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.

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.

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Comments (141)

  • Secret Squirrel says:

    Anyone else getting problems when trying to make a payment in the Virgin credit card app today?

  • AJA says:

    I’ve just seen this at the bottom of the https://www.britishairways.com/en-gb/information/incident/coronavirus/latest-information page.

    Claim Avios
    Executive Club Members can now receive Avios instead of a voucher or refund. Taking Avios as an alternative means you’ll receive a 100% bonus compared to Avios purchased at the standard rate.

    To claim Avios please contact us on 0800 727 800 from within the UK, or +44 (0)203 250 0145 from abroad. If you are calling from the USA, please contact us on 877-767-7970 or view worldwide contact centre details here.

  • ankomonkey says:

    Revolut in Spain – my wife is trying to withdraw cash from a Santander ATM in Spain, but it’s trying to charge her 7 Euro for doing so. Is this normal in Spain?

    I’m still in the UK so can’t see exactly what she’s doing but, if true, it feels like a sharp kick in the cojones (mine, not hers)!

    • Optimus Prime says:

      Have just been told by my dental practice that there is a new £7 fee for the cost of PPE. I remember dentists and nurses over there have always worn masks so… WTF?

      • Optimus Prime says:

        This wasn’t suppose to be a reply to @ankomoney, sorry…

        Anyway speaking of ATM’s in Spain, I thought you wouldn’t be charged more than EUR 2/3.

        • ankomonkey says:

          Thanks for answering my question and also informing me of extra costs should any of my clan need dental treatment 😉

          • Optimus Prime says:

            No probs haha. I’ve just noticed my barber has raised his prices by £1.50… He doesn’t take cards at all so Shop Small won’t minimise the hit…

    • Pangolin says:

      The charge for Santander used to be 5EUR. La Caixa is 2EUR I think. It’s getting harder to find banks that don’t charge. Banco Popular is likely to be your best bet for avoiding charges (it was free in Oct 2019) and maybe DB if you can find an ATM.

  • Phil says:

    General question about Avios that as a beginner I don’t really understand. Rob talks a bit about what you would be willing to spend being relevant when calculating value from points. We travel a lot and value quality hotels and experiences etc but have never been able to see the value in Business (or First!) class. Therefore I can’t see a situation where we would be prepared to pay the cash fare for Business. The taxes and fees of, say, a Business return to New York on BA are just as much and more than the total economy fare. Even with a companion voucher, does that not mean (for us in this situation) Avios makes less sense than, say, collecting hotel or MR points to use for hotel stays etc? Does this make any sense?!

    • Freddy says:

      For someone who appreciates high quality hotels I’m somewhat surprised you don’t see the value of a more comfortable travel experience

    • Chrisasaurus says:

      Bot necessarily- just that the value, to you, of a J redemption is clearly somewhere between the economy price and the cash J price.

      Since flying CW is a monumental improvement over Y, clearly a CW redemption has value greater than a cash seat but by how much is down to personal choice. I am forced to fly Y for work and I hate it, I pay (cash or avios or advantage miles as appropriate) to fly J/F for leisure as it’s worth it to me

    • Phil says:

      Thanks for your responses.

      It’s not that I don’t value a more comfortable travel experience, I absolutely do. I’ve just never found the experience in Business (even though it’s usually not me paying) to justify 300 or 400% the Economy fare.

      Chrisasaurus makes a good point. Rather than trying to get the most value out of my Avios or MR points, I should be considering whether I value the experience in Business to be worth the much reduced cost achieved via Avios redemptions.

    • Chris Heyes says:

      [email protected] Although Rob is correct it is a lot of years (well over 15+) since we paid for a flight
      We always use Avios, but use 241 mainly long haul flights
      Although use 241 occasionally for Cub (Business) to Europe 5 years since we flew economy not a good experience for us but was long haul, wouldn’t do it again, but each to his own.
      We fly mainly Business (occasionally first)
      We are not frequent flyers 3/4 times a year now (Used to fly twice a month when flights was £10
      Manchester to Gatwick (house in Blackburn flat in Bognor Regis BA stopped flying the route few years ago)
      We can come by Avios very easy though and so not necessary looking for best value
      So i would look at it as how easly you get your Avios and are you really bothered
      All our spend (or almost all) collects Avios ours and Family collects by me paying for their large purchases. But i don’t chase small money off deals eg Small Shop save £5 not for me
      I only buy what we need or family needs
      That gives us around 250000+ a year although mostly a lot more plus 241s
      I think most on here are professionals who travel a lot
      Our 3/4 flights are mainly Europe based now due to our ages,
      was meant to go Boulder, Colorado and Sedona, Arizona this Sept now going next year hopefully

  • spk says:

    Data points on Krisflyer and Asiamiles.
    Cancelled CX ticket on 5th July, Asiamiles credited on 7th July.
    Cancelled SQ ticket on 24th June, Krisflyer miles credited today.

  • TM says:

    Looking at booking 2 x one way Avios redemption flights for 2021. Flying in business.
    LHR-Bangkok (Flying with royal jordanian)
    Hanoi-LHR (flying with Qatar)
    Solo traveller.
    Am I missing something by simply booking 2 one way flights using avios via BA? Or is there a better/more efficient way? Tax is roughly £300 per flight
    Thanks

    • memesweeper says:

      LHR – AMM
      AMM – BKK
      might be lower in taxes/fees/charges if booked separately

      also check if it’s cheaper through Iberia… although Iberia partner Avios awards may lack features you need (eg low-cost cancellation, decent follow-on customer service etc)

      • TM says:

        Thanks a lot. I will take a look. Worth doing the same for the return leg?

    • pauldb says:

      If you book it on one ticket it will be priced as a multi partner reward, based on distance. It looks like it makes good use of the 14,000 miles band which is 180,000 avios for J.

      That’s a decent saving on booking two legs separately which I think would add up to 240k avios.

  • Harry T says:

    Has anyone applied for the International Euro Platinum Amex recently? I’m wondering how long it takes, as I have lots of European travel planned for August and would spend enough to hit the bonus. My alternative is upgrading my green card to UK platinum, but would obviously pay some FX fees when spending the 4k.

  • Taylor says:

    I had a flight booked avios 241 with BA outbound from LHR to Denver and inbound from Boston to LHR, both legs in first. I have received a text and email from BA today stating that that they have had to change the outbound leg from F to CW (I assume an aircraft change). However when I go into the BA App it states the flight to Denver is cancelled. The return from Boston is still showing. So is it cancelled or just a downgrade? Can I now cancel the whole itinerary and get a refund of the avios and taxes without a cancellation fee? If I have the option to rebook can I choose any dates regardless of avios availability?

    • Taylor says:

      Flight in September

      • Colin MacKinnon says:

        Downgrade from F to CW on any sector, you can cancel the whole ticket free of charge.

        Denver not a “gateway” city, so no flights from outside USA there. And no sign of gateway status change.

        Denver also served by 747, so after last week’s announcement that they are all being scrapped, some other aircraft type – which may not have First since some of the newer types don’t, or have fewer F seats – may go on this route.

        Who knows! (We are always interested because of family in Colorado)

        But you are now entitled to a refund on the whole ticket.

        • pauldb says:

          You are entitled to a refund for a cancellation but not for just a refund. BA used to class these things as cancellations because, in good times, they’d rather refund you than pay 75% downgrade compensation, but now things may have flipped and BA are trying to preserve cash. Someone else on FT has reported they are not being allowed a refund by BA.

          You can perhaps argue that they have cancelled on you and therefore must offer a refund. However, oddly, I’m not convinced that an email reporting a cancellation actually constitutes a cancellation for EU261 (if the flight still operates).

          The also be a more basic consumer law argument for right to cancel.