BA Sale

Bits: 100% bonus buying Hilton points, another £1 Avios redemption quirk, £15 Lufty / SWISS Amex cashback

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News in brief:

Get a 100% bonus buying Hilton points – worth it?

Hilton Honors has launched a new promotion offering a 100% bonus when you purchase 10,000+ 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 0.40p (0.5 cents) here so the maths in general doesn’t work.

HOWEVER ….. there ARE real bargains to be had at peak periods.  Conrad Maldives at 95,000 points per night, the new Waldorf Astoria Maldives at 120,000 points, Conrad New York at 95,000 points etc are places where you will usually save a lot of money by buying points instead of paying cash.  This is especially true if you have Hilton status and can get ‘5 nights for the points of 4’ on a longer stay.

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 annual cap has been doubled for this offer.  You can buy up to 320,000 points (160,000 + 100%) for $1,600.

You can buy points via this link.  The offer ends on 22nd October.

Another quirk with the ‘£1 taxes’ Avios redemptions trial

We have covered the current trial of ‘£1 taxes’ short-haul Avios redemptions extensively.  There have been a few teething problems but the system is now working as it should.

A reader has picked up another quirk, however

If you book a short-haul Avios redemption using a British Airways American Express 2-4-1 voucher, it prices under the ‘old’ system.  You cannot choose how much or how little you pay in taxes in charges.  You must pay £35 return in Euro Traveller and £50 return in Club Europe.

It gets more complex.

A reader booked two one-way short-haul flights using a 2-4-1 voucher, at 355 days before departure.  The plan was to add the return later when it became available.

A week later, they booked the return flights online – choosing the ‘middle’ pricing option of £17.50 one way in taxes and charges – and later called British Airways to merge these flights onto the existing 2-4-1 ticket.  The Avios for one of the return tickets would be refunded.

This is a proven technique which many people use.  However, it no longer works on short haul.  Even if you pick the ‘£17.50 taxes’ option when booking online, your ticket cannot be married to an existing 2-4-1 booking.   You must ring the BA call centre and get them to book the return for you, adding it to your existing ticket.

£15 SWISS Lufthansa cashback offer

£15 cashback on SWISS and Lufthansa flights for American Express cardholders

Yesterday we covered the current SWISS and Lufthansa long-haul flight sale from the UK.

Coincidentally, a £15 cashback offer for SWISS and Lufthansa has appeared on a lot of American Express cards.  If you are targeted it will appear under the ‘Offers’ tab on your online statement page.  Remember to check all of your cards.

You will receive a £15 statement credit when you spend £100 at either the SWISS website or the Lufthansa website before 9th November.  You can fly at any time but flights must depart from the UK.

50% bonus when you convert Amex Membership Rewards points to Hilton - worth it?
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Comments

  1. OT – did anyone score dinner at Osteria Francesca in the Marriot Bonvoy auction? It went well above my ceiling bid but not for a ridiculous number of points. I do hope it’s amazing for anyone that did and please do a quick write-up in the comments!

    • I had my eye on that auction, but it shot through my ceiling too, in early September.
      I hope some HfP people are going.
      If so, report back on the incredible food!

  2. Amex also offering 50% bonus to convert Membership Rewards to Hilton

  3. OT I also have a useful 4% back on each spend of £75+ offer on my BAPP for Waitrose (valid every time/expires 09 October/first 8,000 cardholders to enrol). Not on m PRG.

    • 5% off £20 for me

    • Amex 10% back on every online purchase at Fortnum and Mason. It’s on all four of my cards.

    • If you collect Virgin Miles, don’t forget to add your credit card to their in store system. 4 Miles per £1 spent at the moment (rebate is targetted). Even on BA Amex!

      If you log your cards on multiple in store reward schemes, sometimes (but not always) it triggers across multiple schemes.

      Eg last week I spent £500 in Waitrose (£400 of JLP Vouchers). Got £25 from Hfx, 2000 miles from Virgin in store and and £40 from another in store scheme. Technically only one in store scheme is supposed to work, but we all know how flakey these things are.

    • 1nfrequent says:

      5% back on over £20 spend at Waitrose on my Amex Gold.

      1F

  4. Jill (Kinkell) says:

    OT and continuation of postings yesterday: thanks for comments from David, Shoestring and Lady London. Having been rescheduled onto an early 0705 flight from INV and connecting at 1100 for IAD, I got notification via the app CheckMyFlight that the early flight is delayed until 0930! So no chance of connecting. On the phone at midnight to You First and now on the 1705 to IAD. Plenty of time now to guzzle my way through a bottle of Champagne in the CCR. BA only sent an email re: the delay at 0500 ! Hurrah for the CheckMyFlight app. and of course….more compo.!
    Happy travels, everyone.

    • Shoestring says:

      yep that’s definitely EUR600 (4hrs delay on long haul) provided no extraordinary circs. Now you can relax after all 🙂

    • Have a safe and ultimately a pleasant journey contemplating your plans for the compensation coming your way.

      • BJ has written exactly what I was going to say!

        And perhaps a note to find out what caused the delay to your domestic fight so you can document it for your compensation claim. I’ve forgotten how you look it up, but I am sure someone else can help.

    • Have an amazing trip, glad it worked out!

    • Just searched for the app and can’t find it? Is it check my trip?
      Thanks

    • Enjoy Jill – you will need it after all the stress!

      • Jill (Kinkell) says:

        Thanks everyone. At least we aim to get to Washington on the same day, albeit many hours later.
        @Anna….persistence pays. It’s a real shame that it is such a fight to get what is clearly due to you. Some pennies into the pot for the grand retirement!

        • Yes! We had 5 days in Washington DC & Virginia last year, it’s a beautiful area and i’d Love to go back for longer at some point.

    • Jill I know you’re going to read this as you’ll have hours in the Lounge. Hopefully not too far down the champers by lunchtime.

      Hope the rest of your journey goes ok. I’m trying out the logistics of saving £300 by risking the INV-LHR route myself this winter enroute to TPA in CW via LGW (flying the following morning).

      Please keep us posted on your EU261 claims. Could turn out to be a bargain trip with that and avoiding APD.

    • All very good, but so much of your day wasted.

      I’m very fond of the DC area. From Inverness though, my personal choice would have been to drive to EDI and:-

      Fly direct to IAD
      Fly to DCA via New York

      I tend to stay in the Crystal City area, so it’s an absolute joy to be able to step out of Ronald Reagan Airport and simply walk to my hotel. It’s also often considerably cheaper to go to DCA, especially with flight and hotel deals, but the OTAs tend to default to IAD even when you specifically choose DCA.

      • Andrew you’d be paying extra APD for that and Jill is flying in First.

        • Jill (Kinkell) says:

          See….as a Lounge Lizard today!! plenty of time to read HfP. INV is my local airport and any trip to either EDI, GLA or ABZ( all 3-4 hours drive away) usually involves an overnight. In addition I have to factor in weather as we usually travel anytime between Sept and March . Plus the attraction of no APD . I am currently on a 241 INV -LHR-IAD and ATL-LHR-INV in CE/F. Taxes, carrier fees etc were £843.
          By the way, the queue tor Flight connection coming off the Inv flight was horrendous. Never seen it so long. We exited, went up to departures, through The First Wing and into CCR in no time at all.
          Now off for lunch and will give all you good folk a rest from my blethers!!

  5. “Even if you pick the ‘£17.50 taxes’ option when booking online, your ticket cannot be married to an existing 2-4-1 booking. You must ring the BA call centre and get them to book the return for you, adding it to your existing ticket.”

    I don’t get this. When you call to add an online return sector don’t they just leave it as 2x one way reservations and manually return the appropriate amount of avios, I didn’t realise the two flights were married in some way, if so then why not just put it all on one ticket?

    • They used to be able to put it on one ticket (ie good for the US so don’t get ripped off on return leg TFCs) or keep as two singles but now keep as two singles only it seems (with the single level of TFCs)

      • That’s what I thought, ISTR a few comments in recent months that people were now getting only avios refunded with no adjustment for fees.

    • I’m “a reader”. Yes I thought I could get them to manually give me back half the avios but even that was apparently impossible. I do seem to recall that, in the past and on longhauls, what they actually do is refund all the 2x for the inbound and then recharge 1x. And I would guess in the system the payment for the flight is then 1x avios and half a voucher (not 1x avios and forget the rest) and maybe half a voucher is incompatible with a new RFS booking.

  6. OT – dealing with BA re compo. BA has finally paid our £1072 EU261 compensation for our delayed JFK – LHR flight in May. I feel like I’ve earned it as well! It really pays to be persistent – they initially refused to acknowledge the real cause of the delay (broken air con unit on board) so I opened a case with CEDR. BA then conceded that were “mistakenly” given the wrong info and that they owed us €600 each, but still didn’t pay up and completely ignored 3 emails I sent them to chase it up. I re-contacted CEDR which re-opened the case and 2 weeks later BA have finally paid up!

  7. OT – how does the Amex Platinum Addison Lee credit work? I took a taxi last weekend and the £12 charge has now posted to my Amex account. When does the statement credit usually post? Same day each month? When the bill is created? Or do I have to do something?

  8. A bonus for transferring to avios would be nice!

  9. OT: I have 9 stays expiring in Hotels.com rewards at the end of the month. I need to complete a stay before then to get a free night and reset the inactivity counter for another 12 months

    Does anyone have any experience with booking a cheap hotel somewhere then not bothering to turn up / check in?

    Any recommendations on where to find the absolute cheapest possible hotel if the above works?

    • Yes I’ve done this no problem. Try Kathmandu or Tblisi – should be under £3.

      • In this case I hope the hotel or guesthouse owner still gets paid femboy hotels com for the no show. Otherwise poor people in poor countries are paying the price in lost income from room and any associated guest spending.

        • It never occurred to me to worry about the loss of incidentals to the property owner, that’s a very good point!

          I had alwas assumed that they would get paid for the room, and potentially resell it after I fail to check in so would essentially be getting free money from me…

          • I have no idea what happens in practice Mike, hopefully the owners just pretend no shows showed up and claim their cash.

          • For multi-night bookings, yes. You can’t resell a one-night stay because technically you are able to check-in at any point until check-out time.

            (A couple of years ago I booked a HI in London as a redemption for a family member and forgot about it, being an idiot, when their trip was postponed. At 8am the hotel charged my credit card with £250, the Best Available Rate, as per IHG’s bizarre penalty rules for no-showing a redemption. Luckily I got a pop-up on my phone. I dashed over to the hotel and insisted that I could still check-in at 9am and be treated as a ‘show’.)

  10. Shoestring says:

    heh heh! My wife & I both have the 10% off Co-Op offer added to our Halifax current a/cs. Coming right up: 10% off £300 council tax @Paypoint = £60 discount (£30 maximum per a/c)

    We had 5% off Co-Op offer previously a couple of months ago but you have to ignore that, then they come back with 10%. Obvs don’t go shopping at Co-Op with your Halifax card in the interim, As if 🙂

    • I do better than that. I use my Halifax Account (trading name of Bank of Scotland) one month and my BoS card the other.

      Just have to remember to use the correct Coop. They don’t always trigger at MidCounties.

    • I’m so jealous of all those people whose local councils accept Paypoint and use credit cards at the Co-op.

      Mine uses a similar, but diffent scheme called PayZone. As far as I can tell, there isn’t anywhere near me that will let me make a PayZone payment on a credit card…

    • Is it worth getting a Halifax current account for their offers? They seem to pretty decent. I get awful Visa Offers with First Direct.

  11. O/T: with energy prices falling and the availability of quite a few tariffs with no exit penalties now is a good time to to head over to one of Harry’s favourite places and bank at least10k avios by switching supply three times over the next year. My selections will hopefully return at least 20k if nothing changes much.

    • Shoestring says:

      yep I’m already on my second switch this year, I went for Avro, had to go direct to get the best rate so no bonus but a very nice saving on the tariff.

      Worth remembering you can get £50 discount on Bulb if you switch through MSE plus Bulb will pay any exit fees, it could make sense to switch to Bulb to get out of your contract ‘free’ then you can always switch away to a better tariff a few months later

      • Yes, Bulb my get out of jail free card 🙂

        • Do you not get charged exit fees for leaving within less than 1 year?

          • You can request Bulb to refund the exit fees from your previous provider after you are with them; Bulb itself doesn’t have exit fees.

          • Shoestring says:

            yep exactly right as Rui said. Bulb isn’t exactly expensive either, so no hardship to go onto their (only) tariff for a few months.

            O/T fwiw I just renewed my BT Broadband fibre & calls deal, can’t get Vodafone or Sky fibre so a bit limited in terms of choice, 18 month contract – £32.49/ month for everything incl line rental (free weekend calls), with download speed up to 76Mb (improvement vs current 52Mb). BT Sport £6/ month on top. Not as good as I was getting but happy enough with that. I was going to cancel in my name and start a new BT deal in my wife’s – but there aren’t any better deals/ discounts/ prepaid Mastercard discounts etc out there at the mo.

      • Charlieface says:

        Best way to get out of exit fees is to switch to the standard variable tariff or another which has no exit fees, most companies don’t charge for an internal switch. Then switch out the next day.

    • I’ve still seen no movement on MoreThan from earlier this year… I should have cancelled it early July :/

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