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The HfP chat thread – Monday 30th 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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Please only comment under the main articles on the site if your comment is directly related to the topic of the article.  This has long-term benefits as it keeps the commentary relevant for people who read those articles in the future.

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Comments (236)

  • Super Secret Stuff says:

    No new interesting amex offers today, shame

  • Asim says:

    A few weeks ago on one of the Daily Chat threads someone mentioned they’d come across £55 PCR home test kits. Can’t find the post (or link to the company) anywhere. Can anyone help?!

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Be careful anyone can send out a kit with a cheap tube and swab. Make sure they are legit as you’ll be the one at the wrong end of a fraudster if caught abroad.

      • Asim says:

        True. But equally you don’t know which of the ones offering kits for £120/£150 may be scamming but just at a higher price.

        Boots seems to be the only reputable one but they have a long wait for a test atm.

  • Michael C says:

    Morning all/London Bonvoy experts!
    If all is ok, want to do a quick pre-Xmas visit, and was wondering why Grosvenor Square doesn’t have quite so much love in general?!
    Love the location, lounge (in theory), but in addition, as there are 3 for us, in theory both G House and Sheraton PL want GBP65 for a (probably slightly grim) rollaway!

    • Lottie says:

      We stayed at g House recently with our 7 years old and they waived the extra bed fee at check out. (Gold with Amex). Lounge wasn’t too bad, considering, there were plenty of chilled snacks, beer and wine. We had a great stay.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      GS is pleasant enough I was upgraded from entry to terrace junior suite with a 10am check in and 8pm checkout with a very good bar and a couple good restaurants.

      Location is very good if you fabcy doing some shopping.

      • Michael C says:

        Thanks TG, think we’ll go for it as have also seen the check in/out times.
        Hope Luggage Room is open midweek by then!

  • Tim says:

    I saw a couple of weeks ago someone mentioned getting HSBC Kinetic allowed the normal HSBC Premier requirements to be waived. Did anyone apply for Kinetic recently? How long did it take for them to get back? My application has been stuck in the mill for over a week and a half now and no news other than the normal mandatory ‘Know Your Customer’ questionnaire.

    • Sina says:

      Hi Tim, that was me. My account was opened within a day, although it was two months ago, you can call their customer service or chat with them?!

  • Tony says:

    Does anyone have any recommendations for the best located upmarket hotels in Cape Town and Johannesburg using loyalty points (Marriott, Hilton, IHG…)?

    • RB says:

      There are a wide variety of Marriotts through the Protea brand available across Cape Town.. but depending on how upscale you want, definitely consider cash… sterling goes a long way in SA.

    • Rob says:

      Radisson Waterfront using 110k points for the ‘family redemption’ which is a 2-bed suite.

    • Genghis says:

      In Joburg on Marriott you’ve got Melrose Arch (I liked the location, one of the smaller “enclaves”; decent “cool style” room but no specific benefits) and on IHG the IC in Sandton (a bit of an older style hotel, but free lounge access as SE AMB for me anyway). In Cape Town, we liked the Autograph in the Gardens area, 15 on Orange. For our next trip, I’ll be looking at this and some of the IHG Mr and Mrs Smith hotels in the winelands. I’ve stayed at the Protea North Wharf and whilst huge rooms, I didn’t like the location. I’d recommend getting a car anyway so location not hugely important during the day but I like to be able to walk to restaurants in the evening.

  • Nate says:

    Hi regarding amex offers e.g. Harvey Nichols (spend £150 get £30 off). If you were to place qualifying order and then later return some of products (bringing spend to less than £150) or even the whole order, would the £30 credit be pulled back by AMEX? I suspect a full refund would trigger a cancellation of the credit but not sure if the same applies with part refund.

  • PK says:

    We can fly to Abu dhabi airport if you are eligible for visa on arrival . Etihad website updated but not FCO.

    • Anna says:

      Have they suspended the 14 day quarantine? I’ve booked for Easter but clearly it wasn’t happening if we’d have to spend the whole time shut in our rooms!

      • Anna says:

        Looks like quarantine still required so still not a holiday option 😕

      • meta says:

        Quarantine requirement still on, but I think you can now travel straight to Dubai without quaratine. Obviously the rules will change ten times over by Easter and that goes for any country.

        • Anna says:

          Fingers x”d meta! I’m wondering if I need a Plan C. I think if I leave it until just before Easter prices will be astronomical. Easyjet is already charging £700 pp return to Tenerife on our travel dates!!

          • Anna says:

            I’ve just cancelled and rebooked my IC Abu Dhabi stay as prices have dropped even further. King Deluxe suite with club lounge access now just over £100 pn.

  • Lee G says:

    Cheaper Melia 55,000 point vouchers are back at amazon.de – €179 each with €4-6 postage. Decent stock levels right now.