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Emirates forms a joint venture with TAP Portugal – your TAP status match has more value

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A lot of Head for Points readers currently have Star Alliance Gold status from TAP Portugal, as part of their generous status match offer last year.

The status match offer still seems to be running – and TAP will even match British Airways Silver status to Star Alliance Gold. Full details of the TAP status match are in this article.

Your TAP status may be about to get even more valuable.

Emirates forms a joint venture with TAP

This week, Emirates and TAP signed an agreement to turn their current codeshare partnership into a more integrated joint venture.

As well as expanding the number of codeshare routes, the two airlines will:

“explore ways to enhance the co-operation on their respective frequent flyer programmes including reciprocal earning and redemption opportunities and popular benefits such as lounge access.”

In plain English, this means that your TAP Gold card may soon get you into Emirates lounges when you fly with them.

The agreement comes into effect on 1st May, subject to regulatory approvals. It isn’t clear when we will know exactly what the reciprocal status benefits will be.

You can find out more on the Emirates website here.

Earning Flying Blue miles from credit cards

How to earn Emirates Skywards miles from UK credit cards (June 2021)

Emirates Skywards does not have a UK credit card.  However, you can earn Emirates Skywards miles by converting Membership Rewards points earned from selected UK American Express cardsThese are:

Membership Rewards points convert at 1:1 into Emirates Skywards miles which is an attractive rate.  The cards above all earn 1 Membership Rewards point per £1 spent on your card, which converts to 1 Emirates Skywards mile. The Gold card earns double points (2 per £1) on all flights you charge to it.

Comments (61)

  • Gerry says:

    Does points purchases count towards status retention?

  • Steve says:

    Do Hilton allow booking with assumed future points like Marriott do? I.e. book on points even though you don’t yet have them in your account, on the presumption you’ll have them by the time the booking comes around?

  • RussellH says:

    “it will substantially widen the scope for making a claim from a travel agent for any issues which arise in the hotel they book for you.”

    If a travel agent just books a hotel for you, and no other travel arrangements, then that will not fall within the scope of the PTAs.
    A genuine travel agent is highly unlikely to be liable here, simply because they are an AGENT, not selling in their own right.

    If it were a tour operator, who would normally be selling a package, then the statement would apply.
    I would imagine that the professional liability insurers are looking hard at this and wondering how much they will / can increase their premiums.

    • Lady London says:

      +1 tour operator liable not travel agent.

      Pretty sure there has been a recent case in Germany similarly judged that makes tour operator liable.

      • Ryan says:

        Correct. Travel Agent acts as agent on behalf of the operator, so liability with operator, not Travel Agent.

        • Alex Sm says:

          Travel agent just a selling point, right? While tour operator is actually a service provider

          • RussellH says:


            Trouble is, lots of people, as well as many organisations that really ought to know better, do not understand the difference.
            Not sure if HMRC now know of the existence of tour operators, but Customs + Excise certainly did not when I first registered for VAT at the end of the 1980s. They registered me as a Travel Agent, saying that it was the nearest category that they had.

          • Rob says:

            Not really. BA selling you a flight and hotel makes it a package holiday under the scope of U.K. rules.

          • Ryan says:

            Correct. TA sells the package on behalf of the operator. Look at it if you have a gripe about the hotel for example. It’s not the agent who decides if you have a cause for complaint, it’s the operator after the agent passes on your concerns.

  • Graeme says:

    Anyone any thoughts on Conrad Bali please?? Pool villa rates for £200 a night in September or 91,000 points. Suites from £80pn. Lufthansa 2 for 1 from Paris for £1k biz. Seriously tempted and same price as our current booked Dubai trip. Thanks

    • Igloo says:

      We stayed in a junior sweet at the Conrad Bali in 2007 so may not be a great reference point but we absolutely loved it. From memory we had a junior suite which was well appointed with comfortable beds (only criticism was the strange window from the shower to the bedroom, but that isn’t an issue specific to this hotel!) I don’t remember having any complaints about staff/spa etc.

      Only issue you might have is that the hotel is in Benoa which is a bit out of the way so you end up having to get taxis (which get stuck in traffic) if you want to go into the town or out of the hotel for a meal. From memory there wasn’t much around the hotel itself. But I would still go back… and at those rates I may well do exactly that! 😂

      • Graeme says:

        Many thanks Igloo! Yeah it looks stunning and very cheap right now!

        • Nick says:

          The Conrad is beautiful, but I definitely wouldn’t stay in the part of Bali again, there’s not much to do and it’s far too touristy (read:soulless). I’d combine Ubud/inland and a different beach area (probably western side) for a two-centre stay. Shame though, as I love the Conrad itself.

    • Genghis says:

      We stayed 7 nights in 2017 in the main hotel (not Suites bit). Upgraded to sea view suite as Diamond. Good diamond recognition: breakfast in the Japanese restaurant (excellent) (main restaurant wasn’t pleasant), free afternoon tea in lobby bar or Japanese restaurant, free evening cocktails in lounge or lobby bar, access to the Suites pool and the spa pool (excellent). Great staff. Pool areas excellent and enjoyed the beach hut things but beach itself v average. There were decent restaurants around there (Bumbu Bali etc and they pick you up and drop off for free). As a place to relax and not do much, I’d recommend.

      Note I woundn’t just go there as you’d miss out on so much. We also went to Ubud for quite a few nights and had some time at the then recently opened Ritz Carlton, which had an excellent hard product but soft product needed significant improvement. It might have all changed since then, however.

      • Graeme says:

        Many thanks for you thoughts Nick and Genghis!

        • Graeme says:

          Just as an update, the Hilton Bali has King bed pool villas for 43k per night or £80-120pn cash. Decisions decisions…..

  • Chris Heyes says:

    Regarding Hilton Points Offer. I’ve not yet jumped (may do though)
    Couple of reasons it might work for some, using BA Premium Amex
    1) If you have the 2 extra Amex points per £ spend on your card ?
    2) If you need extra spend for the £10,000 to get your 241 Voucher
    AGAINST the fee for using your card, but could work for some.
    The problem is there “WILL” be a devaluation at some point in the not to distant future..
    that’s the logic for what its worth ?

    • Littlefish says:

      That is an interesting point on the risk, specifically, of a Hilton points devaluation. Of course its always a risk in the points game; but present circumstances make things yet more volatile (Accor cough cough).
      Probably, the key question is scheme advance notice. I don’t recall. Are Hilton known to devalue overnight as a scheme or ‘play fair’?
      In the current market its Hotel by Hotel and some unusually low nightly rates here and there (both in cash terms and in points terms). The cash rate cancellation guarantee is worth a lot right now; so I wonder how long to a points devaluation after that goes?

  • Blair says:

    I will freely admit I haven’t the foggiest how to work out whether buying Hilton points makes sense. I just end up doing circular calculations that self-reinforce. If I see a hotel for 205,000 points for 5 nights, and the cash cost is £835, that is bad? I have just always found Honors points scary and confusing so look at poibts sales, screw my face up, then go away and eat a tea cake. M&S.

    • Chris Heyes says:

      Blair I believe if you have status (any status) with Hilton you can have 5 nights for the price of 4 nights. which can make it a very good deal if you are planning a Hilton stay of course
      It applies to points (& i think cash) bookings, works for 10 nights for the price of 8 as well
      I have a lot of Hilton Points non bought (yet) almost 500k mainly (well all)
      from stays and not using them over the years (i must be a hoarder)
      Blair, I’m sure more informed HFPs can come to your aid

    • peter says:

      I think it comes down a lot how did you get your points and if you have any other planes to use them? To buy in in this promo you’ll pay £742 (paying with exchange free card). So yes, in this case is a good value, as you pay less. If you have a stash of points from previous promos, stays, bonuses then it’s a good deal too to spend them. But if you purchased them few years ago without promo paying £1484.. then it isn’t 🙂

    • Harry T says:

      Just look at the actual cash rate of the hotel then compare it with how much the points would cost you. Then run a sense check to make sure you are happy lying the actual cost of points acquisition ie you think the hotel is worth £200 a night. Don’t be suckered into paying a price per night with purchased points that you wouldn’t normally pay.

      For example, I’ve bought points in the past which I am now using for Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam in August. I’ve booked five nights for four. The points cost me 0.4p each. The price per night is 76,000 with the fifth night free. This means I have “paid” about £300 a night for the hotel. The cash rate is 600-700 euros a night (£566) for the dates I’ve booked. So it’s a great deal because I can stay there when I normally couldn’t reasonably afford it. But I would also be very happy to pay £300 a night if that cash rate was available, so the value isn’t false. If I was only happy paying £150 a night for a hotel in central amsterdam, then I’d be to some extent deceiving myself.

      • Blair says:

        Yes very helpful

        • Ryan says:

          I have often had these thoughts too around what to do with a couple of hundred thousand points. Personally, I would rather use my points for individual one night stays rather than spend the lot in one longer stay be that Turkey, Maldives or whatever. Do I value several complimentary one night stays in Glasgow, Edinburgh or somewhere else nearby over a longer overseas trip. Absolutely.

  • Andrew says:

    Is the TAP status match still on? I signed up, uploaded an image of my silver status (but not of the physical card) but after two months I never received the status match do closed the account.

  • Alex Sm says:

    Is there any way to do the reverse: match Star Alliance Gold to get BA Silver?

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