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Bits: Double Clubcard points via the app, big Gatwick Express changes, 10% off Lastminute.com gift cards

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News in brief:

Earn double Clubcard points at Tesco when you scan the app

Tesco Clubcard bonus points offers have been very thin on the ground recently.

If you look back at Head for Points from four years ago, we were running multiple articles per week on bonus point offers.  Many of them were a good deal even if you bought them purely for the Avios or Virgin Flying Club miles and sent the underlying product off for recycling!

Anyway, we have moved on!  Here is the new deal.

Until 1st March, you will receive double Tesco Clubcard points (2 per £1) on your in-store shopping when you scan the Tesco app at check-out.

You need to be clear about what we mean here.  You need to download the Tesco app to your smartphone and, when paying for your shopping, open the app and scan the page showing your Clubcard.

It will NOT work if you swipe a plastic Clubcard, swipe a key fob, use the Tesco Pay+ app or (potentially) even scan the Clubcard saved in Apple Wallet.  You must open the standard Tesco app and have it scanned.

You don’t need to register and the bonus points will be added automatically.

2 Clubcard points per £1 translates into 4.8 Avios or 5 Virgin Flying Club miles per £1 which is not a bad deal.

The usual exclusions apply, eg no points at all on tobacco products, baby milk etc.

It is not a targeted offer and is mentioned, albeit briefly, on this page of the Tesco website.

Tesco app double points

Big – negative – changes coming to Gatwick Express

The railway station at Gatwick Airport is about to undergo a massive improvement programme.  Between May 2020 and 2023, £150 million will be spent to bring it up to an acceptable standard.

It is a huge job which will see five new lifts, eight new escalators and new staircases installed.  Platforms 5 and 6 will be widened and a new glass-roofed concourse will be built, spanning all of the platforms.

That’s the good news.  The bad news is that you can’t spend £150m without causing quite a bit of chaos to the existing schedules.

This is a summary of what will happen:

Gatwick Express services will be halved from May 2020 to May 2022, with only one train every 30 minutes.  The only exceptions are one hour in the morning and one hour in the evening to allow peak capacity to remain.

The Gatwick Express service cuts will begin earlier, on 26th April, at off peak times.  This allows preparatory work to be done on Platform 6.

All trains passing through the station will be restricted to 30 mph

Southern services will no longer run directly from Victoria to Brighton – you will need to use Thameslink or Gatwick Express instead if you want a non-stop trip.

You can find out more about the Gatwick Express changes on the Southern website here.

New Gatwick Airport rail Station

Save 10% on Lastminute.com gift cards

Lastminute.com is offering 10% off gift cards as part of a Valentine promotion.

The offer ends today, Saturday.

Full details are on the Lastminute.com website here.

Each gift card can be for up to £500, with a minimum of £50.  There are three different gift cards available – one is only valid on flights, one on flights plus ‘flight & hotel’ packages, and one valid on flights, hotels and ‘flight & hotel’ packages.  It obviously makes most sense to buy the last one, the ‘travel360’ gift card.

If you have a flight booking coming up, you may want to price it via Lastminute.com and factor in the 10% discount.  It is probably cheaper, even though the standard price would usually be more than booking directly with the airline.

Remember that the best use of Lastminute.com is for getting cheap deals on the Sofitel Heathrow Terminal 5 hotel.  Lastminute.com regularly sells this hotel at a discounted price via its ‘Top Secret’ unnamed hotels site, although it is easy to spot which one is the Sofitel.  You can find out more about the ‘Top Secret’ deal at Sofitel Heathrow Terminal 5 here.

Thanks to Angus for this.

Review: The Martinique, New York (a Hilton 'Curio Collection' hotel)
How to get a one-way Hertz UK car rental for just £1!

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Comments

  1. I use the Tesco iPhone app and can see Double Points Coupon listed on the Activity tab. Not for recent transactions though so must take a few days to add.

  2. Not sure how the Clubcard offer will work with self-scan shopping as you only scan the Clubcard at the beginning. Any ideas?

    • You don’t have to scan it at the beginning. You can scan your Clubcard at any time at least in Tesco’s I’ve been to.

      • chris1922 says:

        Yes, why would you scan at the start ? I always scan the Clubcard AFTER I’ve scanned my last item, and before I pay, with my BA AMEX, of course… ; ).

    • OP means Scan as you Shop, rather than self scan.

      Can you not release the handset using the QR code on the app?

      • I was wondering the same. For me the QR code never seemed to work, I have to use my clubcard credit-card to release the scanner.

        I guess once you get to the checkout you can scan your clubcard app at the till before finalising the transaction but whether this will count or not I don’t know.

        Bottom line – probably not worth the effort unless doing a big shop

  3. memesweeper says:

    The Tesco offer makes no sense — it will slow down the tills relative to the Pay+ users, and habituate us into using the older app & credit card vs the new one. Bizarre.

  4. TokyoFan says:

    O/T: 3000 bonus avios for £300 spend on BAPP.

    I’m booking flights from Pisa to London one way, which will be above £300 in value but charged in EUR I suspect as they’re one way.
    Has this historically counted towards this sort of offer? The T’s&C’s say spend in GBP but I know the T’s&C’s rarely mean much.
    Any help appreciated!

    • Sadly not. I had the same issue but with BA Finland. It hits your statement in Euros so doesn’t count. I asked Amex Chat and they confirmed.

  5. OT – Traveling to India (Gurgaon, New Delhi) in April for a Business Trip with VS on UC. As it is unlikely that I will return to India in the near future, coupled with the fact that it is on the week of the April Bank Holiday, I want to I take advantage of this and do some personal travelling in India.

    I was thinking of doing a couple of days in Mumbai but was wondering if anyone else had good knowledge of India. For domestic India flights, would you recommend Air India, VIstara, Indigo, Air Asia? The prices of full service vs LCC seems quite similar actually.

    Frustratingly, it doesn’t seem like One World has much presence in India as I have OW Sapphire status through my BA Silver but any advice on India, New Delhi or any noteworthy places to visit would be very appreciated!

    • I’ve had very good experiences with Indigo, used them about half a dozen times. For Mumbai consider a club room at the Taj Palace, it looks really expensive but when you add one way transfer and the club benefits it’s only reassuringly expensive. Some of the local tours can be quite good, Magic Tours are reasonably good for offbeat stuff. The final thing, if you are planning travelling by road, arrange a driver and car through one of the companies, it’s not as expensive as you might think.

      • I’ve heard good things about Indigo too actually. In terms of it being a LCC, would you stay it is more comprable to Ryanair/EasyJet or more of a JetBlue?

        I’m guessing public transport is a complete no go in India? 🙂

        The Taj Mahal is definitely on my hit list this trip!

        • Definitely better than Ryanair, probably on a par with Easyjet. I wouldn’t bother preordering onboard food, I ordered a non-veg meal which ended up being a sandwich! You have to pay for the extras like baggage etc but I found checking in at the airport to be very straightforward, they had agents printing mobile boarding passes in the queue’s. If you do go with the club room at the Taj make sure you use the one-way transfer back to the airport, you’ll feel like royalty as you are escorted by your butler to the car. Lot’s of things are walkable from there and having breakfast in the sea lounge overlooking the gateway to India is lovely. Also, make sure you have enough time to at least spend a couple of hours by the pool there.

        • Actually, I highly recommend train travel in India – it’s just wonderful watching the country roll past from the train window, and AC 1st or two/three tier can be a really fun way to travel.
          Personally I recommend Upaidpur, Jodhpur or Jaisalmer if you fancy a city break, or perhaps if you want somewhere a bit more unusual the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan (staying in the Narayan Niwas Castle in Mahansar was just the most incredible experience, and one I would highly recommend), Orchha or Bundi. The Taj Mahal is stunning, but Agra can be trying.
          I’d also highly recommend various spots in Kerala and Karnataka, but they’re much longer journeys from Delhi.
          Honestly, I’d rate any of those destinations as far more magical places to experience India. Mumbai can be kind of mad and stressful!

      • Lady London says:

        Re Taj I believe they match with Shangri-La – you get Jade in S-L from Amex – and i believe it makes a very big difference. I’d get onto it quick if you want to look at it to allow for any processing time of the two legs.

    • There is not much in it. Friends recommend Air India since their price includes 25 kg of baggage and you get free food ( veg option only on flights longer than 1.5 hours and a snack if less than 1.5 hours). Do factor in delays since that is common. Also star alliance member so may get some nominal points. So we have booked air India for our next trip.
      Indigo and vistara are ok as well but you don’t get as much for your money.
      Business class on Air India and Vistara gives access to their lounges.

      • Good point. I flew TAP a couple of weeks ago so I guess if I fly with Air India I could credit the points to there right? Surprised that that with Virgin having routes to both New Delhi and Mumbai that they don’t have a partner that serves India domestically – I guess the demand just isn’t there.

        I am normally the type to pay extra for the full service carrier anyway as I trust them more from the POV that when things go wrong – they are more eager to help. This is the view that I have at least from a European perspective but I am completely foreign to what airlines are like in India.

        Air India I believe has two rotations on their DEL to BOM route that uses a wide body (777 and Dreamliner) so that would be a cool experience too!

    • I went on Indigo and they were great.

      Don’t worry about trying to use your miles in India. The tickets are so cheap (at least what I found). I paid £60 for a 1A seat from Bangalore to Delhi (over 2hr flight).

      In terms of stuff to do in India, I would recommend the Taj Mahal – go as soon as it opens in the day to avoid the crowds.

      And something more left field is a place called Leh. It’s high up in Kashmir near the Tibetan border in the Himalayas. The scenery is just beautiful. You can take a two day drive across some incredible places to a lake called pangong Tso. Couldn’t recommend enough. Just be careful about altitude sickness. The road (2nd highest in the world I think) goes up to about 5200m above sea level. I had no issues but others might.

      Also don’t worry about safety in Leh. It’s on the Tibetan (Buddhist) side of Kashmir and feels so far removed from the tensions of the India / Pakistan border parts. I’ve honestly felt more scared in the Home Counties.

      I did all of the above in a week after a work trip. Was busy but deffo fulfilling

      • Thanks for the tip about the Taj Mahal!

        That what I am doing Trying to do some travelling on the back of my business trip. Will be there from 5th to the 9th officially but as the 10th-13th is bank holiday, I’m looking to capitalise on it 🙂

    • Nick Burch says:

      I’ve had very good experiences with Vistara, and pretty good ones with Indigo, less so with some of the others. Vistara’s Premium Economy is worth a look – includes decent hold baggage allowance and seat selection and nicer food, often seems cheaper than adding those onto a regular ticket

      Vistara also has some BA integration. You won’t get lounge access, you will get priority boarding, you might get a bit of extra baggage if just over

      With a long weekend from Delhi, assuming you’ve seen the city before, consider the Golden Triangle of Agra for Taj Mahal and Jaipur. Pretty close to each other, you’d be best off with train or car+driver rather than flying.

      • Nope!! First time in India and New Delhi so really trying to weight up whether I should just travel near New Delhi or actually fly to another Indian city.

      • “Vistara also has some BA integration”

        Interesting – was not aware of this!

        • Vistara integration with BA requires you to be on a BA ticket which is only possible if you tag the Vistara leg onto an international leg on BA eg LHR-BOM on BA and BOM-local in India on Vistara. I am not sure they will give you recognition if you just show your BAEC card independently but no harm in asking. You definitely won’t earn Avios unless the Vistara flight is a BA code share i.e a 125 BA ticket number tagged onto an international flight on BA.

    • Based on experience, I’d say avoid Air India. They seem to never run on time, often have wildcard strikes and I’ve had my sketchiest ever go-around experience on them. Oh, they also have a policy of downgrading people from 1st/business to economy if the seat is needed for staff travel!

      In terms of nice hotels in Mumbai, the Trident at Nariman point is also worth a shout.

      Be prepared for a lot of security theatre if you’re staying at high end hotels in Mumbai – they have metal detector gates / vehicle checks on the way in!

    • Actually, I highly recommend train travel in India – it’s just wonderful watching the country roll past from the train window, and AC 1st or two/three tier can be a really fun way to travel.
      Personally I recommend Upaidpur, Jodhpur or Jaisalmer if you fancy a city break, or perhaps if you want somewhere a bit more unusual the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan (staying in the Narayan Niwas Castle in Mahansar was just the most incredible experience, and one I would definitely recommend), Orchha or Bundi. The Taj Mahal is stunning, but Agra can be trying.
      I’d also highly recommend various spots in Kerala and Karnataka, but they’re much longer journeys from Delhi.
      Honestly, I’d rate any of those destinations as far more magical places to experience India. Mumbai can be kind of mad and stressful!

      • Completely forgot the sheer size of India so definately appreciate that there are loads of off the beaten track options. Might be enough to do and see in Delhi for a 3 days then!

        • I’d definitely get out of Delhi – you’ll probably be desperate for something that passes as fresh air by then!

    • I am off to Mumbai on Tuesday. After listening to others and some reasearch online I plumped for the Oberoi Hotel for about 60% of the price of the Taj. The hotel is considered by some as the best in India, lets see…

      We will visit the Taj of course but felt that for our first visit to India we wanted somewhere a little more “clean and sanatised” than the area around the Taj / Gateway to India. I appreciate some people will be aghast that I wont be seeing the real India staying in a 5 star bubble but to be honest its the only way I could get SWMBO to sign off on the trip.

    • I’ve used Air Asia and it was extremely good. Modern clean aircraft interior unlike Air India where even their Dreamliner looks like it’s falling apart. Very good food too for cheap prices.

  6. OT: 400 additional membership rewards for £400 spend just popped up on my free Amex MR card.

    …it’s a bit stingy but it’s better than nothing I suppose 😀

    vol x

  7. Gatwick Express is a joke. Needs to be incorporated back into Southern and have at least one stop at either East Croydon or Clapham Junction.

    The trains are always empty. When London is crying out for extra capacity on trains this would be an easy win.

    • The fact that it is unnecessary more expensive when compared to Southern and Thameslink really doesn’t help when the journey time on Gatwick express is only around 10 mins more.

      Gatwick Express always seems to be rip-off to me as I use the service to travel to/from Gatwick and Brighton.

      • Lady London says:

        I am not looking forward to these works starting. Landing at Gatwick on a weekend night is a nightmare as it is very, very frequently with anything from long delays to complete meltdowns and the chaos of them only offering a service from Redhill and bussing everyone there. The later your plane lands in the evening especially on a Sunday the more likely your journey to where you’re going in London is going to take closer to 4 hours than 1 and a half.

        For sure Thameslink services will also be very affected.

        As that is BAU now then this will be a cluster**c*. I’d think of changing all my flights to Luton instead if Luton wasn’t….Luton.

        • I can’t for the life of me work out why the service is so bad when there are effectively 3 options to go from London-Gatwick-Brighton. Surely with that much choice and competition, the standard would be higher.

          I agree 100% with the weekend statement. If the trains go AWOL (i.e. a leaf landing on the track), the whole network is down – which kind of says more about our public transport infrastructure more than anything else.

          • Lady London says:

            Yes I have got really sick of landing at Gatwick at 11pm on a Sunday night, should reach my place in London by 1am latest, and limping in through the door at 3am or even later to start work on Monday morning.

            And that’s now before these works even start.

          • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

            There’s no competition. Gatwick Express, Southern and Thameslink are all operated by the same company.

  8. I have a double clubcard point paper voucher. Will using that as well as scanning clubcard from app give me more, less or same points?

  9. maccymac says:

    OT: Valentines Day KLM offer – Long Haul – £40 off Economy, £125 off Business.

    Codes and T&Cs:

    https://promotions.klm.com/GB_EN/?WT.mc_id=L_GB_Email_ExactTarget_Campaign_null_eventcampbrandlclfeb20_Initial&WT.tsrc=Email&WT.i_vid=146576270

  10. OT – advice please! I have booked a weekend break in London for the first weekend in May (not changeable). Originally we were going to return on the bank holiday Monday but due to government tinkering it’s not a bank holiday any more and we have to come back Sunday night.
    Looking at rail options, there is going to be major disruption that weekend and travelling via either Preston or Manchester will take nearly 5 hours and involve multiple changes.
    Flights from MAN to LHR are available at decent cash rates, and also with avios, but the hassle factor then is getting to and from central London from LHR. It’s feeling a bit like swings and roundabouts! What do other readers think who go from LHR into the city (we’ve not done this for about 8 years).

    • It’s roughly an hour from Piccadilly Circus to T5 on tube. HEX is good value if booked far
      in advance but often not much quicker by time you get to Paddington. Try Citymapper app and see what it suggests.

      I’d aim to arrive around 90 mins before flight then 1h to MAN = 3.5 hours to fly. Depends how you’d get home from MAN, really.

      Is the Chilterns line from Marylebone to Birmingham then change there an option – would only work if engineering was at the Euston end I suppose.

    • RussellH says:

      Not sure whether you are closer to Preston or Manchester, but I would get a train from either to Leeds, and then to London. Reasonably frequent service from both to Leeds, and, as far as I can see on a very quick look, no major disruption that weekend.

      15+ years ago, when the WCML was being upgraded and the service was completely mangled we did this a number of times, taking trains along the Carlisle – Settle line to Leeds, and then to London.

      • Funny you should say that RussellH, I’ve been looking at alternatives and our best option certainly does seem to be Leeds (£42 return to Kings Cross, bargain!). We might just drive and park there for the convenience, it works out at about the same as getting a connecting train from over our way.

        • Lady London says:

          If you’re staying in town then I’d grab that @Anna. After trying to check for planned rail works on the line that weekend. Rail card or other offer or split tickets may get you First for close to regular price as it’s a weekend?

          • Very good price for First, however apparently you don’t get much in the way of service at weekends so I’m not sure it’s worth it! Also, I think it said that if you buy any kind of “saver” ticket, you’re not allowed in the lounge, so even worse value.

    • Lady London says:

      There is a Great Western Trainline that goes from Iver and other stations near The Langley if this is your Langley weekend? Can decant onto Central Line or District Line at Ealing Broadway where the Heathrow Connect line also stops on its way back to Heathrow. Ealing Broadway is also 1 stop on the District Line from Ealing Common from where you can also get to LHR on the Piccadilly Line by getting off and changing direction to the opposite platform somewhere like Acton Town or Hammersmith.

      Sorry if that’s TMI. My strategy for LHR as a longterm (cheap)London resident is(1) Piccadilly line because it’s cheap and I don’t have to think about it (2) Heathrow Connect from Ealing Broadway if I’m near there anyway. If stuck travelling overnight after tubes and trains close then No. 9 bus from the bus terminal atT2/T3. I’d consider a car service for 4 not sure about 3 – might work out well with an offer. If booked in advanve HEX might work but Paddington where it lands is off centre so you’d have to decant onto other transport anyway so what’s the point? If you’re at Sofitel then its a nice walk from Green Park tube on the Piccadilly Line through some pleasant streets – shorter but harder to find first time and not so pleasant from Piccadilly Circus.

      Personally you should also consider Gatwick if you’re in town somewhere like the Sofitel At James’s. You might snag a ridiculously early flight on Monday morning instead and still be able to get to work! Sunday night is the pits for all sorts of transport not working.

      • Hi LL, no, confusingly it’s our trip to the big city for the Tutankhamun exhibition (I have gone a bit OTT booking stuff this year as it’s my 50th and my retirement lol!). Already booked exhibition tickets and a night at the Conrad St James in one of the recent Hilton sales.
        OT – you were asking about Farfetch – they have now refused to disclose details of the retailer who supplied my bag and which, according to Farfetch, has sole liability under consumer law, so I’ve reported them to Trading Standards as their practices are being revealed as shadier by the day! How can you ever be sure you are getting what you paid for if you aren’t even allowed to know who’s selling it?!

        • Lady London says:

          Outrageous. Did they withdraw their offer of a complete refund including shipping then? I assume receiving both handbags as ordered was essential to you so you are rejecting the entire order? As the delivery was not what you ordered you are entitled to be put back in the position you would have been in i.e.you are not liable for costs of incorrect thing being delivered.

          Sorry but I don’t understand why you’re not doing s75 or chargeback (whichever you qualify for) with card company right away. And I hope you gave them notice to collect at their own cost promptly so as to be within any time limit as you did not receive what you ordered. Card co is best way to go once you’ve covered your rejection legally.

          Farfetch / their vendor may turn out to be in an unsue-able or unenforceable jurisdiction (by the look of their t’s and c’s they will have arranged this too 🙂 or situation. Even if you could be bothered to get judgment which no one would if cardco will refund and take the money off Farfetch for you. Trading Standards avenue not quick.

          Please let us know what happens.

          • It’s a bit complicated to go into but I’ve sent a “final position” email, so I’ll give them a week or so then get on to Amex.

          • Charlieface says:

            You don’t actually need to wait for the retailer for s75, if the company is being difficult or not responding file the claim immediately.

  11. “Southern services will no longer run directly from Victoria to Brighton”

    Haaang on a minute… yes they will, they just can’t be used to make the journey to Gatwick! They’d never remove trains from Victoria to Brighton, they’re Southern’s cash cow!

    • Well, since Thameslink and Gatwick Express and Southern are all part of the same company they will still be laughing.

    • Taken from the Southern Website:
      To achieve this, Southern off-peak services from London Victoria will no longer run direct to or from Brighton. Passengers to/from Brighton to London will need to either use direct Gatwick Express or Thameslink services or change at stations such as East Croydon, Haywards Heath or Preston Park.

      I sincerely hope that GE pricing is brought in line with Southern during this period

    • Yes they are doing due to capacity issues, it would appear all trains from Victoria will either turn right at three bridges or left after Haywards Heath!

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