Sunday, 2 August 2015


The rather generic picture IHG sent out to accompany the promo
If you are a member of the IHG hotel loyalty program, IHG reward club, you may have received an email offering you a mystery bonus between 25% to 100%, when you buy points.

In case you didn't get the email, or it went straight into your spam folder,  the link to the webpage it refers to is HERE. Just put in your name, IHG club number, and it'll bring you to, and tell you your mystery bonus. Plenty of reports of people get the 100%, which is what I received.

At 100% bonus, the price works out at 0.575c per point. That means you can effectively get 50K points for $312, which is about £200. That's enough for a reward night in just about any Intercontinental Hotel, which can be great value.

The bonus only runs until the 31st of August, so check out your offer, and see if it works for you.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015



Chic outlet shopping, a collection of European outlet retail parks, has a history of doing promos with various airline reward programmes, most notibly Avios.

However, this time they have teamed up with Etihad, to provide bonus miles when shopping at any of their nine outlet villages in Europe. In the UK, there is the Bicester village outside London, and in Ireland there is the Kildare village. When you register, all spend will get you 2 miles per £/€ spent, and if you spend 500/€500, you'll get a bonus 500 miles.

Running in conjunction with this promo, but requiring no spend or even a visit to an outlet village, there is a competition for one prize of 100,000 Etihad miles. You simply need to registered by following this link, and you'll be in the draw. Registering does mean you'll get weekly updates from chic shopping, but that's the only requirement. There appears to be no geographic limits on entry to the prize draw.

To give you an idea of the value of these miles, Abu Dhabi to Heathrow in a 1st class apartment on an A380 can be had for 88K miles plus around £40 in taxes and fees. you can check details and some picture of this fabulous seat (which I will be sampling later this year), in an earlier blog entry here.

For anyone who will actually be at one of the outlet villages, and wants to avail of the bonus Etihad miles,  the details of that promo can be found at this link.

Sunday, 19 July 2015


My Thoughts Hopes And Concerns

IAG has now gotten everyone onboard for their take-over of Irish airline, Aer Lingus (EI), so it is now only a matter of time before they complete the purchase and begin to integrate EI with the rest of their portfolio of airlines.

I live in Northern Ireland. I don't fly extensively, but I am lucky enough to gather up significant airmiles from one year to the next. Not flying much means I'm not terribly interested in how the change of ownership will effect the accrual of airmiles and tier points. What I am interested in, is how the new group of companies, and the integration into One World, will effect the availability, cost and accessibility of EI redemption flights and the new options and connections that it will possibly bring.

Friday, 6 March 2015



ETIHAD is one of many airlines flying the new A380 wide bodied jet. Their launch route was Heathrow to Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi (AUH) being their home airport.

ETIHAD's design of their 1st class seats on the A380 has been widely applauded as being some of the most innovative and luxurious in the industry. They have gone with just 9 first class seats, BA in comparison has gone with 14 seats in first class. The relative increased space allocated to each seat allows Etihad to justifiably refer to these seats as "apartments"

Artist impression of 2x 1st class apartments on the Etihad A380

Actual photo of same

Note that each apartment has a seat, and a separate flat bed. Some have two windows, others three.Entertainment is provide on a massive 24" TV. Some of the apartments are laid out to suit a couple flying together (as shown above), such that they can sleep semi side-by-side. Food is prepared by an on-board chef. You get the general idea, but for further info, check-out Etihad's own website.

The lowest cost redemption opportunity to sample this apartment for yourself, is to Fly AUH-LHR, and use Etihad miles to fund the flight. Etihad refers to their cheapest rewards as "guest first", with the cost being 55K miles and £15. Yes, if you have the appropriate number of miles, the cash outlay is just £15.

American Express membership rewards allows you to transfer MR points to Etihad miles. The regular rate of transfer is 1-1. However until the 11th of March, Etihad will provide an additional 25% uplift for all miles transferred from MR points.

There are three other unrelated promotions that makes this apartment even more within reach.

1) Open a new Etihad account. Etihad is currently giving all new account holders 1000 miles, once they have any activity on their account. (must happen before the 31st of March). 1000 Points

2) Open a Heathrow rewards account. Heathrow rewards is giving new members 1100 points when they make their first £25 purchase before the 30th of April. To get this offer you must go via the Etihad link above.

3) Transfer the heathrow rewards to your Etihad account. Etihad is currently giving double points for all transfers from Heathrow rewards (transfer mush happen before the 30th of April). 2200 points

4) Do a transfer of 41600 MR points from your American express membership rewards to Etihad. Etihad will increases this to 52,000 points. This transfer must happen before the 11th of March. This counts as activity on your Etihad account, and thus trigger the 1000 points from bullet point one above.

In total you'll end up with just over 55K Etihad points, which is enough for a 1-way flight AUH-LHR in a 1st class apartment. You can check out redemption availability here.

Even if you don't have sufficient (or any) MR points, you should still take advantage of the Etihad and Heathrow rewards sign-up offers. If you are new to American Express, a really easy way to pick up 22K free MR points, is by signing up for the American express gold card, a link for which you can see at the top right of this page. These 22K points can be transferred to a number of programs, including Etihad.

Thursday, 11 December 2014



Until the 22nd December, Hilton is running a promotion whereby you may get a mystery bonus of up to 50% extra points, when purchasing or gifting HHonors points.

The normal purchase rate for HHonors points is $10 per 1000, with a maximum purchase of 40,000 in any one year. At the current exchange rate, that is around 0.66p per point. On my Hilton account, I got offered 40% bonus points, my partners Hilton account got no bonus at all.

If you get the 50% bonus, then each point will cost you 0.44p. Depending on any particular redemption you are looking at, this might work out as value for money.

The promo page can be found here, you'll need to log in to see your personal bonus. The T&C states the promo is only available to those that received an email.  I received no such email and have been offered 40%.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014


Starwood's loyalty points, or SPG points, are amongst some of the most valuable frequent traveller reward points around.  As well as being able to use them at some fantastic properties (I had a memorable stay in the St Regis, Miami last year), you can transfer them into just about all of the major airline miles.

In the UK, you can collect them primarily with the Amex SPG card. You can also transfer Amex membership rewards (MR) points to Starwoods points , but only at a poor 2-for-1 ratio.

Given that they are quite hard to come by, it's always good when you come across a way of getting better value for them.

The Starwoods Nights and Flights promotion allows you to redeem 70K SPG points for 5 nights stay in a cat 4 hotel, AND also get 50K airmiles transferred to the frequent flyer programme of your choice.

Let's examine the offer in detail.

5 Nights in a category 4 SPG hotel would require 40K SPG points
50K Avios or AA miles would require 40K SPG points.

So if done as two separate redemptions, you would require 80K points.

The promo, which must be done via the call centre (it can't be accessed online), gets you the above for 70K SPG points, a saving of 10K SPG points.

Now of course the promo only works for you if you were intending to stay at least 5 nights anyway (extra nights can be tacked on at the regular rate), but if you are staying at least 5 nights, and you were considering also doing a transfer into an airline program, use of this promo would be the best way to go.

The important T&C are that you can only transfer to an airline program that normally transfers at the 1:1 ratio, and also you must pick a category 4 hotel. There is a similar program for category 3 hotels, which requires 60K SPG points, and results in an 8K SPG points saving.

You'll find the details of the programme at the bottom of this link.