Bits: Get 1000 Avios with £100 BA Amex spend, 40% bonus buying Hyatt points, Virgin codeshares with WestJet

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News in brief:

Get 1,000 Avios with a £100 British Airways spend

A new British Airways offer has appeared on many British Airways and British Airways Premium Plus American Express cards.

To see if you are targeted, you need to go to the ‘Offers’ tab of your online statement page and see what is there.  Remember to click ‘Save To Card’.

You will receive 1,000 Avios when you spend £100+ with British Airways online by 17th December.

The Avios will be added by American Express to the running total on your credit card account and will be transferred to British Airways at the end of the month as usual.

The offer is limited to the first 50,000 people to save the offer to their card, although that should be more than enough even after all of our readers have registered!

Cumulative spend is almost certainly OK although the rules do not specifically mention it.

Get a 40% bonus when you buy World of Hyatt points

Until 31st December, Hyatt is offering a 40% bonus when you buy World of Hyatt points via this link.

The minimum purchase for the bonus is 5,000 points, which is lower than usual.  The 40% kicks in immediately from 5,000 points – there is no taper.

40% is the most generous bonus you will see for buying Hyatt points.

This is obviously worth a look if you need to top up your account.  It may also be worthwhile if considering a stay in a top tier Park Hyatt such as the ones in Paris or Sydney, where buying the points may be cheaper than paying cash.

The new-ish Park Hyatt resort in Mallorca is a location where buying points makes sense, see photo above.   Prices for cash are a little scary with rooms over €500 at peak periods.  A redemption at 25,000 points per night ($432 based on buying 50k for two nights) would be a better deal.

It is also well worth a look if you’re heading to Kyoto.  The new Park Hyatt Kyoto regularly sells for over £1,000 per night – I saw it as high as £2,000! – so buy 30,000 points for $504 is a steal.  I covered Park Hyatt Kyoto here.

The Hyatt ‘buy points’ site is here.

WestJet Virgin Atlantic codeshare

Virgin Atlantic announces a codeshare deal with WestJet

Virgin Atlantic has launched a codeshare deal with Canadian airline WestJet.

From today, you can book WestJet flights from London Gatwick via the Virgin Atlantic website.

WestJet flies year-round from Gatwick to Calgary and Toronto.  During the Summer it also flies to Halifax and Vancouver.  The Virgin Atlantic codeshare also covers 28 connecting destinations such as Montreal, Quebec, Edmonton and Deer Lake.

The press release I was sent made absolutely no mention of frequent flyer benefits.  I don’t know:

whether you earn Virgin Flying Club miles when flying WestJet under a Virgin Atlantic flight number

whether you earn Virgin Flying Club tier points when flying WestJet under a Virgin Atlantic flight number

whether it will be possible to redeem Virgin Flying Club miles for seats on WestJet

The latter would be a very welcome option, as WestJet is not in any major airline alliance.  However, you can credit flights to Delta SkyMiles, Flying Blue (Air France / KLM) and Qantas, as well as WestJet Rewards.  I have asked Flying Club for clarification and will let you know when they respond.

WestJet Boeing 787 flat bed business class London Gatwick Calgary

WestJet is surprisingly impressive to fly.  Earlier this year it launched a new fully flat Business Class service on its London Gatwick to Calgary and Toronto routes.  This uses new Boeing 787-9 aircraft which WestJet is currently receiving.

If the seat looks familiar, it is because it is the same one that Qatar Airways uses on its Boeing 787 and A380 fleets in Business Class.  It certainly isn’t the sort of seat you’d expect a budget airline to be using.  See the photos above.

The one thing that differentiates WestJet from a legacy airline is the size of the Business Class cabin.  There will be just 16 seats on each aircraft.

British Airways has stopped flying to Calgary in the Winter so this new WestJet deal offers a good incentive to try them instead of Air Canada on your next trip.

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Comments

  1. For any fellow Saaaaaf Londoners – the Walworth Road Morrisons doesn’t appear to have got (or bothered to read) the memo. Gift cards aplenty…

  2. OT: Could do with some help here from anybody who has used Pointshound recently through the BA shopping portal. I’m staying in London in a few weeks’ time and ideally want to book my hotel through PH as I can earn c20k Avios from the stay. On the booking page however, it states “we will collect your avios membership number after you submit your booking”. I don’t have an “avios” membership number, only a BAEC one, so to be honest I’m very confused by what this all means and clearly don’t want to sign up to £500+ of spend for nothing (as in that case I’d just book one of the Marriott properties and earn Bonvoy points instead).

    Any advice would be much appreciated as I’ve got no idea what I’m signing up to at the moment.

  3. Dave Barron says:

    After much procrastination on my part I finally called Amex to advise I no longer could justify retaining the card given my short term lack of travel plans. I did however wish to keep my membership rewards alive (if possible) and am pleased to report that my request to downgrade back to PRGC (the charge card) was immediately agreed and a prorata refund of almost £200 will soon credit to my account. All existing offers have carried forward too.

    In my case keeping the Platinum Card for approx 7 months has cost me around £250 in fees but I have managed 3 referrals earning 42k MR points (1 at the old rate of 18k MR points and 2 at 12k MR points). In addition I got the 20k points when I upgraded and a further 5k points adding a supplementary card holder. The card was great when I travelled to the USA and Canada last Easter providing travel insurance, car hire cover and also lounge access for a family of 4. I’ve had a few quid back on saved offers too. In seven months I’ve banked around 130k points in total for minimal outlay. The Amex advisor was absolutely fabulous when I cancelled and even suggested I could upgrade back to Platinum in future if I wished. Another family holiday to the US next Easter may well make me to do so – particularly if I can secure 20k points again when I upgrade! No regrets so far from me – you’ve just got to have a strategy and stick to it (personally I could have cancelled a couple of months earlier but I can’t complain!). Thanks to Rob and others who have helped me accrue points and utilise offers!

    • Good work! Sounds like you’ve made solid financial and points related decisions, and chosen the right card for you at the right time 🙂

      Out of interest, are you paying a fee on the PRGC for the first year of having it/being downgraded to it? I assume they downgraded you to the Gold charge card.

    • I should add I’ve done almost exactly the same thing this year (upgrading and maximising referrals) but will be keeping for a bit longer as plenty of travelling next year for me and my partner. Will likely follow in your footsteps and downgrade later, so it’s good to know they are supportive of that.

      • Dave Barron says:

        Downgrading back to Gold Charge has the benefit of a fee free first year and I get the 2 free lounge passes again. Given I’d had the Gold card almost a full year before I upgraded to Platinum I see this as another £140 saved!

        I must stress I specifically requested the downgrade back to Gold charge at the beginning of my call and the Amex advisor said he would “check if I was eligible for this” and upon checking verified I was eligible. My assumption would be this option would only be open to anyone who had previously had the Gold Charge (given discontinued to new customers) and once he verified this was what I had it was approved immediately.

        • Dave Barron says:

          Would be interesting to know from the experience of others how many times you could upgrade then downgrade! If I upgrade back to Platinum again in the spring would I once again trigger 20k points?, could I once again downgrade again a month or two later resetting the clock yet again on another fee free year of Gold Charge?!?

          The only other thing I’m not yet certain of is my Hilton tier. Before getting Platinum I had Hilton Gold from stays until end of March 2020. Based on stays this year I expect to revert to Silver. But if I do once again upgrade back to Amex Platinum March/April coinciding with future travel plans then I assume my anticipated Silver status would put me back to Gold for another year until end of March 2021 even if downgraded again or cancelled after a couple of months?

  4. Hmmm

    Would require precision timing for all the aircraft to rendezvous and form up. I suppose it might work on busy flightpaths like transatlantic.

  5. OT: anyone know what happens if you apply for (and receive) any AmEx card, but then don’t activate it/add it to you online account? Do you still owe AmEx an annual fee if you never activate the card? Do you need to cancel the card if you don’t intend to use it anymore?

    • stevenhp1987 says:

      Not sure anyone’s been in this position, but if you no longer want the card, then ring up to cancel.

      You have a 14 day cooling off period to withdraw from your contract without any fees. Call them up and exercise this right.

      Better to cancel than just assume it’ll be ok by not activating it. If you leave it, you’ll probably get a pro rata refund from when you eventually call up to cancel.

    • Activation is only a security measure. Card is live when issued.

  6. I got onto Amex about the offer on the Chat and she told me it had to be in one transaction, not cumulative. May be worth updating the post. The Offer T&Cs do also state ‘a’ transaction of £100+.

    • That is bull. The reason it is bull is that BA breaks down charges on your Amex statement. On Monday I spent £200 ‘in one transaction’ but Amex shows it as four tickets / transactions at £50 each.

  7. OT: Topcasback are running a 25% bonus for Avios payouts to BAEC. I havent seen it advertised but it’s showing on the payout options screen.

  8. OT but urgent. Anyone know of any travel insurance that is immediately effective and whilst abroad ? I have flex plus but my sister and her family forgot to do theirs in the midst of everything. They may need some medical assistance for their 6 month old baby…. I know not the wisest move but they are where they are and would obv want to limit their cost exposure. TIA

    • I’m no expert in this field, but I think that’s why insurance providers insist on buying a policy before you’ve left, to avoid people only buying one when they already need it.
      I’m so sorry your family are in this position, and that I can’t give any helpful advice, other than they just need to get medical assistance. Their exposure is far, far less important.

    • Where are you on holiday? (I’m assuming not covered by EHIC). As Cat says, I doubt any insurance company would cover them once the trip has started, and definitely not if they already require treatment. I hope the baby is ok.

  9. i have the 1000 Avios offer. I today purchased 2 bags for £40 each for a flight next month. That is £80, leaving me £20 short (duh). I could purchase 1000 Avios (+ 500 bonus Avios) for £31, and this would then presumably trigger my 1000 extra.

    Does this seem like a good plan?

  10. Sadly the park Hyatt Kyoto is not available for points reward on April

    • It was a few weeks ago. Unsurprisingly the rooms will have been booked up now given the £2,000 cash alternative!

  11. Any sign of news re FC credit for WestJet codeshares?

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