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Bits: Barclays Premier Rewards closing (Avios coming?), Norwegian delays UK relaunch, Shangri-La redemption sale

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News in brief:

Barclays Premier Rewards closing – Avios coming?

Customers of Barclays Premier received an email on Thursday telling them that Barclays Premier Rewards is closing on 15th December. Apparently:

“in recent years fewer people have been using it, with only a small number of our Premier customers now benefitting from the programme.

We’re truly grateful for your loyalty and we’re looking at new and different ways to recognise that. We’re working hard behind the scenes to improve the benefits we give you and make sure you get even more from Premier in the future.”

The reason this is relevant is that Avios signed a major deal with Barclays Premier earlier in the year.

The partnership was meant to launch this Summer. We don’t know the details, but there would be a generous switching bonus and presumably the opportunity to earn from credit cards and other products.

Covid put the brakes on the launch and there will not be a public launch until 2021. I understand there may be a soft launch for existing customers before then, but I don’t recommend moving to Barclays Premier until a large Avios bribe is offered.

Norwegian delays UK relaunch

To the surprise of absolutely nobody, Norwegian has delayed its plans to resume UK flights to the United States.

Flights had been bookable from December. The first flight is now showing as 28th March.

These routes are bookable until the end of June:

  • London Gatwick to Boston from 28th March
  • London Gatwick to Denver from 29th March
  • London Gatwick to Los Angeles from 28th March
  • London Gatwick to Miami from 29th March
  • London Gatwick to New York JFK from 28th March
  • London Gatwick to Orlando from 28th March
  • London Gatwick to San Francisco from 28th March
Shangri La Golden Circle redemption sale

Shangri-La Golden Circle launches redemption sale

Shangri-La Golden Circle has launched another of its occasional redemption sales.

88 hotels across the Shangri-La, Kerry, Hotel Jen and Traders brands are current offering up to 50% off reward nights.

(13 hotels are not taking part, but none of these are in Europe. The list of non-participating hotels, and the full rules, are here.)

You must book by 30th October for stays by 31st January.

Golden Circle is not a partner with any major credit card or airline programme, so you can only take advantage of this deal if you already have the points.

Next week we will be reviewing the top suite at Shangri-La’s hotel in The Shard in London as part of our ‘My Favourite Hotel’ series. Sadly I was not the one who stayed there …..

Comments (28)

  • KBuffett says:

    It’s a shame about Barclays Premier Rewards. The restaurant discounts were good and convenient to access via the app. I’m not surprised that fewer people were using it as they had fewer offers other than the restaurants.

  • Bonglim says:

    If anyone from Barclays is reading this a decent premier offering might be what is required to switch me from hsbc premier to Barclays premier account.

    Now I have a basic Barclays account; that I use as a second account. (There is always a risk of account freeze with hsbc – never happened to me though. Do you think I should be closing that now?

    • BS says:

      Agreed. I’m waiting to move from HSBC because of their pro-China stance. I am not principled enough to do this without a large Avios bribe though…

      • KBuffett says:

        Isn’t every company Pro China? Do you have a smartphone? If so, I suggest you bin it. I hope you don’t have anything else that’s made in China.

        • Callum says:

          No, every company is not Pro China. And there is a distinct difference between interacting with China and publicly announcing that you fully support the Chinese crackdown on Hong Kong.

          Is there a reason why you think that you should never act on your principles if you’re not willing to do so 100%, no matter the cost?

        • cinereus says:

          Is it really so hard to understand the difference between using Chinese manufacturing and what HSBC is doing?

      • Nick_C says:

        You can’t really expect the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation to have anything other than a pro-China stance if they want to remain in business. HSBC makes 90% of its profit in Asia, with China and Hong Kong being the major drivers of growth.

        I agree in principle with boycotting Chinese companies where at all possible. In the case of HSBC however, I’ve just opened my third current account with them (M&S, joining First Direct and HSBC) purely so I can have a third regular savings account paying 2.75% interest. They won’t be making any money from me, so my conscience is clear.

        • Lady London says:

          Pragmatic decision from HSBC / Jardine (are they still Jardine?) given where their business is. They’ve been in business successfully in Asia a long time. So any sphere of interest they take up or drop is worth taking note of.

      • Dubious says:

        Hasn’t stopped the Government of China publicly critiquing HSBC for it’s position…

    • EwanG says:

      Rather than closing your account directly, you could always do a current account switch to Lloyds or RBS and pick up £100 for doing so.

    • the_real_a says:

      My HSBC account was suspended for depositing £750 cash until such point i could prove where that cash came from.

      • Rob says:

        Mine was also audited at one point, partly because – in the early days – I was funnelling HfP payments into it. I am ex-staff though so I get more leeway.

      • Lady London says:

        £750? What were they smoking?

        I’d have challenged them right back. Time was, I could easily have regarded that as relatively small change.

        Is the threshold for money laundering considerations not £10,000 ? The world’s gone mad if you were challenged for that amount.

        • The real John says:

          There is no threshold for money laundering suspicions.

          If the police find £1000 cash on you or in your house they can seize it until you prove it is not the proceeds of crime.

  • ChrisW says:

    Wow has does Norwegian still have the lights on? They were hanging by a thread even before covid when travel conditions were favourable. This will be a full year (at least) before they resume longhaul flights.
    I thought they would be one of the first airlines to fold.

    I wonder what their daily cash burn is….

  • Mr. AC says:

    A bit sad about Barclays Premier – never got to use the free Heritage Society membership. That is totally gone now. The app says however that if you haven’t used the free Gourmet Society membership before, you can still apply and use it for 12 months even after the app is gone.

  • Dubious says:

    Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer members can in redeem miles for Shangri-La Golden Circle Awards. This does give a route for Amex Points > SQ > GC…but poor value.

  • babyg says:

    hmmm enjoyed the 20k Avios for signing up, the money (think £14?) they gave me every month and used the heritage society only once… shame its going…

  • KBuffett says:

    Like others, I didn’t use any of the Heritage stuff. Wish I had

  • JRC says:

    We’ve used lots of the Premier benefits over the years – RAC cover, English Heritage (canned this year – got £120 from Barclays Customer service after complaining), travel insurance, £10-15 credit each month for mortgage and home insurance with Barclays and a few other bits. Will prob jump ship to HSBC as had been considering the HSBC premier credit card for a while.

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