Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Tuesday 16th February

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Comments (365)

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  • Peggerz says:

    Good morning everyone.
    I saw Rob’s comment yesterday about not expecting hotels to reopen to visitors by 4th April. I have an IHG Amb 40k points voucher for joining Amb and staying in December. This has at present to be used by 30/4/2021.
    Are IHG likely to hang on until late April to see the ‘lie of the land’? Or have they dealt with extending vouchers sooner than this before?
    I was hoping to get a long weekend at the IC O2 sorted out in Spring/Early Summer.

    • Anna says:

      Hi Peggerz, I’m in the same boat. I did email IHG about this a few weeks ago and they said they would be making a decision about extending the voucher at some point. I might give them another nudge!

    • Rob says:

      IHG is a global business and acts accordingly. They were happy to expire a free night voucher I had (a total free night, not a 241) on 31st January as scheduled.

      • Anna says:

        Granted, but they have extended Ambassador membership and also the credit card free night voucher by 6 months so presumably it’s a possibility?

        • Rob says:

          It is, but the decision won’t be based on whatever restrictions are happening in the UK.

          • Peggerz says:

            Hi Rob.
            Yes this confirms what I feared may be the case. @Anna and I will just have to sit this out for another couple of months I think. I have IC & Kimpton hotels more local to where I live that may open by 30/04/2021, but that really wasn’t part of the plan.

  • Andrew says:

    New Amex offer for Lego has pooped up – spend £129, get £20. Maybe time to start that investment in Lego to sell in a few years!

    • Luckyjim says:

      I should have checked before flushing.

      • KBuffett says:

        The first rule flushing, never flush before checking offers on all 7 AmEx cards.

    • Craig says:

      I received the Lego Bugatti Chiron for Christmas, there was a part missing, it took Lego 5 weeks to supply it! Sat here finishing it as I type.

      • JamesH says:

        Recommend it? I’ve been thinking about getting some to pass a few hours of Australian hotel quarantine in a few weeks. That and an exercise bike. Maybe a Lego exercise bike.

        • mr_jetlag says:

          Highly recommended (the collecting, not the exercise bike). Spare parts are slow but 100% reliable. Have just replaced some on my beloved Space Shuttle.

    • Chris says:

      Thanks for this. If you are looking ba shopping portal has 10 avios per pound at the moment too. There is a new porsche 911 model out toady

      • PaulC says:

        My exact thought Chris.

        • Scott says:

          It was only 7 per £ when I bought something a few days ago 😉

          Anyway, cancelled a back order I had with Amazon as the set I wanted was the same price at Lego, and a few hundred bonus Avios aren’t to be sniffed at 🙂

          The Porsche doesn’t really appeal to me to be honest.
          Not a car fan anyway.

      • LewisB says:

        Virgin red has 8 points per £1 also

    • Super Secret Stuff says:

      If you do want to invest in Lego, to optimise ROI I believe you need to look at the section of the site with sets that are “retiring soon”. Don’t really understand it too well but I did a bit of research a couple months ago

      Biggest threat is Lego restarting production of a model, which at some point a savvy manager looking to meet there yearly targets will probably do. So not sure how long you should hold it

  • R P says:

    Are there any HfP style websites for Ireland? I know it’s a much smaller market so unlikely…

    • John says:

      30 euro stamp duty on credit/charge card (because rich people don’t have to pay tax if they don’t want to, and the money has to come from somewhere) leads to dire market conditions.

      NafWest/RBS/Ulster bank preparing to exit ROI market so things unlikely to improve.

    • Rob says:

      Not that I know of. No real way of monetising it.

  • Ant says:

    Hi does anyone know if Comair flights have the same “travel with confidence” conditions as BA flights when booked on Ba website?

    • JLNF says:

      We just turned our Comair booking into a FTV/e-voucher and they converted the ZAR spend into GBP for the voucher.

  • Michael C says:

    So 6 days till Announcement…if our son’s school DOESN’T go back, we’re on the first flight to the Isle of Man, quarantine and all!

    • E says:

      Except the Isle of Man won’t let you in if you’re not a resident (maybe you are?)…or you can apply to enter on compassionate grounds (and still need to quarantine). Returning residents and key workers are OK to enter but they haven’t got to the point where anyone else can enter.

  • xcalx says:

    Where can I find the Virgin credit card spend voucher. I know I have one but can’t locate it. Thanks

    • ChasP says:

      it will be a single line on your statement – if you cant go back that far then call is the only way

      its a PITA

    • WaynedP says:

      It’s not in the Virgin money app (spent a while fruitlessly searching this weekend) but is actually shown in a one liner in the activity list on the Flying Club app.

  • JamesH says:

    Hello, I’m after some advice regarding moving abroad please. I’m moving to Australia on March 12th from the UK, and not sure what to do with regards to banking and credit cards? Has anyone set up an Amex and bank before such a move? I have BA premium here and decent credit limit. Plus companion voucher and 150k ish avois left. Cheers!

    • JamesH says:

      Plus I need to set up in advance so I can have a Deliveroo account ready for our 2 weeks hotel quarantine lol. (Only partly joking)

    • Christina says:

      Bank accounts are much easier to open in Oz than in the UK.
      Amex and HSBC both have an option to help you open new accounts if you are migrating to a new country where they operate.

    • Sina says:

      HSBC and Westpac both open accounts for you before moving there.

    • BuildBackBetter says:

      Amex has a global transfer feature – you can get your amex card within a week of reaching there – just need an address in the destination. Use a fx-fee free card until then. Dont change address on your UK cards or BA – your cards may be invalidated.

      • JamesH says:

        Thanks all. Will check those out. Much appreciated.

      • Charlieface says:

        Make sure to ask the Global Transfer team about getting the bonuses.

        If I’m not mistaken, I think they will tell you to apply online, wait for the rejection, and send the application number to them and they will approve it manually

    • Harry T says:

      You can open an account with CommBank specifically for the purposes of emigrating to Australia, before you travel there. You just need to collect your card and sign some stuff at a designated branch when you arrive. CommBank are by far the best Australian bank and they have the most cash machines nationally, so you can avoid charges when withdrawing cash.

      Regarding Amex, you can do global transfer, which may be best. I actually didn’t and managed to open a card with no Australian credit history – I wasn’t aware of global transfer. It probably helped that I was being paid well. I just had to get a notary to verify some documents (free at local library). The Amex explorer used to be the sweet spot but I understand they have reduced the bonus since then and devalued transfers. It’s worth looking into a visa or MasterCard too – I regret that I didn’t. If you are planning on staying there, you may want to consider whether you want to collect Qantas FF miles or Virgin Australia ones. SQ can also be handy for visiting Asia. I actually highly recommend Jetstar for hopping around Australia on cash fares.

      Avios are very useful in Australia (even after recentish devaluation of the partner chart) but hard/impossible to earn whilst living there – use your stash from the UK wisely and try to keep them from expiring (BAEC store perhaps). Australian domestic flying can be expensive and using Avios is often very good value. I have paid cash for Qantas domestic business (you can bid for upgrades on economy tickets) and felt it well worth it. The domestic business lounge at Melbourne is fantastic and so is the business class product and service.

      • Harry T says:

        That’s interesting about the ATMs – perhaps that has changed since I was last there in 2018, or I was misinformed. I found the CommBank app and website really easy to use and their customer service was always decent. Plus they seemed to have a branch everywhere, which was reassuring.

    • Lyn says:

      If you aren’t already a member of the Qantas frequent flyer programme you may want join to take advantage of some of the many local earning opportunities, like supermarket shopping at Woolworths.

      If you join with your UK address before you leave you can avoid the joining fee in Australia, although there are probably other ways of doing so, like joining via Woolworths.

      I’m sure there will be more replies from readers in Australia soon.

  • Andrew says:

    Seems the 500 bonus Avios from the nectar conversion are landing in BA accounts and for even those who had a nil nectar balance until the Sunday when they did a conversion, to then convert back to Avios on the Monday.

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