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Bits: 40% or £100 Amex cashback with FREE NOW (mytaxi), Club Suite to New York launched, avios.com downtime

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News in brief:

Generous 40% or £100 cashback deal launched by Amex and FREE NOW / mytaxi

Of all the pointless rebrands I’ve seen recently, the clear winner is FREE NOW.  For some reason, the mytaxi black cab app – owned by BMW and Daimler – decided that being called mytaxi was clearly too obvious and easy to remember, so switched to FREE NOW …..

I know this is now a pan-European brand, but I’m not sure that FREE NOW necessarily works better in multiple European languages than mytaxi.  I didn’t even have a problem with Hailo, the original UK name.

It looks like the bodged rebrand has an upside, however.  In an attempt to win your business from taxi apps with more sensible names, FREE NOW is offering many Amex customers either 40% cashback on all rides OR £100 for taking 10 rides until 14th December.

You need to see if either of these offers is showing on the ‘Offers’ tab of your online statement page, and save it to your card.

I have both versions.  My Platinum card has ‘40% cashback on an unlimited number of rides’ and my British Airways Premium Plus card has ‘£100 back when you take 10 rides’.  The latter is better for us as we do a lot of £10 – the minimum fare – rides to school and back.

With two months to take advantage, this could work out very nicely indeed.  It could even swing regular Uber X users over to black cabs.

If you don’t already have a FREE NOW account, using Rhys’ promo code of ‘rhys.jon’ after downloading the app will earn you £5 credit.

FREE NOW 40% american express discount

British Airways launches Club Suite to New York

Although Club Suite has now been flying long haul for over a month, today marks the first day that it appears on a Boeing 777.

As a reminder, British Airways has committed to refurbishing two Boeing 777-200ERs by the end of 2019 with more to follow next year. There are 43 of this aircraft type in the BA fleet. These will complement the four A350s delivered this year for a total of six aircraft flying British Airways’ new business class seat by Christmas.

These aircraft will have a First cabin, which the A350s do not.  It will be interesting to see if BA has made any changes in that cabin or whether it is the same seat as before. The First cabin size will be reduced from 14 to 8 seats.

Although the A350s are flying to Dubai, Toronto, Bangalore and Tel Aviv, the refurbished Boeing 777 fleet will be focussing on the London – New York route, where BA is facing competition from Virgin Atlantic’s own A350s and brand new Upper Class Suite.

The first flights to see the Club Suite-fitted Boeing 777-200ER are:

BA173, departing Heathrow at 11:20 and arriving in New York JFK at 14:05

BA112, departing New York JFK at 18:30 and arriving in Heathrow at 06:30

These flights are scheduled through the remainder of the winter season, which ends on 29th March 2020. Barring any disruption these flights will be your best bet to try the new seat if you are flying to New York.

British Airways A350 Club Suite

avios.com / Vueling Club / AerClub downtime

Avios dropped me a note to say that there will be a 24-hour outage of the avios.com platform between 9pm tonight and 9pm on Thursday.

During this 24 hour period, AerClub and Vueling Club members will not be able to access their accounts and will not be able to make any sort of redemption.  The call centre will not be able to make redemptions either.

‘Combine My Avios’ will also be suspended during this time, even for transactions via British Airways Executive Club or Iberia Plus.

All should be OK by Thursday evening, but if you need to do anything inside Vueling Club, AerClub or avios.com today then you should do it by 9pm.

I am promised that nothing untoward is going on apart from some general IT upgrading!

We try the private jet departure experience at Gatwick (whilst flying BA) - our review of Signature Elite Class!
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Comments

  1. The BA173 is showing as a B744 in January instead of a B772. Maybe the flight changes or the timetable hasn’t been updated fully?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      I actually thought it was meant to be the 1.30 flight which arrives around 4pm but perhaps there was a last min change.

    • Just checked EF and it seems that the B772 with the Club Suite changes to the BA177 from 31 October and then to the BA175 from December.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        This is the info from Fylertalk

        “London Heathrow – New York JFK
        eff 27OCT19 BA177/174 Various frequencies
        eff 02NOV19 BA115/176 1 weekly (Except Feb 2020)
        eff 09DEC19 BA175/116 Various frequencies
        02JAN20 – 20FEB20 BA173/112 2 weekly
        eff 23FEB20 BA179/182 1 weekly”

  2. Avios.com: for some reason it doesn’t recognise my old ID and password and the AL competition sign up from last week wasn’t recognising my password either. But attempting to reset password on avios.com site doesn’t yield any reset emails. Anyone else having this problem?

  3. OT: can anyone suggest how to get back to the midlands on a Sunday evening at 9pm from London city?
    I’d hire a car but I am not sure if anything is open at 9pm at LCY?
    Any suggestions greatly received, it’s 2 adults and 2 children

    • Virgin Trains operate a regular service from Euston.

    • Lady London says:

      Hire a car on your outward journey and leave it at lcy ready for your return?
      Arrange with someone like Enterprise that will, for a fee, deliver the car to you?
      Stay a night in a hotel there and continue on next morning with car from airport or delivered to/ arranged by hotel?
      Or… gasp… bring own car to airport?

    • Where in the Midlands?

      It’s a vast area from Oxford in the South through to Derby in the North, Hereford in the West and Grimsby in the East

      The Tube runs all through the night from Victoria to Oxford.

      • Mary Berry says:

        Grimsby in the Midlands?!!! lol Never heard of coastal Yorkshire and the Ridings and east of england being called the midlands before.

  4. Received an email from IHG offering to double my Accelerate bonus points if I complete all of my offers. Is this new or did I miss something?

    • My bonus is equal to the sum of the individual offers.

      Would be nice if it were doubled again!

    • Nice, no such luck here; probably doesn’t pay to lock in reservations required to complete accelerate before we have to.

  5. OT: Amex Marriott offer is cumulative. I have two transactions at the same hotel summing up to £200+ and the offer now says “redeemed” in the app.

  6. OT – IHG Accelerate. Do accelerate bonus points count towards Spire target? Seperately, if I have booked two rooms for the same night will this count as two nights for accelerate targets? Thanks

  7. Shoestring says:

    Gatwick-Antalya (Turkey) just added to the BA summer 2020 schedule

    great availability on Avios bookings though there are some noticeable gaps esp May half term 23-31 May, unless you pinch a day (these dates are not available for cash either, so I think they are genuine gaps)

    or pay cash from £64 EW, including peak summer if you get in quick

  8. Shoestring says:

    Wow – cheap week (or a few days) self catering in a beautiful part of Cornwall, a week works out £23/ day for 2 sharing (£23 is the price for 2) – https://www.travelzoo.com/uk/hotel-booking/hotel/9928/the-saddle-and-stablerooms/

    Still very warm down here if you can get down in October

    • Shoestring says:

      and spring comes a month earlier in Cornwall compared to (say) the Midlands up, so the same price in March looks a steal, it can be very pleasant weather most years and all the great houses & NT properties will be in full spring flower by w/c 16th March

    • Seems too cheap – book 7 nights for £23/nt?

      Any experience with the discount website? If the property is available at such a discounted rate, it would make me worried they were in financial trouble and may not be around to fulfill my booking.

      • Shoestring says:

        just book on a credit card, over £100, great protection

        smaller amount: chargeback should see you OK

        it’s cheap but these places need to keep ticking over in the off season

  9. O/T: Did we have a winner of 1M Avios in the Monese competition?

  10. Can you use an Argos gift card in a Argos store to purchase other gift cards?

    Also, can this be done with a boots gift card in a boots store?

    • Charlieface says:

      Boots definitely not (who remembers 3V??). Argos probably not but not tried.
      Would love to know about the supermarkets though.

  11. Mark of a great rebrand: having to put the old brand in brackets…

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