Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Wednesday 2nd December

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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 (296)

  • James says:

    Hi all, I love reading Head for Points, but I’m moving to Singapore early next year and with that I expect the content will become less relevant for me… does anyone know of any similar sites to Head for Points but with a focus on Singapore / Asia? I’m sure none will replace the knowledge and joy I get from Head for Points 🙂

    • BuildTheWall says:

      Milelion and mainly miles are the best. You’ll enjoy it more at Singapore as there is no interchange fee for card payments. Imagine 4 miles per dollar on most spend and redeeming it on some decent airlines like Singapore! And no carrier fees!

      • BuildTheWall says:

        I meant no cap on interchange fee!

        • The real John says:

          4 miles per S$? So like 7 or 8 miles per £?

          • BuildTheWall says:

            Yes! Imagine my disappointment when I moved from singapore to UK couple of years back!

          • Tarmohamed says:

            I’m tempted to get a Skywards Credit Card in Pakistan (I’m technically eligible). 4 miles to Rs125 (£1 = Rs210) – connect it to curve and spend in the UK. Just need to make sure points are not capped to monthly credit limit.

      • James says:

        Amazing, thanks!

    • Harry T says:

      Mainly Miles is very good. And Singapore airlines make BA look like a twenty year old HIX.

    • Anuj says:

      Before you move, get the platinum card and then get the Shang la la status. Then match it to Singapore airways if they still have the offer you need to take just three flights on Singapore air to get star alliance gold for a year. Not sure if it’s still running but I did it in December and now have status till April 2022 because of covid

      • BuildTheWall says:

        James can get it using Amex Singapore Platinum card too. Best to time it when you have a lot of economy flights planned on Star alliance.
        On that note, don’t forget to use Amex global transfer to get a local Amex card immediately.

  • Aston100 says:

    Never used curve cash before. Assuming I get the £10 curve cash for spending £100 at Amazon, I presume I can then use that £10 to make a further (£10) purchase at Amazon (or anywhere else for that matter)?
    As I understand it, you can’t purchase something that costs more than the total curve cash on your curve account. Is that right?

    Thanks.

    • Aston100 says:

      So would this work for example:
      Topup my Amazon account by £100.
      Receive £10 curve cash on 17th December.
      Top up the Amazon account for £10 using that curve cash.

      Thanks.

      • Will says:

        or simply use the curve cash as part payment at any shop – make a payment for the whole curve cash balance, and then a second payment on the same transaction. can’t usually do part payments online.

      • Genghis says:

        I always top up Amazon with my curve cash – habit I guess even though now can turn on auto spend – as can do exact amount.

      • Rob says:

        Should do but you can use the £10 anywhere of course.

  • Nav says:

    Hi all

    A bit of advice please. A friend of mine is emigrating to AUS in the New Year. but for some reason there appears to be no availability of flights from UK to AUS. Anyone know why this is please? He is looking to fly out on 8,9,10 of Jan with his family so needs 3 tickets in total. Preferably business or premium economy. He had booked with BA but they cancelled the flights and gave no reason at all…

    Thanks in advance for the help. Any suggestions very welcomed 🙂

    Nav

    • Rob says:

      That’s because there are no flights. Australia is capping arrivals at 30 people per flight and clearly BA isn’t willing to lose a few hundred thousand pounds per flight by running with 30 people.

      Qatar is one of the few airlines willing to do this. Even these are booked up far in advance.

      • nav says:

        Thanks Rob. I thought so about Qatar. Anyone other airlines worth looking at please?

        • The Savage Squirrel says:

          Are they really that unaware of the issues with Australian entry at the moment?? Sorry to say that if your friend hasn’t considered this issue up until now, then unless your friend has very deep pockets and/or the right “connections” … then it’s unlikely they’re emigrating on those dates.

          “He had booked with BA but they cancelled the flights”. Others will be able to offer far better advice than me on EU261, but it’s BA’s problem to reroute this friend so what have they said they can offer? (although this is one of those times where it may be genuinely impossible for quite some time rather than BA being deceptive and shirking their responsibilities – their obligation is for rerouting is at “earliest opportunity”, not necessarily the same day)

        • ChrisC says:

          Are you friends in one of the categories of people listed here?

          https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert/coronavirus-covid-19-restrictions/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-for-international-travellers

          “Australia’s borders are closed. The only people who can travel to Australia are:

          Australian citizens
          residents
          immediate family members
          travellers who have been in New Zealand for the previous 14 days.””

          Unless your friends are in any of those groups they ain’t going.

          And as Rob said even if there are admissable there are restrictions on passenger numbers per flight and these have been booked by people in the above categories some of which have been waiting for months to return home.

          • Lady London says:

            I think there are some professional categories allowed in.

            A call to the Australian Embassy might be useful as I expect who can immigrate might be the top question they are getting ATM.

          • Chris says:

            Thanks nav for asking. BTW this is not a wind up and I seriously question some of the responders language and motivation to respond. :-/ nav was proactively trying to help me. Basically, I have VISA and travel exemption, and had a flight secured. I don’t emigrate on a regular basis so foreseeing a cancellation outside of my power. And yes, BA did not give a reason. They looked into rerouting, but now other flights are currently available. After a day of calling various embassies, including US (aka travelling via US, which is not allowed atm, unless you are US citizen, despite it being a flyover) and several carriers, it appears that no flights into Sydney (or other Oz places) are available. You’ll find them on opodo and other travel sites, but these site are misleading atm. Bottom-line is, my sincere thanks to the people who objectively tried to help when nav asked for help. As a FYI if someone is in the same boat as us; January seems to be pencilled out for now, but it may change in a week or two. Also check whether you are eligible for a repatriation flight.

    • Anna says:

      This seems quite bizarre on the surface?! Is your friend taking up employment in Australia post-quarantine? If so I would think the first point of contact would be the new employer if they are the kind which assists with travel arrangements.

      • The Savage Squirrel says:

        I agree. We are either getting a small fraction of the whole story … or it’s some sort of wind-up???

    • BuildTheWall says:

      As Rob suggested, flights are limited. There is a quota and a waitlist. The rules are changing quickly.

    • Harry T says:

      Probably something to do with the global pandemic and Australia significantly restricting inbound passenger numbers, I dunno…

      On a serious note, they aren’t getting in unless they fulfil the specific requirements for entry and they pay for business class with QR. QR cancel all the economy tickets because they can only bring in a certain passenger quota and there’s no points flying people in Y, if they are paying Y prices. They will already be losing money every time they fly people to Australia.

      • Lady London says:

        So, @Harry T…. weren’t you in Australia as well, just before they locked down ?
        🙂

      • Lady London says:

        Hum. Defo ask BA to reroute you on Qatar.

        • callum says:

          Qatar are no longer selling tickets to Australia so I wouldn’t imagine they’d accept that request. Sri Lankan and Singapore are the only viable options I can see, but who knows whether they’ll actually operate the flight/let you on. Whether BA would agree to reroute on either of those is another matter too!

          • Lady London says:

            What about Air France via Papeete or similar? thinking maybe the Pacific Islands have kept the odd flight that could lead to Oz. They would need to keep some flights going for cargo reasons.

            Also is there still the other routing via South America operating to Australasia? prob via Santiago do Chile and perhaps even not on same ticket throughout via such GRU Brasil, just maybe EZE now Argentina has reopened. You might even be able to get flights still via QF codeshare

          • Lady London says:

            if a flight or set of flights could be found between origin and destination reasonably close to booked dates BA cancelled then I would most definitely pay if I could and file an mcol claim on BA.

            Regardless of how much sympathy one has for BA in the circumstances they cancelled the flight for commercial reasons and should not just be able to walk away if an alternative could be found.

            Have you considered making a Section 75 claim on your credit card that you paid BA with, for the cost of replacement flights if you can find a different combo of tickets and routings between your origin and destination?

            This is covered under s75 as a consequential loss even if higher cost. i would find another way to get between exact origin and destination (as that’s all your contract with airline would cover – airline can reroute you usually if they want provided they keep origin and destination the same (even dropping out interim segments you wanted or adding extra or different stops) even if you dont and you only have EU261 to put limits on this).

            I think I would find other tickets by according to this and make a s75 claim.

    • babyg says:

      I’m constantly being surprised by the ignorance of people during this pandemic, thinking that things are normal, and wondering why normal things arent available. Similar to how surprised i was with to hear that queues forming outside Primark at 5am…

      • Anna says:

        Yes, you can crowd in with hundreds of other shoppers in Primark in our area (theoretically, I won’t be!) but you can’t go to a restaurant and have a meal sitting 2 metres from the the next table …

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Is this a wind up?

      Suggest your friend contacts their employer for advice. If they don’t have employment sorted then it’s highly unlikely they re going in Jan

      • Super Secret Stuff says:

        +1

        Ridiculous question tbh. My first response was get a private jet, equally as ridiculous!

        Also there are always loopholes. Go to a nearby country on holiday for 2 weeks and then carry on to Aus. Will be expensive but possible.

        • callum says:

          I have no idea what your two week holiday suggestion is based on. There are not loopholes (well, unless you’re a millionaire or a film crew!). The only country that you can do that with is New Zealand, whose border is also closed to the world. They have to try and get on one of the airlines still flying into Australia which, while still very difficult, is getting easier now Australia are running repatriation flights again and have removed the quarantine on New Zealand arrivals. Qatar is no longer selling tickets, but other airlines are (whether they honour it or not is another question!).

          There are also many valid reasons to be entering Australia even without employment (including being a citizen, permanent resident or relative), so that’s not really relevant. While the government has been very (and in my view, almost unforgivably) authoritarian on the border restrictions, it’s not impossible to move there at the moment. Extremely difficult yes, but not impossible.

  • Nav says:

    Hi all A bit of advice please. A friend of mine is emigrating to AUS in the New Year. but for some reason there appears to be no availability of flights from UK to AUS. Anyone know why this is please? He is looking to fly out on 8,9,10 of Jan with his family so needs 3 tickets in total. Preferably business or premium economy. He had booked with BA but they cancelled the flights and gave no reason at all… Thanks in advance for the help. Any suggestions very welcomed 🙂 Nav

    • babyg says:

      cancelled the flight with no reason… this is definitely a wind up..

  • Matt says:

    IHG Spire Elite – Finally managed to get this today after a combination of stays and cc spend, and very happily selected the 25K points bonus.
    People have also talked about a free night at this level – is there a second benefit to spire I can’t see, or am I confusing this with the premium credit card/ambassador level?

    Thanks in advance for your wisdom on this HFP community!

    • Genghis says:

      No free night.

    • Anna says:

      I think you’re confusing it with either the usual Ambassador BOGOF night or the bonus free night that was offered for renewing or joining recently. Not linked to other status.

      • Anna says:

        I’ve managed to trigger our 2 free nights from Creation cards already, it’s going to be a long wait to get them – next July and October!

        • Matt says:

          Don’t assume you’ll get them that soon!

          The one I earned for my last year (year ending March 2020) STILL hasn’t posted to my IHG account (despite both Creation and IHG telling me they can see that I’ve earned it). Once the _current_ year’s voucher posts next March I’m giving up all hope of ever getting the missing one from last year. (It’s exhausting enough repeatedly explaining the issue to both Creation and IHG Ambassador customer services as it is, let alone having to try to get them to understand that (at that point) I’ll be talking about a missing voucher from the last-but-one account year, rather than the last account year…)

        • Peggerz says:

          Hi @Anna,
          You mentioned a couple of days ago you were offered an upgrade and paid for lounge access at IC O2. I am going there soon and wondered what you were offered and what you paid (aware Tier 2 and other restrictions presently)? I am Amb also.
          Thanks.😎

  • Jon G says:

    Club suite help: I booked a flight LHR-BOS return for end-Apr 2021, with the aim of getting on the A350 with club suite. This was the case when I made the booking but looking at MMB right now it shows that the plane is going to be a 787. Does anyone know if BA is still running Club Suite to BOS and where the latest flight numbers can be found? Thanks.

    • Rhys says:

      Looks like the A350 has been pulled from the route.

      • Jon G says:

        Makes sense with the current travel advisory – will have to check back if/when that is lifted and when leisure travel starts to pick back up. Hopefully things will change in the next 4 months!

    • Harry T says:

      Can you upgrade to First with Avios? That would be a decent way of avoiding classic Club World. Shame about club suite though! Equipment changes are the norm at the moment though.

      • Jon G says:

        Unfortunately not – booked a premium eco fare to maximise value per point! Also not sure if worth for a 5hour day flight, just wanted to experience the new Club Suite.

  • Jill (Kinkell) says:

    Front page of The Times ( Scotland) big picture of a shopkeeper with a ‘ ‘We’re Open’ sticker on door. Below it is the Amex Shop Small logo.
    So, might spur Amex to make an announcement for this Christmas!

    • Rob says:

      Might do, might not do 🙂

    • Dr C says:

      Zero chance they are going to base running a marketing campaign that will costs them hundreds of thousands based on a sticker in some shop on a newspaper, unless they were already doing it!

      • James says:

        Hopefully, though, there’s more chance in you getting a sense of humour, Dr
        C?

        • Jill (Kinkell) says:

          Indeed.! I’ve been caught out before with blatant shop-small stickers prominently displayed and Amex refusing to pay out as ‘not on the map’ . Amex also states they are not responsible if the retailer doesn’t take the sticker down when they decide to no longer participate. Heads they win, tails I lose!

  • John says:

    Curve have confirmed the offer is open to everyone regardless of tier or targeting.

    • Dan says:

      Ive tried a £100 amazon top up via CURVE..declined. Tried 2 separate cards, IHG and HSBC.. no good.

      • Tom says:

        E gift card got declined for me to but a physical gift card (they post it to you) went through fine, arrived this morning.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        sometimes it happens if you’ve never used the card before on amazon.

      • Aston100 says:

        Curve with underlying IHG was fine for me, for that very same transaction.

      • mr_jetlag says:

        Curve worked for me yesterday, used Amazon PlatMC (newday)