Bits: 100% bonus buying Hilton points, BA refunding flights booked during data breach, Crazy Rich Asians

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News in brief:

100% bonus when you buy Hilton Honors points

Until 20th September, Hilton Honors (the new-ish Hilton Tallinn Park, reviewed here, is pictured below) is offering a 100% bonus when you purchase 40,000 or 80,000 points.

The Hilton ‘buy points’ page is here.

Regular readers of Head for Points will know that I tend to value Hilton points at 0.33p each.  You are paying 0.38p ($800 / £614 for 160,000) here so the maths does not look good, especially given the current state of the £.

Five star Hilton, Conrad and Waldorf Astoria hotels typically run to 80,000 points per night.  In this sale you would be paying $400 for 80,000 points which is often more than you would be paying for a five star in a major city.  This is not a bargain.

However, Hilton Honors IS a decent deal at cheaper point levels.   The Hampton by Hilton in Sheffield, for example, is 10,000 points per night.  At 0.38p per point you would be paying roughly £38 per night if you bought the points.  That is a 60% discount on the typical nightly rate of £100.  Hampton properties include free breakfast as well.

At the top end, the Conrad Maldives is usually 95,000 points per night.  This often sells for over $2,500 per night, so paying under $500 per night this way is an astonishing deal.  We did a big review of Conrad Maldives here.  Remember that you can pool points between Hilton members for free so it is now easier for different people to buy points and merge them together.

If you are just buying a handful of points to top off your account, the price per point doesn’t matter anyway.  If you a few thousand short of a redemption then this is a decent opportunity to buy them.

The offer ends on 20th September or when 3,500 packages have been bought – so if you are keen then don’t leave it too long.

How to earn Hilton Honors points via UK credit cards

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Hilton Honors points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Hilton Honors points.  That page is regularly updated with the latest special offers and will still be accurate even if you are reading this article months after publication.

hilton hotel tallinn park exterior press picture

British Airways offering refunds on flights booked during data breach

It seems that British Airways is willing to refund non-refundable flights booked during the data breach period, as well as BA Holidays purchases.

They are also willing to refund your out of pocket expenses, such as pre-booked hotels.

A reader who wished to cancel a non-refundable booking sent me copies of his correspondence with BA this week.  It resulted in a full settlement of everything he requested, including incidental costs AND interest on the money he paid, at the standard County Court-imposed rate of 8%.

This particular reader relied on The Consumer Rights Act 2015, Chapter 4, section 49(1) which states that ‘all services must be performed with reasonable care and skill’.  If you accept that British Airways has clearly breached this obligation, the underlying purchase contract for your flight or holiday would be void and you could request a full refund.

China Rich Girlfriend cover

Crazy Rich Asians sequel

If you have seen the film “Crazy Rich Asians” in the last few weeks, you might be interested to know that Kevin Kwan wrote a sequel, “China Rich Girlfriend“.

If you want to know what it’s like, here is the very first page, from the start:

“Wait a minute, I’m in first class.  Take me to first class,” Edison Cheng said contemptuously to to the flight attendant escorting him to his seat.

“This IS first class, Mr Cheng,” the man in the crisp navy uniform informed him.

“But where are the cabins?” Eddie asked, still confused.

“Mr Cheng, I’m afraid British Airways does not have private cabins in First Class.  But if you allow me to show you some of the special features of your seat ….”

“No, no, that’s fine.” Eddie tossed his ostrich leather briefcase onto the seat like a petulant schoolboy …..

You can find out what happens when he realises that there are no flowers in the toilets either (or something like that) for £5.75 at Amazon!

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

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Comments

  1. OT – a question re BA lounge access at LHR T5 please.

    Which lounge would be available if arriving on BA First (on an award of course) on return part of a transatlantic trip, but connecting on to France in CE?

    • If same day connection, you can use Concorde Room. Keep your inbound F boarding pass just in case they ask for it.

      • Thank you. Yes it is a same day connection. I was wondering if that would be possible. Would a guest be allowed? One of us would be in First and the other in economy!

        If so, it makes the 70K one-way Alaska miles award even more of a bargain Assuming the availability they show is real..

        • Yes, you can take a guest as a First passenger.

        • Thank you again, Stu.

          For info – have booked the Alaska award. 70K miles versus 110K or something on BA for First one way. And less “tax” as well, even though both flights are BA.

          Also for information – the flights showed available until I clicked through, and then they didn’t, but Alaska were able to book and confirm them for me over the phone, and waived the phone booking fee. Their customer service is always really good. A reminder that Alaska can sometimes be a good use of SPG points.

    • Technically it has to be a SAME DAY DEPARTURE connection to use the Concorde Room in T5 and your long haul probably departed the night before, but worth a try. Shouldn’t be an issue if both flights are on the same day.

      • I’ve always interpreted that rule as granting access if your departure is on the same day you ARRIVE in London.

        The vast majority of BA long haul arrivals into London are overnight flights – it would be absolutely bonkers to deny connecting passengers access to CCR on the basis their flight _departed_ the previous day. We have never had any issues in getting F passenger privileges at T5 after an overnight flight with onward connection. That includes access to CCR, using F wing (as this can often be quicker than flight connections), or making cabana and spa bookings with YouFirst. I’ve rarely been asked for my inbound boarding pass as the lounge staff can normally see you’ve come in on an F flight from scanning the onward CE one.

        • Yep, I’ve had no issue booking a cabana for the morning of arrival of an overnight flight from the US in F – then connecting to EDI later in the morning.

      • Thank you Rob as well as Stu. Although I can’t help but agree with Stu’s “bonkers” comment since all transatlantic flights would have left the day before, plus the fact that there are no First flights within Europe. The F wing and spa bookings comments are helpful too. This is way out of our normal league.

        Come to think of it, it worked for us once before at the First lounge in Gatwick many (many) years ago, the only other time we tried it.. It would be nice to try the Concorde room for once, rather than the mundane Galleries / Silver lounge.

  2. This only shows how important it is for the media to have their eyes on a story.

    BA recently refused to refund the cost of an alternative Ryanair ticket bought when one of their flights got cancelled, even though their own people were telling us at the time to buy Ryanair tickets and we will be reimbursed.

    • Shoe string says:

      Take it to MCOL. Ryanair were explicitly told by CAA last year that in the case of cancellations, if they couldn’t offer an alternative flight (either on Ryanair or their shortlist of preferred airlines) within a reasonable time (which might even be same day if you had something important to get to but more normally means within 2 days), then they had to re-ticket the customer on non-preferred rivals, such as BA in Ryanair’s case.

      BA refusing compo at first for all sorts of spurious reasons is par for the course. It’s great – most wusses drop out on first refusal – which is why BA do it – leaving more money in the pot for people who stand their ground.

  3. I am going to cancel an avios redemption booked during the data breach period. Will BA refund the cash portion if I contact them?

  4. Tempted to buy points here at 100% bonus.

    This made me raise an eyebrow….

    “At the top end, the Conrad Maldives is usually 95,000 points per night. This often sells for over $2,500 per night, so paying under $500 per night this way is an astonishing deal.”

    Hmmmm.

    As resident Rangali expert here I feel necessary to ask for examples of $2500/night rooms that can be booked with 95k points

    Quick fact check, sample date in high season in February, Beach Villa, 95k / $765 and Water Villa 95k / $1030 (bargain for points)

    When looking for examples I also noticed that the new Hilton Curio SAii Lagoon is being advertised…

      • it’s new from what I understand – part of the Maldives ‘Crossroads’ development, with a Hard Rock hotel (classic Maldives).
        http://www.singhaestate.co.th/crossroads/hotels/

        I have a redemption at Conrad for April, but waiting for the WA to open hopefully early in the New Year.

        Also with noting, the brand new Westin opens next month, and has just started showing award availability at 60k Marriott per night, also with 5 nights for 4 for redemption. Then there’s the JW Marriott due to open early 2019 also.

        If we had all retained Marriott Plat it would have tempted me to go for a Marriott property -instead I stick with Conrad as Gold and will see what comes of the WA.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Are there any other fees to pay on top of the room rate which are excluded on points stays?

      Even $300-500 a night saving is significant plus 5 for the price of 4 nights makes that even better.

      • Absolutely. Good point.

        Cash rates attract a staggering extra 23% in taxes/charges. I detail this in my HFP article.

        I wasn’t disagreeing that paying with points is better value, just the scale of proposed “savings”

      • You do not pay service charge (10% at conrad) and taxes (12%) on points stays so makes them even better value. 5 nights for 4 you are paying 76000 points per night

  5. OT – Flying BA First this morning out of Heathrow T5. Currently stood up jammed into a bus waiting to be driven to the stand. Flying in a 787. Maybe I’m turning into a snob but surely they should have a separate mini bus for first class passengers?? Unbelievably bad start to a journey

    • Yes, you are turning into a snob. It’s a 2 minute journey ffs.

      • Was on the bus for 15min actually 😉

      • TGLoyalty says:

        But you’ve paid for a 1st class experience and a cramped bus isn’t that

        • Edit: you’ve paid for a BA 1st class experience and a cramped bus is part of that.

        • It’s a bit shabby but boarding is often the least “premium” part of a F experience.

          FWIW, flying Club Europe into T5, I’ve had a CE-only bus take us from plane to arrivals.

      • Tbf I was on a similar bus beginning of the week and it took about 15 mins with some interesting turns. Can always tell those who aren’t used to commuting on the London tubes as they never hold on and when they inevitably get thrown about, I helpfully show them where the hold rails are located. Alas, I wasn’t in first only CE so can’t comment on the separate bus desire.

      • Qatar and Emirates have luxury buses for First Class passengers, I’ve been on the Qatar one which is very plush.

    • Yup, I agree, they need to protect the masses from the complaints of us who expect to pay little and receive a lot. On the bus, what you have to do to make it a more exciting start to the journey is stand your ground by the door and enjoy a face off with the driver and otheer pax trying to force you deeper indide, it gets the blood flowing and reduces the risk of DVT.

    • We had a separate bus on Sri Lankan airlines. However I found it annoying because we had to wait for all the economy pax to board first! I think it was a class/caste thing.

  6. Too much coverage of BA data breach on HFP IMO. It’s boring, wasn’t the first such incident and certainly will not be the last. The consequences of such breaches rarely match the furore surrounding them. Every day we are at risk of card and identity fraud so this is no differemt, we all know what to do if it happens, and I admit it’s a PITA if it does but let’s just get on with it witbout the song and dance.

    • This is substantially more serious because of the full leak of your CVV code, home address etc. It will also remain high profile because it will be the first penalty fine issued under the new rules.

      • Oh I see, will follow it then and see if anything different happen this time.

        • The Financial Times has another half-page on it today (at least in the US edition) and calls it ‘one of the most serious data breaches ever’ because of the CVV leakage.

  7. OT but… when does the amex gold fee for the 2nd year become payable? Is it on the anniversary date itself or the following month’s statement (ie after the 13th month)? I can reapply for amex gold from the 11th of the month after a 6 month break and hubby’s gold card anniversary date is the following day… was hoping to have him refer me to get the 9k before he cancels the card to avoid the fee but it is going to be quite tight! I guess he could cancel once he has the referral bonus after a couple of weeks and get a pro-rata refund if not, which would probably be worth it for the extra 5k avios compared to the 4k for self-referring from my BA card?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Wouldn’t worry about it the fee is refundable pro rata and calculated in days. 5k points are well worth the few £ it will cost.

      Did he not hit the spend requirement for the bonus 10k on anniversary? This normally takes up to 4 weeks to post as well

  8. First time BAPP user here so apologies for noob Q
    Do your Avios sweep automatically every month into your BAEC account? I saw some Avios taken out today and also my 3k supplementary card reverse (not sure if moved to BAEC or cancelled?). Nothing on my BAEC account yet, maybe a few days delay.

    • Shoe string says:

      automatic, monthly

    • Avios leave the Amex account approx. 1 week before statement date. Usually takes 2-3 days for them to appear at BAEC. Normal points (1.5/£), points from BA spend (3/£) and any bonuses go over separately.

  9. Have Amex remove the 18k platinum referral bonus form their credit cards cant seen to refer plat to SPG?

  10. RE BA:-
    Bad news about BA from yesterday’s London Times quoted at:- https://www.hl.co.uk/shares/stock-market-news/press-round-up/thursday-newspaper-round-up-brexit,-rbs,-sports-direct,-vodafone

    Apparently BA has been named as the most polluting transatlantic airline, due to its inefficient long-haul aircraft.

    • They say this is due to high business class density…

      Maybe Rob/Anika should crunch the numbers to see if that’s true!

  11. Haha. Seeing Crazy Rich Asians tomorrow at cinema. Wondering what I’ll think of it. Apparently us Western Chinese love it but our rellies in Sing and other parts of the Far East don’t.

    • As another “Western Chinese” I would say it’s a standard trashy film so reasonably entertaining on the surface. But thinking a bit deeper it just perpetuates the divide between Chinese(-Americans) and other Americans (some might say “real” Americans). Asian (in the American sense) actors often complain about being cast in a token role, but this whole film seems like a token production.

      Fresh Off The Boat and Black-ish are much better, and if you want a good Singapore film try to find “I Not Stupid” in its original cut which includes Hokkien dialogue, rather than the TV series which was completely sanitised into Mandarin.

      • Cheers for the recommendations. I’ll look them up. Although I can’t understand Hokkien, am Cantonese and even my Cantonese is ropey (I’m ashamed to say).

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