Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Wednesday 16th 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 (336)

  • Mike says:

    Any data points on how long does the Marriott status match take? Currently have Hilton Gold.

    • Tarmohamed says:

      Tuesdays (yesterday’s) threads last comment. A few days, under a week for them to give me a status match for 90 days to platinum elite using Hilton gold via amex plat.

  • Tarmohamed says:

    Anyone have any insight if HGI LHR T2 is offering Covid tests as unable to find any information online for this specific hotel.

    Also what if these hotels fail to delivery results by 6am next morning? Anyone know if they’ll take liability?

    What’s the plaza premium lounge T2 currently like? Have booked to fly out late January.

    Amex intl payments / premium rewards. Successfully did a batch payment of payroll yesterday, initiated and paid from our end on Monday afternoon around 3pm, staff were paid/Amex released funds Tuesday morning. Points should appear end of January according to Sachin our sales manager contact at Amex.

    Still waiting for Etihad spend to show on the statement for the £250 back offer. Not sure why it’s not showing the transaction as pending whereas the Emirates transaction done minutes before is showing as pending.

    • Blenz101 says:

      If you want a covid test from a specific hotel you should really call them. Presumably you would also want to know the type of test, turn around time, if it is self test etc. Nobody in the comment section of a website is going to be able to give you sufficient reassurance given things are changing on such a regular basis.

      What I can say for certainly is no hotel or lab is going to take any liability for delays in test results. The most you can expect is perhaps the cost of the test back if delayed. Also, any test you take could come back as ‘inconclusive’ in which case you would need a whole new retest anyway and the clock would start again.

      This shouldn’t really be an issue in terms of a ‘cost liability’ as most airlines will allow you to move flights without penalty during the pandemic.

  • Baji Nahid says:

    Looks like BA is chopping its network again. From the inventory so far: would be great if someone could confirm the below.

    British Airways appear to have cut several long haul London Heathrow routes in Summer 2021 including (subject to change):
    Abu Dhabi
    Bangkok
    Calgary
    Charleston (SC)
    Durban
    Jeddah
    Kuala Lumpur
    Lahore
    Osaka
    Pittsburgh
    Seoul Incheon
    Seychelles
    Sydney*

    Accra and Islamabad move to LGW

    • Blenz101 says:

      Abu Dhabi is a surprise as they are just gearing up to welcome tourists fully back although appreciate U.K. summer is less than ideal in the Gulf.

      Entry restrictions being fully removed by 24th December. Whilst Dubai is being well served nearby but imagine AD will be offering some great deals to entice people back and could handle some U.K. pent up demand for sun and luxury travel.

      • Anna says:

        Awesome, I booked 11 nights there at Easter in the half price avios sale before finding out about the current quarantine rule!

        • blenz101 says:

          Well BA should give you a reroute on another carrier. The quarantine rule will be gone by the end of the year and I can see no circumstance it will be back by Easter.

          AD are also well on with the rollout of the vaccine in a systematic way. Dubai are also rolling it out but on a bizarre first come first served basis. Once the elderly and venerable Emirati population is protected the authorities will not be seeking to impose any further restrictions on tourism.

        • Jamie Collins says:

          Had 10 days in Thailand to visit my brother end of May, in the 50% Avios sale. Received the cancellation email today. I guess that’s the 50% benefit gone.

    • Stuart Evans says:

      Our flights to Calgary in July still showing as OK on BA app. What dates did you see them cancelled for? Or do you think app not updated yet?

    • Michael C says:

      BKK is indeed NOT showing for Aug.!

      • Craig says:

        My flights to BKK in April/May are not available to book, just waiting for the cancellation email now. Refund or voucher decision again?

      • JohnT says:

        No email yet about CHS but not bookable as direct flight in May.

      • Michael C says:

        @Rhys & co.: so is your plan to ask for a re-route via ME or (lengthily!) HKG?!
        Guess there’s always RJ…

        • Rhys says:

          I’ll probably take a refund. Unlikely to see things re-opening in mid to early Feb to be honest.

    • Anna says:

      Which thread are you looking at? I can only see that AUH has been suspended for this winter.

    • Nigel W says:

      Oh fun…. I’m booked outbound to Osaka for hopefully my Japan/Olympic trip next year.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      They’ve cut Bangkok, KL and Seychelles completely or reduced frequency?

      • YC says:

        I’m seeing completely cut BKK, KUL from late March and SEZ from mid-April (Google Flights)! This is a pretty big blow to many (including myself!). Will now trawl through the last week of comments to see if there is a possibility of BA moving passengers to QR or other OW. Which would in general be a product upgrade but additional pain of a stopover in most cases

        • TGLoyalty says:

          I’m shocked by those 3 going completely. BKK is a gateway to Asia and Seychelles as that’s a pure leisure route so should be unaffected by a slow down in business travel.

    • memesweeper says:

      as reported a couple of days ago here, San Jose (Costa Rica) is gone for Summer 2021

  • John says:

    Can anyone suggest an easy way to earn around 5000 elite qualifying IHG Reward Club points before the end of the year? I do have an IHG Premier Reward Club Credit Card but I don’t really need or want to put £2500 of spend through the card. Equally I live in a Tier 3 area so mattress runs could be tricky within the current rules. Any suggestions?

    • Tiff says:

      One night stay somewhere offering a 5000 points bonus package, eg Indigo.

    • Rob says:

      Find a hotel doing a ‘5000 bonus points’ rate and book one stay there. Turn up with a briefcase or laptop bag and nothing else and say it is for business. You’ll be fine. No need to stay, just leave the key in the room and go.

  • Philip says:

    I have an Amex platinum. Does anyone know more about the benefits it provides of car hire insurance and how exactly to get it?

    • Jen T says:

      Covers the charges if you have an accident or damage. Just say no to any additional policies offered when you rent. Got a puncture a couple of weeks ago in the Canaries with a Hertz car – changed onto the spare, drove car to the airport, asked for a new car and was charged EUR60 for the tyre. Claimed on the insurance, money in my account within 48 hours.

  • Tim Rogers says:

    Morning all! Does anyone know if Sumup transactions are tracking for Shop Small? I’ve been to a restaurant which is on the map but I know payment aggregators are generally a no.

    • JohnT says:

      I have had Izettle ones paid after query via chat.

    • Andrew says:

      Hope this formats ok.

      05 Dec 2020
      SUMPUP*ISCREAM OXFORD LI OXFORD
      £11.49

      06 Dec 2020
      ISCREAM OXFORD LIMITED
      -£5.00

  • Craig says:

    £10 Amazon reward hit my Curve account today.

    • KBuffett says:

      Mine hit yesterday. Hopefully Curve will be offering more offers like this.

    • Craig says:

      Just remember to leave Curve cash as the active card until the transaction completes if topping up an Amazon account.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        You can set auto pay now so if a transaction is for the amount in your cash balance it will automatically use that.

    • Wollhouse says:

      Mine arrived too:) Unfortunately, as they “accidentally” sent me a business card rather than personal one, I asked them to remedy this. According to an email response I got to my request (about a week later), they’ve done this and sent me a new card. But, 10 days later, no new card AND my original card was cancelled immediately. Today they sent me a reminder that my chosen reward partner extra % expires soon….a bugger as Amazon is getting a load of my money at present! I saw that some posters managed to retain a working old card until they activated their new one, so perhaps it depends on the agent that responds to the request, but just a heads up to consider the timing of any swap!

    • stevenhp1987 says:

      Nothing for me yet…

  • Yuff says:

    How good are Amex offers at keeping account of accumulated spend for the Hilton offer.
    Used the offer back in October and want to top up my spend to trigger the offer in the next week. Could use points but the offer triggering would be handy 😀

    • KBuffett says:

      I’m having trouble with most of my offers, they just don’t trigger and I have to chase them. I think it’s perhaps because I use the plastic card instead of the metal one (they have different card numbers).
      I have to chase them on live chat, most of the time the put them through immediately as goodwill, but sometimes I have to wait 90 days and then chase.
      Painful but they do process them eventually. But it means that I need to keep track of the offers as historical ones aren’t available to view on the app or website.

      • KBuffett says:

        Also, often the people of chat blame the offer on triggering of the retailer or on the fact that it consists of multiple transactions, but it’s all BS as even when it’s on one clean transaction mine rarely trigger. Only happens on my Plat Charge Card, offers generally trigger on my other cards.

        • mark2 says:

          I too use the plastic card rather than the clunky metal bar, but have never had a problem.
          Have you saved the offer against the plastic card, which will have its own offers?

          • KBuffett says:

            How do I save against the plastic card, I don’t see the plastic and metal cards displayed individually in my app or the website?
            And, more importantly, can I double up on offers this way?

        • Andrew says:

          When you click on the offer it states which card number it’s saved to, guessing it’s not saved to the plastic card number? Think that’s the problem.

    • Rob says:

      Works fine. One of mine triggered with 8 cumulative transactions (ie £30 and £40 day rooms plus separate transactions at the in-hotel coffee shop).

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