Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Friday 1st January

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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.

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Comments (235)

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

  • fivebobbill says:

    Has anyone had their Hilton status upgraded yet?
    As HH Gold I had 47 nights as at 31st Dec 2020, which have carried over and are still showing this morning in my account. However my status is still Gold. Shouldn’t I now be Diamond given the 30 nights reduced qualification offer last year? Or is it still a wee bit early…

    • fivebobbill says:

      Oh and a Happy and Prosperous New Year to all 😊

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Yes I got my 31st night on 30th after a day rate stay (I managed to get another 10k too which was nice and turned a small profit)

      I was showing Diamond yesterday

  • James says:

    Any way of transferring Amex MR Points into Qatar Qmiles? Thanks

    • 747_Brat says:

      Possible via Marriot Bonvoy

      • James says:

        Thanks for this! Just checked out the conversion rate and sadly I don’t see the value.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      I believe you can get an IDC Amex and Qmiles is a partner.

      • James says:

        Thanks! Do you know the point conversion rate?

        • Guernsey Globetrotter says:

          On the IDC the rate is 3 membership rewards points for 2 Qmiles. You will also get a 1.3x membership rewards point uplift when transferring into the Dollar card from a UK account.

      • Rob says:


  • C says:

    Apologies in advance if I missed it somewhere on the site. I happened to read the boilerplate on my December IHG Platinum account statement (I’ll freely admit I usually only look at the balance andvtransactins), and noted it referred to 2 points per £1 spend in the UK, 4 points per £1 spend at IHG properties, and 2 points per £1 spend outside the UK. I had historically understood–and received–4 points per £1 on non-UK spend, but this now appears to have been reduced to the regular earnings rate. Can anyone confirm?

    • Genghis says:

      Good spot! Says the same on my statement. I last got the abroad points in Nov but no abroad spend in Dec. Not had any notice as far as I know.

      • Rachel R says:

        My Netflix subscription charges as a foreign transaction and I get 4 points each time. I don’t get charged a fee for the transaction though.

        • Genghis says:

          Indeed. A few others too where in GBP but processed ex-UK. Transactions I’ve had in Guernsey have posted as double points too.

          • C says:

            Glad to hear others also experience this. It’s usually a a few points (perhaps Netflix, as others noted), but last month i got a pleasant surprise of ~£1,000 processsing as foreign, even though in gbp.

          • 747_Brat says:

            My GBP transactions in Gibraltar were also considered as foreign transactions. I was not charged any fees for these transactions, but it earned me extra points which I happily took! 🙂

          • PJJ says:

            Mine also shows 2 points per £1 but 4 points per £1 actually show on my activity. £9.98 monthly subscription shows the usual 36 points

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Suspect someone has messed up a new version of the statement template.

      All hotels not just IHG get 4 points and all charges from abroad not just in foreign fx get 4 points 🙂

      • Boi says:

        I occasionally get bonus points for international spend despite not doing any. I haven’t quite worked out which of my uk spend is classified as foreign….

        • Liz says:

          I get 4 pts when I pay for our caravan site bookings!

        • TGLoyalty says:

          I think it’s the country in which the company merchant account is registered rather than if it’s gbp or not.

        • PJJ says:

          @Boi I have the same but I believe in my case Adobe Photoshop subscription shows as Ireland and gives 4 points per £1

  • Nate says:

    Hi. Anyone else had difficulty in getting through to Amex? Been trying since yesterday but “technical fault and phone lines are down”.

    • Kevin says:

      Yes I was on the line for approx. 15mins yesterday. Think Amex is having busy time or high volume of call over the last few days. Been advised it was related to Amazon account issue.

  • Carl says:

    Looking for some advice on my slightly unusual situation:

    I live in England with my son, and my daughter lives in Switzerland. We swapped the kids before Christmas, so my daughter is here in the UK with me and my son in Switzerland with his mum. My daughter has a Swiss residence card, but I obviously do not.

    I’m now trying to figure out how it will be possible to get them both back home, most importantly is getting my daughter back so she can return to school. There are some exemptions to flying to Switzerland which cover my daughter, but I’m not sure these will cover me. Do I risk just booking a flight to Switzerland and hoping that by showing my daughters residence card that they’ll let us both fly and in to the country? I had considered driving to France and meeting near the Swiss border to swap children but again I don’t think I’d get in to France, and that comes with the extra hassle of having to take a Covid test before entering.

    Are there any points of contact that would be able to tell me whether or not I’d be able to travel in this situation?

    • Dick Steele says:

      Is it not possible for your daughter to travel as an unaccompanied minor? The airlines, I suspect, would only allow you to travel if you were admissable to Switzerland.

      • Anna says:

        I think Carl also has to get his son back, who may also need to go back to school!
        I am sure France at least had some exemptions for close family members at one point (in the summer n very elderly family friend who lived alone was taken by her nephew to live with him near Bordeaux and I recall him saying that this was permitted). Though as france is effectively a third country in this case, it might not be an option.
        Can whoever your daughter lives with make enquiries with the Swiss authorities at all?
        Otherwise, are both children mature enough to travel by plane on their own? It’s not a long journey and presumably there would be adults at either end to see them off and greet them.

    • The Savage Squirrel says:

      You don’t mention ages, but many (most?) airlines have an unaccompanied children service that would seem the most logical way around your problem and would be appropriate for school age children.
      e.g. BA is rubbish – nothing doing unless 14+

      Swiss is much better. Unaccompanied at 12+, or with a booked service good to go at 5+

      • Carl says:

        Thanks all, my daughter is 13 and son is 11, I hadn’t thought that my son could travel alone, I knew my daughter can with Swiss but didn’t see the point if he couldn’t get back, but yes the unaccompanied flights are probably the best option right now.

  • The Urbanite says:

    Happy New Year all.

    Just a quick q – if I top up Curve with Virgin then pay that off with Creation, will Revolut charge me a cash advance fee?

    Asking for a friend who is too nervous to try, TIA…!

    • Peter K says:

      I think you’ve got mixed up here. Are you on about topping up revolut as you can’t top up curve? Also better to use IHG first. No need to use curve.

    • S says:

      I just asked my friend and he said it’s better to top-up Ernie with the seagull (?) to avoid these pesky fees.

    • ClubX says:

      Apparently coinsquirt works well with curve if that’s what you want to do

  • Harry T says:

    @Genghis I’ve moved my CPT holiday to October. “15 on Orange” is pricing around £108-135 a night for the dates I’ve chosen. Does that seem decent to you? Would that be your first choice for first time visitors? We will have a car.

    • Genghis says:

      What is the hotel on points? I’ve only ever used points. Cash price seems reasonable. It’s a nice hotel in a decent location (walk to many good restaurants and relatively safe in evening) with paid for (can’t remember price but a few quid a day) in basement. Go for it.

    • John Gallagher says:

      I’ve stayed twice at 15 on Orange but won’t return due to service failures. Westin is much better 🙂

      • Harry T says:

        John please could you elaborate? Thanks 🙂

        • John Gallagher says:

          Disinterested staff, management not responding to issues. No upgrades even when still selling 1 level up rooms.
          Westin on the other hand – lovely staff, has a lounge and rates are about the same -)

  • Miles. On Point says:

    BA 2for1 Voucher is due to expire 8th May 2021.

    Would I be correct in saying that if I make booking for April 2021, then cancel that to get a FTV, it would allow the use of expired 2for1 voucher AFTER 8th May (up to April 2022). Thereby essentially extending the voucher?

    • Anna says:

      Yes as long as these are still the Ts and Cs.

    • jason says:

      I cancelled a booking with a 2for1 voucher yesterday and it got extended until April 2022

      • Miles. On point says:

        Thanks Jason, much appreciated. I presume one can top up additional avios to a FTV if your new booking is to a different avios zone and/or Peak dates?

        • Tracey says:

          Yes you can. They will also refund some Avios if you make a nee booking that uses less Avios (I’m not sure if this would apply if you still had a load of Avios left on the vouchers, but generally they do if for example you rebooked in an Avios sale or moved from peak to off peak)

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