Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Friday 30th 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 (228)

  • ChrisC says:

    Marriott have been fined £18.4m for their date breach.

  • AJA says:

    Marriott Hotels fined £18.4m for data breach that hit millions

    The UK’s data privacy watchdog has fined the Marriott Hotels chain £18.4m for a major data breach that may have affected up to 339 million guests.

    The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) said names, contact information, and passport details may all have been compromised in a cyber-attack.

    The breach included seven million guest records for people in the UK.

    The ICO said the company failed to put appropriate safeguards in place but acknowledged it had improved.

    The first part of the cyber-attack happened in 2014, affecting the Starwood Hotels group, which was acquired by Marriott two years later.

    But until 2018, when the problem was first noticed, the attacker continued to have access to all affected systems, including:

    email addresses
    phone numbers
    passport numbers
    arrival and departure information
    VIP status
    loyalty programme numbers

    On that basis, the ICO said Marriott had failed to protect personal data as required by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

  • Aston100 says:

    Hi guys, does anyone know if there is a cash advance fee or any kind of charges if using an IHG card to pay the monthly lease payments to Volkswagen Financial Services (VWFS)?
    I owe them 6 months worth and don’t want to ‘try and see what happens yourself’ for that kind of amount.

    • Aston100 says:

      I’m assuming my free Curve would be declined, with fronted turned off.

      • JD says:

        Not exactly the same however I paid off my car with VWFS with my HSBC WE credit card. No fees were incurred. No requirement for Curve. From memory they let you pay any amount up to 5k per day, so you could always try a small amount and see what happens. As an aside when confirming they didn’t take Amex randomly they also said they didn’t accept Sainsburys Credit card either.

        • Aston100 says:

          HI, thanks for that. I am not aware of an online payment system. Do you have a link please?
          I was told I had to pay over the phone (due to such a large outstanding amount). Previously, was paying by monthly DD.

          • JD says:

            Y my payments were made over the phone too. They just ask for your card details.

    • Anna says:

      I pay Santander monthly with my IHG card for our car and have never been charged to do so.

  • Harry T says:

    Pricing up a care hire for Tenerife. I’m Hertz Presidents Circle. The US website seems to have the cheapest prices but only if you pay up front. Any way to make it cheaper? Aussie Hertz is more expensive.

    • Mouse says:

      I seem to remember reading here that India and Brazil can be good options. Also using the 211762 CDP code instead of the standard Amex Platinum one worked for me as per Rob’s recommendation

      • Harry T says:

        Thank you. Can’t seem to get it to actually change to the Brazil website!

        I was hoping @Charlieface might see my comment as he wrote the article 😊

        • AndyGWP says:

          What’s the reason you don’t want to pay up front Harry? I’m 99.9% certain the small print makes it refundable (please check this – I know it differs based on the country you are booking from or for)

          Obvs if Hertz went bump your credit card could cover you too

          And if its because you can’t afford to pay for it right now, you’ll just have to dig a balaclava out 😉

          • Harry T says:

            I wasn’t 100% sure that I could get it refunded when I read the small print. Didn’t fancy a battle with Hertz when Europcar is selling rentals for the same price but fully cancellable up to 48 hours before.

          • AndyGWP says:

            Ah – my knowledge is lacking here. I know that prepay bookings for the US are (were) refundable for UK bookers, but not sure for other booking situations – as you’ve checked the small print though, it seems not. Sorry

          • Harry T says:

            You may be right, Andy. I’ll have another look.

  • George says:

    Am I right in thinking the trick to redate Avios flights booked during the half price promotion for no extra Avios is no longer working? I just tried to move to September and got a failure at the confirmation page.

    • Louise K says:

      Were the taxes and fees exactly the same amount as you paid? I think they had to be to be able to do if.

      My try failed as I had to pay extra, got all the way through to the end including credit card details but would not complete.

      • George says:

        Mine was a refund of £8 – I’m trying to decide whether to call in and see if they’ll do it over the phone, but if it hasn’t become general knowledge yet I don’t want to kill it for everyone else!

        • Louise K says:

          Have not read of anyone getting a change at the same rates over the phone.

          Keep trying online and see if you can get the amounts to match exactly, that might be your best bet.

    • The Streets says:

      The trick was to change the flights in the first 24 hours of booking – i managed to move to September

  • Lady London says:

    Yo @Cat (and all other teachers)

    I assume you just got this email from Morrisons?
    “To say thank you to the nation’s school
    teachers, we’re offering 10% discount
    on your shopping in store, from Monday 2nd November
    until after Christmas.

    Simply show your school photo ID at the checkout and a supervisor will check it and deduct the discount from your shopping*.”

    • AndyGWP says:

      I got this too…. excellent reason to send my (teacher) girlfriend to do all the grocery shopping from Monday onwards 😉 lol

    • Andrew says:

      The double dip with in-store has sadly stopped again.

      Shame, 10% discount and 10% funds return was rather good whilst it lasted.

  • Craig says:

    So, I’ve just cashed in my Hilton points for a week at the Seychelles Northolme Resort over Easter next year which happens to also be my 50th birthday! Return (and fully refundable) Etihad flights booked in Business from Manchester for less than £3,000 each. Let’s hope it happens but I’m not optimistic.

    • Anna says:

      Fingers x’d! I’m aiming to get enough points for 10 nights there or Labriz either end of next year or early 2022 …. wondering if there willl be a possibiity of using up a 241 to get there …

      • Jill (Kinkell) says:

        Go to Mauritius instead. Much preferred it to Seychelles. Mind you, getting a 241 there is like hen’s teeth, although we managed it twice a good few years ago.

        • meta says:

          I like Mauritius a bit more more than Seychelles too. Food is mediocre in Seychelles. The only place where we had good food was at Constance Lemuria on Praslin (not cheap !) and Marie Antoinette in Mahe. Everything else is overpriced compared to offer. Hilton Northolme does not have a beach. For Labriz you need to pay transport a la Maldives.

          If going to Seychelles, I’d skip Mahe and go Praslin and La Digue. Mahe beaches are not for swimming most of the year.

      • Secret Squirrel says:

        Sez comes up regularly for 241 in CW. Go for Labriz as it has some decent beach not like Northolme.
        If you do decide on Northolme, go for a king hillside villa with pool as you won’t be disappointed!

  • Alex says:

    Does anyone know what I need to do with regard to covid to Dubai? Reading I need a private ££ pcr test ahead of time but also U.K. and German citizens can get one on arrival?

    • meta says:

      You can take one on arrival. You’ll need to take one on arrival even if you do one in the UK.

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