Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Saturday 13th March

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Comments (297)

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  • Josh says:

    Further to my previous comment, looks like i’ll need to transfer my 140k points from the Amex Plat Biz so I can cancel it.

    Cant decide whether to sell them for virgin our BA.

    Currently have 250k Avios & 80k virgin points.

    Wife is American so Virgin would cover the US destinations + use of points for other flights (ANA, delta one etc.)

    BA offers more brevity in routes, but taxes + fees are really frustrating

    Virgin seems less stable than BA from a survivability perspective.

    Also have 85k Chase points that we can convert into Avios or Virgin at any time.

    Any tips?

    • JPa says:

      Apply for the new business card first, then you can close the plat biz and the points will move over (sometimes you need to request the MR accounts are merged first.

    • memesweeper says:

      Marriott often solid value, but not quite at the level of the airlines. The chain is huge with hotels all over the place.

      Raddisson often best value for a hotel chain, but less likely than Marriott to have properties where/when you want them.

    • Lady London says:

      BA points can be moved to an IB account and spent on OneWorld airlines often with less taxes for US. Some negatives to do with IB though.
      If you do book BA flights from IB you still get BA’s high taxes loaded but not if you book other OneWorld airlines with avios from IB.

      But I would do that – BA, then consider if booking whether moving avios to IB account and booking from IB cheaper.

      VS does have the ability to use milesfor DL flights which is nice…. but any booking not yet flown you should insure – or trust Amex insurance if you want – or pay at least £1 off on a UK credit card if its total value £100+ gives you s.75 protection.

      Any new IB account needs to earn at least 1 avios and be 90 days old to spend out of IB best sorted asap to have ready.

      • meta says:

        Beware that booking partner awards via IB on Avios is non-refundable except for BA flights.

  • Ja says:

    Has anyone done Hawaii?. If so which route did you take did you do to get there. Might do a couple of changes along the way to boost the tier points. Also can you recommend somewhere to stay.

    • Anna says:

      It was prior to my points collecting days but we had a fantastic trip staying a week in Palm Springs (from LAX) then 10 days on Oahu and couple of days in Atlanta on the way back (flew with Delta). San Francisco would be another good destination for a 2 centre trip.

      • Anna says:

        We had a condo in Palm Springs and hired a car so we could do day trips to Joshua Tree National Park and other local spots. I remember driving through the blazing hot desert past row upon row of wind turbines, it was quite surreal!

      • Ja says:

        Thanks Anna

        Did you just do Oahu or did you do any other of the islands?. Haven’t been to Sam Francisco for a few years so that would be an option. I travel on my own (other half doesn’t like travelling unless to a Xmas market in Europe) and I have never driven abroad so wouldn’t hire a car.

        • Anna says:

          Just Oahu – the only way to get to the other islands is to fly and I recall it not being a cheap option at that time. There was more than enough to do for 10 days though. I am hoping to go again some time and visit the Big Island.

        • Stuart Evans says:

          Two separate issues to consider:

          Flights: most flights from the mainland to Hawaii are not on flat beds, so this needs digging out if you care about it. IIRC, American has a flat bed from DFW and perhaps a couple of other points of origin. Alaska can be a good choice and is fully in One World from the end of this month – Seattle is HQ, but lots of direct flights from other West Coast destinations. Outside One World, United used to have a flat bed from Newark. Hawaii Air has flat beds and we have taken the HNL-LAS flight a couple of time; plus LAs is a good place to spend a couple of days if you don’t have a car

          On the Islands, my first choice if you don’t have a car would be HNL/Waikiki. But Lahania on Maui would be a close second.

          For accommodation, hotels tend to be pricy, and lots of choice at AirBnB or condos. We have had good experience at Outrigger or Aston

          Whatever you do, have a great trip

    • Gavin says:

      I booked a great ex-Dublin fare a couple of years ago (DUB – LHR – LAX – HNL and back again). You can add an additional change in JFK to increase the tier points.

      I’d recommend visiting Maui and the Big Island rather than Oahu. The short time we spent in Honolulu was probably the worst part of the trip, although the Pearl Harbour tour and exhibitions were very interesting. There’s some great properties all over Hawaii on AirBnB etc. Much better value than hotels.

    • Nectar collector says:

      As per Anna’s comment, we went a couple of years ago before we’d fully wised up to how to maximise tier point runs….we flew London – LAX – Honolulu return on BA/AA Business Class. We did the NCL 7 day cruise around the Hawaiian Islands , and then stayed in the Prince Waikiki in Honolulu in a club room for a few days . It’s not part of any of the usual hotel chains, we just happened to find a good cash deal via one of the OTAs.

    • Tarmohamed says:

      We did it prior to us being point collectors. United from LHR-SFO-HNL. Stayed at the Hilton, (I’m a Hawaii Five-0 fan”. Our return was HNL-EWR-LHR but the plane was taken out of service once we all boarded. Technical issues. Was rerouted through SFO, stayed at the Marriot for a couple hours at United’s cost. They asked if wanted to stay a few more days but we had to decline due to commitments at home. They also compensated us with vouchers enough for return flights LHR-EWR for both of us the following year.

      • Anna says:

        If you drive along the coast you can spot several filming locations from Magnum PI as well!

    • Louise K says:

      I’ve done Hawaii a couple of times.

      I love Maui – great hotel options in Wailea and some not bad ones in Kaanapali. Lots to do and see on this island. Whale watching season is November to April, and is spectacular!

      We opt for a condo when we stay as like the flexibility and wouldn’t get the value from a resort. They are very $$$$

    • LST says:

      Hi. We didn’t do it using points but spent a week on Oahu at the Royal Hawaiian and then a week on Maui at the Four seasons. If you are flying that kind of distance I would recommend doing at least two islands, the landscapes vary greatly.
      On Oahu we liked the buzz of Waikiki but (we hired a car) also went out to the North Shore, Pearl Harbour, Polynesian Cultural Centre etc.
      Maui is much quieter with highlights for us being snorkelling at Molokini crater and the road to Hana.
      The Royal Hawaiian is very old school glamour but has its own private section on Waikiki beach and walking distance to lots of bars and restaurants.
      Four seasons Maui is still the best hotel experience I have ever had, amazing levels of service and I believe it’s where they send management for training.

    • Andrew Griffin says:

      We’ve done Hawaii twice. Both times with an overnight in LA on the way out. Last time we stopped in Portland OR for a few days to break up the return. Visited Oahu, Maui, Big Island and Kauai using Hawaiian for the internal flights. Oahu has the biggest choice of flights to/from continental US though we flew to Portland from Maui.

    • Red Flyer says:

      Did it via Tokyo – but was living in HK at the time and crossing the date line really messed up our body clocks. Waikiki is a bit Benidorm so the north coast is worth a look if that is not your scene. Just my personal opinion but Oahu only worth doing as part of a multi-island trip to see the ‘real Hawaii’ that you have travelled that far to experience.

    • AndyGWP says:

      I’ve done the classic MAN-LHR-JFK-LAX-KOA and back (via. LAS possibly?) which got me from 0 tier points to about 1100 IIRC, then did some inter island hopping using Aadvantage miles (I think it was). Was about 6 or 7 years so not sure if it’s as points / price lucrative now (there was a really good price at the time – think I found it mentioned on here!!!)

  • Tiger says:

    Those of you planning to game the system by depositing a certain amount every month to Barclays Premier account, please don’t! The just blocked my account for transferring just 4 grand, on suspicion of fraud! 🥺

    Does anyone know how to contact their fraud team directly?

    • Rachel R says:

      That’s weird. I’ve been doing that for over a year without any problems.

      • Tiger says:

        I have been doing this with other banks every month to meet their respective account criteria, without any problem. But Barclays seems to have a no tolerance policy with these monthly in and out transactions!

  • Super Secret Stuff says:

    Bill hops ID verification is an absolute joke.

    Submitted my bus pass and looks like it is going through ok… why even bother

  • mart says:

    I was approved for my amex biz gold card on 9/3/21, still yet to arrive today. I applied on 3/3/21. When does the 3 month window to hit the 5k spend for the 50k sign up start? thanks!

    • Benilyn says:

      I don’t know but don’t risk it 🤷‍♀️ Use the earlier date to be safe

    • Genghis says:

      Erm. When you get the card and can start spending? It ends usually 3+ months after receiving the card IME

  • Marc says:

    Air Duty from Dubai
    I have a question…I have Virgin points and I’m looking to use them on Virgin partner Air France to fly Dubai to Paris one way in business class (hopefully November, I know, assuming….). To minimise air passenger duty can you book it ‘from Dubai’ ie using a VPN or will I be hit with a lot of tax using normal channels? Also any idea of cost?
    Any pointers much appreciated!

    • Rob says:

      It won’t make any difference to duty. Any one-way flight starting in Dubai is nominally ticketed there and would reflect local rules on taxes.

  • Suck My Points says:

    The Hilton website used to show points activity, including a breakdown of base points, bonus points, My Way points etc. I can’t find anything like that now, just a list of stays, limited to 12 months.

    In the app there is a points activity view but it doesn’t give a breakdown.

    Is there any way to see a breakdown of points earned? I like to check everything sand know exactly what I’ve received so I can chase any missing points.

    • Richster says:

      Where you have the list of stays, there is a filter thing near the top, click the ‘Other Activity’ and ‘Past stays’ and it will show the points. I see the Barclays Spend bonus and the detailed breakdown of my last stay.

  • The Original Nick says:

    BA Tier points for status question, does anyone know when the reduced amount of tier points for status reset to there normal amount. Its currently 225 for bronze, 450 for Silver and 1125 for gold ( I think). When does it change back to the norm? Ie, 600 tier points for silver. Thanks.

    • AJA says:

      Given the latest extension of a few days ago it starts in 2022. Eg I am a 8 Feb reset, my current year ending 8 Feb 2022 I need 450 TP to retain Silver. From 9 Feb 2022 it reverts to 600TP.

    • Mouse says:

      July next year

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