NEWS & OFFERS: New 30,000 Amex sign-up bonus, Avios bonus offers, Hotel Danieli Venice leaves Marriott and Japan reopens

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American Express new 30,000 sign-up bonus

American Express has launched a limited-time offer on its Preferred Rewards Gold credit card, offering a bonus of 30,000 Membership Rewards® points – up from 20,000 – for new cardholders who sign up and spend £3,000 in their first three months of card membership.

You must apply before 11:59 p.m. on July 19, 2022 to qualify.

The Preferred Rewards card is a great choice if you’re moving away from Avios and want flexibility. The account earns you Membership Reward points which you can transfer to a number of airline and hotel programs. If you don’t want the benefits of a Platinum card, this is a good option as it’s free for the first year. In addition to transferring to travel partners, you can use the points to get credit on a statement or to get cash at various retailers, but generally that’s not a bargain.

Here are some of the featured airlines and hotel partners:

  • BA
  • Virgin
  • Finnair
  • Singapore
  • Emirates
  • Etihad
  • flying blue
  • Marriott
  • hilton
  • Radisson

The offer comes with a separate ‘Invite a Friend’ referral campaign – again running until July 19 – offering Gold cardholders who refer a friend 12,000 Membership Rewards points, up from 6,000, for a successful referral, while a referred friend who takes a La Gold Card receives 32,000 points, compared to the usual 22,000. Friend must be a new cardholder and referrals are subject to annual limits.***

In addition to the bonus, Gold cardholders earn 1 Membership Rewards point for every £1 spent on purchases, 2 points on purchases made directly with airlines and 3 via American Express.® Online travel. The card is free for the first year and offers a range of other benefits including two free visits to the show each year, up to £5 back, twice a month when ordering food via Deliveroo, access to American Express’ ongoing EAT Life program of year-round dining events and additional benefits at more than 600 hotels worldwide through The Hotel Collection.

More information about the American Express Preferred Rewards Gold credit card is here. The card has a representative APR variable of 61%. 18+, subject to approval. Terms apply. An annual fee of £140 applies after the first year.

This new offer for cardholders is only available if you have not held a personal American Express card enrolled in the Membership Rewards program in the last 24 months. If you have held a personal American Express Membership Rewards card within the past 24 months, you will be entitled to all other card benefits except the welcome offer.

Bonus Avios offers with BA Executive Club

British Airways has launched a new series of bonus Avios offers for Executive Club members.

  • 1000 IHG ​​bonus points for stays of 2 nights or more. You must select British Airways Executive Club here as your earning preference and book to stay until August 31, 2022. This means you will no longer earn IHG Points but Avios instead.
  • Airbnb Experiences – 4.5 Avios for £1 – 50% extra
  • Airbnb stays – 4.5 Avios for £1 – 50% extra
  • Avios 7.5 Avios for £1 – 50% extra

You can find the offers page here.

Japan will reopen to British tourists this Friday

Kyoto, Japan at Daigoji Temple.

Tourists from 98 countries, including the UK, will be allowed to enter Japan on fully-accompanied group tours with set itineraries run by licensed Japanese tour operators from this Friday, June 10 for the first time since the Japan shutdown for pandemic.

To participate you will need proof of a negative PCR test 72 hours prior to departure and adequate Covid-19 medical insurance. Although this may not appeal to the independent traveller, if you are desperate to go there are well known UK tour operators who are licensed to operate.

“This is the first major step towards reopening borders to tourism,” said InsideJapan co-founder and director Simon King.

“Inside Japan is one of the few UK tour operators to be a full member of the JTA and to have Japan Registered Travel Agency status which means we are able to restart our small group tour programme, which which is great news.

Hotel Danieli Venice leaves Marriott

Riva degli Shiavoni with the famous Hotel Danieli and the Palazzo Ducale (Ducal Palace).

Hotel Danieli is one of Venice’s most famous and historic hotels and has been an ambitious redemption for many Bonvoy members. IT is currently part of the Luxury Collection. Unfortunately, it is now confirmed that the hotel is leaving the program as the property becomes a Four Seasons.

The property will undergo a complete renovation and will reopen as Hotel Danieli, A Four Seasons Hotel, in 2025. In the meantime, it will be operated by another company as The Hotel Danieli, Venezia. The hotel will remain open during the renovations.

The hotel is located along the Grand Canal, next to Piazza San Marco and has three buildings: the 14th century Palazzo Dandolo and two 19th century additions, Palazzo Casa Nuova and Palazzo Danieli Excelsior connected by bridges . Guests arrive by boat via the Grand Canal.

It’s worth going for a drink in the historic bar even if you’re not staying there. The switchover is scheduled for January 1, 2023. Hotel Danieli is currently still bookable through Marriott so it might be worth booking if you plan to stay there and can find enough Marriott points. An alternative would be the Gritti Palace which is also a Luxury Collection hotel on the Grand Canal.

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