Would you like to win 100,000 Avios points? Thought so. Wait until Monday …

If you were planning on heading into a remote jungle on Monday, miles from an internet connection, I seriously recommend that you change your plans.

Because, at 7am on Monday, I am starting the New Year with a bang with a very special Head for Points competition!  There is just one prize but that winner will be picking up something impressive.

Kaligo 2

The prize is being sponsored by Kaligo in support of their new hotel booking website which went live in the UK in November.  You can currently earn 3,000 bonus Avios points for your first hotel booking with them.  Spend over £1,000 and you will receive a whopping 10,000 bonus Avios!  This is on top of the base Avios points they will give you for your booking, which can be as high as 2,000 Avios per night.  I wrote about Kaligo and their current promotion in this article.

Frankly, even 10,000 bonus Avios pales into insignificance compared to this prize though!

One lucky Head for Points reader will win 100,000 Avios next week.

Sounds good?  Thought so.  Make sure you visit Head for Points on Monday to enter!

(This competition will be for UK residents only.  Apologies to our readers elsewhere.)

Flying Blue discounted redemptions for March and April launched
Hilton Garden Inn Heathrow now open at Hatton Cross
About Head for Points

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Comments

  1. Raffles, after your initial post I registered for Kaligo and I was about to book a hotel for one night (including 500 avios + 3,000 sign up bonus). Only to realise that the hotel is 38 USD more expensive than most other booking sites

    Then I compared Kaligo prices for various hotels in various cities and after 14 searches, calculated that on average the Kaligo price is 27 USD more expensive than average booking website prices and in all but one instance was always more expensive than any other website

    Appreciate Kaligo is a partner of yours and you’re probably involved in a commercial relationship with them but this is your second post about Kaligo and you havent warned us that their prices are higher than other websites. I know that you would never miss that so I’m asking why…

    • £7 extra than the cheapest Hilton.com rate for Hilton LGW, so worth the 3,400 Avios.

      Interestingly when it comes up on a results list for a generic London search its another £15 more expensive, so might be worth honing your searches and playing about with options.

      Does it pay out the Avios immediately after booking or after staying?

    • Mr(s) Entitled says:

      It was mentioned multiple times in the comments section and has now been again. But that is not the point. Should a reference about this not be in the article?

      There are lots of articles on HfP with regard the ‘value of an Avois’ so incorporating such here to illustrate the breakeven would be proper and transparent.

      The ethos of the website appears to be about extracting value. Even promoting arbitrage (e.g. 3V) in some instances. To make no mention of the cost here is unfortunate.

      • Mr(s) Entitled says:

        Which is not to say that Kaligo is automatically an inferior product. Clearly there are times when it works. Just perhaps not all the time.

    • Singing Dwarf says:

      I think we know why…

      Just shows that the more ‘commercialised’ a site becomes, the more careful one has to be when considering the neutrality of the advertorial.

      • Eh? I am not paid a penny by Kaligo, either directly or indirectly (ie via advertising or via free rooms). Not for this competiton, not ever. I do not have affiliate links for them even though they are available.

        If you see a Kaligo ad it is being put there by Google and I have no control over those.

        • Jwinters says:

          You may not get anything DIRECTLY from the promotion, but you clearly are using the competition to keep users on the site. Also are you saying you won’t ever get anything via any referral link in the future from the competition sponsor.

          • In truth, companies are less likely to pay to advertise after doing a competition. They already have the attention of the HFP core readership. No company who ran a competition last year subsequently booked paid ad space.

            I am happy to refuse all future offers to sponsor competitions and tell the companies that they must buy advertising space instead if the readers prefer this :-). I would clearly be better off!

          • I guess some of the comments leave you wondering why you bother! In truth, your blog has a good and virtually random mix of posts that keep it interesting when compared to some others that have become little more than a big yawn geared entirely towards generating credit card referals for the blogger. Provided HfPs remains informative, useful and fun I don’t give a toss about other issues such as advertising revenues, referals, kickbacks etc. I believe your assetions that you make little from the site but frankly I have no objections if infuture you do. Just readibg and comnebting on posts of interest to me is time consuming enough so cannot imagine how much effort this is taking you. Iutside family and wirk I suspect it is third most demanding activity on your time. Therefore, going forward I’d be more than happy to see you reap tangible benefits from your efforts.

          • Keep the competitions, please. I don’t expect you to do my price research for me. Caveat emptor applies to this as it does to anything else.

          • I don’t see the issue. If you like the competition you can enter it. If you like the site then you can use it. If not then why waste your time writing pointless comments!

        • Singing Dwarf says:

          But if you were to point out they were generally more expensive – IF they are, I have not checked – is there not a danger they would pull the prize/not offer future prizes or affiliate links; other prize sponsors would consider very carefully before offering future prizes?

          When running offers like this, it is very difficult to be open and fully honest – or at least perceived to be so. As a ‘consumer site’, there will always be concerns if you accept inducements – whether affiliate links, payments or prizes – from partners you discuss.

          This ‘advert’ for Kaligo appears in the same format as your editorial. If it were clearly marked as advertising, I would have less criticism.

          • Always grateful for information on the site, it may not be useful to everyone, and one should do due dillegience prior to commiting to booking hotels, flights etc.
            You may have your preferred way of booking your travel needs so if this particular website is coming out more expensive and you dont feel the avios is of value to you, do use other booking sites.
            I have not used it yet but will be for my future trips just to compare prices and perhaps i may find it of some value,
            Thanks again to Raffles for sorting out a lucrative competition, hope it is a sign of things to come!

          • I actually had long conversations with Sebastien, the owner of Kaligo about the cost issues. He said he tries to be competitive, but I was able to illustrate the price discrepancies. He did point out that the miles have to be paid for somehow, so I guess he helps us accumulate large number of avios, we wouldn’t otherwise earn so easily. He is keeping a close eye on pricing though, and even emailed me his morning, so they do seem to be on the ball. Rocketmiles are also much more expensive with costs too, and they claim to be competitive, but are definitely not. My hotel was 3x the price per night with Rocketmiles, the miles were massively more, but the maths didn’t work out.
            Agree with James, Raffles deserves all he gets, and it is time consuming for us all to be getting flights etc sorted. He must spend hours researching all this. And thank you!

      • Dwarf, your post is the epitome of my one of my favourite lines-“no good deed ever goes unpunished”

        .. And I bet you’ll stilll be entering on Monday…

      • If anyone has issues with how Raffles runs what is a first class blog, and the only one I read, then they are free to attempt to wade their way through all the US blogs (which are of little relevance to UK) or can visit Flyertalk and spend hours and hours trying to find some comment of relevance to them.

        I type this sitting in KL after visiting BKK and next week fly back via HKG. In every hotel I got either a free upgrade or given a great room (I just stayed in a holiday Inn express in a room on the top floor with its own little roof terrace, from which a group of us watched the bkk new year fireworks). All flights done in business and first class and all thanks to efforts of Raffles, who I can’t thank enough.

        • What_Economy says:

          Hi CV – totally agree with you. I am an avid headforpoints reader and don’t understand the comments around site being commercialized and trying to promote Kaligo .
          No one is forcing folks here, and before we start a big moan, I would like to see another UK specific blog that is as neutral as headforpoints.

          Raffles, thank you so much for your efforts and for bringing the information to us. Commercial or not, your efforts are much appreciated and truly valuable.

    • I just returned back from Vancouver today. I stayed 4 nights at the Westin in two rooms. I banked 10,000 bonus avios and 38,500 for the stay. I paid £10/night more per room than best available rate, but £80 for 48,500 is a no brainer! You just have to do you homework and be smart. You can find some great deals, it may not work every time but it the first time travellers have an avios earning option. Definitely a huge step forward.

      • Wow, what a haul, well done you. That’s what this site is all about, and let’s all continue to work together, help each other out with good tips to earn extra avios etc. After all, that’s all Raffles is aiming to do, so your time doing this is much appreciated. Keep up the good work R.

    • Yet I booked a cheap hotel in Nottingham that came out the same price as Expedia. Guess it just depends where and when you want to stay.
      3,100 Avios for £35, that will do me

    • I think like every booking you make, whether it’s a hotel, a flight, car hire etc you need to just do your basic research & find out which one is cheapest on each instance.

      Sometimes it’ll be Kaligo, sometimes not. You’ve got to remember that they have to fund the Avios they’re “giving away” somehow or other. Booking commission alone isn’t going to cover that.

      I’ve found Kaligo cheapest when booking the Hilton DUB Airport in July, even taking into account my public sector discount which dropped the regular price a load but still not as low as Kaligo – plus, as it’s my first booking with them, I’ll earn 3300 Avios to boot!

  2. Does the fact that the hotel is only open to UK residents mean that those of us who are currently abroad can’t enter??

    • I guess it depends on whether Raffles uses the weird software he used last time, and whether you can get a VPN.

      • Yes, the weird software will be back! It will run all week though.

        • Andrew C says:

          Last time it blocked entry when I was outside of the UK even though I’m a UK resident. Given the likelihood a lot of your readers will be travelling wouldn’t it be better to allow anyone to enter with the condition that they prove they’re based in the UK at the end?

          Thanks for this competition, it’s a great opportunity!

          • As prizes get more valuable I want the picking of the winner totally automated to avoid any issues if a friend wins. This software costs me £300 per year to licence, I did not do it lightly.

          • Andrew C says:

            I totally understand the need to ensure the selection is automated, but simply meant that you could configure the software to allow anyone to apply from any country and police the residency of the winner only, and allow the software to select again if they’re not from the UK. I imagine a lot of your visitors are often overseas due to the nature of the site (often having travelled using the points you’ve helped us collect – thank you!) so it seems like this excludes a lot of people unnecessarily. Of course the reverse is also true – right now you’re allowing anyone UK resident or not to apply as long as they’re visiting the UK (or using a UK IP address) which presumably is checked if they win.

            A few competitions ago I entered without a problem from overseas (the Langham I think) but couldn’t enter the lounge pass Or AirNZ competitions presumably due to a change in software or its configuration.

          • We are indeed travelling!

  3. Will the competition require a related booking on their site? I ask because I’m about to book some accommodation this weekend but will hold on if necessary.

  4. I assume those who said they didn’t like competition posts on the New Year’s Day open forum won’t enter this one ;-). I’m quite keen on winning it!

  5. oooooh fingers crossed, I need some more. I spent all my VFC, BA miles, HH etc on a really big family holiday in December ….now to start again :-)

  6. Good effort Raffles, thanks for posting the comp up

    • Me too, I cleared my Avios stash on flights and a hotel in New York (and yes, I know a hotel booking is not an optimum value use of Avios, but I couldn’t afford to spend £800-£900 on a long weekend in New York, I really wanted to go, and this brought the actual cost down to £410 – plus I’m coming back in business class and staying in a nicer hotel than if I’d booked with cash).

      • try air b and b , iv stayed in some cracking apartments in NYC for much cheaper than hotels

  7. Great comp Rob, can’t wait. Am currently earring 16k avios on our hotel stay in Bali, had to do 4 different bookings, but yes they were £10 more per night, though, cheap avios at that. The remainder of the holiday is booked directly through booking.com. So yes one has to do the maths. I really object to the sanctimonious comments earlier, Raffles is helping us all, he always advises people to do the maths, so if you don’t like it don’t log in and benefit. We are all able to work our what it costs to book, and whether it’s worth going with whichever company is better. We are very grateful as a family for his help, currently in NYC, club world both ways, and loving it . Actually staying in the Hilton garden inn midtown, as per other post today, and we can HIGHLY recommend it.

    • O/T: Oh Polly – care to recommend where you’ve stayed in Bali? I’m kinda stuck for ideas at the moment, maybe coz there’s so much choice! Just I’m heading to that part of the world in F on BA on an AMEX 2-4-1, no small part helped by Raffles highlighting as many Avios offers as possible.

      • Think Square says:

        We’ve been to Bali a couple of times. The Maya Ubud was the stand-out hotel. I haven’t really warmed to any of the beach hotels (we stayed at the Conrad and the Grand Mirage). The beaches in Bali aren’t anything special; head inland.

        (As it happens, we love the HGI Midtown too. Great value for the location)

      • Hi mkcol, yes we are also doing the 241 in F via HKG to bali end of jan. Chose the Rama Beach Resort and villas, KUTA , family friends say it’s quiet but can walk to local eateries etc which we love. Not bothered about the beach. Book local driver to go out to UBUD on day trips instead of changing hotel. To get the Kaligo avios 4x3200k, each of us booked one night, then the rest as one booking. It’s got an advanced offer on booking.com, v reasonable. Rocketmiles are offering massive miles,but way more expensive. But worth looking at again if price is closer now. We looked at Grand Mirage but needed reliable wifi so the Rama stood out on that front. Enjoy. Agree too, we would never be going in F or J if it wasn’t for this site!

        • Excellent thanks Polly, will investigate further.
          We’re on the direct BA to KUL, then are hopping off from there further afield – Bali is towards the top of the list of places to see & explore.

      • If you want to keep your costs down, I can highly recommend the Tune Hotel in Legian. Tiny rooms, great bed and shower, right near the beach – absolutely fine if you plan on spending no time in the room.

        I reckon this will be the first time that a Tune Hotel will have been recommended on here too!

        • Brilliant thanks Graeme. I’ve used Tune a few times before & with my expectations at the right level have been impressed each time. How daft of me to overlook them given it’s kinda home turf for them!

  8. Thanks again Rob,hopefully you ignore those people who continue to have a pop.

  9. Agreed, Can’t wait for it.

    I’ve collected over 200k avios in the last month reading this blog so please don’t let some people get you down.

    • Simon, how on earth did you manage to collect 200k worth of avios this last month! Must be working v hard at it !

      • New Plat Card (35k) + Spend (2k) + 5 Supp (50k) + Refer Wife (18k) + Wife New Plat (35k) + Wife Spend (2k) + 5 Supp (50k) = 192k
        Spent £4k on itunes vouchers from Tesco on a BAPP = 44.4k
        £60 Tesco Shop x 4 on BAPP = 5.4k

        In Nov I booked 2 x NY in F and 2 x Bermuda in F for 2015 holidays so working hard replenishing avios as we’ve still got 2 companion vouchers available.

        • Can I ask what you are going to do with £4k of iTunes vouchers?

          • ebay. Last year when they did the similar offer before mother’s day it took me 11 days to sell £5k worth (bought for £4k). I also made about £350 profit after ebay/paypal fees. If you advertise them as emailing the codes only you don’t have to mess around sending them out in the post plus you’ll incur no postage fees.

          • Singing Dwarf says:

            Did you have any problems with buyers?

            I have seen anecdotal reports of buyers complaining that they did not receive vouchers, or that the voucher codes received were not of the value specified.

            eBay usually find favour of the buyer I understand?

          • yes: ebay generally do favour with the buyer but with itunes vouchers you can also get assistance from itunes.

            I had an issue with one buyer who bought 2 x £25 itunes vouchers who claimed neither code I emailed worked and immediately opened a case in ebay’s resolution centre. The buyer was being dishonest (confirmed by itunes).

            I phoned itunes customer services who put the £50 back onto the itunes vouchers for me. (I still had the vouchers in my possession so could still give itunes all the info needed.) My wife then immediately credited her itunes account £50 with the 2 vouchers in case the ‘buyer’ tried to re-credit their own account.

            I then refunded the buyer as I’d gotten my money back via itunes and also then emailed ebay informing them what had happened. The ‘buyer’s’ ebay account was deleted within a week.

            My wife thought it justice really as I’d gotten £5k of itunes vouchers and she had not been given any of them until this happened!

          • I’m interested in the fact that itunes CS are very helpful. I guess that reselling itunes credit isn’t a problem for them?

        • Think Square says:

          And how did you get 5.4k for £60 Tesco Shop x 4 on BAPP?

          Nicely done, though :-)

          • I was wondering how he managed such a good earning rate on £240 tesco spend too!

            22.5 avios per £1 ?!?

          • I read Raffles 17th Dec post called “1200 Avios with £60 Tesco Grocery spend – new and existing customers”

            Did the online £60 shop 4 times (my wife and I both have a clubcard and a Tesco Mastercard so Bonus points = 4800 avios

            Paid each time with a BAPP so £240 = 360 avios

            £240 Tesco spend also gets you 240 regular CC points = 576 avios

            4800 + 360 + 576 = 5736 avios (I think I forgot the BAPP avios when I worked it out above))

        • Simon, v impressed, such good organisation, we are inspired. Must admit the plat referrals are useful for us to separate out work v personal spending for all,our family too.

        • “Wife New” I guess getting an additional wife can always help boost your miels earning potential!

        • Lady London says:

          For a moment there I thought you referred two wives !

          Hmmm perhaps polygamy is something that could be of interest to miles collectors :-)

        • If you still get 500 avios for supplementary cards on the BAPP there could be further earning opportunities for you!

          • I mentioned the 500 for a BAPP supplementary card holder to Raffles the other day, as I was unaware of the offer & had asked AMEX directly if there was anything to be had – they said no, but as a gesture have 1000 Avios if you do get a supp card.
            Which I promptly did!

        • Hi Simon, great work

          Can I ask, what is Supp and BAPP?

          • BAPP is a British Airways Premium Plus Amex card. ‘Supp’ is a supplementary card issued on a credit card account to your partner or family member. Amex Plat is currently offering 10,000 points (=10,000 Avios) for each free supplementary card you issue (there is an article on this).

      • @Simon How long did it take for your supplementary card bonus points to post after arriving?!

        • 18 days on my card. My wife’s haven’t posted yet as her card is only just over a week old. She’s already gotten the 35k spend bonus though.

  10. Well done Rob… looking forward to it!!

  11. Just booked 2 x return F BA flights to Beijing using a 2-4-1 and 2 x C to Hong Kong for a total of 230,000 Avios and just over £1,100, all in August (I am coming to terms with BA’s extortionate charges for this one since I couldn’t even fly to Beijing in economy for that money). Also booked to stay at the Intercontinental Hong Kong for 2 nights using my Into The Nights 2 “free” nights vouchers that cost me a grand sum of £150. Also flying in C DUB-MAD-LAX in the spring with Avios and back in C on AA LAX-LHR. Using Mrs E’s Into The Nights vouchers for 2 nights at the Intercontinental Los Angeles for part of that trip.
    All of this would have been beyond my reach and more importantly, beyond my comprehension and knowledge if it were not for headforpoints and so I imagine most of those reading this blog have a lot of gratitude to Raffles.
    Some people just live to be picky, it smacks of jealousy frankly and we should all just ignore such pedants.
    Thanks again Rob, couldn’t do it without your expert guidance and help! The time you devote to this sight is beyond comprehension.

    • I second these thoughts – I am in the same boat. This site is great.

      I would, however, be interested in what ‘bulk rate’ companies like Kaligo get on Avios, and on what terms. Presumably, they can give them away (like this) but not sell them directly.

      Oh, and to show that there can be friendly pedants too, I think Business/Club World is typically referred to as J, the primary business booking class 😉

      • See, that goes to show how much I fly or know and still I can get the seats up front!! 😉 Thanks :-)

  12. 0XR Thanks Raffles!

    (Just kidding)

  13. Could do, but in truth some hotels will be cheaper on one site and some on another, as the examples shown in these comments prove.

    hotels.com, for eg, would come out totally differently if you assume you would eventually stay 10 nights and trigger a free Welcome Rewards night because that is a further 10% rebate. If you would never book 10 nights via hotels.com you don’t include that.

    From February, booking a Marriott on their own site gets you free internet. Book via a third party and you won’t. Should you factor in that cost? Or the value of Marriott points – except they aren’t worth much if you don’t stay enough nights to build up a big pile?

    The bottom line is that if you book a hotel for £35 as one example above gave, and earn 3100 Avios for it, it is a no-brainer and clearly a great deal. Other scenarios will differ.

  14. I try to avoid responding to unwarranted/unjustified comments but I feel compelled to offer my support to Rob here, especially after some of the open forum comments too as there are clearly some readers of this site who expect to be handed everything on a plate, for nothing. Rob gives a huge amount of time, not only by the means of the blog posts and research but also his personal emails if you have a question and his vast knowledge of the industry. If the competition encourages more visitors to the site then great as hopefully this will translate to more affiliate revenue for him and encourage Rob to continue, which we will all benefit from. I’m not sure why some people see this as a problem? I don’t go to work for nothing and I feel like I’m saying thank you to Rob by using his links for the wealth of information he shares. Most of us have amazing stories to share regarding luxury flights etc. so it’s clearly been worthwhile. For me, the info he provides gives me the stepping stone to dig deeper and find out if things are of value or not and in this case, to see whether the extra Avios are worth the extra money. I’d never heard of Kaligo before now and it’s now on my checklist when I make a new booking.

    It’s very sad reading such negative comments and I hope it doesn’t continue. There is nothing wrong with constructive comments and suggestions but It’s very easy to hide behind a name and a comment on the web. Sometimes the tone of words can come across differently than perhaps intended and subsequently offend not just Rob but other readers too.

    Good luck to those that enter. And if you’re not in the UK for this one (like me the other week) don’t panic….just enter the next one!

    • I seconded your views matthew. Never have a read such negativity on this site. Don’t like it then go back to flyer talk and enjoy! I can’t wait for the competition. Amazing amount of miles. I wonder how many entries you will get!

      • Thirded. Rob does a great job and this site is essential daily reading for those of us that are time poor and would never have a chance of regularly reading forums like FlyerTalk to find the golden nuggets ourselves.

        I was sceptical about Kaligo after reading some of the comments before but I finally booked my Las Vegas hotel for July next year when Kaligo came up with a price that was far better than any of the very many other sites I’ve already checked (and continue to check since Kaligo have free cancellation terms). The 3000ish Avios that are on offer with the booking are just an extra benefit on a stay that wouldn’t have earned me mileage in any scheme otherwise…!

        Looking forward to the competition. Thanks for all the hard work Rob!

  15. i got a very good deal with Kaligo , room was 5 pounds extra but i gained 3000 avios.

  16. Nice one Rob, and thanks for pulling in another great competition. I’m really amazed to read some of the very ungrateful comments above. Rob is running a blog, by it’s very nature there are commercial elements to it, like pretty much anything on the internet. But in my opinion Rob has consistently been upfront about this and drawn the readers attention to it.

    If you really think a particular promotion crosses a line for you then feed it back to Rob, but at least try to do it in a more pleasant and constructive manner. And if you really don’t like the site then find something else to read.

    And as always, caveat emptor, just because Rob writes about something doesn’t mean you have to merrily go and buy something from them!

    • Singing Dwarf says:

      The issue here was we were not informed if there was, or wasn’t a relationship with Kaligo.

      As you say, previously, Rob has been very upfront. Here, there was no indiciation, until he responded to my comment, of the nature of the relationship.

      I have previously noted how grateful I am – note, *still* am – about this blog. It made me realise that this points collecting malarky has potential. I am very grateful for that.

      A lot of the comments here – including a lot of my own – are detritus and need to be filtered as much as Flyertalk. The layout here is better than at FT, so the job is a little easier here 😉

  17. Thanks, Raffles. I’ll look out for the competition.

    I wish Kaligo had a ‘distance from’ sort option (like lastminute) as ‘London’ is a big place (and using ‘Paddington’, for example, didn’t give any results)

    • It’s worth emailing Kaligo directly with your idea, they are still tweeting the site and Sebastien will reply to you directly.

    • Thank you for the suggestion, HelenWB. I’ve got some good news on this front!

      A feature we are currently beta-testing is adding in a large number of ‘points of interest’ into the search box. Results are then displayed by distance from your chosen point. You should see this live on the site by end of the month.

  18. I am shocked to read of the comments on this page … some people lack basic gratitude for someone who spends an awful lot of effort helping others. Essentially someone did not bother reading the post properly and then decided the world is against them (looking at you Dwarf).

    I would like to think the Rob realises that this is not the opinions of those who follow this site regularly.

  19. Hi everyone,

    I wanted to provide a quick response to the feedback on prices that has been shared in various posts:

    Please rest assured that it’s an absolute top priority for Kaligo to combine a broad choice of hotels with competitive rates. Our goal is to give you no reason to ever book a hotel anywhere else.

    While we already offer parity rates PLUS great rewards on many hotels (and readers here have clearly been taking advantage of those deals – which is delightful to see!) , we’ve got a lot more to do. A major initiative already underway is to significantly expand the supply of rooms and the types of rates we offer. This new content is progressively coming online through March 2015.

    Looking forward to seeing many more of you on Kaligo.com, and best of luck to all those taking part in the 100,000 Avios competition!

    Sebastian