Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Friday 12th February

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We have decided to run this daily chat thread on Head for Points during the coronavirus outbreak.

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Comments (320)

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  • Matthew says:

    Has anyone had any luck negotiating a stay at a Marriott hotel for the purpose of double elite nights to gain Platinum status but without actually staying there? I only need 8 nights but nearest one is 30 miles away. Not sure if I’d be ok checking in on day one and then only coming back to check out?! Thanks.

    • Jamie says:

      Jesus. There’s a global pandemic, stay at home.

      • Matthew says:

        I don’t mean now but perhaps if lockdown eases…

      • Rob says:

        As long as you check in in-person you will be ok. No need to stay of course. I may end up doing something similar myself but I am waiting for the new Heathrow and LCY Courtyards to open which I expect to be rock-bottom.

        Oddly the cheapest Marriotts in London are the 3 Residence Inn’s where you get a full apartment for £89 per night, but still far too costly for a run.

    • ChrisC says:

      Rules are pretty clear you actually need to check in.

      Otherwise people would just buy a stay at the cheapest Marriott they could find for the nights they needed and buy status that way.

      • meta says:

        With some hotels you can negotiate not needing to do it in person.. It’s rare that they will allow it, but some do. Especially now, you can present the case that they won’t need to spend on cleaning or preparing the room. I’d look for some hotels abroad rather than UK though. Much easier to negotiate such deal.

    • BJ says:

      Your check in/out 5 days apart can work but the problem is sometimes it doesn’t. I’ve done something similar before (not for status) and returned to the hotel to find that housekeeping had cleared out my stuff, put it in storage and the hotel had checked me out. However, this was in Russia so I’m not sure we can read too much into it.

      • Lady London says:

        You should inform the hotel you won’t be there much in the 8 days as you will be travelling but want a base available to return to due to unpredictable travel schedules. So you may be there on 3 of the days but you’re not sure which.

        Hotels have been known to call the police and report someone missing even if the entirw booking is guaranteed by credit card.

        Personally I’d prepay any such booking at checkin, in full.

  • Mouse says:

    Commenter Russ posted somewhat flippantly yesterday on the quarantine booking portalstory about “all those who want to attend the first HFP Conference abroad”. But it just got me thinking wouldn’t this be a genuinely great idea post-pandemic? An HFP party somewhere warm with plentiful cheap flights…

    • BJ says:

      Rob might have reached retirement age and resettled in Dubai before we get to post-pandemic.

      • Ian M says:

        Definitely.

      • Chris Heyes says:

        BJ Rob has reached retirement age, and as far as we know could be in Dubai lol

        • Brighton Belle says:

          Please link to your How To book on Amazon. We all need help at the mo💉

          • Rob says:

            1. Leave university
            2. Join an investment bank
            3. Get transferred to the private equity division
            4. Remain in the private equity division for a decade during one of the biggest bull runs it has ever seen
            5. Get fired when the 2008 financial crisis wrecks the industry for five years

        • BJ says:

          I beat that by a year but admittedly I carried on quite a few years more on a part-time basis.

        • Chris Heyes says:

          Rob i like it, Grandad at 60, Dad at 58, me at 50 (was determined to beat them both)
          Also messing about ever since , well until i packed it in completely lol
          got shut of remainder of stuff on “Secret Dealers” not sure you got in the South tv program.
          What they didn’t buy went to Adam Partridge’s Auction Knutsford
          because i knew him
          But it’s as you say it’s not work its messing about

    • Chrisasaurus says:

      Wherever I see “after the pandemic” I’m starting to read “when I win the lottery”

      • Ian M says:

        For people living in the UK for sure. Or you can end the pandemic by simply relocating to a country that doesn’t have restrictions and life is normal (the old normal)

        • Geoff says:

          Countries where things are “the old normal” (China, New Zealand, Taiwan etc) won’t let you in

          • kitten says:

            I do think there has to be an accounting for this, with China. We’ve had bird flu, SARS, and now Covid all apparently seeded from there.

            And if you believe them, their economy.will be doing fine having left the rest of the world with a key part of its economic value destroyed but they seem to walk off OK.

            I also found the newspaper report that one of the few laboratories in the world genetically manipulating and experimenting with this virus ( and presumably others) is in… guess where…Wuhan. I think the pangolin story was a front.

          • Rhys says:

            The WHO investigation that closed recently said it was consistent with a virus transferring from bats.

          • John says:

            China and Taiwan are not “the old normal”, masks everywhere (doesn’t bother me personally but some people don’t like it) and health codes needed to go places

          • Pete M says:

            I do feel for the Australians – the government there keep telling their people they need all these insane draconian and authoritarian measures to “live a normal life”. But what I’m seeing is they’re basically in a long lockdown anyway! 😂 (Tongue in cheek, I do realise the number of dead there is incomparable to most other place, but I do struggle with the fundamental restrictions on life there, to be quite honest…)

          • Louie says:

            @PeteM – pretty much the only day to day issue restricting life in Australia is needing a good reason to leave, unless you are hit by one of the snap lockdowns (like in Melbourne atm), which aren’t months long like in Europe. Otherwise life goes on as normal, no masks in most places (if you see one person a week wearing a mask it’s unusual where I am), eating out, etc. Every Aussie I’ve spoken to says that they are (as am I) so fortunate to be living here right now. There is absolutely no support amongst Joe Public to change anything. So kind of you to be concerned about us, but really no need.

          • kitten says:

            The Wuhan lab waa contracted to WHO apparently. And extraction of virus for the lab to work on could well have had a bat in the chain.

            Highly related Lab careless escape or “someone ate my pangolin” raw ….. that’s still 3 diseases emanating from there. There needs to be a reckoning.

        • Andrew says:

          But you’re still going to be restricted on travel – it’s a global pandemic.

          • Ian M says:

            Restricted on travel to countires that have travel restrictions sure. But not all do. It’s a pick and mix pandemic.

          • Tiff says:

            Apparently, the WHO definition of pandemic is “the worldwide spread of a new disease”. By that criterion, “global pandemic” seems to be a tautology.

        • BJ says:

          An option only available to a few, and in any case, where is ‘normal’ this month might not be ‘normal’ next month. The group I feel most sorry for are the kids leaving school, and those currently in colleges and universities and those about to go in the next few years. Job prospects, educational experiences, career aspirations and opportunities are all shot to hell in the short to medium term, and that’s true even if vaccination works well.

          • Ian M says:

            The impact of all the measures that have been introduced are heart breaking.

            As for places that are normal, and for those that have the option to relocate, best to pick a country where very little has changed since all this began. Take Belarus as an example, no lockdowns, no social distancing, and life continues like the old normal.

          • Lady London says:

            Some earlier generations also graduated or started out in very tough conditions though BJ.

            My grad school fudged the employment numbers for my year by reporting only on a 75% sample and even then only 30% of us were reported as employed 6 months after graduation. They didn’t tell us but they’d trained us in Statistics so it was easy to see in the school reports! The normal rate for my school was about 95% employed 3 months after graduation.

          • bazza says:

            Any concern for the young under skilled, under qualified or unemployed Londoners when you voted for mass uncontrolled immigrations?! Nah…didn’t think so!

            You took those jobs from them without a 2nd thought and now you cry about these privileged “kids”

            Wow! Honestly!!

            I know Rob says his all ABC1s on here but some of you are on a different planet!

          • Yolo says:

            Bazza: you won, get over it. BTW enjoy the huge supply of cheap shellfish!

          • kitten says:

            @bazza that was Tony Blair.

  • Baji Nahid says:

    Offer on my gold card this morning, spend £200 get 1000MR points.

    I hit my gold 15K target for 10K MR points 2 months ago and also paid for my annual fee too back in January but still no points. Shall i wait the 3 months and then chase up?

    • BuildBackBetter says:

      Thanks for that, got it on my gold card. Strange – thought offers were refreshed on Mondays!

    • Anna says:

      A few people said yesterday the points usually arrive around the date of the next statement after you renew – my anniversary was also January and Amex said I should get the points by my March statement date.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Lovely I need to spend £200 by April 4th and was waiting for a nice promo to use my card again.

    • Harry T says:

      Got this on both my gf’s card and mine. Decent return on spend.

    • Super Secret Stuff says:

      I have this, just got an email. Very interesting as I somehow his my spend £1900 for x many points it seems a bit odd for a drastic drop in spend requirement unless it’s linked to me asking for a retention offer?

      Be interesting to see how many people get it

      • southlondonphil says:

        The firs 75000 people to save it according to the Ts and Cs, so pretty widespread

  • Colin MacKinnon says:

    Ebay is moving away a bit from Paypal, and opened up a little points earner?

    Was offered one of their regular £1 max final fee offers (it can now cost c12% usually), and sold a couple of gold bracelets. One £750 sale, and ebay has sent me £749 after deducting fees! I have about 4k worth of stuff up for sale at the moment.

    So next time there is a £1 final value fee offer – they seem to come through regularly – I wonder if my pal fancies buying some pricey stuff?

    It would earn them some good points, and it appears you can still use Amex via Paypal to buy, without affecting the vendor’s payments.

    • Anuj says:

      Except you get dinged a further 3.4% by PayPal on the full purchase price

      • Steve says:

        @Anuj, you don’t anymore do you? The full sale price is passed into your eBay account and eBay now allow you to transfer, fee free to your bank. That’s what I understood of the new set up?

        • Colin MacKinnon says:

          That’s how it is working – no Paypal fees anymore to get your cash, but (unless you have a deal like this £1 one), Ebay have ramped up their fees from 10% to c12.5%.

          So, normally, you get shafted one way or the other!

          • EwanG says:

            £1 fee offers coming up for me every 2 weeks currently. I usually register for them but rarely use them, and it does not seem to stop me getting the offers again in the next cycle.
            Sometimes I don’t get the offer popping up, but checking on HUKD and clicking through from there allows me to successfully register.

      • Ian M says:

        What uses eBay payments now, not PayPal. The eBay fees have increased but these now include the payment processing fee.

        • Ian M says:

          Ebay* uses eBay payments now..

          • K says:

            Is this a new thing, being rolled out. I just checked as a seller, I can only choose payments via Paypal. Or have I misunderstood the fact that you can now get paid for items via eBay direct, not paypal.

          • John says:

            @K, ebay started moving business sellers to adyen in 2019 and only aims to move everyone away from paypal by 2022

          • 747_Brat says:

            +1 to K’s comment.
            I have sold something on eBay as recent as yesterday, and I only see PayPal as the only Payment option. Do I have to change the payment settings to get rid of PayPal? If yes, can someone suggest how to do it.
            Thanks.

    • John says:

      Just be careful that you can satisfy HMRC you are not running a business and that these are your personal possessions when they write to you claiming that you have undeclared income

    • Mikeact says:

      Except you now have to wait for payment..two working days. Sell on a Friday, paid into your bank next Tuesday.

  • Ian M says:

    The impact of all the measures that have been introduced are heart breaking.

    As for places that are normal, and for those that have the option to relocate, best to pick a country where very little has changed since all this began. Take Belarus as an example, no lockdowns, no social distancing, and life continues like the old normal.

    • Geoff says:

      How is your Belorussian? When are you moving there?

    • Andrew says:

      Bit of a drastic solution! “I’m going to relocate to Belarus so I can go to a bars whenever I want”

    • Ken says:

      I’d imagine the old normal in Belarus would be like living in the old Soviet Union.

      Run since 1994 by Europe’s last dictator .

      I’ll pass thanks.

      • Ian M says:

        Haha a rather narrow minded view, and not remotely accurate.

        It’s the UK where people queue outside shops to be able to buy food. That looks more like the old Soviet Union.

      • Oh! Matron! says:

        Dictator or Clown. I’m not entirely sure which is worse.

      • Tariq says:

        Lol unlike Little England run since 2020 by Europe’s newest dictator 🤣🤣🤣

    • Gavin says:

      I don’t think it would be particularly easy to relocate to Belarus though, even if you want to. Just getting a 1 week tourist visa was quite hassle enough when I visited there about 10 years ago!

      • Ian M says:

        Things have changed a lot on that front.

        Visa free entry for 30 days.

        Foreigners now have the same legal right to buy property in Belarus, and ownership of any residential property no matter the value entitles the owner to a temporary residence permit for 1 year, renewable every year provided they still own the property.

        Good place to put some savings in the bank also. I’m currently earning 18% interest

        • Ian M says:

          Minsk has become a bit of a hub for those with the ability to work remotely (which has grown in number greatly in the last year) from across Europe who don’t want to live under the extreme lockdown conditions in their home countires.

          • Geoff says:

            Will you be moving there? (Serious question)

          • Sandgrounder says:

            I have been about three years ago, it was nice to visit in the summer and with Western money in your pockets it was like visiting Eastern Europe in the 90s. It’s also great for experiencing some of the products that died out with the USSR elsewhere, my Mrs loved the ice creams etc. Booze is stupid cheap, you can get a bottle of vodka for a quid, Lukashenko is well aware that alcoholics are easier to control. The big problem is there is sod all else to do, there are only so many times you can go to the park, the war museum and the zoo. It must be grim in the winter. Plus protests continue, I wouldn’t want to be somewhere so unstable.

          • Geoff says:

            Do you speak the language? I wouldn’t move somewhere without making the effort to learn.

            Congratulations on the move though! A lot of people are all talk when it comes to this stuff but not you.

          • Ian M says:

            @Geoff, I don’t speak Russian yet, I’ve been learning for about 9 months but it’s not an easy language, not for me anyway. Progress is slow but I am improving, and Google translate is always at hand when needed!

          • Aston100 says:

            ***@Geoff, I don’t speak Russian yet, I’ve been learning for about 9 months but it’s not an easy language, not for me anyway. Progress is slow but I am improving, and Google translate is always at hand when needed!***

            Isn’t the usual method of communicating with foreigners to keep repeating slowly in English and getting louder with each iteration?

        • Vit says:

          Dam*. I thought having some of mine in Cambodia bank is good with 7-8%. This is another level!

          • Ian M says:

            @Geoff, I already have, I moved to Minsk last year 🙂

          • Ian M says:

            @Sandgrounder, Winter had been beautiful actually. The city has been covered in snow since late November. It’s like a winter wonderland, but unlike the UK, everything still functions despite the snow.

            There’s plenty to do once you know the city better, and you’re absolutely right about the ice cream!

        • Ken says:

          18% doesn’t sound great when it depreciates 25% in a year against sterling 🤣

          • Ian M says:

            If you’re not planning on converting back to sterling that doesn’t matter. What matters is the inflation rate, which was 5.15% in 2020

        • Aston100 says:

          I thought these former Soviet countries were all a bit ultra nationalistic, and therefore prone to a bit of xenophobia now and again?
          Not sure I’d want to live somewhere like that.

          • Ian M says:

            Sounds like another pretty narrow minded comment. Have you ever visited Belarus?

          • kitten says:

            do you speak Russian? how long did it take you to learn?

          • Ian M says:

            @Kitten, no not much. I’ve been learning for about 9 months but progress is slow. Google translate is always at hand when needed 🙂

        • Jamie says:

          Ian M, the new enemy within.

          • Ben says:

            Congrats Ian M, enjoy your freedom.
            I have no idea why people are always trying to tear other people down and take sly digs about “Little Britain” or “When are you moving there then”.Be kind people

  • TripRep says:

    BA has cancelled my outbound flight to the Maldives

    So I cancelled my Conrad Rangali points booking yesterday, points returned within a couple of hours. Pretty impressive.

    My BA 241 certificate expires end of this year.

    Yet to decide on whether I get a full refund or opt for a travel voucher as that is valid til April 2023, considering risking getting the voucher (yes I know I still need Avios availability to rebook)

    • Anna says:

      Oh dear TripRep, is that the 2nd Maldives trip that’s not worked out how you were hoping now?! Hilton points usually come back immediately once you cancel a booking IME. Are you not going to try and get BA to change your travel date, if you have the flexibility to do the trip later in the year? As you say, the downside of the FTV is that you need to start from scratch looking for avios seats.

      • TripRep says:

        BA won’t rebook for anything than a couple of weeks ahead.

        It’s fine, sure it’ll work out at some point, did I read somewhere that it’s likely that you could still request a refund if unable to use a travel voucher?

        • Harry T says:

          HUACA. Unless there is something we don’t know, BA owe you a rerouting under EC261. And that shouldn’t be limited to a couple of weeks either way.

          • TripRep says:

            Cool, thanks for the tip Harry, I’ll check flight schedule for November and give them a ring back, hopefully get a UK based CS rep this time, line quality was terrible the other day.

          • Anna says:

            TripRep – that’s what I meant. Numerous people on here reporting that they’ve managed to move their flights well into the future.

          • kitten says:

            Seriously @TripRep, do not deal with any agent that’s not UK-based. Life’s too short to put yourself in their hands.

            One too many incorrect maulings by BA’s Indian call centre, that had me in tears over the phone after 50 minutes, is why I’ve probably now cost BA up to £3 million of cashflow in people’s cash they hoped to keep. Life’s just too short to deal with them.

          • TripRep says:

            Sadly refused again, can’t move it forward more than 2 weeks, it’s because I booked the flight a year ago.

          • kitten says:

            Another trip to MCOL for you @Triprep? You’d think BA would have learned from last time?

        • TJ says:

          You might struggle getting anywhere with the call centre rebooking you beyond the 365 ticket validity period, but check if you can do it yourself online. I was able to move two redemption flights way beyond 365 days … the system just issued new tickets!

    • Ed says:

      Hi TripRep, I’d be very interested in when your outbound flight was scheduled for? I’ve got early April and I’m currently hanging on in the hope they cancel as I don’t see my trip going ahead with the current regulations.

      • meta says:

        You can also try changing flights online yourself. I managed to move my flights to Berlin booked with Lloyds voucher online after return flight was cancelled.

      • A says:

        Same boat – Avios flight (2 adults 2 kids) at end of March, and not cancelling in hope BA will cancel and save me the cancellation fee…

        • Ed says:

          Hello A – yes and the chances of getting another Maldives award flight are pretty slim if you cancel yourself. If they cancel no longer need Avios seats availability. I’ll post here if I get any news.

          • TripRep says:

            This is not the case for a Travel voucher

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Thought we were well versed on fighting BA Triprep 🙂

            CEDR the MCOL two weeks Is nonsense they know it’s illegal for you to go on holiday in the next two weeks so it’s an impossible offer.

          • A says:

            Yes fair point too – would like to retain that option!

  • Chrism20 says:

    BA have cancelled/rescheduled my domestics for April, May and July this morning. All rescheduled from last year. I’ll keep kicking the can and hopefully one of them will eventually happen

    • Anna says:

      Which route? I have MAN-LHR-MIA booked for the end of July, in the event that the US dos reopen it would be really rubbish if our domestic leg was cancelled!

      • kitten says:

        Look on the bright side. I’d advise anyone to add a domestic segment to your longhaul booking as it gives BA a bigger target to cancel.

        If any flight at all cancelled on your booking you get to rebook the whole thing to another date with no increase in charges. So give them a bigger target :-).

        Harry T was saying Newcastle flights seem to be chopped a lot these days.

      • Chrism20 says:

        @Anna EDI-LHR

  • Neil says:

    Linking Nectar to BA exec account – does anyone know which details need to match exactly?

    My Dad is trying to link his accounts but it keeps failing. I know their Nectar is in mums name and BA is in his and different email addresses.

    Thanks

    • Rob says:

      Nothing. Absolutely nothing needs to match. That’s why there has been this massive spike in fraud.

    • Andrew says:

      Possibly a silly question, but is each account set up on line, and do they have a live mobile number set up on their nectar account for the check code?

      • Neil says:

        Yes good point. Highly likely they’ve not entered a mobile number on one or both accounts. Will check, thanks.

      • John says:

        A late reply, but it is not necessary to have a mobile number to set up the link, nor is it needed to transfer nectar to avios – the code goes to the email address if you have no phone number in your details

    • AJA says:

      I didn’t think anything needed to match. Try linking from Nectar site or app rather than BA. If you click on link accounts in the Nectar site it takes you to BA site and asks you to login to BA. Nothing more.

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