Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Sunday 11th October

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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 (145)

  • Ed says:

    Anyone have anecdotal cash portion refund times for BA? Avios came back immediately on Thursday, wondering when I might expect the taxes to hit my amex?

    In return, I offer this tidbit. I cancelled for an FTV, rebooked using said FTV, then cancelled again, receiving a refund to account balance & cash to credit card (less £70). Not sure if I got lucky with the CSA or otherwise, but I essentially got to change my mind over my FTV.

    • BJ says:

      My latest, a few days ago, was on my card in under 24h (overnight).

    • Annabel says:

      Similar to BJ too – cancelled an Avios booking within 24hrs of booking and quoted 3-4 weeks but refund appeared in a day or so back in Amex account.

    • Rahaney says:

      My cash component not back for over 4 weeks they said may take 6-8 weeks.

      On a side note another BA booking through Amex travel can take up to 12 weeks to refund… currently on 8.

      Both refunds on the system “being processed”

    • Genghis says:

      Refunded initiated Thursday evening, back on card Sat morning.

  • AJA says:

    The balance doesn’t need to be cleared. If you upgrade it is essentially the same card number so best to upgrade before you hit the £10k as it will then result in a voucher valid for 2 years. If you do it after you’ve spent the £10k it will trigger the voucher immediately but it will only be valid for 1 year.

    ‘re lululemon I think the spend has to be charged to your account by today. I think the charge will only show as pending and may not be dated today when it actually posts so you may not get the Avios.

  • sb says:

    Question about booking hotels. A hotel I am interested in in the Maldives doesn’t allow cancellations 72 hours before the booking, which is not great in the current circumstances (e.g. if something goes wrong with the mandatory covid test). So I thought of the following: make two bookings, one for the first three days and a second one for the next 8 days. Then if I need to cancel, I can cancel the second booking and get most of it refunded.

    Any issues with this? Would the hotel frown on this?

    • Blenz101 says:

      I doubt the hotel would have an issue but you may risk causing yourself some minor inconvenience getting them to treat the booking as one, things like room keys stopping working at the point the booking switches over.

      You would also want to check with them in advance about how they will treat transfer costs, I’ve been looking myself recently on hotels.com a noticed that some include the transfer costs in the quoted rate. You would obviously not want to pay this cost twice if splitting the booking and be confident the hotel have no expectation of the cost being ‘per booking’.

      What you really need in this situation is travel insurance. I believe there are policies now available which will cover for Covid.

      • sb says:

        Transfers are payable separately anyway so that is not an issue.

        Maldives is against FCO advice so I haven’t been able to find any insurers who would cover it (in particular cover cancellations related to covid).

  • Ollie says:

    Has anyone else been told that the Amex Global Dining Collection has been “decommissioned”? I was told this when I tried to make arrangements for an upcoming trip, as well as the news that Concierge/Boutique Travel could no longer recommend activities in the destination (the usual “due to covid” excuse).
    I used to love the GDC because of the guaranteed quality of restaurants and the extra perks it gave, as well as the elusive “Taste from Platinum” (mid-range restaurants also with perks) which also disappeared at some point over the past year. It now seems there are no dining benefits left on the Platinum Card.
    Is this yet another example of companies using COVID as a façade for cost-cutting exercises dressed up as safety measures?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      I read about this in the comments here a while back pretty sure it was prior to covid

      I think Amex need to provide more for the £575 considering the benefits they’ve taken away. More points, an anniversary bonus, better deals etc

  • Aston100 says:

    Data point.
    Phoned Swiss on Thursday and asked for a refund (they cancelled the flights). From dialing to putting the phone down took 10 minutes 32 seconds.

    It was fully refunded to my Amex on Saturday.

    I was very impressed.

  • K says:

    Does anyone know if the IHG Premium credit card will reappear again? Do we think they have temporarily closed applications during Covid? Hoping they will open it up again!