Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Tuesday 9th February

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Comments (344)

  • Track says:

    1750GBP for an airport hotel, 10 nights (175GBP a night…)
    100 or above for 2x PCR tests.

    This is a scandalous rip off.

    • Super Secret Stuff says:

      Sorry the surprise is where?

      Think about the cost of private security, amount of police overtime to escort people and all the other stuff. All so some people can go on holiday? I think that is only fair for those people to pay for what they need to do as a result of there personal actions

      • Andrew says:

        +1

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Lots and I do mean lots of people don’t enter or leave the UK for holidays!

        People have positioned themselves all over Europe because of the ease of travel prior to 2020.

        • Super Secret Stuff says:

          I know. Holidays in the UK are better than abroad, simply because you don’t share a tin can for hours on end with loads of strangers. Also no new variants can be brought in if you stay in the UK. Comment was never aimed at those people.

          However I think you can travel via Euro Tunnel and avoid the hotel situation so no real determent to people living abroad in Europe. Also, many of them are already home and presumably happy to stay there as they have stayed there nearly a year anyway??

          • Harrier25 says:

            Not true. Anyone who arrives via train or boat will be subject to the same quarantine rules as arriving by air.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            I assume you mean eurotunnel in your own car, if you have one, as otherwise you would be in a tin can with lots of people for many more hours. Those that have been in Portugal on the past 10 days would ofcourse be subject to hotel quarantine just as if they flew here.

            “No new variants can be bought in”

            No but new variants can emerge here anyway!

          • Super Secret Stuff says:

            @Harrier check the Euro Tunnel website, no mention of saying what previous countries you’ve been too. All reports specifically mention air travel so it does make me wonder if they’ll apply it to Euro Tunnel or assume everyone has only been in France.

            https://www.eurotunnel.com/uk/travelling-with-us/latest/covid-19/

            @TG I’m not convinced they will apply it, because of the potential to cause shipping problems for rassebtial supplies. Also, a new variant that mutated outside of the UK physically can’t enter the UK if there are no hosts. Obviously home grown mutations can be a problem, but they are completely natural. Common sense says don’t risk bringing more variants

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Common sense says we can’t live on edge forever

            Also hauliers and those carrying certain goods are already exempt from the red list “ban”

          • Super Secret Stuff says:

            @TG it’s risk tolerance at the end of the day. Once everyone in the UK has been offered a vaccine, and it works, we’ll live with it

            Before then, the death rates are just too high to be acceptable

          • TGLoyalty says:

            90% of deaths happen over 75!

          • Track says:

            Again what a duplicitous comment @Super Secret Stuff, “happy to stay there as they have stayed there nearly a year anyway??”

            The documents tend to expire, the family circumstances tend to arise — in the course of SECOND YEAR. One thing is to go into complete lockdown for 3 months, no inbound traffic, but then it must end — and people will know that, plan accordingly, and will have an excuse for authorities.

            But not like that: intermittent, unpredictable lockdowns. You can travel subject to quarantine but inbound flights are banned…

        • pauline says:

          HK require 3 weeks hotel quarantine and the cost is substantially more than 175 per night if you want a window and any sort of amenities!

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Are you sure? You can find them for £90 a night and there was an example in the papers of a chap who went back paying £2500 a couple weeks ago.

          • Polly says:

            Starting to tag people now tho if they have access to accommodation in HKG.

      • Track says:

        Utter rubbish. The administration is on cheap — hotels are not block-booked, only rooms. General public will be able to stay next room to quarantined travellers.

        Compare to costs of Hong Kong, Singapore and even Australia.

        Or try to imprison people like this in the US, and the measure will get tossed by.a federal judge very quickly. I am sorry but this is “Tramp order” approach (ban this and ban that).

        This is a penalising, regressive tax on people, who happen to have association with one of those poor 33 countries, and had to travel for serious family reasons (for example). The personal actions not a choice.

        No one still stopping or even questioning people checking in with skies to a European destinations. In that light, the measure to hold a family traveller from South Africa and make them pay 1750GBP for the privilege is a penalty on being associated with a poorer country.

        • Lee says:

          You are right, should be extended to all countries

        • Track says:

          If extended to all countries, it will be cheaper (operation will be of much larger scale) and complaints will make to look for cheaper ways, such as tag and stay at home.

          Also shows that you can impose these kind of measures only for short period of time.

    • yorkieflyer says:

      The question is surely how long this policy, which would have made sense a year ago, lasts and secondly whether we get Schnapps bingo every Thursday….

    • ChrisW says:

      I don’t know if it’s legal/safe to be physically locking people in their hotel rooms so there will need to be 24/7 guards on every floor, separate guards to take you out for separate exercise, guards to ensure you don’t mix with any normal guests, bus transfers, test, presumably medical staff on hand if you are feeling unwell.

      That all adds up. If people could be trusted to do this properly at home they would be allowed to.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Surely there will be no normal guests!

      • Lee says:

        People will have to exercise in room surely

      • Anna says:

        I’m sure there will be human rights lawyers testing this. It’s already been held by that you can’t detain someone against their will for medical reasons unless they are definitely sick and a danger to the public so it will be interesting to see how the government’s own legal advisors have got round this.
        Possibly the devil is in the detail – they know they can’t actually lock people in hotel rooms, so they are bringing in severe penalties for the administrative side of things like not filling in your paperwork correctly, and big fines for leaving quarantine (i.e. they can’t make you stay in your hotel room, but it’ll cost you if you leave).
        If the 2012 Olympics and the recent Kent security fiasco are anything to go by, it’s likely a lot of people will slip through the net in one way or another. You’ll get people feigning illness and all sorts to get out, and then what so you do with them? You can’t deny them medical treatment but giving it will necessarily result in quarantine being breached.

        • Harrier25 says:

          It becomes the law of the land on Thursday, so the best of luck to any Human Rights Lawyers who think they will be able to overturn it, because they won’t and neither should they be able to.

          My only issue with this is that this should’ve been made law 11 months ago. We may be in a completely situation now!

          • Harrier25 says:

            That should’ve read….”a completely different situation now!”

          • Anna says:

            Harrier, you’ve missed the point – no one is even proposing forcibly locking people in hotel rooms (can you even lock hotel room doors from outside?) It would be a health and safety nightmare for a start, you couldn’t possibly have a situation where a hotel full of people couldn’t leave their rooms in the event of a fire, for example.
            What looks to be the case is that anyone who exercises that freedom to leave risks prosecution for doing so. So anyone rich enough or sure they wouldn’t get caught might decide it was worth the risk. Although, as we’ve seen, threatening to fine people £10k gets you nowhere if they haven’t actually got that kind of money, hence the police had to stop doing it and issues summonses instead so the courts can impose means tested fines.

          • Anna says:

            A private security guard can’t lock anyone in a hotel room, or prevent them leaving. All they can do is report the breach to the police, who will investigate it as and when they have the resources to do so.

          • Anna says:

            Obviously the police can’t lock you in a hotel room either, but they won’t be patrolling the hotels, it’ll be G4S guards on a third of the pay.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Ofcourse they should be able to since when was this a dictatorship!

          • Harrier25 says:

            Anna, as far as I am aware, they won’t be locked in their rooms. They are just not allowed to leave the hotel.

            TGLoyalty, there are a lot of selfish idiots out there both in the UK and abroad, who don’t give a damn if they spread the virus or to whom they spread it to, so yes, I’d prefer to live in a Dictatorship for a few months if it’s going to keep me safer. Many countries, such as France, have taken a much harder line than us, but here, if we demand to place arrivals in a hotel for 10 days to protect the people, it’s a dictatorship. It’s pathetic and part of the reason why we have so many deaths in this country.

          • Anna says:

            Well Harrier, you’ll be pleased to hear I haven’t left the north of England since 2019. I’ve probably posed the least infection risk of any group of people apart from those who are properly shielding.
            However, I disagree that you “won’t be allowed” to leave your hotel, because that would be unlawful imprisonment, or kidnapping as it’s better known. You’ll (possibly) be fined or receive an alternative penalty if you do.

        • Anna says:

          Lol BJ, does that include 1997 – 2010?!

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Haha … true!

        • Harrier25 says:

          Anna, Kidnapping? Really? People of the world, to avoid being kidnapped by Boris, please stay away for a few months 🤣🤣

        • BJ says:

          @Anna, yeah except we don’t know who was dictating to who then … was Tony dictating to QE2, was Cherie dictating to Tony, was Gordon dictating to both, or was it really Alastair who was dictating to all?

        • Anna says:

          “Kidnapping” is how forcing someone to accompany you to a building and locking them in a room against their will with no legal basis is informally referred to, yes.
          Who exactly do you think is going to stop people leaving the hotels if that’s what they’ve made up their mind to do?

      • Track says:

        ” guards on every floor, separate guards to take you out for separate exercise, guards to ensure ”

        We know exactly what this situation leads to. See Stanford experiment.

    • andy says:

      The formal document that has gone out to hotels is the govt will pay £30 per room and £20 for food daily. That leaves £125 left over which seems a lot of money. I guess it will be siphoned to their mates like all those dodgy PPE contracts were

      • Super Secret Stuff says:

        Oh dear god, I fear for the quality of hotel rooms they are going for if they are only paying £30 per night per room

        • Colin MacKinnon says:

          How many Britannias are there near airports?

          • Anna says:

            Colin, is there a version of the Telegraph article that isn’t behind a paywall?

        • BJ says:

          Stayed at the Choice Hotel (Comfort Inn?) at Heathrow many moons ago, the bleach vapours in the room alone would have killed off every variant.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      I think the tests are included

      And £1750 is probably the total possible cost if you have to spend the full 18 days (8+10 if you were to test positive on day 8)

      I’d await further details.

    • Tiff says:

      In my view, the threat of a ten-year jail sentence for not filling a form in properly is more contentious. I presume this is going to be under some existing legislation related to fraud. Otherwise it is truly scandalous to have such a severe penalty introduced on a minister’s whim without primary legislation and without parliamentary scrutiny.

      • Anna says:

        It’s preposterous, Tiff, I fully expect Daily Mail headlines in the coming months spluttering with outrage when no one is convicted of any of these proposed infractions!

      • Dr Lee says:

        This is exactly what I was thinking, it is surely not possible in a parlimentary democracy to introduce a new offence with a 10 year jail term through secondary legislation?

        • Anna says:

          They can introduce new legislation, but in the unlikely event of a court handing down a prison sentence for a breach lawyers would argue that it was disproportionate and unfair and most likely win an appeal. All at extra cost to the tax payer, of course.

        • Tiff says:

          For a government that brazenly voted in favour of breaking international law, and illegally prorogued parliament, anything is possible.

          • Tiff says:

            Moreover, if such a breach is so serious that it should be punished by 10 years in jail, how come it has taken the government so long to get round to introducing it?

          • TGLoyalty says:

            It’ll be existing law around false representation

            No one is getting 10 years

            Just like there’s nothing around travel for essential work in the legislation and its not illegal for someone who makes a living as an influencer to go and work abroad. They’ll happily have the tax income from their self assessment.

      • Paul says:

        It’s wholly disproportionate. But that’s the Tory way

    • Grant says:

      If only there was an easy way for the vast majority of people to avoid ever having to worry about it…

      • Nick says:

        Other countries manage to have hotel quarantine without it becoming a reason to make lawyers even richer… why can’t we? And frankly if people did what they were supposed to there would be no need to have it at all. We clearly can’t be trusted as a people, so yes it’s absolutely right it should be forced. People need to grow up and accept they shouldn’t be moving around for a while, instead of finding loopholes and testing it in court.

        • Anna says:

          It’s not going to be forced and it’s utterly unrealistic to expect people not to look for loopholes and lawyers not to test it in court, however much we’d all like that!

        • Charlieface says:

          Other countries…

          Some of those are police/army states, or even mafia states, you don’t mess around there.

          Other countries definitely do have rule-breakers, it seems to be only here where people want to still remain above the letter of the law, elsewhere those who break the law do it anyway

        • Grant says:

          Bang on. There should be effective deterrents in place to stop people travelling unnecessarily. This is the first thing that has looked like it might be an effective deterrent judging by a lot of the comments.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            It’s stopping people where’s it’s necessary too!

          • Track says:

            Why would this be a deterrent?

            The rich and affluent can spend 10 days in the interim country, not on list. The ordinary people who have to travel — will pay and be subject to this Stanford prison experiment with G4S guards.

          • Rob says:

            Not sure why you’d need to be rich and affluent. If you are short of a few quid, surely it makes more sense to fly from Dubai to Turkey, pay £200 for 10 days in Turkey, and then fly to the UK and save £1700?

        • Track says:

          @Nick “for a while” — yes, but this goes into SECOND year, and measures getting ever more serious.

          I would be the first person for 3-month lockdown and ban on travel in February- April 2020 because THEN it would have been a sensible way to prevent the large scale of infection. What are they trying to achieve now? The virus will mutate into more spreadable variants and their prevail — that is typical evolution path.

          If the mutation occurs earlier at different geographical location, it does not mean that in other locations the virus will stop mutating towards being more spreadable.

          We will have to see how this ‘hotel quarantine’ measure unravels, if it stays for 3 months, then 6 months are likely, and then a year is in sight…

  • Ceri says:

    Any notes of caution on buying Iberia gift cards that are on offer until 14th Feb with 25% off. Hoping to use on a planned trip to Columbia ex-Mardrid in November. Can they be combined with part pay with avios? I’m presuming that the flexible booking offered by IB is the same whether purchased using a gift card or not?

    On a similar note, pricing up 2 x Business class returns to Bogota from Madrid – approx £1,300 each but total for 2 prices at approx £2,350 – is this the buggy IB IT?

    • Rich says:

      Travel by Dec 31, IB metal only. If trip is cancelled in November, it doesn’t leave you many options to rebook. You would hope that cancellation would extend the validity of the credit, but you can’t guarantee it.

  • Rob says:

    Quick question:

    My credit limit on Gold card is 9k. However I have a item to buy online for £22k. I don’t suppose there is any way to actually get this payment on my credit card? Ideally want to make payment online too as there is [email protected] available too.

    I have heard you can move limits from one card to another but even with that I would only be reaching about 18k limit.

    • meta says:

      Call Amex and ask them to temporarily increase your limit. Amex might ask for pre-payment.

    • dezbez says:

      Can you split the £22k payment into smaller amounts, then pay them off separately? Or you could pay onto your credit card upfront so you have a negative balance?

    • Jill (Kinkell) says:

      I phoned Amex and was allowed to put more onto the Gold card than the limit. I also split the payment with BAPP. ( I was buying an Audi ) Amex quite happy as I assured them it would all be paid off in full at next statement . Loadsa points!

      • AY says:

        Where were you able to buy a car on Amex? Every time I’ve tried it’s been no deposit only which is normally £1000.00

        • Sandra says:

          +1 Whenever I’ve asked in the past when buying a car it’s always been £1000 limit and nothing more

    • Phil says:

      Bought a car in Jan 2020 and split it across my IHG Premium and BAPP cards… loads a points and triggered Spire, Free Night and 2-4-1. The sales guy was slightly perturbed I was getting a free(ish) holiday on top of the discount I’d negotiated on my car.

      • Anna says:

        Every 2 or 3 years I have this conversation with the company we lease our cars from (see below)!

  • Martha says:

    Hi. Could I make a legit payment to etoro using curve backed by IHT?

  • Tarmohamed says:

    Anyone know if the Covid test on 2nd and 8th day (not red list) will be via NHS or we have to get it done privately? How much does/will the NHS charge? ; as I understand that it needs to be done at passengers expense.

    • Andrew says:

      Privately.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Well that doesn’t make much sense if the point is to sequence all of them to look for new variants.

        I think it’s too early to tell what the arrangements will be and what it’ll cost.

        • Tarmohamed says:

          It is a waiting game it seems. We don’t want to end up in the 11th hour rush on Sunday, and happy to do the triple testing… just want to avoid the hotel quarantine!

        • meta says:

          As per reports, you will have to pre-book it online before travel via new government portal and the test will be posted/couriered to you and apparently it will cost about £100 per test. Not clear how they will deal with sample collection…

          • Track says:

            If tests are couriered, it means they are cheap lateral flow tests — sold to you at cost of £100 comparable to PCR test cost but not the same thing.

            Lining the pockets of contractors.

  • Nick says:

    Can someone check my maths please? Think I must have made a mistake somewhere. If I spend £100…
    On a MR card, this equals 100 Avios
    On a Nectar Amex, this is 200 Nectar, which is 125 Avios?

    • Andrew says:

      Different cards have different earning rates – spend £100 on BAPP it’s 150 Avios.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Yes you’re correct a nectar Amex wants more avios (1.25/£) than an MR earning card (1/£)

      It is also free in the first year and £25 after that.

      BAPP earns 1.5/£ but you pay £195 a year for the privilege.

      • Nick says:

        Well that answers the question of ‘should I cancel my Plat’ then… will get the last £100 of the Waitrose credit at the weekend and cancel next week. Have the Nectar card already, just need one of the free/cheap MR cards to keep those pluripotent points alive.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Platinum has always been the worst card for earning miles. It’s all about the (useless atm) benefits.

  • TGLoyalty says:

    Don’t buy a GC to Cover the whole lot pay some of it by credit card.

    Only word of caution is It’s tempting but on the other hand it’s Iberia!

    • TGLoyalty says:

      that was a reply to Ceri.

      Still seem to have some jumping about on Mobiles Rob.

  • Zed says:

    Regarding the quarantine hotel rules:
    Can I fly to dubai (red list) and spend a week, then on to non-red list country (India/Pakistan) for 2 weeks.
    If I do, then fly back via Virgin direct to London, does that mean I can isolate at home as I have not visited a red list country in the previous 14 days?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Yes. It’s where you have been in the last 10 days that matters.

      Pakistan could ofcourse be added to shapps red list in the Thursday afternoon lottery.

      • Mike P says:

        That seems to be the main risk. Who is going to risk travel when the red list can and probably will be altered at short notice? Of course the whole point of this is to further deter people from travel so it will probably achieve that.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          It should be based upon epidemiology not the whim of Hancock and Priti.

    • Rob says:

      Yes

    • Simon Barlow says:

      But should you? Trying to work out a loophole/way of having a trip/holiday with minimum disruption is one of the factors that has made the covid situation worse.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        No what made it worse what a mutation from Kent and the fact it’s a seasonal ailment and we are deep into winter.

        • James says:

          There’s nothing seasonal about it, and we were also doing appallingly badly before the Kent mutation came on the scene.

        • Ken says:

          “Seasonal ailment “

          What, like hay fever ?

          • TGLoyalty says:

            No like cold (atleast 4 are a coronavirus) and Flu

            Seasonal ailment doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen throughout the year it’s just far more common at certain times.

      • Track says:

        On the other hand, why should you willingly submit to Stanford prison experiment with G4S guards pushing you around, paying for it — when you can spend 10 days working productively elsewhere.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Basically what they are encouraging with such high cost. Spend £1550 to go elsewhere for 10 days and £200 for two tests vs £1750 in a shit hotel near Heathrow!

    • pauline says:

      just stay away from Scotland

      • Jill (Kinkell) says:

        Wee Nicky is doing her best to isolate us from the rest of the world.

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