Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

News: British Airways adds Bengaluru flights, last call to earn 6000 Avios from Accor Hotels

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News in brief:

British Airways launches additional Bengaluru flights

British Airways is increasing its services to Bengaluru for the Summer as it reallocates aircraft freed up from the suspension of China services.

Bengaluru flights will increase from seven to 10 per week from 23 April.

The additional services will depart Heathrow in the late evening on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays.  Tickets, including Avios seats, are bookable now on ba.com.

Accor 6000 points promotion

Last call – earn 6,000 bonus Avios (or €120) for 3 x 2-night Accor stays

You only have four days left to book this generous deal.  Accor Hotels, which owns Novotel / Ibis / Mercure / M Gallery / Sofitel / Pullman / Raffles / Swissotel / Fairmont etc, is offering 6,000 bonus Avios or €120 of hotel credit.

You will earn 6,000 Avios (or a variable pile of other airline miles or 6,000 Accor Live Limitless points) if you complete three x 2-night stays at Accor properties before 7th June 2020.

The snag is that you must book your stays between now and Friday 6th March. You need to book via the Accor website or a corporate travel agent. Stays booked via hotel wholesalers such as Expedia, Hotels.com, booking.com etc will not count.

Existing bookings do NOT count. These need to be cancelled and rebooked.  Only bookings made after you have registered (link here) are eligible.

What is the bonus?

The bonus is dropped into your account in the form of 6,000 Accor Live Limitless points:

Your first 2-night stay comes with 500 bonus points

Your second 2-night stay comes with 2,500 bonus points

Your third 2-night stay comes with 3,000 bonus points

Whilst the Accor website for this promotion focuses on taking points, you can convert your 6,000 bonus points (plus base points) into airline miles. For the main programmes I write about, the conversion rates are:

Flying Blue 2:1

British Airways Executive Club Avios: 2:1

Iberia Avios: 1:1 (so don’t convert to BA!)

Emirates Skywards: 2:1

Etihad Guest: 2:1

Miles & More: 2:1

The secret with converting to Avios is to send them to an Iberia Plus account to get the higher 1:1 conversion rate.  You can then use ‘Combine My Avios’ to move them to British Airways Executive Club.  You can’t transfer out of Iberia Plus accounts until they are 90 days old, so if you open one specifically for this offer then you might have a slight delay before you can move the Avios across.

Earn 6000 bonus Accor Live Limitless points

However, whilst 6,000 Avios is certainly attractive, you need to remember that by converting to Avios in the Iberia programme, you are effectively ‘paying’ 2 Eurocents per Avios compared to taking €120 in Accor hotel vouchers.  The hotel vouchers are therefore a better deal unless you have no plans to use them – although, if all of your Accor travel is through your job, it is very possible that you won’t mind giving up the vouchers.

In all of the other airline schemes you are paying 4 Eurocents per mile which is very poor.  If you are not primarily an Avios collector I would seriously suggest taking the €120 of vouchers instead.

You can find full details of the offer, and the link to register, on the Accor website here. Remember that bookings must be made by Friday 6th March even though you do not need to stay until 7th June.

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from Accor and the other major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

(New to Accor Live Limitless?  Read our two-part overview of Accor Live Limitless here and here and our article on expiry rules here.)

Comments (123)

  • Dan says:

    OT – BAPP Companion Voucher. Last week I triggered the voucher and it is in my BA account but I recently got a refund which is taken me below the £10,000 limit. Will my voucher get taken away until I trigger it again? I could do with an extended expiry date 🙂

  • Keith says:

    How long to MRP take to show in Bonvoy?

  • Ant says:

    OT: I booked avios seats on the extra flight to Cape Town a few weeks ago. Just now got email advising flight cancelled (BA44) and moved to the other flight (BA58). Which is not a problem as it is only 10min difference. But i cannot accept the change online so need to call. Been on the phone for 30min!!

  • Nelson says:

    OT Amex business gold to plat upgrade. What happens if I got 2 supplementary cardholders and would like to upgrade? Are they going to charge me for second supp or can I choose which one to keep? Does 20000 points Spend bonus still apply? Anybody got a link?

  • Harry T says:

    Currently in the Langley. Hard product is indeed lovely and everyone has been delightful thus far.

  • Janet says:

    OT: I need recommendations for reliable worldwide annual travel insurance to include a 60 day trip (most only cover up to 31 days). Looked at Virgin Money & Asda, but they get terrible reviews. In the current climate seems wise to use a company who will provide a good service if the need arises. Seem to remember a while back LadyLondon(?) suggested avoiding AXA, but can’t find the article now.

    • BJ says:

      According to MSE the two best travel insurers are LV and Direct Travel Insurance. Both cover pre-existing conditions if disclosed, and LV premium policy covers up to 90 days per trip. I don’t recall how many days Direct Travel Insurance cover but they certainly used to cover long durations when I was with them previously as I was sometimes away for two months.

      • Janet says:

        Thanks BJ that’s really helpful.

        • BJ says:

          FWIW, i plan to go with LV when our current policy expired. I found the premium quote worth the extra but like you we need it anyway for 32+ days. Suggest you do a dummy quote for a hypothetical person similar to yourself in first instance to get ideas.

          • Harry T says:

            I’m with LV. I haven’t had to claim but I’ve heard they are excellent.

          • Janet says:

            Thanks. I’ve done a few “dummy quotes” and am finding it a minefield! Sheila’s Wheels have a very easy medical screening – only needing to be informed of any hospital treatment during last 12 months, whereas most say 2 years (I had an op. 21 months ago), but not sure they are to be trusted. Think I may have to pay more and go with LV.

          • BJ says:

            Following medical issues last year resulting in two conditions, inpatient stay and surgery, LV quoted me £164 for a premium annual coupke policy which I though was excellent. I imagine oremiums have now shot up considering what is going on.

      • Lady London says:

        I would look at BJ’s first now. MSE has come up with useful comments too. Look at the underwriter as well as brand feedback as well as the TS and C’s. Look at who is providing any assistance service, such as Mondial Assistance or other specalists, if good TS and C’s and they do corporate contracts (such as IIRC SOS Asstce), I would look favourably. I personally wouldn’t take a travel policy underwritten by AXA too many not too good stories trickling over the years but YMMV. I’d give consideration to taking a very high limit for medical coverage rather than unlimited. If you’re looking at Sheila’s I guess you’ve already got a list of names of providers to trawl through courtesy of voldesitez.

        • Janet says:

          Thanks for your input Lady London – thought I remembered you having issues with AXA. Looking like LV will be the best.

          • Lady London says:

            Put it this way. I’ll be checking out LV first the next time I take my usual annual travel insurance (I don’t bother insuring trip by trip).

    • Eli gold says:

      Pretty sure that the AXA travel insurance that came with my upgrade to Curve black, says trips of up to 90 days

    • reds says:

      I booked with insureandgo for my son a few days ago. It was a multitrip annual travel insurance with each trip up to 90 days.

      • Janet says:

        I have gone with LV who gave me a good price including medical condition. Thanks for everyone’s advice.

  • Ian says:

    I don’t have enough Bonvoy points transferred to pay for my booking today – is there a way I can make the booking then pay the points when they are transferred from Amex so I secure today’s rate?

    • Grant says:

      IIRC under the old points advance system that would have worked, but now the rate is set at the time when the points are taken.

      Depending on short you are and what the difference will be with the new rate, does it make sense to buy the points from Marriott today to secure the lower rate?

      • TGLoyalty says:

        buying online takes a few days. not sure if phoning they can do it instantly but i’d doubt it.

    • Harry T says:

      You will pay the rate at the time of payment with points. Unfortunately Marriott has made points advance much less powerful, in this regard.

      Buying points could work but be aware that the bonus points anecdotally take a few days to post after the main points, during the current buy points promotion.

    • BJ says:

      The above replies are correct. If you plan a 5 for 4 redemption then explore the option of buying points as Grant suggests. If you are not doing 5 for 4 then break your booking into single or multiple night staps to confirm bookings you can with points you have. Lock the other night(s) required in using pointsadvanceas. Explore points and cash options too yo see if whose work for you, do this as minimum two night stays.

  • rams1981 says:

    OT Amex SPG. Having made a formal complaint about my points not remaining at 3 per £ spend as I’ve only had the card one month I’ve logged into my avcount today to see this banner 🙂

    “We no longer offer the SPG® Credit Card, as it has been rebranded to Marriott Bonvoy™. We will write to you in June about migrating you to this new product. You will continue to enjoy your existing benefits including 3 points/£ on all eligible spend, 6 points/£ on spend at Marriott properties.”

    Case closed.

    • Phil G says:

      I have the same banner but without making a complaint, same situation had card less than a month.
      Just have to wait and see if they correct the points totals for transactions since feb 25th or if they need a little push.
      At least given the screen shot of this banner i can’t imagine much persuasion will be needed.

    • BJ says:

      Did you make the complaint in writing, via chat or what? My partner applied for SPG last week under old terms, but got Bonvoy under new terms which naturally we knew nothing about. Not yet decided how to address the issue.

      • rams1981 says:

        I raised it via chat when I noted the lower earnings rate. The agent escalated to a manager who said those who got the card after december (I think) not affected by this change. And tried to say the change was nothing to do with AMEX and about Bonvoy/Marriott rebranding. I said they Marriott alone don’t decide to cut the earnings rate and AMEX had done this I had only had the card one month (not even charged the membership fee at that point). Manager kept going on about it not being their issue despite me pointing out I had the card for less than a month and them not allowing to change the terms without notice. Bored of going round in circles I asked to raise a formal complaint which i received email confirmation of.

        • BJ says:

          Thanks, I am in the same position as you and Phil I think and I see the banner on my account so hopefully will be handled smoothly now. Interestingly though there is no banner on my partners account and he got the ‘new deal’ despite applying for the ‘old deal’ last Thursday. So his compkaint is essentially applied for A got B so what are amex going to do about that? Looks like nothing so far so the decision is to wait and see or go after the issue now.

      • EwanG says:

        @BJ If your partner applied and was accepted under old terms but when the card was issued it contained the new terms, Amex should be able to put it into the SPG wash-up group and adhering to the terms for the old card, otherwise they could do a manual adjustment at the end of the notice period which they would have needed to give if they had put your partner into that group.

        • BJ says:

          Yep, but there is a complicating factor in that he needs to decide whether to hit the £1k spend in hope of a lucky bonus or let it go. Will probanly try that first to see what happens and mop up afterwards. Btw, the shop idiot is on the kiosk today so if you are after more benefits at M best avoid him, pick up a plastic one and check yourself out.

          • EwanG says:

            I don’t think that is a difficult complication – if you can prove you applied under old terms (which I’m sure you will have screenshots, and otherwise Amex could check timestamps) to get the bonus points for £1k of spend rather than £3k, they should honour that too!
            Thanks for heads-up on kiosk, but I only tend to fill up monthly!!

    • Grant says:

      I have the same thing despite having the card for months and having received the letter about the changes to the earning rate. I was going to cancel both our cards this week but perhaps I’ll hold on to them for a couple of months now.