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. Doug M says:

    Came through T3 yesterday around noon. E gates working except for number 5. Seemed a zoo but queue moved quickly and took probably no more than 7 or 8 minutes. What was obvious once again is how poor the HAL staff are at dealing with a failed gate. After the big snake is the small queue for the individual gate, staff just left the queue for 5, the broken one, in place. Eventually she decided to alternate with 4 and 6, but they did nothing to stop people continuing to queue for the broken one. Not obvious from the rear that gate is broken so did need some staff intervention.

    OT. All Lloyds FX fees refunded without much effort on return yesterday. Now to decide on next FX free card, Curve (free) not good enough with limits, just the hotel deposits and same for car rental chew through £500 before you actually spend.

  2. Barry says:

    Noticed that British passports not accepted at Paris CDG e-passport gates. Mind you they stopped working for everyone after a few minutes whilst I was there.

  3. I came through Gatwick North yesterday and spotted the big new sign directing nationals from these various countries to the e-gates. No queue at all, was through in a minute. But then most people at Gatwick are on European Easyjet flights I suppose.

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