Bits: 1000 Virgin miles for Tesco auto-conversion, Miles & More devalues on Thursday, Hotel Voucher Shop

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News in brief:

Virgin Atlantic launches a Tesco conversion inducement

It seems that Virgin Atlantic is NOT offering a transfer bonus this quarter to anyone who is thinking of converting their Tesco Clubcard points to Virgin Flying Club miles.

There is, however, a bonus of 1,000 Virgin miles for anyone who sets their Tesco Clubcard account to auto-convert future vouchers directly into Flying Club.

I do not recommend this, because it makes more sense to keep control over your vouchers and only redeem them when you need to book a flight.  This means that you won’t miss a future conversion bonus or a good deal from another Clubcard partner.

However …. you can turn on auto-convert and then, as long as the 1,000 miles arrive in time, turn it off before the next Clubcard mailing.  There is also no risk in turning it on if you don’t expect to have a lot of Clubcard points next quarter.

Instructions on how to set up auto-convert can be found on the Clubcard page of the Virgin Atlantic website here.

The offer runs until 16th June.

Miles and More devaluation

Final chance to book before Miles & More devalues on Thursday

Here is your final reminder that Lufthansa is making a modest Miles & More devaluation on 9th May.  You should make any planned redemptions ASAP to lock in the current rates.

Full details are on the Miles & More website here.  To quote:

“The mileage amount on intercontinental flights will increase for return trips in Business Class by a total of 7,000 miles, and 12,000 miles in First Class.

On flights within a continent – with the exception of Europe – the mileage amount for return trips will increase by a total of 5,000 miles. For example, you can fly from Toronto to Los Angeles in Economy Class for 35,000 miles.

The “Round the World” flight award will increase by 10,000 miles in Business Class, and 20,000 miles in First Class.

The “three region” flight award will increase by 10,000 miles in Business Class, and 20,000 miles in First Class.”

The new reward chart is here (PDF) valid for bookings made from 9th May.  I can no longer find the old chart but there is a mileage calculator here.

Whether this impacts you depends on the routes you redeem.  I only ever use Miles & More miles to get to the Middle East or United States.  Looking at those two:

Business Class flights to the Middle East are UNCHANGED at 70,000 miles return.  This makes them a great deal compared to 100,000 Avios off-peak and 120,000 Avios peak.

First Class to the Middle East goes up very modestly from 125,000 miles to 130,000 miles return

Business Class to North America goes up from 105,000 miles to 112,000 miles return.  This still represents very good value for US West Coast trips, but less so for the East Coast.

First Class to North America goes up to 182,000 miles return, from 170,000.  Remember that Lufthansa First Class, if you can get that, is arguably the classiest in the sky and the First Class Terminal in Frankfurt is something worth trying if you can.

Miles & More miles were always a joke when used for European redemptions (35,000 miles for an Economy return from London to Frankfurt plus a lot of taxes) and nothing changes there.

Hotel Voucher Shop gone bankrupt

Hotel Voucher Shop in difficulties

This story hopefully won’t impact many, if any, HFP readers but I am dropping it in just in case.

Hotel Voucher Shop is a business which sold gift cards redeemable against hotel bookings.

On paper, gift voucher businesses are a dream to own.  You get paid in advance for a voucher which will not be redeemed for many months, and a significant percentage will never be redeemed at all.  What can go wrong?

Quite a lot, apparently.  The company appears to be heading for liquidation, and if you look at Trustpilot here you will see stories of people turning up at hotels they believed had been booked (you needed to redeem your voucher via a specific booking site) to find they had no room.  Those who had not booked already find that they cannot.

This is unlikely to end well, and if you have purchased a voucher for anyone via Hotel Voucher Shop I would start the process of requesting a credit card chargeback.  If you received a voucher issued by Hotel Voucher Shop then you have problems, unfortunately.

Thanks to Elizabeth for this.

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  1. Russell says:

    I have a current balance of £142 in Tesco Clubcard points, if i now turn on the auto-convert facility (to get the 1000 bonus) will that automatically convert my existing balance to Virgin Airmiles or will it convert only the points collected in the new collection period?

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