Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Monday 7th 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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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.

Old chat threads are hidden from the HfP home page.  If you want to look for something in an old thread, click here.  This brings up all the articles in our ‘General’ category which includes the chat threads.

Comments (271)

  • Baji Nahid says:

    well well well, after 3 months of no offers, one has popped up today 🙂

    • Ian M says:

      No such luck for me. It’s been months without an offer.

    • Juno says:

      I have 25 offers live right now, how did you guys drop so low?!

      • Crafty says:

        This has been widely discussed recently, it was concluded either (a) certain people have been blocked from receiving offers due to abuse, (b) it’s A/B testing, or (c) continued unexplained IT errors.

        • KBuffett says:

          Rob suggested if that it could be linked to people who are on furlough or have taken a payment holiday.

          • meta says:

            I haven’t received any offers since beginning of November (not even Shop Small. I did not abused offers (not even churned my cards!) and not requested payment holiday and not on furlough either.

            It was suggested that Amex actually can stop you getting offers up to six months if they wish to without any criteria.

          • Rob says:

            100% you are blocked from referring if either of the above applies.

          • Ian M says:

            I feel like Amex don’t like how many MR points I earned during the 3 months with double points. I had already been given a retention offer of an extra point per £, so I was triple points and pushed some heavy spend through!

          • Ja says:

            I haven’t been furloughed or taken a payment holiday and I’ve not had an offer from Amex since September. I had to message them to get the shop small added.

          • Dan says:

            I just used chat to ask who have I upset. Turns out a privacy setting had been enabled. Shop Small added manually. Privacy setting turned off and expect offers to restart.

          • Rhys says:

            That appears to be true for some people, but others like myself have had these settings on as normal and still no offers!

      • Navara says:

        I have 67 and none are any use

    • Ali M says:

      I get weekly offers 😌 don’t know if would keep card if there aren’t any

      • meta says:

        I can still refer from all of my cards. Just no offers! I still have active offers from before including the Marriott one, but if this persists, I’ll move to other products.

        • rjn21 says:

          +1 I can refer from all my cards. No offers since September. No shop small. No furlough. No payment holiday. No churn. No offer abuse.

          Also the Curve £10 back from £100 spend on amazon doesnt seem to apply to legacy cards with the old Curve Rewards scheme (as distinct from the current Curve Cash scheme).

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Did curve confirm that?

          • The real John says:

            It is supposed to apply to all curve users. The tenner won’t be paid until 17 Dec

          • rjn21 says:

            @TGLoyalty- I asked Curve 2x on their support forum. No response. I didn’t receive any email or in app notification. I don’t particularly need to top-up my amazon account so haven’t tried. I would top-up £100 if I knew it would work with the old Curve Rewards.

          • Pid says:

            I am on the old curve rewards and got an email promoting it so I am expecting to receive the £100.

          • Brian W says:

            @Pid I can pretty much guarantee you that you’re not going to receive £100.

  • Song says:

    Hi, I’m trying a modified version of the 178k Avios Amex sign up bonus strategy for couples.

    Regarding, the Amex Platinum Card, I’m wondering when it’s safe to cancel the card? I have some large shopping requirements to do next week which should allow me to hit the £4k spend required to trigger the sign up bonus – how soon after that can I cancel the card (I imagine I have to wait till after the membership points are credited to my account and after I’ve transferred it out but do the points typically get posted immediately or only after the monthly statement)?

    Also, if I’m referring my partner but but she will take awhile more to hit the 4k spend to trigger the referral bonus, will I lose the referral bonus after my card has been cancelled?

    • Pid says:

      You get 30 days to transfer out after closing card. No you will not have the referral bonus reversed if your wife cancels.

    • Genghis says:

      Ensure you got the 5k supp bonus. MR bonuses post with transaction and then available to spend immediately. Set up your transfer partners so they’re ready. Refer wife (bonus points not clawed back once received and spent). Transfer out all. Wait until it shows up in transfer partner. Cancel your card.

      In the old days I used to do this with Plat in just over a week from getting the card to cancelling. The fees are not worth it for me.

      • Song says:

        Thank you for the detailed reply. When you say “set up transfer partners so they’re ready” – I intend to transfer everything out to just my Avios account (which I’ve had open for a number of year) – there’s no special other prep need is there?

        • Rob says:

          No. However if you ever think you might need those Avios in a hurry to book a redemption, you can cut 24 hours off your first transfer by linking the accounts in advance. This should guarantee that the points transfer overnight when you need them.

    • BuildTheWall says:

      If you are cancelling a card, but keep other cards, remember to request for transferring the credit limit to the remaining ones.

  • Dubious says:

    Anyone have tips on paying off a Barclays / Woolwicj mortgage? My online account lets me make payments by debit card but I have yet to find a workable combination.

    • mark2 says:

      In my experience of Barclaycard, which may be similar, they refuse to except a card not issued by a major bank.

      • Chrisasaurus says:

        And more specifically they explicitly don’t accept Curve, they sent out letters last year about it

        • Graeme says:

          Did they? Blimey, I didn’t get that. I was doing this fine until Curve changed.

    • Ali M says:

      is opening a tesco bank account worth it? You pay 200k using THEIR debit card and virgin miles are urs (or avoid till the end of Jan!)

      • Rob says:

        Tesco no longer doing current accounts.

        • Ali M says:

          Hi Rhys.I stand corrected and actually feel a bit bad as that was my ‘big’ muhahahaha plan 🥺

      • Dubious says:

        Thanks – I do have two of their current accounts from back when they paid interest. They may have changed the T&Cs for earning CC points but I’ll investigate this angle.

        I also note Barclays Rewards gives £5 a month credit if you hold a mortgage so I’m tempted to leave a few hundred on the account to stay eligible for this bit (once a joining bonus comes along).

      • The real John says:

        You won’t get points for paying financial institutions

    • FFoxSake says:

      The best i managed was to pay for the application fee for a new fixed rate (staying with Barclays) using a credit card. Haven’t found a way to earn on monthly interest payments.

      • Genghis says:

        I thought always best to add to mortgage so if mortgage doesn’t complete you don’t lose out (fee non refundable)? It has happened to me. Not worth it for a few quid of points IMO

        • Gavin says:

          Yorkshire building society refunded mine even though non refundable under the terms

        • FFoxSake says:

          Staying with same lender didn’t need any new checks, simply chose one of the remortgage rates being offered, so wasn’t ever going to be refused.
          Would agree if changing lender though!

  • MattB says:

    Just looking for a bit of advice on my downgraded flight from F next summer with BA. For us the date and time of the flight are key so we will begrudingly have to accept the change.

    What I’m not sure about us how to go about this. As it stands I can’t access MMB without clicking the ‘accept change’ button. Does clicking this mean I wouldn’t be able to put a claim in for involuntary downgrade after the flight?

    • NC says:

      I don’t know if this works but you could try and manage your booking via the Finnair website?

    • Rhys says:

      If you’re not already aware, you can claim 75% back: https://www.headforpoints.com/2020/08/13/british-airways-first-class-downgrade/

      • MattB says:

        Yes I did read that, but I’m not sure whether I should accept the downgrade on the BA site now to ensure my reservation is updated. As it stands my booking only has the unaffected outbound leg so I can’t just leave it and turn up at the airport.

        Also can I claim the 75% now?

        • Anna says:

          From posts on here you have to fly the leg before claiming the 75%. People keep saying not to accept a downgrade but I don’t understand why that would affect your legal rights to compensation?!

          • MattB says:

            That’s what I don’t get, I need to accept the downgrade otherwise I can’t fly home!!

          • meta says:

            You can accept, but you need to put it in writing to BA that you’re being involuntarily downgraded. Otherwise, you accept their downgrade and once you accept any change voluntarily under EC261 you have no rights.

          • Nick says:

            If they’ve given you new flight details you don’t have to accept, they’re yours unless you actively say you don’t want them. It’s only if they haven’t put you on a new flight that you have to call.

          • MinR says:

            I was refunded the difference (10K Avios) when I accepted the downgraded flight from F to J for a BA flight to DXB in January.

            Does that mean I’ve waived my rights to any compensation?

          • Rob says:

            No, because EC261 does not allow an airline to ask you to give up your legal rights in return for interim compensation.

          • MinR says:

            Interesting, thanks Rob. I’ll hold onto my boarding pass, and I’ve noted your advice from a previous thread that it may have to be the CEDR route as BA can be quite stubborn.

            I’ve scrolled through the comments in the original article that Rhys pasted above, and have found a comment from ‘Magarathea’ that is exactly the scenario I’m in.

            My flight cost 64k Avios + £530ish in taxes after the 10k refund. Only the outbound sector was downgraded. From my calculation, I’d be due at least 24k Avios or equivalent in compensation. Would the taxes also be eligible in the refund?

      • Aston100 says:

        Do you think we can have an updated article explaining what to do / don’t do when BA downgrade you (not just from F)?
        There seems to be a lot of people being hit by this issue recently.

        • Rhys says:

          What needs updating? The information for all cabins is in that article!

          • Mark says:

            Anyone had any luck getting BA to issue a Concorde lounge voucher and free seat selection for and F downgrade

  • John W says:

    Dubai ~ Travel advice for first visit after Christmas . What is best location ?. not interested in shopping . winter sun and beach / culture more type of thing ……
    What about new years eve , where is best to go ?
    Hotel recommendations ? Any good deals !
    Thank you for any tips /suggestions

    • KBuffett says:

      One and Only Royal Mirage
      Le Royal Meridian Beach and Spa

    • Kevin C says:

      As an alternative maybe consider Saadiyat Island Abu Dhabi. There’s some great beach hotels and that’s where the Louvre is.

    • Rob says:

      Book into Madinat Jumeirah and you’re sorted. Don’t waste time with anything else. Four Seasons if you can afford £1k per night.

      • KBuffett says:

        Madinat Jumeriah is nice too, but that’s strong statement.
        Which Four Seasons are you recommending Rob, as I think there’s one in the financial district that I wouldn’t be keen on for a holiday.

        • Rob says:

          Not that one 🙂

          Burj Al Arab is doing 342 at the moment which oddly makes it cheaper than Madinat if you would need two rooms there (‘cos Burj rooms are 170 sq m and you don’t need two)

          • Andrew says:

            And all those full size bottles of Hermes shower gel you can put on ebay afterwards! 😉

          • Bill says:

            What’s your thoughts on Mandarin?

          • Rob says:

            Not been, but apparently the architecture is quite ‘stark’ and ruins the resort feel a little.

  • meta says:

    Or Ras Al-Khaimah. Waldorf Astoria or Ritz-Carlton Al-Hamra Beach reviewed here by Rob.

  • Mikeact says:

    For anybody interested, my Lloyds voucher has been extended, again, now March . Hopefully, come March, it’ll be extended again.

    • Tony says:

      Thanks, you’ve just prompted me. I had my flights cancelled in March. At the time I was told my voucher would still be valid, but got no formal confirmatiin.

      I’ll give them a call.

    • Ali M says:

      living in fools paradise here hoping that the BA companion voucher is extended for us 😂

  • YC says:

    Recent stay at Edition London (healthcare rate). They considered this rate non eligible for plat benefits so I’m not expecting to get any points/nights immediately (will raise it with Marriott as 100% they count). They did end up giving 4pm checkout as a gesture of goodwill.

    Besides this, service was very good throughout but rooms are small and some small issues (would be crazy to pay £400/night). Restaurant and bar was busy during the evening. Overall MPL > Edition from my experience

    • MKB says:

      Please keep us updated with Marriott response, as I am due there in a couple of weeks on this rate.

    • BP says:

      MPL gave me a Plat upgrade from Exec room to a Suite on this rate.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      What Play benefits are there at an edition other than a 4pm checkout?

      • YC says:

        Don’t think there’s much. Other people at check in were plat/tit and requesting upgrades which front desk seem to accommodate (although didnt hear what was ultimately assigned). I was not expecting anything but just wanted my points/nights posted which they were adamant that I’m not eligible

      • MKB says:

        Shouldn’t there be a free breakfast somehow?

    • Karl says:

      I’ve stayed at a few Marriotts recently on healthcare rate and always got Plat benefits – Excel Aloft x 4 stays (2 suite upgrades, 1 room upgrade and free breakfast every time), Great Northern Hotel (room upgrade and free brekkie), Gatwick Courtyard (free brekkie and bar credit) , Heathrow Sheraton (2 free beers and free brekkie). All points (at Plat rate) nights posted fine.

      • Lady London says:

        That list of benefits at Marriott properties does look a lot niceetgab equivalent status at IHG or Accor would have got you.

        Jus’ sayin’… and Marriott were the kind venue providers for the last 2 HfP parties as well.

    • Harry T says:

      I’ve stayed at probably over ten hotels on the HJH rate across the UK and Europe and received all of the elite benefits, and nights and points have posted. I have a stay at EDITION London in the next few months and they’ve already agreed to my 4pm checkout.

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