Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Monday 9th 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 (274)

  • Michael says:

    If anyone can help me please, I booked a one way first class ticket (points ticket) with BA to SFO for this week and was cancelled. When I called BA they told me that the could put me on a flight to LAX and I would need to make my own way to SFO, because since they are not flying there they do not have the responsibility to get me there??? What are my rights? Do they need to need to find me a way to get there??
    Any help would be greatly appreciated..

    • TGLoyalty says:

      They always say this. If you claim after the fact they will pay any required hotel, travel and reasonable food costs that arise from the re-route as per EU261.

      • Aliks says:

        See my comment earlier for helpful link and details of what to do in this situation.

        To add to the discussion. I had to email complaints 4 times before BA caved in. I think you have to be very precise with your explanation of expenses and the legal reason that BA has to reimburse. I got the feeling that they have a team that is paid a bonus to turn away claims, so they are looking for any loopholes to turn you away.
        Whatever they say in their email does not make any difference, you can always force it to go to arbitration, but the arbitrator will be able to see all emails so keep it clean.
        Good luck!

    • Lady London says:

      complete cr*p. BA is responsible to get you from the starting point that you booked to the destination airport that you booked at no cost to you and preferably them arranging it not you. You are also allowed to insist that any rerouting departs reasonably close to your original departure time and lands reasonably cloa to your original landing time so for example it’s unlikely ypu would be obliged to accept a multistop routing arriving significantly later if you had originally booked direct. This no matter how far ahead thet cancel.

      There are enough other airlines flying direct to SFO try to identify another airline’s direct flight instead and ask for that instead. Obvs easier if OneWorld but you do have the right to others.

      Otherwise BA does have the ability to ticket Alaska Air so you can decide to let them route you via SEA/LAX/Canada instead on a through ticket they should provide you.

      If they get really stinky keep good records of your 2 or 3 contacts when they refused or didnt respond and ask your card to provide your preferred option.under Section 75.

      • Lady London says:

        PS if you do stick with BA and there isnt FirstClass on the route you switch to make it clear you are not voluntarily downgrading. Do *not* accept any refund of avios or cash.

        When you’ve flown the flight
        (keep your boarding pass on it helps a lot) you will be able to claim 75% of the cost of your First seat back as well as having flown. Just keep it clear you are accepting Business Class only because it’s all they are offering you and above all do *not* accept any form of refund not even partial.

  • Aston100 says:

    @Anna re: paying car lease.
    I know you say you’ve been fine paying Santander directly from IHG card.
    Here are my findings when attempting to pay VWFS with IHG:
    Can only pay £300 per day / £500 week. Will also incur interest and a handling fee of 5%. This is according to the Creative agent I spoke to, when ringing up to get my card unblocked (they blocked it as they weren’t sure who Volkswagen are and presumed a fraudulent transaction).

    Going through Bendy (with IHG underlying): declined. With fronted turned on, there would be a 15% fee.

    As I owe them 6 months worth of backdated leasing payments with a 7th month due soon, there is no way I can do £500 a week (even if we ignore the alleged interest and fees) in time to avoid something negative happening.

    Looks like my only points-related route is IHG > Revolutionaries > VWFS.

    Can someone remind me what the Revolutionaries attitude is towards getting a credit card top up followed shortly by a debit card transaction to a financial company (VWFS)? And would their attitude be any different if the payment to VWFS is done by bank transfer? i.e. which would annoy them least?

    I’m going to make a test £500 payment from IHG regardless, to see if there is any truth regarding the handling fee. There won’t be any interest as I’m in credit by a fair bit (in preparation for the IHG >Revolutionaries transfer).


    • Aston100 says:

      I meant 1.5% fee for Bendy. Alas, cannot edit original post.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Creation payments to Revolut don’t attract a charge on creation cards but they do accrue interest so have to pay off straight away.

        I can’t see any issue with using the debit card to pay VW but they’d probably pull you up if it was a bank transfer.

        • Aston100 says:

          Hello TGLoyalty and thanks for your comment: “I can’t see any issue with using the debit card to pay VW but they’d probably pull you up if it was a bank transfer.”
          I don’t doubt what you are saying, but I don’t understand why a Revolutionary debit card payment would cause less issues/scrutiny than a bank transfer.
          I presume there is some gain in it for the Revolutionaries when using their debit card, and nothing when using bank transfer? or have I got that wrong?


        • 747_Brat says:

          My card is declined every time I try to top-up revolutionaries directly through Creation. I have tried it multiple times, and end up using bendy with Creation underneath!
          Not sure why this happens in my case.

    • Anna says:

      What a pain! My payment is £299 which would explain why I don’t have limit issues, but I’ve never been charged a fee or interest. And what would a handling fee be for anyway? Maybe it’s because Santander is a bank in its own right, and VW is just a finance operation?

    • Lev441 says:

      I’ve never had issues paying my £250 car lease and my dads £150 car lease on the same day. Both to VWFS and using IHG. Never been charged interest or any other fees.

      • Aston100 says:

        Hello, it is interesting that both you and Anna have not had any fees or charges.
        I can see you are both under the alleged IHG £500 weekly cap on that type of transaction (whatever ‘that’ actually is – MCC 6012 I was told last week).

        My monthly lease is a little under £500, so perhaps once I get the current backlog paid off before they send the boys round, I might be OK with future payments.

        As I said, I did a £500 payment today from IHG > VWFS regardless, just to test out whether there is any truth in their claim that they charge a handling fee. We’ll see what happens. It’s bizarre though that they claim they charge and two of you have confirmed you’ve seen no charges.

        • Anna says:

          Don’t missed payments go on your credit report? No idea why you’re in arrears but you might want to check you haven’t accrued any late payment charges or similar.

    • Andrew says:

      Sounds like a lot of hassle. I don’t have my VW anymore, but when I did, I paid monthly using my MBNA card without charges.

    • The Urbanite says:

      Creation limit transactions to MCC 6012 merchants to £300 a day, £500 over 3 days and £700 over 7 days. Don’t pay too much attention to what their customer services say about cash advances – it’s a niche technical topic and with the best of intentions, they often get it wrong with this. It’s better to make your own observations and note down what happens – that’s what I do.

      Revolut don’t like loaded up with a credit card then drained repeatedly but I don’t know if £500 a month will bother them.

  • E says:

    Apologies for being confused about this but what’s the current position with booking a one-way with Avios and a 2-for-1 online, then adding a return by calling BA or booking it online as another single then calling BA. Are they no longer merging the bookings but they are refunding the extra Avios because I’ve booked the return separately?
    I’ve previously booked the return online then got it merged by calling BA afterwards but I seem to remember that someone (people?) have said that doesn’t work now.
    Just don’t want to use the 2-for-1 only on an outbound then end up paying double Avios for the return!
    Thanks for any clarifications.

    • Anna says:

      You can book the inbound online and call BA (if you can get through!) – they will refund the extra avios you’ve paid but NOT any extra taxes so this will be a very expensive option if you are going to the USA, for example. However, it’s my understanding that if you call them and ask them to add on your return leg, they will just charge the outstanding amount for taxes/fees as if it was a normal 2 way booking.

      • E says:

        Thanks, that helps!

        • Michael C says:

          I had my return leg Avios returned (from the 2 one-ways) after a longggg chat “just doing it this one time, cos it’s you..” (…) – although I still have 2 bookings, not merged.

          • Anna says:

            ? – it’s standard practice to return the extra avios on a 2 4 1, it’s the cash element that’s the issue.

          • C says:

            I’ve recently had 2 agents that refused to refund the avios for the return journey and wanted to amend the booking to a return. I gave in as it was only an additional £20pp

  • Zoe says:

    Re the earlier post about Morrisons and JL vouchers, is there a special deal at Morrisons or an Amex bonus I’ve missed? Thanks in advance

    • Grant says:

      Some of us have an offer on various Amex cards for 7% / 10% back on a £30+ transaction – single use only.

    • rams1981 says:

      10% off Morrisons on AMEX

    • Andrew says:

      Once you’ve used your Amex offer, there’s still an ongoing 10% at Morrisons on Airtime rewards for Visa and Mastercard transactions.

  • Claire says:

    I have booked using BA companion voucher for a return to NY for my partner and I on 13 Jan returning a few months after. We had already moved them once through Summer. I would like to see if we could move this 2 for 1 ticket to St Lucia for mid Dec… do you know if this is something we could do?

    • Anna says:

      I think you might have issues there because NYC and St Lucia aren’t in the same zone. Though if BA cancels your flight in the next few weeks you might get lucky in persuading them to move you to another destination. If not, you’re probably going to have to cancel and re-book, although I imagine award seats to the Caribbean in December are probably hard to come by. Presume you mean Dec 21 – these flights won’t be out yet.

  • pauldb says:

    Probably worth it’s own line on the chat. Pfizer vaccine prevented more than 90% of infections in early readout (tens of thousands vaccinated, 94 infected: presumably largely in the placebo group). Not much longevity data of course.
    IAG shares up 23%.

    • Andrew says:

      And separately Shapps talking about the reduction in self-isolation with testing when entering the UK from non-corridor destinations .

    • pauldb says:

      now +35%

    • Lee says:

      My RR shares went up 40%, 300% up for the rights issue I got for 32p last week

  • Andrew says:

    Interesting that QR are going to start unbundling business class fares too. But surely lounge access and seat selection would still be available for status members? Although in Doha and that would mean using the ‘One World’ lounge rather than Al Mourjan lounge – this is the current set up for economy passengers with status. Perhaps those ex-EU bargain fares we know and love from QR will be a bit less attractive now.

    • Andreas says:

      Unless the “basic business” option was also available on ex-EU flights too, reducing their price further. This is an interesting idea actually – those with status will still get lounge access + seat selection. Those with a travel card (Amex Plat or equivalent) will be able to access lounges anyway (probably not as nice as the airline lounges but I haven’t got much lounge experience yet). Personally, I’d be inclined to get a basic business fare, especially if the tier points were the same as normal business class

  • pauldb says:

    Now +40%. The market cap is now £7.2b compared to £8.3b at the start of the year.

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