Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The new HFP chat thread – Thursday 14th 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: 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 (229)

  • Heath says:

    Do successful supplementary card applications for BAPP cards still get 3000 points?
    Thank u

      • Genghis says:

        You can just do it from your account. Sometimes the page freezes after processing but you’ll see if you’re successful as the 3k should post immediately.

      • Heath says:

        Thank you

    • Anna says:

      Is it just the first supp?

      • Doug M says:


      • Andrew says:

        Seems to be only for the first, but interesting to see if that really is the case or it it works for further ones. Also it states that you won’t receive the bonus if you have received it before – what if your supps were in place a long time ago, before this offer existed, can you add one now and get the bonus because although not the first supp, you didn’t get a bonus before?

        • Genghis says:

          One data point: if you add a supp as part of the application process, you can still add another supp once account opened and get the supp bonus.

          • Charlieface says:

            I once added one and got the bonus after having had the bonus before on the same account and then cancelling the supp. Didn’t want to take the mick doiong it too many times, I wonder if anyone else tried it… YMMV

  • NickAnon says:

    Asia Air have cancelled my flight and are now refusing refund. (HKG-BKI) I have tried repeatedly, but just offering change of date – I wont be flying with them again so useless to me. I could try through credit card but they are less than £100 each person. Anyone else had any luck?
    Are Asia Air governed by the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia?

    • Vit says:

      Have you tried asking them for credit into Air Asia BIG account? As I believe credit into BIG account has now been extended to be used in the future up to end of 2021 and not just 12 months. At least it will give you more space to work with?

      • NickAnon says:

        I need a refund. This flight was part of a trip that is not going to happen now. Ive never flown AsiaAir and im never likely to – it seems they have changed the T&Cs *after* I made the booking to not offer refunds, and are just telling me thats how it is. I want nothing to do with a company that does that.

      • BJ says:

        We discussed this in chat yesterday Nick, unfortunately no refunds for anybody yet as far as I know. The credits to BIG account Vit refers to are working ok, mine took 13 days. This credit can be used against hotels or car hire too if that is of any use to you. I’ve never booked either of those via Air Asia so I don’t know if it is restricted to their own market area or not.

  • Doug M says:

    A slightly annoying aspect of the IHG Premium card is how long they take to consider your DD as paid. On occasion I get quite close to the credit limit, the DD posts and 4 days later I still can’t spend as the DD as not been taken from the available to spend figure.

    • Craig Vassie says:

      Creation is a subsidiary of BNP Paribas. They’re certainly not the best at posting either DDs or direct account payments, and they routinely sit on the money for three or four days. When I tackled them they claimed that they were waiting for the payment to clear, which is rubbish!

      • ian_h says:

        Not necessarily, my firm collects DD and there is a window between seeing the collection on a clients bank and us physically receiving the funds.

        If we collect on the first for example, we find out about rejections/bounces on the 2nd and don’t see the actual fund arrive until the 3rd sometimes 4th day after collection.

        It’s not dissimilar to a card payment where we have to wait for settlement for a couple of days.

    • Sandra says:

      Yesterday I was surprised to find a late payment fee on our black IHG account as, rather than ask for a refund only to return it to them a few days later, we had left credit refunds for Covid cancellations on the account that cleared the last statement balance and still left a credit of about £10. When I called this morning the charge was removed but I was told by the person I spoke to that (she thought) it was because we hadn’t made the minimum payment and even though the credits had cleared the balance their system still expects at least the minimum payment to be made by the due date if the last statement had a balance o/s on it?!! Be aware.

      • Genghis says:

        Amex too.

        If you have a statement balance of £2k and then receive a refund of £1k, they still expect £2k payment per terms and how the DD works unless you contact them.

        Does anyone have any other data points from receiving refunds from Amex?

        • Sandra says:

          Genghis, surprisingly it worked with my Amex and I had no problem with them. Left the credit and it cleared the balance without a hitch.

          • Sandra says:

            To add to that I don’t pay by DD I just send by bank transfer as I dislike them taking the DD early!

          • BJ says:

            Me too, regardless of refund received my amex app always seems to update with respect to any payments due. I also get email notifications informing me of any adjustments. Never had any penalties or interest applied.

          • Genghis says:

            Thanks for data points. I know for future. I have been burned in the past.

        • AJA says:

          This aspect of paying by DD is one of the reasons I avoid DD. Besides given there is you nearly 3 weeks between statement date and due date I find it very simple just to log into my bank on the day I get the Amex or other c card statement and set up the payment to go out when I want it to. And with the mobile app I don’t even need access to a pc or even need to be in the UK. Never understood the attraction of DD, it saves literally 5 minutes a month of my time. Not worth it to my mind.

          • Genghis says:

            Yeah it’s just one more thing to do and given return on cash capital these days, negligible benefit. I could pay my TV licence / gas and electric etc by credit card but prefer to keep things simple. I do pay CT manually, however, as the benefits are worth it to me – possible to get 10% back at the CoOp. I generally prefer my financial system to be as automated as possible.

          • Harry T says:

            Please remind me how to get 10% off at the Coop… I’m usually focussed on hitting a credit card bonus spend.

          • Genghis says:

            LBG brand (Lloyds, Halifax, BOS) offers.

          • Harry T says:

            Thanks, I should open a bank account with one of them. Currently don’t have one.

        • Boi says:

          Does anyone have experience regarding this with Lloyd’s? I have had refunds so rather than paying full statement balance I just paid the difference-
          Eg: statement £7100. £600 refund. I just paid £6500. Will this lead to interest charge of some sort?

          • Spk says:

            Call the bank to confirm. Like Creation, some banks might insist on paying them.

        • Spk says:

          Never had this issue with Amex. But I pay manually, not by DD.

        • Charlieface says:

          Don’t think it’s true as I often don’t pay the full balance if I’ve had refunds. I think it only happens if you don’t make the minimum payment. The website saying balance to be paid is just a bug

          • Genghis says:

            Thanks. The terms state otherwise, but I guess Amex aren’t applying them. As always with this “hobby”, de facto and de jure differ.

          • illuminatus says:

            I have also paid to clear ‘total balance’ only vs ‘balance due’ many times after large refunds with no penalty. However every time I called Amex to clarify that, they insisted on me paying the full ‘balance due’ and then refunding the difference to me later on

      • Doug M says:

        I checked my account this morning and noticed the DD was about £20 less than expected, they’d adjusted it account for a refund after the statement date.

    • Anna says:

      I always make some kind of payment well in advance as they are quite slow at clearing.

  • Vit says:

    Rob, I think a few weeks or month ago, you were running some avios bonus for IG follower. Cannot remember exactly what it is called. Do we have a winner yet? 🙂

    • Rob says:

      We do, but it’s not you! We’ll announce the name on (at the current schedule) Saturday.

  • Isolde says:

    Data point for Marriott, and a compare and contrast with BA.

    I had a non cancellable booking at Westin Sendai which I cancelled last Friday using Marriott’s COVID 19 Cancellation Policy. I cancelled it with Marriott’s central reservation group and e:mailed the hotel as a courtesy. Marriott said it would take up to 90 days to refund to my credit card, which I was happy to accept given that it was originally non cancellable and Marriott were being very fair with their policy. The refund arrived last night in 3 working days. A very impressive response from the hotel.

    BA also cancelled flights, so I asked for a refund at the same time. The companion voucher and Avios were due back by Tuesday but have not arrived and I fully expect to have to do a S75 claim with AMEX to get my charges back in a reasonable time..

  • Anna says:

    I’m toying with the idea of booking a pre-Xmas trip to Vienna and will have 2 IHG free night certificates to use – does anyone know if the Intercontinental is any good? Some reviews on Tripadvisor suggests it’s badly in need of a refurb. The only other IHG offerings seem to be HI’s.

    • Rob says:

      I’ve also stayed there twice over the years. It is acceptable but unremarkable. Likely to be a bit more battered now than it was in 2016 when we covered it. You are not inside the ‘ring’ but literally just a couple of minutes walk. Park Hyatt is highly rated but unfortunately you’ve just missed the 30% bonus on buying Hyatt points.

      • Anna says:

        Thanks Rob. The Hilton Vienna Plaza where I stayed with my sister last year was also lovely but I am struggling to use the free night certificates given the amount of stuff we’ve cancelled this year. I could look at other cities but OH and son would adore Vienna due to being history buffs of the period it was at its peak.

        • Rob says:

          Book it then. If it’s free it’s free and Vienna is probably pretty pricey when the Christmas markets are on.

        • BJ says:

          I’ve stayed at HI City and it was fine. Might be worth a look to see how points compare to the IC.

        • Michael C says:

          We did the Hilton Vienna Plaza Xmas market trip the year before, Anna, also loved it. Sure you’ll have a fab time wherever you are!

    • TGLoyalty says:

      It a pretty ugly looking on the outside and little tired on the inside. It’s in a decent location, just outside the ring as Rob mentioned. Vienna is lovely around that time but 2020 may not be the same as market may not go ahead in the same way?

      The Marriott choices are better, I stayed at the imperial not too far away.

      • Anna says:

        But – there are no award or Ambassador nights showing at all at the moment, presumably because of current circs, so will have to see what opens up. Also IHG certificates not triggered for a few weeks yet, so will see if anything opens up.
        We wouldn’t be going primarily for the markets, it’s the museums and hopefully a concert/opera but of course nobody knows how things will be anywhere by then. December will just be the only time OH can get a few days leave in the school holidays.

  • Coucou says:


    Do you see AMEX offering an increased bonus for taking the Platinum card in the future? I don’t think people will rush to get such a product for the next few months, especially considering the current travel circumstances.

    On the other hand, the BAPP doesn’t seem to have the same offers at the moment. Should we expect something on that front to compensate for the limited use of the cards and its benefits?

    Thanks, C

    • Gary says:

      Has anyone had any joy getting a retention offer for their BAPP?

      Already received 20k MR for plat.

  • John says:

    Pretty much sums up the battle ahead:

    For those who reckon MOL is reading the politics more accurately than WW, this is a quick summary of current border control plans:

    • memesweeper says:

      Good luck getting any kind of social distancing working at Stansted when Ryanair are flying again…

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