Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Monday 14th 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 (189)

  • DK says:

    And from Virgin
    “If you spend more than £500 between 14 September 2020 and 31 October 2020 with either Virgin Atlantic or Virgin Holidays directly via https://www.virginatlantic.com or https://www.virginholidays.co.uk , you’ll receive an Upgrade Reward voucher”
    Not sure I trust them to be around next year

  • Makrxx says:

    Currently on 100TP, cycle ends in Jan 2021. I want to get Silver so would need 350TP more. Which I think will not be the easiest… Though seeing Istanbul for £280 on J seems attractive, but only 160TP.

    Question:

    1) if I get Bronze before Jan, I need that bit more for Silver. And when I do hit 450TP, will my Silver last till Feb 2022 or Feb 2023?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      If you get bronze before you year end next year you will still need 450 to hit silver.

      If you hit silver after Jan 21 it’ll last for all all of that year plus the one after + til 31st of the next month. So it’ll last til 28th Feb 2023 if you hit it during your jan 21-jan 22 Membership year.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        31st should read 28/29/30/31 delete as applicable ofcourse 🙂

        • Makrxx says:

          Ah got it, thanks!

          So if I get Bronze before my year end (Jan 21), when it comes to Feb 21, I would still need 450TP to get Silver rather than the differential between Bronze and Silver to hit Silver as my TP count will reset to 0.

          Only difference is that with Bronze I get abit more Avios etc.

          Time to start thinking how to chalk 450TP up easily!

          • AJA says:

            TG Loyalty is not totally correct. If you have 100TP today and get another 125 by 8Jan2021 it will give you a total of 225TP meaning you get Bronze status which will last until end of Feb 2022. You then need to get another 225TP before Jan 2021 to give you Silver status also until the end of Feb 2022. To then retain Silver you will need to get 450TP by 8Jan2022 to have status until the end of Feb 2023

            If you don’t get the extra 225TP before Jan 2021 (on top of the 225TP which gives you Bronze) you will then have to get 450TP in the year 9Jan2021 to 8Jan2022 which will give you Silver until end of Feb 2023.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Yup TP reset for 0 on your year end and you start again.

          • Makrxx says:

            Thanks all. Makes sense.

  • planeconcorde says:

    From the EU “… I intend to extend the slot waiver for the 2020/2021 winter season, until 27 March 2021….” The article makes some interesting points.
    Source:
    https://ec.europa.eu/transport/modes/air/news/2020-09-14-common-rules-allocation-slots-community-airports_en

  • BS says:

    Just reporting back the good outcomes too:

    I called Amex travel for a LCY – AGP flight I had in 2 weeks time, which is just beyond the end of the book with confidence policy as booked in Feb this year. I was going to ask if there was anything they could do, as I am not going to travel.

    Got through immediately, was informed that the flight had been cancelled at 5am this morning, and the full amount would be refunded to my card. All done within 3 minutes. Very impressive. Just wonder if I will keep the £50 amex travel credit I received from the gold offer…

    • SteveSauceman says:

      I received the £50 amex travel credit for a hotel booking, and kept it when the cancellation/refund came in

  • TGLoyalty says:

    Marriott just launched a 50% bonus on buying points

    “Now’s a great time to give yourself more to dream about. Buy points through October 22 and get a 50% bonus for your next vacation. Plus, you can buy up to 150,000 points and get up to 75,000 bonus points.

    Here’s what you need to know to make the most of this offer:
    • Bonus points don’t count toward your annual limit.
    • The minimum purchase is 2,000 points.”

    • Harry T says:

      Not quite as good as the 60% but maybe a sign of things to come. Thanks for sharing.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Not quite 🙂 but it could still work for some.

        I needed 50k to book F1 so bought some back in Feb but now have 580k following cancelled Langley stays and earnings since then!

        • Harry T says:

          Are you changing your F1 booking to next year? W AUH emailed me and offered to shift my booking to 2021 and retain the rate.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Decided to just cancel it. I’ll take the hit if I feel like booking it for 2021.

            Though I think I’ll go for JW Singapore if crowds are allowed.

      • Anna says:

        Hmm, can usually get great value from Bonvoy points but I already have 270k tied up in an Easter booking which may well get cancelled! Plenty of time to think about it though.

        • Anna says:

          Not had a lot of use for Marriott recently as IHG offers have been so good, so I’m using them for pre-flight stays on 3 of my 2021 trips to make sure I don’t lose my points – none of which may go ahead!!

  • Lee says:

    Question for BA Companion voucher

    Planning to use Companion voucher for next summer, but Spend threshold will be below £10k with refund expected next month. Will AMEX take back Companion voucher from my BA account? Thanks

    • Anna says:

      No, your voucher is safe once it’s in your BAEC account. You will just have a minus avios balance on your Amex account until you spend the required amount or close the card. If you aim to earn another voucher once your card year re-sets, you will have to spend the refunded amount on top of the £10k (though I’m not sure what happens if you spend the value of the refund before the end of the card year – do you only have to then spend £10k to get another voucher?)

  • Terri says:

    Just been informed by a family member about an iberia Avios issue. I wonder if anyone migh have some advice in the upcoming phone all to Iberia:-

    January 2020 – Iberia avios business class redemption booked for Madrid to Miami flight on 26/9/20.
    Early September Iberia cancelled the flight.
    After a phone call avios and money returned to Iberia account.
    Redemption activitity flight booking in January 2020 redated by Iberia to date of flight in September
    Returned Avios immediately expired by Iberia stating account had no activity in past 3 years!!

    Have Iberia pulled a fast one??

    • Sukes says:

      I will defer to others who have experience with Iberia CS (thankfully I don’t) and T&c but this clearly needs contested.

      1/ Best to find out exactly what was said on the IB call already held – was your contact advised to take Eg a voucher rather than refund to extend validity & declined? Were they reminded to check expiry date of their pts before accepting the refund but didn’t?

      2/ Assuming nothing untoward in the call, if it was me line I would take is that my account records the action as a transaction of debit x on date y. I have upheld my contractual obligation. Whether IB decides to operate the flight or not does not negate the Redemptive action I took. This is backed up by my account now recording rebate transaction to credit my account with a pts on date b, rather than cancelling the original debit transaction. Much as IB might like to pretend the actual redemption booking did not take place it did, it is the provision of goods that failed.

      Anyway it sounds like an automated ‘computer says no’ that needs overwritten. If one phonecall does not resolve escalate in writing as a formal complaint immediately.

    • xcalx says:

      Have Iberia pulled a fast one??

      Depends, Did you have any activity in the last 3 years apart from transferring Avios from BA and booking the reward flight. If you didn’t then the answeer is NO

      However if you booked either a cash flight, transferred from Amex, e-rewards, hired a car, booked a hotel etc through IB then YES.

      Many reports on HfP re avios from cancelled flights been removed from inactive accounts in the end of month sweeps

      • Lady London says:

        I’m waiting to see if my -89,998 Iberia points will also be removed from my account in a 3-year sweep.

        If they’re not, then something’s not being done fairly by Iberia. Oh, wait….!!
        Not long to go now.

    • xcalx says:

      “Redemption activitity flight booking in January 2020 redated by Iberia to date of flight in September”

      This is always the case with IB that the date of the flight is shown instead of the booking date. Redemption bookings are not classed as an activity that keeps the account alive.

      • Sukes says:

        Interesting xcalx, but it seems to counter IB website ‘Do my Avios expire?…Regulation stipulates that you earn or spend Avios at least once every 36 months to make sure the entire Avios balance doesn’t expire.’.

        I wouldn’t want the headache of dealing with Spanish company / regulators / Avios company structure about it but from a UK perspective it seems rife for abuse if an operator can accept a booking with payment in points currency, decide not to operate the flight, then ‘pocket’ ie write off the points. Airline then has undue balance vs the consumer in both the power to operate the flight + set the expiry of the payment. Terri – gd luck with this one & let us know the outcome.

    • terri says:

      Many thanks for all your advice. Time to ring Iberia and try to sort it out. I’ll update how it goes.

      • Polly says:

        Wish you luck on that one too, probably transferred to 5 different departments then the call drops..sorry…

  • JJ says:

    Question re companion voucher which expires in November
    Have booked a flight to Canada in club for October using avios and the 241 voucher.
    1) I Assume I have to wait for BA to cancel the flight in order to get the FTV voucher? I can’t just request one without the flight being cancelled?

    2)If so is it then only valid for future travel to Canada?

    Obviously because my 241 ends in November I don’t wanna lose it so thought the above was the best option.