Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

ANA’s new business class seat, THE Room, really is very good ….

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Back in July we wrote about ANA’s new Business Class and First Class products, which are debuting on the Heathrow to Tokyo route.

This is worth knowing about because one of the best uses of Virgin Flying Club miles is redeeming on ANA flights from London.  You only need 95,000 miles for a return business class flight.

Using your Virgin Flying Club miles for a trip to Tokyo has just got a whole lot more interesting.  ANA is launching a new Business and First Class seat on its Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, and the London route has been the first to get it.  It looks rather good, to put it mildly.

The First Class suites are arranged in a 1-2-1 configuration.  Finished in dark woods, there are two only rows which make this an intimate cabin:

ANA first class the suite

The seat almost takes the full width of the suite, with only a thin slither along the side given over to storage or as an armrest. There is also an exceptionally large 43” screen which has a 4K display – apparently the first time this has been used for a commercial aircraft.

THE Room is ANA’s new Businesss Class product.  Club World style, half of the seats face forwards and half face backwards.

If you look at the photo below the first thing that will strike you is how disproportionately wide the seat is.  Look at the head rest.  You can see the protective cover, which is about what you’d expect the seat width to be.

THE Room looks like it is twice as wide – more sofa-like than a seat. ANA says that THE Room has twice the width of their old business class seat (click for Anika’s flight review) which is not hard to believe.

Of course, this is business class and the trade-off is that it does taper into a cubby hole where your feet end up.  Nonetheless, the extra width at torso and shoulder height should make sitting and sleeping in this seat feel a lot less cramped.  It is a very clever piece of design.

ANA business class the room

Last week I attended the media launch of THE Room, and there were seats available to try out.  It is, genuinely, huge.  At one point there were two of us sat side by side on the seat and we were able to have a normal conversation, with a decent bit of space between us!

Not content with a sliding door, THE Room also has a second opening which slides up and down.  This allows the crew to pass food to you whilst the door is closed, getting around one of the biggest issues with Club Suite and Qsuite.  The 24 inch 4K TV also looked very impressive, although it was not operating.

ANA business class the room

If you need to head to Japan in the near future, I strongly recommend giving this a try.  It is currently on both of ANA’s daily Heathrow services.

You won’t earn Avios or BA tier points as ANA is a member of Star Alliance, although you can credit the flight to Virgin Flying Club.

Comments (174)

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  • NICK says:

    Can I use my Curve Card (with Lloyds mastercard behind it) to part pay my Virgin Premium Credit Card?

    If not per the T&C’s – will it simply be blocked or can a fee be imposed?

  • Guy says:

    Sorry for the OT:

    If someone would be as kind to help with the below that would be much appreciated!

    1. My partner has the Amex Platinum ca$h & back card, would she still be eligible for any bonus with the Amex Membership reward cards i.e. Platinum/Gold Rewards? I thought I read somewhere that its only cards that have the reward scheme that need caution.

    2. Luckily I’ve got past my 24 month window and will get a Platinum card shortly, could I just double check that I am still ok to apply for the BA Amex Prem after without any problems? HFP says this “The BA Premium Plus sign-up bonus is only available to customers who have not held a British Airways or British Airways Premium Plus American Express card in the previous 24 months”. I recall at the time of the changes there was some confusion about if the eligibility across card types

    3. Does anyone know the supplementary charge per card for Amex Platinum?

    Thanks for the advice!

    • Peter K says:

      1. The card she has stops her getting any bonus on any personal amex except:
      a) platinum if she had not had a membership rewards card of any sort for 24 or more months
      b) BA premium plus if she had not had an amex issued BA card of any sort for 24 or more months

      2. See 1b above

      3. The first platinum supplementary is free. Thereafter you can get some gold supplementaries for free.

    • pauldb says:

      If you want a second supp Plat it will be £285 pa.

  • Chuck says:

    ‘it should surely not just be met with a shrug of the shoulders’ … no but you were in France where that is the default reaction…

  • Jack says:


    Very conflicted about what to do.

    Do people on here generally go for:

    Spunking Avios on something you know to be poor value per point, but that gives you something you want for a specific trip you have planned.


    Paying cash for stuff when an Avios redemption would be bad value and keeping your Avios for ‘some other time’ with nothing specific in mind.

    I suppose I would consider myself to be Avios Rich – Cash Poor, but something still bothers me about using the points for bad value redemptions especially as (thanks to Amex) they are now so much harder to amass.

    • Doug M says:

      Much of the answer would depend on the precise values involved. Were the Avios acquired at a cost, or from flying someone else paid for. In terms of Avios at a cost, even credit card Avios are not free, because you could have used a cash-back credit card, so there’s an underlying cost.

      • Freddy says:

        If the points were from credit card spend I would compare the cost to the leading pure [email protected] card of around 1%. If less than 1% I’d hold off using the points

        Though it may be a wake up call that you don’t have the best card for your needs. Avios may be great at peak times but if you are flexible with dates you are better with cash alot of the time.

    • The Savage Squirrel says:

      Don’t get too obsessed by nominal cash ratio comparisons for flights you would never even have considered if your Avios balance was zero; the best use of Avios is always for a flight that you would have been prepared to pay cash to be on anyway.

    • Kathy says:

      The best use of Avios is always for something that you couldn’t countenance paying cash for. So if you’re cash poor, use the Avios – even if it’s a low ppa value – because the win is that you’re getting to do something you wouldn’t be able to otherwise.

      You can’t use Avios to pay rent, or your mortgage, or utilities. when cash poor, always save the cash for your necessities and use Avios for the luxuries.

  • Gringo says:

    Data point:
    I used Addison Lee with my Platinum card on 8th September. Moved from “Pending” to “Processed” on 12th. £10 refund hit my account on 13th.
    I’ve found this only to be worthwhile for short trips though. AL charged me £14.65 for a trip that Uber was charging £6-9. Worth it on AL when considering the £10 credit as a once-a-month, but crazy to use otherwise.

  • Spaghetti Town says:

    OT: what does everyone use to track their wealth? I have Bitcoin, S&S ISA, savings, premium bonds, help 2 buy ISA etc and would like to keep a better track instead of checking each account now and again.

    • Russ says:


    • Genghis says:

      Some people like Money Dashboard but for some reason having everything all in one place doesn’t sit well with me. I’m “old school” with a self-built spreadsheet and update the numbers manually, though there’s automated functionality for fund rebalancing, tracking etc (with share prices and ETF prices automatically pulled).

      • Harry T says:

        I’m curious about what funds/platforms you’re using for investing. The LifeStrategy funds with Vanguard look appealing.

        • Genghis says:

          For ISAs I slice and dice with Vanguard as I like the platform, all in fee comes out at c.0.32%. I could do it a little cheaper with another fixed fee platform with global ETFs (say VWRL at 0.25% + trading fees + broker charge; or something like the new [email protected]% say at 85% weight and [email protected]% at say 15% weight) but I like where I am currently.

          The LifeStrategy funds are simple but more expensive and overweight the UK a bit too much.


        • Genghis says:

          For ISAs I slice and dice with Vanguard as I like the platform, all in fee comes out at c.0.32%. I could do it a little cheaper with another fixed fee platform with global ETFs (say VWRL at 0.25% + trading fees + broker charge; or something like the new SWLD at 0.12% say at 85% weight and EMIM at 0.18% at say 15% weight) but I like where I am currently.

          The LifeStrategy funds are simple but more expensive and overweight the UK a bit too much.

          • Harry T says:

            Thanks. So you’re using Vanguard’s platform to construct a portfolio of ETFs/index funds, but not using the LifeStrategy ones for the reasons outlined above? May I ask what your Vanguard portfolio is made up of?

          • Genghis says:

            It’s a slice and dice make up essentially of VWRL + a slight overweight UK in percentages I review annually + overweight FTSE250 and global small caps.

      • Spaghetti Town says:

        On second thoughts – i might actually go old school with a spreadsheet.

        • xcalx says:

          I must be very old school, I have no idea how to set up a spreadsheet. It’s time I moved up to the nineties.

          • Lyn says:

            You may be right. Spreadsheets are very useful tools, even if you only use them in their simplest form as tables to keep of track of miles and points.

            On the other hand, we don’t normally use mobile phones, so we’re probably years behind you.

        • Axel says:

          Cheaper than a wife

  • DavidB says:

    About the Hilton LXR Biltmore. IIRC back in the 80s this used to be the InterContinental Britannia, our go-to property when visiting London in those years. Might be worth a return stay when next in London for old time’s sake.

  • happeemonkee says:


    I’ve just received an email from Creation about my IHG credit card saying after a review they are cutting my credit limit from £10,000 to £7,000 as I only use a proportion of the credit. I put £9,000 to £10,000 through it every month!! Do you reckon they are doing this to reduce the amount of IHG points they give me? I repay in full every month so I pay no interest

    • Rob says:

      It literally costs them money if you don’t use your limit but this sounds like an error.

      • Spaghetti Town says:

        Not being too familiar with the way the CC industry works, how would a higher credit limit cost them money?

        • Genghis says:

          To keep things simple, higher credit limits = higher capital requirements. Money not working as being used as capital = costing the credit institution money.

    • Genghis says:

      I also got an email about a 30% reduction in limits but I pay mine off every week so not too bothered. I’d contact them.

      • s says:

        I got it too. Does seem like they’re targeting heavy spenders

        • EvilDoctorK says:

          I got it too ( same 30% from 12K – 8.4K ) .. I never use that much of it so don’t care really , but looks like an across the board thing maybe ?

        • ankomonkey says:

          I got it too, with similar limits/changes as others have quoted. I still have the Marriott card but no changes there.

    • EwanG says:

      The FCA introduced new rules last year to the credit card market concerning affordability and persistent debt, with new rules so that customers could decline credit limit increases. I cannot see there have been any changes about credit limit decreases, so as Genghis suggests you should contact them! If you are not utilising credit I can understand them trying to reduce your limit, but in your case I would politely decline the decrease.

      • happeemonkee says:

        I phoned earlier and they said to put it in writing. You can’t decline the reduction, only ask them to r review their decision and keep as is.

      • John says:

        Limit reductions are not an offer that you can choose to accept or decline.

      • Lady London says:

        Is this part of tightening the money supply in the face of a fall in the currency and to try to contain indirect inflationary effect of the fall especially if the UK gov thinks it might have to print money short term?

        I. knew I shouldn’t have snoozed through Economics !

    • AlexT says:

      I’d suggest not having 90% credit limit utilization even if you repay your bill in full each month, as you’re causing issues for your credit score. That said, i got the exact same message from Creation. Think they are trying to lower their RWAs.

      • John says:

        There is no single credit score in the UK, and I’m sure we all have large unused credit limits on other cards so 90% utilisation on one card is not an issue.

        • AlexT says:

          As far as I’m aware, Experian, which is the most widely used credit reporting agency in the UK, does ding you for high utilization on overall credit, as well as high utilization on any given one credit line. I have observed my reported score drop due to high utilization on a card with a very low credit limit. Needless to say, I cancelled that immediately after.

          • Genghis says:

            This score is only for you. Experian supply the raw data to credit institutions. It’s then down to the credit institution to interpret these data as they wish; i.e. some companies like customers with high utilisation as they may be more likely to pay more interest and earn them some dosh.

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