Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Wednesday 25th 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 (261)

  • Neil says:

    Is anyone else a little surprised but the relative lack of Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals that are live at the moment or are people expecting these deals to become live this weekend?

    • Super Secret Stuff says:

      I thought a lot of them had started earlier this year? They also seem better this year. Obviously more will come on Friday but all good so far.

    • Rob says:

      There is nothing amazing we know of.

    • Andrew says:

      Yes seems like everything has been on promotion or sale for months anyway, so BF this year is just more of the same. Maybe the UK has finally got over BF – 10 years ago no one had heard of it here, Amazon introduced it to us a few years ago, caught on for while, but year on year the frenzy about it died down and hopefully this is the end of it.

      • Tom says:

        Frenzy may have died down but we will still do 5-6x or normal sales on Black Friday. I think although the deals aren’t as good as they used to be it will for many signal the point when you start buying Christmas gifts.

    • AJA says:

      What sort of deals are you expecting? And how big a discount? I’ve seen most places are offering 20% discounts which isn’t brilliant but it’s better than paying full price. Plus most retailers seem to be giving double Avios via the BA shopping site.

    • Optimus Prime says:

      It depends on what you’re looking for. I work in IT and I’ve received a lot of emails about books and training with big discounts (US suppliers mainly)

  • Super Secret Stuff says:

    I need to buy some books for Christmas, does anyone know what rate waterstones tracks at on the BA portal? It says “from 2 points/£, was from 1 point/£”, pretty vauge. From experience, from means more than and up to is obviously the cap.

    TaCo Bell tracks at 7.99%, Obviously will do a price compare to Amazon before I order

    • Genghis says:

      I buy quite a few books and Blackwell’s pricing often beats Amazon (with free delivery)

      • Rob says:

        Waterstones also beats Amazon, and often has availability where Amazon does not, especially from smaller publishers.

        Basically, Amazon has now done what it always planned to do. It has world-beating delivery infrastructure in place and no longer needs to compete on price. It competes on being able to deliver exceptionally quickly to virtually anywhere you want, inc lockers, post offices, local stores etc.

        For me, this is fine. I will actually pay more for a non-letterbox item from Amazon knowing that I can pick it up from an Amazon Locker around the corner. The ‘saving’ from buying elsewhere and then having to mess around taking a trip to the sorting office or sorting our redelivery with Yodel etc, should I not be in, simply isn’t worth it.

        • Super Secret Stuff says:

          Yes I am aware they don’t bother competing on price anymore but always worth a check! Do you know the answer to my original query?

        • memesweeper says:

          Argos, and ebay + Argos, have a similar offering

        • Lady London says:

          It’s got that bad that I always have to plan against early delivery from Amazon. They’ve caused me severe difficulty in the past by delivering early to a locker then removing the item as I’d planned to collect it within their stated delivery window in between 2 trips.

          Trying to explain to Amazon that early delivery is completely unwanted, will cause a problem and no, does not impress me is something they just don’t get.

        • the_real_a says:

          In my area all local lockers are full these days. The convenience stores accepting parcels are now sending back / refusing parcels from amazon causing massive problems, and 2 week delays as the refunds are processed. Absolute farce.

      • Super Secret Stuff says:

        @Genghis Thank you, appreciate it. I have never heard of them. Are they on TaCo Bell or BA avios store?

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Don’t forget T C B can be swapped for avios (though I’d take a gift card with a % uplift)

        • Genghis says:

          Have a look. They’re relatively big. Their flagship shore in Oxford is (was when I lived there) great.

        • Sundar says:

          Ha ha, this is the fun about the codes 🙂 Was thinking for a minute where did Taco Bell come into picture…till these come in the same sentence 🙂

      • Harry T says:

        Blackwells is particularly strong for academic books. Used to buy textbooks etc from the one in Newcastle when I was at Uni.

      • Lyn says:

        Thank you very much for this Genghis!

        I’d never heard of them and it seems to solve a problem for me.

        I don’t buy books from Amazon on principle, and have just found out that they also own AbeBooks. Waterstones aren’t good at international deliveries and Hatchards has to wait until I can get to London.

  • Simon says:

    I potentially have to pay 50k stamp duty soon. I can see points opportunities paying with a Tesco debit card (one point per £8 I think) and with my Curve card. Does anybody who has experience of paying stamp duty this way have any advice? Should I break the payment into smaller chunks?

    • Holam says:

      I suspect Curve + a good points earning underlying card would be the way to go

      • Super Secret Stuff says:

        I agree, IHG or Virgin might be the best. I think IHG tends to have a higher credit limit?

        Just from what people have said.

        • Holam says:

          My Virgin limit is over 4x that of my IHG limit, but that may be because I applied for IHG after I already have quite a substantial combined limit across all my cards

    • The real John says:

      I don’t think you will get points from Tesco for tax

  • Sam G says:

    Anyone found anything interesting for QR SE Asia in their Black Friday sale?

    I can see 1675gbp pp Birmingham-Bangkok in the summer which makes an ex-EU out of Oslo probably not worth it

    Qatar tickets are currently flexible with no fare difference in the same (R) fare class. I’d also question if Birmingham will be back for the summer so might be able to rebook from Heathrow in QS.

    Downside is no lounge and no seat selection anymore on basic fares and the upcharge to include this is a lot !

  • Ja says:

    Over the last couple of weeks somebody wrote about their IHG card via bendy being rejected. Message was ‘close to limit’ despite being well within their limit. Did they ever get to the bottom of it. It happened to me first thing this morning. Thanks

    • Genghis says:

      Curve have been playing around with MCC codes, it seems. Likely your transaction will now have a rolling £700pw cap, spread into say £300 day 1, £200 day 2, £200 day 4.

      • Ja says:

        Thanks Genghis

        • Brighton Belle says:

          I’ve had multiple declines using bendy today. Something has changed to the extent that a metal bendy might be pointless, -pun intended. Lots of limit left on all cards so it seems bendy has lost some flexibility and function.

      • xcalx says:

        When did this come in I have done high £4k transfers everyday last week and £2K on Monday this week using the usual suspects.

    • Asim says:

      I also tried a £100 Amex payment and got declined for reaching my limit, though had plenty left. Have messaged them but no reply yet

    • Asim says:

      I also tried a £100 Amex payment and got declined for reaching my limit, though had plenty left. Have messaged them but no reply yet.

  • Tom says:

    Does anyone know what Cathay are like at releasing more seats closer to the departure? I am looking for a flight from Hong Kong to Bali. Cathay have flights when i need them but nothing available for redemption, is it likely they will release more (Flight not until June)? TIA.

    • Lady London says:

      If you’re booking with avios, BA used to only let available award aeats on Cathay show to you about two weeks before the date IIRC

  • Gringo says:

    A bit late to the game but a suggestion for improving the new website: the option for notifications sent via email when someone replies to your comment/reply. That way you don’t need to keep checking back and you can thank someone who’s answered your q.

    • MattB says:

      +1

    • Rob says:

      The system doesn’t work like that unfortunately. The default system we have, but disable, notifies you about EVERY reply to the thread which means over 300 emails on busy threads. Once we gravitate to a proper forum this issue will go away anyway.

  • AJA says:

    Trying again as my comment seems to have disappeared, can you earn both Avios and Nectar points at Argos via the BA shopping portal? Never noticed it there before. Is it new?

    • Andrew says:

      Not sure about Nectar *and* Avios, but if you are using a Visa or Mastercard and are registered with Airtime you’ll get a 2% return on top Avios or Nectar and maybe both.

      Need a referral code? U4CVLG3V

      • 747_Brat says:

        Yes, I can confirm that you can double dip and earn both Avios & Nectar. Have done it myself on numerous occasions.

        • Super Secret Stuff says:

          @747 I agree, done it myself too

        • AJA says:

          Thanks 747 and SSS 🙂 I have missed out on a fair number of Avios as I never thought to check the BA portal for Argos. And thanks Andrew for the offer of the referral code I don’t need it as I am already with Airtime and for the reminder of the extra 2% return.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Yes nectar is earned directly via your number, you can go through any shopping portal and you can even triple dip with airtime using a non Amex as mentioned above.