Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The new HFP chat thread – Monday 20th 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.

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Comments (141)

  • dragonfly says:

    I was a bit crossed with hubby. His Amex Plat card is expiring this week, I suggested he phoned Amex to see if there would be any retention offer. He did that 3 times in the last month, but each time no, nil, zilch, nadda. So I said we would close his card, he referred me and become the supplementary cardholder. We did all this and today he phoned to cancel his card. Lo and behold they offered him 15K points or a free Amex gold card. I said he should tell them why he cancelled the card but he would not 🙁 If they had offered him 15K points before, he would keep his card! Why not tell Amex the real reason?

    • Grant says:

      Why didn’t he agree to keep the card for the 15k points and then cancel it next week?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Hope he accepted the 15k then plans to cancel next month.

    • dragonfly says:

      Well, hubby is not into credit card thing. He said he had made up his mind to cancel his Amex Plat and that was it. At least by referring me he got 12K points which I transferred to SQ for him – could not think of anything else. We got plenty of avios.

      • meta says:

        You do know that SQ miles have hard expiry of 36 months. I wouldn’t transfer to SQ unless you have concrete plans.

        • dragonfly says:

          Thanks, meta. Yes, I am aware SQ points expire 3 years. I am hoping to use it for flights from SIN to SYD when the lockdown is lifted.

  • Spaghetti Town says:

    Hoping to start a new business in the coming months. It’s just going to me, no employees. Would Capital on Tap be the best way to earn avios on purchases? As i’m a start up I can’t justify the cost amex business plat or anything. I’m going to have to pay HMRC too as well as on going supplier costs (few hundred pounds per month).

    I know there’s been various articles, but I’ve sort of last track in recent months sorry.

  • John Caribbean says:

    Amex platinum car hire insurance.
    If I book a hire car package with a BA flight, I can’t disregard a certain packaged element of insurance. Will my Amex Platinum cover me beyond that, or is it not in play as I haven’t refused the insurance. I’m mostly thinking about the excess

    • memesweeper says:

      supplementary question from non-Plat holder: any good car hire deals out there now?

    • EvilDoctorK says:

      No it’s fine, you’re covered .. you can decline any optional excess top up but there’s no requirement to decline the ( more or less compulsory) basic cover that is included. … Amex will cover you for anything ( up to a fairly high limit )

      • John Carribean says:

        Thanks. I was reasonably confident that was the case, but every time I re read the terms I lose my nerve a bit

  • Nigel W says:

    Random travel question, what are people’s experience of transiting through Bangkok airport? Potentially might be doing a 12 hour transit next year (onward trip to Tokyo) and it is looking like them most likely contender.

    • Super Secret Stuff says:

      About a year ago I did a 5 hour transit in Bangkok (two separate tickets so checked in again). It would have been doable if my first flight wasn’t 2 and a half hours late!

      I still did it but had to ask to jump the queue for passport checks post security. So 12 hours is fine.

      It is a massive airport, so keep aware. Lots to do and see. Lots of shops, almost to many on a tight change! Because its Thailand, they don’t always have a plan so chaotic at times (long queues sometimes)

    • AJA says:

      12 hours is a long time to spend in an airport like BKK, unfortunately not long enough to go downtown and back again. I wouldn’t do it unless you have lounge access, . Even then I am not sure how long before a flight you can go to the lounge. Is it the same airline or will you have to check in again?

      I had a similar experience to Super Secret Stuff (minus the delay) – changing from an internal flight on Thai Airways to a second one on Bangkok Airways so had to collect baggage, exit and check in again. I had a 4 hour gap between.scheduled arrival of one flight and scheduled departure of the second. It was ok but a LOT of walking ironically back almost to the gate I arrived on. Fortunately Bangkok Airways has a lounge and I was able to fully enjoy several portions of the dim sum and won ton soup and I enjoyed several bottles of the Singha beer too.

      • Ryan says:

        You definitely have time to go into town. It’s 45 minutes from the airport in a taxi (which are cheap, £10 or so each way) or there is also an airport train. There is lots to see and do (The Grand Palace is spectacular), but expect to get hot, and most likely wet! It’s a pretty chaotic city, but a great experience.

    • spk says:

      Plenty of food outlets, proper restaurants, the usual airport shopping etc – its a very large airport. If you are traveling Thai or *A business class, you can go lounge-hopping (Thai has one for every concourse). Of course, not sure which ones would be open now. Might be worth asking the regular travelers in Flyertalk Thai Airways section.

    • Andrew MS says:

      If you are arriving on a business class ticket you are eligible for fast track immigration which I guess saved me at least one hour of queuing .

    • Nigel W says:

      Thanks all, hopefully would be on a business class ticket.

      Looking into asian stop-offs and strangely Bangkok – Tokyo is far less Avios compared to going to KL or Singapore.

      • Simon says:

        Does BKK have a transit hotel? I’ve used Aerotel at SIN & AUH for similarly long layovers and both were oases of calm between flights, so if there’s something similar at BKK it could be an option. Ironically, the SIN layover was en route to NRT.

  • Jake Miller says:

    How long does it take for the sign up bonus to post on IHG card?

    • Sandgrounder says:

      I got the free card recently, the 10k will be added to your running monthly points balance on the credit card app when you hit the spend target, and will be swept over when your statement is produced.

  • Pat the Postie says:

    Tried paying hmrc with Curve and it seems it doesn’t work on the 3d secure page with chrome, tried safari and it requested approval in the app and went through incase anyone is having trouble

  • Simon says:

    I have a BA flight to SJC on 4 October. At the moment flights are not permitted to SJC so does anyone know what might happen or when BA might tell me?
    Incidentally the flight is still listed as a “Boeing 747 jet” (!!)

    • marcw says:

      Airlines haven’t touched their October schedule yet. Its likely your flight will be cancelled.

      • Roberto says:

        Should be cancelled mid September assuming restrictions are not lifted.

  • Chris says:

    BA Companion voucher – sorry for asking another question about this.
    I’ve upgraded from the free BA Amex to the Premium Plus version and having already spent £10,000 the voucher has quickly appeared in the BA account. I haven’t been charged yet for the card and am wondering can I now request to cancel and go back to the free card and still keep the voucher? Or do I have to wait to be charged, pay it and then cancel for a pro rata refund to be able to keep the voucher? I can’t imagine Amex are happy with either but wondered if they drew the line at paying nothing at all. Thanks.

    • spk says:

      Whenever you cancel, you’ll be charged pro-rata, for the period of use. So the more you delay cancelling, the more you pay. Amex not being happy – i’d leave it to seasoned pros.

      • Genghis says:

        IME you’ll not get charged. In my heavy churning days if say a Plat, I’d open an Amex, spend the £2k, transfer points out and have it cancelled within a week or so with no fees incurred (though Amex would occasionally bill me the fee straight away).

        OP – you don’t need to pay a fee to keep the voucher. How many avios do you have to transfer to BAEC? If significant, it might be worth waiting for the transfer to happen and maybe incur a few quid of fees.