NEWS & OFFERS: 20% off BA Gatwick Flights, Last minute US ESTA and Amex sign-up and referral bonuses

NEWS & OFFERS: 20% off BA Gatwick Flights, Last minute US ESTA and Amex sign-up and referral bonuses

Palma de Mallorca

 20% off BA Gatwick Flights

British Airways has a flash sale for 20% off fares on a wide range of European destinations from London Gatwick. The 20% reduction is applicable to the fare component (excludes taxes, fees and charges) versus the previously available fares (excluding taxes, fees and charges) on routes included in the promotion. It is only available on economy fares as well and although it says you can’t use it in conjunction with upgrades, I’d assume that refers to getting 20% off an upgrade rather than not being able to upgrade afterwards, but it is not 100% clear. 

BA launch new winter routes
Tenerife, Canary Islands,

The routes included are:

  • Agadir
  • Marrakech
  • Dubrovnik
  • Paphos
  • Nice
  • Menorca
  • Turin
  • Verona
  • Bari
  • Gran Canaria
  • Salzburg
  • Bordeaux
  • Montpellier
  • Seville 
  • Ibiza
  • Mallorca
  • Malta
  • Thessaloniki
  • Mykonos
  • Santorini
  • Kos
  • Dalaman
  • Antalya
  • Algiers
  • Tenerife
  • Jersey
  • Crete

The offer ends at midnight on 4 June. You can find the offer page here.


Last Minute ESTA

If you travel to the US with a UK passport, you can get entry with the visa waiver scheme by applying for an ESTA online. I recently travelled to the US and, beforehand, was convinced that I had 6 months left on my ESTA. I only checked at the very last minute when I suddenly had a sinking feeling that I may be wrong. So, I thought it was worth recounting my experience and the research that I did in case someone ends up in a similar situation.

I looked on line and was interested that one website was saying over 99% of people get approved for an ESTA instantly. I’ve held an ESTA since they came in, and I have never been approved instantly, nor have I known anyone else to be either! However, the general reports online for people who applied for an ESTA at the last minute, even at weekends or in the middle of the night, was 2-3 hours. Obviously, if you have something that is more complicated, such as ticking yes to one of the questions, it could take the full 72 hours to hear back. 

My ESTA was approved in just under an hour. I have Global Entry and have held an ESTA for many years so I don’t know if that helped. I applied using the ESTA app, which I would recommend as it allows you to scan your passport rather than having to type it all in and risk making a mistake.

But obviously the moral of the story is don’t do what I did and have to sweat over whether the approval will come through before your flight, check in plenty of time!

Have you had a last minute ESTA emergency? Let us know your stories in the comments below.


American Express sign-up and referral offers

Sign-up bonus

American Express has launched several limited time offers, including a boosted new Cardmember offer on the Amex® Gold Card, offering up to 30,000 bonus Membership Rewards points for taking out the Card, 10,000 more points than the usual sign up offer.

Until 16 July, 2024, new Amex Gold Cardmembers will be able to earn 25,000 points, boosted from the usual 20,000, when they spend £3,000 in their first three months. New Gold Cardmembers can then earn a further 5,000 points when they make a transaction of any amount in the fifteenth month of Cardmembership, taking the potential bonus points available to 30,000.

30,000 points can be redeemed for £150 in gift vouchers at a range of shopping, travel and lifestyle partners, used to offset purchases made on the Card, or redeemed against flights and hotels with Amex Travel. Membership Reward points are extremely flexible as you can transfer them into a wide range of airline and hotel loyalty schemes including British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Hilton and Marriott. 

The Gold Card is free for the first year.

Gold Cardmembers have access to a wide range of travel and lifestyle benefits in the first year and beyond, including:

  • £5 back on Deliveroo twice a month;
  • Four Priority Pass accesses to 1,300 global airport lounges;
  • Access to exclusive experiences
  • The ability to earn at least 1 Membership Reward point for every £1 they spend, plus 2,500 additional points for every £5,000 spent, up to 12,500 additional points. 

‘Invite a Friend’ offer

American Express has also launched an enhanced referral bonus when existing Cardmembers invite friends to become new Cardmembers. Running until July 2024, different offers are available across multiple Cards (see table below for Cards, offers and end dates which vary across July), where both the existing Cardmember and the referred friend will earn enhanced points or cashback. There are also opportunities for many referrers to earn ‘accelerated’ points as they spend.

For example, an existing Amex Gold Cardmember who invites a friend will have their bonus increased from 9,000 to 14,000 Membership Rewards points for each successful referral. On top of that, for the first referral, they will receive an additional 2 points for every £1 spent, for 3 months, up to £6,000. The invited friend will also receive 30,000 points, up from 22,000, if they spend £3,000 in the first 3 months of Cardmembership.

Referral can be done via the existing Cardmember’s Amex® App or website, where Cardmembers will find their unique referral link. Cards that are part of this offer include the Amex Gold Card, The Platinum Card® and The American Express® Rewards Credit Card. I recently did a couple of referrals and the points were credited within a day of the other person being approved, so it could be a great way to top up your balance quickly. 

The American Express Gold Card has an 88.8% APR variable. 



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