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Bits: 40% or £100 Amex cashback with FREE NOW (mytaxi), Club Suite to New York launched, 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 / Vueling Club / AerClub downtime

Avios dropped me a note to say that there will be a 24-hour outage of the 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 today then you should do it by 9pm.

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

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  1. Spg Amex not showing how many points collected in the app. Not 0, just no sign of anything where the points total used to be…

    Anyone else?

  2. OT: An interesting offer has appeared on O2 Priority app with a service called ‘Smart Delay’ where you can register flight details and if delayed for 60 minutes or more then they will send a complimentary lounge access pass (it appears using LoungeKey network).

    A quick google brings up an apparently similar offer for Mastercard holders, and there may be other partnerships too. I’m not too sure how they recover the costs?

    I haven’t gone through the full T&Cs (please don’t rely on what I have said here!), however there are limits as to the number of flights you can register in advance of travel (differs between these two offers), however this may be of interest. Apologies if this has already been covered, but I don’t recall seeing it.

  3. Does anyone know if you can apply for American Amex cards if you live in the U.K.? Specifically the Hilton Amex which doesn’t have a foreign spending fee. We currently have Amex cards from the U.K. side so do have a credit history with them and I am sure I read on here that you can have that carried over to the US cards? Thanks!

    • No, without a US social security number and mailing address.

      • Thanks for confirming, really a shame for us UK points collectors.

      • Charlieface says:

        Actually, most US banks will let you get through without one, only Chase is strict (and even then I think you can use an ITIN).
        But you will probably need a checking account and definitely some credit history. For the former you will have to come to a branch with a friend who will vouch for your living at his address. For the latter either HSBC or Amex Global Transfer can work wonders.
        Either way, it is possible. It’s just probably more hassle than it’s worth.

      • Not true, I know many people who live in the UK who have successfully global transferred to US Amex cards. All you need is a US bank account and address, no need for SSN.

  4. So mytaxi is now free? You still get cash back despite it being free?


    I can’t think of a more stupid branding currently.

  5. Very odd that there’s no further information about what (if any) changes have been made to First on the new 8 seat cabin considering it starts flying today…

  6. So according to reports on FT, seat is pretty much same as before with the following changes:
    New foams and fabrics
    Deep clean
    Cosmetic damage rectified
    New seat identification plagues as seen on the 787-9

    Bit disappointing they haven’t installed the 787-9 F seat, and this really does narrow the gap between Biz and F product on these aircraft.

    I can actually imagine some people being disappointed/declining an upgrade…

  7. Down the Back says:

    New Marriott/Bonvoy promo, double points for stays of 2 nights or longer. Validity is for the rest of the month you sign up in and then the following 2 months. Not sure if targeted or avail to everybody.
    Was in my Bonvoy App Promotions tab last night. Looks like it includes stays already booked as long as you have registered and they are inside your earning period. Perhaps someone could confirm this ?



  8. Does anyone ever use the free now app often? Mine doesn’t give a price quote like say Bolt or Uber. How do you know what the cost may be before starting your trip? I’m in the app now, says 27 mins to get to me, not sure how long you have before you have to cancel, but when they show up, you ask what the price is then get in or not? Even at 40% off, I want to know the approx cost.

  9. Anyone able to access since the update? Getting “We seem to be experiencing difficulties – please try again later”

  10. Sorry if this is a silly question. I never used the app before the rebrand. How do I figure out what the estimated cost would be? Would like to know if ordering a cab to take me to Gatwick (from East London) works out to a bargain with the 40% discount.

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