Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Tuesday 2nd March

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Comments (297)

  • ChrisC says:

    I emailed IHG at the weekend asking if they might extend my ambassador status that would have expired yesterday saying I hadn’t been unable to use my weekend certificate but was grateful for the six months they had given everyone.

    They offered (as I expected) a two month extension (I don’t qualify for th 6 months). That updated yesterday but they didn’t extend the weekend certificate I was unable to use.

    A tad disappointed about that but I expected it but I’m hoping they do a general extension of ambassador like they did last year in March where you had to have an active membership in to get it.

    Think my strategy will be not to renew until I can actually stay at an IC and pay at the desk as I have a couple of planned stays later in the year*

    *insert the usual guff about being able to travel etc

    • TGLoyalty says:

      If you’re UK based did you reply that A two month extension is pretty useless when UK hotels are closed for another 2 months and you can’t freely travel abroad?

    • BuildBackBetter says:

      What’s the benefit of buying ambassador membership at hotel?

      • TGLoyalty says:

        They may treat you well for their piece of the sales commission

        • kitten says:

          exactly. I got pooh-poohed when I suggested this a couple of weeks ago

    • IanM says:

      Remember that 2 month extension is a once in a lifetime deal, not covid related so if you cant use it don’t do it.

      • kitten says:

        defo not now. buy Amb at hotel when you need it ( I would try to buy over phone 48 hours ahead of my stay by calling hotel to buy so they have time to sort out my suite 🙂 – or at least check with hotel it will be possible for you to buy at your arrival.

        Now IHG took the 10% discount away from Amb there is absolutely no point renewing until you have a hotel stay. I am sure IHG thought this one through…. not.

        • BuildBackBetter says:

          But doesnt that mean you cannot apply benefits of AMB for that stay? Or can you?

          • Lady London says:

            you can book your free night before you have the voucher.

    • Paul says:

      IHG are the pits in terms of customer service and benefits, but it’s their loss. I have had Spire Ambassador for years, mostly on back of credit card spend. My Ambassador membership will expire in August but realistically there is no chance of normal travel by that time.

      I have booked 24 nights (2 rooms) at an IC for Christmas and 24 at Hilton along the road. If there is no extension or no enhanced benefits then I’ll cancel at last minute and stay at Hilton with guaranteed breakfast, lounge access and an upgrade.

    • TJ says:

      Has anyone managed to secure an extension of the weekend voucher? Just seems ridiculous that IHG are not offering an extension – esp in the UK – where travel is banned/severely restricted.

    • AndyGWP says:

      I’ve just had an email saying my Ambassador expires in the next month, and if I renew, they’ll give me 15k points

      I can’t easily tell (or remember) if you get the points when you sign up from scratch

      (Tho admittedly the value of the points may be nil vs. Cost of renewal if hotel stays are wiped out the next few months anyways)

  • Gtellez says:

    Yesterday Iberia cancelled a flight from Madrid to Lima that I booked for my mum with avios in business (she is resident there and came to Spain to visit my new son). The flight was for March 10 (cancellation 9 days before the flight), and they argue that as it is an avios booking I can only reschedule for another avios booking in the same route and only if there is avios availability; so, she could not fly until at least March 20 (Iberia has another flight for March 15, but doesn’t have avios availability) but she has some commitments and wants to be there before that.
    According to my understanding, she should be rescheduled in another flight, even if it is in a different carrier. The reason for the cancellation in that the Peruvian government has extended until March 15 the ban on flights over 8 hours (???), so only indirect routes are available before that day. So, it is not the airline fault, but I think they still need to give more options…
    Does anyone have some advise about how to proceed? Should I buy another cash ticket and then try to ask Iberia for the money?

    • The real John says:

      Under EC261 she should be re-routed under comparable transport conditions at the earliest available opportunity.

      After giving Iberia a reasonable chance to resolve the situation, you can buy a reasonable alternate ticket and try to sue them for the money, but this depends on how confident you are of winning in the Spanish small claims procedure.

    • ChrisBCN says:

      Iberia are required to re route you, although the current restrictions make it a little tougher to do so. Do the legwork yourself first – find an alternative flight(s) that is still running (I suggest using Google flights to find one, then going to that airlines own website sends to check it’s running).

      Then, get back in touch with Iberia and say under EU261 you want your re routing rights. You can then present them with the option that you find acceptable. Hopefully they might budge somewhat. If they don’t budge, then try calling again later. If they still don’t budge, you need to make a call if you want to pay for the flight yourself and try and get what you are legally entitled to from Iberia later. Good luck!

    • kitten says:

      if you bought the ticket here best sue here.

      Iberia is obliged under EU261 to reroute passenger onto another airline(s) that cab transport her if she still needs to fly at or as close as possible to original time. That will cost Iberia a bit more but tough.

      If instead they are offering a flight with a gap since the original flight then Iberia is responsible for all hotel and meals art reasonable local cost (she doesn’t have to stay in a $hithol and eat toast crusts) until Iberia provides a flight. These would be claimable at MCOL if Iberia refused and Iberia would have to pay. plus transport to and from hotel(s) and internet.

      Try mentioning to Iberia these extra costs they will incur under EU261 duty of care, for each day they make her wait for new flight.

      However Iberia are generallt known on here as $hits for customer service so I would give them these two alternatives and be fully prepared to MCOL. It’s a simple process, costs a tiny amount online that you get back when you win which you will.

      Covid does not excuse airlines from providing duty of care it just means they don’t currently have to additionally pay her 600 euros in compensation.

      • kitten says:

        PS if airline cancels your flight then they cannot insist on avios seat being available to rebook her. If even just one seat is available for cash in same cabin the passenger rebooking from a flight an airline cancelled them off has a right to be rebooked into that seat.

        • Gtellez says:

          I’ll try to call them later, but yesterday they were very aggressive and said that there wasn’t any other option and that their system doesn’t allow them to do something different… I mentioned the hotel costs and they said that it is managed by other department and I should try opening an online claim… Iberia CS sucks…

          • Anna says:

            You would certainly be within your rights to buy a new ticket and claim it back, but is there currently an alternative which doesn’t involve transit in the US? Would Iberia move you to another South American city and then provide an onward connection to Lima perhaps? If your mum can take the March 15th flight, there is no reason they can’t move her to that though. Try telling them you are going to book a full price business class seat on that flight and claim it back from them! Buena suerte …

          • kitten says:

            I had exactly that same experience with Iberia and they would have to be offering something really, really incredible for me to ever book with Iberia again. They are actually worse than Ryanair IMV.

            Did you pay using UK credit card? If yes, a less painful way of sorting this out could be to ask credit card for a replacement ticket under Section 75 regulation. This is due to Iberia not providing what is required under EC261 (now still in UK law). It means you can ask the credit card to provide the replacement ticket even if the price is higher (no cost to you as the credit card is jointly liable with Iberia). Card would be liable for all costs ticket and duty of care if needed. would avoid MCOL.

            There might be something that stops this if you bought ticket for somebody else but call the card they will tell you immediately if so.

            Do not accept chargeback if ticket will cost more or if duty of care would be needed as chargeback is limited to just money that you paid back. If you paid on charge card(not credit card) that’s all you could claim though.

            Keep notes and timing and ideally who you spoke to eavh time at Iberia as you will need for MCOL or Section 75 or chargeback.

            Your rights are what we have told you so you should be able to get what you need.

          • Gtellez says:

            I talked again with them and they are awful… the best offer I got was to change the flight to somewhere in South America that flies Iberia for free… and that is because I’m IB Platinum (OW Emerald), so it is a “favor” and I should appreciate it…. but then I have to buy her the flight from Chile or Ecuador to Lima. However, I think that I would take it, since flights from Santiago to Lima are not that expensive in economy right now and at least she could fly back soon. I paid the taxes with her Amex Platinum issued one Peru, and the insurance is not as good as in the UK, so that would be the best option to avoid a legal claim against them and loose more time (already spent more than 2 hours between yesterday and today on the phone!). I have always been a loyal customer, even when I lived in the UK, I kept my IB account instead of changing to BA; but after next year, once my status expires, I will seriously consider changing my loyalty….

          • Anna says:

            Iberia are legally obliged to get her to Lima – you should make a claim for the extra leg if you end up paying for it yourself, or as kitten recommends, see if you can get a replacement ticket via Amex if possible. Insurance is not the same as S75, you would need to find out if cards issued in Peru have this protection.

          • kitten says:

            @Anna is right. Any extra cost to get her to Lima whether ticket, hotel, meals, transport to/from for any extra time the journey takes, Iberia is responsible for.

            You risk a misconnect if separate tickets plus covid/quarantine/denial of entry/sudden extra tests required by either the landing country, Peru, or both. So I would build in an overnight en route. Iberisa is just trying to be cheap here not paying even one segment to another airline at the cheaper interline rate and putting it all on one ticket to Lima which they are supposed to. And btw she is entitled to that last flight to Lima to be in Business too at Iberia’s cost.

            If you accept their idea make sure you state this is under protest and you still request Iberia to pay the entire costs of the journey back to Lima whether transport, accommodation, meals and any other extra costs arising as per EC261. Put it in writing to them as well as telling them. Record the call where you say this if your phone will do it otherwise take good notes and email them to yourself right after the call. Note date and time of esch call and if possible who you spoke to.

            You could also put in writing the advanced age of your mother travelling alone.

            Good luck

  • The real John says:

    My Curve is being declined for all transactions not just MS, but I haven’t received any communication from them, so it may just be a glitch.

    For context I spent £30k in the past 12 months of which £20k is MS, namely £1k cash, £5k tax (paid 1.5%), £5k forward infantry, £9k random number generator (all still in the account) which is hardly exciting.

    • Si says:

      If I wanted to generate some random numbers on IHG black card via curve, is there a fee for that?

    • Bobri says:

      Is that a blue bendy? Can’t get mine to work with the random number generator

      • Si says:

        Yes to the old blue one. I might try a small amount and see if the Feds come a knockin’!

        Take the gamble on a few quids charge if does go through.

    • Dave B says:

      Forward infantry? a new one .

    • Gavin says:

      Surely things like paying tax are not MS. I would define MS as unnecessary transactions (cycling), which only exist for generating points, not simply routing your legitimate spend through a CC via Curve.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Wouldn’t worry about the spend. Contact Curve to see if it’s something their end.

      Are you sure it’s not an underlying card?

    • Ghosty says:

      I had my curve declined last night on a spend at Screwfix (not a dating site it seems 😊 )
      Waited a minute and tried again and it was accepted. Both attempts were via IHG.
      As our friends across the pond say ‘go figure’

      • ankomonkey says:

        🙂 I always wondered what went on inside those massive Screwfix warehouses…

  • KBuffett says:

    I called AmEx cancellations yesterday for Gold Charge Card and was offered 5000 points if I spend £1000 over the next three months. Poor in my opinion, but better than nothing.

    • Dan says:

      I did the same but with BA Premium card and only got offered an extra point per pound for 3 months.

    • Super Secret Stuff says:

      Odd, it was 10,000 for the lucky ones at the start of Feb. Might be to do with the offers they have got coming up soon

    • Dan says:

      What’s the number to get straight through to the right Amex UK cancellations/retention department?

  • Crafty says:

    IHG are now telling me it’s a “known issue” that I can’t access my account at all following an attempt I made to change my password, but won’t give me a timeline for a fix.

    If you were due to change password yourself, beware and do so only advisedly…

  • Nana says:

    I am thinking of referring for Amex Platinum Business Card. I have a Ltd company (but do not have a business bank account). My wife applied for business card two years ago (she is director of company) and was rejected – they did not give a reason but I suspect it was because we do not have a business account.

    Is it worth us opening a business account using one of online companies (e.g. Tide) and then reapplying? Or alternatively my wife and I both have self employed income so could apply as sole traders? Wanted to know which would give us best chance of being accepted.

  • Toby says:

    We’re moving house soon (hopefully) and I’m struggling to find a surveyor within London with good reviews who accepts card payment. Anyone got any tips? Thanks!

  • Ammar says:

    Hi. Need a apart-hotel for a week stay near angel underground station for work. Any recommendations?..citadines Barbican comes up, anyone stayed there? Also is it recommended to contact the hotel to negotiate a rate, will they be cheaper?

    • Ammar says:

      Thanks Rob. Did have a look at Hilton/Doubletree but lack of kitchen facilities in their rooms put me off as was hoping to prep a meals myself. I will admit did not look at their suites so will check again if they have facilities in them. Hopefully a aparthotel deal turns up on amex. Was probably going to tube it to angel or walk – need the exercise! Would have booked Residence Inn, cheap rates for healthcare workers but alas I am not

      • Rob says:

        Remember Marriott is offering double points and double elite night credit so the Res Inn could be attractive from that point of view (London Bridge, Northern line to Angel).

        • Lee Poedersnall says:

          I just stayed at Res Inn “London bridge”. But just remember it is quite far from the station a good 15mins walk

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