Bits: Who won our 1 million Monese Avios?, Heathrow Express cuts Avios rate, 3000 Avios from Avis

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News in brief:

Who won 1 million Avios in our Monese competition?

Back in September we ran a competition in association with online bank Monese to win 1 million Avios.

I apologise for the delay in announcing the winner.  Monese wanted to be the first to announce the names, so we had to wait until they had published their blog post.  The winners – there were six in total, of which Head for Points was allocated a guaranteed slot – are here.

The HFP winner from that list was Daniel G.  He wrote to me two weeks ago to say:

“I entered the Monese Avios Millionaire competition via the HFP code a few months back and was lucky enough to win – The Avios dropped into my BAEC account today!  I’ve been subscribed to the site for a while now and find the info and tips you write about really informative – I enter competitions all the time but I have literally never won anything, till now.”

He also asked for tips on spending his stash 🙂

Well done Daniel, and thank you to everyone who entered.

Can I earn Avios on Heathrow Express?

Heathrow Express halves the Avios earning rate

I’ve no idea when this happened, but at some point in the last few months the Avios earning rate on Heathrow Express tickets has been halved.

You now earn 5 Avios per £1, instead of the previous 10 Avios per £1.

As a reminder, there are two ways to earn Avios by taking Heathrow Express.

The first is to collect Heathrow Rewards points on online bookings. This is a rewards currency offered by various Heathrow services, including duty-free shopping, and can be easily transferred into Avios (or many other frequent flyer currencies). You earn 1 point per £1 spent and these transfer 1:1 into Avios.  This article explains more about Heathrow Rewards.

The second is to take advantage of a special Heathrow Express / Avios deal

To take advantage of the Avios offer, you need to book your ticket in advance via this special Avios / Heathrow Express link.

The promotion is significantly more generous than earning Heathrow Rewards points and converting them to Avios, even after the Avios rate was halved.  You now earn 5 Avios per £1 spent.  There is only one snag – you cannot use other promotional codes or book (cheaper) Advance Purchase tickets via this route.

If you are booking an Advance Purchase ticket or taking advantage of a package deal such as Duo Saver for a couple travelling together, the only reward you can claim is Heathrow Rewards points.

When choosing your means of travel from Heathrow to London you should consider what fits best for you. This article (click) outlines the various ways you can save money on Heathrow Express – including some non-Avios promotions – which may save you more money than the Avios collected.

Iberia Avis promotion

Earn 3,000 Iberia Avios from Avis car rentals

Iberia Plus is running a promotion with Avis which is more lucrative than you get by crediting rentals to British Airways Executive Club.  It only runs for another two weeks though.

Avis is guaranteeing a minimum of 3,000 Avios for a 4+ day car rental.  The restrictions are:

You must book a Group C or higher car

Your rental must include a Saturday night

Rentals must be completed by 15th December

There are no country restrictions, either in terms of where you must live or where you are renting.

You will receive at least 700 base Avios (3 per €1 spent, minimum 700) plus a bonus of 2,300 Avios, to give you a guaranteed minimum of 3,000 Avios.

You can find out more on the Iberia / Avis website here.

ENDS MONDAY: Win 10,000 Avios by voting in the HFP Travel & Loyalty Awards 2019
FOR NEW AND EXISTING USERS: Get 5,000 Avios or other miles with a Rocketmiles hotel booking

Click here to join the 14,500 people on our email list and receive the latest Avios, miles and points news by 6am.

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Comments

  1. Andrew MS says:

    O/t
    Emirates have offered me access to their lounge at Manchester Airport for £93 – is it worth it ? I am now wondering if they will try to tempt me with a cash upgrade on the plane ?!

    • Sandgrounder says:

      By all accounts it is a step up from the priority pass lounges, but probably not worth more than the 1903, which is about 35 I think.

    • If you want an upgrade there is no harm in asking, at check in, at the gate and the CSM on board. Can even try haggling if price doesn’t work for you. If I was considering paying that for a lounfe ( which I never would) I’d save on lounge and see that as a discount on the upgrade price

    • Does an Emirates upgrade allow you to access the loinge? If BA upgrades you to Club at check-in that automatically gives you access to the lounges.

      • No, the upgrade only has effect on the flight, it explicitly says that it doesn’t grant lounge access.

    • The Savage Squirrel says:

      £93 for an outstation lounge with standard buffet options at a regional airport ?!? For around the same price you can use Premair’s private jet centre, skip the terminal almost entirely with private security and lounge, and be driven to the plane (check out HfP’s review of te Premair private jet centre). The only downside here is last time I checked, Emirates is not on their list of parter airlines – although this may have changed since.

  2. OT – Hilton Power Up promo..

    I had my first Hilton stay under the new promotion last week, I just noticed that despite having the Hilton credit card, and the fact when I signed up for the bonus it said I would receive triple points, I only received double points..

    Is it a requirement to pay with the Hilton credit card? I was led to believe from comments from other readers that it wasn’t. I’ve got 2 big Hilton stays coming up over the next few weeks, so want to ensure I get triple points!

    • It is a requirement to pay with the Hilton card. Some comments report triple points regardless of payment card, others reported double even though they used Hilton card. No point contacting Hilton unless you paid with a Hilton card: if you do, it is their t&c that count, not readers experiences.

      • Thanks. Have people tried part paying with the Hilton card?

        • I know it’s a requirement in their t&c but…..as I was “told”triple points when I signed up…. I just emailed Hilton after the stay to ask for it (without mentioning the card I paid with-Amex) and they credited the difference

          • To add to Boi’s comments I just checked and my Friday night stay has credited at x3. This despite the charge being to amex but note my Hilton card in in my profile. There were no incidental. Last night we moved to another hotel for a wedding and have bar to settle today. I no longer plan to charge this to Gilton card as advised a few minutes ago, I’ll now charge to amex.

        • You mean like preparing something else and then sttling incidental on site with Hilton? That’s what I’m doing today having put the room charge in amex for the offer. I can report back by midweek.

          • No. I just wrote: Hi, I was expecting triple points as a HH card holder but I only got double.
            And they apologised and credited the difference.
            I admit I may have been lucky- I left it for a week or 2 and asked when I was bored and looking around for points.

        • OT @Lady London: Media promotion 2500 posted although it is well over 60 days since I registered.

        • I tried to part pay and I didn’t get the triple points. Every other time I have used the card in full I have had the X3 points.

    • Isn’t it base + 2* base = 3* in total?

    • Basically, if you see the Hilton card on your booking on the Hilton website you will get the triple points. Don’t let the hotel change it. If you want to pay with a different card then don’t let the hotel see it but just insert it in the reader

  3. Roberto says:

    Congrats on your win Daniel. Enjoy your Million avios. Spend, spend, spend…..

  4. OT: we are moving to Canada next year (after so many deliberations).
    1. Should we change our points collection strategy?we won’t be visiting UK much as we don’t have family here but will continue seeing the world.
    2. Any Canadian points blog recommendations?

    • Peter K says:

      2. One mile at a time has a Canadian contributor.

    • Charlieface says:

      Most likely you’d want a North American programme so you can do credit card sign-ups. If you fly a lot on Air Canada then Aeroplan or United MileagePlan are good options I think.
      Don’t forget to use Amex Global Transfer to get a head start. You should still be able to make use of a sign-up promo this way, just ask.

    • If you’re in Vancouver, Avios are still very useful for Alaska redemptions to the US, but even if so, there’s no avoiding the fact that Air Canada/Aeroplan will be by far a more useful programme for you given the outsized earning/spending opportunities.

      I quite enjoy Prince of Travel, although it’s more focused on the leisure market instead of business travel. Your mileage may vary, but they have some very helpful guides to get your head around the Canadian points market as a whole, if nothing else.

      Enjoy Canada!

      • thanks for responses. I did have a look at Prince of travel and seems there are some amex options..some better than UK.
        I will be in BC. I intend to do Asia next year, but will go everywhere-maybe not europe as we have done a lot of that. Family in Southern Africa and caribean

    • From a credit card point of view, there just don’t seem to be that many Canadian travel credit cards. It is a totally different credit market to the US, with far less choice and lower sign up bonuses. For example, Air Canada and Alaska have airline cards, but United don’t, and Marriot have a card (Amex) but IHG don’t.

      Whereabouts in Canada and where would you be travelling?

  5. Secret Squirrel says:

    Hi long does it take to receive the Aer club avios voucher to redeem?
    Ordered last night, email received with link but no voucher showing in my Groupon account?

    • My purchase showed in my Groupon account instantly in the “My Groupons” section and the voucher was available after a couple of hours.

      • Secret Squirrel says:

        @Anna – got the email which links to account. No voucher & states order in progress.
        Live chat useless, stated no order made, sent copy of email then they retracted statement & said taking a little longer than usual to wait 24 x hours. 😢

        • Secret Squirrel says:

          So the AerClub voucher arrived just now. Is there any reason why most choose aerclub or AVIOS rather than credit direct into BAEC accounts?

          • I thought the offer was from AerClub therefore that’s where they had to go! There wasn’t another option as far as I recall.

  6. Wally1976 says:

    OT – could someone confirm for me please… I’ve earned the companion voucher with my BAPP card. If I now downgrade it to the free BA Amex, can you confirm I will keep the companion voucher and the 10000+ Avios in my Amex account will still transfer across?

    • Yes and yes.

      • Wally1976 says:

        Thanks Anna. Will they downgrade it on the live chat? I’d prefer not to phone if possible.

      • Secret Squirrel says:

        @Anna: strange, my drop down choice of partners were BAEC, AVIOS & AerClub?
        What’s up with AVIOS sign in, password not recognised, reset password does not allow any type of new password using their rules of uppercase, number etc?

        • Secret Squirrel says:

          Avios tip: do not use email address like I use to log in to Aer club, use the username instead even if you do not use it to log into your Aer club account.
          Then use only your Aer club username & password to log in to avios account.

    • Shoestring says:

      how have you managed to keep the Avios in your BAPP a/c? mine got swept across to BAEC monthly

      • He didn’t, he just means that he wants to downgrade the cards before the avios are swept over I think.

        • Wally1976 says:

          Yes that’s correct. I don’t want to pay the annual fee for another 3 weeks whilst waiting for the Avios to be swept across.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Unless it’s your only Amex and you’ll have nothing to pay the fees with I’d just cancel it rather than downgrade.

      • Why, to begin a two year fallow period on a card that might not be around in 2 years or might look markedly different? I would downgrade and hope that I got lucky again with a sign up bonus on the blue, and upgrade to BAPP again just before spending another £10k in the next card year for another 241.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Regardless of a sign up bonus. You can still earn another 2-4-1 on a fresh card in 6 months etc

          Plus give a family Member or friend or rob a referral bonus and earn £40 £back. It’s not just all about the sign up bonus

          • Reason I didn’t do that was because I wanted to continue spending and get the offers although U would have been better just doing that on gold.How are you using referral link in conjunction with the £40/month?

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Then get an SPG when you close the BAPP or a new gold with a year of 0 fees.

            I still wouldn’t downgrade to the free BA, seems a waste of another application for a poor earnings rate.

        • Why would you get a signup bonus downgrading to the blue card?

    • SultanOfCroydon says:

      Does anybody know if you can get a second 241 voucher after hitting the 10k spend on the BAPP and then downgrading to the blue BA AMEX and hitting the 20k spend target?

  7. OT, I am going to phone BA at midnight in USA to try and add in a return for a 241. Is this a simple process and is there anything I should be aware of when speaking to agent?

    • It is simple but you will pay a lot of tax/fees as the return flight is effectively added as a one way with its own PNR.

      • Why? I’m only adding in a flight T355.

        • Shoestring says:

          the taxes & fees on a BA return UK-USA are a lot cheaper than buying 2x singles

          unfortunately recently people doing what you plan (adding in part 2 of the 2-4-1 later) have ended up saving the 2-4-1 Avios but paying the full taxes & fees for 2x single legs (on both tickets)

          • Shoestring says:

            if that doesn’t appeal, you could try cancelling your first leg (with the BA agent on the phone) and re-booking everything as a return 2-4-1 when the first leg comes back into reward inventory, which is often immediate but no guarantees

          • Wow that is a major change if you are not allowed to do that.

  8. When I read Robs post from a few weeks ago it was people booking the flights as a one way at midnight, and then calling BA in the morning to add these to a 241. That’s why I’m calling BA at midnight to add to my 241. Am I miss understanding something here?
    Are we now saying that a 241 can only be used when both legs of a journey are available?

  9. O/T: I see Sainsbury’s have 25% off Uber gift cards.
    Sold out at my local store.

  10. OT – saw some comments about delayed Amex referral points posting. I just had some points post but the OH got approved/received the card a couple of weeks ago. Previously points have always posted same time as the card has arrived.

  11. OT – I’m trying to book a free Ambassador night at IC Paris Le Grand, but it says “Rooms are not available for Ambassador Complimentary Weekend Night on one or more of the selected dates.”

    When I click on the calendar to show other available dates, nothing is showing up in the next 6 months. Same for the IC Avenue Marceau. It comes up even before I choose a room type.

    I am aware that it doesn’t automatically deduct the free night when you book it online, but if the actual rate isn’t even available does that mean they won’t be able to apply it when I check in/out?

    Anyone with experience of this I would be grateful for your advice…

    • Are you signed in and trying to book 2 nights (Fri + Sat or Sat + Sun) using the Ambassador booking page? (The first of the two night would be the paid night and the second would be the free night).

      The Le Grand currently have less than half their rooms available so there is much less availabilty than normal, I’ve just checked a sample weekend in April – the Le Grand is available for Friday 3 for 2 nights for instance, so you could check to see if that is coming up.

      The L

      • Sorry, should have explained that the lower availability is due to renovations. We stayed there in October and the renovations are not a problem when you are actually staying. If you do manage to find a room it will be one of the renovated ones, and they have been done well.

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