Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Saturday 13th 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)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Blair says:

    Any solid info on whether Hilton UK are using a standard form at check in to declare reason for stay? Marriott seem to have a standard form in place, completed with zero validation so they’re relying on guests self-declaring accurately.

    • Algor says:

      Stayed in 2 Hilton hotels recently, both cases just replayed to pre-arrival email stating I’m on business, at check-in wasn’t bothered with any form at all.

      I’d assume there is no standardised form chainwide, the hotel you stay could still have some written declaration / validation required.

      Why don’t drop an email or give them a call?

    • Harry T says:

      Currently staying at a Hampton for work – you just fill in a form where you declare your reason for visiting (there’s a list of valid reasons to tick). I don’t think there’s any brand standardisation.

    • Vin says:

      My local DoubleTree who seem to ‘know’ me because I often use the Day Rate ask no questions but I did sign a disclaimer once. A Hilton I stayed in away to attend a medical appointment just asked me to state the reasons under ‘special requests’ when I booked online – though I did call in advance to check. No questions asked at check-in.

  • SwissJim says:

    Still no option for me to turn on Avios within Baclays Premier App. I guess it will come. Anyone been credited with the 25,000 bonus points yet? Virgin Red points have credited fine. Need to find another switch now. Or someone else to switch….

    • Craig says:

      Barclays Avios account showing 25000 collected with Barclays. This is in the app, rewards, see activity, they’ve not been added to my BAEC yet but bodes well.

      • Matt says:

        Barclays roll-out: I was an existing BP customer but had never downloaded the app before the avios announcement. Anyone out there in the same situation who has already been able to activate avios rewards? I’m impatient! Thanks.

    • Sarah says:

      I am in the same position but Rob said it was being done over time so fingers crossed it works for us!

  • James. says:

    Anyone know when NS&I initiate KYC checks? If there a certain deposit limit?

    • BP says:

      I got source of funds checked by them. Sent off 3 months of statements from creatives, beardy, Hong Kong and others with all relevant transactions highlighted as well as a diagram of the complex situation and an explanation of moving my own money for short term saving purposes.

      Never heard back. So assume it’s all good. I also have a high income and sent my tax return to prove why I have such large sums to play with. As well as that I evidenced large withdrawals from other savings which proved the money is mine.

      No idea what amount triggered it but it only took 3-4 months of extracting the urine in terms of stepping up the values before it triggered.

      • Ilou says:

        Hong Kong, that’s new for me ? What it is ?

      • Ming the Merciless says:

        I’ve been cycling circa £2.5m per year for the past 3 years. Haven’t heard a peer from them.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          No mercy there!

        • Grant says:

          Baller 😎

        • Genghis says:


        • Paul says:


        • James. says:

          Wow seriously? What’s your despising amount and frequency cycle as that’s like £200k a month (crazy amount)

        • Jonathan says:

          At that level they probably think you’re that dodgy they’ve passed your details over to the security services rather than scare you off with a KYC check. Can imagine the hive mind in GCHQ desperately trying to figure out who Bendy & Beardy are!

          • Aston100 says:

            Hah, all they need to do is visit this site and read the giveaway comments and full on deciphering service from people who haven’t thought very far ahead really (“but but it’s all childish and inefficient and blah blah…. oh wait, why has it all stopped working all of a sudden? boo hoo)

    • Sussex bantam says:

      Do you mean on deposit or on setting up a new account ?

      I just deposited a large amount into an already open account without any issue

    • Secret Squirrel says:

      It can vary, No exact science to it. I know someone who deposited 5k a month who got KYC after only 3 x months.

    • James. says:

      Thanks all. So I guess carry on until KYC hits.

  • BuildBackBetter says:

    Re-posting from yesterday night:
    Everyone over 40 should be offered their first Covid-19 vaccine by Easter, with a “bumper boost” to supplies allowing the programme to rapidly expand next week, The Telegraph can reveal.
    Stocks are expected to more than double, allowing the NHS to administer up to a million doses a day in coming weeks, government sources said.
    It means that all over-50s are expected to receive an invitation for a jab over the next week – around three weeks ahead of the Government’s target.

    Get your domestic hotel bookings sorted!

    • meta says:

      A spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Social Care said that the claim that over-40s would be offered vaccine shots by Easter is “incorrect,” when contacted by Reuters. “We have set out our timelines for the vaccination programme and there is no change to this.”

      “We intend to offer a first dose to all over-50s by mid-April and all adults by the end of July,” the spokeswoman said.

      • Simon says:

        I got my text last week and booked in for Monday week. I’m 55. My 51 year old brother, who lives in a different area, had his yesterday. They are doing a brilliant job.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        They will be speaking in general on the rollout nationwide or in England rather than where an individual authority or doctors surgery has got to on their offers.

        What I would say is that I find it’s abhorrent that the UK would consider vaccinating its under 50’s before all over 65’s have had it around Europe. The vaccine nationalism needs to stop!

        I don’t want to get into a discussion on what deals whoever did as it’s besides the point. None of us will really move on until all the over 50’s have had their first jabs.

        Stories of towns in Ireland still waiting to vaccinate their over 85’s while we talk about how it’s going to roll out to 45-50 doesn’t sit right with me AT ALL

        • Paul says:

          But why then are you only suggesting Europe as a range? Surely the aim should be all over 70’s let’s say, worldwide, before under 40/50’s anywhere?

          • TGLoyalty says:

            While I completely agree we have far greater reliance on pan European travel than global, daily freight movements, maintaining machinery, Specialisms / expertise etc

            We should be helping Europe just like UAE/Israel should be helping the poorer Middle Eastern countries

            USA should be doing the same with the Americas.

          • BuildBackBetter says:

            Exactly, it doesn’t stop there. They got what they deserved. As the remainers mentioned several times in the last 4 years.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Got what they deserved?

            We are talking about human lives not bullshit slogans on a bus or fake borders for fish. Have some compassion and don’t make this about what it’s not.

          • Mike says:

            The UK with a population of 65m has had over 100,00 deaths, Ghana with a population of 30m has had ~600 deaths. Vaccinations worldwide by age would mean more deaths in the UK whilst saving practically no lives in some other countries.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            @Mike not sure what you mean it’s a fact that you are more at risk the older you are no matter where you live globally.

            Only about 3% of Ghana’s population over 65 compared to UK’s 18%.

            Conversely it takes a hell of a lot less doses to vaccinate Ghana’s most at risk (c2m) than it does UK’s (c25m)

            Anyway we have people taking pop shots at the EU some I’m going to leave it there.

        • Graham says:

          It has been reported that EU countries have stocks of the Oxford vaccine not being taken up so that will slow their progress.

          • BuildBackBetter says:

            Yup, they have plenty of AZ stock and spreading rumours all over. And remainers thinking we should stop vaccination here in solidarity with them!

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Dont use Germany and France as proxy for the whole of Europe. The whole of Europe isn’t even in the EU.

            Europe is a continent …

        • Mike says:

          Many European countries are sitting of stockpiles of millions of doses, sending them ours which are being aggressively distributed to go in a warehouse somewhere is literally a death sentence for some British citizens. Once we have vaccinated all that want them I’m sure we’ll be very generous with the surplus, just as we have been with funding COVAX, funding vaccine development and capacity etc.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            The “millions” of stock is actually 1.5m Italy, 1.4m France and 1.1m Germany which is about 2-3 days worth of jabs.

            A proportion of those will actually be held back for 2nd jab stock as supply is projected to be low for months.

          • BuildBackBetter says:

            France and Germany are sitting on millions of AZ doses and spreading rumours. They wont help their neighbours, but we should. Very persuasive argument.

          • Track says:

            Those vaccine stockpiles will last them weeks, not days. Each vaccination centre (assume a few per a major city) can’t process more than several thousands a day.

            Take 1.5m Italy notional sock, by saying it’s only sufficient for few days, are you saying that 750,000 will get vaccinated in ONE DAY? or even 375,000 in ONE DAY?

            Holding stock back for 2nd dose is another matter — they should exercise some kind of forecasting model and hold sufficient for next 1-2 weeks, assuming not all who are scheduled will come.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Nearly 500k people are vaccinated on a weekend day in England and 300k on a weekday …. so yes days.

        • Andy says:

          How old are you TGLoyalty?

        • Brian says:

          Why would a healthy 40-year-old even want an experimental vaccine? We were told that lockdown was to protect the vulnerable. I see no rationale for mass-vaccinating healthy people in their forties at all, let alone before so-called vulnerable people in other countries.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            In general I agree. There is 0 need.

            Some will tell you it’s your duty to “stop the spread” but the hypocrisy there is they probably didn’t ever take the flu vaccine once they left school.

          • John Green says:


        • The Savage Squirrel says:

          Vaccine supply is not the only factor (and not the main factor in several instances) in distribution speed. Halting the UK vaccine rollout until the least competent and most shambolic country in Europe catches up is quite obviously the height of stupidity and would cost many lives for no good reason at all. It’s a similar mindset to those asking that spare vaccines be thrown away at the end of a day rather than be put into non-priority groups that happen to be available (NHS admin etc), so that nobody is treated “unfairly” or “jumps the queue”.
          As there is good evidence emerging that vaccination reduces transmission, even vaccinating younger people with little to no personal risk still reduces deaths. The greatest benefit therefore is to get as many vaccines as possible into willing arms as fast as possible. Where you have an organised programme with capacity and a willing population (both of which the UK, for the most part, has) then the correct approach is to go for speed rather than “fairness” and lose the opportunity.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            It literally will not cost any lives if you stop at phase 1 group which is where the under 50’s (without medical issues) are

            There is more chance of you being crushed walking on the street than dying of Covid.

          • Tracey says:

            That is happening within England as we speak, GP led clinics who were doing very well with the vaccine programme now have supply issues while slower areas are allowed to catch up.
            We have some local surgeries unable to vaccinate all their cohort 6, while people online can book from age 56 (cohort 8).

          • The Savage Squirrel says:

            Sorry TG, that is only one part of the relevant picture as it ignores the protective effect to others of vaccines reducing transmission through younger populations (now shown by population-level studies). In addition, vaccination of young people reduces the infection pool from which dangerous new variants can emerge.

            Put very simply: vaccine into young healthy people’s arms protects old and ill people and reduces the number that die. You just don’t seem to grasp this point.

            Of course at the point the UK vaccine programme has ample secure supply for its entire capacity I’d fully support excess stocks being given at little/no cost to poor countries as there is obvious benefit to us to do so. However if you halt the UK rollout today and send 20M doses today to random 3rd world ports then only a small fraction will enter arms as there is not the capacity to use them at short notice. Far better to have all 10M of those doses into ready/willing UK arms where infrastructure already exists to get them in.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            @Savage Squirrel the “protective effect” is the biggest unknown. New variants. The evolution of the body’s immune response over time.

            Vaccines are first and foremost about protection from death and severe disease for the patient taking it.

          • Lady London says:

            You are correct @Savage. Although the less discriminatory approach probably depends on having a large supply of vaccine.

          • Track says:

            “Halting the UK vaccine rollout until the least competent and most shambolic country in Europe catches up…”

            Exactly. And people never really think out of the box — without an appropriate nudge. For example, the alternative strategy to vaccinate all working population 18-45 and open up the economy was never really given a consideration because it would be ‘unfair’ by breaching seniority.

          • The Savage Squirrel says:

            “@Savage Squirrel the “protective effect” is the biggest unknown”

            Except it’s not unknown at all. The protective effect is there and huge data samples suggest it’s very powerful (this is not at all a surprise, it’s what we expected, we just needed data to confirm it – it’s the same as all other vaccines for respiratory diseases, the vaccine massively reduces transmission…)
            For example, Prizer is 94% effective at preventing asymptomatic spread according to data from Israel
            Those living with NHS workers who have been vaccinated are 54% less likely to get the virus (note this figure will be a lower % than the true protective effect as the study subjects could still catch the virus from elsewhere)

            Now do you get it…? Vaccinating our own young risk-free population benefits our young and old alike by allowing faster easing of restrictions, and and by reducing deaths amongst the vulnerable by reducing population transmission. I really can’t explain it any more simply.

        • KP says:

          Africa has not even started vaccinating. Why dont you offer your vaccine to them then ? PS: I’m from kenya

          • BuildBackBetter says:

            Ignore Africa, KP. As per TGLoyalty, they are second class to the rich europeans who dont believe in vaccines and spread rumours, yet must be saved at all costs, diverting our own vaccine supply.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Covax is already concentrating on supplying Africa and other poor countries.

            But don’t let that get in the way of your anti EU agenda.

          • meta says:

            That is simply not true. Some African countries have already started vaccinating. About 2-3 weeks ago Covax has started actively delivering. Already mentioned Ghana is currently vaccinating health workers. Smaller African countries have already vaccinated large sections of populations. Seychelles which will finish vaccination programme in about 10 days. Sao Tome last week got enough doses to vaccinate a third of the population with more on the way by summer. Even Kenya got 1 million doses on 6 March and will start with health workers.

            Covax is really great initiative.

        • Chris Heyes says:

          TGLoyalty Although i can see sense in your argument.
          But surely there’s the same argument to be had that over 65’s all around the “World”
          should be vaccinated before anyone under 65 gets vaccinated.
          Or is it protectionist Europe as most want to holiday somewhere in Europe
          (Europe World I don’t see a difference ?)

          • TGLoyalty says:

            If you read my original post it has nothing to do with holidays, I outlined exactly why Europe is a priority for all of our collective lives

            European shuts downs are causing havoc at all levels of the uk supply chain from food and medicine to manufacturing.

            I also mentioned how that’s the same for other countries and their local neighbours and trading partners USA should be sharing with Canada/Mexico for example.

            in fact the UAE reversed its silly free for all policy to focus on chiefs by age and risk and has started sharing more.

            Israel’s policy to not share with Palestine’s most at risk even in occupied West Bank is absolutely disgusting. I believe they’ve started to vaccinate those that work in Israel but that won’t help the most at risk in Palestine

          • Chris Heyes says:

            TGLoyalty, Don’t get me started on Israel, and how the western world won’t send a peace keeping force into the West Bank pull down the illegal settlements.
            so there is a buffer between them, both lots of idiots
            Don’t get me wrong I’m not for or against Palestine or same with Israel.
            In fact don’t give a dam either way.
            Just seems wrong nobody is willing to act, but willing to condemn what goes on there

        • JonD says:

          The UK is now mainly vaccinating with AZ as all the Pfizer jags are being saved for 2nd doses.

          Ireland banned AZ for over 65s so even if we were to contribute our AZ to them it wouldn’t help their over 85s who haven’t had any vaccine yet.

        • Lady London says:

          I agree @TG. But logistically hard to coordinate.

          I would also like all developed countries to jointly sponsor vaccines that is would cover everyone in poorer countries (leaving aside that many of those countries have an insanely wealthy upper class that doesn’t share).

          • meta says:

            There is already WHO’s Covax programme through which developed countries share with poorer countries. UK has donated £4.3bn for it.

        • Yorkieflyer says:

          I think any comments such as these should have a declaration as to the posters age

        • Track says:

          It is hard to accept this argument at time, when yesterday Demark, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Luxembourg — suspended the use of AzOx vaccine.

          People in Italy and France also hesitant and there is evidence for that.

          Vaccine should be made available to anyone who wants to take it in the locality.

        • AJA says:

          @TG the UK is not guilty of vaccine nationalism. Italy on the other hand actually stopped AZ exporting 250k vaccines to Australia. As for helping Europe, the UK is still part of Europe so we are helping by vaccinating UK residents, that includes many who are not UK citizens, which if it was only UK citizens receiving a jab would be an example of vaccine nationalism. Besides we are also helping Europe by making sure we reduce the spread of infection once travel does open up, both in terms of reducing the chances of taking the virus with us and also making sure we minimise the impact should we bring it back with us again.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            They are uk residents so your point makes absolutely no difference to the health of millions of the aged population of europe.

          • meta says:

            @AJA but at the same time Europe has let AZ export 34 million doses to other countries, including UK. The fact is 250k doses were going to Australia- a developed country which chose to close itself to the world. They really don’t need 250k vaccines at the moment.

          • kitten says:

            Aus has had repeated outbreaks and haa a lot of old people. If they wanted a miserable 250,000 doses they had a right to them.

        • Callum says:

          TGLoyalty – I don’t understand the logic behind your position at all? You begin by calling it abhorrent not to help others, but then restrict that help only to Europe because it’s “in our economic interests”? Which seems to be exactly the same attitude you supposedly hate?

          And why does this only apply to Covid? Hundreds of millions are living and dying in extreme poverty, shouldn’t we be helping them before we help our comparatively rich population too? Unless you think we should be spending a huge proportion of our budget on foreign aid – which I’d commend you for. Most people aren’t as selfless.

      • Gothbe says:

        Northern Ireland still stuck on over 60s. Slowest of the 4 🙁

      • Secret Squirrel says:

        Italy & Germany among others seeing a third wave of Covid.

    • Sussex bantam says:

      My wife – who is exactly 50 with no medical issues – got her invite yesterday. Booked in for next week

      • Blindman says:

        My grandkids Mother-who is 41 next week- is having her jab today.

        Got a text from her GP-here in the East of England

        • Blindman says:

          No medical issues and not a key worker.

          • BuildBackBetter says:

            No current issues maybe. But NHS are looking for past issues and tagging many people as potentially high risk. Even more likely if their parents had issues.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Could she have ever had a hospital admission in the past for asthma? Some are using that advice and some aren’t.

          or they might just have calculated her BMI incorrectly and think it’s over 40. There was one chap in the paper whose doctor calculated his as 36000 lol

          Or registered as an over 65’s unpaid carer ?

          • Blindman says:

            She is a large lady!

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Ah so she does actually have a risk factor.

          • RussellH says:

            The man with the huge BMI gave his height in old fashioned units, but the figures were transcribed using modern scientific ones. Listed as being 6.2cm tall.
            The systems would seem to need some basic data checking.

        • Rob says:

          I was offered one on Wed for yesterday but date didn’t work so I said I would defer. My wife is older than me but was not offered one. She finally got an invite last night but only because she has ‘underlying conditions’, which she doesn’t. All very odd.

          • Erico1875 says:

            I got mine a month ago. I’m 58 but in very good health.
            The only reason I can think of is I had (imo wrong) a suspected mini stroke 6 years ago

          • Kevin C says:

            Got my text at twenty past five yesterday. Going to be jabbed tomorrow evening. I’m in the younger half of group nine.

            Sadly I know several people much younger than me who have died of Covid.

          • The Savage Squirrel says:

            Doing anything perfectly is the enemy of getting it done.

            Do you want 1000s of Doctors and nurses sitting in an office full time carefully reviewing 40 million individual medical records to make sure the exact ordering of vaccine appointments is correct.
            Or chuck it into a computer keyword search algorithm, take your best shot at ordering using simple data you know (DOB, gender and a few risk factors keywords on the records), accept that this is very crude and mainly worry about getting needles into arms as fast as possible?

  • Graham says:

    Morning all.
    I see there is still a Seat Spy banner advert on HFP. I gave up on it months ago anyone know if it’s improved or actually works as advertised ?

    • James says:

      Cancelled mine too, very poor.

    • Rob says:

      Works fairly well now with BA data updated daily, so some fluctuation. Should be back to more regular updates soon.

      Reward Flight Finder data for BA is very rarely updated as fas as I can see.

  • TGLoyalty says:

    Not sure if it’a already been mentioned but looks like Portugal will come off the red list on Monday

    • Anna says:

      Not sure of the rationale for this – surely if it’s because there’s a lot of traffic from Brazil this hasn’t changed?

      • The Lord says:

        Lowest case rate in Europe, just behind us

        • The Lord says:

          *ahead of

        • Anna says:

          But that’s not why it was put on the list. Not that the list is a great example of common sense and reasoned thinking!

          • TGLoyalty says:

            The list is a little bit of there’s genuine uncertainty about strains from those countries and a lot of it looks good for their core voters after the results of a focus group.

            I’d be interested to hear what % of people in hotel quarantine every actually tested positive.

          • David S says:

            Portugal has banned flights from Brazil for months now whereas there is no ban on Spain which is historically connected to all the Spanish speaking countries in South America (which is actually all of South America except for Brazil). Case numbers in the Algarve for instance has less than 20 daily cases and last reported as zero deaths on 11th March. Must be all that Sun and Sea air

          • The real John says:

            No, 4 countries in South America (plus the Falklands) are not Spanish-speaking.

    • Michael C says:

      Portugal a lot stricter now: only accepts passengers from Brazil if a) they have a documented urgent reason to travel, and b) they then quarantine fo 2 weeks.

  • Anna says:

    Is anyone else having issues getting Revolut to show the authorisation for online card transactions? I can do transfers but not actually pay for anything, even after updating the app!

  • Njb says:

    Following a house sale we have a considerable amount of money to buy premium bonds before using the money later in year. Is there anyway of buying them and obtaining airmiles. Seem to have been Curve problems lately.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Curve still works. Just slowly move it in ?

      • Njb says:

        Thanks – dont have a card atm. Is it metal I need?

      • Matt says:

        Surely rate of deposit is fairly irrelevant? If you bang 50k into PBs as quickly as curve daily limit allows and leave it there no one will bat an eyelid. If you are cycling 10k in and 10k out each month sooner or later questions will be asked.

        • Matt says:

          Though as BP and Ming note above “sooner or later” can cover a wide range…

        • BuildBackBetter says:

          Njb doesnt intend to cycle. Just invest once and withdraw later one-off.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Depends if there are actually issues (which I’m hearing there still are)

          I wouldn’t want 20k of my credit limit held up because it’s bounced or been double charged / held.

          Standard curve works with NS&I

          • HH says:

            Is there no 1.5% fee with non-metal Bendy? Also, if I open the WE card now will Bendy/Ernie spend count towards Welcome and Anniversary bonus spend?

          • The real John says:

            No fee, and yes I think it does

    • roberto says:

      Curve 3DS fixed.
      Fill your boots

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