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News: Virgin Atlantic boosts South African services, 100% bonus buying Hilton points

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News in brief:

Virgin Atlantic to increase services to South Africa

With South Africa now off the UK ‘Red List’, in time for the peak Winter tourist season, Virgin Atlantic is stepping up its flight schedule.

There is now a date for the resumption of Cape Town flights – 17th December. There will be three flights per week.

Johannesburg will see an increase in frequency, with the current 3x weekly service increasing to daily from 8th November.

All services will be on a Boeing 787-9. You are getting a new aircraft but, in Upper Class, you are getting the old-style herringbone layout rather than the new Upper Class Suite.

Our review of Upper Class on a Virgin Atlantic Boeing 787-9 is here.

You can find out more, and book, on the Virgin Atlantic website here.

Hilton Honors buy points 100% bonus worth it

Get a 100% bonus when you buy Hilton Honors points

Hilton has brought back its offer of a 100% bonus when you purchase 15,000+ points.

The Hilton ‘buy points’ page is here

What makes this offer different to the last one is that the annual purchase limit has been increased. You can now buy 160,000 points, which would double up to 320,000 points with the bonus.

EDIT: Looking at the comments below, it seems that the ability to buy 160,000 points is targeted. You may not see this. I have it but some others do not.

320,000 points is what you need to book a 5-night stay at an 80,000 points per night luxury hotel, given the ‘5 for 4’ deal given to all elite Hilton Honors members.

This is the deal I used to book 5 nights at the Waldorf Astoria Palm Jumeirah Dubai over Christmas 2020, saving over 60% on the cash price. I wrote about how I did that in this article.

The page to buy points is here if you are interested. The offer runs to 7th December.


How to earn Hilton Honors points and status from UK credit cards

How to earn Hilton Honors points and status from UK credit cards (November 2021)

There are various ways of earning Hilton Honors points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.

Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Hilton Honors Gold status for as long as they hold the card?  It also comes with Marriott Bonvoy Gold, Radisson Rewards Gold and MeliaRewards Gold status.  We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Did you know that the Virgin Atlantic credit cards are a great way of earning Hilton Honors points? Two Virgin Points can be converted into three Hilton Honors points. The Virgin Atlantic cards are the only Visa or Mastercard products in the UK which can indirectly earn Hilton Honors points. You can apply here.

You can also earn Hilton Honors points indirectly with American Express Gold (20,000 bonus points), the American Express Rewards Credit Card (5,000 bonus points) and – for small business owners – American Express Business Gold (20,000 bonus points) and Business Platinum (40,000 bonus points).

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which can be used to earn Hilton Honors points

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

Comments (45)

  • Sandgrounder says:

    The BA sale fares may be available via Finnair.com due to the JV, giving you the opportunity to use the spend 180 get 40 off amex offer.

    • Andrew says:

      Although if it’s on a AY flightcode even if on BA metal, you won’t get your tier bonus Avios which will likely wipe out the £40 Amex saving.

      • Gavin says:

        Unless you’re blue!

        • Sandgrounder says:

          Yep, blues at the back are the ones who may find this interesting.

        • Aston100 says:

          Please clarify?
          Thanks.

          • Sandgrounder says:

            Well, 40 off a business class flight is insignificant, or losing the tier bonus if you have status might cost you more. However if you are eyeing up a sub 300 fare, 40 quid off is a sizable chunk.

  • john browell says:

    Amateur question here from someone who has never bought Hilton points before. The cost is in dollars; how do you experts pay ? I realise it’s a lazy question, as I should be checking out my BA Amex Platinum terms regarding non GBP spend – I will get that done later today – but your combined experiences would be useful to know. I also have Curve black card which might be an option, and the very new Virgin Atlantic mastercard.

    • Andrew says:

      I’d simply pay using the Virgin Money Mastercard, that I’ve had for a few years, it’s worldwide FX at Mastercard rate with no additional fees.

      Wish my MBNA Horizon card was of the variety with free FX, but it’s just got the 0.5% rebate on all transactions.

      • Pablo says:

        Are there two types of horizon, with and without fx fee??

        • Andrew says:

          There are three types of Horizon Card.

          If you were migrated from the BMI Dual Visa/Amex pack, and had no other MBNA product, you were migrated to Horizon with 0.5% rebate. If you had another MBNA Amex card you got a no benefit Horizon card.

          If you were migrated from the Etihad, American, Lufthansa, United or Emirates Dual Visa/Amex pack, you were migrated to Horizon with 0.5% rebate and 0% FX rate.

          (That’s the general process, there always be exceptions).

    • Sandgrounder says:

      Use your curve, or you can apply for a revolut and get instant access to a virtual card. Other long term solutions; Chase, Starling, Barclaycard Rewards

    • MD says:

      Viva la revolución! Revolut works best, gets you an extra 1% back on your points too (in dodgy crypto/pyramid scheme scam of your choice, of course, and don’t buy at the weekend). But failing that your VA card or Curve will work well. Minimally better exchange rate using Curve.

    • RussellH says:

      Since I have USD in my (Transfer)Wise multi-currency a/c, I use the debit card on that a/c. Otherwise any CC feree of FX fees.

  • Paul says:

    Is the double tier option really till the 22nd March? I thought it was the same as the other offer of the 31st March. I booked a holiday on that premise and it would be 385 tier points doubling to 770.

  • Paul Pogba says:

    Torygraph reporting the US border will open to UK travellers on 8 November: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2021/10/15/us-set-lift-uk-travel-ban-early-next-month/

    Vaccination and test 3 days before entry required.

    • Richard B says:

      White House Asst pres secretary Kevin Munoz has tweeted confirming the date as Monday 8th but not any details on what’s required.

  • Dace says:

    Just to double check, to get the double tier points, do all flights have to have a BA flight code?

    • AJA says:

      Yes. Per the T&Cs it applies to British Airways flights including codeshares and British Airways marketed and/or operated flights only.

  • James says:

    I can only buy 80k points but my Dad can get 160k + the bonus. If he was to buy these and transfer them to me, would there be anything that could hinder this? He hasn’t bought any points, transferred any points nor have I received any points this year. My guess would be this is fine but just seeking clarification.

  • Peter Taysum says:

    It seems they’re “trialing it”. Some people offer is to buy points 50% off, others is to buy points bonus of 100% points.

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