Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Monday 26th 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 (252)

  • KBuffett says:

    My wife received a physical mailing over the weekend offering 3 MR Points per £ at Esso, Aldi, Deliveroo, Curry and a couple of other retailers for her Amex Gold Charge. Not sure if this has been mentioned anywhere.

    • Harry T says:

      I received this. Every offer you mention has been in places for weeks/months already. There’s nothing new. I may cancel my Gold card due to the impudence of them touting non existent benefits 😂

  • KBuffett says:

    Is it possible to add supplementary cards onto you Amex App if you are a Main Amex Cardholder too?
    For example, my wife is a Main Gold Charge holder but to check her offers for the Supplementary Plat Charge Card that she has on my account, she has a different login for the app.

    • Anna says:

      AFAIK each card holder needs their own account, however, you can add a supplementary card to an account which already exists for you as a main card holder (so I had a BAPP till recently, and also had my supp for my OH’s BAPP attached to that account).

    • Andrew says:

      Yes you need to create a different login. Even supps in your name on someone else’s account can’t be added to your login. Only cards in your name on your accounts can form part of the same login.

      • Anna says:

        Not true, Andrew, as I just posted above I had my own BAPP plus my supplementary one for my OH’s account on one login until I cancelled my BAPP recently.
        You might get a message when you first register the supp card saying you can’t use those log in details, but if you wait & go back to it later you’ll find the card has been added.

        • AD says:

          Slightly off point, sorry. Is it worth cancelling and reapplying for BAPP later, to go for another 241 voucher, having already hit spend threshold shortly after card year renewal please? Is there any risk, as I value my BAPP highly, plus have good limit on card. Many thanks

          • BuildTheWall says:

            Asked this qn before and looks like Amex follow membership year, so cancelling and re applying wouldn’t reset the membership date.

          • Anna says:

            Yes it’s worth doing if you want a 241 more than a sign up bonus. I did this this year (applied before travel ground to a halt but the resultant voucher is valid till 2023 because of the extensions!). BuildTheWall is mistaken, once you get a totally new card a new membership year begins. I wouldn’t make too much of a habit of it, but it’s definitely doable. I’m going on the 2 year break now as we have enough 241s to last us till the end of that!

          • AD says:

            Many thanks Anna and BuildTheWall

        • MinR says:

          Does this allow you to save offers to both the primary and the supplementary card all under one login?

          I have two supplementary cards and have had to create separate online accounts for each. The spend does appear on my primary card transactions denoted with the initials of the supplementary cardholder.

        • RussellH says:

          My experience with supps is identical to Andrew’s.
          Anna’s experience is more or less what I find happens with a new card a/c, if I try to add it at a weekend.
          Very odd.

          • Nick_C says:

            Brighton can merge online accounts for you. The Call Centre in the Philippines will tell you it’s not possible. I’ve managed a supp on my partner’s account through my main account before now.

          • Genghis says:

            I have my actual and my supps all in one account. Just added them myself.

  • Sk123 says:

    I booked The Langley for a Friday stay in late November to avail the Amex £400 offer. Given the way cases are rising, I’m thinking of just availing it. Don’t want to spend much and just use it for a one night stay. We are 2 adults and 2 kids (11 and 15 years) so thinking of booking 2 rooms so we all have breakfast. Only the W and JW Marriott seem to be working as double rooms are around £250 to £300 if the breakfast option is chosen. I’ve noticed that on Marriott’s website there is a family offer that gives 50% off on the second room which will mean I’d pay around £400-£450 for both room including breakfast. Which one would be a better option? JW’s parking is £41 daily which compares well to nearby carparks and it says the hotel has interconnecting rooms. Emyr would get me good benefits but it would work out more expensive for 2 rooms. Any advice would be appreciated.

    • OP says:

      The JW would be your best choice for a family – even with slightly older children – in my opinion. The W is trendy and service also good recently, but the only real public space is more adult oriented and kids might find the bathroom setup a bit jarring.

    • Anna says:

      Emyr should be able to get you the half price 2nd room offer.

    • Kevin C says:

      Your other option is the Park tower in Kensington (see my mini review below). We didn’t have interconnecting rooms but they were adjacent.
      Yes, Emyr can book the 50% rate though you don’t get the upgrade and room credit on that rate of course.
      Normally I wouldn’t have recommended a W as they can get kinda noisy but I’m not sure that applies at the moment and it has an amazing central location. You are right on top of the Lego store, M&M world, etc. People who have been there recently seem to like it.

      • Sk123 says:

        Thank you all, very useful. I will check with Emyr. However, if he can’t get the $100 credit and upgrade then that’s one of the biggest perks.

        • Kevin C says:

          We had half bottles of champagne waiting in our room which may be because of going through Emyr. Or it could be because of status or some other reason.

    • Harry T says:

      I stayed at the W earlier this month and it was very very quiet. Service was excellent and I was upgraded to a suite. I did see a couple of people staying with their kids. The location is very convenient.

      • Sk123 says:

        Great. They don’t allow two children with two adults so again, two rooms will be needed. An advantage seems the spa. Did you book directly with Marriott?

        • Harry T says:

          I booked directly with Marriott using the healthcare rate (HJH).

          • sk123 says:

            Ah, thanks. I do work in the public sector but not on healthcare side and the code you mentioned is listed as a public sector one but is specifically for healthcare staff.

  • Louise K says:

    I booked two of the special 747 J flights a couple of weeks ago. Bundled a car with it to make it a holiday.

    Can I upgrade using Avios to first if there are seats available? Or is it just certain fare buckets?

    • mart says:

      yeah we done the same i think i read at booking not eligible for avios upgrades but not sure how they could enforce it booking code is I.
      im already checking to upgrade ours daily

      • Louise K says:

        Yes, mine was cancelled for next month so have rebooked for next September. Checking daily also!

  • Cat says:

    Hi all,

    I realise this is a bit (a lot) cheeky after last year, but, I’m taking part in a sponsored event again.

    One of the many hideous results of this awful pandemic, is the massive increase in the divide between children who grow up in relative wealth, and children who grow up in poverty. Last year, for months on end, the great equaliser that education should be, became completely inaccessible to many children who had real difficulties accessing online learning as they either don’t have access to a computer at all, or they were sharing one laptop between three kids and a single parent using it to WFH. Many of our families have minimal income, having lost their jobs during the pandemic, and are surviving with the help of food banks and loans. A new tablet or a laptop to access Teams lessons and their online textbook, in case they have to isolate, or in case there’s a new lockdown, is completely out of the question for them.

    A number of teachers in our school are taking part in a team triathlon challenge, where we all have our own individual cycling, swimming or running targets (or in my case, walking – hey, it’s like running, but in slow motion…). So far we’ve completed more than 7 triathlons between us!

    I completed my 100km challenge yesterday (but am still going until the end of half term), mostly through Camberwell, Herne Hill, Tulse Hill and West Norwood (it’s been a bit less stunning than last year’s views, let me tell you) on the way to and from work.

    If you are in a position to do so, I would love it if you would consider sponsoring me.

    https://www.gofundme.com/f/TRI-4TECH?utm_source=customer&utm_campaign=m_pd%20share-sheet&utm_medium=copy_link_all&fbclid=IwAR34cz67P-qXAjTBeLnHEWr1aeolsH7U_B1Kbiv8uPlAebEEQKIDhAAimbA

    As I said – I realise it’s a bit cheeky, given how absolutely wonderful everyone was last year. I had no intention of doing a sponsored event again so soon, but needs must!

    Also, it’s my birthday – and raising more money would absolutely make my day!

    Thank you, and sorry for doing this again so soon!

    Cat

    PS AMEX decided in my favour and refunded the money for my Garuda flights, those of you that read about my saga over the weekend! Thanks so very much Lady London, AJA, E, ChrisBCN, Harry T and David for your excellent advice, it really helped so much! X

    • Anna says:

      You’re doing a fantastic thing, Cat, I will definitely contribute. On the subject of educational divides, I have recently been accepted to work for an organisation called The Brilliant Club which places tutors in state schools to coach bright kids who might be deterred from applying to top universities because of their social and domestic circumstances. A lot fo schools aren’t aware of the programme though, so it’s worth looking to see if your school might benefit from it.

  • Kevin C says:

    In case anyone’s interested in the Park Tower as part of the Platinum £400 offer, we were there this weekend.
    It’s probably a niche choice but was great for us with older teenagers who wanted to veg. The main restaurant there has been shut for a couple of years I think but they serve food in the bar. At present the bar is shut. The breakfast room is also shut. That means if you are on a breakfast rate, you get room service breakfast included which was excellent. We also had room service dinner which was pricey and okay.
    We booked under the family rate where you get 50% off a second room with breakfast and late check out included. We chose panoramic view rooms which looked out over the city and Hyde Park. I liked the room décor – kind of cruise ship art deco plus the rooms are rounded as you’re in a big concrete tower. You are right on top of Harvey Nichols. Would be a good cocooning option or for people who want to use the offer but avoid crowded public areas. All the staff were lovely.

  • mart says:

    We had booked some TK flights with a travel company called gate1(booked February) they have now been cancelled,i asked for a refund and they are trying to get me to accept a voucher.
    Where do i stand legally?surely i am entitled to my refund ?

    • Anna says:

      OTAs have been reported as rather difficult to deal with recently but your legal rights will depend on which airline you were booked on and where you were travelling – EU261 may apply. Is TK Turkish airlines?

    • Cat says:

      Have you tried a chargeback with your credit card? It took a bit of effort, but I’ve finally managed to claw my money back from an OTA for Garuda flights that never flew.

      • meta says:

        Excellent! I’m so glad to hear that.

        • Cat says:

          Me too Meta.
          The fact that Alternative Airlines tried to submit fraudulent evidence claiming that my flights flew, and I still had seats on them, when all four flights never flew, and my ticket was cancelled by Garuda before I even contacted my travel agency, astonishes me. Their gall takes my breath away.
          Never, ever use an OTA!

      • mart says:

        thats my next plan just wanted to know my rights before chargeback,which ive had mixed success with

        • Cat says:

          I probably should be an expert on this by now, but I’m not! If they cancelled, rather than you, most people’s experience seems to be that your credit card company is likely to side with you. I’d phone the credit card company and talk to them about it.

    • Lady London says:

      Refund. As its easier (Gate1 does not get good comments in these kind of circ’s) chargeback first, otherwise if paid on UK credit card make a claim to cardco under s75.
      Credit card co’s more likely to go for chargeback as first choice they prefer to operate as s75 comes out of their own pocket due to joint liability.

  • S says:

    Not sure if @Rob is already aware of this, but The Spectator has a sign up offer for Avios – advertised in the most recent issue of The Club (http://theclub.ba.com/october-2020/en/exclusive-club-offers/).

    The best value is a digital subscription: £59.50 for 6 months and 5000 Avios or £119 annually for 10,000 Avios. Works out at 1.19p/Avios – not amazing, but (similar to the Economist) if you were planning to subscribe anyhow is worth doing via the sign up offer. If you’re very savvy and can always get say >1.5p/Avios via 2-for-1 vouchers it might even be worth buying them at this price.

    https://www.spectator.co.uk/avios

    • Rob says:

      We are trying to negotiate an even better deal for readers which is why we haven’t covered it yet.

      This is a long term deal, not a short term one.

      • S says:

        Thanks Rob. As for the political leanings @TGLoyalty, I agree it isn’t to my taste – but I also agree with Anna, that if one adopts a critical eye it’s usually easy enough to spot the most egregiously partisan positions.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Far too right for me!