Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Friday 26th February

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We are running 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.

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Comments (201)

  • Yorkieflyer says:

    No big points news ?

    • Rob says:

      The 100k was the big points news.

      • Andrew says:

        That’s disappointing

        • Yorkieflyer says:

          Nothing on the way for personal cards, finger hovering over keyboard on an Amex application?

          • Anna says:

            Check any gold/BAPP accounts, some of us have enhanced offers, e.g. 12k MR for a referral from gold and 32k sign up bonus.

          • Yorkieflyer says:

            Sadly on none of our Mrs yorkieflyers cards or mine, perhaps we’ve been a little keen referring each other over time🧐

        • Rob says:

          It’s the biggest sign-up bonus ever seen in this country, by a factor of two. Not sure how you can consider that disappointing.

          If you believe the Amex Small Business Twitter feed, it is has gone absolutely crazy.

          • Blair says:

            It’s just not universal though. Most of us will get excited about an offer reasonably open to all. A very big offer relevant to a small subset will always less earth shattering. :/

          • Super Secret Stuff says:

            You can’t use it though, so it’s not exactly revolutionary

          • Andrew says:

            Exactly. Don’t have a SME so not remotely relevant to me, thus the disappointment.

          • The Savage Squirrel says:

            Nothing to stop you starting one before April ;).

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Then putting £10k through.

            Though 100k MR might be worth £150-300 bill hop fees….

          • Kevin D says:

            I’m a tad disappointed! Its such a great offer, but unfortunately I’m not an Amex business customer.

  • Rob says:

    I have BA reward flights booked to Tenerife in Easter holidays.. travel is banned.

    What are my options? I assume BA will cancel the flights..

    • Yorkieflyer says:

      Holidays banned, not travel

      • Rob says:

        Leaving your house is banned for non-essential reasons. Leaving your house is NOT banned from 29th March.

        You are then free to go to Heathrow and get on a plane.

        Holidays are not banned either. Stop believing what Boris says. You are banned from leaving your home for non-essential reasons which de facto bans travel. However, the ban on leaving home disappears in a month. At that point you are totally free to go to Brighton for the day or to Heathrow and jump on an aircraft.

        This could change in any new legislation published before the end of March, but legally – based on existing legislation – this is what happens.

        • Brighton Belle says:

          I know which I’d do✈️

        • EvilDoctorK says:

          Yes, but the assumption ( which I hope is wrong!) is that they’ll bring in legislation to require all outbound travellers to make a declaration of purpose for travel after 8th March … Dreadfully illiberal and retrograde step which I hope they don’t bring in , but the Home Secretary ( at least!) seems unaccountably keen on it

        • stevenhp1987 says:

          Surely it’s 8th March? You will be allowed to be outside for any reason, including picnics and potentially sightseeing!

          Stay at home advice, which is guidance, is dropped on 29th March.

          It all depends on the wording of the legislation.

          • EvilDoctorK says:

            No I think it’s to be 29th March … 8th March schools reopen and there’s a few more limited exceptions allowed like meeting one person outdoors etc. but I think they’ll just be more ‘reasonable excuses’ to leave home and you’ll still be required by law to stay home otherwise ( therefore de facto no holidays ) .. The general expiry of ‘Stay at Home’ law was suggested as being on 29th March .. after that there’s no rules against going to the airport etc. and unless some other rules are brought in no law against travel ( though still highly restricted with testing/isolation requirements ) … It’s still to some extent speculation until legislation is published which is usually done at the last minute.

          • Anna says:

            Yes – schools were open anyway, and leaving home is permitted for education, so all that will happen on March 8th is the staggered return of children not currently attending school.

          • Rob says:

            No, I looked it up. It is 29th March. Nothing changes on 8th March except that you can meet ONE other person outside and sit down with them, whilst at the moment you have to be exercising / walking with that person and are banned from sitting down at any point.

            You can have a picnic but it will only be for two people. It must also be in your local area – you cannot travel to meet this person or have a picnic with them.

          • yorkieflyer says:

            it really is quite bizarre how we are supposed to know how to behave in a park, standup/sit down, exercise, ignore someone I know I chance across or who whatsapped me asking if i was out? picnic/takeaway/coffee/hip flask? Yesterday I saw some pensioners sat on a wall in a local park sat on a wall well apart drinking takeaways coffees but suspiciously looked like different households on a pre planned meetup.
            Should I have dibbed them in to the busies?

        • Anna says:

          It will be interesting to see what replaces the current rules. They are saying that hotel stays won’t be allowed until May 17th at the earliest, but there’s nothing to stop hotels opening before then (and indeed many are still open for essential travel). So if they don’t want people staying in hotels from March 29th they will have to bring in new legislation around either people leaving home or who hotels can accept.

          • stevenhp1987 says:

            They could just move England into Tier 3 and use existing Tier legislation?

          • Anna says:

            But IIFC Tier 3 banned things which are permitted from April 12th like hairdressers and pubs opening (even outdoors) and also self-catering accommodation? So they’d have to amend it one way or another.

          • Ian says:

            It’s incredible what England has turned into in such a short space of time. You’re all under house arrest basically. I’m extremely glad I moved away and escaped the totalitarian nightmare

          • yorkieflyer says:

            there now seems to be a raft of statutory instruments which have been amended repeatedly and don’t align to advice and are overly prescriptive in my view. People have been infantalised into rule following without applying any judgement and on occasion the boys and girls in blue ( looking at you Derbyshire) have been equally daft

        • Colin MacKinnon says:

          You are banned from Spain, though, unless you have EU residence or nationality!

          (Says he sitting in Scotland while other half is in the Canaries)

          • Optimus Prime says:

            Actually they extended the travel ban from UK until 16th March (for now) so you have to be a Spanish resident or have a Spanish passport.

      • Rob says:

        Yes, but we will need to isolate for 10 days on return which makes it impossible with schools being open (we have two children)

        • EvilDoctorK says:

          Yes it’s unlikely that isolation/testing requirements will have been removed before May .. but I imagine travel will not be ‘banned’ at Easter , but it will still be fairly highly restricted

          • memesweeper says:

            Exactly. I suspect there will not be controls on leaving, there will be controls on arriving. Requiring isolation by the vaccinated on their return will take some selling to the public I think.

        • Pete M says:

          And testing comes expensive these days… c£100pp to leave the UK, c£100pp to re-enter the UK and then over £200pp for tests on days 2 and 8 whilst isolating. And that’s ignoring another c£100pp if you want to do Test to Release after 5 days. So easily £400pp on top of the holiday and pretty difficult to avoid!

          • Anna says:

            Which, as I commented yesterday, is outrageous given that school kids are getting free kits to test themselves twice a week when they go back to school!

          • Rob says:

            Those are lateral flow ones though. The reason they do multiple tests is that they are so unreliable than you can’t give them one test. Hence why my daughter has to have four tests in the first week.

          • Optimus Prime says:

            I wonder how many parents on a zero-hours contract will test their kids every week…

  • Chris says:

    Not sure if I was targeted but Sainsbury’s are offering me 10x Nectar Points on £90+ spend. No restrictions and it can be used multiple times until Sunday. If I spend £50+ it’s 3x and £70+ it’s 5x. I can’t see any reference to it on their website.

  • insider says:

    anything on the Avios Barclays partnership?

    • Rob says:

      We have all the details but have agreed with Barclays that we will not publish it until they say so. We are talking days, if not hours, rather than weeks.

      • Happeemonkee says:

        Its all over Facebook now Rob. Not that impressed myself as current Barclays Premier customer but a decent signup bonus for new customers

  • Keith says:

    I signed up for the mail offer and had my card payment refunded but the vouchers for the next 13 weeks turned up anyway? Anyone else get this?

  • BJ says:

    @M and others who have already received an email from Virgin Money about claiming the wine despite signing up for the 15k points offer: I called this morning and was advised to wait until switch completes. An email will be sent but if it’s for the wine and not the points they requested I call back. Comnents from the CSA suggest that applications via the app are ok but there may have been issues for applications via the Virgin Red website; I’m glad I took screenshots at every step as I get the feeling I’ll need to call back.

  • ant says:

    Apologies I asked this yesterday late but did not get any suggestions on destination- thought i try again.

    I would like to try & book a long distance flights using an FTV with avios & cash on a flight that hopefully would get cancelled. Any suggestions on routes?

    The FTV came about as the agent found it too complicated to change my booking to a different route & i did not want to risk losing the reward availability so just did a new booking & cancelled the original for an FTV.

    • Alex says:

      If you’re looking for something likely to get cancelled, I’d suggest short haul with multiples a day as it’s likely to be reduced from say 6 flights to 1 with demand and it’ll trigger the cancellation anyway.

  • Chris says:

    Can your travel agent book BA flights for you, using a FTV, or do you have to book direct with BA yourself?

    Haven’t been able to get reward availability at T-355 to use our 2-4-1, and keen to use up 2 x FTV totalling £1400. Even if I could get reward availability, I know we couldn’t apply the FTV to that anyway, so next best thing is to get my TA to add flights to our ski hotel for next year that is already reserved (as in – carried over from this year, sob)

    • Anna says:

      What kind of FTV is it, avios plus cash or just cash?

      • Chris says:

        It’s just cash from a cancelled BA holiday, and we have a smaller o e just cash from cancelled domestic flight

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