Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Saturday 27th March

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

We are running this daily chat thread on Head for Points during the coronavirus outbreak.

Historically, the daily ‘Bits’ articles were the de facto repository for random comments and questions.  With the news flow being lighter, we are running fewer ‘Bits’ articles.

The comments under this article are where you should post questions about travel and, indeed, anything else on your mind.  At this tricky time, and given that many of you are at home, we want the HfP community to have a place to chat.

Please only comment under the main articles on the site if your comment is directly related to the topic of the article.  This has long-term benefits as it keeps the commentary relevant for people who read those articles in the future.

Old chat threads are hidden from the HfP home page.  If you want to look for something in an old thread, click here.  This brings up all the articles in our ‘General’ category which includes the chat threads.

Comments (285)

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

  • Sam says:

    Does anybody have a discount code for Net a porter? I have no offers for it on any of my Amex cards

  • JohnT says:

    More BA cancellation/rerouting advice (sorry)! Trying to move a canx 241 to one of BA’s USA “dropped” cities from May to September. I am advised 1) Ticket validity one year only (but that is OK for me, just). 2) BA Covid change rules don’t apply as destination no longer served. 3) BA Conditions of carriage apply: So need avios availability (as showing on BA) even if on AA metal, as not within –3 or +14days of original. 4) Cannot change destination to nearby airport. Left it for now as not happy with options!

    • Anna says:

      They will usually move a booking to an airport within 300 miles of the original destination if that’s an option for you?
      It’s irrelevant what BA “rules” apply as you’re still entitled to re-routing, even if that was on another carrier to your original destination. You don’t need avios availability either, that’s more BA BS!

      • JohnT says:

        I know, thanks! but what do you do when they won’t change enough (as did change from initial offer), even when being very helpful. (Phoned back once but got same person..)

        • Anna says:

          You then have to decide if you’re prepared to go down the legal route to get what you’re entitled to! Lots and lots of discussions on here about that.

        • Lady London says:

          All BA BS as @Anna says.

          It’s a bit stupid of BA not to go the extra mile for you as if they don’t, you will just end up rerouting on whatever date suits you – as that’s your right under EU261 – and it will all be at BA’s expense. This is unambiguous.

          What exactly do you want? Do you still want to travel to same city? Do you still want to travel pretty much at the same time? or happy with that date that’s just within 1 year of your ticket being issued. Or, you can get a full refund.

          BA has notably been $hitty about denying passenger rights for destinations which they’ve actually dropped, such as LBA. Completely contrary to the law they are just abandoning people and walking away. EU261 requires them to provide you alternative transportation if they are not flying when you booked or when you want to be rerouted, themselves. They are supposed to provide this. But if they don’t your costs are claimable at whatever is a reasonable ‘going rate’ at the time (even if the market now costs a lot more).

          If you paid by UK credit card ask your card to pay your replacement flight under Section 75. If you have Amex Platinum or other insurance that might cover it either standalone or via another card ask them to cover it.

          If not then do a moneyclaim dot gov dot uk online for replacement ticket costs you will get the small fee back as well when you win. Could be worth paying a reservation fee to a decent travel agent to hold a reservation for you of a type that can be held, but does not need to be ticketed (and thus paid) till very near the flight date. This would give you a value to claim on pro tem and you may ( or may not) be able to find a cheaper option nearer the time. Meanwhile sadly likely to be a fully flexible ticket so high value so tough on BA. But would save your cash meanwhile (which I think is one thing BA tries to exploit by making people go seriously out of pocket to get what the law said BA was supposed to provide).

          Add 8% statutory interest to your claim value and include absolutely every extra transport/hotel/meal (if you are having a longer/later starting journey near your original time).

          To avoid the above MCOL you could claim it under CEDR arbitration instead as BA is signed up to that. I’d do whichever looks like it will be judged first.

          • JohnT says:

            Many thanks as I know this has come up a lot!

          • JohnT says:

            Joy and delight – a most helpful agent, and apart from reiterating ticket validity, everything else done as we wanted, fully booked on AA out direct to a nearby airport and return on BA. Made my Sunday.

          • JohnT says:

            @LadyLondon @Anna

  • Aston100 says:

    Am I right in assuming that ultimately the Amex Nectar card can earn more Avios than an Amex PRG card?
    In the (fee free) first year that is.

    • Harry T says:

      Depends if you spend 15k or not. Earning rate on Gold if you spend 15k in that first year is 1.67 MR per pound. Of course, you do need to pay a month of annual fees whilst you wait for the annual bonus to post.

      • Genghis says:

        Spending less than £15k or more than £32,800 Nectar is better than Gold, assuming:
        – don’t use double points on flights on Gold
        – 1p per avios
        – it takes 1 month to get the 10k on Gold.
        – doesn’t take into account referral differences etc

        I’ve just signed up to the Nectar Amex and plan to keep it for a year or so.

        • Harry T says:

          Pluripotent points, airline spend, and referral bonuses (recently enhanced) means Gold wins out for us. But nectar is well worth considering if your main focus is Avios.

          • Genghis says:

            Not having Gold also means you can have Plat once every two years. For us with his and hers that’s worth 100k MRs + the initial referral.

        • Aston100 says:

          Hi Genghis, how many nectar points do you get for referring *from* that card? And how many for adding a supplementary card?
          Can’t seem to find that info.

          Thanks.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            5k from Nectar and nothing for adding a supp

          • Genghis says:

            There are pages on the Amex site. I won’t post two links as comment likely get blocked but google:
            Amex Supplementary card
            Amex refer a friend

    • Rob says:

      Yes, and indeed more than the free BA card.

    • Harry T says:

      Good point, @Genghis. Something to think about. I’m currently sitting on >200k MR without a specific plan for them, so I’m not in a position to pare back just yet.

      • Harry T says:

        I’m thinking you could also churn the BAPP every two years with strategy, unless I’m mistaken.

  • BuildBackBetter says:

    Interesting… American Airlines will be putting all of its planes back into service by May

    • ChrisBCN says:

      That may well be the case, but don’t forget they retired a lot of old planes over the last year (I think it was 24 A330s plus all of their 757/767s). So, having all their planes in service is still a lot fewer planes than they had in service in 2019.

  • TGLoyalty says:

    It’s meant to be and was the last time I had BAPP

  • Benilyn says:

    Anyone have a link to search IHG UK free night (from the credit card)? I don’t have a voucher at the moment but want to check availability

    • Chrisasaurus says:

      Afaik it’s the same as reward nights but the rate code is IVFNB – can change the URL to include that

    • Joints&Piles says:

      Links probably blocked by comment filter but stick this on the end of the reservation search page URL

      &qRtP=IVBFN

      And that should show the “UK Credit Card Free Night” option under “Rate preference”

  • BJ says:

    However, you can churn Sainsburys Nectar card. I’ve done it twice in a year so at least 20k Nectar or 12500 avios for £800 spend. In theory it’s possible three times per year but I wouldn’t try it personally. Add no annual fee, boosted earnings at Sainsburys, ability to add supps, targeted threshold spend bonuses, , 17 months interest-free spendng, and all on a Mastercard makes it quite attractive, at least for spend at Sainsbury’s. But why not have the best of both worlds and combine with amex Nectarr too. Historically the best time to sign up for amex was in the late autumn when Nectar sometimes offered a top up on the amex sign up bonus but I think it’s at least two years now since we saw such an offer.

    • Aston100 says:

      Hi BJ, that is interesting.
      When you say it is theoretically possible for 3 signup bonuses pa, is that based on allowing 2 months for the bonus points to post, and (the first) 2 months for the application; receipt; spend; normal points to post?

      • BJ says:

        Based on SB allowing you to apply for a new card provided you have not applied for a card in the previous three months. It might be ‘held a card in the last three months’ but I have no idea if it is possible to hold more than one card from SB at one time. I also thought it needed to be six months, not three, but a few people have reported three in the comments since the partnership started. I am just assuming that is correct, you should check but I don’t think churning three times a year would be very smart.

    • Harry T says:

      I’m also interested in this. I presume gift cards count towards the bonus spend? What are these targeted bonuses you speak of?

      • BJ says:

        You sometimes get offers on your account ‘spend X by Y get Z’. Comments suggest they might be quite frequent but not in my case as I never held the card long enough to find out. This time I might consider the card a keeper, even at the expense of churning so I hope a few come my way. I guess we porovoke them by suspending or limiting spending from time to time. I suspect spend on giftcards count but I am not risking it even though I think I threw a few into the mix the last time I got the card. If nothing has changed then we don’t get the sign up bonus until after the two months is up regardless of how quickly we spend £400. By then we are screwed if they have a way of tracking giftcards and they actually do so. I think they could based on Nectar earnings but I doubt they do in practice.

      • Memesweeper says:

        It’s only £400 – includes Argos – you shouldn’t need to resort to gift cards 🙂

  • Memesweeper says:

    All4One are tricky to spend out completely online as you can’t use them for large transactions nor part pay with them. Less trouble to spend in real shops.

    • lumma says:

      Can you not buy Amazon credit for the balance remaining?

      • Chris says:

        Amazon is not an All4One retailer but is sold at Morrisons.

        On the All4One side
        * B&Q, Argos, Boots, Currys, John Lewis, M&S and WH Smith all stand out as easy to cash out to via day to day spend. If you want section 75 (e.g. higher value item) in most cases you are going to have to buy in store to split the payment with a credit card.

        * All bar one, Browns, Ember Inns, Nicholsons, O’neills are some of your options for liquidating the balance into pints.

        * Ask Italian, Bella, Miller & Carter, Nandos, Pizza Express, Wagamama, Zizzi are all ways to convert to meals which might have more interest given upcoming easing of restrictions. There is also some places (Pizza Hut, Café Rouge, The Real Greek, Byron Burgers or YO Sushi) that require exchange of voucher to The Restaurant Choice card

      • Genghis says:

        No longer. That’s what I used to do

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

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.