Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

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!

Comments (89)

  • KBuffett says:

    Are there any bargains out there for luxury hotel stays in the London/surrounding areas. We need a break!

    • Rob says:

      Whilst in theory its over, the Park Plaza flash sale mentioned here still works for London for £99 rooms at Park Plaza Westminster Bridge. You need to click the link in our article https://headforpoints.com/2020/07/03/get-17-of-radisson-points-on-every-stay-until-december-plus-another-flash-sale-today-only/ which will bring up an error. However, type in ‘Westminster Bridge’ into the Destination Box and add promo code FLASH under ‘Special Rates’ and it will show.

      In general, the countryside luxury places have put their prices up – and their pools are closed of course.

    • Pierre says:

      The Alexander House Hotel in Sussex is doing £200 off a 2-night stay. While prices are no longer as cheap as they were before hotels reopening was officially announced, it may still be worth it depending on your budget. Tip: we found that the £200-off deal only priced for stays of ‘exactly’ 2-nights, so we booked our 4-night stay as 2 separate bookings.

  • AndyGWP says:

    I’d paid a deposit, and later this month, Virgin Holidays want me to pay the remainder for a trip to Havana, Cuba in October that will not take place as they won’t be flying there ( https://headforpoints.com/2020/06/22/what-virgin-atlantic-flights-are-scheduled-for-the-next-few-months-2/ ) .

    I’ve yet to call, but anyone in a similar position / have advice please?

    (Flight not yet cancelled)

    • luckyjim says:

      Call

      • AndyGWP says:

        My plan is to try, but they are currently only accepting calls from people who are due to travel in July

        Their FAQ states to pay as if everything is going ahead as normal but this clearly isn’t the case 😕

        • Lady London says:

          They’re asking you to pay for a nonexistent flight in July so that counts.

          Borderline fraud for them to still ask you for the money I would say. I would tell them so when I call and insist on them processing their cancellation of their holiday immediately. Or at a minimum, processing so that you are not asked to pay further money until they get their act together and cancel the whole thing and refund any monies you’ve paid so far otherwise you will consider any continuation of their demands for you to complete payment for a holiday they’ve alreadycancelledpart of to be fraud or at least misrepresentation.

          No idea if there’s a foundation for that in law but that’s whatI would feel like doing. You could also follow card claim or insurance routes. Collect screenshots of why you know your flights are cancelled, hotel closed etc ready for all these.

  • Y says:

    Easyjet COVID policy – Ability to change date or destination up to 14 days before your flight (no change fee but fare difference to be paid). While not the most generous, its semi-flexible.

    What are the chances the policy gets removed and those with existing tickets will be stuck with no ability to change date/destination? Or if you were to book while this policy is in place, that booking is safe from any future policy changes?

    • Matthew says:

      From an easyJet email dated 1 June…

      “As ever, booking early tends to give you better prices. However, we do understand booking right now may feel uncertain, so we’d like to give you peace of mind when you do. You’ll be able to switch your flights up to 14 days before departure without a change fee for as long as travel restrictions remain.”

      Slightly open to interpretation but sounds like for a while.

  • JP_MCO says:

    Park Hyatt Mallorca has announced in the last few days that they will not be accepting reservations until 11 March 2021! Quite surprising given that St Regis and Jumeirah Mallorca have or are opening shortly. Also no sign of when The Lanesborough will reopen.

    • marcw says:

      Hyatt brand in Spain is very weak, while the Marriott brand, thanks to AC Hotels, is quite strong. I also think the PH Mallorca is the newest oen, so their customer base must be the smallest one.

      • meta says:

        Remember also that the hotels are not owned by the brands. I presume that the owner might have other hotels which are open and wants to focus on filling up and marketing on those hotels.

        • marcw says:

          I agree. But the PH is the newest property… so their customer base is much smaller compared to the St Regis and Jumeirah. I think they are all owned by different developers.

          • Rob says:

            St Regis is well established. Jumeirah isn’t too old but it is a relatively small property. Park Hyatt is essentially a small village and I assume the staffing requirements are commensurately higher.

  • Vit says:

    Question on AMEX award point please — a few HFP reader here mentioned upgrading from amex green charge card to platinum charge card would get you 20k bonus reward point once spending £4k within the first 6 months (at least that what I understand) but I cannot find any solid info like this on amex website. Called amex up earlier and they said no since I have been holding amex gold credit card. I am bit confused here. Can someone confirm?

    • tom1 says:

      I’ve actually just come here to ask the same question,.

      The upgrade offer – including mentioning 6 months – is here.
      https://www.americanexpress.com/uk/benefits/upgrade/platinum-charge/

      The phone agent said this would not apply to me because I am already an MR card holder – which I don’t believe as I think you can only upgrade from green/gold charge card so the entire target audience would already have an MR earning card. Hopefully that’s just a case of mistaken phone agents.

      Has anyone else done recently?

      While the 6 months is helpful, it also means the cost is doubled if you cancel after 6 months instead of 3. My logic was even at 24,000 points earned (20k + 4k normal spend) and cancelling after 4 months for approx £200 cost, I should be breakeven using the 1p point valuation. Then with a referral or two, and some other card offers that appear, should still make sense, before I start the 2 year countdown again.

      • tom1 says:

        (forgot to mention… in my logic calcs, I would normally include the travel insurance and the priority pass benefits, but I don’t have any travel planned in the next 4 months of holding the card, so little value).

      • Vit says:

        Hi Tom, that’s exactly my thoughts as well. In term of the calc above, yes — that’s also my base case. With the latest (& probably most generous) avios purchase with 75% bonus, my required avios would cost me ~0.93p per avios. As such, counting in 1st supplementary card to my partner (+5k point) and I won’t be needing 6 months to spend the £4k, then it would be better value comparing to buying avios even with the 75% promotion.

      • BJ says:

        sorry Tom, was still typing while you posted I guess.

      • Benj says:

        I upgraded from green to platinum last month using that link, and got the 20k bonus (have hit the £4k spend). There’s also a double base points offer on at the minute which seems to have been applied without me needing to do anything.

        • Vit says:

          Thanks Benj. Good to hear. How soon does the 20k bonus posted to your account after hit the £4k spending? AMEX states up to 60 days. I guess by double base point, that means you get 2 MR point in every £1 spent?

          • Benj says:

            It posted within a day or two of hitting the spend target, and yes 2 MR per £.

          • Vit says:

            Thanks Benj. I might give it a shot going through the chargecard route! 😉

    • BJ says:

      https://www.americanexpress.com/uk/benefits/upgrade/platinum-charge/
      Two points of confusion here though, Firstly, I think it means only Green or Gold charge and not PRG unless they have very recently changed policy on this. Secondly, I was under the impression that the 6 month spend period ended on 30 June and is now 3 months again, or is it?

  • Roger says:

    Any insight into new Amex offers forthcoming?

  • Roger says:

    Is nectar card affected by Amex rules holding any other personal card?

  • Sally says:

    Hello

    Does anyone know if Hilton or Marriott give discount to NHS staff for stays , want a long weekend break