Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Friday 26th 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 (247)

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

  • Bobri says:

    Understand HfP is very UK-centered. At the same time, any Iberia Icon holders here?

  • David says:

    Is it just me or has the BA shopping portal been down for days?!

    • Aston100 says:

      It has been problematic for me in the past 48 hours.
      However, this morning I was able to log in and make a purchase.

    • Neil says:

      Had problems logging on a few times recently but jumping between browsers worked in the end.

    • Jay says:

      Points are not posting to the BAEC account within the stated 72 hours. Been a week now since the email came through to advise transactions was successful and would post in 72 hours.

      • Nigel W says:

        I’ve been having loads of issues with the portal regarding the posting of points. I’ve still not had some from December from companies (like John Lewis) which are meant to post within five days.

  • Garry says:

    Can you use Virgin Points to reduce an ‘open ticket” (e.g. a flight which the passenger decided to cancel but keep open on dates for the next 12 months)

    • ChrisC says:

      What do you mean by ‘reduce’?

      • Peter K says:

        I assume he means spend at 0.6p each to reduce the price of a cash ticket.

        I don’t know the answer to the original question however.

        • Garry says:

          Yes, reduce as in use points to bring the cost down (approx 0.6p but better than nothing)

          • ChrisC says:

            I’m assuming then that you have an open ticket but the amount in that is less than the new fare you want to buy and you want to use points to reduce the extra cost?

            I can’t see why VS won’t allow you to do that but can’t be 100% certain.

            Always worth a call / whatsapp message.

  • Alan S says:

    My Intercontinental Ambassador membership is up for renewal on the 1st April and the renewal options are $200 with 15,000 bonus points, or 40,000 points.

    Thing is, why would I bother renewing now – would I not just be better waiting at least a couple of months until I’m more likely to use the benefits when travelling becomes more likely again?

    I think the sign up/renewal options will be the same at that point?

    I’ll almost certainly do it again, but I don’t see the incentive in acting right now.

    • Anna says:

      I can’t see that it would be worth renewing until you can at least stay in a hotel again!

    • ChrisC says:

      Mine was due for renewal in 1st March. I asked for an extension and they offered 2 months (no extension of the weekend cert but I sort of knew that and 2 months because I was still in effect in my first year of AMB) so I’m now due to renew on the 1st May.

      Is the one off extension an option as an interim measure? I basically took the 2 months in case they did another ‘free’ extension like they did this time last year. If you’ve done at least 1 proper renewal (so AMB for 2 years) they will offer a 6 month extension.

    • Lady London says:

      People are leaving gaps between signups as the 10% off has been taken away from IC Ambassador too. So there is absolutely no benefit in having IC Amb till you’re actually staying now.

      You can even book your Ambassador free weekend night ( or any night if used kn Kimpton) ahead – you only have to have the free night available by the time you stay.

      This seems to be another thing IHG does not seem to have worked out is disincentivising people that could keep booking IHG, from doing so ( the removal of the 10%).

      I am even wondering if IHG really isn’t concentrating as they seem to have reacted poorly compared to other hotel groups, in covid. Does anyone seriously think that what they could be busy with, is being taken over by Accor?

    • TJ says:

      Has anyone had success with extending their free weekend voucher when requesting an extension of their Ambassador membership (either 2 or 6 months)?

    • Patrick Cold says:

      Mine was due for renewal on 1st April. I wrote and said I wasn`t prepared to do that after this year. I was offered 2 months extension. I said that really wasn`t a significant difference and was offered a 6 months extension.

  • Secret Squirrel says:

    Advice please re: Curve.
    I attempted to make transactions using curve last weekend which were both declined at payment stage but curve still processed the payments.
    No decline receipts from the online merchant received & no Items proceeded or receipted.
    Curve are stating the merchant has not returned receipts for payment. How do I move forward to get my funds back?

    • Anna says:

      Have the funds actually been taken by the underlying cards? Curve is often a bit temperamental like this and usually declined transactions reverse themselves after a few days.

      • Secret Squirrel says:

        I emailed both the merchant & curve again today & one of the two transactions has suddenly this afternoon been refunded. Been a week so was getting worried especially when curve asked for decline evidence.

    • The real John says:

      In my 2 cases so far, the money was refunded onto the underlying card after 7 working days.

      • Pierre says:

        same here – money was taken from the underlying card, but refunded automatically around 7-8 days later…

        • kitten says:

          in other words they just let the card charge authorisation expire then and that’s when you got your money back

  • Jonathan says:

    Does anyone know how you’d get your money back if say you buy a refundable hotel / plane reservation with Beardy and then cancel the card, then afterwards but before the hotel stay is due to start or plane is due to fly, you cancel the ticket. Also would they try to claw back the points earned via the credit card as well ?

    I’m aware that it’s rules that Visa / MasterCard impose that a refund must be made to card used to make the purchase, but it’s a bit unclear what happens if the card has already been cancelled

    • ChrisC says:

      The credit card company involved (this is any not just Virgin) will contact you to make arrangements to send the funds to you by direct deposit to your bank account or cheque.

  • Jane says:

    others were saying they were struggling to get their DD reduced to £1 with Igloo yesterday, after 4 emails to them today convincing them that I really did want to do this and no it wasn’t a bad idea my DD is now £1 🙂 you just need to be a little persistent.

  • Magarathea says:

    I am looking at booking a Heathrow hotel for next March and am thinking about the Staybridge suites in Bath Road which I have used before and enjoyed. I was really surprized to see this priced at £154 per night and the adjacent Holiday Inn is £145 per night. These seem very expensive rates where previously the prices were at less than £100 per night. Has anybody else noticed this and does anyone know why the rates are so high?

    • dan says:

      I always book premier inn adjacent to T4.. you will smile at the prices… best dinner is served along the corridor in the CP.

      • yorkieflyer says:

        agreed, done the same several times at £35 per night currently

        • Russ says:

          Same here. Still quite newish and staff very helpful and you don’t wait long for a lift. It’s just the parking that let’s it down as I like to keep a car on sight. On the upside they have black pudding for breakfast!

      • Russ says:

        Good drills dan. We don’t speak up enough here on ‘mix and match’ services. Can be a good way of getting the best out of your trip. I used to stay at the Renaissance on the Bath Rd (for parking) then walked over to the Marriott for a swim then dinner.

    • ChrisC says:

      Booking a year in advance rarely gets the good offers and that applies to flights as well as hotels.

      They are relying on people like you booking now and paying those prices because you really need the room that night.

      If you realy need the room that night because of an immovable committment then book a refundable rate and monitor the rates regularly and when the rates comes down cancel and rebook.

      I’ve done that several times with my bookings and saved a tidy sum in both points and cash. I don’t bother if it’s a fiver a night but a tenner a night is £50 for a 5 night stay so worth it.

    • Anna says:

      I think hotels are just trying to find out what people are prepared to pay in the current climate – also I imagine bookings for next March are already rising as flights are released. Are you an IHG member, the points prices of these hotels can be very good deals when cash prices are high? I’ve just booked the Staybridge Suites at Miami Airport for 20k points where the cash price was $189.

    • Genghis says:

      Nothing on points? We’ve a Studio Suite (2 adults, 1 child) booked in Aug for 25k if we end up needing to catch a v early flight.

      • Magarathea says:

        Thanks for the feedback guys. I am looking at a money booking as I want to include parking and IHG don’t normally show parking available with points stays. BTW Genghis, points stays for studio suites at the Staybridge are presently showing at 17,500 points in Aug.

        • Harry T says:

          You could book on points and then contact the hotel to ask how much parking would be. They may offer you a deal. I do agree that hotel rates are rarely cheapest a year in advance, which is why I often book a refundable rate or points rate and wait for the cash price to drop.

        • Genghis says:

          Thanks. Still 25k for when I need it.

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