Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

What you missed on Head for Points last week

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Welcome to our weekly newsletter.

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LAST CHANCE: Get 60,000 Membership Rewards points with American Express Platinum

There are only a few days left to sign up for American Express Platinum and pick up a whopping 60,000 Membership Rewards points.

The offer ends on 1st June. 60,000 Membership Rewards points convert into 60,000 Avios or many, many other airline and hotel schemes, as well as Club Eurostar.

Amex Plat is tricky to explain in brief so I recommend you read our introductory article to the deal here.

The key is that you can cancel the card at any time for a pro-rata fee refund so you have very little to use. You obviously keep your bonus after you’ve cancelled.

You can apply here.

Come to our birthday party!

Save the date! We’re celebrating our 10th Birthday this year with a special reader party on the 21st June at the Renaissance St Pancras hotel.

Tickets will go on sale next week – we’ll send out a special email when they do.

Barclaycard is generously sponsoring the event, allowing us to offer canapes and cupcakes to everyone, and there will be a VERY special raffle prize – one guest will win business class flights for two to Asia!

The latest travel and aviation news:

Virgin Atlantic is shaking up its schedules, with Edinburgh to Barbados dropped and daily Cape Town flights returning.

Niche French airline L’Odyssey will operate flights to the seaside town of Deauville in Normandy from London City Airport this summer.

British Airways news:

More strike action? Unite is currently balloting BA ground staff based on what it perceives to be a breach of previous agreements thanks to higher salaries being offered to new applicants than are paid to existing staff.

The British Airways ‘double Avios’ Gold Priority Reward saga continues …. with British Airways now charging higher Avios and £1 fees to essentially wipe out any value they had.

You can now use British Airways Gold Upgrade vouchers on American Airlines, in a small improvement for Gold Guest List members.

Iberia domestic flights are now bookable for cash on BA.com for those who prefer booking via BA (and therefore dealing with BA if anything needs changing).

Spectator earn Avios

Avios news:

The Spectator Avios offer is worth a look, with 12,500 Avios up for grabs at 1.2p each when you take out a subscription.

Credit card news:

HSBC is about to add hotel loyalty schemes as a points transfer opportunity on its credit cards. They haven’t announced which brands will be included but we take a guess.

Which credit cards are worth keeping just for their benefits, even if you don’t use them for regular payments? We take a look.

There are just two weeks left to get 30,000 points when you sign up to the Virgin Atlantic Rewards+ credit card.

A good Amex Gold and Platinum hotel offer for Fine Hotels and Resorts and The Hotel Collection has landed – but is there a catch?

InterContinental Cyprus

Hotel news:

IHG is opening an interesting new InterContinental resort in Crete next year, image above. All 205 rooms will have a private veranda with half also featuring a private jacuzzi.

Rob reviews the super-luxe Park Hyatt New York, which at $1,400 per night is a steal when using points. In fact, it is a steal even if you have to buy all the points you need, as Rob did. Buying Hyatt points saved him 65% of the cost of paying cash.

Speaking of buying Hyatt points, Sunday is your last day to buy World of Hyatt points with a 30% discount – the link to buy is here.

Slightly less prestigious than Park Hyatt New York is the ‘new’ Sheraton Frankfurt Airport hotel which Rob also reviewed. It’s an airport hotel where the front desk closes overnight and you can’t speak to a human being before 6.30am …..

We take a look at Ritz Carlton hotels – what’s their history, service and future plans?

Other interesting articles:

The cost of an ESTA visa waiver for the USA has now increased by $7 to $21.

Virgin Atlantic has brought back its 2,500 bonus point offer when you turn on auto-conversion from with Tesco Clubcard.

Here’s how you can get a DragonPass airline lounge membership worth £68 for free!

Deals you missed:

Virgin Atlantic turned on the taps for redemptions on flights to Orlando and Cape Town (pictured above) during peak times – Cape Town was even bookable for Christmas – although the availability is likely to have dried up by the time you read this.

You missed out on a spectacular sale from The Graduate chain of hotels, with a flash sale involving £300 rooms discounted to £30 in Cambridge and Oxford. I am up in Oxford on Monday to see what £30 gets you.

We also had the astonishing on-again off-again Virgin Voyages redemption opportunity with Virgin Red to get a seven night Med cruise at the height of Summer, worth £3,000, for just 95,000 Virgin Points. This one may come back again though …..

See you next Saturday.

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