Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The new HFP chat thread – Sunday 10th May

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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/2020/05/10/the-new-hfp-chat-thread-sunday-10th-may/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 (239)

  • Anon says:

    Has anyone else seen this about Qatar making pilots redundant and then billing them for training?:

    https://ukaviation.news/qatar-airways-you-are-no-longer-required-heres-a-130000-bill/

    I can understand if an airline provides training there is a reasonable responsibility to allow them to make a return on their investment. But if they make you redundant and then send a bill – that is appalling behaviour. In this case the employee has done nothing wrong.

    I’ve flown QR many times to Asia – and normally been very happy with the service. If this is how they treat staff – maybe I should be rethink.

    • Riccatti says:

      Wow.

    • Craig says:

      There is a lot more to this story than meets the eye. It’s not a policy but a one-off from what I understand.

      • Secret Squirrel says:

        Do we know if it was written into the contract of employment?
        A lot of companies have a clause if you leave before a certain time they can claw back percentage of expenditure.
        If your made redundant I would of thought any clause would be N/A.😥

        • Craig says:

          What I know is third hand so I don’t want to go into detail. Sufficed to say this is the culmination of a long process and whilst Covid-19 might have been the proverbial straw it was by no means the reason.

          Furthermore, it is fairly normal in pilot contracts for there to be a bond for expensive training. Usually these aren’t enforced is someone is made redundant for reasons beyond anyones control.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            So these people have been terminated due to personal performance since they are being asked to pay?

          • Craig says:

            Would be a fair reason for dismissing someone.

      • BrightonReader says:

        There is indeed a lot more to it. It’s not related to redundancy at all/

        There is a thread on the QR flyer talkboard re this and a link to an intragram copy of the letter with the pilots name and the amount are visible. There is also a comment that she completed her training and was about to start flying as a first officer but her new husband refused to let her fly – hence she could not complete her contract and so as per contract she is required to pay the training costs back

        https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/qatar-airways-privilege-club/2017418-laid-off-qr-pilot-owes-airline-591k-qar-training.html

        • BrightonReader says:

          I should add an ‘allegedly’ given that’s not been 100% confirmed.

    • alan young says:

      Typical of Al Baker.

    • Lady London says:

      Link not loading?

    • Josh says:

      That is bad

      In UK you have to pay for pilot training out of your own pocket don’t you? Or via a loan you pay back…or go through the RAF if you have perfect eyesight. Did BA used to pay training costs in the old days?

  • Peter says:

    I status matched to Hilton Gold before all the lockdown happened. I half hoped that I would get the extension. But alas I was downgraded a couple days ago.
    Seems abit off as my trips were cancelled. I guess nothing can be done?

    • Secret Squirrel says:

      Better get yourself an Amex Platinum to keep Gold for a year or the Founders card.

    • Rob says:

      I would email them. What you want is the right to do another match next year (normally once only).

      • Secret Squirrel says:

        Be good to hear as a datapoint if this worked at present!

  • Secret Squirrel says:

    When did Waitrose stop enabling Virgin in store points earning? Just noticed them & Morrison’s not working..😣

    • Stuart says:

      Waitrose stopped about a month ago.

      • Pid says:

        Just received a batch, not sure if this is from old purchases though.

        • Secret Squirrel says:

          Thats what prompted me to look.

        • RussellH says:

          If you just received a batch, it will be from a purchase nearly 2 months ago.
          That is how long it takes the points to arrive.

    • Rob says:

      We did an article if you search.

      • Secret Squirrel says:

        Cheers Rob, I had forgotten but do now remember reading your article after searchinb it out. Brain going to mush! 😅

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Never did get those points after 11th March for Morrison’s missed out on about 6000

      • Flyoff says:

        Same here. They didn’t even register on my Virgin account where previously it worked perfectly. I have complained to Virgin and am awaiting an update as they are investigating.

        • RussellH says:

          Their investigations take around 2 months. If they approve the transaction, they will take another 2 months to be credited.
          But there is still a risk that the points will be cancelled later – happened to me at the beginning of the year. However, the Virgin purchasing scheme never seem to have told flyin club, and my points have gone to Hilton now.

  • Boi says:

    What is the MCC for bonds curved? Does it attract interest in IHG cc?

    • Chrisasaurus says:

      The same as it is without curve since, for the umpteenth time, curve passes on the MCC

      Rocket science this is not!

      • Boi says:

        Sorry no need to be rude. I wasn’t suggesting curve doesn’t pass it on. I just don’t know it with or without curve! And I can’t find it on the transaction on my creation account. It just gives reference number. I am show there is things you don’t know and other people do know!

        Thanks to those who answered politely. Happy Sunday. 🙏

    • stevenhp1987 says:

      9399.

      Purchase. No interest.

      Fronted doesn’t seem to kick in for it either yet…

      • Boi says:

        Thanks Steve. Much appreciated.
        I can see the MCC or type of transaction on Hilton and virgin but creation just gives ref.

  • Zara says:

    Hi everyone. I would really like some help if possible please. Self and hubby need to spend approx £10k within the next couple of weeks for various one off things. We just wondered what is the best card to get to get the most points etc out of. We plan to cancel the cards once spend has been reached and points come through. Any ideas? We currently have me) the green amex, hubby) ARC.
    My thoughts were either
    1) 58k total = upgrade both of us to platinum, hit 4K spend and get 2 x24k in points, get each other a supp for another 2 x 5k or
    2) 37k & 241 total = I refer him for bapp (I have had one in last 24 months) so we get 5k referral + 29k points + add a supp card (3k), and also get the 241 voucher.

    Anyone have any views on the above and/ or any other possible routes? Many many thanks in advance!

    • Zara says:

      Actually maybe hubby doesn’t get anything for upgrade to plat as he has an AARC. I’m not sure. BR

      • Secret Squirrel says:

        Think if you have green & you upgrade to Plat you will get the bonus irrespective of holding aarc.

    • Anna says:

      I would personally go for the BAPP option to trigger a 2 4 1 if you have a use for it; it’s easy to get 150k or more Avios value out of it on a long haul booking which beats the other offerings hands down.

    • Will says:

      If you can get value from your 2for1 then it’s a clear winner. However you may prefer to pay no fees and get 2x Amex golds for no fees In year 1 (then Churn) 40k points Plus Supp bonuses 6k points plus the referrals say 18k, 4 lounge passes Etc.

      • Will says:

        Or 1 BAPP and 1 gold. Best of both worlds unless you really like the platinum benefits which for most cannot be used enough even in normal times

        • Zara says:

          Thanks everyone who replied and sorry I took so long to respond back. Have been dealing with the kids!
          We can’t really get any bonuses for getting gold because we already have an Amex I presume so maybe can’t take that route.
          With the 241 we could maybe use it but the last one sat unused and has an (extended) expiry of March 2021. With the second child turning 2 in December, we would need two 241s if we were to use them.

          Did someone say my hubby can still get a bonus for upgrading from an AARC to platinum? I thought they were different cars types so not eligible.

          Sorry again for the delayed reply. I don’t know how many of you manage to keep track of replies on here. If there is a way please share.

          • MJ says:

            If its not possible to upgrade from ARCC to platinum it may be worth you getting a platinum and then referring him for an Green Card (extra 12k points)

            I believe he can then upgrade to platinum 20k + 8k for spend (I believe new cards still get the double points right?) and the bonus for a supp, which you would get too.

            That’d be 8k worth of spend, and you could open a BAPP card, referred from one of the platinums to get another 12k MR and the avios (you’d only be 1k off and have 6 months to spend it)

          • Zara says:

            Thanks MJ it sounds good if we had strategised well in advance, but I think with the spend having to occur in the next two weeks, the timing of changing cards etc won’t practically work for us is my thinking. I did just try to upgrade his ARCC to a platinum and it says he needs to call up and speak to someone so when we get a moment we can try and see what transpires.

  • Mr(s) Entitled says:

    Reward Flight Saver:

    Thanks to cancelled flights I haven’t had any activity in my Exec account for 12mths. Does a purchase of points or a transfer from Tesco count for restarting the 12mth clock and opening up RFS availability? BA website unhelpfully says “collect” which I do not see defined.

    I have not done either of these before, so if these routes do work, how long does it take for the points to appear?

    • Secret Squirrel says:

      I’m sure Tesco works, Amex transfer works also, how about any small purchase via the BA shop.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      I don’t think a purchase does.

      Collecting in any way such as from a BA CC, MR/Tesco transfer, flight, shopping etc works.

      Find Just Eat posts within a few days

      • AJA says:

        Edit were you referring to buying Avios e.g. under the current promo? I think that also counts.

        • Rob says:

          It does. Only thing that doesn’t count are ‘Combine My Avios’ transfers.

    • AJA says:

      Yes a transfer from Tesco Clubcard would restart the clock. When BA talks about collecting Avios it means any new points being added to.the account. If you’ve not signed up for rewards for points do that as there’s a bonus of 600 Avios for successfully completing your first survey ( not as straightforward as it sounds it may take several attempts based on whether you meet survey criteria) but you should then be able to do at least one survey a month and add 25 or 50 Avios which also counts as collecting. Or transfer Amex MR points. It also resets the 36 month hard expiry counter too.

    • Mr(s) Entitled says:

      Not sure what got edited out from this thread but in so doing my thanks were removed. So, once again, thanks all.

      • AndyGWP says:

        I thought you needed activity every 3 years – not every 12 months? 🙂

        • AndyGWP says:

          My mistake – realised you’re talking RFS eligibility, not expiry

    • Lyn says:

      Purchases through the BA e-shopping store take about 6 weeks to post. They do seem to count for RFS 12-month purposes.

  • Will says:

    It turns out my insurance Excludes FCO advice for cancellation. I have non refundable 12 day family trip to LAS on VS in mid July So if VS do not cancel the flight I don’t get a refund. The insurance broker says that VS must refund me because FCO say dont travel And/or US regulations won’t allow VS to carry us from UK where we live to LAS. Can anyone confirm this?

    Then if US opens LAS immigration but imposes 14 day quarantine does that mean we don’t get refund rights?

    Even more complicated is that I closed my Amex gold card account so can I still have section 75 Refund Cover if VS can’t fly me (For whatever reason)

    Thanks for your view on what rights I have. I am frankly shocked that FCO cover is not automatic/mandatory in All travel cover. This wasn’t a cheap policy!

    • Anna says:

      This is a very common exclusion (it’s the only exclusion in my own very comprehensive policy), but if you booked the trip before the FCO issued this advice I think you should still be covered, otherwise travel insurance in general would be pretty useless.

      • Will says:

        Thanks Anna. Was bought prior to Covid Spread from China which is why it is so odd that it is not covered. Apparently it was a (non-obvious) policy extension. I was not able to read the full policy as my regular Annual insurance (now expired) Did not cover off piste skiing and I was imminently going on a ski trip so bought this extra (Enhanced!) annual cover last moment from Another company. Only now have I looked at the cancellation section and see my error. Hardly fit for purpose I think you have already agreed!

        • Lady London says:

          Are you definitely looking at the terms as confirmed on the day you purchased the insurance and not terms that have been changed by the insurance company? They can only apply the terms on the day you bought, for the duration of the cover you purchased.

          They are not allowed to change or insert new terms or restrictions after that even if they would be doing it for newly purchased policies.

          • Will says:

            Yes. It was an extension that I did not see when buying in a hurry in Feb. The broker told me this week that the airline would not be allowed to carry me to USA (Under the current rules if they are not revoked) so I should not worry.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Was this trip booked after FCO issued its advice?

      FCO advice does not stop any carrier taking you anywhere because it is advice not a legal ban. But VS won’t let you fly if you don’t have the correct right of entry into the USA (so no travel on an ESTA if they current ban continues)

      • Will says:

        No, was booked before FCO advice
        So do you think VS will cancel my ticket as we are (probably now not) travelling on ESTA

        • BrightonReader says:

          Not sure what you are asking abour re your ESTA.

          If the DHS says you can’t board the plane because you don’t have an ESTA then that’s not the airlines fault.

          If you are ineligible to enter a country – for whatever reason – then again that’s not the airlines fault and they do all that they can to prevent that from happening in the first place

        • TGLoyalty says:

          No I’m just surprised there is insurance that doesn’t cover FCO advice for no travel. Who is the provider? That way everyone else can steer clear.

          VS aren’t liable if you can’t complete your travel. If the flight flies then you have no recourse just because you didn’t meet the entry requirements. They may offer a voucher or to move the flights but it’s months away so who knows what will be happening then.

  • Anna says:

    Does anyone know if Revolut treats these as “normal” spending, as opposed to “cash-like” – payments to a car finance company and to an energy company? I’m thinking the latter should be ok, the former maybe not?!

    • fivebobbill says:

      I’d try it and see Anna, so long as the payment goes trough I think you should be ok.
      Case in point I tried to make a payment last month into a “Vanguard” ISA account, but it was declined due to “Unsupported Merchant”.

      • Anna says:

        Thanks, but To clarify, this was isn’t about what might be declined but what might be classed as excessive spending!

        • Secret Squirrel says:

          Someone was pushing 20k through Revolut a month, I wouldn’t be concerned after seeing that figure!

          • Anna says:

            Yes but there were others doing £10-£15k and getting warning messages. I’ve got 2 unusually hungry seagulls this month!

          • The Urbanite says:

            The thing with this is that we don’t know what that person has supplied to Revolut in terms of proof of source of funds. They could be sitting on the proceeds of a house sale or a huge inheritance for all we know, which won’t be the case for everyone. Someone else who decides to cycle £20k a month through might well get their funds trapped for months on end and be put on the National Crime Agency watchlist!

          • Anna says:

            I have a perfectly legitimate pension lump sum but I’d rather not have the aggravation of proving it to Revolut. Someone was saying yesterday that it’s the type/mix of spend which attracts attention, not the amount, hence my question about energy companies.

          • The Urbanite says:

            There is a spend limit on each account which isn’t shown. If you hit that, the account will automatically restrict and you’ll have to send proof of source of funds.

            The warning people are getting is for repeated topping up with a credit card and transferring the funds out.

            Unfortunately there’s no way to avoid scrutiny if moving large sums about! But they will get off your back if you demonstrate real, rather than manufactured spend.

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