Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The new HFP chat thread – Monday 8th June

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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 (139)

  • Jane says:

    Morning all, I’m just starting to plan next summers holiday to Florida with the kids. Looking at the current reward seat release pattern it doesn’t seem an issue to get 4 seats out to Miami on the later flight but only 2 per flight coming home. Does anyone have any views as to how likely it is that extra seats will open up later on the return leg so we can all get on the same flight ? thanks.

    • Anna says:

      Hi Jane, are you looking at CW? It’s often the case that people snap up the return seats as soon as they’re released – if 4 have been released outbound, there must have been 4 inbound also originally. With a popular destination like Miami you may need to book your outbound seats as soon as they become available and call BA at 1 am on the day the return leg is released. It’s very hit and miss whether BA release award seats later, but you can book a lower cabin then upgrade if they do become available, also Reward Flight Finder will do an ongoing search for you for £3 per month.

      • Jane says:

        Thanks Anna, that was the plan CW and booking at release date with a 1 am call when the returns are released and with reward flight finder and crossed fingers in the mean time. We’d have to book in 2 sets of 2 though as although we can get 4 seats out together I think we’d rather come back in 2’s on the two return flights than have 2 in economy and 2 in CW (no premium on this route).

    • Jonathan says:

      Are you looking at business class? It’s always harder to get US-UK legs in business on Avios as they’re almost all overnight flights that more people are happy to pay cash for. In normal times I’d advise taking 2 + 2 on the different flights or 2 in economy/premium economy on the same flight & keep fingers crossed (without too much hope) they release 2 more J seats at some point down the line. You’ll need to setup an alert on SeatSpy or Reward Flight Finder though.

      One thing to be aware of is if you initially only book the 2 guaranteed J seats for the return leg & plan on booking the remaining 2 as single legs if/when available then you’ll pay much higher fees so best to book whatever you can as returns to cover the 4 passengers then call up & pay the £35per person change fee to upgrade.

      • Ron says:

        You don’t get charged as single ticket if you ring up and add the return leg to the original outbound ticket. That’s what I’ve been told anyway.

    • TripRep says:

      Did find it interesting no mention of airline in your OP. Have you looked at VS?

      • Jane says:

        I was hoping for VS when we started planning but it was clear that we wouldn’t have enough points by a long shot. We do have plenty of Avios though and 2-4-1’s galore at the moment.

    • Luckyjim says:

      You could also look at spending a days or two in New York or Boston before returning home. It’s much easier to get reward flights from there and it’s a nice end to the holiday. You can even go Premium Economy on a daytime flight.

      • Anna says:

        +1 – loads of availability to NYC/BOS/IAD and internal flights in the US are very reasonably priced. We like visiting a city followed by a beach break so often do this. IAD is a fantastic starting point if you like museums and historic sites, we spent 5 days in Virginia and Washington DC a couple of years ago and had an amazing time.

        • Anna says:

          In fact, you might strike lucky and get 4 seats in F on one of these routes which would be a real treat at either end of your holiday. You’d then get the use of You First if you needed to change anything, which is priceless, and other perks like free seat selection and access to the Concorde lounge (hopefully open again by then).

          • Jane says:

            Thanks all, I’m now looking at a city break to end the holiday so I’ll check out all destinations mentioned. I do like first and it is my 50th birthday treat but the kids are still fairly young (late starter!) so the extra Avios make it questionable value, but if it gets us what we want then it’s definitely under consideration.

          • Ming the Merciless says:

            We did business/ first out and back with kids<10. 1st was well worth the extra Avios to see the joy on their face.

    • Ron says:

      Hi Jane, I’m in the same situation as you, I’m planning our 2021 summer holiday in the west coast, 4 CW redemptions with two 241s. I will be looking at SJC for outbound flight, but we will be flexible for the return leg, seems like SEA have the best chance.

  • davvero says:

    “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.”

    Politics are affecting our ability to travel and therefore our ability to earn and spend points. The actions of our government are why we’re starting quarantine today which could have a major affect on the tourism industry.

    There’s risk and reward, the Italians locked down hard, now they’ve got the virus under control they’re relaxing restrictions. This of course is a risk, but they have shown the ability to lock down and get things under control. The UK seem to be taking too long to do anything and then when they do it’s too late and ends up being pointless.

  • Mark says:

    Hi all,

    Trying to top up my Hargreaves Lansdown ISA with my Curve card, that is linked to my HSBC Premier World Elite MC.

    Tried a small amount but dosen’t seem like there’s fees…assume a big amount will go through without fees? Anyone have any experience?

    • Doug M says:

      Can’t help with the specifics here, but I’ve never had a no fee for small, but fee for large situation, and can’t remember reading of one.

    • Jon says:

      No fees for me for the past year up to about a week ago (my last deposit). Was able to top up IG and Vanguard with no issue on HSBC side, and without Curve’s 1.5% fee. Make sure you turn off Curve Fronted in the settings just in case.

  • Craig says:

    Just had Krisflyer Silver matched to Qatar Silver. The Krisflyer was obtained through the Amex Platinum Shangri La route and I had flown one sector with Singapore Airlines. Match sent on the 19th, acknowledged on the 1st and confirmed just now. It’s quite timely as my BA Bronze runs out in 3 weeks, I’ve just got to figure out what I can do with it now!

    • Rhys says:

      Good to hear it’s worked!

      • Craig says:

        Yes, very happy. Just waiting to hear from Mrs S now who applied a few days later. We have flights on AA from JFK to PUJ early next year so it’s worth it if only for the free baggage that I think one world Ruby gives on AA.

  • CaptainAnonymous says:

    Sri Lankan Airlines canceled my flight at the end of March. They have not been processing refunds throughout the COVID crisis. I raised an Amex chargeback exactly 2 months ago, which is still sitting in pending because Sri Lankan are not responding to them. The target date for chargeback resolution was 1 June.

    What should I do? This is bordering on the absurd now. Sri Lankan are not responding to me and are not responding to Amex. To add insult to injury this was a refundable J class ticket.

    • Matthew says:

      Was it paid for by a credit card? If so then best bet now is section 75 I’d imagine. Booking a refundable fare too is very much in your favour.

    • Vit says:

      I agreed with the above post if you really exhausted all possibilities deal with amex through chargeback. Your only option would be to inform them that you would like to take this further through s75 and will raise proper complaint. I have done 4 chargebacks. 3 have been successful. 1 was appealed by TA but I then fought back by providing amex with a timeline letters dealing with TA and all possible evidences such as email from airline stated full refund etc.

      Your case seems very simple and in very much in your favour by:

      1. Showing you have tried to communicate with airline but they just never responded.
      2. Showing your fully refundable policy you’ve got.
      3. If dealing with TA that might be a bit more tricky.

      Wish you all the best.

      • CaptainAnonymous says:

        Thank you for the advice. As luck would have it, the chargeback has been approved today. Phew.

    • Charlieface says:

      If they don’t respond then Amex will close in your favour, can’t remember the exact time limit. Did Amex not temporarily credit you the amount, they normally do?

  • Tom C says:

    Had our MAN – FLR flights cancelled on Friday which were not due to leave until the end of July. A bit disappointed, we thought that they might be cancelled but probably expected this to happen next month.

    Rang BA at 4pm yesterday, got through no issues, avios credited back immediately hopefully the cash element comes back in the next week or so.

  • Andrew says:

    Now we have reached 8 June and therefore the last day of the April, May, June reduced tier point requirement from BA, I wonder if we will see an update to their policy.

  • Ian M says:

    Good morning all.

    I’ve been thinking about current accounts in different parts of the world with debit cards which earn miles and points. I have an account with a bank in Russia, which comes with a debit card that earns Aeroflot miles at a healthy rate (better than most UK credit cards earn Avios). I’ve been wondering how many other countries offer accounts (available to non-residents) with debit cards that earn points?

    • guesswho2000 says:

      I’d bet that almost all will require you to be a resident (or at least have an address) of the country in which they operate in order to open you an acount.

      As for products which exist that offer the service in question, in Australia Bankwest offer a transaction account with a debit card which earns Qantas points, as do Qudos and Bank of Queensland.

      • Ian M says:

        Russia and Belarus offer non-resident accounts which earn points on debit card. Belarus is just with Belavia though which is not as useful. I wonder about Ukraine?

    • Andrew M says:

      That is certainly adventurous! I think the large Russian banks are probably reasonably safe right now but I would still worry about having money there. Isn’t there an issue with sanctions on certain Russian banks when you try to transfer money back to the UK? Are you using the debit card in EUR/USD to make transactions in the UK and if so how is that working out? MS is precarious at the best of times but I would have thought using a Russian debit card would raise a few red flags with UK institutions.

    • Charlieface says:

      Amex Global Transfer is a good shout, they don’t ask for credit history in the target country but for most countries will require at least a local bank account

    • Sina says:

      I have an account with DKB in Germany and the Hilton credit card gives me HH Diamond with €20k spend! It’s a wonderful card and has only €48 yearly fee!!

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