Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Friday 19th 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 (303)

  • Damian says:

    I did a BAPP referral for a friend the other day who was an existing gold card member. He had recently moved address but had not updated Amex with it. He changed the address before doing the application from my referral literally 10 mins later. He just had to provide proof of the move i.e. bank statement with new address and all was done within two days and the card sent out for the new account.

  • Andrew says:

    Can confirm that the BAPP extra 2 Avios offer does work with PayPal, as expected the standard wording in the offer about it not applying to payment aggregators was not relevant to this offer.

  • Harry T says:

    Why not apply for the card just before you move? Then you can use your old address and update your address online as soon as the account is open, saving yourself any potential faff. I mean – it’s Amex, not Virgin Money, so you’ll be fine either way.

  • Grimz says:

    I have just paid Brighton via bendy linked to beardy. As long as I stay within my credit limit on beardy I will be fine?

    • Alex H says:

      No guarantee that it will be fine. I had my Lloyds Avios credit card cancelled as only used Bendy and also paid Brighton with it. Always paid it off and kept within limit. I’ve now had my HBOS current accounts and savings accounts closed as they are part of Lloyds Banking Group Really not worth the extra few points in all honesty.

      • Andrew says:

        But still two different banking licences…

        So your HBOS accounts were closed due to your use of Curve on a Lloyds Credit Card?

        • Alex H says:

          Yes. Almost identical letters arrived within days of each other. They even stopped me using the switching service to open a new account. I telephoned them for an explanation but I need to go into a Lloyds branch but unfortunately there are none in Scotland. I’m going into BOS branch next week but they did say the problem is with the Lloyds card

          • memesweeper says:

            Harsh. Hope you get some resolution @AlexH

          • The real John says:

            If you transfer your entire balance from Lloyds to somewhere else like Santander on Saturday morning, then Santander to HSBC on Sunday morning, then back to Lloyds before the end of Monday, you will earn interest on the same money for 3 days at Lloyds, 2 days at Santander and 1 day at HSBC, i.e. 6 days of interest over 3 days – and more on long weekends, Christmas and Easter.

            This was worth doing when all the accounts paid 3-5% interest. It works because Lloyds considers a non-banking day to be part of the next banking day; and Santander’s system treats Saturdays as lasting 48 hours and Sundays as non-existent.

            If you really wanted to maximise this, you could take advantage of the fact that Lloyds calculates interest on your account balance at midnight, while Santander uses your balance at around 8.15pm, so you would move your entire balance daily.

            I used to do this until someone reported that Lloyds closed all their accounts, which happened in 2016.

        • Tariq says:

          They do share information and have for some time. I changed my address on my Halifax accounts about 4 years ago and then crossed the street to Lloyds to tell them and they already knew…

          • The real John says:

            They use the same back end database. I changed address on app and it was updated in the other app immediately.

            Also Lloyds to Halifax bank transfers go through instantly and don’t pass through the FP system

  • Lou says:

    I’ve always wanted to stay at the Shangri La in London. What’s the best way to bag a cheap room, and roughly how much would that be? A casual look at the website suggests from £420 a night…

    • Benilyn says:

      Curious too… semi-bucket list type of stay, I have not found anything. I nearly grabbed a room at £200 or £250 on an Expedia 50% off sale (a real one, not those fake ones) but code for the discount was used up within secs / site crashed etc.

      • Rob says:

        Singapore KrisFlyer is 12:1 into Shangri-La (or at least used to be). Not sure how that arbitrages. Snag is the Amex to Singapore conversion ratio dropping next month.

        • Lou says:

          1667 MR for a redemption, wow… I’m going to regret trading all my points in for cash now, aren’t I!?

          • Lou says:

            Cancel that, I misread, it’s 12 KF for 1 GC point… not so great…

        • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

          Madness to use Shangri-La points at the Shard. It’s 20,000 points a night, which could instead be used for a $2,000 F&B credit.

        • Lou says:

          Thanks for the Virtuoso link – I can’t find Emyr on there though…

          • Lyn says:

            Try the “hotel offers” drop-down menu on the main HfP page, then choose “Get exclusive benefits on luxury hotel bookings via HfP”. There is a form at the end of the article to contact Emyr and his company Bon Vivant. Highly recommended by many commenters here.

    • Anuj says:

      Have a look at google hotel’s calendar view. There are rooms for around £320 on some days

  • Jan de W says:

    Can anybody advise how to keep track of BA Future Travel Vouchers? When they expire? What values are left? Is there an online option to do this? I have several FTV’s with BA but have lost track of their value! Also same with KLM/Air France?

    • Anna says:

      The only thing I have is emails from BA so I make sure they are in a separate folder along with details of all the other refunds I’ve been chasing!

    • ChrisC says:

      I have a section in my spreadsheet where I track my avios and tier points and trips with the references and amounts listed as well as the details of the original trip that generated the voucher .

      I also have an email folder as well but the spreadsheet makes it easier to track them all at once.

    • TicknBash says:

      I rang up BA CSA and got exactly what the vouchers hold – avios and £££.
      Couldn’t find any options to do it online, or if it does exist it is most definitely not clear !

    • Gavin says:

      Regarding when they expire, they are all now set to 30/04/2023, and all flights must be completed by that date.

      This week, one of my first FTVs from March 2020 was converted to an evoucher which handily also stated the value in the email.

      • TicknBash says:

        I got my FTV mid Jan 21 and it was only an email with FTV codes.
        At least they’re improving or had enough customers ringing up bending their ears.

    • AJA says:

      There is no online service provided by BA. I do the same as ChrisC and keep a spreadsheet of my Avios and TP earning so I just added the one FTV I got. I have a record of the original booking ref and from the original receipt I know how much it’s worth. I also have added a reminder to the email I got when I received the FTV so it lists in my Reminders in Outlook. That way I won’t forget to redeem it when I do eventually come to book something.

    • Chris Heyes says:

      Jan de W, Buy a diary, write it down ?

    • TimM says:

      As I understand it, all BA Future Travel Vouchers are now valid for travel completed by 30th April 2023. How to keep track of them? Neigh impossible. When you have used one, via a very long phone call, then the new booking with an extra cash component gets cancelled, and the one after that, etc. etc. all with the same booking reference and no option (as required by law) to get the cash back once you have initially accepted a FTV and with multiple vouchers in play it is 3-dimensional chess. There needs to be an app just for this.

    • memesweeper says:

      I use a spreadsheet. For a non-trivial number of bookings, it’s murder.

      • Isherwood says:

        +1 spreadsheet is the way to go as there are so many elements to keep a track of, including the card details for the payment (useful to know if FTV is used for a flight which is then cancelled and a full refund is the preferred option)

        • David D says:

          @Jan de W, for Air France/KLM they are available in your personal profile. Under “Details and Preferences is a link to vouchers. They should all be there. If you have details of the cancelled bookings, you can call Flying Blue who would be happy to give you all the information of any you do not see. Like others have said, create a spreadsheet to keep track of any vouchers you have.

  • BJ says:

    Virgin 15k points wine update: Like Bee, I’ve now had a call to provide me with the claim code for the points. So anybody who got the wine by mistake should call them and they’ll get it sorted. Took them a week to do mine.

    • Grant says:

      Good result, glad you got it sorted

      • BJ says:

        Thanks, with some of the stories about their CS I was expecting it to go messy but it was fine in the end, no omplaints.

    • Peter K says:

      Which customer service did you ring? I tried the usual one but they said I had to talk to the switching team.
      0800 028 3632 was the number given but it’s only 9-6 mon – fri apparently.

      • BJ says:

        Yes, you need to speak to switching team Peter, zi just called the general number and got put through there. Both Bee and I received calls from tbem with ode. Yes, only opens at 9am.

  • Crafty says:

    I’d like them to hurry up with Nectar/Avios swaps getting back online. Just finished burning through my first maximum batch of Nectar from last month.

    • BJ says:

      Probably more important they get it working securely and reliably than quickly. You still have the option of calling, less satisfactory though.

      • Crafty says:

        I don’t care quite enough to spend an hour on the phone, and then wait 10 days, as some have reported on here.

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