Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The new HFP chat thread – Tuesday 7th 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:  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 (190)

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

  • marcw says:

    Melbourne back into lockdown. Do some of the reader honestly believe that BA will be flying down under this year/early 2021? (those that jumped on the Avios seats)

    • Harry T says:

      Depends what happens in Sydney, I guess. Give the amount of traffic between the two cities and their proximity, it may be optimistic to expect to be able to visit east coast Australia (or any coast) this year. I didn’t even want to book for January next year, and I’m fairly risk tolerant.

      The route also isn’t profitable for BA…

    • Optimus Prime says:

      Have you read the news about the origin of this spike? Security guards sleeping with quarantined passengers!

      • Lady London says:

        seriously? can they make those guards civilly responsible for damages of people infected? they should be personally ruined for life because of this

        • John says:

          They’ve been sacked. Being replaced by furloughing cabin crew, apparently.

      • bsuije says:


    • Aston100 says:

      I always thought countries like Australia and especial New Zealand were a bit naive in thinking they’d be able to keep the virus out and also return to some form of normality eventually.

      • Anna says:

        Same with the Cayman Islands (though obviously tiny by comparison). Their tourism industry has been decimated, but 80% of their visitors come from the US, and the Cayman government is refusing to allow US nationals in until they get COVID under control. There are some pretty annoyed second home owners!

        • Alan H says:

          As a UK Citizen but also Caymanian with my second property over there I’m pretty frustrated as well. Although they’ve said 1 September at the earliest I can’t see my flights in September and November being admitted.

      • guesswho2000 says:

        I agree – we’re somewhat backed into a corner now, as the numbers are so low we’re not getting any level of resistance to the virus in the population either (even with the spike, the numbers are minuscule really).

    • NvT1115 says:

      Who knows…TBH three weeks out is about as far as you can really plan for at the moment. It really could go either way but I think we generally have to expect a further wave here during the winter

    • guesswho2000 says:

      ScoMo has repeatedly stated that Australians being able to travel interstate without restriction must happen first (something along the lines of “if someone can’t come to your state from Sydney, then someone can’t come to your state from Singapore”).

      Since I don’t see full interstate happening any time soon, I think the shutters will be down for a fair while yet. WA is still fully closed and all states/territories are closed to Vic.

  • TedL says:

    I have an openjaw CW booking using 241 and on two linked PRN’s, booked t-355 to Rio with 241 then booked return for Avios from Santiago when they became available, called BA and had them linked and refund of half the Avios on the return. Outbound is 9/2/21 and return 1/3/21.

    If BA should cancel the outbound flight does that mean I can get a refund of Avios, Fees and 241 for whole trip without needing to wait for them to cancel (which they may not do) the return flight?

    • Rhys says:

      Yes, shouldn’t be an issue

      • marcw says:

        Are you sure about that? I think it must be a single ticket. Doint two separate and linking them doesn’t make it 1 ticket.
        Now, if BAEC re-tickets both segments, then it might be the case they are reticketed in 1 single e-ticket, I don’t know about that.

  • Craig says:

    Is anyone else seeing a delay in shop small credits posting, they are showing on my savings tab but not on the main account? One is from the 23rd June.

    • Brighton Belle says:

      The back end of Small Shops is dreadful. Some £5 post next day, sometimes they roll a lot of credits into a single credit and some never post at all. The map is almost useless as it never shows what happens on the ground. It’s just an indicator of who might be in the offer. There’s one retailer I use that should generate 6 x £5 and every year I have to write to Amex asking for the cash back. And every year they tell me it’s a technical problem. Great if it works but the implementation is hopeless. Some retailers see the Amex come out and tell me the card machine is broken. See it as a phantom bonus.

      • Andrew says:

        I agree, I lost interest in Shop Small years ago – so hit an miss on all those fronts. And add to all that this year, half the places are still closed due to Covid.

        • Rob says:

          It is relatively little effort though, as long as you don’t go out of your way to find participating shops.

          • Craig says:

            Agreed Rob, these are places I would shop at normally anyway.

          • Rich says:

            I disagree. It’s advertised, and the map is part of the deal. Amex should pull their fingers out and make it work!

            Customers shouldn’t have to cross their fingers and feel grateful when a fiver comes through, and retailers are getting a raw deal when customers go into ‘I’ll just spend as normal and see any credits as a bonus’ mode.

      • Polly says:

        My local newsagent in high st, has a sellotaped hand written sign stuck to the terminal stating, we don’t accept Amex. This, despite being on the SS map and listing..v annoying. Could easily work through our cards here every week for some credit. Their loss.

    • C says:

      Mine have all posted within 2 days this time round, which is unusual. Normally I have to chase at least one. I did spend ages deciding what to get at the Chinese (that was on the map) the other night and luckily asked if they accepted Amex before ordering – they didn’t! Made my excuses and went to our usual Indian!

      • Polly says:

        Been caught out with those places a few times, after ordering sadly, but let it go…

  • Chris says:

    Does anyone know what the sweet spot is for BA Holidays for adding a car or hotel? Used to be a single night worked but feel like i’ve seen discussion previously that there’s a minimum

    • MattB says:

      Not sure if there is a fixed minimum, when I booked over the phone last year I was open that I was only adding a car to get the deposit option and potentially get a discount. The guy took through the pricing options and it was cheaper to book a car for 5 days in my case than 1.

  • N says:

    Where’s a good place to buy some face shields? Like the ones that QR are giving out in Economy? Need 5-10.

    • David says:

      Costco were doing some when I was in a couple of weeks ago

      • louise says:

        where in the store were they? Ive looked in my local Costco and cant find them.

  • Crafty says:

    OT: I have £100k to pay a family member over a 1-2 month period, associated with property. I did a trial sending £2.5k from my current Revolut balance (not topping up specifically for this purpose – sent from balance made up of previous top ups) and although that went through they have already flagged and warned me, as if this is funding my own bank account (which it is not, but there’s probably no point having that argument with them). Does anyone have suggestions for alternative ways to make this transfer work for me?

    • Andrew says:

      That kind of sum is money laundering territory, so be careful. Just do a bank transfer and sleep easy in your bed.

      • Jonathan says:

        This sort of statement on here always confuses me, if the transaction is bonafide and assuming the source and destination of the funds are legitimate then why would it be classed as money laundering?

        • Pat the Postie says:

          People like to scare monger without any knowledge or experience often

        • Genghis says:

          Of course it wouldn’t be classified as money laundering in the end (there’s no “placement” for starters).

          But it would raise questions and they might ask do some more KYC on you: source of funds, source of wealth evidence etc. Equally, they might decide commercially not to do business with you.

          • Roy says:

            This may not be money laundering, but if the suggestion was to split the 100k into lots of smaller transactions to avoid scrutiny, then this is what is referred to in the US as structuring.

            In some jurisdictions, structuring is itself illegal, even if the underlying transaction would otherwise have been perfectly legitimate.

            I don’t think it’s illegal per se in the UK (not sure though), but if it was spotted it would ring a lot of alarm bells.

        • (A different) Jonathan says:

          It’s not money laundering but it looks like it could be to the algorithms that look for suspicious transactions. This will flag a review & almost certainly Revolut deciding they no longer want you as a customer (as is their right).

          Why? Well you’re flagging yourself as a customer who they will cost them money & administration time/effort. They’ve already had their knuckles rapped for slack oversight and facilitating criminal activity so they won’t take any chances these days & just give anyone who generates suspicion the boot. they won’t even engage in a debate regardless of how much proof you have & you may well have to wait a few weeks to get your funds back.

        • Rob says:

          If you are paying a fee to send money to someone via a pseudo-bank, when a similar transaction could be done for free via a bank transfer, it immediately looks suspicious. As does charging cash transactions to a credit card, because the source of funds here is not clear (it is not person A to person B, it is person A to Amex to Paypal to person B).

    • Brighton Belle says:

      Revolut says it’s a bank and it wants to be YOUR bank but it never operates like a real bank. It’s not worth the hassle. And since they’re now charging fees for a simple foreign exchange transfer over £1000 a month they’re not much use in paying my living expenses abroad. I stopped using them other then sending family birthday money. It all became to hard.

    • The Urbanite says:

      If you let Revolut know beforehand and send proof of source of funds if they ask, it should go through ok if they indicate they’re fine with it.

      There are lots of people topping up Revolut and doing quick transfers out. This costs Revolut as they have to pay a fee to accept your credit card. This is what they are clamping down on.

  • vinz says:

    Hi all
    I put practically all my spending through the BA Shopping site so I can get Avios on all my purchases (when available). I was wondering whether you would have any idea when earnings rates go up and down? Sometimes it’s really frustrating when you’re sure you can get 5 avios/£1 at John Lewis and then the next day is back to 1/£1. Having an idea helps planning, especially when you can hold off purchasing by a day or two.
    Thank you

    • Andrew says:

      But it always shows the end date of the increase from say 2/£1 to say 5/£1, so you know when you need to do the purchase by in order to get the higher rate.

      • vinz says:

        Yes, true. The problem is when the rate is very low, you purchase something and the next day is 5 times more… very annoying!

  • Matt says:

    Does anyone know the best way to query a missing Creation IHG credit card night? My account anniversary was 21 March (so over 3 months ago) and the night has not yet appeared. Creation confirmed it should appear 6 weeks after the anniversary date, but since then neither they nor IHG customer services are responding to any queries whatsoever. Any suggestions for who I should be chasing up and how?


    • Jimbob says:

      I’ve got exactly the same problem.
      3 complaints via the app hasn’t got me anywhere, so I’ve written to their customer service dept, and I’ll escalate further after another 4 weeks, if no reply

    • Anna says:

      6 weeks! Do you lose that much availability or do they adjust the expiry date to reflect this (I’m currently awaiting my first one).

    • the_real_a says:

      There is a small team in the back office for IHG points issues. My technique is usually to call up the fraud number (back of card) – that way you get a reasonably smart person from the compliance team who can trasnfer you over or open a ticket. Using the regular customer service number is a bit like discussing your problem with a bag of concrete.

      • Paul74 says:

        For the credit card I’ve generally had good, if slightly slow, responses by emailing using system provided.
        For the IHG site itself, the live chat option usually works well for me.

    • louise says:

      try the twitter team, they sorted mine a couple of months back.

      • Matt says:

        Thanks – I did think about that, but do you recommend I approach the Creation twitter team, or the IHG twitter team? I’m not entirely sure whose “fault” this is, so not sure who I’m supposed to chase..! (I never have any problems with the monthly Creation points arriving in my IHG account, and last year the free night appeared without a problem at all, so not sure what’s gone wrong at all with this, but I’m going round in circles…)

        • The_real_a says:

          You need the creation IHG lady to email the IHG lady. I’ve been through this twice before. It’s literally 2 people in ops that manage this.

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