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)

  • Andrew says:

    If I have an Avios booking made in the last few weeks for Feb, can I call and move the dates (to a date where there is also availability for Avios) fee-free? The book with confidence policy suggests so but doesn’t mention Avios bookings as such.

    • GeorgeJ says:

      Andrew,
      I think you will have to pay a GBP35 fee if you do it that way. I cancelled an Avios booking to Palma a week ago and they gave me an option of a fee of GBP35 and Avios back or a voucher combining both. Bit of a no brainer to take the voucher (which I have subsequently used). All done on the GC line so pretty quick.

    • Lady London says:

      Book with confidence does include avios bookings so I am wondering if taking a voucher and reusing it immediately would do it free.

  • Sam says:

    Hi all, does anyone know the expiry of Hotels.com accrued stamps or reward nights. I know they have been extended but it doesn’t actually say to what date…their website says as follows..

    “We are extending expiry dates for members who have stamps or reward* nights that are due to expire between April and December 2020. We´ll provide more details of the extension period at a later date. For now, your Hotels.com Rewards account will still display the original expiry date”

    But they haven’t provided any details of the extension period….

    • Crafty says:

      Don’t think they’ve decided. I read that as “indefinitely, until otherwise stated”.

    • The Savage Squirrel says:

      a £1 Bangladeshi hostel stay acts as insurance here if you are worried :).

    • PJJ says:

      @Sam. I emailed hotels.com on the 31st July and chased on the 9th August as I have rewards and stamps expiring on the 20th August
      ALAS NO REPLY

      • Rob says:

        Book a £3 Delhi hostel for tonight.

        • Sam says:

          Thanks all.

          Rob, I know you mentioned the hostel before but it will bring down the cost of my reward night, so far I have 7 stamps but yes I may have to do this..

          @PJJ, I emailed them also a couple of weeks, no reply yet. I called before emailing and the agent said as long as you call up before your stamps expire they will extend there and then for you. Trouble is at the moment no one knows when they will actually expire!

    • Chris Heyes says:

      [email protected] it should show on emails hotels.com send you or log into your acc

  • the_real_a says:

    Just a note on Agoda – in Asia its often the cheapest of any booking engine, especially at the lower end or independent boutique type hotel. So much so that i find pretty much all of my itinerary lands with them. If you are fortunate to find your hotel on their super deals – generally 30/90 days out the savings can be significant.

    • Lady London says:

      I did my Japan bookings with them. They had considerably better rates at some hotels that other sites did not have. ctrip seemed a good second choice.

      • Polly says:

        We used them almost exclusively around Vietnam and Cambodia. Kept getting offers after we had booked refundable rates. So, we ended up literally rebooking at half the price most of the trips, then cancelling the originals. They were very efficient. No points of course, apart from going via BAEC e shopping. But it really was a great saving around Asia.

    • Harry T says:

      Thanks, that’s good to know. Anecdotally they are also competitive for South Africa but not wildly cheap.

    • Jody says:

      I find their prices can be all over the place. You get different prices depending on where you come in from (eg trivago, trip advisor etc). If I go in from a link on google it’s normally a different price to typing in the website direct, even different browsers have an effect as do timings (if I do the same quote 2 minutes later it can be wildly different to the first!).

      I do like Agoda and have made several bookings through them, but do find their price variations a bit strange sometimes!

      I’ve got no idea how good they’ve been at dealing with people with bookings that haven’t been able to go ahead through COVID, but they were very helpful to us last year when we’d booked a non-refundable stay in Bath and then my husband had a short notice appointment for a heart procedure that meant we couldn’t go. They were great in helping us change the date, even when the new date should have cost more (and didn’t charge us).

    • RussellH says:

      I have only used Agoda the once, 30 Dec last year, when they were offering the Campanile in Venlo at 12% less than any other site, including Campanile’s own.
      No problems at all with the booking, and on the night we were actually paying about 50% of what people just turning up were having to pay.
      Not a recommendable hotel though. Incredibly dated and looked nothing like other Campanile’s I have used for cheap stays. I suspect they must have bought some dying Dutch chain and are holding on until it starts to fall apart, when they will knock it down and build something decent.

    • Charlieface says:

      Anyone got any experince with hotelscombined.co.uk?

  • S879 says:

    Some news outlets reporting Turkey could be next on the quarantine list as cases have risen.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Greece too. The list (of places that will actually let you in) is getting shorter by the week.

      • Harry T says:

        I’m trying to get in as many European trips as possible before it all becomes locked down!

        Austria and Germany still look very safe. Hotel Imperial Vienna looks like a done deal for this month. It’s probably not a great year to be planning a beach holiday though…

        • Jason says:

          Harry stayed at imperial last weekend upgrade to split level suite the breakfast is free for platinum you order from the a la Carte menu. The City is about 20% normal capacity

          • Harry T says:

            Thanks, I’m sadly only Gold but the cash prices are low and our rate includes breakfast. I’m pleased to hear the city is largely empty. Are most attractions open?

        • jason says:

          everything we wanted was open, the hotel is excellent

      • Stoneman says:

        Go to Germany. Black forest is stunning.

    • Lady London says:

      Aaargh! that’s my route to the US (staging there 14 days!) if I do have to go.

    • The Original Nick says:

      Cases aren’t rising there’s just more testing being carried out compared to months ago.

  • Don says:

    Is there any way to get Dufry Platinum or Gold again?

    • Lady London says:

      I made sure I spent in Dufry as a thankyou, and IIRC a while back they sent an emai about an extension but it was only 6 months.

      Another year would have been a lot more useful the way things are going.

      • Don says:

        I managed to get it, but unfortunately the discount doesn’t apply to already discounted stuff. Thought Dom 2009 at £100 wasn’t a bad deal?

  • Ghosty says:

    In Reply to a thread on Friday about Tesco credit card dropping the fuel points to 1 for every £2 when used as a Clubcard.
    Last night I topped up with £25 of fuel used my Tesco credit card as Clubcard and paid with my BAPP. My receipt stated that I earned 25 points. I have the old Visa credit card, so I don’t know if that makes any difference

    • Josh says:

      That’s a debit card with the current account though? Tesco credit card has always been a MasterCard.

      • Ghosty says:

        No the they were originally Visa and added Mastercard later. For some reason they are running both, but Visa was closed to new applications when Mastercard was added.

        • Josh says:

          Oh apologies. I’ve had the MasterCard for 10 years and didn’t know they used to run a visa credit card as well.

    • BJ says:

      I think we are enjoying cheapest petrol in decades thanks to Morrisons, amex and Virgin 🙂 Very happy we stocked up on Morrisons own gift vouchers as opposed to amazon etc. Should see us through the rest of the year at least.

      • xcalx says:

        “I think we are enjoying cheapest petrol in decades thanks to Morrisons”, Surely not, did you not do 3Vs at Morrisons too. I was on free diesel for over a year (1p off fuel per £10 gift card spend) Plus amex points and I was pulling in over £400 a week selling extras to a taxi firm in Kingston on Thames at £75 per £100 off . Great times

      • Polly says:

        We are nearly at the end of our Morrisons gift cards now, sadly. Will start using Tesco again, probably next month. But the competition might start up again in Autumn. You did well stocking up even more there…

  • Travel Strong says:

    Positive Agoda feedback:

    Experience 1: booked a very cheap rate for a Best Western Plus that was sold out if booking direct. Everything went as planned, and hotel added on my membership no at check in and gave points

    Experience 2: booked a cancellable rate recently and when I could not travel, cancelled in seconds with no issue.

    Neither time did I try and use the avios route though.

    • Harry T says:

      I’ve used Agoda to make a couple of bookings for South Africa next year – the process was seamless and the rates were the best available for the independent properties. They also seem to offer favourable cancellation terms. One interesting aspect is that, for some bookings, they seem to lock in a price for the exchange rate at the time, even if you are going to be lying later. This worked very well for me, as I inadvertently locked in a very favourable price when the GBP was much stronger against the ZAR. Later in the week, I would have paid quite a lot more per night when booking the same room.

      • Harry T says:

        Paying* 😂

      • BJ says:

        Have you no shame, NHS discounts and lying too 🙁

        Always been fond of Agoda even though they are no longer as good as in the early days. Always worth checking out for independents and chains too as sometimes really good rates occur. They participate in the usual places so further savings are possible.

        • Harry T says:

          Good tip, benefitted from the usual places when making an Agoda booking last night

      • Aston100 says:

        Hi Harry, what’s your view on South Africa letting tourists in by Christmas?

        • Harry T says:

          I know next to nothing about South Africa but it looks like they are heading towards opening up!

        • Roger* says:

          I had a message from City Lodge Hotels that they are opening up for DOMESTIC tourism and business. And restaurants are opening, too. A whisper of good news.

          However, SA is still closed to international tourism until (at least?) April 2021. Visitors from the UK currently require a visa.

    • Dubious says:

      I find Agoda one of those companies that doesn’t show all the prices up front, i.e. taxes and fees get added later in the booking process. Might be different on the agoda.co.uk website, but if you try to book on another, e.g. Agoda.com then you have to watch out for this. Many a time I found them to be more expensive than the competitors despite first appearing cheaper.

      I do agree that sometimes they have good deals though.

      • Polly says:

        Think it is the final price that shows, we didn’t get any nasty surprises at the oayingnpoint.

  • Chris says:

    Virgin 241 voucher – should the monthly statement show the voucher has been issued? Mine doesn’t so should I call to check?

    • Connor says:

      Will show on your Flying Club statement as Reward Qualification, with 0 points.

    • AndyW says:

      Mind posted a couple of weeks after statement date recently, I asked a similar question here expecting it with the miles that took me over the 10/20k, but it ended up just arriving a little after, didn’t have to chase.