Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Thursday 11th 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 (463)

  • Tom says:

    Seems BA are being liberal with the cancellation button today!

    My 2-4-1 + 50% off Avios to HND in June has just been cancelled. Jumped straight onto MMB on, then tried the BA app. Both initially appear to allow me to change dates as far as Feb 2022, but on both platforms each and every combination of new dates I search for yields a red error message saying ‘no flights found, change your dates’.

    Anyone have any advice? I’m hoping to avoid calling the contact centre because I hear that if I do I risk being told I can only re-book until the end of June this year…

    • DT says:

      If you can’t do it via the app or website it might be that you will need to call. I had my 241, 50% off booking to SIN cancelled today and was unable to change it on the website but was able to do it on the app, did it on my iPhone if maybe the different app versions behave differently.

      You do risk being told you can’t move it further than one year from the initial booking date, though I have read on here and on FT that people have had success with this from calling. You may need to hang up and call again a few times.

      If the booking is in F, call YouFirst, I find they are always extremely helpful and accommodating.

      • Tom says:

        Great advice DT, thank you. I was also using an iPhone but will try downloading the app onto another device I have. Ultimately, I may well have to call by the look of it. Pity, but I’ll give it a go! Sadly it’s a club world booking so no YouFirst this time (agree, they’re generally excellent).

        • meta says:

          Wait a day or two. It was showing nothing for me initially, but then later it allowed me to change on the app. The system needs time to process the cancellation.

    • Ed says:

      Hi, I’ve just had mine cancelled too. Ii will only let me book to mid Feb (like others above). I’m not that bothered on timing etc. If I get everything back (Avios/Cash /2-4-1) how difficult might LON-SIN-LON be generally for reward flights in say April/May (2022). Flight was originally LHR-KUL and SIN-LHR but outbound got cancelled so I originally swapped it to SIN.

    • Joe says:

      I had the same issue this week. Called up – no issues at all. Rebooked for late October, not restricted by peak/off-peak, Avios availability, or the original 1 year validity of the ticket.

    • Michael C says:

      There may well have to be Avios availability on the dates you want. Just fyi, I was told on the phone there was nothing 2 weeks either side of my preferred date, buT I found one just two days out on MMB.

  • lammy52 says:

    Can Morrisons gift cards be used to buy petrol from their stores. I think I have seen posts saying this is possible, but am not certain.

    • KBuffett says:


      • Yuff says:

        Most sales assistants in the petrol stations can’t work the tills to process the gc’s and will fib you off saying you can’t use gc’s fir fuel, but it’s on the end screen under gift cards

    • Harry T says:

      Yes, I’ve done it a lot.

  • Fred S says:

    will these stack using natwest card? 10% airtime, 7% natwest & 8 Virgin/£ (all over £30)…

    • BuildBackBetter says:

      wasnt it 6 virgin per £?

      • Doug M says:

        Individual offers, mine is 8.

        • Hotelier says:

          When you talk about Virgin … is it Virgin credit card? , Virgin Red?? I knew about Flying club’s offers before but those are not active anymore

          • Doug M says:

            Virgin’s shopping portal. Register an instore card, as in register credit cards to get Virgin miles when shopping in allowed shops, one of which is Morrison’s.

          • Hotelier says:

            Thanks @Doug M, don’t know why but thought that was over now that VirginRed started. 6points/£ for me 😀

  • ChrisC says:

    IHG have launched a fast track to Gold and Plat offer.

    Register and you have 90 days to stay 2 nights to get gold or 5 for Platinum status till the end of 2022.

    Last day to register is 31st August.

    Usual T&C is you must book direct via IHG (and I would include via Emyr in that but obviously not via Expedia, Booking .com etc etc)

    • Rob says:

      Onto this, will cover it over the weekend.

    • TJ says:

      You can of course just buy Platinum Elite status (which let’s face it is pretty lacklustre) via the IC Ambassador programme. You’ll get some additional benefits at IC hotels plus you may be able to offset the cost with the free weekend voucher.

    • Aston100 says:

      Gold status via free IHG card is surely the easiest route?

    • Gavin says:

      I’ve just done 8 nights in IHG, am Gold. Checked out yesterday – presume too late!

    • Anna says:

      I spoke to them earlier and they’re still refusing to extend the bonus free night certificate 😡. The poor guy on the phone said they are getting calls every day about it! Not going to generate much goodwill from Ambassadors with this offer …

      • TJ says:

        Says a lot about IHG. A really poor and short-sighted decision by the top team!

      • Sarah says:

        Was just about to ask the same question if anyone as had any joy with extending the date of the free night which was given if took out AMB membership last year which expires at the end of April?
        My husband has already lost out on AMB reward night which couldn’t be used before end of March.

    • Jimbob says:

      IHG rewards where status is guaranteed to give you zilch!

      • Andrew says:


        Gold always gets me a Gold coffee mug at breakfast at my usual Holiday Inn, and a chunky KitKat on the tea tray.

        • Harrier25 says:

          Fantastic…not! I value my Hilton Honors Gold so much more than my IHG Spire Elite. IHG really need to wake up and smell the coffee.

  • ChrisC says:

    And some good news travel wise as France eases travel for UK and six other countries

    • The real John says:

      Does this mean we can sneak into other Schengen countries via France? (Not that I’m planning to leave the UK this year unless Australia decides to remove hotel quarantine)

      • meta says:

        Still 7 days quarantine and PCR test 72h before arrival.

        • Lady London says:

          plus having to prepay the UK’s ripoff charge £210 for 1-2 PCR tests per person before your journey to return. non-UK rate about £50 each PCR test.

          • Callum says:

            Sorry if you answered this question before and I missed it, but where are you able to privately get a PCR test with genomic sequencing for £50?

            Not to mention the cost of running the whole scheme. Though perhaps you don’t think the people creating this additional risk should have to pay to manage it?

          • Lady London says:

            Callum not in UK. Without trying too hard France Germany Sweden. All advancee Western economies presumably with similar social overheads and still lots of profit being made there.

            £210 for 1 or 2 tests & even Collinson’s £196 using the £210 as a price umbrella is either a pisstake or signalling graft or excessive profit on the part of the UK government and parties involved.

          • Callum says:

            Where in France? I’ve done a search and cannot find where a symptomless person can get a PCR test for travel purposes for £50. Let alone a test that includes genomic sequencing (which I’m sure you can appreciate is a far more involved process).

            I think it’s beyond obvious that the UK government is not making a profit from Covid testing. Is this just self-interest? You want to take the risk (to all of us) of going abroad yet want everyone else to pay for it? (Note: I’m not saying people shouldn’t go abroad when it opens up (even I’m considering it) – I’m saying if you create an additional risk it should be you who mitigates it)

  • Ed says:

    A few days ago someone was having a go at SeatSpy for duff info (I agree). Rob said “watch this space.” My eyeballs are spinning from watching and nothing happening. Should I let them have a rest?

  • Dan says:

    Has anyone tried Ernie>Free Bendy>The Hong Kong Bank? Does incur a fee from the latter?

  • Hotelier says:

    Airtime rewards question: someone knows if they do card name verification. Planning to use my card on my partners airtimes account as he has 10% in Morrison instead of 7% but worried it won’t track correctly

    • The real John says:

      I’m not convinced that any cards do name verification ever.

      • Hotelier says:

        So should be fine to use my Natwest if i have registered it to his Airtime Rewards…would be good to know for sure as planning to spend a considerable amount. Our main supermarket is Morrisons and considerable Amazon spent too, now I am starting to worry where I am going to put the £10k from the Business plat that arrived yesterday!!!

    • Sina says:

      They won’t name check, just card number, make sure the card is not registered on your Airtime.

      @The real John Amex does Name check, I’ve had a number of transactions where merchant halt the purchase, because I used my wife’s card!

      • Anna says:

        That’s not usual for Amex – I’ve had plenty of transactions where one of our names has auto filled for the other’s card and not been declined!

        • Chris Heyes says:

          Anna Correct I’ve used My Premium BA Amex on my BA Avois site, and Partners Gold Amex on same BA Avios site so i get the Avios.
          Same the other way round partners BA Avios site using my card so she gets the points
          Not that it really matters because it’s a household Account/
          But because her brother has a separate BA Avios account it makes it a lot easier to ask BA to take the relevant Avios from 3 accounts
          Simply because cant transfer her brothers Avios (well can but with a cost)
          We are £500odd away from hitting £15k on her gold (by June) so just gentle spend on her card now.
          Cancel when target hits Acc and get BA Premium
          bit annoying as her card has 12k referral, mine stuck at 9k and it’ll be me who refers her
          I’m around 3k off my 10k target, but don’t want to hit it until Oct (before 6th)
          As need voucher to end Sept
          Not a problem though been putting spend through her brothers Gold so he hits £15k spend as well by June deadline
          That’s the beauty of having three card to hit 3 bonuses

      • Jay says:

        Just done a test payment through an Amex merchant account and name was Mickey Mouse, (not my real name) and it still processed. Card processors only do security checks via CVC, Postcode and more recently address line 1.

    • Andrew says:

      *Looking Shifty*

      No, none of them do. I used to earn quite a lot of Avios through my gin-soaked aunt’s daily trips to Waitrose.

      Through lockdown, she’s been ordering from Morrison’s instead…

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