Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Monday 1st March

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We are running this daily chat thread on Head for Points during the coronavirus outbreak.

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Comments (297)

  • Aston100 says:

    Just got that Nectar ‘rub the screen for points’ thing come up on my app.
    Won an amazing 10 (ten) points. Even better, the app made a “Wow!” sound.

    • Andrew says:

      I think this happens every time you shop?

      • MattB says:

        Yes every time – unless you already earnt any bonus points from the shop

      • Super Secret Stuff says:

        Can confirm it is every time you shop and DON’T earn any bonus points (except multipliers that are applied later). The more you shop at Sainsbury, the higher it is

        • Aston100 says:

          Dear Super Secret Sainsburys Staff, this is the first time I’ve had this feature appear on the app since it was installed in early January.
          I have earnt points on every online Sainsburys shop (usually in the 300 to 500 points region, in total) – though in some cases not every available offer was taken up.

          • Super Secret Stuff says:

            To reiterate, it is every time you DON’T earn any bonus points on a shop. Doesn’t matter if you haven’t used all the offers

            You can check your Nectar app for the details of how points are generated, points earnt per pound or for a specific product show as posted from the store OR something like “Sainsbury to You “. The scratch off’s post as bonus points.

          • James says:

            I’ve said this many times before Aston, I regularly shop in store, get bonus points and also rub the screen offer. The squirrel is wrong on this occasion, at least generally, though no doubt not for themselves.

          • Super Secret Stuff says:

            @James The Squirrel?

            Offers that are applied later (like multipliers or the occasional 100 bonus points etc.) will still usually trigger the scratch off.

            Are you a new card holder or brought a dormant card back into use? As Nectar is a game like structure it wouldn’t surprise me if they do it anyway

          • TGLoyalty says:

            I think it’s the use of always.

            I’ve had rub the screen after earning bonus points now and again but it’s random.

            But I always get it if I haven’t earned any bonus points.

          • James says:

            The secret stuff then… (conflated you with another poster who is secret and squirrel, or something like that. Apologies).

            And yes, I am well versed in bonus point types and application to account.

            I can confirm that I regularly, if also periodically, get the rub the screen bonus after shopping in store and getting bonus points from purchasing the targeted products that are applied to my balance immediately.

            And I’m saying no more, as it doesn’t seem worth the hassle nor important enough for the 5, 20 or 50 extra points that are usually offered. 😀

  • IF1 says:

    We are sorry, Avios to Nectar conversion isn’t currently available online.

    Why not?🤦‍♂️😡

    • Rob says:

      They are building in 2FA to stop the rampant theft of Avios.

      • IF1 says:

        Just got off the phone after 40 mins holding, was told it would take up to 10 days for points to move across once submitted

  • YH says:

    I’ve just had my ANA flight to Tokyo booked with VS points cancelled. How does the rebooking work – is it similar to BA where I can pick any date without reward availability needed?

    • Yorkieflyer says:

      If you check the Flyertalk Virgin thread on ANA redemptions you will gain a lot of information. In summary, ANA may move you to the next nearest available flight otherwise it depends on award availability to VS from ANA

      • Lady London says:

        Sorry @Yorkieflyer incorrect.

        Assuming @YH’s flight departs from UK/Europe on *any* airline including ANA, @YH has full EU261 rights.

        Amongst other rights @YH has the right to choose to do the travel on a later date convenient to *@YH* at YH’s choice including all flights on the booking as soon as even one is cancelled.

        If @YH still wants to travel at the nearest reasonably close time to original booking then even if the original airline does not have a flight available then she has the right to be rerouted on another airline.

        Noting in both cases above there does legally “not* have to be any award seat available on @YH’s chosen later date nor on any alternate airline if @YH still chooses to travel on or nearest possible close to same date. Check some target flights before phoning – if they’re selling a seat in same cabin @YH has a right to it due the original cancellation.

        In case of flight to travel on another flight at as close as poss to original day /time you are entitled to duty of care including hotel if any extra nights are needed with meals at reasonable local rates, internet or 2 phone calls, and transport to and from the hotel all at reasonable local rates.

        Make nice with Virgin after you’ve worked out what other flights or alternatives might work. But above is the clear legal position if it comes to it.
        You can also choose refund if you want but then you have to pay the full price prevailing at the time you rebook whereas all in the above comes free of any charge to you.

        • Lady London says:

          PS just to be really clear the above statutory rights supersede anything Virgin (or ANA for that matter, but you have to deal with Virgin) says or claims or practises or has in their terms or says they are not allowed to do. Obviously be reasonable and work with them but if you get nowhere these are the legal facts.

          • YH says:

            Thank you, this is really helpful.

          • Blindman says:


            Is there a link\document that states the customer can choose ANY future travel date?

            I did not think it states that in EU261

          • Lady London says:

            @Blindman the EU261 wording says the passenger can choose to be rerouted at a later date convenient to them. Convenient here actually has a slightly stronger meaning than usual for that word in English meaning “suiting the customer” not just “convenient” as the original wording of the EU legislation would have been in French “convenant” which has this slightly stronger meaning and makes it clear it means suiting the *passenger.

            it’s in EU261 / EC261 under duty of care easily google-able and highly readable.

          • Blindman says:

            All I could find was under article 8 Right to re-reimbursement or rerouting.

            re-routing, under comparable transport conditions, to their final destination at a later date at the passenger’s convenience, subject to availability of seats.

            Is that it?

          • yorkieflyer says:

            Lady London, what you say may be true in theory and indeed in law, although the idea that you can book any future date at your convenience is dubious legally and unproven and it would take a brave soul to book their own ticket and MCOL to gain recompense.
            Back in the real world, in practice, Virgin are acting as an agent for ANA and rely upon goodwill from ANA in making seats for future dates available which will in reality restrict you to award seat availability. I’m pretty sure VS won’t be buying a cash ticket on ANA…..

          • yorkieflyer says:

            Oh and I’d be quite surprised if there will be any UK tourists entering Japan within the booking window to next February…..happy to be proved wrong!

          • Blindman says:

            There is this on the VS web-site


            Re-book/Re-route to a later date
            Take an alternative flight to your destination under comparable transport conditions at a later date more convenient to you, subject to the availability of seats in the ticket class originally purchased and seasonal supplements being paid. If the new fare is lower the difference will be refunded

          • Yorkieflyer says:

            Blindman, I am sure you will find that the promise refers to VS metal, how can they require ANA to rebook you? Anyway I genuinely hope I’m wrong but I very much doubt so, nuff said I think 😀

          • Blindman says:

            It was in reply to LL and not to the OP.

            This forum does not make that possible

          • Mouse says:

            ANA is the operating carrier – it’s their responsibility to provide an alternative flight at a date convenient to you, not Virgin’s

          • Charlieface says:

            Indeed @mouse is right. Call ANA not VS, they are the ones with the liability. If they refer you back to VS then tell them VS will only do it with reward availability, they need to sort this out for no charge.

          • Lady London says:

            @Blindman “a later date at the passenger’s convenience”. If you read the whole thing it’s clear choice amongst a range of options is made by the passsenger not the airline.

          • Lady London says:

            Unless ANA already booked the pax onto an alternate flight that the passenger is happy with I will eat my hat if ANA would not send the passenger back to VS to sort it out.

            Makes sense as VS is the selling carrier, I think control of the ticket only switches to the operating carrier’s airport staff
            on day of flight or 24h before

          • Lady London says:

            @Blindman as s statute EC261 supersedes any airline terms and conditions so Virgin cant add any supplements or charges regardless of what flight the passenger takes instead.

  • r* says:

    How far ahead have BA cancelled short haul flights? Are they likely to be making more cancellations to the current schedule for april and first week of may?

    • Paula says:

      My Tenerife flight on 27th March is not yet cancelled. Maybe they won’t cancel early May yet in case the roadmap dates improve.

    • Aston100 says:

      Well, my Easter flights to Turkey were cancelled towards the end of January.

    • Chrism20 says:

      I had ones for July cancelled weeks ago but it was only Saturday when some for April were cancelled.

    • WaynedP says:

      Still waiting expectantly for my 5 May LHR-JNB BA flight to be cancelled.

  • will says:

    Not sure if it’s been covered but just completed a Marriott stay part points/cash on essential work grounds.

    Bonus night credits only paid on the cash night, points nights separated and not given extra night credit for these.

    • Rob says:

      Someone else emailed me about this over the weekend.

      This is NOT how the Marriott PR team told everyone that it would work. Of course, there is nothing in writing (except for what Marriott’s PR was emailing privately). I would appeal via Marriott and then we can escalate if needed.

    • Harry T says:

      I suspected this would happen. Thanks for the data point. I hope you get it sorted.

  • Russ says:

    I’m hedging my bets and booking the usual suspects: Spain, Greece and Israel for opening first. Do we know anything definite about the vaccine passports we may need and how to get them? Presuming they can be done on line rather than at the airport? Any educated guesses?

    • Alex says:

      Once you have had the jabs you can request a cert from your GP – which apparently they must provide for free(which would be novel for them!) and I think you use this or can add the details to a number of apps like Verifly

      • Jonathan says:

        They have to provide you with a copy of your medical records (which will record vaccination history). You can get the same information without taking up their admin staff time by registering on NHS App though.

        I wouldn’t bother doing anything until the government have published their review on 12th April as if they are going to bring in any kind of vaccine “passport” there will be a specific format & process to obtain rather than just saying get a letter off your GP.

        • Dan says:

          Had my jab on Friday. Checked the NHS app on Saturday and the vaccination was already recorded.

        • BuildBackBetter says:

          Does the app save the info for offline access? Wouldn’t want to be searching for Wi-Fi at airport

          • TGLoyalty says:

            It accesses your medical record on the fly from what I can tell.

        • Lady London says:

          Hi Jonathan does that mean you can ask your GP to provide a copy of your entire medical record if needed or does it only go back a certain period of time? can I / should I go to them and request the file to do it myself or could they tell me to do that?

          • Russ says:

            My file with the NHS still had all my details down to my student address and that was 30 years ago.

          • ChrisC says:

            Most practices will have an “how to access your records” section on their websites.

            Not sure if it is free access though. We used to be able to charge a reasonable fee for copying them under the data protection acts subject access clause.

            Though now it looks like that is all superseded by the NHS but that will only include records that are computerised.

          • Tiff says:

            A friend of mine went to her GP for the first time in decades, and they said they needed to update her records. They had her height as 3 foot 7 – last measured at age 5 or 6.

      • Russ says:

        Thanks Alex but not sure that would get me into another country. I’m thinking once you have your NHS documental proof you would be asked at the check-in desk to show it, then, they’d give you a ‘get into the country at the other end of the flight’ pass. I think it may have to be done at the airport so you satisfy the ‘have you had a cough/fever/contact with another Covid person’ in the last three days question.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          If and when its actually required we will all be informed of what it entails

          I don’t think its worth lots of conjecture as literally no one knows the answer.

          • DeB20 says:

            Does anyone remember the big NHS computer hack three years ago? Most of my medical records were lost in that.

            A record of the vaccine should show up on the NHS app, I have not tried it yet and don’t qualify for the vaccine yet, but I wouldn’t want to rely on them being able to keep the data secure.

            Undoubtedly it will be interesting to see what the government decides on for a health or vaccination document and whether other governments will accept it for entry into their respective countries.

  • Lisa says:

    Any idea how long it takes for a newly opened Amex Business Platinum to load offers?

    I applied when the 100k points offer was published. Registered and had it all sorted on Friday 26th Feb (afternoon). Did first spend of about £4K on the same day. Absolutely no offers showing on this card though.

    Was really hoping I’d get the £150 credit with £1k spend 🙁

    • TGLoyalty says:

      About 2 weeks

      I doubt you’ll get an offer which was announced before you applied for the card.

      • Lisa says:

        Wow…didn’t think it would take that long 🙁 Oh well, never mind!

    • Algor says:

      I think I never had an offer in the first 2 weeks (apart from shop small) and once they appeared at first the the quality and quantity was horrible. If it was the new regular card it would be back to normal in around 2 months.

      On the sidenote I probably had every possible Amex offered in last 4 years but the main cards I usef for spending were Gold/Green/BAPP/SPG so YMMW depending what card it is and what is your spending pattern.

      • Lisa says:

        I have a BAPP just now and have had personal platinum in the past. Just never noticed that it took a while for offers to show. Frustratingly I have a huge amount of spending to do and was hoping for a cheeky few offers. The BAPP is probably best used for them now though.

        • Lady London says:

          Put a few small spends on it then call and ask are any offers likely to appear as you have some bigger spends you need to make asap and need to decide which card you use?

          Might have no effect but some people were getting no offers on new cards ( and some old) and some people reportec that although agent said nothing can be done when phoned, miraculously some offers started appearing about a week later.

  • Chris H says:

    Its been a week now since the post about the £150 credit if you spend £1000 in one transaction on the Business Platinum card. So I thought I would repost this in case anyone has had success with it:
    I want to buy 2 sets of 5 x Universal Studios 4 day passes soon, and this might be a great opportunity to get the £150 rebate for a £1000 plus spend. Otherwise, I can’t see an opportunity any time soon for a £1000 spend.
    Has anyone spent the £1000 necessary to trigger the £150 refund and got it for spend at hotels or any other establishment abroad with the spend being charged in GBP?

    • Super Secret Stuff says:

      Paypal will convert it to gbp

      • Chris H says:

        Are you saying that if I can pay using paypal, then it will qualify for the £150 rebate?

      • Chris H says:

        But not if the hotel converts it to GBP?

        • Super Secret Stuff says:

          You’ll have to check the offer T & Cs about payment aggregators. You might lose any rights from Section 75 or similar, but someone more in the know needs to answer that.

          Purely from an FX point of view, PayPal convert it for you and I believe don’t charge (might be wrong, but I know it is a lot cheaper than credit cards as I have never noticed it).

          • Jonathan says:

            PayPal will convert it for you, in fact they don’t even give you a choice for most transactions now. It will include a hefty margin of around 3-4% from spot rates. Worth it for an offer like this but I avoid them where possible for overseas purchases now.

      • Jay says:

        PayPal don’t do the conversion on an Amex card, they pass it through at the currency sum and Amex do the conversion.

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