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.


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)

  • Ben says:

    Stuck in Germany for the forseeable and unlikely will be able to use the £400 off £400 spend at Marriott hotels. Anyone know of any the participating hotels that would somehow sell a voucher for £400 to be used at a later date? Unlikely I know. Thanks!

    • Rob says:

      No, but it is easy enough to ring up and enquire about a booking for next year if they agree to charge your card now.

      W has pre-paid rates with free date changes, which might work for you.

  • Jane says:

    anyone know if there is any logical pattern to BA flight cancellations ? I have a flight to Geneva on the 26th December which I am hoping they will cancel but they still seem to be selling tickets for that flight and the other 7 or 8 flight on the same route on that date despite cancelling all of them or just leaving one running every day for the past 3 weeks.

    • Nick says:

      Logical? BA?

      • Jane says:

        I know, but surely they can’t keep selling tickets for 7 or so flights when they might only fly one of them. I’d obviously prefer a refund and I don’t want to be holding on the phone at T-24 which is on Christmas day !

        • Pete says:

          They are doing this on various routes (I get it with BER all the time). They are clearly trying to tempt people to book with many options and then pairing it down as demand doesn’t materialise. Unless something dramatically changes, expect only the flights operating right now to actually go.

  • Pete says:

    We have just come back from a weekend stay at the Indigo Hotel in Bath and what a treat it was.

    I got a courtesy call the day before arrival to check everything was OK for our stay and offering assistance pre-arrival. The hotel is about 3mins walk from Bath Station and very well located for the town centre.

    Early check-in around 1pm wasn’t a problem and the staff could not have been more helpful – showing us to our room and making sure we were comfortable. The décor throughout is quirky, but I think it works really well and a lot of time was spent on every little detail. My IHG status was recognised and we were given free drink vouchers.

    Each room appears to be pretty unique, clearly due to the hotel being a collection of several buildings brought together. The Superior Premium King room we had booked wasn’t the biggest itself, but the bathroom was certainly oversized and included a bath and large walk-in shower.

    You could definitely work from the desk provided and the bed was very comfortable. The free minibar was an excellent touch. We didn’t eat at the hotel restaurant, but breakfast looked excellent and the dinner menu was appetising as well.

    The receptionist checking us out got a bit confused and tried to charge us for the room – at £140 it came very close to Rob’s target valuation of 0.5p per IHG point, so I was rather happy (it cost 30k). Not sure where that amount came from, though – when I checked last week the going rate was well over £200pn.

    • Genghis says:

      It’s how much IHG will be paying. You can see the amount on Awardwallet hotel bookings.

      • Pete says:

        I did wonder if that was the case – thanks! Very pleased with my return rate, in that case!

    • Ben says:

      Small world. I also spent the weekend in Bath and my hotel was about 30 seconds walk to the Indigo.
      Good to hear feedback for next time.

    • Mr. AC says:

      Nice writeup!

      Big mistake not eating at the restaurant. It’s easily the best thing about the hotel, and the hotel is very good, as you’ve experienced.

      • Pete says:

        Good to know, thank you! We had a packed itinerary put together by a local friend, so didn’t want to upset her! The pub dinner near the Westonbirt Arboretum wasn’t too bad either, thankfully! 🙂

        • Anna says:

          We’ve got a King Vault room booked for May next year so it’s good to hear consistent positive reviews. We will definitely be trying the the restaurant, it’s always good not to have too far to walk after a few courses and a bottle of wine!

          • dezbez says:

            You won’t be disappointed, Anna. We had two nights in a King Vault, back in October. Rather splendid

    • Blindman says:

      Why is this so expensive compared to other options in Bath ?

      Looking for a Feb stay -it’s £140/night when the HI is £50!

      • Peter K says:

        Isn’t it a Holiday Inn Express? It’s quite a way from the town centre as well I think.

        • Rob says:

          It is well out of town! It was also there when I was at uni, so at least 20+ years old.

          The Indigo, on the other hand, is brand spanking new, has had a fortune spent on its interiors, is in converted Georgian buildings and is slap bang in the middle of the city.

    • Jbis says:

      I cannot wait- we are booked in for Valentine’s weekend (and more importantly my 40th birthday) in a King Vault solely thanks to this site. Will take the tip of eating in the restaurant thank you.

      • Rob says:

        Result. With terrible timing I booked my stay for the first day of the 2nd lockdown and so had to cancel, and of course cannot now rebook into that room.

        • Mr. AC says:

          I wouldn’t worry too much about it. If you you have another booking for a Superior Premium room, arguably they’re just as good or even somewhat better (the ones that have floor to ceiling windows). I stayed in this one – Good but far from spacious. Some of the Superior Premium ones are larger overall (but not 2 “separate” rooms per se).

          • Mr. AC says:

            To clarify, that’s a link for a virtual tour of one of the King Suites. I don’t have a link to a Superior Premium room virtual tour.

  • Ron says:

    Not sure if someone mentioned it already. The 1500 Avios bonus for £100 spend is cumulative, I got an email this morning said I’ve used my offer and I haven’t got any single transaction over £100 today.

    • dragonfly says:

      Agree, cumulative. I spent around £80 at Tesco last week, then today I made a donation to a security staff of our flat building (he has been very sick and they have a go fund me page for him). Then I got an email from amex immediately saying that I have got 1,500 avios for £100+ spend.

    • Nick_C says:

      Thanks both, this is really useful to know. I’m only £150 away from triggering a 241 on my BAPP, which I want to leave until late February, so I don’t really want to use the card for big purchases right now. A few “shop smalls” and a supermarket shop will get me there.

      • rk says:

        The 1,500 avios for £100 has to be billled to your Amex by 31/12/2020, which if you do this will leave £50 for late February.

  • Ben says:

    Has anyone heard when the Virgin clubhouse might be opening again? I have a flight mid Jan and would be keen to visit rather than the tempory alternative.

  • mark2 says:

    I have noticed an improvement on this iteration of Shop Small.
    If you get an email it tells you the name of the shop you spent in rather than having to tie up the dates and times.
    But still lists a garden centre near us which stopped taking Amex when it changed hands several years ago.

    • RussellH says:

      I have always seen the name of the business in the body of the e-mail.
      Are you saying that it is now in the subject line too?

    • Vit says:

      I’ve always got the name of the shop I spent on in the email body — but one improvement I’ve seen (for me anyway) is that the £5 credit got posted rather quickly. Made a few shop small on Saturday, £5 credit in the account as of this morning. Previously, it can be a few day or more.

  • Baji Nahid says:

    5K avios clawed back today from a shop i had done 5 months ago, guess the demons at the BA e store thought it was my turn to make my life hell. Well wont be going down without a fight thats for sure!

    • BSI1978 says:

      Whilst this is a shame, a loss of 5k Avios is going to make your life hell…..?

      • Stu N says:

        I tried to respond but must have had a flagged word. Basically you’re wasting your time pursuing this. They won’t budge after passing you to retailer who will claim it’s not their problem, or claim your last click was elsewhere, or claim you used a promo, or any number of excuses.

        Just chalk it up to experience, don’t use that retailer again through the BA thingy and don’t be too swayed by Avios when making purchasing decisions anyway.

  • Richmond_Surrey says:

    Was there any solution to Miles & More card not working for some HMRC services? It’s impossible to search comments. Maybe Rob could put some article about it?

    • Rob says:

      There was a comment but seems to have been a one-off. Working for fine for PAYE (though this is technically against card rules so risky) and self assessment.

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