Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Good new American Express cashback deals: TFL, Harrods, John Lewis, Fenwick etc

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American Express has launched a number of new cashback deals to help cut the cost of your Christmas shopping.

These are a very generous group of offers.  However, if my own family cards are anything to go by, it seems that they are not appearing to everyone.

This is what I had across my cards:

Transport for London – 10% off contactless travel 

The offer runs to 31st December.  It does not include Heathrow Express or Heathrow Connect / TFL Rail when paid via contactless payment.

John Lewis – £10 cashback when you spend £50

Expires 29th December. Waitrose shoppers may want to buy a £50 John Lewis gift card instore which can then be used in a Waitrose.  Excludes John Lewis Opticians.

American Express Harrods cashback deal

Harrods – £30 cashback when you spend £100 (expires 24th December)

Debenhams – £10 cashback when you spend £50 (expires 31st December, so it can be used during the sale too)

Fenwick and Bentalls – £5 cashback when you spend £20 (expires 24th December)

If you’re a big fan of tuna baguettes, Upper Crust also offered me £2 back when I spend £5 before Christmas Eve!

And …..

Pullman Berlin cashback deal

There is also a new Accor hotels deal available.

It is offering £50 cashback when you spend £350 at selected luxury hotels in Europe before 28th February.

It is very select group of hotels included.  The only countries covered are the UK, Netherlands, France, Austria, Germany and Switzerland.

If you were planning to stay at a Sofitel, Pullman or MGallery then your luck may be in.  Sofitel Heathrow and Pullman London (Kings Cross) are excluded, however.

Pullman Berlin, which I reviewed earlier this year (our Pullman Berlin review is here and see the photo above) and liked a lot, IS included.

Remember that Amex charges a 3% FX fee when you use your card abroad so, if you have a card from another provider with 0% FX fees, remember to factor in the FX fee when working out how much you will save.

The rules do not say if cumulative spend counts.  It usually does with American Express hotel promotions, but until we get feedback from other readers you shouldn’t rely on it.

The Accor website is here if you want to scope out your options.  If you don’t want to earn Le Club AccorHotels points, you can take Avios directly instead.  Credit to Iberia Plus and not British Airways Executive Club as the rate is twice as high – you can use ‘Combine My Avios’ to move them across to BA afterwards.

PS.  If you missed it, take a look at our recent article on the top 10 reasons to apply for the free (in year 1) American Express Preferred Rewards Gold credit card.


Want to earn more points from credit cards? – June 2021 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit or charge card, here are our June 2021 recommendations based on the current sign-up bonus

You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the other top current deals:

British Airways American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and a companion voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

BA Premium Plus American Express card BAPP

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Rewards Plus credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 points bonus and the most generous non-Amex for day to day spending Read our full review

Earning miles and points from small business cards

If you are a sole trader or run a small company, you may also want to check out these offers.

Amex American Express Business Gold card

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

Earn both Avios and BA On Business points with your business spending Read our full review

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company Read our full review

Comments (169)

  • DavidP says:

    Seems I have all the offers – strangely as I have been using the card more frequently over the past few weeks.

  • Lee says:

    Anyone know of any store that sells Apple Store gift cards (not app store/itunes ones)

    Can’t seem to find any location apart from Apple store themselves.

    • Nick says:

      I don’t think so

      I am struggling to find John Lewis and amazon cards at Morrison’s? All cleaned out or taken off shelves?

      • Rui N. says:

        The Morrisson’s superstore in Reading had plenty of both this past weekend. JL’s on the main gift card rack and Amazon’s near the self checkouts.
        Thanks for everyone that helped me take advantage of the offer 🙂 But a bunch of gift card and filled up my car with 10% discount using the paper voucher 🙂

        • Polly says:

          And hope you benefitted from last weekend promo, spend 60 and get a10p off litre of petrol voucher, expires Sunday 8th December tho. To stack with your paper vouchers, so effectively 20% off that fill.

          • RussellH says:

            Got the 10p off voucher, but tank only has space for about 25l (over half full).

          • Lee says:

            But you do not get the 10p voucher if you have purchased mostly gift cards – needs to have other shopping for the £60.

            We have spent over £1,000 on Amazon vouchers so far 🙂

            Can’t say I have a need for JL as never go in there, no store near us.

          • Rui N. says:

            I didn’t get to have the 10p off fuel, because as @Lee said, the £60 to trigger the voucher can’t be gift cards, and altought I had some groceries they were like £40.

          • Polly says:

            Suddenly l didn’t need the very expensive bag of dog food that took me over the £60 sale..oh dear, had to return it.

          • Rui N. says:

            @Polly, good point, didn’t cross my mind. 🙂 I’ll remember that the next time my Tesco has a 10p fuel offer (Morrisson’s is not very practical for me, I wish it was because the fuel was by itself 5p cheaper than at Sainsburys/Tesco around here).

          • Lady London says:

            Did you also lose a dog after the Mr. T. promotion a while back Polly? IIRC Shoestring used the phrase ‘mass pet death’ after reports that year. At least your dog only lost its appetite!

          • Polly says:

            Hey Lady London,

            That made me laugh out loud this morning….loved the comment about mass pet exits, v funny.
            Sadly lost our beautiful white lab last may after 15 yrs, but she still needs the odd very very expensive bag of food..amazing dog really!

      • Andy says:

        It seems to differ store to store, my local Morrsions had plenty of the lower denominations (£15/£20) for Amazon but were cleared out of £50 cards and they didn’t get restocked. No other cards seem to get targetted in my area, but that’s likely because we’re quite far from a Waitrose.

        I thought I was being clever yesterday buying an Argos GC and then going straight over the road to Argos to spend it. Turns out Argos cards can be up to 48 hours before they get activated so I couldn’t use it for that transaction.

    • Lady London says:

      Used to see them all the time in Tesco hypermarkets everywhere. But it’s so long since I set foot in a Tesco, I’m not sure they would still be there. There were typically loads at the cash tills as well as on the gift card wall.

    • Charlieface says:

      I think Harrods has an Apple concession, so you could use that Amex offer

  • Benilyn says:

    OT: Guys I need some help. Signed up to Barclays Premier (for the 25k Avios) and now someone has managed to intercept my PIN but not my first debit card, but some how managed to order a replacement debit card and intercept that too. They went on to withdraw from ATMs and use at shops. I got all my money back…. but I need to know how they did it. Barclays fraud team said they will just refund me, and won’t share any further details about the investigation.

    1) First agent said they said someone ordered a replacement debit card it via mobile/online banking. I am signed up to mobile banking but I think it is one device per account allowed so would be surprised if it is that?? I have never logged into online banking. Second agent I spoke to would not confirm how card was ordered, but said my online banking has never been accessed. Which means…. someone did it on the phone or in-branch? I never got a text about the replace
    2) How was the card intercepted? Google says postman or at sorting office…
    3) Can I use GDPR to get details of the investigation?
    4) Getting CCTV from the shops would be tough right without police doing it? Should I report to police?

    I am really paranoid right now…

    • Anna says:

      This is extremely frustrating, however if the bank has absorbed any losses it is technically the victim and not you, so you have very little chance of being given any details of an investigation. As long as you’re not being held responsible for it, it’s probably not worth losing any sleep over.

    • Rob says:

      My mate had a card stolen by a temporary postman once. He was caught on CCTV using it.

    • Andrew says:

      Stop being Paranoid about it.

      Be sensible about it. The criminal has rights under GDPR too, as do the people around them in the bank and shops – you’ve got little or no chance of seeing who they are unless it does end up in court. They defrauded the bank, not you.

      You might be able to do a SAR though and get all audio recordings to telephone banking. If it was done that way, Barclays might miss out filtering out the fraudulent call.

      Key thing to do is to check your credit report to make sure there is no unusual activity with new borrowings. If your home is unencumbered, make sure you’ve registered for the Land Registry fraud warning system.

      If you have a lodger or house share, do check your cheque books for missing leafs towards the back. Maybe take the opportunity to shred the cheque books if you never use them anyway.

      Sometimes it’s just a simple “fishing” trip. If you live in an apartment, it’s not *that* hard to get a master key that opens all the mail boxes. Likewise easy enough to stick a device through a letter box to grab the mail that’s lying behind it – or just pull back post that’s not properly put through. Some silly people actually have near ground level letter boxes that people can put their hand through!

    • Lady London says:

      I think it must be the season. When professional mail interceptors and pickpockets come out approaching Christmas.

      For the first time ever, 2 Asda phonecards were intercepter from m’y address. Never had any problems with cards or expensive items being interceptés in many, many years. The thieves obviously thought the cards inside were crédit cards not worthless SIM cards. And probably not long in England as they just chose thé mail with a card in it. If the thieves had been here longer they would know Asda does not send out bank or credit cards so not worth nicking.

  • Harry T says:

    OT, no bits:
    I’m trying to get Avios flights from Melbourne to Sydney after the F1 race on 15th March 2020. Latest Avios flights I can get are 18.30. Race this year finished at 18.10, so this isn’t ideal.

    Avios is 12,000 and £39 for two people. Lowest [email protected] prices are currently about £240 for two people.

    Does anyone have experience booking these Avios redemptions? Are Avios flights likely to open up later or should I pull the trigger and pay the expensive cash prices now before they get worse?

    • marcw says:

      Should probably ask in an aussie forum australianfrequentflyer.com.au/community/

    • Lady London says:

      Grab it now, remember Avios booking can be refunded with relatively little loss. That amount looks about right and due F1 cash every thing May soar again. Close-in booking costs seem excessively higher for cash flights as a rule too.

      Btw Hertz over thé years used to have thé odd mastercard promo giving one way free within same country. Not sûre if it would work across States, in your case NSW and Victoria but could be worth periodically phoning and asking an agent (,promo not seen online,). The other place such deals might be promoted is as part of deals on offer to AA or RAC members in UK. So perhaps the Australian equivalent. Your UK membership of the AA would get you guest membership of several foreign equivalents for these purposes. So do you know anyone in Oz who can keep an eye out for you Harry T,? Meanwhile you could grab the Avios booking as a backstop.

      • Harry T says:

        Thanks, I grabbed a speculative Avios booking just before they all disappeared. Only problem is I might miss part of the race because the latest they had was 18.30! Still better than paying cash fares. Hopefully later evening flights may open up.

        Thank you, I shall look into Hertz.

        • Chrisasaurus says:

          I…

          It isn’t better than paying cash at all, is it? Surely? Missing part of the race you’re going to see for the difference between 12k avios and £120 a head?

          • Lady London says:

            @Chrisasaurus when Harry T landed his flights in the recent QF promo he didn’t know they coincided with the F1. So probs not going to be disappointed and good chance its on TV in lounge at airport.

          • Chrisasaurus says:

            @LL

            Understand now, thank you – missed the context somewhat

    • Chrisasaurus says:

      12k Avios plus £39 is £159 at 1p per Avios

      So you would choose to miss part of – indeed the climax of – the race for £40.50 each?

      I mean I’m not a fan either but it sounds a little like you might not be all that bothered about going?

      • Harry T says:

        @Chris – it’s a good point. As Lady London astutely observes this was an unexpected benefit of our Golden Ticket fares. We do want to see the whole race if we can. I’m more wondering if it’s likely that some more redemptions seats will open up if people cancel nearer the time, or whether we should lock in cash prices now. I’ve not been to a Grand Prix before or redeemed Avios in Australia so I’m a bit unsure what the best strategy is.

    • Nick Burch says:

      Sleeper train leaves Melbourne at 19:50, take the train? Details from the Man in Seat 61 at https://www.seat61.com/Australia.htm#Sydney-Melbourne-Canberra-Brisbane

  • MinR says:

    I’ve had the Harvey Nichols, Selfridges and Harrods offer multiple times. Only used the card at Harrods when I’ve had the offer.

    The one thing I’ve experienced is that previously these offers would often overlap with sales periods which resulted in massive savings. However, the last few offers I’ve had with departmental stores/fashion outlets expire just before the sales start. For e.g. The most recent HN offer (£30 off £100) expired a day before their ‘up to 40%’ sale.

  • SteveD says:

    Could I ask how long people are waiting for the Esso £5 to be credited?

    I’m getting a faint whiff of rat…

    • SimonW says:

      Used 27/1, no email . £5 Credit hit my a/c today but dated 1st Dec.

  • 1DES1 says:

    O/T – what is the most accurate way to calculate 355 days prior for BA to open up avios availability?

    Excel is giving me a different date to a date calculator online.

    Could someone kindly confirm that avios for a flight operating on Saturday 19th December 2020 will open at 12am GMT on Sunday 29th December 2019 (being 355 days on Monday 30th December 2019)?

    Many thanks!

    • SimonW says:

      Check what date is available to book TODAY. And add the relevant amount of days on.

      • Peter K says:

        +1

        • 1DES1 says:

          Ta, that confirms excel is correct. BA online only shows up to Saturday 21st November right now – therefore 355 days (Sunday 22nd November) will appear at 12am GMT. TIA.

          • Graeme says:

            I spent 48 minutes on the phone to the “US” (had no idea that it was in the UK) at midnight last night adding a return leg to my outbound 2-4-1 for the 21st next year. 48 minutes!

            Taxes were still recalculated, FYI.

          • 1DES1 says:

            Thanks Graeme, how did you get the taxes sorted out?

          • Graeme says:

            The nice lady on the phone did it automatically. I was curious given recent developments whether it’d be an issue.

  • Harry T says:

    OT: Various deals:
    American Express has launched presale tickets to Hyde Park concerts 10-11th July. Good opportunity for people to see Pearl Jam or Taylor Swift, as you can buy cheapish tickets before general release. Maybe even buy them for your kids or grandkids?

    There’s some very cheap EasyJet tickets from Edinburgh to Milan in August – £70 per person return, HBO. Just snaffled some and cancelled my Avios tickets to Florence and back (16,000 Avios and £242). May be of interest to some as Venice and Florence are also easily accessible by train from Milan.

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