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.

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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)

  • C says:

    Just a thank you to HFP for highlighting the reduced IHG Spire Elite qualifications at 55,000 points. I managed to qualify almost exclusively on CC spend, with only 3 nights stayed (and one of those a very inexpensive HIX). I don’t value Spire Elite itself much, but the 25,000 bonus is worthwhile. And before someone says I should have used the BA Amex, etc, I have 2x BA 2for1 and 2x Virgin vouchers (from the free VS card) already; with an infant, the hotel points have far greater value for now.

    • Doug M says:

      The IHG card has been a real winner for me. Status not worth anything, but as you say 25K points is nice, and the free night certificate.

      • Aston100 says:

        I wish they’d bring back the premium card. Would have netted me double the points 🙁

        I still don’t understand this Hertz benefit for hitting spire and why it is optional given there isn’t an alternative benefit? (not including the choice between 25k points or gifting platinum).

      • C says:

        Question is now what I do for Visa/MC spend until my free night year resets in July. I have the free VS MC, but I have enough vouchers, and VS doesn’t tend to fly where I need to go for redemptions (and I have plenty of AF/KL points stockpiled as well). Default is likely to keep earning on IHG, but I’m always open to better options. I also need to reconsider whether I should switch back some spend to BA PP (for 1.5 miles/GBP1), or leave it with IHG–I had been putting everything through IHG to ensure that I made the Spire elite threshold.

        • Mo says:

          If you like Hilton, you could always use the virgin card and transfer some points out. Ends up as 2.25/£ on the paid card which is even better than the Hilton Barclaycard

        • The Urbanite says:

          I’d say up your MS and carry on collecting hotel points, you can never have too many!

      • Anna says:

        I must pick the right hotels, we always seem to get plied with loads of free drink as Spire!

    • BuildTheWall says:

      What is the deadline for points to be posted to IHG account to count for status? 31st Dec?
      Concerned my spend this month and next wont make it before that.

      • Chris K says:

        End of Dec, yes. Mine post between 10th and 14th every month, when my Creation statement hits, so I’ll only get one more lot of points counting this year.

        If yours post normally towards the end of a month then potentially you could get two more lots of points in before 31st December.

        • Jane says:

          How did I not know about this bonus, I’m fairly sure they’re going to get upset if I churn 25K though the card in the next 3-4 weeks.

    • Lumma says:

      Creation’s customer service is terrible tho. Accidentally went over my (really low compared to my other cards) credit limit by less than £1 and they wouldn’t entertain refunding the £12 fee despite paying a big chunk straight off as soon as I noticed. Questioned as to why they allowed me to spend above my limit and they said “we allow 1 payment in case it’s an emergency”.

      • Gormlesstraveller says:

        That £12 could work in your favour as it makes you look a bit more profitable than the average HFP reader

    • Reney says:

      I qualified for Spire Elite yesterday too 🙂 with no nights.

      On your question on where to place your spend. Do you have plenty of avois, hotel points? I earn them relatively slowly, as soon as I make a redemption I am back to zero.

      Do you have enough Avios to redeem both the BA vouchers in the future? You have a little one so I assume you would want to stay in one hotel for a few nights rather than bounce around. If you only have one free hotel night voucher, do you have enough points to say make it a long weekend for example.

      For me earning the airline vouchers are almost easier than earning enough points to use them. Same for hotels, earning one free night is often easier than earning enough for a several night stay.

      Are there other flexible points scheme worth considering?

      • C says:

        I’m sitting on over 400,000 Avios, 100,000 VS and 200,000 Flying Blue, plus a good number of TK Miles&Smiles, so I don’t have much incentive to earn more. While my earning has gone down (nil since February), cash prices are also low. This is why I decided about 18 months ago to focus on hotel points over miles.

  • Anna says:

    The Kimpton Clocktower has contacted me to say that they are closing until March and my 2 stays in January will be cancelled, so it looks as though they are resigned to Manchester going into Tier 3 next week. It’s going to be catastrophic for hospitality.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Suspect as Furlough is extended to March they’ve taken advantage

    • Dan says:

      I have a booking there in February and haven’t heard anything!

      • Anna says:

        Hi Dan,

        I emailed them about an upcoming stay and they got back to me today with the info above. Apparently they are working through all the bookings. If you give the hotel a call and select the option for reception there’s usually someone very helpful on the other end. Don’t select the “reservations” option as this will put you through to IHG who don’t even know where Manchester is, let alone whether any hotels are open!

  • r* says:

    How long should it take for the IHG free night to appear from the credit card?

    My year reset a couple of days ago, the points from the previous month have appeared but my IHG acct is still only showing the 1 free night from the previous year.

    • Anna says:

      Our 2 showed up with the points from the qualifying statement date but people on here having been reporting having to chase theirs up for months so you might be unlucky 😬

    • Nomad says:

      It’s usually a few days after the monthly statement is generated. Mine was credited today with validity until Jun 2022 which is a nice surprise!

  • Oli says:

    Just got an email from Flying Blue – they are extending miles validity to 31 December 2021. Now my 180,000 miles that were due to expire next April are safe!

  • DodgyDCF says:

    Just been off the phone with amex asking about my green -> platinum upgrade a month ago and wanted to confirm the offer was on my account, I spent about 4.1k and nothing has posted yet it has been a few days

    She kept asking if I got the offer to upgrade when I logged into my account, loads of questions etc, I have a feeling this will be a tough one to chase if they don’t post automatically, going off previous comments here and that they have removed the online facility to upgrade.

    I don’t have a screenshot or the website saved to prove the offer was open to everyone, should this be an issue? can see amex actively claiming that upgrade route is a targeted offer only.

  • BJ says:

    Hilton points from Barclays late again this month?

    • Peter K says:

      Yep

    • Lady London says:

      There is definitely something more going on there.

      • memesweeper says:

        Hilton payments being withheld by Barclaycard? Too much chargeback? plenty of scope for these parties to fall out in the current climate…

      • BJ says:

        They told me some time ago that there are only two ladies at Barclays running the whole Hilton show. Possible one or both could be off work. Not wishing them any ill, hope it is something like that and not along the lines suggested by memesweeper but nothing would surprise me given what’s going on.

    • Ali M says:

      I received mine – maybe they are kicking you lot out (just a bad joke)
      But would be excited if a new cobranded card on the way with more free nights 😛

      • Anna says:

        Not got mine either, and I’m also hoping they send me a new card before January when my current one expires!

      • BJ says:

        No joke on my part, they have every reason. Who wants a new card with free nights, the status quo is probably the best hand in our game at the moment.

  • Ri says:

    I have two farfetch offerS main and supplementary card spend 600 and get 120 back. Anyone have any ideas how I can purchase a watch for 1300 and split the transaction between two cards and trigger both offers

    • Harry T says:

      Won’t work for a single item if purchasing online. You could try calling? I don’t believe Farfetch have physical stores, as that’s another option for splitting payment.

    • Anna says:

      Be careful with FarFetch, I had a bad experience with them a few months ago when they sent me a different item from the one I’d ordered and would only offer a refund and return, not a replacement (refund would have lost me the bonus avios on offer). Their CS is terrible.

      • Lady London says:

        what was the final resolution on that issue with Farfetch @Anna?

        • Anna says:

          I gave up in the end and put them on my mental list of retailers who will never get another penny from me! They argued that they didn’t have the original bag I ordered, I didn’t have the replacement option to back me up in a consumer dispute. The “wrong” bag still made quite a nice present for someone though, so it wasn’t a complete disaster.

          • Lady London says:

            I’m sorry to hear that. Rob said Farfetch run the websites of quite a few high class brands so this sleazy behaviour by Farfetch is very worrying.

    • DodgyDCF says:

      The only way is use first card, then return for store credit then buy the item you want with second card + store credit

      • Anna says:

        I don’t think they have stores – they were insisting any refund would go to my original card which was where the problem lay!

  • Alex B says:

    Which hotel chains offer last room availability on points? I was reading the HFP opinion guides and I think it was only mentioned either way on one article.

    • Rob says:

      Good question. Is it just Hyatt now?

      In theory Marriott has it BUT a hotel is allowed a certain number of nights per year when it can put on capacity controls.

      Remember that it is a bit of a con though – nothing stops a hotel creating a fake room ‘bucket’ (ie calling 2 rooms Superior and the rest Deluxe) and saying that the Superior rooms are the ‘base’ rooms and that it can stop offering rewards once those have gone.