News in brief:
Apple Pay is now functioning on the Barclaycard Avios cards
As our article on Tuesday explained, an astonishing bonus of 50,000 Avios is currently available if you apply for the Barclaycard Avios Plus credit card. You can apply here.
The benefits are very impressive. The Barclaycard Avios Mastercards are, easily, the most rewarding non-Amex travel credit cards on the market. They are arguably the most valuable Visa or Mastercard credit cards in the UK of any sort.
There were, however, delays in setting up the cards to work with Apple Pay. This was especially frustrating because the pre-printed brochure that arrived with the cards said that it was functioning.
The good news is that Apple Pay functionality is now here. It has actually been in beta for the last few weeks, but Barclaycard is now happy to publicly announce it. Below is a screenshot to prove it.
If you had been putting off getting one of the cards due to the lack of Apple Pay support, you can now jump in.
The 50,000 Avios sign-up bonus on Avios Plus runs to 18th July. You can also pick up a 10,000 Avios bonus on the free Avios Mastercard – but as long as you can spend £3,000 in three months it makes more sense to get Avios Plus and reconsider later.
Get a 30% discount when you buy World of Hyatt points
This is obviously worth a look if you need to top up your account. It may also be worthwhile if you are considering a stay in a top tier Park Hyatt such as Paris, where buying the points may be cheaper than paying cash – here’s my recent Park Hyatt New York review where I did just that.
This clearly won’t work at all Hyatt properties. However, if you are visiting an expensive city at peak season it is definitely worth doing the maths.
We value Hyatt points at 1.1p. At the top end you are paying $1,320 for 71,500 points, which is 1.5p each. You won’t get a steal on this basis but you should still come out on top at a good hotel on an expensive night.
(This article, for example, shows how you can massively cut the cost of 7Pines in Ibiza if you buy points.)
The chain has some excellent hotels, and I genuinely find Park Hyatt to be the best luxury chain which is run by one of the multi-brand groups. It doesn’t beat Four Seasons, Mandarin Oriental etc but I’d take one over a Ritz-Carlton, Waldorf Astoria or St Regis any day.
Hyatt has started letting you book suites online for points and there are some bargains to be had. Here is how I used that feature in Paris last year. Looking at suite upgrades, you are paying 6,000 points per night – or 9,000 for a premium suite – which would be (x 1.5p) £90 per night. This is good value, especially if the suite automatically gets you lounge access too.