Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Monday 22nd March

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Comments (392)

  • Linda says:

    Advice Please.

    We have had our Vegas flight in lieu of Covid booked a year ago obviously cancelled two weeks ago for departure next week.

    We had originally been in first on the way out and were downgraded when the 747’s went to a 350 and given two seats in business for no extra charge. We had also used an extended 2-4-1 voucher which now expires in May 2021.

    I have not rung up to confirm the cancellation as we really do not know what to do, rebook for next year same time, take a future voucher which would hold the voucher till next year (I think) does any one know what will happen to the free seats they gave us for the downgrade.

    Or just get everything refunded and maybe lose the voucher and seats.

    I do not want to get a foreign call centre to ask for my options as they do not seem as proficient Does it matter if I ring up after the departure date of the flights to ask for my options or should I ring sooner?

    Many thanks for any replies.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Check that you can’t just change the flights online

    • Anna says:

      Hi Linda, this is so frustrating now we’re into the 2nd year of trips being cancelled! You have a couple of options. You still have the right to be re-routed but unless you find a very knowledgeable and co-operative CSA they are going to quote the 365 day rule and make you work really hard for it.
      You could get a FTV which preserves everything until April 2023 but you then need avios availability to rebook and it’s unlikely (though technically possible) they would honour the free seat allocation.
      You could also cancel for a full refund of everything but your 241 would still expire in May (though have you checked whether it’s been extended since you last looked?). If this is the case you could make a one way RFS booking then cancel soon after which would again extend 241 but not tie up as much cash and avios.
      We will get there one day!

      • Lady London says:

        I have no idea why anyone would view getting seat reservations free in Business is sufficient when getting involuntarily downgraded from First.

        After you’ve flown in Business you would keep your boarding pass (ideally) and then formally write to BA requesting the 75% of what you paid for your First Class seats to be reimbursed to you. This is your right after having flown.

        The least I would expect is free reservation in Business. But that is far, far less than what both of you are entitled to.

        You are entitled to 75% of the cash/avios paid for each seat. About £200-£230, APD and airport cost part of ‘taxes’ you paid, is taken off then the 75% is calculated. This is calculated for the first seat, then the second seat of a 2-4-1 booking gets the same compensation again.

        BA may refuse when you write to them ( this seems their standard opening position) – come back here when they do.

        Some people might accept the extra 75% back as that % of their avios/cash but if it went to court the standard reasonable calculation would be cash at a value of 1.6p per avios for 75% of the avios paid for First plus 75% of the (‘taxes’-APD-airport charges) for the first seat then the same resulting amount for the 2nd seat. (I personally wouldn’t want the avios back.)

        Never accept any other settlement meanwhile and avoid any ambiguity arising that could make it seem voluntary. In fact when requesting my new travel date I’d make a point of asking them can I go back to First please. (they won’t have any I would think on that route).

  • NG says:

    Not sure if this has been covered, but has anyone else had issues with the “Transfer Hilton Honors Points” link on their website?
    I get an error with a blank page saying “Not Found”.
    Appreciate any help! Thanks

    • Anna says:

      I just did a transfer this morning to my OH and it seemed to go through fine.

    • The Streets says:

      In the past it’s been a bit hit and miss for me but usually it’s because the confirmation is received but the transfer doesn’t happen

    • Nadeshka says:

      I have been having a lot of errors with the transfer and but points page – either a not found or a constant loop back to the login page.

      • Simon says:

        Yes, I’ve had similar problems, but struck upon a workaround: apply for another “Pool my Points” with the person whose points you wish to receive, then save the email sent to them once they receive it. Then, use the link in that email to transfer the points to you. Works in reverse, of course, if you are to be the sender of the points rather than the recipient.

  • Anna says:

    Anyone stayed in any of the Hiltons on Miami Beach? I had booked a Kimpton but it looks as though it would get very crowded in high season. Now I’m thinking a better bet would be to book a Hilton room each on mine and my OH’s HH accounts which would get us 4 breakfasts as HH golds. Leaning towards the Cabana apart from the compulsory $40 per day valet parking, though they all seem to have that! Also do you pay “resort fees” for points stays these days? Again a total rip off for 2 bottles of water and a sun lounger (though not umbrellas, which you pay extra for!!!)

    • Stanley says:

      When we went in 2019, we booked an airbnb at the Fountainbleu. You got full resort access inwith valet parking included. For about £300 a night, we got a 1 bedroom apartment in the “residents” tower. The same suites were selling for over $1,000 on the hotel website. Would definitely do the same again.

      • Anna says:

        Sounds lovely but I’ve got a zillion hotel points and intend not to pay for any accommodation on this trip!

    • Blair says:

      Which Kimpton Anna? The Surfcomber (ex-Doubletree) is a bit happy-clappy and tries to impose a communal vibe. The nearby Palomar (shuttle bus to use Surfcomber’s private beach beds) is newer, a more sedate pool setting and points bookings allow you to book a room 3 levels above entry level.

      • Anna says:

        Surfcomber but South Beach looks a bit hectic, tbh. Also no breakfast included which is a consideration for 2 adults and 2 teenagers!

    • will says:

      Stayed at the Bentley as a Diamond, booked base room and was given a studio which is a pleasant enough room but no sea view.

      Its right down the end of the beach which we liked as we were after a quiet stay and enjoyed the pool/beach.

      Breakfast was also very nice (and included as diamond)

      Not a huge fan of Miami but the hotel was very nice for what we were looking for.

      • Anna says:

        Plan is a week at the beach and a week in Orlando, and I’ll be more than happy if it actually goes ahead! The Bentley looks very nice but hasn’t got a twin room as a standard booking option which we’ll need for the teenagers.

    • flyoff says:

      Anna, you don’t pay resort fees on points redemption bookings. It is a declared benefit on the Hilton website.
      “No resort fees on Reward Stays
      No resort fees Reward stays booked using all Points, or for Promotional free night stays (e.g., issued by credit card partners, etc.).”

      • Anna says:

        Thanks I knew that was the case historically but I wouldn’t be surprised if it changed soon!

    • Joe N says:

      We stayed in the Hilton Bentley in Sep 2019 as Golds and got free full breakfast each day, although we didn’t get an upgrade (we booked partial sea view though and were able to pick a high foot in the app). We also didn’t pay valet parking, instead we parked at Miami Beach Parking Garage which was a 12min walk away and much cheaper. I liked the hotel, although haven’t stayed anywhere else in Miami which makes it hard to compare it.

  • fivebobbill says:

    Hello folks, am looking at a speculative trip to Dubai in September, and possibly staying the first week at the Ritz Carlton Dubai (the one at JBR).
    Has anyone any experience how you are treated as a Platinum member if I book the entry level room for a week? Lounge and upgrade success? I’d probably be paying cash at around £190 per night, points prices are silly, coming in at worse than .3p per point.

    • Rob says:

      No lounge access or upgrades at R-C for Plats – one of quirks of Bonvoy. You’d actually get better treatment booking via Emyr with no status.

      • Blair says:

        Wot he said. Expect nothing. £190 cash is the best price I’ve seen for it. It’s got private sunbeds but as it’s on the curve of the beach it feels like a bloody mile to get from them to the water’s edge. All the while walking on hot sand on the public part of the beach where camel rides go by. Lovely hotel but that beach situation is not IMO befitting the RC’s prices. For similar price and benefits via Emyr you’d get a hotel with its own stretch of fully private beach. Private to the waterline = my definition of a private beach.

      • Kai says:

        Upgrades yes, just excluding suites.

    • KBuffett says:

      Stay at Le Royal Meridien Beach and Spa instead. They couldn’t upgrade us, but I’d booked a midrange room anyway. I complained about not being upgraded and I got free half board. The lounge is very good too and you get access.
      Request a refurbished room (although they should all be refurbished by now).
      There was building work going on next door, but that’s everywhere in Dubai!

      • Nate says:

        I would definitely recmmmend Ritz. IMO compared to Le Royal Meridien it is definitely a step up and has an overall classier feel. Stayed at the hotel numerous times and could not speak more highly of it. We have tried few other hotels including The One and Only (royal mirage), and felt service and overall feel of Ritz was superior. Location on JBR is great as all restaurants/shops/cafes within walking distance – however it is near the end so quieter than other hotels in middle of strip. Worth upgrading to lounge access for the small premium.

        Blair raises valid point about the beach – quite far away from main hotel and you don’t get the same privacy as you would from say, Jumeirah hotels. For us personally we prefer the pools but if you’re going to spend majority of time at the beach I feel you would be better of going for Jumeirah beach hotel/madinat Jumeirah.

  • Roger says:

    Very left wing.
    Looking to send my team (a dozen or so people) some sort of Easter Egg (remotely UK only)…preferably something I could personalise/add a message/card to…any recommendations?

    • Roger says:

      *Left field!! Not communist!

      • MattB says:

        Thornton’s do personalised wording on some products.

        • Jay says:

          +1, use Thorntons for gifts on number of occasions and never had any issues with delivery or quality.

      • Phil says:

        I was going to say I know the centre ground in UK politics has been deserted recently but showing compassion to your employees shouldn’t be considered marxist doctorine!

    • Kevin C says:

      Thorntons do personalised eggs. £4 for a small one and £10 for a large one.

    • johnny_c-l says:

      Prezzy box do a load of personalised stuff too, including chocolates.

    • Sam says:

      Can I join your team Roger?! Lovely idea!

    • Ste Cox says:

      my other half has a fledgling letter box gift business sending fare trade gifts and has Easter hampers on the site at the moment all come with a hand written card of you want to take a look.
      thismakesmehappy.co.uk

    • Number9 says:

      If using Thornton’s don’t forget to go through BA shopping portal 2 points per £ better than nothing.

  • Christian says:

    I am “feeling my way” with the new Sainsbury’s / Avios tie-up. What is it with these nectar bonuses? They latch onto an obscure one-off grocery item and then try and entice me to buy it every week. I mean, I love “Sainsbury’s sweet piccalilli” as much as the next man. By which I want to get across that I don’t love it so much that I need to buy a new pot three weeks in a row. Likewise seafood sticks, thanks. I felt at least the tesco clubcard offers were more broad minded…

    • David Lawton says:

      Having been collecting these bonus points for over a year now, i generally only get the bonus points on Sainsbury’s branded products. So if you get say Sainsbury’s digestives instead of McVitties you will start to get bonus points on the Sainsbury’s digestives. So i typically get over 20 bonus offers added a week, but i buy mainly buy Sainsbury’s branded stuff. Only ever had 1 non Sainsbury’s bonus offer on the app and that was for any tinned fish. Bonus points for branded items i find only come from that paper ticket machine.

  • Venturelog says:

    On my phone app, My new Amex Gold card is showing an offer for spend £200 for 1000 points with an end date. However this is on the front page only, and not in offers to save. Is this an IT bug or a genuine offer?

    • Rob says:

      Everyone had this, it launched a few weeks ago.

    • Harry T says:

      I had this on my Gold charge. I asked amex to add the offer to my account over chat after I received an email telling me I was targeted for the offer but still couldn’t see it in my account. They added the offer to my account shortly after and it appeared in my saved offers.

  • Pete M says:

    Could someone please remind me of the value of Avios in legal proceedings, say a divorce? BA is trying to settle a CEDR claim with me partly in Avios so wanted to double check if they’re using the same valuation.

    • 747_Brat says:

      You should charge them Avios @ 1.6p, which is what they charge customers when they buy Avios directly from BA, without any promo.

      • Mouse says:

        BA is offering him avios as a settlement, presumable in lieu of cash, so effectively he is buying avios and so should go for the lowest justifiable number, which is probably the 0.55p or whetever it is that they give you for paying for hotels.

    • Ilou says:

      If you get avios, you can convert these to 0.8c with Nectar so just work it backwards
      10£ should be 1250 avios at least
      I would personnaly ask for 50% more than above

    • memesweeper says:

      “`BA is trying to settle a CEDR claim with me partly in Avios“`

      only agree to this if it is advantageous to you. Do you need more Avios? I’d not pay much for them at the moment, but if BA owed me a ton of cash I’d accept them at a rate of 0.75p each, because I can clear them down into Nectar and spend them. It’s too hard to spend them on travel right now therefore hard to justify a higher valuation. If they won’t bite just insist on cold hard cash…

      • Lady London says:

        +1 the benchmark :

        if BA is paying you cash instead of avios 1.6p per avios is standard

        if BA wants to pay you avios instead of cash they should be paying you then the ceiling value(your break-even point where you only get what they’re worth) is now 0.8p as established when BA to Nectar became a thing 2 months ago (Rob did articles on here).

        But as memesweeper says you need a bit of leeway so go for 0.75p. I personally valued an avios at 0.7p pre-Nectar but that did not take account of the flexibility of an avios booking).

    • Nadeshka says:

      I settled an EU261 case at a rate of 1p/avios a few years ago. There’s probably a range you can justify from the cash out values around 0.6p to the buy in value of 1.6p so it’s probably a case of you making a decent enough argument for whatever value you think is fair.

      • Pete M says:

        Thank you all, most useful as always! Don’t really need the Avios, so will keep pushing for the cash!

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