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Bits: £200 Amex / Air France cashback, good TAP business class deals to the Americas

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News in brief:

£200 Air France cashback deal – but limited use

Air France has launched a new cashback offer with American Express. If you are targetted, you will see it in the ‘Offers’ section of the app or website on one or more of your cards. Remember to click ‘Save to Card’ to register

The deals offers £200 cashback when you spend £1,200 on the Air France website here by 28th October.

Unfortunately, the value is reduced due to three restrictions:

  • you must depart from the UK
  • you must book Air France flights
  • you must book in Premium Economy or Business Class

This is frustrating, because:

  • you can book Virgin Atlantic transatlantic flights via the Air France website, but it appears that these will not trigger the cashback
  • Air France currently has some excellent deals out of Dublin (eg the £1,142 business class return to New York shown below) but it seems these won’t count either
Air France business class deal

Unlike most Amex offers, I don’t think you can ‘cheat’ this offer by booking a different airline or class. Airlines pass through detailed ticket information to American Express – you have probably seen it on your statements – so Amex can tell what you have bought.

(In general, you can ignore restrictions about what must be bought on an Amex cashback offer. For example, there was a recent £80 cashback deal for buying an iPhone 13. In reality this triggered on any Apple Store purchase above the £800 spend limit, as Rhys proved when he bought a new MacBook.)

That said, £200 isn’t to be sniffed at. The real value may be for those who live outside London – if you are getting the same price for booking Manchester – Paris – XXXXXX on Air France vs Manchester – London – XXXXXX on British Airways, I’d book the former and take the cashback.

Remember that you earn Virgin Points and Virgin Atlantic tier points on Air France if you credit them to a Virgin Flying Club account. This HfP article outlines what you earn in Virgin Flying Club when flying Air France and KLM.

You can search for fares on the Air France website here.

TAP Portugal business class sale

TAP Air Portugal launches good Americas sale

TAP Air Portugal has launched a new sale. Whilst the example fares shown on the website are only for Economy, there are some good Business Class deals out there.

Importantly, all of these offers are available for UK departures from either:

  • London Heathrow
  • London Gatwick or
  • Manchester

….. so you don’t need to start your trip outside the UK to get a good deal. Of course, if you are willing to head to Dublin, Amsterdam etc then you will save even more.

You need to book by 2nd October for travel by June 2023. There are blackout periods over Christmas and Easter and minimum stay periods apply. You can have a free stopover in Lisbon if you want – this can be selected during the booking process.

According to Luxury Flight Club, the best deals are:

  • Sao Paulo
  • Rio de Janeiro
  • Boston
  • Cancun

…. all of which can be found for around £1,300 return.

If you start outside the UK you may find similar deals to other major US cities and Canada.

The fares direct from Lisbon are pretty decent and cover more cities than the UK sale. If you want a deal to – say – Miami then getting a standalone flight to Lisbon to pick up your TAP flight would work. Remember, however, that unless you book the connection on TAP you won’t be able to check through luggage and will have little protection if your inbound flight is delayed.

What can you do with the miles you earn?

TAP is part of Star Alliance. You cannot credit your flights to British Airways Executive Club or Virgin Atlantic, neither of whom are in Star Alliance.  However, you can credit the miles to Lufthansa Miles & More or any other Star Alliance frequent flyer programme.

Our core article on ‘what is best Star Alliance frequent flyer scheme for you?’ is here.

How to pay

For UK departures, your best option to maximise your miles when paying is American Express Preferred Rewards GoldThis offers double Membership Rewards points – 2 per £1 – when you when you book flight tickets directly with an airline.  Our review of Amex Gold is here.

For non-UK departures, you should use a card without any foreign exchange fees irrespective of its miles-earning potential.

Remember that you need to book by 2nd October. You can find details on the TAP website here.

Comments (34)

  • John says:

    On the Air France deal, the terms and conditions contains this line:
    “ Offer only valid on flights Premium Economy and Business class direct flights.”
    What do you suppose “direct flights” means? Is it just there to discourage multi city itineraries, or to discourage all connecting flights?

    • Rob says:

      Means nothing, since there are no direct PE flights from the UK!

    • john says:

      In theory.. ‘direct flight’ means the flight number doesn’t change, but there will be stops, unlike non-stop flights. E.g. BA flights from London to Sydney via Singapore is a direct flight with one flight number, BA15, and one stop. On a direct flight you usually get off and possibly change planes… but like Rob says these don’t exist in PE on AF from the UK!

  • Pablo says:

    Amex Hilton offer is back. Spend 200 get 50, valid until 16 Dec 22

  • S says:

    Be careful crediting TAP flights to Lufthansa – some of the discounted fare classes don’t credit anything. I can’t remember off the top of my head which ones those are but something to be aware of and check.

  • Mark says:

    Fur non UK departures surely you just use a site that charges in GBP (e.g TAP’s own) and then use your card of choice. That’s what I do anyway ….

    • lumma says:

      Are the GBP charges fair? Some airlines that do this give a terrible exchange rate and you’d rather pay the 3%

  • HotinNewcastle says:

    OT – off to SFO on Friday and travelling with United in economy (used prev generous offer on amex) – have Amex Plat – was thinking nothing worth going to than Plaza Premium for lounges in T2, but was not sure if any recommendations on my return from SFO – i see there is a virgin clubhouse but not sure if its worth visiting/even if they let me in.
    Any tips/recommendations for SFO/Yosemite – pls do share, first time. Have booked Wawona for couple of nights. Visiting Nari to use Amex dinning discount and booked HI/HIE with IHG during crazy sale for £100 pn.
    Thanks

    • numpty says:

      I’d recommend a drive over the bridge to Sausalito and see the true California lifestyle. Also nice places at the harbour for seafood.

      If in SFO downtown do be prepared to see a high level of homelessness and all sort of ‘characters’, especially first thing in morning.

      • HotinNewcastle says:

        Thanks appreciate that, was not sure if worth going to Sausilito on way back from Muir Woods but sounds like it is, so will go. Yes I have heard about the problems downtown, worried re the hire car – may have to swallow the extortionate car parking charges!

    • The Savage Squirrel says:

      Wawona hotel is beautifully preserved and historic, but be aware that the food there hasn’t really moved on since the 1920s either, and polan accordingly.

      • HotInNewcastle says:

        Was not sure what to expect – mixed reviews for most of the places including the The Ahwahnee and the Mountain Lounge so keeping low expectations!

    • Chas says:

      SFO: Agree re Sausalito. You’ve probably left it far too late if you haven’t booked it already, but Alcatraz was a highlight for me. We also did a one day semi-private tour with Dylan’s Tours which I’d recommend.

      Yosemite: it gets busy, especially once all the traffic has driven in from people who aren’t staying in the park, so take advantage of those early hours if you have the opportunity. My favourite bit was walking amongst the Sequoia’s growing in the Mariposa Grove area. Also loved just being the valley looking at El Capitan (watch Free Solo beforehand to give it some added reality….), and the views of Half Dome from Glacier Point are worth the (c30 min drive) from the Valley for.

      • HotInNewcastle says:

        Thanks, will check out Dylan’s tours. I’ve booked a night tour for Alcatraz so looking forward to that. The road to glacier point is closed but will check out Mariposa grove now as we are staying in wawoma.

  • Aston100 says:

    Are you sure the Air France cashback won’t trigger on a KLM flight?

    If I go to the AF site and search for flights to (for example) Seoul, it offers a couple of daily options entirely on KLM metal. Are you sure these won’t trigger the £200?

    By the way, around £1600 from various UK airports (rising to £1700 for Bristol) to ICN, in J, during English school summer holidays, on KLM.
    With £200 cashback, this would be excellent.

    • Rob says:

      I’m not sure, no, and if you were spending £1200 on a KLM flight you should book via AF just in case.

  • ankomonkey says:

    LL has reported that TAP have been hacked and customer data obtained by the culprit/s.

    • Wollhouse says:

      Fabulous…. The spam I am getting as a result of the IHG (I assume) data breach is crazy. I never knew there were so many “interesting” sites I was missing out on 😉 I can only hope I continue to get my exciting offers for happy times with married women, crypto wallets and viagra …. I’m a heterosexual female, so clearly targeted marketing isn’t their forte. Bloody annoying is an understatement!

  • Concerto says:

    Direct flights probably mean AF intercontinental flights which don’t end in a place where you have to take another flight, possibly a codeshare, to get to the final destination. I would keep it to a clean 4-segment round trip with a transfer in CDG without any codeshares whatsoever in the itinerary.

    The booking class to watch out for on Star Alliance is P-class, which often doesn’t credit to other airline FFPs, only the FFP of the airline issuing the P-class itinerary.
    Similarly, in SkyTeam the one to watch out for is P-class, which has given me problems on several occasions.
    These are business booking subclasses.

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