Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The new HFP chat thread – Sunday 2nd August

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

We have decided to run this new daily chat thread on Head for Points.

Historically, the daily ‘Bits’ articles were the de facto 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/2020/08/02/the-new-hfp-chat-thread-sunday-2nd-august/comment-page-1.  The page will refresh with this article but the comments will now show the first page and not the last page.

Old chat threads are hidden from the HFP home page.  If you want to look for something in an old thread, click here.  This brings up all the articles in our ‘General’ category which includes the chat threads.

Comments (150)

  • meta says:

    Anyone planning a trip to Japan. There is a new option in Kyoto – The Mitsui Kyoto, part of Luxury Collection. It’s also category 7 (at 70k a night), so cheaper than Ritz Carlton or Suiran. The hotel looks great. It’s just behind Crowne Plaza near Nijo Castle. It also has Onsen suites. Hoping Japan opens up by next year!

    • Harry T says:

      Thanks, hoping to visit in November so this is handy. Unfortunately we may not be allowed in by then, but we did book pre covid.

  • Frankie says:

    Is anyone having trouble getting their shop small fivers because the name of the establishment is not showing on the Amex bill? For example, I made a £12 purchase in a takeaway food place but the Amex bill bill does not say the name of the food takeaway place. It says SQUAREUP EUROPE which is some sort of card payment company, and I had to use my card contactlessly on a small square reader. The same happened in a pub, where the name of the pub isn’t showing on bill. I had to touch my card on some small white reader. In both cases I’ve not had the shop small email, and the establishment name is not on the bill. What do do? Any advice greatly appreciated. And as always, thanks in advance.

    • Andrew says:

      Probably have to miss out on those fivers as they have been put through a third-party which is one of the rules in the T&Cs. Just one of the many reasons I find Shop Small way too much hassle – places not accepting cards, places not accepting Amex, places not open, credits not going through, map incorrect. I’m still yet to use mine anywhere this year.

      • Colin says:

        Yeah I’ve got better things to do with my time than faff around for the sake of the odd fiver here and there

    • meta says:

      Nothing. These are third party processors and they don’t count. This is why I don’t go out of my way to participate in Shop Small. 90% of retailers around my area use some kind of third party card processing. Amex simply refuses to pay up despite complaints.

      • Harry T says:

        Yeah. I agree. I am happy if they do post, and I know from last year which places I like to frequent actually credit. It’s probably not even worth the time cost of chasing!

      • Crafty says:

        Although you are absolutely right, it really isn’t fair for Amex to put these retailers on the map, if they won’t accept payments in a way that allows one to avail of the offer. arguably it’s false advertising.

    • Sukes says:

      I always ask for a paper receipt (or I guess in your case they may offer email receipt). Get a screenshot of the shop small online map showing the retailer is participating. I’ve never had issues with Amex webchat then reimbursing me when I raise any cash back issues with them.

      • meta says:

        I did that before. Amex used to be ok when Shop Small started. However, since I got burned 2-3 years ago, I am not doing it any longer. Even made formal complaints. Amex simply refuses.

        • John says:

          ASA / financial ombudsman? Is Amex counting on the fact that nobody will bother for £5

          • meta says:

            Amex Offers are not part of core benefits of the card. It’s not advertised when you apply for the card nor is it in the terms and conditions. So other than maybe reporting to ASA (but they’ll just put them on the list of false adverts without any fine), there is really nothing you can do. The only actual thing you can do is provide them with constant feedback in the hope that someone will listen eventually.

          • Genghis says:

            @meta. I disagree. Shop small is clearly an offer and the punter takes Amex up on the offer subject to all the terms and conditions of the offer. All within the remit of FOS.

    • Jonathan says:

      I’ve had a couple credit after using a squareup device. Just checked & was using Applepay rather than physical card but not sure that would make a difference. 2-3 day lag between transactions & credits. Was the shop on the shopsmall map?

  • Yawn says:

    So KLM is still flying out of LHR T2. Anyone know if there is a lounge open that I could use? I have Gold status.

  • memesweeper says:

    Top tip for BA On Business users: log in with a different browser to your BA.com account, or use incognito mode. It’s possible to get ‘locked into’ on business site now, even the click to ‘BA.com home page’ on the bottom of the On Business site eventually redirects back to On Business.

    • Lady London says:

      has deleting cookies anf reloading ba.com stopped working for that?

      • memesweeper says:

        I’d hope so but I’ve not tried yet. Advanced techniques like that should not be necessary to make a consumer facing website work.

  • Graham says:

    BA are selling tickets to Faro anyone know if they have resumed flights out of City as thought they had stopped

  • Boi says:

    Just out of curiosity has anyone won on premium bonds since it’s used heavily here?

    • memesweeper says:

      a few £25 wins every couple of months … no biggies 🙂

    • The Urbanite says:

      I’ve had a balance of £1 in there for years and haven’t won so much as a lump of coal.

      • Rob says:

        Having never bothered before, I moved some cash across recently. It is basically 1.22% return and, statistically, if you put in the full £50k then you WILL get that.

        (Forget the big prizes. There is a 1 in 24,500 chance of winning £25 tax free so, assuming you invest £49,000, so you get back £50 per month. £600 / £49,000 = 1.22% tax free. Unbeatable anywhere else.)

        • Spaghetti Town says:

          And a good way to Earn points 🙂

        • Liz says:

          I get that you can earn points for buying premium bonds or direct saver in smaller amounts but if you have a larger amount you want buy so that you get a block of numbers, how can this be done. We are going to have around £20k to put somewhere soon so I was thinking of putting it to premium bonds. But if your daily curve limit or underlying card doesnt cover that amount then can it be done or do you have to buy the bonds in one transaction to get a running sequence of numbers to give you a better chance of winning. If that is the case then that would mean no pts earning. Does that make sense?

          • Peter K says:

            It’s a random draw so having a run of numbers does not improve your chance of winning. In fact the t&c’s cover the event that the same number is drawn more than once. Feel free to buy them in random amounts here and there.

          • Rob says:

            The number sequence makes no difference at all to your chances of winning.

          • Crafty says:

            I genuinely don’t understand the thought that must have sat behind this. Why would a sequence of numbers improve ones chance of winning in *any* random draw?

          • Liz says:

            Friends if ours have 2 blocks of £30k and they win a min of £75 every month.

    • BJ says:

      My sister received some as a Birthday gift almost 60 years ago, she has won nothing. By contrast, I probably buy one lottery ticket every few years, the one I bought last year won me £769 🙂 And, no, I haven’t bought another since.

    • Lilly says:

      I’ve ramped up my savings there and I definitely get at least one prize a month on average. It seems as good a place as any at the moment.

  • Vit says:

    Hello, preparing for a few platinum referrals: Am I correct to think that I would still receive 12k MR points per referral even though each referral has been holding a blue BA card the last 24 months?

    And the referral would still receive 35k MR points after spending £4k in the first 6 months as I believe the only thing that would stop them receiving the 35k MR bonus if he/she has been holding AMEX Gold Credit Card the last 24 months.

    Many thanks.

    • Harry T says:

      If you’re referring from the Plat, then you will receive 12k MR for every approved referral application. If your friends are being referred for the plat, they will be eligible for the bonus if they haven’t had an MR earning card for the last two years.

    • Rob says:

      Correct – although last line should be “AMEX Gold credit card or any other personal card earning Membership Rewards points”.

  • Simon says:

    If you upgrade a BA flight with cash and then decide to take a voucher does the voucher include what you paid for the upgrade does anyone know?

    • Lady London says:

      voucher is basically your ticket with its existing mix of cash, avios, and vouchers (useby date extended) all frozen in a lump so Yes.