Bits: no more Avios from mortgages, British Airways Heathrow terminal switches, seven countries added to UK ePassport gates

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News in brief:

No more Avios from mortgages

There has only been one way to earn Avios from your mortgage, and that was via Tesco Bank.

Tesco Bank quietly entered the mortgage market back in 2014.  We never covered it much because there are many factors to consider when taking out a mortgage.  Whether or not you will earn Avios or Virgin Flying Club miles via Clubcard points should be very much at the bottom of your list of considerations!

It was all very simple:

You earned 1 Tesco Clubcard point (2.4 Avios) for every £4 of your monthly mortgage payment.  This applied to both the capital and interest elements.

You earned 1 Tesco Clubcard point (2.4 Avios) for every £4 of any overpayment you make, as long as it does not fully repay your mortgage

If you were making monthly payments of £1000 you would be earning 250 Clubcard points.  This is worth 600 Avios, so about £5-£6 of value.  It was not enough to move the needle on which mortgage provider is cheapest.

This deal is no more.  Tesco Bank announced yesterday that it is pulling out of the mortgage market. It is no longer accepting new applications and, more importantly, the existing loan book will be sold to another lender.  Once the sale is complete it is virtually certain that Clubcard points will no longer be available.

It isn’t clear what the future holds for the rest of Tesco Bank. It has not made much of an impact in the current account market, and the credit card arm is also underpowered.  When it launched the current account, Tesco claimed that it was deliberately uncompetitive so that it could offer good customer service.  Several years on, that excuse no longer washes.

Tesco Bank mortgages

British Airways switching routes between Terminal 5 and Terminal 3

British Airways announced yesterday that two routes are switching terminals from the start of the Winter timetable on 27th October.

San Diego is moving from Terminal 5 to Terminal 3.

Phoenix is moving the other way, from Terminal 3 to Terminal 5.

This could be an issue for anyone with tight connections, and others may be concerned at either a) the loss of Terminal 5 Concorde Room access if flying First or b) the loss of Cathay Pacific and Qantas lounge access in Terminal 3!

Use of UK ePassport gates extended

As of this Monday, nationals of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the United States have been able to use automated the UK’s ePassport gates.

52 million passengers used ePassport gates in the UK last year, and this new move adds a further potential 10 million passengers.

The impact on wait times is likely to be noticeable at Heathrow Terminal 5 and Terminal 3, given the large number of incoming US flights.

Passengers must be aged over 18, or 12-17 years if accompanied by an adult, and have a ‘chipped’ passport in order to use the ePassport gates.

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Comments

  1. Jonty says:

    O/T Any bets on whether BA will offer”kids fly free” this summer? 2017,2018 offer announced by this time of year.

  2. O/T: I took the plunge and submitted my (BA) upgrade expenses as “employment expenses” via a P87. Was anyone quicker off the mark than I was and successfully received a rebate from HMRC yet?

    Fingers Crossed 🙂

    • You are assuming that anyone looks at your return and it isn’t processed automatically, as 99% are.

  3. OT — not miles/points-related, but in case anyone in London has missed it, Kapten—a taxi service similar to Uber which has existed in France for a while, originally as Chauffeur Privé—has launched in the city and you can get 50% off all rides (max £10 discount) until May 28th with the code HILONDON.

    I used it around 10am this morning in West Hampstead and I’m about to use it shortly around Old Street, and it seems like there’s pretty decent driver availability.

  4. Annabelle says:

    Sorry OT- If book a Hilton hotel through say hotels.com could you still benefit from your Hilton status? Thank you

  5. PaulC says:

    O/T How long in general does an upgrade to Platinum usually take from Green Card?

    • Shoestring says:

      same as any upgrade, could typically be 4-8 working days though you could get the PP cards earlier

  6. Shoestring says:

    Raffles – you could have sent one of us to New York in Club to check out the lounges.

    Just saying.

    • Yes, I imagine a number of us would be willing to drink all the Champagne, just to help you guys out Raffles!

      • Shoestring says:

        Cat – tell me what not to miss in the T3 Oneworld Business lounges – anybody else there on Friday?

        • Personally I thought the Cathay business lounge looked very nice, but I didn’t spend any time there really. It does have a decent buffet selection, the usual noodle bar (seriously, that wonton soup…) and a decent selection of wines and cocktails. Qantas is great if you like gin, and I think does better cocktails than the Cathay lounge. Apparently AA does v good food, but I never made it that far!
          Have fun Harry!

          • David says:

            CX for noodle/dim sum bar, Möet, comfy chairs and apron views. QF for à la carte menu downstairs, and coffee/gin upstairs. American for, umm, fast wifi… and lots of empty chairs. Whatever you do, don’t go to AA if you want a cup of coffee.

        • Jovanna says:

          There’s a bar down the far end of the lounge. I’ve no idea if it does cocktails or anything else that may appeal but it’s there. I didn’t spot it on my first couple of visits – I can’t think why, other than not straying beyond the noodle bar.

    • Too risky. If the person fails to show / causes trouble / turns out to be illiterate / unable to take a photo then I stuffed with BA.

  7. I once managed to make an immigration official laugh at Boston Logan.
    I consider it one of my finest achievements in life!

    • Sorry, fail – it’s been a long term! That was meant to be in reply to all the comments about egates and grumpy border control staff!

      • Shoestring says:

        I’m guessing some Irish joke

        • Shoestring says:

          Paddy rings his new girlfriend’s door bell, with a big bunch of flowers. She opens the door, sees the flowers, and drags him in. She lies back on the couch, pulls her skirt up, rips her knickers off and says ‘This is for the flowers!’ ‘Don’t be silly,’ says Paddy, ‘You must have a vase somewhere!’

          • Oh dear.
            If memory serves, when the chap spotted that my passport says I was born in Boston, Lincs, I confirmed that it was the original Boston, where the Pilgrim Fathers set sale from, apologised profusely for all the religious persecution, and then explained that I was a tad on the squiffy side due to the very pleasant almost-in-Boston tea party we had just had on the plane over.
            It’s hard to say whether he was laughing with, or at, me.

  8. RakishDriver says:

    O/T received the ARCC card today, tried adding to my existing MR account via the app but throws an error saying need to open a different account. Is it just a case of ringing amex in the morning? Has this always been the case?

    • David says:

      Worked fine for me without ringing Amex a couple of months ago.

    • Charlieface says:

      Often happens. Wait a few days then it usually works

      • RakishDriver says:

        Tried today, and indeed, card added. However, it’s now showing as a separate MR account – I guess now I defo need to ring amex.

  9. Annabelle says:

    Sorry me again! I was Hilton gold only after having platinum card early 2018, which I cancelled April 2018. Logging into my account it still says GOLD – will Hilton recognise this status or know I’m not really gold now? Thank you in advance.

    • Shoestring says:

      Your hotel status lasts a long time after you cancel the Amex Plat

      • Annabelle says:

        Thank you shoestring! Didn’t realise it would be well over a year even after cancelling 😂

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Yep all of the year you are made gold and the year after that (actually til the end of March in the 2nd year after that)

  10. Rob MC says:

    OT
    Just been charged my annual fee of £24 from Lloyds for the amex and MasterCard. Am I right in a assuming this shouldn’t have happened as they are closing the cards…

    • Shoestring says:

      No – you need to pay for no benefit if you are stupid

      • Rob Mc says:

        Thanks. Will call them tomorrow and cancel it.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          They will pro rata refund the fee.

          Also why cancel you now have a year to earn your last upgrade voucher.

          • Rob Mc says:

            I still have one, and a 241 BA so won’t need anymore as running low on avios since amex rules changed!!

  11. TGLoyalty says:

    Slightly OT but missed out on the Wheely AMEX offer but in London this coming weekend so if anyone has a promo code they’d like me to use please reply

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