Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Wednesday 4th November

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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 (176)

  • Andrew says:

    I can confirm the odd anomaly about the Harrods offer – got the email on Monday, but was not showing on offers. Just made a £20 transaction in store, the moment it was approved, now showing in my saved offers.

    • Harry T says:

      I haven’t got an email but I’m wondering if I should buy something small online and see if it triggers. Can you keep on using the offer to a maximum of £100 statement credit? Or is it only for a single purchase?

    • Sean says:

      Had the email – was not showing in offers but having spent £101, £100 showing in my savings

      • Lady London says:

        Anyone wit a Plat is nuts if they dont order something refundable online even if they cant get to store. Unless they really, really cant use anything.

        if you know Harrods has something but you cant see it online IIRC some departments can sort out a payment by phone.

  • mef13 says:

    Just taken delivery of my Harrods “Food Halls Collection” hamper. With their 10% discount and the Platinum deal, set me back £12.50. The statement credit popped up within 48 hours.

  • Rich says:

    I’m Currently into the second week staying At H10 palace in lanzarote after booking it on the Friday after it was announced we could fly.
    Although we expected it not to be of the standard it would have been pre Covid, we didn’t expect it be this substandard. You only need to read on trip advisor how bad it as been in the last week due to the hotel not having half the staff needed. The food is awful. We have paid to upgrade as we were told from other guests, the “club facilities” and restaurant is better, but our first experience of that was waiting an hour to have order taken and then half hour after that to be told our starter wasn’t available. We gave up after 2 hours.
    Apart from complaining to the travel agent who keeps promising me management will ring me back, and haven”t, is there anything I can actually do?

    I Guess this has taught me to maybe think twice before booking anything until after Covid seems to be under control now, which is a shame as some hotels I’ve been to during this time have been fantastic.

    • Pete says:

      That’s really unfortunate, sorry to hear! I have to say, my experiences travelling this year have been pretty much exclusively positive, with everyone going out of their way to welcome us, so this is a real shame 🙁

    • Paul says:

      Sorry to hear about your bad experience.

      Im just back from a week at westin resort costa navarino greece and everything about the trip was exceptional. The best service and product i have ever experienced. I have stayed all over the world at all almost all main brands.

      No not all doom and gloom in covid times.

  • Lopita says:

    Harrods £100 – just to confirm, only gift cards bought IN STORE are eligible for the £100 cash back?

    Going to brave the crowds later this afternoon….

    • Rob says:

      Correct.

      There are no crowds. All tills can do gift cards. Wander off the ground floor and it is deserted.

      • Tarmohamed says:

        I don’t see the offer on the card, but I did get the postcard, should I be concerned?

        • Andrew says:

          No you shouldn’t be. It will show once you used it. Odd I know.

          • James says:

            Got the postal card, bought in store on Tuesday but no statement credit showing yet.

        • Rob says:

          No. What’s the worse case scenario anyway? You have a £100 Harrods gift card which you can use for £100 of stuff.

  • Brian says:

    Probably already mentioned but Qantas has said that they’re not planning any flights from the U.K./America to Australia until October next year “at least”

    • TGLoyalty says:

      As Australia has chosen a path which will only open the country if there an highly effective vaccine I seriously doubt that will happen either.

      • Brian says:

        Even if there is one by that stage (I’m not saying there will be as I’m not an expert on vaccines) they’d presumably require some sort of certificate of vaccination etc before individuals are allowed in

        • Rob says:

          The Oxford vaccine is only 25%-ish effective in people over 70 judging by early reports (which is better than they expected, they expected it to not work). What’s the point of a certificate if there is a 75% chance you can still be a carrier?

          Here, by the way, is an interesting one. Let’s say the vaccine is 100% effective in under 50’s but only works in 25% of over 70’s. The UK has a limited number of doses. Should they all go older people, knowing that 75% will be wasted (which is the plan) or should they go to younger people, knowing that it will protect them and therefore they can’t infect older people?

          • Aston100 says:

            The answer to this may determine your political leanings.

          • meta says:

            There are other vaccines being developed, so it may be that others are more effective for older population.

          • Number9 says:

            I’ll give you my answer as a 60 year old with asthma who takes care of an 81 year old with dementia. Give it to the young ones let them have a normal life. I’ll take my chances.

          • BS says:

            Results are not available yet for the Oxford trial, and the investigators are equally blinded to whether a participant has a placebo or the actual vaccine candidate. The results will only be unblinded and statistics worked out when a certain number of participants on the trial contract coronavirus. Andrew Pollard (the PI of the study) does not know the results. Yet.

          • Rob says:

            The Lancet published the early results in July.

          • Brian says:

            Well then the Oxford vaccine clearly isn’t that “effective” and probably wouldn’t lead to Australia’s borders opening if they really are looking for an effective vaccine. I’ve no idea if that’s what they’re even working towards and am offering no comment on whether it’s the right approach (I’ve got no plans to go to Australia so I don’t really care either way).

          • Brian says:

            Actually, I was thinking of going for the ashes next year but I’ll probably just have to man up and accept it won’t happen. No point crying about it like a baby.

            There’s always 2022

          • Jonathan says:

            The final results showing how effective the vaccine is in preventing Covid infection will only be known once the threshold of infections in the wider study group is reached & the unblinding occurs.

            They do have results now for how effective the vaccine is at generating T cells & Antibodies plus how effective plasma of those vaccinated is at neutralising the virus in a test tube. As yet the data for over 70’s isn’t published but they have said the response is similar to the younger cohorts. All promising indicators but no guarantees yet.

  • Grimz says:

    I have 2 x 241 Vouchers to use before April 22 and I normally use them for long haul flights. I wont be able to go on two long haul holidays so what is the best value in using a voucher for Europe? Looking at maybe March 2022 and happy to book 355days out.

    • Anna says:

      It’s never brilliant value using them for Europe but the best use of them is to go somewhere with high cash prices, and also for longer SH haul flights to places like the Canaries and Greek Islands. Also, consider CE; 4 hours in CE with an empty middle seat and free F & B (which will hopefully have improved by then) is much preferable to economy, and of course you get lounge access as well which is a nice start to a holiday, more luggage and priority boarding.

    • Michael C says:

      I plain ran out of time with one of my vouchers, so we did a CE city-break to Scandinavia. Money-saver? Probably not, but fun, comfy w-end away for next to nothing!

    • Chris says:

      You might consider some of the Mid Haul destinations if long haul is out; Israel and Jordan are great in the spring/ autumn.

    • Gin and Tonic Please says:

      We use one 241 per year to go to Greece in CE over the summer. Every time I’ve costed it, it works out at over 2p value. Of course, that assumes that you’d be happy to pay for CE to Greece. We are 🙂

      • Capt Hammond says:

        Yes, we used our last one for Kalamata In July last year – well worth it given the cash prices at the time.

    • Genghis says:

      Somewhere you want to go? I used my last one for a booking to Portugal (for summer gone) but flights got cancelled so used for Amsterdam next year. It’s a sunk “cost” (i.e. ideally I wouldn’t have gone for the 241 and paid BAPP fees knowing I didn’t really get loads of value out of it, but that cannot be changed). All I can change is what I do going forward and I don’t plan on earning another 241 for a while.

      • Sam says:

        What’s your strategy Genghis then? I have earnt my first 2 for 1 but not used it yet, got my eye on a few things and if I buy in my next card year, will get another 2 for 1. I enjoy travelling but wouldn’t say I’m an avid traveller (and can live without it). Maybe I should put my spend on a hotel credit card (have no hotel card/loyalty/points anywhere currently).

        • Genghis says:

          Everyone is different and times change.

          My wife and I used to go LH a couple of times a year with a few other SH trips in the mix – the 241 was worth its weight in gold, especially when we’d generate something like 400k avios a year from Amex churning (RIP).

          Now we have a little one we want to generally keep things simple. For us, that means Europe and some “easy” LH cities / areas. We’ve done CPT and AMS so far. Plan for next year is AMS and Portugal. Looking at CPT / HKG and Asia resort the year after and probably somewhere in Europe (e.g. Crete) (but who knows at current rate) so 241 may come in handy. Point being, we’re now not desperate to earn min 2 241s (I remember having 3 in my account at one time) we were earning previously.

          My game now is enjoying travel and trying to come up with itineraries where I can minimise hotel costs (I collect the main IHG, Hilton and Marriott points and hotels.com vouchers through (previously) a fair amount of work travel). I’ve also liquidated some of my points balances for other things: e.g. HSBC Prem WE MC points for Amazon vouchers which will buy my wife a new Surface when I get round to it and me a new iPhone eventually (effectively “selling” avios assuming no bonus at 0.66p ea which I’m happy with given current points balances).

          Perhaps some advice then. It seems like you’re just starting out. Get used to the avios scheme, then branch into hotels and other airline schemes, learning as you go. Keep reading and exploring and you’ll then find what’s right for you.

          • Sam says:

            Thanks Genghis!

          • Princess says:

            @Genghis: if you are looking to restart long haul with a small child Japan is an amazing option. You can plan everything in advance to the super detail. No surprise even with a child.

  • JD says:

    Tesco Clubcard – BA
    Anyone seen their points in the BAEC account yet? I received an email from Tesco yesterday saying the points were transferred but nothing in my account yet?

    In the good old days I used to see the points before the email.

    • Andrew says:

      Yes got them in my account then a few days later the email as usual.

  • Jay H says:

    Gold/plat Business Amex now says You will not be eligible for any Welcome Bonus award if you currently hold or have held any Membership Rewards enrolled American Express Card in the past three months.

    • Rob says:

      Where do you see this? Someone posted it yesterday and it simply isn’t true. For a start, Amex cannot change this without giving me a contractual period of notice. Secondly, it is quite clear from the Amex website that it is still 6 months.

    • Peter K says:

      I’ve just checked the actual American express website rather than an image and it says 6 months when I look, not 3 months.

      • Jay H says:

        They are screenshots I took from the actual website…

        Anyway… weird quirk it seems

        If you go to American Express > Click Cards > Click View Personal Cards > Then when it says Browse All Cards go across to The Gold Business or Platinum Business > Click Learn More > Scroll down it shows 3 months

        If you go American Express > Click Cards > View All Business Cards > then learn more on the Gold Business or Platinum Business it shows 6 months

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