Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Monday 19th April

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Comments (323)

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  • Jerry says:

    Phoned to explore options on a Amex 241 Club LHR-HND (50% avios sale) booking cancelled by BA for early next month (both legs cancelled). I knew my options from a previous call. This time agent said flights could only be moved to commercial (non avios seats) within 14 days of original departure, or a FTV (voucher losing 50% avios discount which would have kept expiring companion voucher alive). When pushed on why options now different to previous call, agent denied this and said this was one policy, but there was also another policy. Eventually allowed to shift to September departure (using the 12 month ticket validity rule) returning early October even though I know we’ll be unlikely to be welcome to Japan – that’s even if the flights don’t get cancelled by BA. The £35pp cancel fee seems like a reasonable gamble to preserve the 50% avios discount, even though BA insist if they cancel in September a full refund will be the only option. EU 261 my help / may not should it come to that. No going back now, I do realise we could have had a full cash refund today but 75,000 avios saving seemed worth £70 gamble. Agent absolutely refused to move flights outside 12 month ticket validity regardless of avios availability (which is pretty much non existent for Japan in club).

    • Pete M says:

      Yup, same experience, although had no issues moving it to the end of September. Also doubtful Japan will be open by then…

    • Lady London says:

      keep good, detailed notes in case you get further problems later. BA has made legally incorrect statements. Noting a pattern of this might just help if you get further difficulties.

      If you read back through this thread you will have full coverage of where BA appears to be bullying people in order to deny them their rights. This is not just in the 12-month area where I would agree there could be some unclarity but other illegal restrictions of passenger rights.

      What this tells me is that as soon as times improve BA will be well and truly up to their old tricks again.

      • Lady London says:

        PS BA also contradicted what you had been told would be possible in a previous call you made to them. It’s really important to keep detailef notes of calls as a log of legally incorrect statements, refusals to provide options you are legally entitled to (and even omission of making you aware of options you have), combined with records of when they denied what had been said possible earlier is always useful evidence to bring into a CEDR or MCOL.

        • Jerry says:

          Thanks. Have kept a full log. Also asked agent if there were any other policies not disclosed to me. Agent denied this. Also asked if call was being recorded and was told the information I had been given was correct. You make good points.

  • HeadingForNoPoints says:

    A family member had their phone snatched (someone on a motorbike) we want to replace it with a more expensive phone but now seriously considering insurance, we’ve never taken out phone insurance. Any providers that are “hassle” free when it comes to claiming? or provide replacement devices that are new and refurbished by apple? Any personal experiences would be welcome.

    I have an iPhone 12 and may cancel the AppleCare plus and get multi device cover that will cover my phone and the new replacement phone.

    • gareth says:

      what about your bank? they may do an all in one policy

    • Beardless Hipster says:

      I have mobile phone cover on my buildings and contents insurance for £10 per year.

    • Charlieface says:

      I hope you’ve cancelled the SIM as it’s possible for them to hack your bank, email etc with the verification texts

    • Phil says:

      Generally most mobile phone insurance will seek to manage lost/damaged phones along the following decision tree. 1. Repair, 2. Replace with Refurb, 3. Replace with New, and 4. Cash Value.
      There aren’t actually that many providers in the market, as it usually the same 3-4 underwriters behind most of the products you see in the market. The best value mobile phone insurance is generally bundled with another product (Bank Account, Credit Card, Home Insurance, Bubble Insurance, etc.).

  • Imran says:

    Anyone here pays £140 annual fee on PRG and can justify it?

    • JDB says:

      Yes! Obviously, whether you can justify the fees depends on your use/spending pattern. I have the BAPP and PRG Amex cards. I use the PRG for overseas/non BA airline spend when I value the Amex support if things go wrong, rather than FX free card/Curve – e.g. large foreign hotel deposits (not chain ones), foreign airline tickets. I find also that I get systematically better FX rates than Amex vs Visa/Mastercard when using both on the same day which helps absorb some of the FX fee. I had a problem with Aeromexico/Aerolineas Argentinas refunds last year; both sorted by Amex. The foreign spend/airline spend stack so = 4 MR/£1. I get offers on my PRG that I don’t get on my BAPP that have already this year (4 months into my year) exceeded £140 and I also get fairly frequent easy target spend bonuses. I run it as little as I can over the £15k spend to get the 10k MR bonus, as does my wife. Last year with the annual spend bonus I averaged 3.25 MR/£.

    • Harry T says:

      I can because they gave me 20k MR (10k by accident).

    • Dan says:

      If you can spend £15k then the 10k MR would equate to an additional £80 of value in nectar terms.

      I also got another 10k MR retention offer which (just about) justifies it for one more year along with other offers that are more specific to the Gold card (last year 3x spend on Aldi, Amazon, Superdrug and this year 4x on Sainsburys) But, you’re right, in normal circumstances it’s definitely not worth keeping in year 2, so I’m going to cancel next March too most probably.

    • Rhys says:

      We’ve written an article about potential reasons to keep the PRG after the first year: https://www.headforpoints.com/2020/09/28/five-reasons-keep-amex-gold-card-after-first-year/

      • Mike says:

        I cancelled my Gold after the 1st year. Waited a few months and signed up for it again. Did not want to pay the AF but getting the 10k MR for £15k was worthwhile I guess…

        • Dan says:

          I think doing that once is fine ( I have too) but reluctant to do it more than that as it would get into the ‘taking the piss’ territory IMHO

    • Super Secret Stuff says:

      I nearly always make my money back with the insurance, lounge access and offers. The later being significantly better given the lack of travel

    • Rob says:

      I pay it for my wife, but we are not average as a) we spend £15k on it and b) we fill up the 90k refer a friend allowance.

  • WaynedP says:

    Another mildly intriguing offer received by email this morning from Emirates ..

    Shop in store or go virtual shopping at The Bicester Village Shopping Collection and get more bonus Skywards Miles from 12 April until 31 May. Earn 1 Skywards Mile for every GBP 1 or EUR 1 you spend at Villages in London, Paris, Barcelona, Milan, Munich, Frankfurt, Brussels and Dublin. Then claim your one-time bonus of 8 times more Miles on your biggest purchase up to GBP 5,000 or EUR 5,000.

    • Andrew says:

      Wonder if BA will offer that too at Bicester – will combine nicely with the Amex £50 back offer on at the moment.

  • Stanley says:

    Can anyone help with a FTV question….. Got 4 RFS booked…. If i cancel for a voucher, can i use it (will be avios, cash and a 241) to just book 2 of the 4 (ie drop my kids), on a new booking. Or does it need to be the same 4 passengers? Thanks

  • John says:

    A bit niche but I know lots on here run their own businesses.. I’m a Ltd Co director and currently an off-peak member at David Lloyd. Planning to upgrade my membership to their top tier. Before I do that, is there a way to get a decent discount using my Ltd? I’ve approached them to ask about corp memberships but that doesn’t appear possible.

    Getting creative, I’m wondering if the cost of taking out basic life insurance with Vitality would be outweighed by any potential saving offered by their discount…

    Keen to hear if anyone else has wangled a discount! At well over £100pm, keen to explore all options before proceeding

    • AnotherUser says:

      With other chains, the usual ‘I’m thinking of moving to gym B who offered me this low price’ thing can sometimes work. This is normally a good time to negotiate – the rush of January signups has passed and many have stopped attending by now…
      £100/month! I guess you must be in an expensive part of the country? That’d buy you a great home setup over a year or so, but I know people often prefer to use a gym

      • John says:

        Yes, might try that as a last resort. I mostly use it for their pools, they have great outdoor & indoor pools. Expensive but worth it for me

        • DK says:

          Check first if your David Lloyd club is on the list for Vitality discounts as not all are.
          All David Lloyd clubs in London and around are excluded. And £100 won’t buy you even basic membership in these

    • Andrew says:

      Where is your business based?

      If it’s on the same business park as a DL, they often do generous discounts for their neighbours.

    • Joseph Heenan says:

      Check with your accountant first, but the life insurance is likely to be a business expense allowable for corporation tax and HMRC do not count it as a benefit in kind – so it can essentially be paid for from pre-tax earnings meaning Vitality life cover may be more attractive than it first appears.

      The Vitality “plus” add on (I think that’s what they call it) also gets you various things like heavily discounted Apple Watch and healthy food cash back at Waitrose etc which can also work out well if you hit their activity targets.

  • jovanadent says:

    Sorry to be one of those people clogging up the site.

    In January 2020, I booked a return trip from Heathrow to Abu Dhabi with BA in Premium Economy. I used points to upgrade to Club for both legs. The trip was due to take place during the last week of May 2020. BA cancelled the flights in April 2020. In mid-May 2020, I called and managed to rebook the trip for the last week of April 2021 (the end of next week). In December 2020, the Abu Dhabi route was pulled and I switched to Dubai.

    I was due to fly out to Dubai on 29 April 2021. Last Friday (16 April) BA cancelled the outbound flight from Heathrow, having cancelled the return leg a few days earlier. When the return leg was cancelled, the option to rebook and select alternative flights was available online. That option has since disappeared. My options now, on the website, are to call to rebook, accept a refund or accept a FTV. Ideally, I want to rebook.

    When I called BA they wouldn’t rebook because the ticket is outside the original period of validity. As far as I’m aware, from reading these pages, I have little option but to accept the refund or FTV, as I believe BA are inflexible in booking beyond the validity of the original ticket? Are these my only options?

    • Charlieface says:

      Legally they have to rebook you AT YOUR CONVENIENCE.

      12 month validity is really only for voluntary changes. They are supposed to override it and endorse the ticket “INVOL”.

      That agents do not do that is either bad training or malicious instructions. Kick up a fuss, and threaten to book it yourself and take them to court if they don’t comply.

      • jovanadent says:

        Thank you for the reply. I’ve also managed to catch up with the thread and a similar discussion earlier in the day.

  • trader363 says:

    Looking to book a beach destination (outside of Europe) for 7/10 days later this year – anytime Aug-Dec. We’re a couple with no kids so don’t need to plan around half term etc.

    We’ve got (or will soon have) enough Avios or Amex MR points for most long haul destinations. Any recommendation/opinions on what destinations are likely to have no quarantine?

    Been to Dubai a couple of times so considering Abu Dhabi but not sure where else would have a low risk of a) getting cancelled b) low case rates

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