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)

  • Mick S says:

    Hi, just want to check with a wide audience – I’ve currently got the AMEX Gold card and have been WITHOUT my BA AMEX Premium ( £195 fee) for almost two years. I believe you are entitled to the sign-up bonus on this one, despite holding the Gold card?

  • alan says:

    Is the marriott £400 offer likely to work on cumulative spend? E.g. 2 separate stays, in order to reach the £400 threshold?

    • Andrew says:

      Rather expensive risk to take.

    • stevenhp1987 says:

      Can’t say for certain about this years… but last years offer worked cumulatively for me.

    • Jonathan says:

      I think you’d struggle to get a night at any of the eligible hotels for less than £200 so just throw in a nice dinner, room service breakfast etc & enjoy it to the full rather than rolling the dice on 2 separate bare bones stays that will cost at least £50 on top of the £400 cash back & potentially leave you on the hook for the whole lot.

    • Kai says:

      It should as the term doesn’t say “an eligible transaction”, no guarantee though.

    • H says:

      I have confirmation from Amex customer service (via online chat) that the offer applies to cumulative spend.

  • James says:

    Any suggestions on the best/cheapest way to gain 490 BA Tier points before December 8th? So close to Gold!

    • Rob says:

      Not that close 🙂

      You’re looking at 3 return trips in Club Europe to somewhere that will let you in (and where you don’t quarantine on return) AND earns 160 tier points return AND each trip will need to be over a weekend to get the cheapest sale fares.

      • Kai says:

        And that is 480 points

      • Lady London says:

        could back to back 2 of them to save money.
        saturday 1 out ticket 1.
        sunday 1 out ticket 2 to get home.
        saturday 2 back ticket 2 leaving home.
        sunday 2 back ticket 1 to get home.

        leaving more time ‘away’ than just the weekend nights can make the tickets cheaper. same technique can also get you tickets with a saturday night away making them cheaper in the first place when you’re not actually including a saturday night away.

    • Kai says:

      You call 490 close??

      • James says:

        Closest I’m ever likely to be, so yes, I do call 490 close. Why the shoddy attitude?

        • Kai says:

          No offence, I’m just surprised that one would call reaching 53% of the target close.

        • Andrew says:

          At 635 TP so far – you’re only just over half the way there! Now is probably not the time to be chasing status – it’s not very easy to earn and no guarantee having Gold is going to give you much over the next year even if you get it.

          • Eugene says:

            Exactly. Ive only flown twice this lockdown year and the sum value of Gold has been a couple of nice fried brekkies in the Gold lounge. James, save your money… 🙂

        • TGLoyalty says:

          I would think twice

          It’s likely the reduced target will be in place next year too. Earning gold at or near the start of your year is far more valuable.

          Also agree with others that having gold is far less valuable at the moment.

        • ChrisC says:

          It’s not a shoddy attitude it’s a healthy dose of realism.

          Are the benefits you would get from a year of gold rather than silver worth the money cost and the inconvenience of getting almost 500 TPs?

        • Rob says:

          Given that long-haul travel is virtually impossible and you have 6 weeks to do this, it is a pretty tough target, not helped by BA taking an axe to its November schedule over the last few days. Crete is probably best your best bet (no covid test to enter, no quarantine) but there is still a chance you get picked up at immigration for random testing (with 14 days house arrest if positive) and doing the trip 3 times very quickly may push you up the queue to be tested.

          3 x Crete trips would mean 24 hours (!) on a short-haul BA plane with the current shoddy food and no legroom. Even after that you’d be 10 tier points short.

    • Pablo says:

      This November I’m spending every weekend in Athens to get 640 tier points for gold. £165 per CE ticket after avios discount, out Saturday afternoon, back Sunday morning, 17500 IHG points per night for the Holiday Inn with free shuttle. Risk of positive covid test can be mitigated by arriving late and departing early as they take a while to process. Rumour has it that quarantine threshold is being increased to 100 per 100k population which should keep Greece in the travel corridor for a while. Maybe see you on board 😉

  • Lee says:

    Has anyone noticed that the points from Barclaycard are late to reach HH account this month.

    • Genghis says:

      Yes. Normally posts 23/24 of the month for me (statement date around 10th) but not posted yet.

    • Genghis says:

      Yes. Normally posts 23/24 of the month for me (statement date around 10th) but not posted yet.

      • Anna says:

        +1. Expecting 19k points this month so glad it’s not just me!

        • TGLoyalty says:

          +2 and hope there are no issues as. I’m expecting quite a few.

          IHG have posted on time.

          • Chris K says:

            Hit the reply button by mistake for the umpteenth time today.

            But I’ve checked and I’m in the same boat. Normally posts between 22nd and 24th for me, and nothing yet.

    • Peter K says:

      Yes, same for me, later than usual.

      • Crafty says:

        Mine also missing… and card expires in February with no word on a replacement. I am getting nervous.

  • Paul says:

    Well done Amex. Just got a great deal via the post thanking me for being a loyal platinum card holder. (Member since 2006)

    Offer is basically £100 of free money to spend in Harrods between 2nd and 30th November!

    In store and online!

  • Paul says:

    Hertz Points Expiry

    I have just lost 3000 points after lack of activity for 18 months.

    I had bookings in April for 14 days and all cancelled due vivid and closed borders. I tried to book a week in Scotland but Hertz were closed on a Sunday at Glasgow Airport, the only firm to be closed!

    Despite this Hertz immovable on this and I am Presidents circle. Poor show

    • mvcvz says:

      I really wouldn’t lose much sleep. In my experience, 3000 Hertz points have a real world value approximately equivalent to the square root of sod all.

      • Baji Nahid says:

        looool

      • Travel Strong says:

        Indeed. Always try and set up such things to credit to another scheme, e.g. airmiles. Hertz points are generally unusable towards the type of vehicles I rent and therefore no use at all.

      • Lady London says:

        Au contraire. A mere 900 or so points saved me £160 on a short notice booking for 1 day in August.

        I feel your pain.
        Phone and grovel again. Try both sides of the Atlantic when you phone.

        Hertz did technically go bust or something similar earlier this year, however, so it’s possible they are being told to stick strictly to contractual liabilities.

        • Bill says:

          I think they do a free transfer to a spouse. So create a spouse account and then send them back to yourself at a later date

    • Doug M says:

      Hertz points all a bit duff. They spam me about points expiring, but fail to deal with missing points claim that would stop the expiry.

    • AlanC says:

      Me too. Booked a 1 day rental at Edinburgh airport just before they expired. Got there and location was closed at 5pm!!

  • Super Secret Stuff says:

    Those 30k bonus where fairly standard and they ended up giving them to everyone with plat.

    My reason for saying brighton is the first time I rang up, I got someone in the Philippines, absolutely useless. Second time I got brighton and it was sorted in 5 mins.

  • Fola says:

    Could someone help clarify this?

    I have held an Amex card( Amex Preferred Rewards Gold) within the last 24 months; It was cancelled in Septemeber 2019. I applied for Americal Express Gold Business Card in Jan 2020 which was declined. My understanding before I applied was I would qualify for the welcome bonus.
    However, I was speaking to one of the agents at the Amex call centre today and I was told I wouldn’t qualify for the bonus on Americal Express Gold Business if I apply now.

    • Neil says:

      Correct, you need to wait 6 months between having a personal MR account and the business MR account

    • TGLoyalty says:

      You’ve met the 6 months without a card criteria. Perhaps they misunderstood the difference between business and personal qualifying periods.