK American Express cards.  These are:

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold – 10,000 Membership Rewards points sign-up bonus

The Platinum Card from American Express – 30,000 Membership Rewards points sign-up bonus

American Express Rewards credit card – up to 5,000 Membership Rewards points sign-up bonus

Membership Rewards points convert at 1:1 into Etihad Guest miles.  The cards above all earn 1 Membership Rewards point per £1 spent on your card, which converts to 1 Etihad Guest mile.

Etihad Guest is also a partner with the HSBC Premier Mastercard (0.5 miles per £1 spent, reviewed here) and HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard (1 mile per £1 spent, reviewed here).

Radisson Rewards merging with Jin Jiang JClub

Big changes coming to Radisson Rewards

Chinese group Jin Jiang, which you have probably never heard of, is actually the 2nd largest hotel chain in the world.

It recently acquired Radisson / Park Inn from struggling Chinese conglomerate HNA and already owns Golden Tulip and some other minor brands.  The main strength of the group is in China, where it is the largest hotel group.

Jin Jiang has its own loyalty programme, J-Club.  J-Club was a British Airways Executive Club partner for many years as we noted in 2014.

According to this report of a conference speech given by John Kidd, the CEO of Radisson Hospitality, Radisson Rewards is to be merged with J-Club during 2019.  

Given that J-Club is seven times bigger than Radisson Rewards in terms of members, you can take a wild guess as to which programme will come out on top.

I am NOT suggesting that you rush out to spend your Radisson Rewards points today.  I would, however, be cautious about making any undue effort to earn more if you are not planning to spend them in the short term as there is a risk of major changes and potentially devaluation.

Earning Radisson Rewards points via UK credit cards

As a reminder, you can earn Radisson Rewards points by converting Membership Rewards points earned from selected UK American Express cards.  These include:

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold – 10,000 Membership Rewards points (= 30,000 Radisson Rewards points) sign-up bonus

The Platinum Card from American Express – 30,000 Membership Rewards points (= 90,000 Radisson Rewards points) sign-up bonus

American Express Rewards credit card – up to 5,000 Membership Rewards points (= 15,000 Radisson Rewards points) sign-up bonus

It is worth noting that holders of The Platinum Card receive free Radisson Rewards Gold status for as long as they hold the card.  It also comes with Hilton Honors Gold, Marriott Bonvoy Gold, Shangri-La Golden Circle Jade and Melia Rewards Gold status.  We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here.

Membership Rewards points convert at 1:3 into Radisson Rewards points which is a very attractive rate.  The cards above all earn 1 Amex point per £1 spent on your card, which converts to 3 Radisson Rewards points.

Malaysia Airlines sale

Malaysia Airlines sale now on

Malaysia Airlines is running a sale this week in both Economy and Business.

You can book until 8th May for travel between:


  • now and 4th July
  • 27th August to 5th December
  • 9th January to 31st March 2020


  • 2nd May to 31st March 2020

It is worth a look because you earn Avios and British Airways tier points when you fly with Malaysia Airlines as both are members of the oneworld alliance.  The sale pricing is here.

(Don’t forget the current Lufthansa and SWISS Business and First Class sale, however, which is substantially more aggressive to destinations where both airports fly.  Click here for that deal.   You need two travellers for the Lufthansa / SWISS deals and of course you won’t earn any Avios or tier points.)

As well as Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Airlines has good connections to Australia, Thailand, Bali, the Philippines and elsewhere in Asia.  There are two daily departures from Heathrow Terminal 4 at 10.25 and 21.25.

You can find out more about their seats in my A350 aircraft tour review which also includes a bit of video.  You can also learn more about the A350 seating on this page of the airline website.  I reviewed the Malaysia Airlines Heathrow lounge here.

Click here to take a look at the Malaysia Airlines sale prices.

(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.)

What bonus can you get for adding a free Amex supplementary card to your account?
Bits: BA adds lounges access at eight European airports, Hackett deal update, Norwich ...
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  1. illuminatus says:

    OT – another BA promo, Get 50% bonus Avios when you buy or gift Avios before 21 May 2019.

    • Shoestring says:

      300K for 1.07p
      smaller multiples not much more

      might as well buy a decent stash at this price! 🙂

    • PaulC says:

      But counts as a transaction on your AMEX card for Reward points or Avios depending on card presumably?
      Are these worth buying for the sake of it or just if your short and need a boost to make a booking soon?

      • Not worth buying speculatively at 1.1p – see my article tomorrow – unless you have a decent short term plan for them.

      • John says:

        Remember the upcoming devaluation at end of the month (article a few days ago)

      • Shoestring says:

        Can’t do anything much without a nice stash in the bank.

        I booked 4 tickets out last week start of Easter hols 2020, and 5 of us back on Easter Monday 2020 – all on Avios – massive cash saving vs buying cash tickets – peak hols – value per Avios achieved was well over 2.5p/ point in aggregate – so buying those points for 1p & change/ point would have made a helluva lot of sense.

  2. Sarah says:

    Completely OT but does anyone know who to login in to the Accor places app? It continually says I am entering the wrong card number. I only have a membership number (which I am assuming the same). I have got nowhere with customer services.

    • Sarah says:

      *how not who

      • EwanG says:

        I’d recommend avoiding the app and using the website, going to
        You’ll need to go in via Facebook. Unsure how you link your account in there as mine is already linked, but should be pretty obvious.

  3. Clive says:

    OT – Anyone know when next collection period for Tesco ends

    • Sarah says:

      Says points collected before 3 May on Tesco app

      • And 2nd May on desktop view so who knows.

        • Shoestring says:

          BJ/ Xcalx/ all – Europcar is glitching & giving over 20% discount, faster paying as well (pays out in about 5 weeks) – can cancel bookings free of charge within 48 hrs of booking

          • Charlieface says:

            Did exactly that a while ago on a 10% halifax offer for £1k booking. By the way generally Europcar has the best rates on You can still get c/b just copy over the url parameters from the standard click-through and then do a retro-claim.

        • tom1 says:

          pay upfront?
          but cancel before 48 hours prior to rental date?

        • Shoestring says:

          that’s it

        • jeremy i says:

          is this anything to do with me being able to get rid of my xmas saver cc vouchers? sorry if thats a dumb question but so many coded messages on here! spent around 300 quid on fuel so far… 400 or so left to spend.

        • @Jeremy, no. If you want rid of those in a hurry just pick up an iPad, return it and ask them to refund you onto any card you like.

  4. Tom W says:

    O/T: I referred a friend to Amex Gold several weeks ago pre slashing of bonuses but he only applied using the link yesterday after the cuts, am i likely to get the original referral bonus or the new lower amount?

    • Shoestring says:

      lower (I reckon) – but you never know

      your friend will definitely have linked to the new/ revised T&Cs for joining (ie lower)

      if lower as referrer, if you had a screenshot of the original referrer’s bonus, that’d help

      or you could argue the point for the missing MR points, ie you were offered x but got y

      • Tom W says:

        Good point. I should have known to screenshot everything at the moment! Will wait to see what comes through and speak to customer services if needed.


        • Callum says:

          Amex know full well what the bonus was and when, an incredibly easily faked screenshot doesn’t prove anything so I wouldn’t worry about it.

          In fact, I assume you can still make one now from the cached page on Google, or the Internet Wayback Machine, if you really wanted.

  5. OT @Harry, Anna and other half term experts: What are your predictions for sumner half term 2020 peak dates? I’m guestimating Saturday 23-Sunday 31 May inclusive peak, all of June off peak and all of July peak. Does this sound reasonable or do you folks think peak will still run into first few days in June and off peak into first few days in July as has been the pattern until now?

    • Shoestring says:

      I reckon peak will *at least* include all of 23/5-31/5 – that’s when my kids both get their half term hols

      then most of June off peak (not the first couple of days as you say), then peak beginning again Sunday 5th July

      • Thanks. That has been the pattern in the past but I wondered if it might be different next year the way the weekends are falling in. I’m hoping off peak will start 6th June and end 3rd or 5th July as you suggest. I want to get a peak flight in early July, not that it matters much as peak will only cost me another 15k avios as we will use a 241.

  6. Should I open a J-Club account now (speculatively) or wait for the merger in terms of a better sign-up bonus?

  7. Also not entirely clear what will happen to the services between 8 and 29 Sep…

  8. Shoestring says:

    My son & I are travelling out with BA to our place in the sun (at half term) on IB points from the IB90K deal. Ie Avios redemptions. Out in Business, back in Economy.

    We’re both earning a chunk of Avios and 40 TPs for the trip, booked as a return. That’s what it says in MMB (BA).

    Is that what you’d expect for an Avios redemption using IB points?

    • Shoestring says:

      Booked on IB, I should add.

    • Shhh, it happens sometimes. Let’s not uncover the scale of the issue here and draw attention to it.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      MMB regularly shows it and you get nothing too. I got nothing for a business return with Iberia booked via Iberia which was showing TP in MMB.

      I hear upgrades with Avios often pay out the higher cabin TP and Avios though.

      • I’ve had one success with the former and 2 with the latter. Have a nice one sitting there for July so I’m hopeful but expecting nothing.

        • Also had the scenario where they didn’t charge me but everything was in order on MMB, only I got to check in to discover I didn’t even have a ticket. So, best not to believe everything you see on MMB.

          • Charlieface says:

            You should always check your booking to see it has the 15 digit e-ticket number. The 6 digit number is just for the folio of reservations, there may be no ticket attached. This applies to cash tickets as well.

          • That’s the thing, there was an e-ticket number, everything was legitimate, I even selected seats and booked meals. First sign of a problem was when I tried to check in online. It didn’t work but even then I thought there would be some good reason for it. Next day I am at check in, agent said there was no ticket, showed her all the paperwork, more tapping of her keyboard still no ticket. Telephone call, still no ticket. Sent to ticket desk, fortunately there was a CW seat left, following a short call she took payment and issued ticket. Agent said it happens sometimes but is very rare.

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