The new HFP chat thread – Sunday 5th July

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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: https://www.headforpoints.com/2020/07/05/the-new-hfp-chat-thread-sunday-5th-july/comment-page-1.  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!

'My Favourite Hotel' review - Tanjong Jara Resort, Malaysia
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Comments

  1. onlysuites says:

    Anyone know if I can opt for monthly billing on my Amex Business Platinum and still qualify for the £250 refund of the annual fees? My annual fee due to hit at the end of this month.

    Also if you google upgrade to amex platinum you get a link that suggests the following “If you hold The American Express Card or The American Express Gold Card, you can explore a world of benefits when you upgrade to The Platinum Card……Plus, enjoy a welcome bonus of 20,000 Membership Rewards points when you upgrade to The Platinum Card®, and spend £4,000 in your first six months.”

    That seems to suggest if you hold a Gold card and upgrade you will get 20,000 points No mention of any 6 months or 24 months. Anyone tried this with a Gold Credit card and got the points?

    • It’s either the green or gold charge card -> platinum charge card not the PRG credit card for the offer

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Has to be a charge card you upgrade.

  2. Flying Misfit says:

    Continuing in the vein of recent Qantas coverage, there is an easy free 500 frequent flyer points for joining the Aussie BP rewards at the following link:

    https://www.qantas.com/au/en/frequent-flyer/partners/bp.html

  3. Quick query on curve cash.. i am on Curve Blue – I have chosen the 3 retailers but it has been well over 3 months since I have had the card. Do I still receive Curve Cash if I spend at these retailers?

    • Travel Strong says:

      You should be able to see when that expired within the app if you go to the curve cash ‘card’, click the cog, and go to where you select the curve cash retailers

      • Ah thanks.

        Gutted… Expired. Thought curve cash was indefinite for those 3 retailers.

  4. Travel Strong says:

    Any recommendations / experiences with gold as savings? The Royal Mint seems to offer a selection transparent services, but interested in any recommendations.

    • Genghis says:

      What is it you’re trying to achieve?

      When I was doing lots of research on sorting out my investments a few years ago, I discounted gold: – counterparty risk of many gold ETN / funds
      – cost of storage of physical gold, and relatively high bid-ask, though no CGT on coins.

      Stick to global equities dampened by global bonds hedged to GBP for long term growth and cash for short term liquidity.

      • Travel Strong says:

        Aim is diversification of a portion of savings which would ordinarily be the cash/liquid element.

        Thanks for the considerations. I’m contemplating options, and sounds like you’ve already weighed up these before.

        • Genghis says:

          No worries – remember “cash” is all about certainty and having a reliable value – i.e. you know it’s going to be worth £x.

          Gold fluctuates quite heavily so shouldn’t be an alternative to cash.

          Now some argue that gold acts as a diversifier to equities in times of crisis (e.g. Andrew Craig, How to Own the World), whereas lots of other books I’ve read discount Gold: it doesn’t actually earn you anything (i.e. no interest / dividends) and indeed costs you to hold and its value is an artificial construct.

          Who’s actually right, I don’t know.

          My advice, use bonds instead as the “dampener”.

          • Martha says:

            Genghis
            Would you consider yourself a property investor? your views on property?

          • Genghis says:

            I’m know nothing about property investing. You can make a lot of money on property in the right areas due to the ability to leverage.

            But it’s increased concentration risk – I live in London, my job is in London, my own house is in London. What I don’t need is to increase my concentration in more assets in London. And it needs to be relatively close to properly manage. And the yields in London aren’t great.
            And it’s hardly passive income – work getting tenants in, repairs etc and risk of bad tenants. Some of the work / risk can be outsourced but at increased cost / decreased yield.

          • Lady London says:

            Plus for those that invest in property via funds a and other investment vehicles, a number of property funds have been suspended from being traded for several months now. This was done before Covid. As far as I understand it investors are stuck, cant get theie money out. Can happen with real property too.

  5. Nick_C says:

    One for fellow aviation geeks. A Spitfire will be flying over Cambs/Herts/Beds this afternoon to pay tribute to the NHS

    4.20pm – Duxford Airfield
    4.28pm – Queen Elizabeth II Hospital, Welwyn Garden City
    4.33pm – Luton and Dunstable University Hospital, Luton
    4.36pm – Lister Hospital, Stevenage
    4.41pm – Bedford Hospital, Bedford
    4.47pm – Hinchingbrooke Hospital, Huntingdon
    4.53pm – Witchford, near Ely
    4.58pm – Fulbourn Hospital, Cambridge
    5pm – Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge
    5.02pm – Royal Papworth Hospital, Cambridge
    5.10pm – Duxford Airfield

    https://www.hertfordshiremercury.co.uk/news/hertfordshire-news/nhs-birthday-spitfire-flypast-you-4295354.amp

  6. Have tried multiple times to transfer Iberia avios to BA by login into both BA and IB website without any luck.

    Tried opening up AIr Lingus which did not allow me to open my account. No longer have access on avios.com

    What are my options? Any particular browser / trick to make transfer between the two account (IB->BA)

  7. Louise K says:

    I recall back in 2008/2009 BA did a 50% off Avios redemptions.

    Do you think they may do this again?

    • marcw says:

      For the winter off season, definitely. Not for the summer.

    • I remember this for my summer trip in 2009. I had saved up Avios from a Tesco wheeze for a ticket to Australia in Economy (I know…) and ended up going out business and back first class! Great experience – first time in premium cabins!

  8. Secret Squirrel says:

    Any ideas on how to use AVIOS to get to PPT (Tahiti)?
    Can get to LAX / SFO / SIN but it’s onwards to PPT from any of those locations I’m stumped using AVIOS points?

    • AAdvantage miles on Air Tahiti Nui. Very easy to get economy and PE seats, but business is a bit harder. Better availability in business via Tokyo, again using AAdvantage miles. I am waiting on AAdvantage transfer bonus from Marriott. I’ll be doing the route in the next 1-2 years.

      On Avios the only way is via Easter Island, but not sure how easy it is now LATAM has left oneworld.

      • Secret Squirrel says:

        Cheers Meta, I did look at Chile – Easter Island but it was starting to get silly at that point probably running into 48 hours to get to PPT.

        • That’s the nature of getting to Tahiti. The sweet spot is really Tokyo to PPT for 40k AA miles one-way and about $30 in taxes, but the flight is nearly 11h. Even from US it’s 8h and almost double the miles!

          • Secret Squirrel says:

            I looked up today using AA miles LAX – PPT in J, came out at 360k miles & $450 😠

          • @Secret Squirrel. That sounds like AA dynamic pricing. It could be worth checking different dates. AA’s partner award chart shows 85K miles in business from Europe, so in theory Paris to Papeete could be available for that.

          • I’ve never seen 360k in J with AA! I’ve actually only seen once PPT available from LAX for I think 80 and 5.60 in tax. PE is available almost every day for 65k LAX-PPT. However, it’s easier to get J the other way round PPT-LAX and it’s 80k plus I think something like $40 in tax.

            @Lyn forget about Paris-PPT with Air Tahiti Nui. Never seen anything available on AA. However, this might be one of those where you have to call them to book.

    • Qantas offers a code-share flight from LA to Tahiti with Air Tahiti Nui under normal circumstances and these are available using Qantas awards. Perhaps these would also be available using avios?

      You could start by checking award availability on the Qantas web-site, but would first have to sign in to, or join, Qantas FF to do so. The flights are not necessarily daily, so you would have to be careful about dates if searching via BA. As Rob recently wrote, Qantas FF is also a new Amex transfer partner so that may be another option, but I have no idea whether avios or Qantas points are more cost-effective in this case.

      I think American Airlines miles can also be used on Air Tahiti, but they are harder to earn now in the UK.

      • I’ve just checked the AA web-site. They also mention AA awards on Air Tahiti flights from France.

        Re the Qantas code-share flights from LA, I suspect you might have to phone BA to book those using avios once you have found availability with Qantas.

        • Secret Squirrel says:

          Any idea of miles using Virgin miles on Air France to PPT via LAX?

          • Yes if you want to spend 188.5k Virgin miles each way as French Polynesia is in zone 10!

      • @Lyn not worth it on Qantas. More miles and taxes than with AA miles!

        • Another possibility is via Auckland (using Avios to Hong Kong and then Cathay to Auckland also Avios). Perhaps taking advantage of BA multi airline chart too! Auckland-Tahiti is about 4h30 and only 15k in economy with AAdvantage miles. But I think that will be silly time wise.

          You could also do RTW. London-Tokyo-San Francisco/LA-London on Avios with PPT legs with AA miles.

          • Secret Squirrel says:

            HKG – AKL = 248000 Avios + £ 142.60 RTN IN PE – WTF! 😢

          • Is that for 2 people? I have priced it as 62k Avios for one-way and £52.50 in surcharges.You can reduce it to 25k avios and £332.

            Honestly, I would be using 241 voucher TYO or LA and AA miles from there. Everything else is silly!

      • Secret Squirrel says:

        Looked up also today using Qantas awards, showed availability in Biz but hundreds of thousands of points so went over to AA. I’m sure I read a statement on here that avios would be the same as AA miles if you called up?

        • I hope you find something that works and doesn’t cost a fortune.

          That would be a miracle if it’s the case! AA have award,using their standard charts anyway, for far less miles than avios to certain destinatio

          • Secret Squirrel says:

            I think its not going to happen Lyn. I’m not into paying thousands to get somewhere so better give up now.

          • Blindman says:

            I did SCL-IPC (cash) with LATAM

            IPC-PPT Avios

            PPT-MEL 30K AA miles in J

          • Neil Donoghue says:

            As someone who has done this trip 7 times, I think you are over complicating it. If you are on a tight budget, you should be able to score seats to SCL using a 241 in J or even Y. In the past we have used Avios to fly Latam from SCL – PPT so this route would now be cash unless you have SkyMiles. Then 15K AA miles from PPT to SYD and in theory you could open jaw your 241.

          • @Lyn But why do SCL? It’s more miles, more surcharges, longer flight plus you have to do two stops (Santiago, Easter Island). And why Sydney? You have to stop in Auckland anyway!

            It’s much better to do 241 to Tokyo (or LAX) and then AA miles.

          • Sorry that was for Neil!

    • Lady London says:

      guessing AF would do it but sub to air tahiti nui. so virgin or AF miles.

  9. Does anyone know if the BA premium plus Amex has any retention bonus? I’m thinking of cancelling it. Thanks

  10. Optimus Prime says:

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/jul/05/sunak-considers-500-vouchers-for-all-uk-adults-to-spend-in-covid-hit-firms

    Imagine if we got a £500 voucher to spend on BA. The cynic in me thinks BA would quickly hike its holiday packages by the same amount…

  11. Waribai says:

    OT…..Never mind Super Saturday…….Super Sunday is where it was at…….Hope the Ivy lived up to expectations Rob!…

    • All good. Now looking forward to the haircut on Monday!

      • Waribai says:

        🙂 Good to hear……It was actually a venture to Tokyo Sukiyakitei (highly recommended) for us which I believe is your neck of the woods!

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