Bits: more Arsenal seats for Emirates / Amex points, Mandarin Oriental benefits, Virgin Atlantic joins Vitality

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News in brief:

More Arsenal football tickets released for Emirates Skywards miles

Emirates has released a further batch of Arsenal football tickets for Emirates Skywards members who have miles to redeem.

These cover all of the Premier League games until the end of the season.  I expect this to be the last major release apart from Europa League and FA Cup fixtures.

Emirates has made a major change this year.  Tickets can no longer be transferred.  The person who is named on the Emirates Skywards account must attend.  It is difficult to get around this because you need to collect your tickets on the day from the Arsenal offices and ID is required.

You can see the current games available on this page of the Emirates website (log in required).   This is what is available as of last night, pricing is PER PERSON:

  • Arsenal vs Manchester United – Emirates Box – 1st January – 35,000 miles
  • Arsenal vs Manchester United – General Admission – 1st January – 25,000 miles
  • Arsenal vs Sheffield United – Emirates Box – 18th January – 22,000 miles
  • Arsenal vs Sheffield United – General Admission – 18th January – 11,000 miles
  • Arsenal vs Newcastle United – Emirates Box – 8th February – 22,000 miles
  • Arsenal vs Newcastle United – General Admission – 8th February – 11,000 miles
  • Arsenal vs Everton – Emirates Box – 22nd February – 22,000 miles
  • Arsenal vs Everton – General Admission – 22nd February – 11,000 miles
  • Arsenal vs West Ham United – Emirates Box – 7th March – 25,000 miles
  • Arsenal vs West Ham United – General Admission – 7th March – 15,000 miles
  • Arsenal vs Norwich City – Emirates Box – 4th April – 22,000 miles
  • Arsenal vs Norwich City – General Admission – 4th April – 11,000 miles
  • Arsenal vs Leicester City – Emirates Box – 18th April – 25,000 miles
  • Arsenal vs Leicester City – General Admission – 18th April – 15,000 miles
  • Arsenal vs Liverpool – General Admission – 2nd May – 30,000 miles
  • Arsenal vs Watford – Emirates Box – 17th May – 20,000 miles
  • Arsenal vs Watford – General Admission – 17th May – 10,000 mile

Remember that the TV schedules are only fixed around 12 weeks in advance.  If you book any later than the end of January, you need to remember that the game may get switched to Friday, Sunday or Monday.  You cannot get a refund if the time or date of the game is changed and you can no longer attend.

The Emirates Box is VERY good.  It is the best located box in the stadium and you get good quality drinks and hot food before, during and after the game.  Here is a review of a past trip although I have been 7-8 times since.  I will be there on Saturday with my son to watch Southampton.

Transfers from American Express Membership Rewards to Emirates Skywards are instantaneous if the accounts are already linked and should be pretty quick even if they are not.   Note that you are restricted to two tickets per game per Skywards account.

More Arsenal tickets now available for Emirates Skywards miles

Bon Vivant benefits at Mandarin Oriental hotels

We did a piece earlier this week on the ‘Fans of Mandarin Oriental’ loyalty programme.  This allows anyone booking a fully flexible rate via the Mandarin Oriental website to pick two additional benefits from:

  • early check-in at noon
  • late check-out at 4pm
  • a dining and spa credit
  • daily breakfast
  • a room upgrade
  • streaming WiFi
  • a ‘celebratory treat’
  • pressing services (eg ironing!)

I said in that article that I didn’t know how this compared to the benefits available via luxury / ‘preferred partner’ travel agents.  Emyr Thomas, who we partner with, dropped me a note to say that any Mandarin Oriental hotel booked through him comes with ALL of the following:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Complimentary Breakfast for two daily for duration of the stay
  • $100 USD equivalent Food & Beverage credit (a small number of hotels offer a different amenity instead of this)
  • Early check-in / late check-out, subject to availability 
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

You get ALL of these benefits if you book via Emyr, instead of having to pick two benefits from the ‘Fans of Mandarin Oriental’ list above, so the preferred partner route remains better.  You can contact Emyr and learn more about his services (which are very highly rated by HFP readers who use him – and he books most of my luxury hotels too) in this article.

Vitality Health adds Virgin Atlantic flight discounts

Vitality adds Virgin Atlantic flight discounts from 2020

On Tuesday we told you about the new American Express credit card being launched in conjunction with life and health insurer Vitality.

It is a fascinating product.  The cashback element paid by Amex is identical to what is offered on its existing cashback cards BUT it is topped up by additional cashback from Vitality.  The more exercise you do, the higher the cashback percentage you receive!  Our full article on the Vitality American Express credit card is here.

Vitality is also adding Virgin Atlantic flight discounts from 2020.  This replaces the existing British Airways Vitality partnership which ends next month – see here.

We don’t have full details yet of how it will work.  To quote:

“A new airline partnership with Virgin Atlantic will offer Vitality members 15% off all Virgin Atlantic flights, in any flight class. Members can enjoy up to four discounted bookings in a plan year, with the discount available linked to on their Vitality status. The benefit is due to start in early 2020 and will be available to all Vitality plan holders with rewards.”

There is also a new partnership with Expedia, offering 10% to 20% off four hotels per year.  The discount is based on your plan, Vitality status and engagement with the Vitality programme.   I would be more sceptical about this until we see the exact discounts, because if it is anything like Hotels.com (same parent company) it will not be valid on any chain hotels.

Odd things are happening when you add a return to a one-way British Airways 2-4-1 ticket
Book now – Hilton has launched its Winter Sale for weekend stays to mid-2020

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Comments

  1. The Arsenal picture is a bit out of date, from 2012 I think! Tom Fox left Arsenal in 2014. Ivan Gazidis left Arsenal last year. Also the kit has been made by Puma since 2014. However Arsenal did sign a new deal with Emirates in 2018.

  2. Anyone know the expiry rules of heathrow rewards accounts? I can’t find a reference but neither can I log in…

  3. Shoestring says:

    I’m signing up to Bó!

    my kinda bank, beats the hell outta Monzo & Starling

    laters, dudes

  4. OT
    I had an email from HSBC Premier telling me I have 1% back on spending on my Visa debit card until 23 Feb 2020 up to £10 back a month ie 1% back on max £1,000 spend a month for three months. Quite good considering it is a debit card, easy free £30.

  5. Travelling from Heathrow Terminal 4. What is the best lounge with Priority Pass?

  6. OT have 250 shangri la points about to expire, anything I can do with them? Food and drinks vouchers require 500 points
    Thanks

  7. Rob Walker says:

    Just had an email from Amex reminding me that they are removing the non-lounge benefits available at some airports.

    However, in the small print at the bottom…

    At any visit to a Priority Pass lounge that admits guests, you may bring in two guests for no charge. You will be charged the prevailing retail rate for any additional guests.

    I assume that’s just plain wrong

    • fivebobbill says:

      Got the email too RW, but missed that bit…
      Pretty sure we would have heard about that one! 😂

    • Yes, I read this too. As you say, seems too good to be legit. Amex giving us something extra for a change, no chance…

  8. Chelseafi says:

    OT. Are there any FreeNow new customer codes?

  9. Shoestring says:

    Looks like there’ll be a new hotel on the seafront in Eastbourne!
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7714509/Blaze-seafront-hotel-prompts-evacuations.html

  10. OT: 20% off Uber giftcards at Tesco.

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