Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The new HFP chat thread – Thursday 28th 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 (190)

  • Peggers says:

    I’m looking for advice on a trip early next year to London (all being open etc).
    My daughter is at Uni near New Cross. My wife and I travelling by train, arriving at KGX and we want to stay for 2 nights, not necessarily centrally as we’ve been to London a few times before.
    I am IHG platinum through CC and have 90k points and a voucher after £10k spend. It seems IC O2 is popular on this site and I could get 2 nights for 90k points without using voucher, but I’m not sure how easy public transport is from O2 to New Cross, or what amenities are in this area?
    The alternatives are using more points and the voucher at IC Park Lane or the Kimpton Fitzroy?
    As well as visiting my daughter, I am looking for the best experience for the time I’m in London.
    Any advice would be appreciated.

    • Kilburnflyer says:

      Hi Peggers, assuming it’s New Cross (presumably Goldsmiths) you’d be looking at 25-30mins by public transport from IC O2 (Jubilee to Canada Water, swapping to overground to New Cross) or you can take an Uber in 15 mins for approx £12. Personally I would opt for the latter.

      Can’t speak to the property itself but whilst the IC Park Lane is well located for Hyde Park/Oxford Street shopping, I think the area is a bit bland/russian bling for my tastes.

      The intercontinental at the O2 is reportedly very good and has direct access to the Jubilee line which gets you quickly to lots of great areas (London Bridge for Borough Market/bankside walks, Southwark for Tate modern and Waterloo for Southbank/BFI/Royal Festival hall etc..)

      As you are visiting your daughter, it’s proximity to New Cross is also a plus over other options. I would go for the IC O2 on that basis (also it’s a quick 25min tube ride via London Bridge on arrival at Kings Cross)

      • Genghis says:

        I’d say a 15 min Uber is only for quiet times. At peak times, 15 mins heading through Cutty Sark in any either direction or onto the northbound Blackwall tunnel approach is optimistic (lived in Cutty Sark for years and still a SE London driver).

        Sorry – can’t offer advice on the hotels. Never stayed at these places. However, consider what’s really important. Trekking across London is no fun if the focus of your trip is to see your daughter. Not exactly fancy but there’s a Premier Inn in Lewisham, opened a couple of years ago.

        • Kilburnflyer says:

          Fair point re: traffic Genghis. Some non-IHG options that are closer to Goldsmiths would be the Doubletree Greenwich or the Novotel Greenwich (direct Thameslink in approx 30mins from King’s X on arrival). The Doubletree looks to be a nicer hotel albeit a bit further away from Greenwich station than the Novotel

        • Danny says:

          Yes the Premier Inn in Lewisham (opposite the transport hub so easy access to New Cross and Central London) is basic but good value. There are also lots of budget hotels, including another PI, a Novotel and two Travel Lodges along Greenwich High Road. There is also a Doubletree by Hilton (currently closed), at the top of this road, near Deptford Bridge DLR which is easily accessible by public transport from Kings Cross via the Northern Line to Bank Station then DLR to Deptford Bridge or Lewisham, journey time about 45 mins. The Doubletree is about 15-20 mins walk to the Goldsmith Campus or there is a number of direct buses, 2 stops.

          • jac says:

            I highly recommend the Doubletree in Greenwich near Deptford Bridge Station (often good value both in cash or points). I live very close to this hotel and when my parents are visiting, this is their preferred hotel. If the Doubletree is full / expensive (seems popular for weddings), they normally prefer to stay in our guestroom on a sofabed as they dont rate the other options in the neighbourhood as high. The doubletree would be within a walking distance from New Cross or you can catch a bus every 5 minutes for a short ride (no traffic jam as past the bottleneck of Greenwich Town / Park and there is a bus lane). As Gold/ Diamond you will get some free drinks in the bar, free breakfast and normally an upgrade (either top floor with nice views over London or a family room). For visiting London you can take DLR (2 mins walk) or National Rail (Greenwich station 7 mins walk)

          • Lady London says:

            i had the Doubletree Greenwich marked for a stay after seeing consistently excellent reviews. From Rob’s reviews the IC O2 sounds like excellent value and of course due no events allowed at O2 I think I would take advantage of the excellent pricing you should find at IC O2 right now

    • Diydegsy says:

      Hi I would definitely go with the Intercontinental O2 it’s a great hotel and we use it most of the time while we are in London. The staff are great, there is a swimming pool if you like that sort of thing, we had it to ourselves on our last visit and it’s really easy to get to most places. The club lounge is great if you can make use of it and we much prefer this hotel to the Park Lane.

    • Peggers says:

      Thank you to everyone who replied. Great insight. I’ll need to balance hotel with transport options but a few things to ponder. Much appreciated. Thanks.

    • memesweeper says:

      There’s a great Crowne Plaza at Kings Cross which is a good redemption offer for IHG members with plenty of points.

      Do not get an Uber from central London to Goldsmiths, I used to live near New Cross and the traffic is often horrific. New Cross Gate is as close a station as New Cross when planning your public transport journeys. Get the CityMapper app, it’s superb for navigating London.

    • Chuck says:

      Hi Peggers, I will add my experience as have stayed at all of these hotels.
      I don’t get the love for the IC @o2, I’m possibly biased but I don’t like the fact the bedroom windows are sealed.. no option but air con. Location is ok if you want chain restaurant in the o2 or a bit of a trek to Greenwich or the City.
      Much prefer the Hilton Dbl tree at Deptford bridge as noted by other posters. Rooms are small IME but for me the location and staff win here. Lots of good places to wander in Greenwich and plenty of independent shops and restaurants.
      The other hotels in the area are not great !

  • Gtellez says:

    A very good Amex offer just appeared in my Platinum Card: get 100% back every time up to £100! Participating locations: M&S, Waitrose, Deliveroo, Harvey Nichols and Apple.
    With the 15k points I received few weeks ago and this new offer, I’m happy I didn’t cancel my card!

  • Craig says:

    Interesting Amex offer this morning, it was available on main and supplementary platinum cards:

    Save to Card and shop online and instore with M&S, Waitrose & Partners, Deliveroo and Harvey Nichols or online with Apple Online Store UK and we’ll credit your account for the first £100 of spend, up to 27/08/2020. Terms, location and payment restrictions apply.
    See Participating Locations

    Offer available instore and online at M&S, Waitrose & Partners, Deliveroo and Harvey Nichols. Offer valid online only at Apple Online Store UK. Please click here for participating websites.
    Offer only applies to spend settled in Great British Pound (GBP) on the Card to which the offer is saved, including an American Express Card loaded into a mobile payment wallet.
    Department store concessions and outlets are not included in the offer.
    M&S exclusions: Bank and Energy services, Bureau de change, Opticians and Petrol stations.
    Waitrose & Partners exclusions: Cellar, Florist, Garden, Pet, Cookery school, foreign currency, Gift Section.
    Harvey Nichols exclusions: International delivery, gift cards, vouchers and dining within restaurant.
    Apple exclusions: Apple iTunes, Apps and Apple Music, Apple Search Ads, Apple Finance and Gift Cards.

    • Harry T says:

      Doesn’t appear to be available on PRGC and Bonvoy Amex. Must be targeted at Platinum.

    • Kilburnflyer says:

      Can confirm I have received the £100 statement credit offer on both my Platinum and my wife’s supplementary platinum card this morning. A welcome addition to Plat benefits with travel not being possible for the foreseeable (on top of the 20K points a few weeks ago).

      • Craig says:

        It’s on my daughters gold card which is a supplementary to my platinum. It does say per card, but they can’t be about to give me £300 back surely?

        • Kilburnflyer says:

          Probably worth trying with a Waitrose shop on her card if you go there anyway for your weekly shop? 😉

    • Sapiens says:

      Thanks for heads up Craig. On my Plat.

      • Hunter says:

        Great offer – on our main and supplementary platinum.
        States “Get 100% back every time up to £100”. This implies it can be used as many times as you wish, till expiry on 27th August…can that be right.?!

        • Ian M says:

          T&Cs state a maximum of £100 statement credit will be given per card.

        • Hunter says:

          Have now read full t’s & c’s…
          “100% statement credit will be credited every time you make an eligible transaction. A maximum of £100 statement credit per Card will be given.”

          • Andrew says:

            I think this means you could spend £20 at M&S, £50 at Harvey Nics and then £30 at Waitrose and your total back would be £100. But you don’t get it unlimited amounts of times. But it does read as “per card” and that is the usual approach so you could get multiple £100s per account across the supps.

          • Lady London says:

            So it was worth getting all those supps?

    • Andrew says:

      An amazing offer! Especially as it includes M&S and Waitrose – everyone needs food rather than having to buy things you don’t need (but you can treat yourself at Harvey Nics if you want). Very well judged offer for the current mood – Amex should become the PM’s Lead Adviser 😉 But it will be interesting to see if several £100s are credited by having it on several supps, normally you would expect it to, but this does seem an offer too good to be true to do that.

      • Gormlesstraveller says:

        Yes it’s good that they are pushing spend towards M&S and Harvey Nichols, as many of us have gift cards for them from previous offers!

    • TGLoyalty says:

      That’s a very good offer. Making me regret downgrading my Plat now.

      15k-20k points and £300 credit at shops I use anyway. Would’ve had a year for free.

      • Harry T says:

        I’m also regretting downgrading my Plat too. Seemed like a good call at the time with the information available to me.

        • Secret Squirrel says:

          If only we had a time machine Harry!
          Still a very hefty annual fee unless your utilising every aspect of the benefits to the max.

      • BJ says:

        Only if you got the various incentives, and there is no way of telling for sure so not worth losing sleep over it. Besides, you are now paying nothing for the card, and are all set for referral and potential upgrade bonuses plus supp bonuses to be triggered at time of maximum advantage.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Agree. Was going to add it’ll make me feel better when I apply for green upgrade to Plat and get 5k for a supp

        • Harry T says:

          Yeah I’d rather have £575 in my pocket than some MR I can’t really use at the moment, and some statement credits for expensive shops. As you say, I’m well placed to benefit in the future too.

  • BJ says:

    Amex really must be pushing both retention and new business at the moment. This today, Secret Squirrel reporting 3500 avios retention bonus on BAPP yesterday. Tuesday I did 3x referrals from Gold for 27k (in my account yesterday), all were for homemakers with little or no credit history, all three accepted instantly without review.

    • Harry T says:

      Let’s hope they change the bonus rules again in our favour. Promising signs that they are looking to retain and acquire customers.

      • BJ says:

        Too much to hope for I think, those rules were just brought in to tackle a relatively small problem…the likes of us. Despite the excitement this offer, in conjunction with the 20k bonus and 0.9p statement credit, is just a rebate on a close to useless card at tbe moment anyway. A few, mostly the likes of us again, may recoup all or most of their fee back, or makd a small ‘profit’. However, the majority will not have received all offers or will have been unaware of them with the result that they are still paying something for a card with little value so amex will be happy enough.

    • Anna says:

      I applied for a new BAPP a few weeks ago, put in that I’m retired on a modest pension (but decent other household income), was immediately accepted with a £19k credit limit!

      • Anna says:

        And when I trigger my 2 4 1 in a few weeks I am going to ask about the retention offer lol.

        • BJ says:

          A reasonable request, a mere 1.5 avios/£ is hardly sufficient to encourage a hardened pro like yourself to keep spending 🙂

        • Secret Squirrel says:

          Anna: I got the 3500 x avios goodwill gesture after only being a new card holder for 6 x weeks.

          • Anna says:

            I’m just lazy – if they don’t offer me the retention I will cancel during the same chat!

      • Secret Squirrel says:

        Excellent info Anna, I’m more hopeful now the wife will be accepted.

        • Sam says:

          I rang Amex yesterday (got through to a CS in the Philippines) and tried for a retention bonus on my BAPP but to no avail. The lady said there were no such bonus on my card. Will try in a week or so!

          • Lady London says:

            apparently if you in land in the Philippines the answer’s always no.

            others advised call in Brighton opening hours and if you land in Phiippines either HUACA or they may well transfer you to Brighton on request

  • Daniel Evans says:

    Is there anyway to combine/share Avios with someone else who is not part of your household? This article no longer applies since ceased to be –

    I do still have an account through AerClub but can’t see any option for household accounts.

  • Andrew says:

    50% back on Dropbox on BA Amex.

    Nowhere near as interesting as other offers around…

    • RussellH says:

      On my Amex Rewards card, not BA Amex.

      No 100% off anything though on either. Still, I would much rather not pay any card fee and forego the offers.

    • Coucou says:

      BA Amex got nothing so far – nada! I don’t think there is any point keeping the card for the time being.

  • Nick says:

    Reuters are reporting that EasyJet are to axe 30% of their workforce.

    • Nick says:

      To be accurate “up to 30% of it’s workforce” and also shrink it’s fleet, to fit the smaller marketit expects to emerge from the collapse of air travel due to the coronavirus. EasyJey said it would launch a consultation process with it’s staff in the coming days.

  • Oli says:

    The Independent:
    As it is, British Airways is offering passengers a very generous “quarantine-avoidance waiver”.

    Anyone who flew from the UK on a return ticket, and is currently abroad with a return date of 8-28 June, can return early and circumvent the need to self-isolate for two weeks.

    The choice of dates is highly significant. I imagine BA knows something I don’t, but I have already highlighted 29 June as the date when this ludicrous policy will come to an ignominious end.

    • Reeferman says:

      The first review of the 14-day quarantine was always scheduled to be after 21 days – so 29th June is the indicative day for its withdrawal (assuming it’s actually implemented in the first place).

      • Lady London says:

        I think they will keep it long enough for MP’s to go off for their (long) summer holidays and remove it in time for them to come back.

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