Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Saturday 23rd 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.

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.

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Comments (247)

  • maccymac says:

    Advice would be much appreciated… any way of getting nectar/avios/any other points on premier inn hotel stays? I need to book Monday to Friday for the next 8 weeks for work and they are coming out cheapest

    • BJ says:

      Sadly, only via the card used to pay AFAIK. Are none of the chains coming close enough on price to make the loyalty benefits worth it? What about an independent hotel via

    • Chrisasaurus says:

      How much cheaper and cheaper than what? Assuming that’s 4 nights a week, 32 nights will get you a fair way or in many cases well beyond decent status.

      Zero means of benefiting from premier inn sadly other than by using points earning card to pay. And in normal times their hotels are mostly full every night so no prospect of that changing either!

    • dezbez says:

      32 nights?! Not sure if that’s a company policy, price or personal preference but that’s a great opportunity to really cane one of the big chains if you can and get some serious points & status.
      If it is about price, even if it’s more I can’t imagine the difference is significant in the current climate so it could well be worth paying the extra to get all the benefits?

    • memesweeper says:

      Check, Agoda and as some premier inns pop up there. Of the OTAs has the best rewards AFAIK. Agoda has a hook up with Nectar, and Avios too.

      If I have a work stay I’m lucky enough to usually have a car with me. I’m happy to drive a long way in the morning for a nice pub stay rather than a bad chain (not that most premier inns are bad, but travelodge is). For four weeks I’d definitely recommend breaking it up a bit. Sadly choices are the moment are severely limited though.

    • Andrew says:

      8 Weeks M-F?

      Forget all the portals and pick up the phone or email a few of the hotels that are most convenient for you.

      The best offers are often not published.

    • maccymac says:

      Thank you all for all the advice, I hadn’t considered contacting directly so will give that a go

  • ChrisC says:

    Not travel related but the America’s Cup challenger series in New Zealand that I’ve just watched is one of the most exciting sporting events I have ever watched.

    Last week a boat capsised and just now a nip and tuck race that had me on the edge of my seat cheering on Sir Ben Ainslie and his crew as they crossed the finish line.

    • The uncivil servant says:

      Yachting is a bit like rowing and polo. A bit elitist if you get my drift , (I throw the pun in for free, seeing as its a Saturday).

  • Pete M says:

    Lots of coverage in the news today regarding the hotel quarantine idea – presumably to make it look like tough measures are being planned. I agree with others on here that is seems unlikely in this country, but presumably they’ve now boxed themselves in to have to do something more… Increased checks? A tracking app? They seem to have ruled out tagging people…

    • The real John says:

      Everything the government said was not going to happen has happened.

      They seem to be so scared of all these variants (South African, Nigerian, Brazilian, now there’s a new German one) but they are already banning direct flights and refusing entry to non-citizens/residents who reveal they have been in “danger” countries.

      Enforced quarantine may make sense if vaccination ends up working well, otherwise people stay in a room for 2 weeks then go out and immediately get infected locally.

      And as I have said many times quarantining in a holiday camp would be much easier to set up and more humane than poorly ventilated tiny hotel rooms.

      • kitten says:

        Sadly they are right to be scared of variants. For one (of many) things, they could mean going back to square one on vaccinations, losing all previous vaccination work to date etc. Not to mention possibly killing people more effectively.

        • Andrew says:

          Yes I think we will see this summer’s travel even more restricted than last summer’s. 2022 I’m imagining we can take to the skies again

    • Andrew says:

      Yes Boris said on Friday that tougher measures would probably be needed at the border.

    • Tariq says:

      LOL the bedwetters boxed themselves in already with the dichotomy of maintaining the fear in the population vs telling teachers that the risk is minimal.

      • Martyn Ford says:

        The moment a person says “bedwetter” their views become otiose.

      • Aston100 says:

        Tariw, you are a known covid denier and possibly an anti vaxxer. I think your views would be better appreciated on a far right Web site instead.

        • Martyn Ford says:

          Oh I see! That explains the vocabulary, thank you.

        • Andrew says:

          Ah you’re confusing your sides.

          It’s the far left in the UK who are anti-vaxxers and covid deniers. Think Corbyn and Icke or the Liberal Democrats in Bath who (according to Private Eye) falsified minutes when turning down a 5G mast.

          • Mouse says:

            The Lib Dems are far left now? It’s so hard to keep up with these things!

          • Ash says:

            doesn’t fit with their agenda. Hail president Harris!

          • James says:

            Yes, that’s right Andrew. Allison Pearson, Laurence Fox, Julia Hartley Brewer etc, all very far left.
            Get a grip.

  • The Lord says:

    Not one for this winter but do Hilton have any European hotels at ski resorts?

    • 1ATL says:

      Hilton Garden Inn Davos comes up in search engines if you type in the words “Europe Hilton Ski Resorts”

      • Rob says:

        There is a Hilton Curio in Kitzbuhel which is better. We covered it in ‘My Favourite Hotel’ last year.

  • Char Char says:

    Anyone got a HuYu referral code?

  • Michael C says:

    Amex swapsies experts! So, our position is: we’ve had a BAPP for ages, with OH on supplementary (never used). We already have 2-4-1s stashed.
    As I don’t plan on the Plat. this year, what would our “best” option for easily earning a chunk of Avios (also bearing in mind all the recent Sainsbury’s hoo-haa!).

    • DT says:

      With no plans to get Plat just juggle Nectar and BAPP between the two of you. You won’t be eligible for any other personal Amex welcome bonuses.

      Refer OH to Nectar from your BAPP
      After you hit Nectar spend target, refer OH to BAPP from your BAPP.
      Don’t get BAPP supplementary card on sign up, get it after main card arrives for an extra 3,000 Avios.

      That’d be the most Amex bonuses you can get this year without Plat.

    • Jonathan says:

      I’ve just referred the other half for platinum business. So 18k MR for me. Card turned up within 48hrs. Spent £7k the day she got it so that’s 52k MR for her. First 5 supplementary cards on her new card each get 5k MR so that’s 25k MR. Total 105k MR/Avios points for a weeks Platinum fee (c£11)

      • Michael C says:

        Interesting, J: I’m guessing you have to be plat. to refer?

        • Jonathan says:

          I am plat, but you can refer from any card to any card. So if you have BAPP you could he 9k avios for referring to platinum for example.

    • Rob says:

      Plat is your only Amex option unless you qualify for the Business cards. You need to look outside Amex.

  • Char Char says:

    Dragonpass was supposed to extend the DUFRY visits but all of mine have disappeared, anyone else?

  • PaulC says:

    So I didn’t stay up till midnight to book seats last night. Not a single Premium Economy, Business or First on the route we want. Did they really all get taken up or did BA not release them?

    • Andrew says:

      Now we have Nectar you’re better off cashing out Avios and just booking revenue flights at your leisure.

      • PaulC says:

        I’ve a 2-4-1 to use surely that wont beat the Nectar route?

      • memesweeper says:

        That’s absolutely not always true. Depends on route, fares, availability — there’s value in Avios (and other mileage schemes) even now whilst most routes have rock bottom fares. Of course, if you can’t make 0.9p/point and you don’t need the flexibility, cash out is now an easy option.

        • Andrew says:

          And it does change the maths if you’re a solo traveller and can’t avail of the 2for1 benefit.

          • PaulC says:

            So a statement like the one you said earlier is still not a blanket rule for everyone!

    • Peter K says:

      No guarantee of premium economy or First redemption release, only economy and business.

      If a popular route then you either need to wait up until midnight or hope for the best that more will be released.

      • Peter K says:

        So basically your original comment reads as:

        I didn’t stay up until midnight and by the time I looked 2 seats had been booked.

        It doesn’t sound as unlikely when put like that I so I do think they will likely have gone by the time you checked.

        • PaulC says:

          Hi Peter, when you say “2 seats had been booked” Do you mean they only guarantee to release 2 seats?

          • ChrisBCN says:

            Yes, the guarantee is for 2 business and 4 economy seats released as soon as the flight goes on sale.

            Other seats and other classes may get added at other times as BA sees fit, but nothing further is guaranteed.

          • Peter K says:

            Correct. Only 4 economy and 2 business seats guaranteed to be released for each flight.

            More can be released but it is not guaranteed and is usually on an ad hoc basis.

          • ChrisBCN says:

            Are you saying you want more than two in business?

          • PaulC says:

            No I only want 2 ChrisBCN
            It is a popular route to DXB but never struggled to get seats in the past and have never booked at midnight on release before as usually there are seats available through out the year but wanted to get booked early this time with all the chaos and extra tickets and avios refunded from last year. Should of stayed up. Will give it a try tonight, What number do we need to ring at midnight?

          • Anna says:

            I am guessing there are a lot of speculative bookings being made for next winter just now. DXB is always popular and probably even more so now AUH has been discontinued. You can book online if you don’t want to call or have problems getting through at midnight, but I would maybe have a back up destination if your travel dates aren’t too flexible.

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