Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

We do like to be beside the seaside …. at the new Holiday Inn hotel in Bournemouth

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A new Holiday Inn has just opened in Bournemouth, bringing some much needed quality to the town.

Long-term readers will know that I have a soft spot for decent hotels opening up in British seaside resorts, since one of the things – admittedly not the only thing – that stops people spending more time on the British coast is the dire selection of accommodation.

It is genuinely the case that the best hotel in Scarborough, for instance (somewhere I stay for family reasons occasionally) is the Premier Inn – worryingly, nothing else comes close.

Bournemouth is bucking the trend.  I reviewed the new Hilton Bournemouth here – it’s even got an executive lounge! – and the new Hampton by Hilton, which is attached, here.

Holiday Inn has now joined them.  A new Holiday Inn opened this week – it is the fully refurbished ex-Ramada Encore.  It is owned by Interstate, who built the impressive new combined Holiday Inn Bath Road (reviewed here)  and Staybridge Suites (reviewed here) at Heathrow which opened recently.

Looking at the pictures, it is a surprisingly funky Holiday Inn which I would be happy to stay in.   It is on Bath Road and claims to be “easy walking distance of Bournemouth Beach and town centre.”  Note that it does not have a pool, so the Hilton remains a better choice if you’re worried about wet weather activities.

Full details are on this page of the IHG website.

IHG One Rewards update – May 2022:

Get bonus points: IHG One Rewards is offering bonus base points on all cash stays between 18th May and 31st August.  You earn double points on your 2nd to 5th nights, triple points on your 6th to 14th nights and quadruple base points from your 15th night. Our full article is here. Click here to register.

New to IHG One Rewards?  Read our overview of IHG One Rewards here and our article on points expiry rules here. Our article on ‘What are IHG One Rewards points worth?’ is here.

Buy points: If you need additional IHG One Rewards points, you can buy them here.

You will receive an 80% bonus when you buy IHG One Rewards points by 10th June 2022.

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

Comments (165)

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  • Yuff says:

    OT: I need to park at Luton airport this Friday and return Saturday evening ( from Heathrow via Uber)
    Parking is coming out at £70 ish. Can anyone suggest a cheaper option.
    Is a mattress run at the HIX a better option?

    • Lady London says:

      Haven’t got time to check for you but would holidayextras or one of the airlines flying out of LTN have deals on their website? Otherwise HIX depending what time you need to leave it – parking would not cost much extra but room rate is high for that location.

      I go to LTN by bus whenever I can precisely because of the rubbish with the train (Luton Corporation were too cheap to extend the rail line into the airport so you have the ridiculous pfaff of de=training onto a bus that you wait for…. don’t get me started.!!) and because it’s relatively unfriendly for parking.

      • Lady London says:

        PS Rob did a very recent article updating airport parking sources – I presume you’ve already looked at it – there were at least 2 good general parking sites for airports mentioned in the article.

        I am sure you can do better than £70!!

        let us know what you think of the new Clubrooms at LTN if you can get in.

      • Yuff says:

        I think it was 10k points when I looked, but I need to leave the car at around 10.30am so they might not let me check in…….

    • Graham Walsh says:

      Have a look on just park web site. Loads of housing around LTN, so must be some on there. A short walk or cab ride to the airport then. You could try the Ibis or HIX that is at the airport, might do a parking deal.

    • Chas says:

      Try – I just looked and could get something for c£44. Their car park is in Slip End, c6-7 mins drive from the airport

  • lev441 says:

    O/T – Got another offer on my plat amex – spend £8,700, get 1,500 bonus MR points… valid on spend 1-31 August.

    Not as appealing as my spend £7,700, get 10,000 bonus MR points!

  • Benylin says:

    OT Help: booking my first reward flight ever, using BA 2-4-1. Booking London to Osaka, and Tokyo to London back

    Pricing up separate one way gives taxes of £387 London to Osaka in Biz, and £104 HND to London in First. So £491 total.

    But on the phone when I book they are charging £574.

    Multiply everything by 2 here as using companion voucher.

    Any ideas? Do I book first leg on-line, then second leg on phone and pray?

    • Rob says:

      Looks like BA is not allowed to add fuel surcharges on tickets ISSUED in Japan. Your problem is that a return flight is issued in London, so you’re paying £574. If you were not using the 241 you could book 2 x one-ways.

      (PS. Have you actually clicked through to the payment page to see if the £104 goes up? I didn’t think Tokyo was exempt from fuel surcharges to be honest.)

      • pauldb says:

        TYO is not exempt but, for whatever reason, has much lower fuel surcharges on ex-Japan bookings. About £75 I believe.

        Benylin, if you have enough avios you can book the HND-LON online for full, 2x avios, and them call them to have it adjusted for the voucher: i.e. 1x avios refunded.

        • pauldb says:

          (I should expand to say that means your inbound is treated as a ex-JP booking and therefore holds on to the lower YQ than were it part of a ex-UK return booking. The higher fees you are being quoted are not a mistake – so this is the only way around it.)

          • Spurs Debs says:

            Yes I did two separate bookings as I have the avois, I phoned up to book return and it was all sorted out then.

    • Spurs Debs says:

      I paid £387.12 x2 for LHR to HND
      Return £189.90 x 2 from Narita to LHR.

      This was in April/ May this year and I used a 241 voucher.

  • Liam says:

    OT — unlikely to affect most people here directly but the FT has an article today (paywall) about banks in Hong Kong and the US offering air miles instead of interest payments. Not hugely revelatory but interesting to see whether this will spread (I know Virgin Money have offered something similar here in the UK with their savings accounts).

    • marcw says:

      A spanish bank, Popular (now part of Santander) used to have a Travel account linked to IbPlus. Interest was paid in Avios

      • Michael says:

        Each to there own but why on earth would you ever accept airmiles over cash.

        • Lady London says:

          Worth a punt if interest is negligible, anyway. I guess that’s why people are doing it.
          Bit like accepting payments in a banana republic currency, though, then finding the currency devalues and it’s worth zilch.

        • Mark2 says:

          that depends on the rate, but unlikely to be favourable.

        • Alex Sm says:

          The article gives the answer to that (hint: interest rates are too low and _some_ can get a better value from miles, but size of deposit matters here), while for banks it is even a more lucrative proposition:

          “The bank can offer such a generous chunk of Asia Miles because it buys them in bulk at a discount from Cathay, which, in turn, knows that many customers will fail to redeem the rewards before a three-year expiry deadline.”

          • Rob says:

            Avios does not do bulk discounts. No-one pays much under 1p. I know one very small partner (now gone) that was paying 2p – more than the public pays.

    • Rob says:

      The VM deal has been massively unpopular with HFP readers. It simply isn’t generous enough, and you are also taking a punt on Virgin not devaluing over the next 12 months.

      • Keith says:

        They really have to start offering redemptions in upper class to those with no status. There is no incentive otherwise. For example I just booked a return economy flight with VA for £300. Or I could have used 25,000 VA Miles and paid £260 tax, fee & charge. Why on earth would anyone do that when that 25,000 VA can easily get you a couple of nights in a Hilton?

        • Pedantic Pete says:

          I’m always amazed how many people on here collect Virgin Australia miles…

    • Shoestring says:

      just google [In ancient Babylon, banks began paying interest on deposits. Two thousand years later, Standard Chartered has come up with an alternative.]

  • nick says:

    Booked 4 one way flights from LHR on 6th Aug using Avios. Paid the £70 reward flight saver fee with my Amex Plat.

    Apparently this is the day where BA and Airport staff may strike.

    There is no longer any reward availability either side of my booking.

    Assuming the flight is cancelled – what are my options? and when will I have some assurance?

    • nick says:

      * I also hold a BAPP, and intend to use that card to pay the Reward Flight Saver Fee for the 4 inbound flights I intend to book this week.

    • Rob says:

      If BA pilots strike then you’re not going anywhere, realistically. Whatever your legal rights, most flights are going out full in August on leisure routes and the seats simply are not there.

      • nick says:

        But assuming cash tickets are available (but not avios seats) – BA would move me to the next available flight?

        • Lady London says:

          The point is, it’s August and all flights are rammed.
          With the best will in the world from BA, if they do end up with a pilots strike at that time (and I’m not sure they will) then the next available flight could be for only one of you and in three weeks time.

          BA can’t magic seats up out of thin air if they were all already booked.

          However if you can, best to wait and let BA solve the problem – because you will not be as well off if you try to solve it yourself.
          If you can’t wait then pay whatever it takes to get other transport that can be cancelled if the strike does not go ahead, ideally on an airline that is not OneWorld.

          • Lady London says:

            And yes, in the case of irrops the airline is supposed not to restrict replacing avios seats, to replacing with avios seats. in that case they will consider cash seats as well to put you in. There does not have to be a replacement avios seat, they will put you in any seat available regardless of whether avios or cash.

            the problem is that in August cash seats are all sold already too.

            Personally I am not so sure the strike will go ahead at that date.

      • BJ says:

        I don’t know how many times you are going to have to point this out before it starts to sink in. In almost 40 years of flying I only recall two flights that could be described as half empty, one was an SQ a380 on boxing day and the other a US Airways flight to Philly. Regardless of month of travel, I could probably count on one hand the number of empty seats on the vast majority of flights I have ever taken. Always been surprised by reports on poor loads because it has not been my experience.

        • Optimus Prime says:

          About 8 years ago, in February, we flew LHR-JFK with Delta. Economy cabin was truly half empty. Everyone could change seats, lift up arm rests and sleep in a ‘flat bed’ (Air New Zealand style, isn’t it?).

        • The Savage Squirrel says:

          I had 4 seats to myself in 2001 and rest of cabin was similar. Probably because it was 5 days after 9/11….

        • Chas says:

          Back in the late 90s, I flew back from Bermuda to the UK via New York on Easter Sunday. Both flights were very lightly loaded, and my recollection (perhaps hazy through the eons….) was that the final leg was no more than 20% full. I definitely had 4 seats to myself, and could choose to occupy the full row ahead of me or the one behind me. The F&B service was definitely the swiftest zip have ever experienced in Y.

        • Alex Sm says:

          Flights from London to Moscow are often half empty in the low season but the airlines keeps flying the route as it is “prestigious” and losses are offset by expensive tickets in high season and weekends

    • the_real_a says:

      Don’t forget on Amex plat – in addition to all the other advice here – you have “travel inconvenience” insurance upto £100 per person to spend on whatever you like regardless of the reason of delay of more than 4 hours.

  • Rk says:

    O/T – in last weeks HFP summer party comments someone mentioned a whatsapp tier point run group

    Not sure who runs the group, but would appreciate being added to it


    • RK says:

      Forgot to add….Happy to provide my contact details via HFP

      • Polly says:

        Check with Michele on Turning Left for Less. They do one most years. Last one was to LAS which was hilarious. Such a runaround some of them did!
        Think the one you really want is Flyertalk tho!

  • Andrew says:

    Bergamo is well worth a visit in itself, lovely citadel with good restaurants. I much prefer it to Milan.

  • RWJ says:

    O/T – What information does Amex need to verify when making a purchase? Is it full name and first line of address or is it postcode?

    • Rob says:

      Not the name. Address given must match the registered address.

      • Roy says:

        The address match is generally done by postcode plus address numerics (which basically boils down to house number) I believe.

        • Charlieface says:

          Indeed, Visa and MC also do this. Pad the postcode numbers with zeros to the right on USA websites. Amex also don’t verify the country.

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