BA Sale

Bits: £50 Wheely offer for Amex cardholders, 15% off BA Wine Flyer, fast-track oneworld Sapphire with Malaysia Airlines

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News in brief:

Wheely has brought back its generous £50 free credit offer for Amex cardholders

A good deal with Wheely, the London-based Uber competitor, has appeared again on a lot of American Express cards.   You need to look under the ‘Offers’ section on the online statement page of each Amex card you have.

You will receive £25 cashback when you spend £25 with Wheely in one ride.  You can get the money TWICE until the offer expires on 30th November.  It is actually two x £25 credits per Amex card, so you may find that you can get it more than twice depending on how many of your Amex cards it appears on.

The offer seems a bit scarcer this time.  My wife has it on her Amex Gold but I don’t have it on my Amex Platinum or my British Airways Premium Plus.

Wheely is equivalent to Uber Exec and Uber Luxe.  Its cheapest option is a Mercedes E-Class.

The biggest snag is the need to spend £25 in one ride.  It is NOT cumulative and you do not get any credit if you spend under £25.  Spend £24 and your net cost is £24.  Spend £26 and, with the credit, your ride will only cost £1.

This is not a problem if you are heading to an airport but on shorter trips you cannot be sure you will hit the target.  The complex way Wheely calculate fares (an E-Class is £6 + 50p per minute + £1.60 per mile) means that you can’t be certain what you’ll pay.  It is certainly worth a look, however.


And save 15% on BA Wine Flyer ….

I also have an offer on my British Airways American Express for 15% cashback for a purchase at BA Wine Flyer by 7th October.

This gets interesting.  As you can see in our article here, this is what you get with the current BA Wine Flyer introductory offer:

A 12 bottle case for £69.99 (white, red or mixed; RRP £127.88)

FREE delivery

2,000 Avios

2 FREE wine glasses (reader feedback was that these were Dartington Crystal stemless tumblers rather than the glasses advertised in the image)

Unlike previous offers ‘Wine Flyer’ does not involve subscribing to any recurring payment and delivery plans, so you won’t have to faff about with unsubscribing from ongoing offers.

15% cashback via your BA Amex would mean the cost drops to £59.49.  That’s not bad for 2,000 Avios and 12 bottles of wine!

The offer ends on the 30th September and is available to new Laithwaites customers only.  Existing customers receive 250 Avios.   You can order here.  Remember to register for the cashback deal first though!

If you don’t have a BA Amex, your Amex statement is likely to show a 15% discount for any purchase from Laithwaite’s Wine – you can see their selection here.

British Airways Wine Flyer

Fast track oneworld status with Malaysia Airlines

Malaysia Airlines is running a promotional campaign to encourage people to try out its impressive business class.

If you book a business class flight to Australia or selected destinations in South East Asia, excluding Kuala Lumpur, between now and Monday 16th September you will automatically achieve Enrich Gold status. This is the equivalent of British Airways Silver status and gives you the same benefits when flying with BA including lounge access across the oneworld network.

You must travel before 30th July 2020 and your status upgrade is only processed after your flight has taken place.  You will retain the status until March 2021.

If you are already an Enrich Gold member, you will receive 50,000 elite miles instead. Unfortunately you can’t pick which one you would rather have!  You can see details of the promotion, including qualifying routes and qualifying fare classes, on the special landing page on the Malaysia Airlines website here.

Malaysia Airlines flies its A350-900 aircraft to and from London Heathrow.  It is an excellent aircraft to be on and has the lower cabin altitude and higher humidity levels that make a noticeable difference on long haul sectors.

Malaysia Airlines’ A350s are outfitted with a business class product we reviewed here as well as the rebranded ‘Business Suite’, the former first class seat, here.  As you can see, it is very much a step above British Airways Club World.

However, whilst this is a decent offer, it is not as lucrative as you might first think.  Remember that an identical trip in Business Class on Qatar Airways to the same Asian destinations gets you 560 British Airways tier points, which is almost BA Silver, the equivalent of Enrich Gold.  (You are taking 4 x 140 tier point long-haul flights, with the change in Doha.)  You may find this a more attractive proposition given the greater flexibility of British Airways Silver vs Enrich Gold and, importantly, the soft-landing down to British Airways Bronze that you would receive when your Silver membership period ends.

Good deal – earn 6,000 bonus Avios for 3 x 2-night Accor stays
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  1. O/T

    Two separate questions:

    1) Does a BA Silver flying IB from MAD get to bring 1 guest (on a diff booking) through MAD security fast track?

    We got turned down last week (and were on the same booking) by both Iberia counter and random guard at fast-track saying “Sapphire can only go in themselves, and Emerald can bring 1 guest” (which by the looks of the website is complete nonsense, though it only talks about Iberia tiers, and not BA ones – but looking for data points, as I have an upcoming flight soon and am pondering the best way to communicate it to stubborn staff – printout maybe?).

    2) Further to the point above, the whole experience of flying with them last week was dismal. First they arbitrarily changed our seats to separate ones during check-in, then didn’t give us the fast-track + 1, then made us wait while a cushion was literally drilled onto one of the seats we had chosen (there was no seat, and I have a picture of it).

    Question: Given the current climate of chaos with BA strikes, and IB general shoddiness, is there point for a formal complaint and compensation request? It really was a terrible experience (and begs the question why achieve status in any of these airlines…). Wouldn’t want to waste any time, and not sure how many (if any) Avios would be reasonable to request.

    Thanks all.


    • Hg333 I’ve never got anywhere complaining to Iberia. They are beyond useless in my view at dealing with customer service issues. Also, found their rules on fast track almost impossible to decipher but I think your trying to use fast track with someone on a different booking is pushing it and they were probably right.

    • I’ve also been refused taking guests through fast track at MAD, even when travelling with a non-status companion on the same booking

    • You can only bring a guest through fast track security at MAD as an Iberia Platinum (not even OWE).

  2. O/T: assuming my mortgage lender accepts debit card overpayments, am I safe to make them through Curve card without getting hit as a cash advance by the underlying credit card? Equivalently: what MCC would be relayed from Curve -> CC in this situation, and what MCC(s) are the ones credit card companies treat as a cash advance?

    • Some mortgage providers only take direct payments from bank accounts so you probably need to check what the situation is with your lender first, then explore the options!

  3. O/T Curve card has been over funded with their crowd sourcing, seriously must be people with a lot of money to waste!

    Their product is not attractive and people only use it where they can’t use another card ie HMRC, any valuation is based on their customer base and transaction data, which if things like HMRC were pulled would probably make it dwindle quickly!

    • £10 for a funky replacement card is not a bad deal.

      • Worth taking the free version and get paid using robs code though!

        Wonder what their customer acquisition cost is if every referral costs them at least £10…. think all this funding will be paid out this way!

        • Shoestring says:

          Consumer recruitment costs are averaged out, some become top tier consumers, some don’t.

          Virgin ISA paid out 8000 miles (£80), Orbis ISA last year £100, Wealthify ISA (or general investment fund 🙂 ) £40 this year.

          They don’t expect everybody to be a cheapskate gaming the system/ hobby investor. They are most certainly right: my wife & myself must be in a small minority.

          £10 per new consumer for Curve is pretty low. Or think about Monese, call 6 million Avios £60,000 and they’re going to have a pretty high per consumer cost, I’d have thought – but could be a nice proportion of HNWIs or the old ABC1s in there

          • Oh yes they are ‘proper businesses’ that have a product and a path to making a profit, hope Curve lasts for a long time as I will make the most of it while it does, as long as they keep getting their investment money 🙂

    • TGLoyalty says:

      No tbf its now my default card abroad and I tend to use it for bill payments etc where I’m not really worried about using my CC directly even if Visa/Mastercard is accepted.

      Being able to swap the underlying card easily is a massive positive

      • Yes for the consumer its not bad for unto £500 transactions a month for the free version.

      • Yes it’s our go to card abroad, now that we don’t have Lloyds avios card any more. Trying to put all non amex normal spend on it now.

    • I must say I find the “go back in time” functionality useful (though admittedly not ‘necessary’), and it’s also a good backup card to have in the pocket. I know what you mean though.

    • This said I do like Curve as a consumer but as a business can’t say I see them being a good investment.

      • Are there any Crowdfunded businesses that have proven to be (genuine question)?

        I’ve looked into quite a few of these and none seem like an investment – more like a donation (happily hold my hands up that I’m looking at the wrong businesses though)

      • Joseph Heenan says:

        Agreed – as a consumer curve is great, and all the investor cash following in means they’re now going to be around for a while.

        As a potential investor, I could not find any even slightly plausible route to profitability described in their deck. There were no financial projections at all. Much is made of the quick growth in users and comparing it to say Monzo – but rather omitting that Curve achieves this by little more than ongoing bribing of users (or however you characterize making a loss on most transactions whilst users benefit from rewards on the underlying cards).

        It feels just like the dot-com bubble all over again.

        • Yes very much so, their data on use is not accurate as people aren’t use the card everyday when they can use the underlying card instead unless its HMRC or abroad spending even then you have to avoid the pre auth transactions such as hotels/rental cars etc

          • I took the card for HMRC initially, but converted almost all my non-Amex spending to Curve. Easier to use the same card as you don’t have to remember all the PIN codes for the ones you don’t use often. And with the Go Back in Time function, you don’t have to switch cards in the app immediately before use.

  4. Shoestring says:

    O/T somehow I missed the new 16-17 railcard that came out yesterday. My son *had* mentioned it but I dismissed it saying (ill-informedly) ‘you can’t buy season tickets with railcards’. Then today, buying his Adult season ticket as he’s now 16, the station agent also mentioned it, I said ‘how does that work?’ and he said ‘we don’t really know yet’, so I just carried on buying my son his season ticket for the next 6 weeks, £220 – twice as much as that of an under-16.

    Got home & looked up 16-17 railcard, & sure you can buy season tickets with it, 50% discount ie same cost as an under 16, plus time it right & you can add on 4 months once they’re 18, almost enough in my son’s case to finish the 6th Form.

    Hared it back to the station just to see if I could get a refund – answer yes – then went home again to work out how to get the digital railcard. Not so easy, it’s railcard app first then open account & buy the 16-17 card, upload digital passport photo, give passport details, pay, get code & enter it on the railcard app. Anyway, only took a few minutes with my son’s help. Then back to the station to buy a half price season ticket with the digital 16-17 card as proof of entitlement, mission success.

    He’s got 12 half terms left, so that’s about £1100 saving over the 2 years.

    • The Original David says:

      How far do you send your son to go to school?! Or is this First Class?

      • Shoestring says:

        yep not so good as going to the local comp but it’s a good school & the other advantages

        with all the messing around waiting, getting to the station etc plus journey time, I guess return it’s 2hrs a day

        at the same age I had to walk 1 mile to catch a coach, travel 4 miles or so etc & I guess that ended up more like 80-90 mins/ day, so he’s not that much worse off plus does actually study on the train a bit

        there’s a handful get on with him, then next station (10 mins away) along absolutely tons of them

        early introduction to the daily commute

    • You can save more by buying in minimum five week blocks Monday to Friday avoiding weekends. With a bit of effort you can often avoid holidays, bank holidays too. I used to do this when mine was £800 for five weeks (seven years ago).

      • Shoestring says:

        not an option down here – they only have 1 option on the first section (I split tickets), in the 2nd option more choices but not what you mention

  5. OT:
    Has anyone used Curve to pay into investment funds with Vanguard or Fidelity, with an underlying Virgin Card? Are there cash advance fees?

  6. Spaghetti Town says:

    The Virgin Credit card is now compatible with apple pay.

  7. OT: 1Y Creation CC IHG Premium is coming to 1Y anniversary. Can I cancel, earn my free night from previous year and sign up again? I need that bonus….

    • TGLoyalty says:

      I wouldn’t bank on Creation accepting you again based on reports in past comments sections.

      Can’t get the free card aswell for 10k?

    • the_real_a says:

      Yup – i know of several people now who have cancelled, and are of A1 credit scores with both high and modest incomes who get an auto decline when applying for a second time. Its happening too often to be a coincidence.

  8. Shoestring says:

    Damn, just realised I will need to renew my daughter’s passport so that in the event of Brexit & onerous ‘6 months left on passport’ travel condition, she can come with us at Xmas

    • Shoestring says:
      currently running at 12 days for child renewal passport so it can wait until after she comes back from Sevilla (half term with my wife, luckily back well before 31st October)

    • Shoestring says:

      I can’t take the possibly small risk of messing up Xmas hols for the matter of £49 fee * (5 months remaining/ 60 months validity) = £4.08

      calculation would be slightly different if I didn’t call it 60 months but 54 (as you can’t use the last 6 months in Europe after Brexit) or put in exact weeks/ days – but you get my drift – for the sake of a fiver I’d be the least popular person around for months if my daughter can’t travel at Xmas – or I might be forced to fast-track it, which doesn’t come cheap

      if Brexit doesn’t look like happening or gets delayed until Xmas or something like that, I’ll still be in a position to delay renewing until January

      anyway, the vote in 30 mins (watching it on Sky News) plus the possible debates tomorrow might actually shed a bit more light on your question!

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