Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Wednesday 16th 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 (142)

  • John says:

    O’Leary suing Irish government, with support from Aer Lingus.

    Travel restrictions supposedly breach of Human Rights (so potentially Council of Europe wide precedent if Ryanair wins, which they probably won’t).

    https://www.irishexaminer.com/news/courtandcrime/arid-40049549.html

  • Anna says:

    I think I may have spotted why some retailers are clawing back avios from BA e store purchases. Just noticed in the small print before clicking through to the Elemis website:
    “Using voucher or offer codes when you make a transaction could result in you not collecting Avios or collecting less Avios than the advertised rate.This includes staff discount, student discounts and vouchers which automatically populate in your basket at checkout.”
    As I always use an offer code for a free gift when I order any beauty products, this probably explains why retailers like Elemis and Clarins have been clawing avios back! Sneaky.

    • Andrew says:

      Most of the various fund return and points options have a similar restriction on codes to avoid multi-level discounting. Some also have restrictions that limit the benefit to new customers only.

      Always worthwhile pushing them through the E store or Virgin equivalent to see if they trigger all the same though.

      • Anna says:

        But this isn’t discounting – it’s using a code to get extra products which are “free” at the point of ordering (I’m sure the prices of the charged items are adjusted to reflect this though!) But under the terms of the small print, this would also exclude you from getting avios.

        • PJJ says:

          I think it has always been there Anna, however, it is hit and miss
          The last 2 purchases I made from Adidas, 1 was clawed back and 1 wasn’t. Like you I always use a discount code. If you were going to buy it anyway always worth trying it

          • RussellH says:

            I had Virgin Miles post as being clawed back on an in-store purchase last year,. I had had to put in a claim because they did not post automatically.
            In reality, though, they were never deducted from my Flying Club a/c.

  • Andrew says:

    Firmdale Hotels popped up on my Amex this morning – 25% statement credit until 31st December. Once per card, so careful with the sequencing

  • Andrew says:

    LBG Community offers that have popped up for me on BoS brand this morning:-

    5% – Charles Tyrwhitt
    10% – Selfridges
    10% – Spar
    25% – Kindle

    For new Direct Debits

    £100 Scottish Power
    £50 Sky
    £40 Tesco Mobile

    (Total of 30 Active offers).

  • Magic Mike says:

    Antigua… taking a shot at seeing whether we can get in a holiday in November before Zombie Apocalypse Part 2 overtakes us….

    Any recommendations as to places to stay? Chains seem largely absent so my usual strategy of using points is out – no Marriott, Hilton, IHG, Accor… Don’t really want to spend more than £250/night. (yes I know this doesn’t go very far…)

    Have Amex Plat but FHR is out of the price range. Worst case we’ll use a couple of Hotels.com reward nights and pay for the rest…

  • bsuije says:

    Interesting article on the FT today (behind paywall, but I think there was some way around it?) – “US airlines reveal profitability of frequent flyer programmes”.

    • Rob says:

      This is smoke and mirrors. ‘Profitability’ is based on the artificial price the airline pays its miles subsidiary for the miles it issues and the artificial price the airline charges the miles subsidiary for redemption flights.

      • Jonathan says:

        I think a lot of US based frequent flier programs are based on how much an individual spends rather than what flight lengths and class of travel is used. Is this correct at all?

        • Rob says:

          Yes. Makes no difference to the discussion though.

          You can make your frequent flyer scheme as profitable (or unprofitable) as you want simply by manipulating what the airline ‘buys’ the miles at and what the airline ‘sells’ flights at, to the programme.

  • Alex M says:

    Pleasant surprise in Lidl yesterday – “Get 5£ off your first purchase of 25£ using Lidl Plus app”. Better than 5£ off 40£ in Tesco from Amex!

    • meta says:

      I never found Lifemiles attractive proposition for collection or redemption. It’s hard to impossible to redeem for business or first tickets on Lufthansa, Swiss or Singapore where it would make sense.

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