Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The new HFP chat thread – Friday 19th 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 (189)

  • Matt says:

    I’ve just booked flights with Virgin Atlantic for next January in Upper Class. I currently have a Flying Club account with 8000 miles picked up from Waitrose and Morrisons, and a Flying Blue account with no activity at all.

    I’m BA Silver, with no current plans to fly VS or AF/KLM regularly – where’s best to credit these flights to, assuming they actually happen?

    • Rhys says:

      Probably still Virgin unless you collect with another frequent flyer program Virgin will let you credit to. At the very least you can then use them for redemptions on AF, KLM (for example to Amsterdam or Paris), ANA if you start building a decent balance or a wine redemption at a push.

  • Moktar says:

    Extract from Bloomberg:
    United Airlines Holdings is borrowing against it frequent-flyer program in its biggest debt sale since the pandemic. The pitch? Its miles are a safer bet than the actual airline. A group of banks led by Goldman Sachs Group plans to sell leveraged loans and secured bonds, possibly before the July 4 holiday in the U.S., according to a person familiar. The debt could even be given one investment-grade rating, the person said.

  • Lorraine says:

    Not very good with working out points. I took out IHG credit card, is is worth paying 1.4% fee to use in a large purchase worth £20,000 plus to get free reward night etc

    • Dezbez says:

      How come you are being charged a fee, Lorraine? That rate doesn’t sound like an fx charge and I’m pretty sure UK legislation now means companies can’t charge for using CCs transactions here, so strange you’d be charged?
      Notwithstanding this, 1.4% on £20k is a significant amount and enough to mean the economics of it probably don’t work (to me at least). What’s your alternative though – can you avoid the fee?

    • Rob says:

      No, I wouldn’t bother. Best (assuming this is the Premium card) to get up to £10,000 via ‘natural’ spending over the year without paying any fees.

    • Lumma says:

      Does anyone get a £20k+ credit limit from Creation?

    • Lady London says:

      does Curve work for this? (Curve being technically a debit card)

  • Lady London says:

    OT taken the jump to get a Starling account for my business.
    Anyone know how long it takes to get it open?
    I’ve submitted it but they’ve given no time indication.Is that normal?

    • Connor says:

      Had a personal account already and it took a day to get it open. Personally wouldn’t bank with them anymore though after the way they handled their bounce bank loan scheme and have closed my accounts now. Jumped ship to Monzo Business and not looked back.

      • Lady London says:

        Thanks Connor.

        Luckily I am not looking for the bounceback loan thing.

        But in looking at Starling and my old business bank, both seem to be implying they are giving priority to this type of loan – but saying there is a queue for them to deal with applications for them.

        My main reason for choosing Starling was feedback on here. So hopefully somebody will come along and say they have a quick turnaround:-)

        I will bear your tip in mind @Connor about monzo if I do encounter any problems with Starling….but I’m really, really hoping not

        • RakishDriver says:

          Have had a Starling business account for over a year now ( as well as personal, joint and euro) and have found the use smooth everytime, have had no issues.
          Highly recommend.
          I don’t think you’d go wrong with Monzo either.

  • rob says:

    Hi all

    I recently jumped on the 3000 Tesco CC points for taking pet insurance. Only after did I realise that I’d used a broswer that notoriously does not track click thru’s like the one being used for this offer.

    I now suspect this hasn’t tracked and I’d rather find out sooner rather than later before I waste money paying the direct debits for months.

    Is there any way I can find out if it has tracked. Also, do I have any recourse if they claim it didnt track?

    Many thanks

    • Rob says:

      I thought the MSE offer sent you to a specific application page, so it would track. Safari has virtually no tracking capacity now so most people have moved beyond cookies.

  • Lady London says:

    Vueling has 20% off flash sale today- London-Paris included otherwise Spanish domestic and a few other routes from Paris – for flights in July.

    • marcw says:

      That was yesterday.

      • Lady London says:

        Weird. I got an email from a third party 10am this morning, and the list of routes appeared to load showing it.

        • Lady London says:

          Checked again and you are correct. However the (not so helpful now:-) ) email was in my inbox timed as sent 10am today.

          Luckily, I’ve never flown them yet but some of their routes that don’t touch Spain look interesting

  • @mkcol says:

    Anyone having problems using IHG backed Curve this week?
    I just seem to keep getting transactions decline whether it’s online, in person or a Go Back In Time transaction from my other linked card.

    • memesweeper says:

      This week I’ve done a couple of real transactions and a ‘go back in time’ that moved the charge to IHG… all worked OK.

    • Jonathan says:

      My wife had a problem online with IHG backed curve purchases. I’ve not had an issue with mine however.

    • RC says:

      No problem using ihg backed curve this week. However can’t seem to use it with go back in time function. Get an error message saying it operates at a different currency even though it says GBP on the app.

    • @mkcol says:

      Interesting results, thanks.

      I’ve contacted Curve who say that Creation are sending “Do Not Honour” messages (how shameful!) so I’ve contacted Creation to get them to check with their fraud/risk dept & figure it out.

      I’m not holding my breath for a speedy response.

      • Pat the Postie says:

        Every time I used the go back in time it got declined and security blocked so i stopped and not had a problem and use it every day

    • Genghis says:

      Creation can be a bit trigger happy blocking the ihg card. My ihg card itself was blocked a couple of weeks ago but I called up and sorted soon thereafter.

      • @mkcol says:

        I sent them a secure message yesterday , tried calling today but of course their customer service doesn’t work at the weekend.
        Why would it?!

  • Craig says:

    Just had the first hotel cancel for our North Coast 500 trip in September, they are staying closed until April! Trying to decide now whether to give it up as a bad job or stick with it? My biggest concern is being made to feel unwelcome.

    • Qwertyknowsbest says:

      The saying goes that a week is a long time in politics, I think the same (or maybe a month) with Covid. Are your hotels flexible bookings and can you cancel? If so see how things look as time passes?

      Who knows you might get a bigger welcome than ever if a spending customer.

      • Craig says:

        I’ll stick with it for now, a combination of full-flexible and low deposits. There wasn’t much choice on the deposit side when I booked, back to the route and hotel planning that I thought was done.

    • Anna says:

      I’ve got a booking for early December in Edinburgh and there’s no suggestion that hotels won’t be back open then, or that visitors won’t be welcome. I imagine some hotels which are very quiet in the winter might decide to cut their losses and not re-open until next spring, but this won’t necessarily apply to all of them. I would wait and see what comes out from the Scottish government over the next few weeks.

    • BJ says:

      Tourism supposedly open from 15 July . Don’t give up yet on your chance to eat from the Seafood Shack in Ullapool and visit Lochinver, Suilven is waiting for you. Get a microvan, a tent, a four season bag….you can do it.

      • Craig says:

        My wife’s idea of camping is a 3-star hotel!

        • BJ says:

          Extraordinary times though.

        • Blindman says:

          Ive booked a September trip for 14 days (Edinburgh, NC500, Skye) and only had one Airbnb refuse (she said her hubby was shielding- Did say this was for September!)
          Mixture of 4* and B&b’s
          Can’t see there being a problem in September. IMHO.

          • Craig says:

            Those were my thoughts, I’ve had one hotel asking if I still want the booking and now this one cancelling.

          • Blindman says:

            “Those were my thoughts, I’ve had one hotel asking if I still want the booking and now this one cancelling.”

            Maybe hotels occupancy is low so they’re shutting.
            I’m booked into IHG’s in EDI, GLA and then small Airbnb’s or B&B’s along the NC500 and Skye.
            I’m hoping the small ones need the money…

          • Craig says:

            The majority of my bookings are small hotels and B&Bs, I was hoping the same. I can live with a few more changes but having to constantly rejig the itinerary could make it more hassle than its worth. We shall see how it goes and I’ll pop some updates on here if appropriate.

      • Lady London says:

        what is a microvan. can it be booked with Avios?

        • Lady London says:

          Ugh. seen the pictures now. Nooooo !!

          • BJ says:

            No sense of adventure, just think how many couples one of these things could bring closer together, and the ensuing stimulus to the legal profession and the housing market.

          • Craig says:

            I’m fairly certain that for us it would lead to divorce.

          • Blindman says:

            Spent 7 nights in March this year crossing the Nulabor plain in one similar with the Mrs.

      • Erico1875 says:

        Just before this Corona Virus I was researching starting a tent and camping equiptment hire service