Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The new HFP chat thread – Friday 24th April

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We have decided to run this new daily chat thread on Head for Points.

Historically, the daily ‘Bits’ articles were the defacto repository for random comments and questions.  It is unlikely that the news flow will be so big over the next few weeks that we will need many ‘Bits’ articles, however.

The comments under this article are where you should post questions about travel and, indeed, anything else on your mind.  At this tricky time, and given that many of you are stuck at home self-isolating, we want the HFP community to have a place to chat.

Please only comment under the main articles on the site if your comment is directly related to the topic of the article.  This has long-term benefits as its keeps the commentary relevant for people who read those articles in the future.

By default, HFP shows the last page of comments under the article.  If you want to see the first page of comments and read them all from beginning to end in order, click here: https://www.headforpoints.com/2020/04/24/the-new-hfp-chat-thread-friday-24th-april/comment-page-1 The page will refresh with this article but the comments will now show the first page and not the last page.

We will continue to monitor how this is working.  Let’s see how it goes.  Take care!

Comments (345)

  • No lockdown for moi says:

    Wish me luck, I’ll need it today. More later.

  • The Jetset Boyz says:

    Sadly Air New Zealand has now suspended London Heathrow – Los Angeles indefinitely. The route was due to end in October and its temporary suspension is now permanent. The launch of non-stop flights from Auckland to New York has also been postponed from October 2020 until late 2021 at the earliest.

  • Anna says:

    Data point – I’ve got a 2 night award stay at The Langley in May which I paid 65k points for while it was still that cheap (it’s now 60k pn on peak nights). Yesterday they emailed me asking if I’d like to cancel or postpone my stay, I’m hoping “postpone” will mean move to later in the year at no extra cost!

    • Harry T says:

      Let us know! I’m hoping W Abu Dhabi will let me move my points reservation for free when the Grand Prix is inevitably pushed back a week or two – they’ve gone up a category too.

      • Anna says:

        Will do – I’ve emailed back saying that it’s my 50th birthday trip so we’ll be spending a lot in the restaurant and spa…

      • Matthew says:

        I’m sure they will. Your room terms were relating specifically to the GP and associated pass so I’m sure they will sort for you. Have you asked hotel directly? They allowed us to check in late (2am day after first night of booking) and we know some checked out a few days early on a 7 day travel package with no charges so they are definitely amenable. Fingers crossed it will all be fine.

        • Harry T says:

          @Matthew
          Thank you, that’s good to know. When it’s confirmed the race is moved or cancelled, I’ll contact them.

      • Sk123 says:

        I had a reservation with them using my 7 night Marriott certificate this Easter. I called Marriott and moved the date to later this year and she didn’t say anything about the category difference.

        • Lady London says:

          Hum. I think I would make sure to get that explicitly confirmed from them in writing asap.

          Now is a good time because it looks like there is still some uncertainty about event timing. Once things firm up and demand starts to shift, you may find that maintaining your new date at your old cost may mysteriously disappear.

      • r* says:

        How will the category thing work if the booking is moved? I have the same booking, but if its moved would the higher points value be charged?

        Im not overly confident the race will happen tho :/

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Hi Anna not sure if you saw my reply the other day but yes they moved the dates for the exact same points price.

      • Anna says:

        Hi TG, yes I did, thanks, but wasn’t sure if it was down to individual hotels’ discretion…

        • TGLoyalty says:

          These were reservations at The Langley in particular I was referring to.

          It’s actually quite nice to stay the night before an afternoon flight, great start to a holiday.

          • Crafty says:

            I have done the same, commented in response to Anna twice. So I’m sure it’ll be fine Anna.

          • Anna says:

            Ah sorry, no I didn’t then! Thanks for clarifying that, good to know!

    • Lady London says:

      Go for it! This is what I was hoping they would do for you.

  • Neil says:

    I know it’s horrifically late in the day but I’ve decided to spread SOME of my risk regarding my Virgin FC Miles and convert 200,000 of them into Hilton and leaving 350,00 with virgin.

    I’ve WhatsApp’ed the Virgin FC number with my

    VFC Number
    HH Number
    Name
    Address
    Email
    DOB
    Number of points I’d like to convert.

    Is there any further information I need to send them? After the initial “hello” messages over WhatsApp, I’ve not had confirmation/reply to my request yet so just checking I’ve sent them everything then need!

    Cheers

    • roberto says:

      I did the same yesterday. Pretty much identical format but exchanging just 150k of my 200k and a bit stash. I need to hang onto 55k for a couple of PE flights back from Barbados assuming they still flying next year. I will leave a message in chat should I hear any more other than the standard reply I had too.

    • Matthew says:

      I’ve done it twice. Once by SMS and once by WhatsApp. With the SMS they asked me to confirm all details again and with WhatsApp they used all the details I included like yours and just asked me to confirm that I was happy it may take 30 days. Both had to be answered within an hour of them replying to me and both were between 2 and 3am! Missed the first by 5 mins and enquiry was closed. The second woke me up but managed to reply and get it sorted. Took about 5-7 days waiting for a reply after my initial text. You may need to keep your phone on at during or at least silent/vibrate only to avoid annoying the other half!

    • Jonathan says:

      I did it via text on Saturday but heard nothing as of yesterday bar an automated acknowledgement telling me they were busy but would deal with my request in time . I decided yesterday morning to ring them ,I eventually got through after 90 minutes and they made the transfer for me . The miles left my account virtually instantly and I just hope they get to my IMG account in the next couple of weeks .

    • BJ says:

      If it were me I’d send them all.

  • avstar says:

    RE Tesco Pet Insurance CC points – if you have double dipped and are at the confirmed stage – OK to cancel? if not then when?

    • Secret Squirrel says:

      No, I’ve seen confirmed go back to pending recently. It’s your risk but might be worth holding out for the sake of £3-£4 to get £55-60.

      • BJ says:

        I think that was a one time system error, I cannot recall it happening before. I’m not cancelling mine until everything is done and dusted.

  • Josh says:

    If I earned a companion voucher several months ago but am now due a large number of refunds that might take me under the 10k target will this claw back the voucher?
    Is there any way to see what my total spend on the card is for the year, hesitant to cancel it as worried not all the refunds will come easily.

    • SammyJ says:

      I asked the same here a couple of weeks ago, and was told that the voucher is safe, but that they’ll probably deduct the Avios back.

      • Darren says:

        If you have the voucher in your BA exec acc. its safe, the underspend after the refunds will be added to your target for the new year from your anniversary.

        • Anna says:

          Yes, voucher is safe, Avios will be deducted at the same rate they were earned, your next target spend is £10k plus however much you get back in refunds.

        • Josh says:

          Thanks both, good to know.

          Methinks this card may get cancelled…..

    • Rob says:

      No. Amex NEVER claws back vouchers.

  • Stanley says:

    BA Amex question – is there any benefit to set up my bank account for direct debit before I ask for a lumpy BA refund to be returned back to my account??? Friend said they quoted him 4 weeks to give him his credit back……

    • roberto says:

      I have had three credit back this month from Amex, all for cancelled flights and each took about 10 days to reach my current account by transfer.

      • Stanley says:

        Thanks Roberto – was your account already linked to Amex thru paying by Direct Debit though ? 10 days seems crazy in this day and ages

    • Secret Squirrel says:

      All refunds go back to original payment method.

  • SammyJ says:

    Which Amex would you guys recommend next?
    Partner and both currently got the BAPP and just triggered both companion vouchers but need more Avios to use them! Neither of us ever had another Amex. I referred husband for his 6m ago, can he refer me for a different type of card, and can I then refer him again from that?

    Also, if I cancel my card now I guess I get half the fee back (6ish mths) but is there anything I’d lose? S75 on things I’ve purchased with it, or any problem with refunds? Understand I can use any Amex to spend the 241s.

    Thanks!

    • Harry T says:

      The only sign up bonus you can now get is on the Platinum card, I believe.

    • Rhys says:

      If Avios is what you want, you won’t get more than 1.5 Avios per pound on any other card, except the Platinum card which this week doubled its earning rate until July. You would have to spend a considerable amount per month to make it worth it.
      https://headforpoints.com/2020/04/23/amex-platinum-giving-double-points-on-all-spending-until-20th-july/
      Another article at the weekend with the exact maths.
      You could also do some bonus jumping, although slightly more difficult than it used to be. Here are all the Avios cards: https://headforpoints.com/2018/05/07/what-is-the-best-avios-credit-card-4/

      • SammyJ says:

        Thanks. So looks like I’d be as well just keeping the existing ones, as the only alternative is a £575 fee, which isn’t going to get us much in the current situation as the perks are mostly unusable at the moment.

        • Rhys says:

          Yep, unless you can hit the spend target for the bonus

          • Freddy says:

            Whether you want to keep the BAPP card is debatable if you are only 6 months in and already got the companion voucher. £100 card fee for an increased 0.5% uplift on earning rate compared to a free card.

          • Doug M says:

            Yes. If you both refer each other for the Gold card which is free the first year, and then spend £15K you’ll get a 10K MR bonus. To get the bonus you have to pay about 1.5 months worth of fee in the 2nd year, as the bonus is anniversary and not when you hit the £15K spend. Assuming you spend exactly £15K that’s 1.66 Avios per £, + the referral. Fee for 1.5 months is going to be about £12 to £18. 1 MR = 1 Avios but other things too, should you change your mind.

        • BJ says:

          I would go about it a different way: at the moment we are getting 9000 MR points for referrals from PRG so this is currently the fastest way to generate avios at zero/low cost, and comes with the added benefit of holding them as a flexible currency until required.

          • Lady London says:

            Also never add your supp when you first take the card – as no bonus for that. But it seems there’s a bonus if you add the supp later – even though the call centre doesn’t know about it.

          • Doug M says:

            So in this case they could do an A to B referral on the BAPP for 9K Avios, then cancel B BAPP, and B refer A from the Gold for 9K MR, followed by cancelling the A BAPP. Keep the 241, get pro-rota BAPP fee refunds and assuming that £15K spend is in reach get 25,000MR from the £15K spend on each of the Gold cards, along with 9K Avios and 9K MR for the referrals. The cost of the Golds would easily be less than the BAPP refunds.
            If your spend is much higher do this anyway, but keep one of the BAPP and the sup to spend above £15K back on the BAPP for 1.5 Avios once the Gold bonus spend is reached. The original poster is in quite a good position here assuming they have the spend to take advantage.

          • SammyJ says:

            Thanks guys, that’s helped a lot.
            So basically there’s no new card bonus available except the £575 one, only referral bonuses, and it would be a long game plus high spend to get the bonus on the anniversary.
            Maybe I’d be better waiting a few months until some of the perks of the Plartinum become worthwhile again and going for that, with the bonuses. And look at non-Amex alternatives for spends in the meantime.

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