Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Monday 28th 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 (210)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • ayearinmx says:

    signed up to the Tap Miles&Go Status Match offer on Dec 3…. any idea when they’ll likely approve (or deny) me??

    • Paasan69 says:

      I signed up on Nov 22nd and received my approval for the status match on Saturday (Dec 26th). Then signed up for the Miles & Go Basic for €99 yesterday. A couple of hours later TAP confirmed approval and said that they would promote me to Gold within the next 15 days but expect it to be quicker. Based on my experience I’d say you should receive a reply the next week or so.

    • AJA says:

      It takes at least a month, maybe slightly longer at the moment due to Xmas. I’d expect you won’t hear anything until end of next week at the earliest.

      • ayearinmx says:

        thanks….. figured it’d be a slight delay with xmas but wasn’t sure what their usual time-scale was…

  • fred says:

    Due to fly to Maldives and got this – do you think they know something?


    Global travel restrictions .

    Before you travel to your destination, please be aware that due to COVID-19 travel restrictions are being introduced by some countries. These restrictions differ from country to country and may be subject to change with little notice. .

    Please check the UK Government website for the latest travel updates and entry restrictions..

    You may have to comply with additional measures such as temperature checks, proof of negative COVID-19 tests, completion of forms and other restrictions. Please be aware that if you fail to comply with these requirements, you will not be able to travel or be allowed to enter your destination. If you need a COVID-19 test, you can find helpful information here. .

    Please make sure you check both your inbound and outbound destination, and check back before you fly as requirements can change at short notice. .

    If you’re unable to travel, please don’t come to the airport. If you need to change your booking, please go to to see what rebooking options are available to you. Alternatively, you can call us on 0800 727 800 from within the UK, or +44 (0)203 250 0145 from outside the UK where we’ll be happy to help. .

    For the latest information on COVID-19, including answers to frequently asked questions, please go to .

    Thank you for your understanding. We look forward to welcoming you on board. .

    British Airways

    • Brian says:

      “ do you think they know something?”

      Nothing other than the fact that restrictions can change within hours, which should be pretty obvious to most people.

    • Mr. AC says:

      Standard email, I got it for every international ticket I flew recently as the date approaches.

  • Kevin says:

    I got the free virgin CC (almost 1.5 year) would I still eligible to get the sign up bonus point if apply for the fee CC? Also is the £160 fee can be refund pro rota if cancel several months later. TIA

    • Andrew Mc says:

      No pro rata.

    • Lev441 says:

      No as can only hold one virgin credit card at one time. And it’s not pro rata

      • Sandgrounder says:

        I managed to sucessfully apply for the free while I held the paid card. It isn’t supposed to be allowed though, I think you need a six month gap? Or is my memory playing tricks on me?

        • Genghis says:

          I know you were allowed the two MBNA cards concurrently as I did it. Didn’t think with VM that was possible.

        • Ryan says:

          Other way around for me, had the free, got the paid about a year later

          The told me that the free’s credit limit would be reduced to £500 (too much exposure) but it never did change from £9k

    • Peter K says:

      No pro rata refund. Even when they changed the t&c’s on the account and the letter posted said to ring if don’t want to accept them they refused to pro rata refund the remaining fee.

    • Kevin says:

      Thanks for everyone comment. Shame that utilise it for a big purchase and earn sign up points

    • Michael says:

      Yes it should be possible to apply for another Virgin card as long as 6 months have elapsed since you opened your current card. I have both.

      • The Savage Squirrel says:

        I held both. Then I cancelled the paid. Then the CC company unilaterally cancelled the free one because I had not used it for months. Just signed up to paid again (due to changes in the overall points/spending picture) after 6+ months, so will see if I get a 2nd bonus – but will treat as a genuine bonus if so as not epecting it.

      • Kevin says:

        Did you get the sign up bonus too?

  • jil says:

    does amex travel insurance cover flights paid by master card?

    • Andrew says:

      If you’re talking about Amex Platinum insurance then no it doesn’t – unless the airline or travel agent doesn’t take Amex.

      • Jay says:

        I thought Amex would cover medical insurance but not trip delay insurance (when using another card to buy a ticket). Has this changed?

        • Andrew says:

          But Jil asked if the flights were insured. Medical insurance on the trip for which the flights are taken would be a different question to which I would have responded saying that you are always covered regardless of how you pay for any aspect of the the trip.

      • Genghis says:

        Or if Biz Plat – no requirement to pay on the “card”

      • DJ says:

        That’s good to know. Thanks Andrew.

        I have been only using travel agencies where they take Amex, which can be a pain to find since they are not always the cheapest.

        • Andrew says:

          Just have your screen grabs saved so you can show that they didn’t take Amex should you need to make a claim.

      • GeorgeJ says:

        Andrew, It depends which platinum you have, the dollar and euro versions do not require the spend to be on the card (or another Amex).

  • Kevin says:

    Question about IHG CC 5k bonus points for hotel stay. Is the point stay now considered as qualifying stay for IHG? Am I right that if I use point for a reward night and pay with CC for dinner/breakfast would trigger the 5k bonus point?

  • Nick G says:

    Just looking at my points and expiry dates for some of the hotels I use – Hilton/IHG/Marriott. It’s a bit of a minefield trying to figure out expiry dates for points at present.

    I don’t often stay in IHG but noticed it says I can reach gold elite with another 2571 points or 3 more qualified nights.

    Am I right in thinking keeping gold stops any points ever expiring? My points expire by 1st sept 2021. If so I might sign up for an IHG credit card to get gold unless I stay somewhere before then.

    Rob – any chance you could write an article for the changes in expiry rules for the main chains?

    • Travel Strong says:

      Your IHG earning year will come to an end on Dec 31st, so you will be further away from gold than 2571 after that. But you’ll have plenty of time next year to re-earn enough points to get to gold or higher (easily done with enough spend on the IHG card).

      An article on expiry would likely be out of date as soon as its written, as schemes are continually changing and extending expiry at the moment. Best to check the official pages of the schemes.

  • Tony says:

    Bank holiday puzzle for anyone looking for some entertainment. I’ve got $1700 sitting in my uk PayPal account. I need to pay a company in the US $1100 but they don’t accept PayPal. As that’s quite a big hit to take on the fx charge, can anyone figure out a way to do this? I do have a uk credit card with zero fx fees so at least don’t pay on both sides of the transaction. Would a revolut account work?

    Many thanks

    • memesweeper says:

      What payment methods *do* the US company accept?

      • Tony says:

        Any (regular) credit card. I usually pay with MasterCard.

        • Tony says:

          To add in case someone has first hand experience of this it’s DVC annual fees. Seems I can also buy Disney gift cards with PayPal and use that to settle the bill.

        • memesweeper says:

          Revolut supports USD wire transfer inwards, but you need to enable the USD account feature. No idea if PayPal supports the transfer out end of the deal.

    • Charlieface says:

      Will Paypal do an ACH wire transfer (basically a bank transfer in the USA)?

    • Eugene says:

      Try Transferwise

    • Max says:

      Could try opening a Cater Allen US Dollar account and use the debit card that it comes with.

  • Navara says:

    Any news on the new Avios supermarket partner yet?

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