Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Saturday 14th 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 (196)

  • Ralph says:

    Has anyone on a Tesco ‘grandfathered’ rate tried to convert Clubcard points to Avios since the November statements? You have to do it manually as the auto transfers have now finished, however the problem is that they will only do such transfers at 600 Avios (for 250 CC points) rather than the 800 rate. I think a few people have even higher rates. They told me that the higher rate only applied to auto transfers, but I don’t believe that is correct and it wasn’t in the Tesco ending Avios notification. I have now escalated and await a response.

    • avidsaver says:

      I too am on the ‘grandfathered’ rate of 800 avios per 250 CC points. I have never auto transferred. Although when you manually place an order it totals at the 600 rate when the Avios hit your BA account they credit at the 800 rate. This has always been the case for me and I converted only a couple of days ago and this still applied.

  • Nick says:

    Guys if I book a Hilton but via travel agent will I still get Hilton points if I explain I am a Gold member?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Depends on what you mean by travel agent. The online and package agents like Expedia, hotels.com or BA holidays – They should be ineligible but you never know someone might make a mistake. Hear some hotels might give you breakfast or/and upgrade as gold.

      If it’s FHR or through a travel advisor like Emyr the rates are eligible for all status benefits and points.

    • Rob says:

      No, if you mean Expedia, Hotels.com, BA Holidays, Virgin Holidays etc. The only exception would be if it was Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts or (Gold card) Hotel Collection booking, or something that our partner Emyr books you via the Virtuoso collection.

      If you mean corporate travel agent, then you should be OK. Obviously the hotels don’t want business travellers to miss out.

      • Pangolin says:

        Are you 100% certain that Hotel Collection recognises status and earns credits in the same way as FHR? I’m sure I’ve seen FlyerTalk posts saying that it doesn’t.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          From my experience the hotel collection does as you pay at checkout.

          There are prepaid FHR rates available in the USA that don’t earn either.

  • alan says:

    Hoping to buy a handful of gift cards as Xmas presents from morrísons. would this work with the 10% off £30 on my ba card or would aírtimerewards be better?

    • mark2 says:

      I suggest that Amex is more reliable! plus Avios

    • TGLoyalty says:

      If you see article about earning virgin points the other day you might be able to get 8/£ too.

    • Chrisasaurus says:

      I thought they’d taken a leave of absence from airtime rewards?

    • Alex says:

      I just brought £250 worth today plus a small amount of groceries, all worked fine. Worked fine for larger amounts in previous deals as well.

      • Reney says:

        Alex, did you get an email? I normally get an email when I have used an offer but no email from Amex for my Morrisons transaction today.

  • Ed says:

    MAN – LCY

    What’s people’s thoughts on whether MAN – LCY will actually operate from 3rd January (as is currently available for sale). Seems unlikely to me but then it’s still on sale? Thanks.

    • Anna says:

      I would think it will depend on whether the ski routes operate from MAN, as I understand it the LCY route is a positioning flight for these. There were no avios seats when I looked recently for a possible February getaway, don’t know if there are cash seats available.

      • Ed says:

        Thanks for your reply Anna.
        Cash seats are available for £39 each for most Sunday’s in January. I’ve been trying to see whether the ski routes ex MAN are available for sale in January but I can’t seem to see any which doesn’t look good for MAN – LCY.

  • GaryC says:

    One of the benefits of the Amex Platinum card is of course the collision damage waiver and zero excess on hire cars, meaning you can decline the (often ludicrously priced) cover the hire car company offers. Have to say that trying to claim with AXA has been anything but smooth. We’re now in November, and they’ve still not processed or settled a claim from August for a broken windscreen, dispute a multitude of phonecalls and emails. Interested in anyone elses experience.

    • Sina says:

      I’ve had this problem with AXA before, complained and it was paid out shortly after + compensation!

    • Ikaz says:

      We have had 2 travel claims over the past couple of months (one missed flight and one trip that I cancelled due to new travel restrictions, so neither were car related). One paid out within days, the other took about a month to pay out

  • YC says:

    Might be useful- Morrisons told me amazon gift cards having lots of issues with many being returned this week. So opted to get just John Lewis cards to minimise risk of having to return. Nearest Morrison’s is a bit out of the way influencing my decision

    • mark2 says:

      You can buy some Morrison’s own cards as a holding measure and get MORE points twice.

    • Reney says:

      The store today didn’t give me and any option when the card did not activate let alone allow me to return it! I think this is not the first time either. Don’t think I will buy ama

      • Dr C says:

        You tried to buy amazon and it didn’t work?

      • Dave says:

        I had this problem last year. 2 x £50 Amazon gift cards charged for but the activation slips clearly showed they hadn’t been activated at the till. After being the run around by Morrisons for a couple of weeks I just did a chargeback via Amex

    • flyoff says:

      I took an Amazon card back to Morrisons. They are having many issues and refunded what I paid after a Manager was called to customer services. They asked me not to buy any more Amazon cards and they were escalating the issue.

      • mark2 says:

        The Amazon web site used to have a facility to check a card without applying it to the account, but this has been removed.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        I’ve just bought one for £250 with a Morrison’s gift card I had and 0 issues.

        • Barry says:

          Also having issues. Just bought one £250 and one £150, tried to add to my account when I got home and Amazon says they’re not valid! Will try again later but guessing I might have to return to the store tomorrow 🙁

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Does your till spit say they were both activated?

          • Barry says:

            Reply to TGLoyalty – can’t seem to directly reply to your post!

            Thanks for the heads up.. I’ve just checked the receipt in more detail and it says Declined. I bought an XBox and OneForAll gift cards too and they say Activated.

            It’s annoying as I’ll miss out on the 10% Amex offer if they refund the Amazon cards and put them through again.

          • Freddy says:

            Same issue, says declined on the activation slip. Store didn’t want to know, contacted head office via email who said go to the store for a resolution. If no luck I’ll just end up doing a chargeback…so yeah I’d avoid Amazon gift cards if at all possible

    • PaulaC says:

      The Morrisons I went to have removed all Amazon gift cards from sale. When I asked if they had any they said that there was a problem with a lot not activating and so they had been taken off sale until the issue was fixed.

      • Tom says:

        I bought 8 x £100 cards today and apart from self checkout not acknowledging them being put in the bag area they all worked fine with no issues. Amex email by the time I got to the car.

  • Robert says:

    Hi all, I had interesting call with BA yesterday -and wondering if anyone can validate what I was told by an agent.
    We booked 4 x club seats from LHR to Sydney return, booked in March this year when lots of reward seat availablity was made, we used 2 x 241 vouchers plus 500K avios (off peak), plus 3.2K tax – all in all we thought this a good deal to get us all down to Sydney. Normally this route is impossible to get club or first seats on let alone getting 4 x seats! The booking is for out 9th Feb 2021, back 9th March 2021
    It looks highly unlikely we can go at this time, as quarantine may still be in place in Aus and NZ (NZ is our final destination) and BA are not even flying the route and have pushed back flights to “early 2021”.
    So having chat with the BA agent we went through the normal options, cancel now get everything back costing £35 per person, take a travel voucher with all the avios / 241 vouchers and money lumped together – the probelm with that is if you want to do that route again, you need to find reward seat availability, which may not be easy!
    The agent did say that if BA cancel the flight, then the airline could look to re-book us on a later flight (probably many months later) and we are NOT bound to reward seat availablilty, they will look at general seat avaiablity (in club) he even said they could book us on Qatar via Doha to Sydney….. this only applies if BA cancel the flight (of course we can get a full refund if wanted that) His advice then was to wait and see what happens.
    Does that ring true…or was I speaking to an agent that needs more training?

    • Rob says:

      This is correct BUT you can only do it to 355 days from the date you paid the taxes on the original booking.

      In your case, this means that you would need to travel by late Feb / early March so you don’t benefit.

      • RH says:

        Hi Rob, I paid the taxes on an Avios booking using a 241 voucher to the Bahamas on the 08/11/19 for a booking for July 20. BA cancelled the flight on the 03/06/20 and it let me rebook to depart on in Feb 2021. This is more that 355 from the date I paid the taxes on the original booking? I can email you screenshots if you want to see Rob.

        • Robert says:

          Hi RH,
          That is good to know, perhaps they are more relaxed with the 355 day rule….?
          But thanks Rob for the confirmation of the rule.
          The BA agent did not of course mention this little detail to me.

        • Rob says:

          Odd. This is not how it is meant to work as many people have found. Are you 100% sure there were no Avios seats showing for those dates?

          • RH says:

            Hi Rob, almost 100% sure. I chose the option when the flights were cancelled by BA to move rather than get refund. I moved to over Feb half term…was really happy as there was no Avois flights showing. Doubt we’ll be able to go then though unless the rates drop.

      • Charlieface says:

        Meaning BA will not like it if you try anything else.
        But legally they must accommodate you, it’s not your problem they have a 355 day limitation in their systems

      • BP says:

        I’m in a similar position with an Avios booking from the 50% off sale to another destination. This is for 2 adults and an infant. Unfortunately, if BA cancel the flight (highly likely) the infant will then be over 2 years old if we change the dates and I’m unsure how BA will approach this. Will they let me pay the avios difference for the 2-year-old to have their own seat and will this be dependant on avios availability?

    • Polly says:

      We had the same conversation. Decided to take the hit 2 x £35 cancellation fees. Then used the 241 for KUL in Feb, half the avios, hoping Malaysia opens up. If not then we wait and see again, but may accept a FTV with the next cancellation as it’s within their window of re use.

    • Tracey says:

      There is a thread on FT at the moment about BA refusing to rebook on Qatar. There are even people “stuck” in MLE/ SEZ and BA would rather pay up under duty of care for weeks rather than let them travel on Qatar home.

  • Reney says:

    Rob and Rhy, has the style of the comments changed? I feel like they no longer line up like they used to? If I reply to two different comment in a set they are sent to the bottom. It also seems like if a conversation is long enough the reply button disappears.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      That’s always been the case re maximum number of replies you just have to reply to the last reply with a “reply” link and it ends up at the end.

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