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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.

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. 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!

  2. 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).

  3. O/T – I just found out that I cannot refer a friend with my Amex Gold Credit Card (Not the Preferred Rewards, but the one that you used to be able to apply for if you had the Gold Charge Card). Quite annoying as I was mainly holding on to it in order to refer my partner after her 6 month hiatus. Now this Gold Credit Card is part of the Membership Rewards scheme, but I am wondering if this quirk works both ways, and that if I was referred right now for the new Preferred Rewards Gold Credit Card both myself and the referrer would receive the bonus points? I have held no other Membership Rewards Earning card in the last 6 months. Does anyone have any knowledge/experience of this?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Your 6 months gap before you at eligible does not start until you cancel all MR points earning cards including the companion gold card.

      You never know though IT issues might mean you get it anyway

    • Got refered to Gold credit card by partner holding Platinum charge card. We both got our bonuses.

  4. O/T – Hilton non refundable booking at Wembley Hilton, concert cancelled, anyone had any experience of either getting a refund or the hotel agreeing to a date change? (am Hilton Gold)

    • Phone the hotel directly, I had to postpone due to illness at Dundee DT on a non refundable booking they were great.

      Of course in your situation, every one is likely to want to do the same as yourself.

      That’s why buying HH points in a sale can be worth it. ie to book a cancellation room on points….

    • DiamondHH says:

      Normally there’s a clue in the booking description, but worth trying the hotel directly, if you are a regular at that particular hotel they may rebook you but they won’t refund.

      As triprep says that’s the beauty of points bookings, you can normally cancel day before at no penalty.

    • Ask nicely, the hotel may do it.

  5. N_violette says:

    Hi — on BA refund, does it mean you can have your flights booked during the data breach cancelled and refunded, or keep your flights but yet refunded for the trouble of data breach?

    • +1 on this. Any comments?

      • Yes +1 also – it’s a confusing piece, does it mean you can take your flight and then claim a refund of cash or Avios? Not sure why they would be liable for that at all.

        Or only if you decide to cancel your flight because of the data breach, and not sure why you would do that either.

    • It means if you now decide you want to cancel a non-refundable flight because you’ve found a cheaper one, you probably can.

  6. OT curve cash withdrawals – no longer possible with change to payment processing?

    • Still possible, but you will probably be charged for a cash advance if you fund the withdrawal from a credit card. See https://blog.imaginecurve.com/introduction-of-new-technology-for-transaction-processing

      And thanks again to Alan for posting this last night!

      • Sussex Bantam says:

        Well that just about removed the only reason for using a Curve card…

      • Thanks for posting this! One would think that Curve would inform their customers about the change – either in email or in app – as opposed to just posting a blog on their website!

      • No. This only works for SECTOR based returns, eg a restaurant purchase is now coded as ‘Restaurant’ so any underlying card giving bonuses on restaurant spending will trigger. It won’t trigger a specific Byron promo.

      • I have been using curve, linked to Hilton barclaycard, to repay a Barclays finance loan. In the terms on the loan it says I cannot pay with a Barclay card. Will this new rule now cause a red flag. Before it just flew under the radar as Crv*.

    • Well that’s annoying, and very sneaky. I’ve just had to chase Curve up a couple of times for a £600 refund they only seem capable of processing £100 of.

      • Well, I can see no reason to bother with Curve anymore. I imagine the real reason Curve did this was becasue of pressure from credit card companies as the move is defintiely not in Curve’s interests

        • I can. But I’m not going to say what they are!

        • Completely agree. Now totally useless to me.

        • But you don’t know what they are announcing in a week, and I do …

        • Shoe string says:

          Won’t change anything for me as I don’t have significant HMRC bills to pay. Unless you’re saying Amex is back in town?

          Otherwise Curve has always just been completely pointless (for me), I won’t demean myself by maxing out on ATM withdrawals just to get some Tesco points.

      • OT – Just wondering if this affects Curve card payments to HRMC when charging it to a credit card?

        • Axel Heyst says:

          Probably not. HMRC were insisting to me I could only pay by a card if it was a business card as personal cards were no longer.acceptable.

          Before I gave my debit curve card no. HMRC calculated what the extra cost would be for using the “business card”.

          When the card processed the payment HMRC were very confused. The agent said “thats really strange the card has processed but you’ve not been charged anything extra”. ????

        • According to a link to a post on twitter (posted on here last night), it looks like the reason for them doing this is to solve the problem that caused Amex to pull out from allowing their cards to be linked to Curve in the first place.

          I would hope, and assume, therefore that this will be good news if/when Amex is allowed as an linked card again.

        • @KevMc, that would make sense

        • @Alan, I’m glad you managed to decipher the terrible English in my post (after reading it back, it didn’t make a great deal of sense!)

          Here is the link to twitter (originally posted by Brian W):

          https://twitter.com/forbesproducer/status/1040161271935643648?s=21

        • Your confusing things here. The underlying card will now know the new transaction type it doesn’t affect the merchant.

        • The latest curve card is a debit card and there isn’t an issue using a debit card to pay HMRC

    • Does this also affect the ability to pay off credit?

  7. How exactly did the reader go about claiming this refund from BA? I gave BAEC Gold Customer Relations a call about a booking I made during the data breach period and they flat out said they’re not refunding any flights, which is at odds with what’s in this article. Did he make a written claim to BA? Was his sole argument for the refund that BA were in breach of the Consumer Rights Act? It’s not clear how BA can offer refunds in some instances and not in others, but (rather ironically) they don’t actually have to admit to having given anyone a refund under the smokescreen of “data protection”.

  8. OT again, sorry! I’ve booked a flight/ 1 night hotel/ 17 days car hire package in the BA sale for an amazing price, about £1k less than when I’ve previously priced it up. Are they obliged to stick to this price and the exact hotel and car I’ve reserved now I’ve paid the deposit? Just thinking of the recent flights to Tel Aviv (?) fiasco where people had their flights cancelled due to BA’s pricing error.

    Also – it’s about 10 years since we did a package with BA, do they still have holiday reps?!

  9. Can some kind soul remind me, Priority Pass that comes with the Plat amex, do I have to register it anywhere and can I guest one other person in? Thanks

    • It gets delivered shortly after the main card but fairly quick if I remember correctly. First platinum supp also gets a PP, you don’t need to register it to use but there is an app which lists the lounges and can be used (if it works) as a digital card. Each card is permitted a guest, so with 2 cards, assuming supp plat cardholder is travelling with you, allows 4 people total into the lounge.

    • No additional registration once you have the PP card.

      To guest in just turn up and tell reception staff you have a guest. They’ll give you a slip to sign so lounge can claim for 2 people from PP/Amex but Amex will not pass on the charge to you. If you bring in more than one guest then Amex will charge you only for the number above you + one guest.

    • Thanks Craig and Susan.

      Actually PP did specify I did have to register the card amex sent before using and had to have a pin code which PP call center gave me over the phone?? Apparently they’d sent me one just after they sent the card, which I’d must have binned. Anyway crisis past now as thought I’d have to put my hands in my pocket for both of us!

      • Worth registering on the app though as you can then then screenshot the digital card. This can be easier to use than the card andalso means you can access ok while phone remains in flight modeor you don’t have time or wish to change sim in transit.

    • No registration needed. 1 free guest on Personal Plat, no free guest on Business Plat.

  10. Does one still get the 5k bonus points for first platinum supplementary card?

  11. OT: I have a BA eVoucher expiring today. I don’t want to book any flights, anything else I can use it on?

  12. My 70 year old parents are going there on a river cruise – so it must have well and truly opened.

  13. OTBB – tesco Clubcard to Uber credit is a great deal. Rules state that Uber credit can only be redeemed in the UK but I’m wondering how they distinguish and if anyone can confirm that credit from Clubcard points genuinely cannot be used as part payment abroad… Has anyone tried?

    • Shoe string says:

      Genghis said it doesn’t work.

      Works for Ubereats, though.

    • Because they know where you are when using the service! Just like sign-up credits don’t work in other countries. Your credit balance still shows but it charges your credit card instead. Uber Eats OK although pretty crappy selection (McDonald’s, etc) from what I’ve seen.

    • It’s based on currency and location that’s how they know

      • I presume it would work in say Jersey / Guernsey if they had Uber due to being charged in GBP.

  14. 100% opened, my folks went there on a Saga tour last year.

  15. Hingeless says:

    This makes me angry, it is greedy and unnecessary.

  16. John Stewart says:

    BA told me that because BA Holidays are not affected I cannot claim. Can you send me a copy of the claim template please?

  17. Hilton points sale appears to be sold out. I’d spotted the text that there supposedly were a limited number of packages – but just assumed it was marketing ploy.

    • If you purchase earlier in the year it may be that you’ve already purchased your annual allocation.

      • Thanks – but no, at limit on wife’s account and got the message that annual limit reached. Mine and son’s had no spend on it and the message was quite specific that the limited number of packages had been sold. Via chat last night I got the impression that we won’t have to wait around to long for more packages to be released.

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