Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Sunday 29th 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 (201)

  • C says:

    Is the Amazon MR points offer valid multiple times? I’d assumed so but when checking the offer terms it says ‘valid one per card’ in one place and then ‘every time’ in the detailed terms. Could someone just confirm they have received bonus points more than once? Thanks!

  • Alan says:

    If our Virgin trip in May goes ahead we will be arriving into LAX at about 4pm and picking up a car from the airport area the next morning.

    Can anyone recommend a good local hotel to spend the night, it doesn’t need to be flash just decent and handy for the airport

    • DANi says:

      There are a bunch of hotels actually on the airport sky train that takes you from the terminal to the car rental..the train is one big loop

    • VickyTM says:

      The Hilton there is fine. Most of the larger hotels near the airport have courtesy busses that pick you up just outside the terminal and run very regularly.

      • Scott says:

        Isn’t the Hilton being re-branded to another chain?

        I generally stay at the Crowne Plaza. 10-15 minute walk if you can’t be bothered waiting for a shuttle bus (from departures rather than arrivals, or the hotel) and don’t have a lot of luggage.

    • Stuart Evans says:

      I’ve always found the LAX Airport Marriot very good. Really nice Concierge Lounge on the 18th Floor, with great food/drinks and wonderful views of planes

    • Nick_C says:

      Crowne Plaza also OK. Shuttle bus from the airport and a 5 minute walk to the Avis lot.

      • paulm says:

        The crowne plaza is leaving ihg, going to sonesta. Reasonable option though as well as the Sheraton gateway which I used last time.

    • Louise K says:

      If you can get a good rate, the Hilton H Curio is excellent.

      Very pleasant roof terrace to chill out on after a long flight.

  • Doug M says:

    AA refunds. Noticed a hardening of attitude lately. 3 flights on a single ticket cancelled, rebooked by them, they tried to say only entitled to voucher. Second call and email and they changed view, but they fixated on overall times rather than the cancellations. Short changed on the refund too. This was ticketed from a previous cancellation and an additional payment, they refunded only the ticket value, not the additional payment. It’s a shame as previously with the 1 hour change, and flexible attitude they’d been a far better booking method than BA heading to USA. The 1 hour changed to 4 hours, if they get difficult with rerouting and cancellations then less of a clear choice.

    • MKB says:

      I was hoping to book AA in the current sale for April, but decided against in light of their Covid flexibility policy.

      If travel restrictions prevent me from going, it seems any credit has to be used and travel completed by 31/12/21, which is too restrictive for me. I might also get hit by change/cancellation fees as they don’t appear to have any exceptional policy for UK-originating flights.

      • DANi says:

        I only book AA as redemptions via BA avios… Restrictive in terms of availability (they release circa 10 months out) but cancellable… Although remember to click at business rather than first for the front of an AA domestic.

    • Anna says:

      US Department of Transport rules oblige them to give you a full refund if it falls outside EU261. You can submit a claim via their website if AA doesn’t pay up. I did this for a cancelled MIA-GCM flight earlier this year (not AA) and they dealt with it in about 4 weeks.

  • Harry T says:

    Looking at five nights in Tokyo using Hilton points for 5 for 4. Hilton Tokyo is 54,000 points a night with equivalent cash rate of ¥141,087.
    Conrad Tokyo is 95,000 points a night with equivalent cash rate of ¥293,278.

    Can anyone speak to which redemption is better value here, please? I don’t mind paying the points premium if the Conrad is that much better.

    • BJ says:

      It is not about value, it is about location so Hilton is best as it is in Shinjuku near the station. Conrad is in Ginza which is not bad and it is a better and newer hotel which is important to you. However, in Tokyo location is everything so it has to be Hilton IMO, even if hotels were the same cash rate. If you plan a day trip to Hakone /Fuji you also want Hilton as the best day trip option with an early start is Romance Car from Shinjuku Station. I would also bet on upgrade oppoortunity being better at Hilton than Conrad. The real question about value is do you want to sacrifice location, convenience and enough points for a further stay elsewhere for a hotel that is better but potentially not betted enough for your liking?

      • Genghis says:

        Note that if you’re getting a JR rail pass anyway and starting it while in Tokyo, it might be better to take Shinkansen from Tokyo stn to Odawara.

        • BJ says:

          That’s a bit of a waste of a railpass day though when considering what else you can do with it.

          • Genghis says:

            Indeed. But you can only buy in the set blocks of days so may work out for some. I’ve done it myself.

    • marcw says:

      Go for location in Tokyo. Hilton wins.

      • BJ says:

        Especially considering they are first time visitors too.

        • meta says:

          On my last two stays at Hilton Tokyo, I was upgraded to Junior suite (which comes with club access) from a base room booked on points as Hilton Gold.

      • Harry T says:

        Thank you, everyone. Worth paying cash then for the Hilton? 54,000 points vs £200 a night makes me think cash would be better. I am Hilton Gold.

        • Harry T says:

          And any thoughts on location of the Bonvoy properties? I will be Bonvoy Titanium. Found a good deal on the Prince Sakura Tower a while back – around £260 a night for a junior suite, which I assume I would be upgraded above.

          • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

            Prince Sakura Tower isn’t in a great location. Decent public transport (including nonstop to NRT) and great ramen down the road, but not much in the way of sights. I’ve stayed at both Hilton Shinjuku and Conrad before, thought the on-property experience was better as well as the location and would recommend either of them more.

        • rams1981 says:

          Depends if staying 5 nights to get for price of 4. Usually £ cost higher at the Hilton I think so £200 could be worth stomaching

      • DZOO says:

        Kimpton Shinjuku looks decent also

      • Mouse says:

        Totally disagree with this. Everywhere is a metro or taxi ride away, so it hardly matters where your hotel is as long as it’s moderately central.

  • Dan says:

    Noticed on the landing page for Green – Platinum Upgrade, the online link to do so is no longer there… There is only an instruction to phone customer support…

    https://www.americanexpress.com/uk/benefits/upgrade/platinum-charge/index.html

  • David says:

    Anyone know if the Selfridges spend £100 get £30 Amex offer is working on cumulative spend in practice?

    • jessiefan says:

      What can you buy in Selfridges for less than £100 !

      • Rob says:

        Loads. It has a bookshop, kitchenware shop, food hall etc. Personally I’d go for 2 bottles of the Laurent Perrier Rose as its reduced to £51!

      • Anna says:

        I got 4 mini Jo Malone candles as presents for friends at £25 each. That said, DPD left them at the wrong address but fortunately I managed to track them down from the picture they emailed me and it was on the next street. Still waiting for an explanation!

      • Anna says:

        Jo Malone stuff, it’s never discounted!

      • Kevin C says:

        Lots under a hundred. Selfridges have an entire stocking filler section.

  • Grimz says:

    I have CURVE blue can I pay Brighton linked to Virgin?

    • babyg says:

      yawn just try….

    • DT says:

      If you have the cards, why not just try with £10 if you are concerned about getting charged interest. If it works wouldn’t you rather it isn’t repeated in chat every day and an avenue for easy points is shut down?