Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The new HFP chat thread – Sunday 16th August

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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 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/2020/08/16/the-new-hfp-chat-thread-sunday-16th-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 (143)

  • dezbez says:

    Looking to tap into the collective wisdom on here re a question about the Virgin Atlantic CC upgrade voucher. If I book a flight in Econ and use the voucher to upgrade to PE, can I then use air miles to further upgrade to Upper? (Assuming there’s availability.) Or am I stuck in PE? Thanks

    • ChrisC says:

      No you can’t use miles to upgrade to upper

    • Travel Strong says:

      Thats absolutely not true – you 100% can then upgrade the Premium ticket to Upper. The premium fare code you are issued with clearly allows it on the virgin website, and more to the point I’ve done it myself last week with ease! (over the phone).

  • Stephen says:

    Hello, I have a AMEX Gold Business card (renewal July). My last personal AMEX card was cancelled in August 2018. I do however, have a BA AMEX (not Premium Plus) for a few years. My wife has a Gold AMEX (personal) which was cancelled in December 2019. Can anyone recommend the best stragegy for us?Thanks!

    • Rob says:

      Can you clarify the BA Amex? You either have a card at the moment or not 😉

      • Stephen says:

        Sorry, yep still got a BA AMEX, had it since June 2018. Received 1 x 241 voucher (spent £10,000 then downgraded in 1st year) and didn’t use it last year. Thanks Rob

        • Stephen says:

          Sorry I meant last personal MR card was cancelled in August 2018

          • BJ says:

            IF I got my head round all that ok then your wife can get a sign up bonus for BAPP plus a further bonus for adding you as a supp. Once a full two years has passed this August you can get a sign up bonus for platinum and a further bonus for adding your wife as a supp.

          • Stephen says:

            Thanks BJ, can I refer my wife (from my BA AMEX) or do they not like that?

          • Darren says:

            You can definitely refer your wife no problem at all.

          • BJ says:

            Yes, you can refer her, and she can refer you. I just assummed you’d do that anyway. Best avoid self-referrals, most of us now consider them too risky. Do not add supps during the application, add them later after the accounts are up and running.

          • Stephen says:

            Thanks everyone, I guess there is no benefit of holding onto my BA AMEX (free version). I might as well cancel and start the 24 month clock again?

          • Alex M says:

            Maybe upgrade to bapp before referring your wife to get more points and then cancel?

  • Stephen says:

    If you cancel/downgrade your American Express Platinum, do you retain the hotel status benefits for the rest of the year? Does anyone know if you applied now, how long the hotel status remain for (do they go by calandar year?) My Hilton Gold status expires in March 2021 so trying to time the upgrade to extend the benefits as I have some trips booked for April 2021.

    • Secret Squirrel says:

      Yes, you keep status earned through the Amex.

      • BJ says:

        To add, it is for the rest of the current year and all of the next but not always calendar year, for example, if you request Hilton Gold now then you will remain Gold until 31 March 2022.

        • Stephen says:

          Thanks BJ, do you happen to know if there is a list of whether the hotel scheme using calendar year or some other date?

          • BJ says:

            Off the top of my head I think all the hotels are calendar years except Hilton but happy to be corrected on that as end of January seems stuck in back of my mind too.

        • Vit says:

          BJ, just curious what you need to do to keep the hotel status as I will be cancelling the platinum after finishing up with large payment.

          • BJ says:

            You don’t need to do anything, and you may also get a pleasant surprise in April 2022.

          • Darren says:

            I cancelled my Platinum over a year ago and still have Hilton Gold, it may be over 2 years?

          • Vit says:

            I read that I have to enroll through the amex plat benefit but when I clicked on it, it does not even work. Oh well!

          • BJ says:

            @Vit, sorry, in my response to you I had assumed that you had already done that this year or last and were asking how to retain gold beyond 21/22. You need to do this before cancelling your platinum, even if you are Hilton Gold already. Keep trying, I don’t recall any other comments that the link is down, hopefully just temporary.

          • BJ says:

            @Darren, and hopefully you’ll still be gold next year too.

  • Stephen says:

    DRAGONPASS / DUFRY UPDATE –

    1) These passes only allow one scan (in a certain timeframe), but some lounges may be kind enough to write down your cardnumber and “charge” it later for a guest
    2) If you email DragonPass, I’ve found they are happy to transfer passes to another account (no charge) to minimise any issues

  • Secret Squirrel says:

    Can you still get physical cards anymore for status with companies such as Marriott, IHG, Hilton etc?

    • BJ says:

      Varies by hotel or airline. Some send them automatically while with others you have to request them. Some will only send them when achieving higher status levels. Some might not send any at all anymore. I cannot recall derails specific to each scheme. Personally, I have not carried any such physical cards for years, not even Priority Pass, and it has never caused a problem.

  • Jay00 says:

    If I cancel my gold amex and then apply for the free rewards card a few days later can I transfer my MR points from my gold card for no fee?

    • Rob says:

      Yes. You get a small bit of leeway before your MR account would be closed so you’ll be fine. Of course, unless you’ve already started paying the fee on Gold I’d get Amex Rewards first and then cancel Gold once you’ve got Rewards activated.

  • meta says:

    And here it is in black&white, Iceland imposes double testing along with 5-6 days quarantine!

    https://www.covid.is/categories/tourists-travelling-to-iceland