Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Wednesday 23rd 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 (187)

  • Simon says:

    Hi as HSBC PWE card holder does anyone use asia miles, any good redemption tactics? Can’t find any articles here on using Asia Miles.

    • Spk says:

      They used to have a free stopover at HK with reduced overall mileage required, but this has been withdrawn. One major benefit is their multi carrier award chart – google it, there are quite a few articles on it.

  • Jake Mc says:

    QQ: Is it possible to use Avios to pay / part pay for a BA holiday (or any holiday package in general)

    I have a large stash but want to get the protection of an ATOL holiday booking.

  • Harry T says:

    Looking to switch to HSBC for the £125 bonus. Any ideas for easy standing orders or direct debits? require two to switch.

  • Harry T says:

    Has anyone received an incentive to keep their Amex Gold when calling to cancel? My free year is up next month (they’ve already given me my 10k bonus for spending 10k).

    • TGLoyalty says:

      They’ve given you the £15k spend anniversary bonus before your year renews?

      • Harry T says:

        Yes. Long story short, I ended up with two MR accounts when I opened my Gold card. When they merged the accounts, it reset my anniversary bonus tracker. I rang a few times but no-one seemed to be able to fix this. When I was offered my Platinum retention points, I was put through to someone senior who agreed that I had already hit the 15k spend. She said she would try and fix the tracker. The tracker still isn’t correct but I was given 10k anniversay bonus a couple of days later.

        • Vit says:

          Glad you got it sorted though, Harry. It is AMEX IT at its best.

          In my case, they failed to track a large amount (almost £2k) spend as part of the spend £4k to get 20k MR part of the upgrade from Green to Plat. Somehow I managed to get Brighton to post the 20 MR points manually; while the 20k MR point tracking bonus was still active — I managed to get additional 20k MR points posted automatically after meeting the £4k target online. Cunning I know, but not my fault. 🙂

        • TGLoyalty says:

          I got 10k but they may see the other 10k as a retention bonus rather than your year end bonus if it wasn’t ‘automatic’

    • Stephen says:

      1 extra point per £ for 6 months

  • S says:

    Aware I’m leaving this late and retreading old ground, but it slipped my mind –

    241 with relatively short expiry, that we had intended to use on a CW redemption before the end of this year

    I’m going to use it on something like a LHR-TXL for some point next week, but request an FTV with the aim of extending the validity through to April 2022 (hopefully adding the £ and Avios difference to convert to a long haul CW when the time comes)

    My question is will a one way economy redemption work or are there cabin/fare class restrictions at play (thus should I looking at booking a CE return to be safe…). My understanding is that it WILL be fine, but I have been unable to find a solid answer anywhere

    • Jill ( Kinkell) says:

      I booked a single INV-LHR in economy for 4000 avios and £35 using 241. Cancelled on line and FTV came through. I tend to use the extended 241 with it’s wrapped up avios and cash towards a 241 CW redemption next year for a trip in early 2022. The original 241 was due to expire in spring

      • Anna says:

        I did something very similar, 241 was due to expire in January, now hoping to be able to use the FTV late 2021 or early 2022!

      • S says:

        Superb, thanks!

        • S says:

          To follow up – I booked a JER-LHR with the 241 and immediately requested FTV, and more or less instantly got sent the two voucher codes. Let’s hope all goes well on rebooking.

  • Matt says:

    I’ve just got the Business Platinum, which has now got the 10x£20 back at PC World, Google etc offer on it. What’s the best way to use that? Wasn’t paying attention when it first came out as I didn’t have the card.

    • Rob says:

      Unless you need stuff, I don’t think anyone has found a way around it unless you needs lots of printer ink etc.

      • Matt says:

        Good point, will have a look at stocking up on ink. Shame there’s nothing better, and that I’m too late for the Dell £150

    • The Streets says:

      I bought a load of Apple £25 itunes gift cards. Great to pay for Apple TV and other subscriptions

    • John says:

      I bought bags of Starbucks coffee for my machine five times at £21.

      Ended up with lots of coffee for £5 !

  • Rob says:

    Good question. Honestly don’t know. I would assume they would, yes.

  • GuyC says:

    I am about to cancel all my Amex cards to start my 2 years in the wilderness waiting to be allowed to get the signup bonuses again. But wanted to check on a couple of things – any advice?

    (a) Will this cause any problems with 241 voucher flights already booked on that card (well, the taxes were, but flights fully paid with avios), as BA’s terms say you need to bring the credit card you booked with to the airport; Somehow managed to get 4xCW to LAX in August 2021 – must have just called at the right time!
    (b) with existing 241 vouchers in my BA account but not used. Am sure Amex said before that any unused vouchers are lost, is that true?

    Thanks to any wiser folk in advance!

    • Matt says:

      If they’re already booked then no, it won’t cause a problem. If you’re concerned then take the card physically to the airport – it definitely won’t matter if it’s no longer working.

      The 241 vouchers you’ve not used will stay in your account, and can be used. You will need an Amex to pay the fees though – any Amex, belonging to yourself eg a supplementary or someone else

    • Anna says:

      I’ve never heard of anyone being asked to produce the card they made the booking with. It could have expired naturally as you can book flights nearly a year in advance. Also, do the check in agents even know if you’ve used a 241?

      • Nick says:

        It’s in BA’s conditions of carriage that you must take the physical card used to pay for the ticket in case they ask for it (unless someone else booked the ticket, but you must declare this at point of booking). It’s rare but does happen – I’ve had to do it a couple of times in the last few years. If you’re selected they won’t let you check in without it. It’s a check for the card though, not a ‘is it a BA Amex card’, the agents won’t be asking for that.

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