Happy 2021! 🙂 After a short break, I thought it’s a high time I post something interesting here and, coincidentally, there are plenty of news and offers! Let’s go!
💳 Amex Gold Spain is switching to Priority Pass
British travel and loyalty guru Rob from HeadForPoints.com reported that Amex Gold cardholders in the UK will get Priority Pass cards, instead of currently used Lounge Club cards. Experience shows that the Amex rolls out changes in the US and the UK first and then brings them to Spain. So I checked, just in case, and already see that Amex Gold Spain website is mentioning Priority Pass already:
The Priority Pass network is slightly larger than Lounge Club and is better for the user. I wonder when Amex Spain will be sending out updated cards to current Amex Gold card holders. Let me know when you get yours! 🙂
🌴 10k free points with Amex Melia
Amex Melia Spain card holders received an email today with a free 10k Melia Rewards promo, which they can spend on booking a hotel with points or cash + points. The points can be used to book any Melia hotel from today, 11th of January till 10th of February 2021, for stays till the end of the year – 31 December 2021. The only snag is that if you cancel the hotel after 10th of February, the points will disappear. Also they can’t be transferred to another loyalty program (i.e. Avios) or to another user. There are many hotels in Melia network with rates starting at 11k points. For example, a night in Madrid, on 12th of June 2021 at Hotel Madrid Gran Via 25 is 11k points. That means that with the current promotion you only need to pay 5 euros extra, to book this hotel. Otherwise you would have to pay 123 euros! That’s a savings of 118 euros!
There is no need to register for this promo. The promo points should be automatically available in the accounts of all eligible users (i.e. Amex Melia Spain cardholders). The points might not show up in the ‘Pomotions’ tab in your Melia Rewards profile, but if you try to make a reward night booking, you should see that the final amount is 10k less. You can use this promo when booking on line or via Melia Rewards contact center.
I made a few speculative bookings in London and New York: both Melia White House and INNSIDE NoMad has good rates for this autumn of 24k and 25k points per night respectively. That means, if you will use this promotion, you can get a room in London or New York for 75 euros. Not too shabby!
When trying to book a room in New York’s INNSIDE NoMad, the Melia website actually shows how many points I need to make a booking: 25,240 (total price) – 10,000 (promo points) = 15,274 points. When you click through, the system offers you to buy additional points for 76.19 euros.
Moreover, the booking can be cancelled up until 24 hours before arrival!
IMHO this is very good and genuine Amex Melia promo. It’s a pity that there isn’t much clarity when things will get back to normal. I am personally planning to book either a hotel by the sea in summer (June/July) or later in the year – in London or New York. How about you? Let me know in the comments below.
🚂 RENFE 5€ promo code and Avlo suspense
RENFE is turning 80 this year! yay! And to celebrate it, they are giving out promo codes for the value of 5 euros to everyone who will sign up to their loyalty program RENFE+ until 12th of January. Seems like current users are also getting the offer (I got my voucher on the 5th of January, so check your inbox!). The promo codes are valid for any rail bookings on AVE, Avlo, Alvia and Intercity trains, made throughout 2021 (booking and travel should be completed by 31st of December 2021). Strangely, the dedicated page for the offer is not available, but if you follow the email link it should work. Although the promo code is only 5 euros and not much to regret about, even if you missed it, what intrigued me in that email is mentioning of Avlo! It says that you can use the promo code to book, among others, Avlo trains which are coming shortly:
I am really looking forward to the launch of Avlo and OuiGo! Back when Avlo was launching I managed to get a couple of promo tickets fo 5 euros (and it wasn’t easy to get them, I have to say!) and was really looking forward to trying it out, only to get a disappointing cancellation/postponement of Avlo’ launch. The hint that RENFE dropped in that email and the fact that it’s a celebratory year for the Spanish national rail operator gives me hopes that with the second attempt RENFE will be able to launch it! I am also secretly hoping that they will launch it about the same time when OuiGo will start operating, if not earlier! (Of course it will all depend on the pandemic situation, above all.) In any case, we, as travellers, will get great competitive fares to travel on nice trains through wonderful high speed network across Spain! 🙂
Avlo OuiGo! (my failed pun attempt on “Away we go!”)
P.S. And more excitement ahead with the launch of yet another discounted rail operator ILSA (owned by Air Nostrum and Trenitalia) in 2022 and Swiss NightJet and their sleeper train, connecting Barcelona and Zurich (oh, I love sleeper tains!) in 2024. For now we just need to get back to normal…