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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  1. Regarding the £1 comments. Can I please just double check. Whatever £ amount I choose for a RFS…the cancellation will always be £1. e.g. If I initially paid £31 +Avios, and I cancel, I will be charged £1…and receive back £30 + my Avios. Thanks.

    • At the moment that is true, but the risk is that BA change the mechanics of the website before you cancel. It is unlikely that, if you pay only £1, they will add a payment system to the cancellation to try and extract £34 more from you. But they could conceivably reprogramme it to take £35 from your total payment (or the £31 in your example).
      I would think it 50/50 they make the change: I wouldn’t be tactical about it for a booking this year, but if I had a booking for next year with a 75% chance I’d cancel then I’d do the £1 option there.

      • But surely, if I book at £1 today for a trip next year, they can’t back date the rules and decide to charge me the normal £35 if I cancel out ?

        • Shoestring says:

          they probably can’t charge you more than you paid ie your £1 – but if you paid £31, then sure they can change the refund method and try to get closer to £35 in future

          • They can. In the days (and Lufthansa still does this) you needed to call to cancel. When you call, the cancellation fee is charged fresh to your credit card, and then you get back everything on the original booking.

        • The rules at present are £35 or taxes paid whichever is lower. If you book now opting for the maximum Avios/£1 RFS you’ll be fine. If you book at the standard Avios/£35 RFS return rate you’ll have no comeback if they decide to actually implement the T&C’s rather than the current £1 regardless of Avios pricing chosen.

        • The rules say £35, so they wouldn’t be changing the rules in actually charging that (or the £31).

    • Correct, at present. See my article from the other day with a real example.

  2. I booked in a similar manner to the above utilising a 2-4-1 but in CE – booked outbound at T-355 and then the return separately online when it became available and close the mid tax option.

    Tried to call BA to utilise the 2-4-1 on the return but after trying for days and constantly getting cut off I contacted them though twitter and they added it with no issue. Took a few days for a response but it got done and the Avios refunded for 1 ticket.

  3. What happened to the QR sale piece we were promised for today??

  4. Data Point:

    My second tranche of Tesco CC Bonus just posted

  5. “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.”

    I’ll add my 2c on a less obvious but significant reason for buying HH points thing rather than paying cash for a stay.

    You can avoid resort fees and taxes.

    Conrad Maldives cash prices do not include the ++ taxes which IIRC total to an additional 23.2%

    Paying by points has no $$ value, therefore you pay no taxes on your base accommodation, just on your discretionary F&B spend

    • there it is

      triprep/anon – have you ever been to rangali, I am still not clear?

      • Mike – my comment was on topic. Yours however was useless. Feel free to quote a example of a Hilton resort you’ve stayed using points and avoided taxes.

      • Double Dee says:

        its not fair to make fun of other people’s dream resorts, he already has a blog setup dedicated to Rangali and you keep bashing his way to connect back to it in the comments, haha !

        • Indeed.

          Besides, anyone that has a dream to go somewhere does a lot of research which benefits us all they share with. I’d rather read one enthusiast’s comment than someone who’s been there just to knock it off a bucket list.

  6. Looks like the £1 Europcar redemptions are bookable again, somehow, somewhere, because I was just credited with 8p commission for a booking made last night.

  7. 5 lots of Tesco Shell bonus to BA just posted.

  8. O/T: Does Amex Platinum give coverage for 9 seater van in Spain or worldwide ?.Has it got it to say Car in the hire agreement?

    • The insurance document can be downloaded from the Platinum application website.

    • Lady London says:

      If not then Questor sells vehicle hire excess protection also for vans, many dont cover vans. Questor are excellent to deal with if you have to call them too.

      Van excesses can be even higher than cars so worth checking.

      If it’s sold as a passenger van may be covered as a car type vehicle up to a certain number of seats but if it’s sold as a cargo van you would need spécificité van, not car, coverage.

    • the_real_a says:

      Oddly i had this exact same query with AXA underwriters… The V5 or government registration document abroad for the vehicle must classify it as non-commercial. Renting a removals van or similar is NOT covered.

  9. Miles & More shopping vouchers are back – or are they?

    A few weeks ago, Mrs Roger received an e-mail from M&M suggesting she could use her miles for shopping vouchers. She did so, redeeming most of her miles for vouchers. The whole exercise, including transfers to Amazon accounts, was very quick, probably less than 30 minutes.

    This week, I decided to do the same, but couldn’t. After several attempts, I could see that the Amazon vouchers were the problem – they just wouldn’t stick in my shopping basket. Presumably out of e-stock.

    i tried again, selecting John Lewis.vouchers. The order went through quickly, but there is no sign of the JLP vouchers. Checking online, the nessage is:’Thank you for your order. We will process this as quickly as possible.’

    We’ll see.

  10. I too have been given 40% bonus on my 40% bonus on my transfer from Tesco to BA !!

  11. 4-5% off Waitrose spend and 10% off Morrisons spend.
    Suggestions for what can be used for (other than groceries)? Vouchers to use for petrol? Gift cards?

    • Lady London says:

      Petrol and amazon are the usually suspects. Gift cards lay be outlawed but could work anyway especially as part of a mixed purchase.

    • Double Dee says:

      Buy £1k in Morrisons Gift Vouchers and spend them on fuel or anything in store including lottery, stamps etc

      • What sort of denominations are you getting? Tried £100 last night. Largest denomination was £10 and they only had 3 of them in the till!

        • Shoestring says:

          The kiosks have bigger supplies – plus at the kiosk they’ll go fetch you as many as you need, from the safe. I got £1000 in one transaction.

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