Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Saturday 7th 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 (212)

  • Daniel says:

    Question about the HSBC WE Card – I am projecting to have spent the £12,000 by my anniversary. When exactly will my bonus credit on my account?

  • 747_Brat says:

    You are welcome bud. Happy to share the knowledge with the community here.

    I did see the Morrissons offer yesterday, but I didn’t know that it was reusable. Thanks for mentioning that.

    I haven’t personally redeemed an offer from RBS group banks, but looking at the comments above, I would tread with caution. People have reported trouble with their tracking!

    And you are damn right. RBS group banks have better offers than the LBG group banks. I have only 3 offers each on my Halifax & Lloyds account!

    • Harry T says:

      @747 Brat
      Thanks for your advice yesterday, by the way.

      Also didn’t realise that RBS group and LBG group get different offers – I’m such a rookie. Going to miss out on the Lloyds switching offer because I’m abroad and don’t have my debit card. Never mind!

      • Doogie says:

        I always recommend having a password manager with all your debit & credit card numbers in it as well as your passwords – means that they’re always available in situations like that!

        • Harry T says:

          Wholeheartedly agree! Unfortunately, I put my Nationwide credit card details into LastPass, but not my debit card ones… I only have myself to blame!

        • Lady London says:

          which password managers would folk recommend?

        • Doug M says:

          I use 1Password and really rate it. App for Android and IOS, browser extensions and Windows app too. As for the logic of putting all your eggs in one basket I’ll leave others to debate that, for me it’s worth the risk. I have personal vaults, work vault and shared work vault, and that separation works smoothly.

        • Mouse says:

          I have been using Keeper for the last three years or so. Very simple easy to use.

      • 747_Brat says:

        You are welcome bud. 🙂

        You only need the sort code & account no. for the switch, and don’t need the debit card details. There is an option on the switch form, which says something like “Debit card no. not available / Debit card expired”. Just use this option ,and your switch would go ahead just fine!

    • Doogie says:

      Interesting – I’ll double check the tracking and put in a complaint if it doesn’t go through.

      I also saw a tip on here a couple of days ago about Airtime Rewards with 10% Morrisons – only applies to Visa/MC but should work with the RBS group offers.

      I undestand that the LBG group are very usage dependent – I periodically exercise my old Lloyds Avios card to keep the account alive, but other than that don’t spend so get minimal offers across my Lloyds & Halifax accounts.

      • 747_Brat says:

        Thanks mate.
        That explains the reason for lack of offers on my Lloyds & Halifax accounts, because I rarely use them.

  • Andrew says:

    Anyone successfully bought a Bicester gift card online and trigger the Amex offer?

    • YC says:

      Yes but required amex chat and long discussions regarding T&Cs. Dont know if they ended up giving it as goodwill or actually agreed. They were trying to get their offers team to clarify. I wouldn’t buy online gift card in future given this experience

      • Andrew says:

        Thanks – sounds too much hassle, so I’ll leave it unless I go there before the end of December.

  • Wally1976 says:

    Just seen that Amex have increased my wife’s referral bonus from Platinum to 18000 points. Just after she has referred me for a few cards and I was about to cancel! Might have to see if I they’ll accept me for one more…

  • Anna says:

    Morrison’s are doing the 3 for 2 wine offer at the moment – including Mumm Cordon Rouge which brings it down to £22 per bottle. Just remember not to buy any other wines from the offer at the same time as I imagine any free bottles will be the cheapest ones!

    • Andrew says:

      And get your Amex 10% back.

      • Anna says:

        Not got that on ANY card! And I currently get my weekly shop there.

        • Andrew says:

          That’s why then. I’ve never been in a Morrison’s in my life.

          • Doug M says:

            Not even to buy gift cards? I don’t like Morrison’s, but suspect that’s the two local to me rather than the chain in general. But I was down to my last JLP gift card when the current offer appeared on Gold and sup.

          • Andrew says:

            Yes I probably will take a lockdown walk to one and get some gift cards, my life is normally a bit too busy for such things, now not so much! I’d never been to a coop until the Amex offer last month and stocked up on some amazon gift cards.

    • Jody says:

      You can currently get 10% off at Morrisons with a blue light card too until 22nd November. There are reports that stores are incorrectly asking for photo ID as well as blc (I think they’re maybe getting mixed up with their ongoing offer for NHS) but on blc app and website it says you just need to show your card.

      • Anna says:

        Also Campo Viejo Tempranillo Viejo – retailing at £8.25 but you can get 6 bottles for £30, which is a real bargain. It has had only 4 months in oak so can’t be classed as crianza but should taste very similar.

      • Tom H says:

        did you manage to get it to work on gift cards ok?

  • Ammar says:

    I have a big SA bill to settle in Jan, looking to maxmise my points. I have the BA Amex (free one), COT, HSBC (free one) and bendy. Last yr used bendy with COT for points. But with new HMRC rules, was looking at the Lufty CC with its MC if its possible to pay HMRC for personal SA tax. have plenty of Avios and not keen on Virgin miles. Want to confirm:
    1) I can use Lufthansa CC w/o other charges for SA to HMRC? Is my understanding correct
    2) the other way would be to upgrade bendy to metal and then pay with underlying HSBC, but dont want to spend £90 for Bendy fees, rather pay £80 and extend my M&M

    Any suggestions/thoughts welcome.

    • Rob says:

      1. Correct

      • Ammar says:

        Thanks Rob – was not sure if changing to Visa would affect the product in terms of SA payment. Do you have any more news on that? or on any upcoming bonus?

        • Rob says:

          No news, still showing as Mastercard. We never speak to Affiniture at all.

  • Ed Cracknell says:

    Anyone understand the Avios Hotels cancellation policy?

    I’ve been tracking hotel prices for a stay in Vancouver in April and the price has suddenly dropped on Avios Hotels (through BAEC app). Keen to get the good price and 15 Avios per £1 but their cancellation policy is weird. Looking at a flexible rate, the link to the policy contains nothing that says you will get a full refund. Just “Cancellations made up to 3 days before travel : Cancellations made on or after 25/04/21 will be subject to a fee of 1,203.91 GBP or equivalent cost in Avios + £35 administration fee.”

    The same page says there will be a fee of £127.75 for cancellations after 25/04/2021. Baffling.

    • ML says:

      Hi Ed, I just cancelled my trip through BAEC and received a full refund on the hotel booking. After receiving the full refund I asked for clarity on the same statement as it read very confusingly. The agent confirmed that their cancellation policy follows the hotels own policy +£35 for BA fees. At the moment BA are waiving the £35 fee and most hotels are fully refundable upto 3 days before check-in so I received a 100% refund.

  • CF Frost says:

    I’m looking to switch from the Bendybeard to the Bendybutton-shaped chocolate combo. Does anyone have any experience here with Ernie?

    • Tracy says:

      What on earth is being hinted to here? I understand bendy and Ernie, everything else is ??

      • Doug M says:

        My attitude is to try small amounts and see. I see things posted as working or not, interest or other charges or not, and don’t always find the same.
        I personally don’t believe both Curve and the underlying cards don’t know what’s happening, they either want the business at any price, or as yet lack the systems to stop it. Things like Ernie are not code, just a reflection of your age/experience as to whether you were familiar with the term or not.

      • Chris K says:

        Beard refers to a ‘pure’ ‘brand’ portfolio owned by a billionaire who’s based in a tax haven.
        Chocolate buttons I have no idea.

        • The Savage Squirrel says:

          Well it’s now sufficiently obscure that I guess we can give up being comedy cryptic. Didn’t Capital One use to issue a credit card with what looked like smarties on the front? But no rewards in play there so I guess I’m stumped. Enjoy the daily puzzles in these conversations though 😀

        • ChrisBCN says:

          Chocolate button shaped could be m&m’s i.e. the Miles & More card, perhaps.

          • The Savage Squirrel says:

            Ah! Didn’t occur to me – as I thought it’s a debit card so wouldn’t make sense to combine with Bendy?

          • CF Frost says:

            Correct. Top of the class.

            Shall try small amount. Is always the best option.

            Thank you.

        • Tracy says:

          Ok, one down, one to go 🙂 thanks

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