Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Sunday 24th 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.

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 (244)

  • Track says:

    Bookings surge among older consumers as vaccine rollout boosts confidence…

    This will be a rant, but the older generation with their Defined Benefit pension plans wins again — economic activity stopped for their benefit, now first in line to get vaccine and travel.

    • Harry T says:

      Well, it’s looking like the UK’s vaccine strategy might not provide adequate protection so the joke may be on them. Can’t say I’m surprised that the government’s strategy seems to benefit older well to do retirees though, considering their base…

    • TGLoyalty says:

      They should all be made to sit at home 12 months longer than the rest of us!

      I’m not even joking. Thinking they’re super human because they’ve had a vaccine.

    • Christopher says:

      When young people bother to vote in elections, things will change.

      • Super Secret Stuff says:

        Did you see the amount of young people voting last election?

        Hopefully now corbyn is out, the corbyn bashers will come back

    • Anna says:

      I did predict some months ago that the only people travelling this summer would be hordes of vaccinated pensioners! They’ll no doubt be getting off their faces in Manumission and posting Instagram pics from Dubai and Ayia Napa.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        I honestly don’t see why. It won’t stop transmission.. you can quote me in 6 months.

        • Tom1 says:

          I keep seeing people say this – but saw a medical article quoting an “expert” as saying he didn’t know of a single other vaccine that didn’t prevent transmission. I’m not an expert (not even amateur!) but think the logic was that you don’t catch the virus, the viral load you spread around isn’t enough to spread ?

          • memesweeper says:

            Correct • but these vaccines are not 100% effective and coronavirus may be contagious from those with a low and non-symptomatic base. How careful do you want to be?

    • Bazza says:

      They only paid for world war 2 but don’t worry you got your ubereats. Sad…very sad!

      • Optimus Prime says:

        … and they got final salary pensions, triple-lock, cheap housing, free or very cheap access to uni, etc.

    • kitten says:

      DB didnt apply to everyone by any means. Plus any employer offering a DB scheme in the past 20 years would be nuts. Most stopped a very long time ago.

      Fundamentally they are unaffordable unless run in particular ways and if benign macroeconomic conditions prevail. That’s why they don’t really exist any more.

      Likewise the UK simply cant afford for public service schemes to be on a DB basis – funded by those who will never receive the same. Generous yes, but DB has to stop. Sorry for all the medics etc. on here but it’s financial sense and fairness.

    • kitten says:

      could also be a bit of “vanitas” on the part of pensioners – wanting to live and enjoy what little time they’ve got left and take their chances.

      I know 2 people in their 80’s whose view is this. They want to go out now, and take their chances.

  • The uncivil servant says:

    Too right Harry, if its proven that 12 weeks is too long between jabs, then another U turn is on the cards. Ensure that your voter base is protected first…..

    • Tom says:

      So funny. So should the government vaccinate those least likely to become seriously ill or die from catching COVID first? Once the death rate comes down (by getting the most vulnerable vaccinated) the sooner we can get back to normal. I am 30 years old FYI.

  • Iain says:

    I have a one way return Atlanta to Edinburgh via Paris on 12 April with Delta One – I was expecting to have to reschedule anyway, but I’ve just been told the flight has been changed with a 2 hour later departure.

    Does this affect me in a positive way at all? I only paid 59k Virgin miles plus £20 tax so I was hoping not to have to pay much more if I rescheduled to later in the year but the stories about Delta redemption increased got me worried – does this mean I can change for free?

    • Jonathan says:

      Your flight is operated by a non EU airline & departs from outside the EU so EU261 is out the window I’m afraid.

      Not sure if a 2 hour change is sufficient to claim a refund or reschedule but probably not. You need to look at the T&C’s for Virgin to see what your rights are.

      • Iain says:

        Thanks, I can always reschedule with Delta under the Covid conditions but just wonderd if I could keep the same price with their schedule change rather than my choice

      • avstar says:

        I dont think this is correct – EU261 is relevant as he is flying to an EU destination (UK counts ), airline is irrelevant . The 2 hr window is what will be the determining factor here

        • kitten says:

          incorrect (or possibly your mistype). EU261 only kicks in if European/UK airline OR if *departing* from (*not* landing at) a European/UK airport.

  • Rjn21 says:

    Nectar to BA linking is supposedly live on the nectar app. Says instant transfers. And gives the ts and cs of the bonus.

    However on trying to link accounts all I get taken to is Ben’s Cookies. Oops.

    • Rjn21 says:

      Now working.

    • Meadowlark says:

      Yes I just discovered that too. Human error or a hack? Not a confidence-building start either way.

    • Matthew says:

      Says bonus payable when transfer from 25 Jan, so hold fire until tomorrow!

    • Paul says:

      T’s & C’s do state from tomorrow, patience…
      Plus to celebrate the launch, we’re giving you 500 bonus Avios and 2x points on your Sainsbury’s shops until 19 April when you convert 1,600 Nectar points by 14 February**” but also note, you have to wait until Monday to get the ‘double’ ball rolling…
      “Get 500 bonus Avios when you convert at least 1,600 Nectar points into Avios (worth 1,000 Avios) from 25 January 2021 to 14 February 2021 inclusive (the “Launch Period”); & Get Double Nectar points when shopping at Sainsbury’s from your date of conversion up to and including 19 April 2021 when you convert your Nectar points into Avios during the Launch Period. Full terms and conditions will be on the offer page when the offer goes live on 25 January.”

    • Matt says:

      If you don’t have enough nectar points in your account to get the conversion bonus then you should transfer some avios in today – you’re ineligible to get the bonus avios if any avios have been transferred into nectar during the bonus period, which starts tomorrow.

      • meta says:

        Beware everyone, it’s a permanent link between Nectar and EC accounts unless you actually unlink after each transfer.

        • Youllnever says:

          Can you elaborate a bit on this? Why would you need to unlink them?

          • mark2 says:

            It lays your Avios account open to possible fraud.

          • Youllnever says:

            Ah, understood 👌

          • TGLoyalty says:

            There is two factor protection with every nectar transfer but perhaps not ba to nectar and then spend at a store you have used before.

          • kitten says:

            Erm….Are we relying on BA’s IT security to protect our Nectar accounts then? I’m sure I read something somewhere about BA’s IT security?

        • The real John says:

          Odd definition of “permanent”…

          • meta says:

            There is no two factor authentication like for other Nectar transfers. It’s really instant. It also doesn’t work like Iberia/BA transfers where you often have to log out and log in to see the change. Once you link accounts, they stay linked unless you physically click on unlink accounts.

            Also, you agree that while the accounts are linked, all personal data is shared between Nectar and Avios.

          • kitten says:

            Meta doesnt it say though that you can only link to 4 accounts across the same year? hopefully they haven’t coded that as ‘link no more than 4 times”

          • Rob says:

            It’s the latter. I tried it as an experiment on a dummy account. Once you’ve hit the 4 accounts, you cannot relink the account to one of those four – the Nectar account is locked out from all Avios linking until 2022.

  • Matthew says:

    Participants will not be eligible for the 500 Bonus Avios in the following scenarios: the BAEC account has previously received a bonus in the Bonus Avios Qualifying Period; the Nectar account has previously received a transfer from any BAEC account in the Bonus Avios Qualifying Period.

    So if you have no nectar points. Perhaps transfer BAEC to Nectar today as we are not in the qualifying period (which starts tomorrow) then transfer back tomorrow to be eligible? You’ll need to do 1000 Avios to Nectar. No harm trying if you have a zero nectar balance.

    • Peter K says:

      Just done this and it’s an instant transfer. Don’t forget to screenshot the t&c’s when the conversion went over etc.

      Note that the nectar conversion back to Avios tomorrow needs to stay in the avios account until the end of the “qualifying period”, ie 14th Feb, or the bonus avios will be reversed.

  • Aston100 says:

    If a BAPP gets given an extra avios per pound bonus, does it also apply to anything purchased via a supplementary? given that the bonus should presumably be for the account rather than a specific card number?

    • Harry T says:

      These retention bonuses usually apply to all cards on the account, although I can only speak to my Gold retention bonus of two extra points per pound. Amex informed me that would be the case on the phone and this turned out to be true.

    • Genghis says:


  • BJ says:

    My guess is that nectar/avios transfer caps are coming very soon unless they already exist and I’ve missed that detail. Given that, and the current and short to medium term state of the travel industry and restrictions, what are peoples thoughts on the relative wisdom of holding £10K in avios versus nectar points? Time to [email protected] out on about 150x Lego Baby Yoda from argos?

    • Rob says:

      There is a cap.

    • Andrew says:

      It’s 50k Avios to nectar per calendar cap. Of course we are in the last few days of January. So you can have 100k across pretty quickly.

      • Aston100 says:

        Is that the right thing to do though?
        I suppose it depends on how much Avios you have, and whether a retail redemption feels better/worse than a flight redemption.

        Redeeming for a load of grocery doesn’t feel the same as redeeming for a holiday. In my opinion of course.

        • BJ says:

          I’m avios rich though, got all my usual cushion plus all the cancelled redemptions last year. Also, I can continue collecting both avios and nectar points easily anyway so burning a bunch seems sensible. I can split up the HHA too now that I think about it…

        • Rob says:

          That’s not necessarily the point. The point is that, if you are very Avios rich and are worried about the cap being reduced to 5,000 Avios per month in future, you would do best to move as many as you can now. You can move them back later.

      • BJ says:

        Cheers, saved me looking.

        • Peter K says:

          50k avios per calendar month to nectar. 80k nectar back to avios.

          To be fair, you’d be doing well to go over those limits every month of the year.

  • Sprout says:

    I think all 3 of my 241 vouchers have been extended by a further 5 or 6 months. I don’t think I’m imagining it – maybe someone else could check theirs…

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