News in brief:
Avios launches a new ‘first time’ transfer bonus from Nectar
I assume, by now, that almost all Head for Points readers in the UK will have linked their Nectar account to Avios and made a transfer.
Others prefer to move Nectar points, which they see as having little value, into Avios where they can get more for them.
If you are in the third camp – having never linked your Avios and Nectar accounts at all – Avios is running a small incentive this month.
If you transfer 2,000 Nectar points into 1,250 Avios by 27th September, you will receive 250 bonus Avios.
You cannot take part if you have previously transferred Avios and Nectar points in either direction.
You cannot reverse the transfer before 31st October.
The 250 bonus Avios will arrive within 10 weeks from 27th September.
Details of the transfer bonus are on this page of the Nectar site.
Accor launching a luxury ‘soft’ brand – its 39th
It appears that Accor is following IHG – which launched its Vignette brand last month – in launching a ‘soft’ brand for upmarket hotels that want to join its system.
Similar to Marriott’s Autograph Collection, Hyatt’s Unbound Collection and Hilton’s Curio Collection, it will allow hotels to access the Accor ‘system’ without signing up to a full set of brand standards or a management contract.
The good news is that the hotels will become part of Accor Live Limitless, allowing you to receive status benefits on stays and to earn and redeem Accor Live Limitless points.
The new brand is called EMBLEMS. The capitalisation is deliberate.
As Accor says:
“Some hotels are not just hotels. They are true flagships, icons, the pride of a nation. EMBLEMS was created to bring together these jewels of the crown.
No matter the destination, staying at EMBLEMS offers the unique feeling of being part of the most exclusive and select club. The EMBLEMS Collection features luxury and iconic hotels around the world, each with a one-of-a-kind blend of legacy, atmosphere, style and charm.
Choosing EMBLEMS is choosing to experience memorable and magical moments in unique and coveted destinations.”
Interestingly, the brand has been launched without any publicised signings. According to documents posted on Flyertalk, the first hotel will be Le Vendôme Beirut, which was previously an InterContinental.
EMBLEMS takes Accor to 39 hotel brands, which is the sector record and comfortably ahead of Marriott which only just scrapes past 30.
You can find out more on this page of the Accor website.
Get a 100% bonus when you buy IHG Rewards points (again)
IHG Rewards has launched another 100% ‘buy points’ bonus, which is as generous as you ever see. It is a short flash sale which only runs until 9th September.
What is novel about this sale is that the maximum purchase has been increased to 250,000 points. This allows you to pick up, with the bonus, 500,000 points in one go.
There is a minimum purchase required before the 100% bonus kicks in, which seems to vary by person. It seems to be between 10,000 and 30,000 points.
With a 100% bonus, you would be able to buy up to 500,000 IHG points for (at current exchange rates for $2,500) £1,807.
I usually value IHG Rewards points at 0.4p. You are paying 0.36p here so from that point of view you shouldn’t lose money. The skill is to use them at hotels where you can get substantially more than 0.4p per point of value, although this got a little harder since IHG moved towards revenue-based redemption pricing recently. There are definitely deals to be had, however.