Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Friday 6th November

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We have decided to run this daily chat thread on Head for Points during the coronavirus outbreak.

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Comments (202)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Amar says:

    OT: Got membership reward points on a family member’s Amex Platinum (same address as mine). Going to transfer out and close the card – what reward partners allow transferring between family members for free?

    I only know of: BA household account and Marriott Bonvoy. Anyone else? It’s roughly 100k points. Do Etihad or Emirates allow free transfers between household members?

    • Harry T says:


    • Oli says:

      I got an email from Emirates a few months back to say that miles earned with partners including banks can be pooled into Skywards Family Accounts. Previously only miles from flights could be pooled. Note its pooling new miles into a separate family account, not combining existing miles into a holding pot like BA household accounts. So if you are creating a family account you will need to transfer in enough miles from Amex, partners or earn enough miles from flights AFTER you have created the family account, to make the redemption you want

    • Rob says:


    • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

      Radisson too

      • The Savage Squirrel says:

        ransfers within a Household: Radisson Rewards members may transfer points to another Radisson Rewards member who resides in the same household, provided both individuals have been Radisson Rewards members for at least one year and the addresses for both accounts involved in the transfer have not been updated within thirty (30) days prior to the transfer request.

        Given the excellent value of MR -> Radisson and the rubbish value of MR -> Hilton, I know which I’d choose (although points vs cash pricing is obviously all over the place at the minute).

        • Crafty says:

          In principle sure, but in practice?

          I’ve been progressively devaluing my Radisson stash because I cannot use it for anything. Now down to 0.15p.

      • Mo says:

        I’ve tried to do this with a fairly new account of a family member, apparently there are some rules around the age of the account, having to have it open for a year at least, etc?

  • Joe Biden says:

    I’m staying over one night for business (education) next week and have a hotel booked for such.
    I have added the Mrs to the booking so she can have a night away from home.

    I’ve checked the Hotel web site and there seems to be no advice\guidance etc re “only business stays aloud”

    So any idea what I should expect, when two of us check in?

    Spanish inquisition?

  • Travel Strong says:

    Just had a virgin flight refund to a virgin card arrive 14 working days after the refunds landed on Amex cards for the same flight.

    Its clear as day to me that virgin group are all aligned on holding on to customers cash for the absolute maximum possible time. It was not enough to hold the refund for 80 days, they also had to keep it in the family another 14!

    • Travel Strong says:

      Reading this back, I dont know why I was suprised by this. …… But at least its out there for awareness if anyone is watching the calendar on their virgin refunds – the cash lands back in accounts, eventually!

      • callum says:

        There’s absolutely zero chance that Virgin Money are identifying refunds from other Virgin companies and then deliberately delaying them to “keep the money in the family”. I highly doubt they’re deliberately delaying refunds at all, but if they are it will be for everyone. Virgin Money UK is just a standard bank with the Virgin branding slapped on top (Virgin only own 13%) – they aren’t going to engage in risky conduct (I’m no banking expert, but surely the regulators would have something to say if this was true?) to save a few pence.

        The most likely explanation is that Virgin Atlantic sent that refund later than they did to Amex for some reason.

        • Travel Strong says:

          Thats exactly what I think has happened callum, virgin atlantic held funds longer when going to the virgin card compared to 2 other cards.

          • Callum says:

            Can you explain why they would do that though, as my initial thought is that makes no sense whatsoever. “I have a great idea team – let’s target our most important customers and make them wait 2 weeks longer than everyone else” doesn’t seem like a strategy anyone could get behind…

            Withhold it from everyone to help cash flow I get, but specifically Virgin Money customers? Who as I mentioned, only have Virgin as a very minor investor, so certainly wouldn’t go along with that willingly. Perhaps I’m missing something?

    • Harry T says:

      Thanks for the data point. I always found Virgin Money a very poor company when compared to amex. Don’t think I’ll be inclined to ever book a VS flight now, having heard lots of stories like yours. BA have mostly been excellent at refunding me (with one notable exception).

    • ChrisC says:

      Virgin Group owns less than 15% of V Money

      V Money is not going to put it’s banking licence at risk by holding onto clients money for longer than strictly necessary.

      five months ago it took about 10 days from when Finnair said they sent the refund to me for it to reach my MBNA account.

      • Nick_C says:

        Technically, Virgin Group doesn’t own any of Virgin Money. Branson personally owns a 13% stake in Virgin Money UK, which is a plc. Very simple, compared to companies owned or controlled by Branson.

        Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd is owned by Virgin Travel Group Limited

        Virgin Travel Group Limited is owned by Virgin Atlantic Two Limited

        Virgin Atlantic Two Limited is owned by Virgin Atlantic Limited

        Virgin Atlantic Limited has two shareholders, Branson and Virgin. (Branson is the majority shareholder)


  • Nic says:

    If one happened to have an Amex Plat Marriott 400 offer and, due to the lockdown, had to rebook a hotel, if one checked *in* on the 19th (last day of offer), and asked for the room charge to be taken immediately, how risky would that be for the credit?

    • Rob says:

      Depends how late you check in and, potentially, whether they would agree to it.

      • Nic says:

        Yes. Feels like a casino dice roll, that close to the wire, TBH.

      • KS says:

        I recently made use of Brasserie Blanc offer on the last date at dinner. Soon after the payment I received an email that I had triggered the offer. Next day the offer moved to “Recently expired” and a few days later I had £20 credit from the offer.

  • H says:

    For anyone yet to use their £400 Marriott offer just wanted to report that (1) the JW Steakhouse appeared as Grosvenor House on my Amex statement and (2) the offer was triggered by cumulative spend (dinner at the JW Steakhouse and spend at a different hotel on the list, on different days).

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Glad it worked out.

      Not known of a single Hotel offer not to be cumulative in the past so good to see the trend continues.

  • George K says:

    Langley seems to either be fully booked for November, or moved its opening for December. Anyone heard a peep from the place?

  • G says:

    Planning to take a chance with a trip next week departing from T5. Obviously not keen to end up being no show if turned away from outside T5 so will only check in at the airport so as to leave the option of cancelling for a voucher open. Does anyone know the last possible moment one can claim a voucher on a flight you don’t intend on getting (if I am turned away) if trip is booked through BA but operated by Iberia.

    • Jonathan says:

      1 hour before departure. I’d be wary getting beyond 90mins though in case there’s issues that require a call.

    • Pete says:

      Having flown yesterday, unless something fundamentally changes (or the country suddenly hires and trains thousands of extra police), the chances of being turned away are about 0.

      • 747_Brat says:

        Thanks Pete for your response. I am also flying out soon. It would be great to listen to your experience. Please could you share your check-in experience and journey to the airport.

        • Pete says:

          It’s really boring – to be honest! Got the tube from home to Paddington (all running as normal), HEx running as per the new normal (ie every 30mins), T5 was very quiet. I didn’t check a bag, so can’t comment as to what happens at check-in (but I don’t think it’s any different to before), but security was dead (they were very thorough, though). I commented earlier on what shops are open – basically very little. The bottom line is I think the assumption is that if you are travelling, you have a good reason for it – and, frankly, there aren’t many places (at least in Europe) that would be fun to visit right now!

          • 747_Brat says:

            Thanks mate. In the current climate, boring & uneventful experience is better! 🙂

  • Andrew says:

    Depends on how you value your MR Points.

    For example, you spent £500 on a new Dyson Vacuum Cleaner for your wife for Christmas at Selfridges using your Amex and get £50 returned and 500 MR points.

    You then decided you’d really like your mistress to have some posh lingerie, so go and spend another £500 in Selfridges.

    Do you:-

    A – Earn 500 MR points
    B – Get £50 back by using your RBS Card.

    If you value an MR point at 10p each, then you’d collect the MR. Otherwise, I’m a big fan of cash myself.

    • Stanley says:

      Husbands can also use vacuum cleaners

    • Harry T says:

      The unifying theme is high quality suction.

    • Amar says:

      Rob, this is a perfect example of why we need a “like” button on each post haha

      • Nick says:

        @Andrew, perhaps because it’s not the bank that’s making the offer? Do you seriously think Amex/RBS are paying you £50 to spend in Selfridges? How naive!

        Selfridges is the one behind the offer… and they can offer it through any channel they like.

        Search a company called ‘Cardlytics’ to know how it works – I don’t know about RBS, but this is the company LBG use for theirs.

        • Nick says:

          Sorry Andrew, I copied the wrong name. I meant @747B

        • 747_Brat says:

          Thank you very much for your response. I looked up Cardlytics, and it solved the puzzle for me.

          So it looks like companies like Cardlytics curate the offers directly in collaboration with the merchants, which their partner banks dish out to their customers.

        • sloth says:

          amusing to note from their website that they work with Marriott…:)

        • 747_Brat says:

          Hope I get the £400 off £400 offer on my RBS debit card. I will be all over it, in no time!

    • Brian says:

      Surely nobody values MR points at 10p each!!!

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