Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Monday 7th September

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We have decided to run this daily chat thread on Head for Points during the coronavirus outbreak.

Historically, the daily ‘Bits’ articles were the de facto repository for random comments and questions.  With the news flow being lighter, we are running fewer ‘Bits’ articles.

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 at home, we want the HfP community to have a place to chat.

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Comments (221)

  • Sprout7 says:

    I haven’t been on here in quite a while and was wondering if someone could direct me to the articles which discussed the optimum sequence for applying for amex cards if you’re starting from scratch. Many thx

  • E says:

    Any advice for someone who hasn’t had the Clubcard points from Tesco for the pet insurance MSE offer? I’m getting the runaround from Tesco Bank. Have called them several times and they keep telling me there’s a backlog and I’ll “get my points soon”. It’s been almost 4 months now. Have asked them to raise a complaint today but not sure if anyone else has any suggestions on how to handle this…

    • Peter K says:

      As I’m sure you have a pet and you’re pleased to have the cover for it then an extra month or two of waiting shouldn’t be too bad bad surely.

      • E says:

        I do have a cat, yes, but I wouldn’t have taken this particular policy with Tesco without the points. I’d like the points to come through as they’re supposed to! It was supposed to be 80 days.

        • Pete says:

          My post code wouldn’t come up on their system, whatever I tried (central London, house built in 1910, every other address database find it). After exchanging about 4 emails with them trying to get them to fix their website they stopped replying and I gave up…

        • Secret Squirrel says:

          Call up and ask for complaints department like I did. This gets things moving.
          They should offer you compo and points should arrive by next statement like ours did.
          Check to make sure they have your clubcard number registered with the policy.

    • Genghis says:

      They may have created a new clubcard acct for you. I had this with house insurance. Waited a few months, then they promised to link accounts but that never worked. In the end, I never not the points but settled on £125 for 2.5k cc points, £75 for the points and £50 compo.

      • E says:

        Thanks Genghis – I’ll get them to check that in case that’s what has happened.

      • Aston100 says:

        I was only given 1k points compensation. It was originally 500 points until I complained again.
        Clearly I’m not being firm enough.

  • David F says:

    I had my reward 2-4-1 flights to Japan cancelled for the end of this month, was hoping to rebook for next year but BA have dropped first from LHR-HND so I can’t rebook.

    If I call could I get First on a code share flight or would my only option be switching to Business and getting a refund on the points?

    • Rob says:

      You won’t get JAL, no. Would need to drop to Business.

      • meta says:

        People reported here that BA moved them to JAL F, but I believe only if there are seats available.

        • Umba says:

          Back in March, I optimistically, booked a BA LHR-HND return in 1st for June 20 when there was lots of availability with Avios and an Amex companion voucher. Shows how naïve I was to think this would have ever happened!
          Anyway, BA cancelled the flights and I called YouFirst who rebooked our 1st flights to the JAL rotation for dates in November. Clearly this looks like it will not now happen due to the entry restrictions into Japan.
          Good luck if you call YouFirst.

      • Charlieface says:

        Why not? If BA don’t want to book it and don’t offer a reasonable alternative (same class), book yourself and claim it back

        • Jonathan says:

          I’d back myself in a legal battle but probably only 80/20. Not sure most people would be comfortable putting £10-15k on the line with a 1:5 chance they’d lose it & best case would be a protracted battle!

          • Lady London says:

            Sadly, this may be one thing BA could be relying on.
            What was it they said – “Show us the money”, wasn’t it

            If your original booking was in First, call YouFirst – reports on here they are flexible and nice and helpful and can often do things mainstream BA may think it doesn’t have the ability to do.

            do asap.

  • Tracy says:

    My daughter booked her summer 2021 holiday to Ibiza in June 2020 with Jet2.com. She has had an email today to say they are changing her 10 day holiday to a 9 day holiday leaving on Sunday instead of Saturday due to flight changes because of coronavirus. She has been offered a refund of £133 on a £2052. What are her options? She would prefer a 10 day holiday starting on the Saturday….thanks

    • tracy says:

      Just checked Jet2 t&c and as the flight change is less than 12 hours it is classed as insignificant change. A change in duration of holiday is not mentioned anywhere, 10 nights now become 9 nights. Original flight time was Sat afternoon, new flight time is 6.30am on Sunday which is not ideal.

    • AJA says:

      I would have expected a bigger refund than that. Given your daughter has just had her holiday curtailed by 10% I would ask for a reduction of £205. Or maybe a more equitable method may be to determine how much the hotel cost is for the 10 days and ask for 1/10th of that cost to be refunded plus a bit more for the inconvenience.

      Alternatively as they’ve technically cancelled the retrun flight and rebooked her on another she should be entitled to a full refund. Take the refund and rebook with a different airline, providing she can still find availability and flights for her original itinerary at the same or lower cost than £1,919.

      • tracy says:

        thanks aja, looks like they have given her the refund based on what it would cost her to book the new holiday today, we priced it today using new dates and it was about £130 cheaper.
        they are not giving her the option of a refund.
        She has only paid £120 deposit so far and would like to cancel but they are not offering her the £120 cash refund.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Sorry I didn’t refresh before replying. They don’t have an option Insist on a full refund if that’s what you want.

          • Charlieface says:

            +1
            If they put their foot down, do a chargeback/S75

          • Lady London says:

            +1 +1 +1
            Needs to be compensated at 10% of price paid, not price to book now. If they offered 10% of price paid, I might take it and, as it’s a whole new flying season next summer, wait in case there;s a further cancellation or change that will give her something else (including perhaps the right to a full refund) as well…!!

            Unless they want to refund her whole holiday price paid, rebook her at the £19mm price it would cost now AND then give her 10% cash back on the new purchase price now?

            Er… thought not.

            So she can insist on 10% of price paid and roll the dice on further changes giving her the opportunity to choose again in future (my bet) or…. insist on a full refund now due to the change which I think she has under ATOL?

            Surprised to hear this about Jet2 as they apparently refunded everyone with just flights, with no problem unlike other airlines.

            Me, I’d roll the dice if they give me 10% of what I’d paid now.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      She could have a full refund and rebook via someone else who can supply a 10 day holiday

      • Tracy says:

        Thanks everyone for the replies. I will tell her to push for her refund and rebook elsewhere.

  • Axil23 says:

    What happens if someone comes to stay with you from a country that is in the isolation list. Does the whole family need to isolate too?

    • Andrew says:

      Yes

      • TGLoyalty says:

        NO, Is the correct answer.

        Only the person that came from abroad has to isolate. There is no stipulation about having to isolate from the other members of the household either.

        Official advice is quite clear on gov.uk

    • AJA says:

      Yes, unless they can isolate themselves from you in your property ie have separate access to toilet and bathroom not shared by you and are willing for you to leave food outside their door.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        That’s not true at all. Where have you read this?

        • AJA says:

          I’m sorry my answer wasn’t terribly clear – I mean the visitor needs to self isolate in your home.

          If you’re travelling to the UK for less than 14 days, you will be expected to self-isolate for the length of your stay.

          The people you’re staying with do not need to self-isolate, unless they travelled with you or you develop symptoms of coronavirus.

          You should self-isolate in one place for the full 14 days, where you can have food and other necessities delivered, and should stay away from others unless you travelled to the UK with them

          It’s important to avoid as much contact with other people as possible in your home in order to reduce the risk of transmitting coronavirus. The visitor should stay in a well-ventilated room with a window to the outside that can be opened, separate from other people in your home.

          https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-how-to-self-isolate-when-you-travel-to-the-uk/coronavirus-covid-19-how-to-self-isolate-when-you-travel-to-the-uk

          • Lady London says:

            Is the UK government nuts?

            “The people you’re staying with do not need to self-isolate, unless they travelled with you or you develop symptoms of coronavirus.”

            Why on earth self-isolate then, if you are in a house with people going out every day whom you could infect.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Is that a serious question … ofcourse they’re nuts!

    • Rob says:

      I believe not.

  • Barry says:

    Are there any reports of offers for upgrading from the Blue BA Amex to the Premium? I’m on the free card and about £400 off £10k so planning on upgrading to get the 2 year voucher. How long should I leave it before downgrading again?

    • AJA says:

      Don’t think there are any offers to upgrade. The 2-4-1 voucher on 10k instead of £20k spend is incentive enough. As for downgrading I would wait until you actually have the voucher in your BAEC account.

    • Jonathan says:

      I’d think twice about this game in current climate. Lots of anecdotal reports of Amex tightening their lending criteria or cutting loose unprofitable customers. You don’t have the right to upgrade or downgrade so it can be treated as closing old account and new application for up/downgrade.

      May well get a polite decline or a much lower credit limit so probably fine for the upgrade just shy of £10k but think carefully about rapidly downgrading.

      • Jack says:

        I just asked Amex to double my limit and they did it no problem. YMMV.

      • Connor says:

        Good ol’ Amex. Put my limit down from 13k to 5k back in May, and are refusing to put it back even though I put through 15k a month.

      • Doogie says:

        Anecdata but in the last couple of months have closed an £11k and £12k limit amex account, and just opened a new referred one with £12.5k limit.

  • Stanley says:

    FTV Data point – Very easy and painless to use. Added a few avios, and got a refund of the small cash balance left over. Interestingly, they would even have let me use the higher avios plus £1 option combined with the 241 voucher…… So just £2 total and same avios……

  • Justin F says:

    Any ideas on Grant Schapps planned international travel statement later?

    • Anna says:

      We are following the science? Airport testing isn’t a magic bullet? England, Scotland and Wales will be continuing to impose completely different regualtions from each other?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Sounds like islands will be treated separately and it becomes more regional.

      Perhaps 20 will no longer be the threshold now England is at 30

      • Anna says:

        “We are basing our strategy from here on solely on the most relaible criterion, which is the most recent destination visited by HFP reader @HarryT.”

      • Lady London says:

        that would be too consistent with what they said before about the decision to require quarantine being based according to whether a country had a higher rate of new infection than the UK.

        Now that the rate of new infection in the UK.is climbing higher than some other countries you wouldnt expect the UK to remove those other countries off the quarantine list, would you? That would be far, far too cosistent.