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The new HFP chat thread – Saturday 27th 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 (156)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Craig says:

    Amex referral points just posted, 15 days after the application was approved. Platinum holder – Gold application and the usual 12k have arrived.

  • Aston100 says:

    I complained to IHG guest relations about the lack of a refund from the Paris CDG Holiday Inn.
    This is their reply.
    Anyone reckon I can take this further up in IHG, or just ask my card provider to intervene?
    The whole thing about the French laws taking precedence just feels wrong .

    ” I would like to explain that hotels in France are issuing vouchers only to be used for a future stay as a form of refund for any cancelled stays between March 9, 2020 – August 31, 2020. They will be sending the voucher directly to you which may take up to 90 business days from the date of cancellation. This is the ordinance signed by the French Government on March 25, 2020, relating to the financial conditions for the resolution of certain tourist travel and stay contracts in the event of exceptional and unavoidable circumstances or force majeure.”

    I understand you will not be able to return any time soon in France, however, I am afraid that IHG is unable to issue a refund as these kinds of government legislation and regulations may supersede IHG’s cancellation policy.”

    • Lady London says:

      you purchased from the UK so your contract was made in the UK. Go to card – try chargeback first. Inform your card that if yoy do not receive and get to keep your money back bt chargeback you will be making a Section 75 claim on them.

      The date of stay booked is an essential element in your contract for the stay. A stay has not been provided to you on that date and so if nonrefundable it’s breach of contract, if refundable and you cancelled but not refunded also breach of contract. So you are due a full refund in cash.

      • Genghis says:

        I’m not sure about that. Looking on IHG doing a dummy booking, it notes:
        “GOVERNING LAW. This Agreement shall be governed by, construed and enforced in accordance with the laws of the State of Georgia, United States, without regard to its conflicts of law rules. The exclusive jurisdiction for any dispute not covered by the terms of the Arbitration provision set forth in this Agreement or Materials may be filed only in the state or federal courts located in the State of Georgia, United States.”
        So your contract is under Georgia state law. The France ordinance has nothing to do with this contract. I’d contact them again reiterating this and start a S75 since they’re joint and severally liable for delivery of the contract.

        • Lady London says:

          Nice one, @Genghis

          • Lady London says:

            btw the reason I’m suggesting chargeback as a first try on these days, is that multiple posters on here are reporting prompt action by their card using chargeback, whereas quite a few are reporting much more lethargy by their card who seem to go deaf for quite a while when section 75 is mentioned.

            It’s understandable why, as I mentioned about a week ago.

            So practically, given your aim is to get your money back, and as uf you have paid on UK credit card Section 75 will still be available to you if chargeback fails, I am mostly suggesting talk to your card as above.

            The exception is if the card wants to do a chargeback, such as with Virgin where they were saying it would take 4 months – unacceptably long and even then the existence of a party to charge back to not clear. it looked like cards were doing some kind of grouping action for their ease not yours. In that case I’d insist on Section 75 as the credit card is jointlt liable and you wouldnt be claiming unless you hadn’t got what you paid for.

        • John says:

          I doubt EU/UK consumer protection laws allow use of such terms to strip consumer rights for a transaction within the EU/UK (at least while UK is still in transition period).

          The local French legislation is another matter, but it still has no jurisdiction outside France. If it’s a UK card issuer I’d claim via them: service purchased not provided, money back.

    • Lady London says:

      ps that text IHG gave you has clearly been provided by the hotel as you can see from the slightly ‘off’ translation of some words.

      • Gormlesstraveller says:

        Yes. Like ordinance?! 90 business days, that’s painful.

        • Gormlesstraveller says:

          It’s the hotel’s ultimate loss, as 1000s of readers here will be inclined to avoid that hotel now.

          • AJDT says:

            I agree. I’d have expected IHG to treat all customers the same. I’ve just cancelled a two night stay at the the Intercontinental in Lisbon in July and the refund was on my credit card in 4 days. The Melia in Cape Verde on the other hand is refusing to refund and only offering a voucher…

          • ChrisC says:

            I think you over estimate the power of HfP.

            Even if ‘thousands’ of readers avoid that hotel it will be a mere drop in the ocean of their guest numbers and spend.

          • marcw says:

            You serious? Based on that, BA would have gone bankrupt already. HfP is not an indicator for general consumer behaviour.

    • Aston100 says:

      Thanks for the replies from everyone thus far. I’ll leave this as a reply to my own post.
      The lack of any kind of forum software is frustrating.

  • Gormlesstraveller says:

    Hmm but “Our audience of primarily aspirational, ABC1, London-based, degree-educated, 25-44 year old professionals” have a lot of money to spend on flights and airport hotels

    • Anna says:

      So do those of us who are retired and 50+ and live outside London and don’t have the associated living costs or student debt!

  • Amber Lynn says:

    It will probably be cancelled at the last minute!!

  • Andrew says:

    What’s the bonus for me referring someone to Amex Gold when I’m Platinum?

  • Baji Nahid says:

    I missed out on the nectar bashing yesterday but I couldn’t agree more with some posters, Nectar customer service is futile.

    These online shopping portals needs some sort of a revamp. Poor tracking, missing points, poor knowledge of retailers when asking customer services questions (based in india so there you are) and just poor training. I use to collect points thats if the points do ever get added on. Same goes for the e stores.

    • Aston100 says:

      There is a cache back place that thinks it is top.
      They seem to be randomly hit & miss in terms of tracking and / or eventual payouts.

      • Lady London says:

        I’ll give you a quid for it you might have a slightly better experience although range of retailers is slightly smaller

    • BJ says:

      Nectar bashing simply shows you and others don’t know how to play the game. I’ve lost count but my return over the last three years certainly exceeded £2k and I couldn’t have come close to that on clubcard. Just today, I bagged £180 for £20 (max £30) outlay, and hopefully I’ll double that to £360 on LNER later this year 🙂 The problem with Nectar is that too many spend too much time grumbling about the limitations and not enough time exploiting the opportunities.

      • Amber Lynn says:

        Sainsburys really is a bit [email protected] though

      • EwanG says:

        @BJ, I think one of main the ‘problems’ now with Nectar is their analytics and personalising bonuses to particular spends. Many (most?) of their bonus spends are hardly worth it – I doubt many people could would bothered with their weekly Nectar offers, but you do show you can get value out of them if you play their game!

        • BJ says:

          I tend to just ignore all the 2 and 3 points per pound rubbish and focus on the occasional excellent opportunity. At the monent there is 18000 points for over 50s life cover which pays within 60 days on policies as little as £5/month with two allowed per household! Admittedly the lack of good redemption offers is a pain but if LNER is useful and one can be patient it’s a decent scheme. If LNER is not useful then the value is largely restricted to Sainsbury. People usually wait for the double up to get 1p/point but that in itself is a poor strategy as the event is limited (especially last year) and there are rarely any genuine price promotions coinciding with it. Generally, the same or better results can be realised by redeeming at the standard 0.5p/£ at other times when promotions such as half price toy sales are being run.

          • EwanG says:

            V good! After I saw all the life insurance bonuses were tiered depending on monthly premium, and needing to pay for 5 months I knew it wasn’t that, yet further down it had the over 50’s plan without the same stipulations, I thought that might be it! Sadly I’m a few years off being able to take advantage!

          • BJ says:

            @EwanG, if you opt for a £5 premium then you still plan to gain twice (and potentially four times) as much as you lose after paying five months of premiums. This matches exactly one of my rules of thumb on whether or not to take advantage of indirect points purchase opportunities. Thus, if I were under 50 I’d still be going for this.

        • Rob says:

          The other problem with personalisation is lack of buzz. No-one discusses the deals online because people get different ones.

          • BJ says:

            This one is open to all though, and it’s a good one. Ofcourse you can do better going directly to L&G and taking a shopping voucher but if you are patient like me and can wait for (hopefully) double value on LNER this comes out tops. There is aldo a loophole here that I am n¥t going to spell out 🙂

        • John says:

          I’m happy with my weekly offers, it usually comes to a tenner off every week on stuff that I would already buy. I have 5 nectar cards so get 5 times the number of offers they intended me to get… only problem is they usually run out of stuff in the evenings but that is the best time to go as there is no queue.

          • BJ says:

            Wow, that’s dedication 🙂 The value of my offers have eased a bit during the lockdown but I’ve been shopping Tesco as I think only the vulnerable and elderly can get slots at Sainsbury.

  • Bob says:

    Data point, managed to get a hilton free night certificate (worldwide validity, any brand, exp summer ’21) for a cancelled advance booking which I had for a Hampton in Amsterdam back in April.

    • Bigmaggot says:

      For what reason?

    • Secret Squirrel says:

      With no category restrictions?

    • Josh says:

      I thought these were vouchers to the value of the cancelled night?

    • Bob says:

      Booking was for early April so couldn’t travel due to covid lockdown, under the hilton policy if its an advance booking you’re entitled to a refund or voucher. Voucher can be hotel specific or a generic Hilton one. Pushed for a generic one and took several weeks but finally got it. There’s no value attached, no restrictions and can be used at any brand as per the below which is from their website.

      “If you cancel a rate which required an advance payment or deposit, we will do everything we can to process your refund as quickly as possible. Due to the influx of cancellations, it may take up to 30 days to complete your request. If you are a Hilton Honors member and cancel an Advance Purchase rate, you may be eligible for a free night certificate for each cancelled night. Free night certificates can be used at our more than 6,100 properties worldwide. Stays must be completed by August 31, 2021. In lieu of a refund, guests at select hotels may choose to receive a hotel voucher redeemable toward a future stay at that hotel. Changes are subject to availability and rate differences.”

  • Lyn says:

    From a technical viewpoint, I thought Geneva airport was considered either in Switzerland or France depending on which country you exit into. If this is the case, and you exit into France, Switzerland might not even come into it. But perhaps that is only for “domestic” flights from France to Geneva.

    • Lady London says:

      As you say, it’s in both and you land in whichever country owns the exit you pick – F or CH. You do not go through one of the countries then choose maybe to go to the other country. you just exit via the lane signed for the country you want to land in.

      Same choice at BSL – exit via channel either to F or to CH. if you exit to CH, DE very close by road.

      FDH is good for landing DE, only exit is DE but extremely close to both CH and A by road.

      I’m tearing up thinking how I used to run around doing all this… Will those days of scheming which country it was best to exit in for what, ever return?

      • John says:

        But at BSL landside you can go back and forth between CH and F as you please when the customs post is not staffed.

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