Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Friday 22nd 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.

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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Comments (252)

  • M says:

    If I buy something through the BA shopping portal and get some avios, does that reset the 3 year avios expiry counter?

  • RH says:

    Hi all, not sure if this has been mentioned before, but I have just moved an Avios flight booking for a 2nd time as the flights have been cancelled twice.
    Originally booked on the 08/11/19 for travel 14/07/20 using Avios and 241 voucher. Cancelled by BA so moved online using the move flights option to the 11/02/21. Cancelled again by BA so moved it again this week to the 10/07/21 so there definitely isn’t a limit on moving it forward as if we are allowed to travel this is going to be 20 months after I originally booked and paid the taxes which I think is really accommodating of BA!

    Rob/Rhys – One question please, the prices are so low with BA at the moment I am thinking of cancelling and paying cash. The Avios price I paid for 2 adults and one child was 300,000 Avios, one 241 voucher and £1955.25 taxes for Club World return. BA have now dropped the price of the flight to £4619.12 for the 3 of us. Based on the average redemption target per point I think I’m better off cancelling and paying cash for this flight? Any comments appreciated.

    • Rob says:

      Your 241 would be lost if you cancel (unless you take a Future Travel Voucher, but then your cash is tied up).

      You get 300k Avios back for net cost of £2700. It’s not terrible value @ 0.9p per Avios.

      That said …. Nectar now guarantees you will get 0.8p so arguably you might as well hold on for better than 0.9p. Factoring in the Avios you’d earn back from the cash flight might get you nearer 0.8p anyway, plus tier points.

      The crux is that if you pay cash and cancel voluntarily, you’d get a Future Travel Voucher for £4619. Would that be a problem?

      • RH says:

        Thanks Rob, my maths was a bit off! I might hold onto it then as it might also be cancelled as there is no guarantees we’ll be able to travel in July, and if it is cancelled I should be able to move to a more expensive time again! Thanks.

    • Stanley says:

      The 300,000 avios can be converted to quasi cash via Nectar of £2400. Add back the avios you will earn for the cash booking, and you are probably better off cancelling etc. And then you have your 241 voucher for another day…..

  • Will says:

    what’s the expiry policy for old Avios.com (now aerclub) – and if applicable, does a transfer to BA avios count as activity?

    • Rob says:

      Transfer to Iberia don’t count as activity so I’m guessing it doesn’t work for avios.com either.

  • Nick says:

    Following yesterday’s Sainsbury’s announcement, I’ve just looked over my last 5 shops there. Including both regular points and offers I received 1720 Nectar for a total spend of £70 (and only regular shops for stuff I want/would have bought anyway). From Rob’s calculations this will give me 1075 Avios – the equivalent spend at Tesco would have given just 168.

    I don’t see it lasting long at these rates… but it’s going to be fun while it does!

    • GaryE says:

      We do our basic shop in Sainsburys and usually spend around £100 a week – apart from the 100 base points we normally get anything between 600-800 offer points, as Sainsburys, compared to other supermarkets, offer the bonus points on the regular items you buy ie milk, cheese, fruit and veg etc rather than targetting them towards items you don’t normally buy in an attempt to get you to spend more money.

      • Alanb202000 says:

        Just out of curiosity how many of the weekly bonus points offers on selected items do you get per week? I’ve only had five the last few weeks and I’m sure I used to get more than that

  • Mike says:

    BA Shopping is clawing back some Avios. Not sure why but I did make that purchase. Is it worth fighting it out with them / will they relent?

    • Nick says:

      You can raise it but there’s no guarantee they’ll reverse it. They will follow up with the retailer if you provide order confirmation details.

      This happens because the merchant doesn’t pay up to AGL but annoyingly there’s rarely a way to take it up with the merchant directly, you have to take it through the portal.

    • Stu N says:

      Nope – waste of time. They will come up with a reason why the purchase doesn’t qualify then just ignore you. I always look at these Avios as a nice bonus rather than guaranteed as this is not an unusual scenario.

      • meta says:

        Just ask them for their legal department contact details. Works every time for me no matter how many Avios in question. They must have flagged my account as the one not to mess with as I haven’t had any clawback in the last year.

    • Doug M says:

      Who is the retailer? Name and Shame. I’ve almost given up on the shopping portals. They just leave you angry and frustrated.

    • Alex says:

      Depends on the amount – if it’s thousands of avios then yes I would fight. If it’s only a few hundred then no probably not worth the hassle

    • Jill ( Kinkell) says:

      Any time I’ve had Avios clawed back on legitimate purchases, I’ve completed the online form via portal and Avios reaccredited. Sometimes Avios awarded when I’ve just been browsing, with no purchase…..takes ages before they are clawed back, but at least I know they will disappear eventually. .

  • ash says:

    Can I have a trading referral code please

  • Steven says:

    Thinking of cancelling my AMEX Business Plat. Does anyone know how long you get before your Priority Pass and Hotel status benefits expire after cancellation? TIA

    • Jay says:

      Hotel benefits can last for years even after the natural earning year. Priority Pass from my own experience was less than a month.

    • Anna says:

      In theory you keep the hotel statuses until they naturally expire but as posted they can last a lot longer. OH is still HH gold from getting Platinum 2 years ago and he’s not even had a single stay as I collect all our HH points on my account!

      • Anna says:

        But yes PP is cancelled immediately as it’s linked to Amex card.

        • Steven says:

          Many thanks. Any thoughts on best way of dealing with MR points? In two minds whether to open up a personal MR earning card and transfer to that. Other option I was thinking of was taking advantage of the new avenue of transferring out to Avios and then transfer out from there to Nectar after Monday.

  • Hugh says:

    Is it no longer possible to pay HMRC Using Blue Bendy Card linked to Lloyds Avios Mastercard? Transaction just go rejected.

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