Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Wednesday 21st April

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Comments (363)

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  • Anna says:

    OH’s very substantial-feeling new metal Platinum Amex has just arrived. It notes on the front that he has been an Amex customer since 2011! It doesn’t actually look like a credit card as the number is on the back (I’m sure our previous ones weren’t like this but it has been 2 years). I think we’re going to get some suspicious looks when he tries to pay for stuff round here where any kind of Amex card is something of a rarity (counting on the BMW dealer to accept it in a couple of weeks to hit a chunk of the spend target for the 50k bonus!).

    • Andrew says:

      Yes, they are a thing of beauty – if you’ve had a two year gap then it might have been just as you cancelled that the new metal cards came in, think it was about two years ago. I like the clink into the silver tray in a restaurant when the bill is brought. But it does confuse the teenagers when you go and do click and collect and they want to see the card you paid with and the number is on the back. Good that the member since date is carried over, even with a gap, I’m ’98 which I would hate to lose if I did find myself with a gap.

      • Anna says:

        You are fabulous, Andrew. I need to find somewhere to eat which would have silver trays – maybe when we go to that London for my birthday 🤣.
        It’s going to be very difficult to part with when the time comes – I have actually been sitting here stroking it!

        • Secret Squirrel says:

          Had to hide my new metal card under my hand today in the co-op whilst doing a top up. It’s very bright & shiny so could attract attention, also the wallet needs to stretch a little more to fit, it’s very snug!

          • Phil says:

            It needs to be snug, the blighter keep slipping out of mine due to the weight!

          • The uncivil servant says:

            God help me, what a vacuous exchange over a charge card.

          • Anna says:

            My feelings about football, but I don’t feel compelled to make snide comments about people who want to discuss it …

        • yorkieflyer says:

          of course proper young peeps just swipe their phones 😊

    • Louise K says:

      Good luck with BMW – Volvo will only allow £3k!

    • Harry T says:

      It does look and feel nice but it’s an expensive gimmick! I reckon a rose gold metal version of the UK gold card would look better.

      • Andrew says:

        I’m not a fan of rose gold, unless it’s actual rose gold as it often looks pink (like the rose gold iPhones are basically metallic pink) which is fine if you like pink, but I’m not really a fan of the colour (despite it apparently being the colour of my pounds!)

      • Lord Doncaster says:

        I would rather Amex spent more money subsidising the offering of the Plat Card rather than massaging the egos of those who worship their card made from metal…

    • yorkieflyer says:

      yes, got ours just before we cancelled so that mrs yorkieflyer couldn’t follow instructions to cut the card up…. now when are we next off on the eurostar?

  • Neil says:

    Orbit energy – anyone have a referral code they’d care to share?

    • Howard says:

      Here you go:

      https://orbitenergy.mention-me.com/m/ol/vl8uv-howard-sprei

      Just check that they put you on the best rate, as often the refer a friend links put you on a higher rate than available elsewhere.

      • Neil says:

        Thanks, I’ve used your code but see what you mean. It only gave me one rate (more expensive) so had to click around to get a re-quote. Not sure if the referral worked so fingers crossed! Cheers.

        • Howard says:

          Thanks, and no email so far…

          I find it bizarre that energy companies are effectively asking their customers to put their friends on a higher tariff. I only joined them this past Sunday as they are the cheapest on the market at present that i could find.

  • Hereforthepoints says:

    I am thinking of upgrading to the BAPP from free BA card this month. I have a big purchase to make (engagement ring!!!) and I will make the spending requirements for a 2-4-1 voucher.

    I have an offer on the free BA cars for 1 Avios bonus per £2 spend. This basically makes the earning rate the same as the BAPP. Should I delay the upgrade to near the 10k spend or is there offers running on the BAPP which would make it worthwhile to upgrade now?
    Thanks I’m advance.

    • Anna says:

      You’ve no guarantee of the offers so I wouldn’t factor that in (plus they’re not at all inspiring at the moment). I think the Holland & Barrett one has served me best recently but that may well be on both cards.
      I hope the 241 is going to be used for a fabulous honeymoon!

      • Hereforthepoints says:

        So maybe it’s best to delay the upgrade until nearer the 10k spend then.
        That’s the plan! We’ve got about 200k Avios to spend. We’ve been saving them since we left school. Hopefully get to first class tickets somewhere nice!
        Do Amex ever offer anything to upgrade if you call them? Would it be worth a shot?
        Thanks!!!

        • Genghis says:

          You may get 6k for the upgrade but it seems to be a relic somewhere in their systems rather than anything official.

          • Hereforthepoints says:

            That’s interesting. I don’t think I qualify for the welcome bonus. Is this a different thing?

          • Rob says:

            For literally the last 5+ years, most people upgrading from BA to BAPP have received a mysterious 6000 Avios bonus. No-one knows why.

          • Genghis says:

            Yes. Like I say, you may get it. You may not. Not sure of any logic.

  • David says:

    Hello,

    Couple of questions about Barclays Premier
    I’m quite happy with HSBC and their free premier master card for most banking (not perfect but handy if you have been an expat).

    I meet the salary requirements but will Barclays want to see my pay cheque going into the new premier account?

    What will happen if I switch a secondary account with a couple of direct debits to Barclays rather than the primary HSBC account?

    Does the old account get shutdown in a bank switch?

    How are people finding Barclays Premier?

    Thanks,

    • David says:

      Also – how long do the points take to post to BA?

      • Fm says:

        Interested in this as well, there was a post yesterday from someone who had transferred their salary across to Barclays from another account and promptly had the Barclays account frozen for potential fraud, I think they are struggling to get hold of a 5 figure sum. I had wondered about doing the same with Barclays/HSBC but am now a bit reluctant.

        • Youllnever says:

          You’re unlikely to be able to just move money from a different bank account in order to meet the salary requirement, especially if you’re opening a brand new account with Barclays/HSBC – I suspect that their money laundering checks are much more stringent for new customers.

      • Red Flyer says:

        I joined on 2nd March and was an existing HSBC Premier account holder. Salary went in 28 March and I flipped it same day to HSBC less £24 to cover next 2 monthly fees. 1500 Avios landed first week in April and I have 25k Avios pending on app waiting for month 4 when these will be paid. Only other deposit to Barclays was a £23 company expense reclaim on 12 April. So far, so good.

  • Geoff says:

    As an infrequent reader and traveller these days I am a bit out of touch with Avios bookings. I need to book a trip for my wife to KL and planning to use Avios for trip via Doha. Can anyone please update me on the current Avios cancellation policy should we need to change? Also I note that BA are offering the route via Singapore but I thought Singapore is closed to London flights for transit?

    • Rob says:

      £35 per person for cancellation, unless Qatar moves the flight by 4+ hours in which case you can cancel for free.

    • Anna says:

      Still £35 pp fee if you want to cancel, but free if BA cancels – also I think you can make free changes to avios bookings at the moment if the Book With Confidence policy still applies.
      BA routes don’t necessarily correspond with countries’ rules on entering so you need to do your homework before booking anything just now.

      • Geoff says:

        Thanks to both of you for fast response. So no messing about with travel voucher, you still get the avios back? Bit worrying that BA allows you to book flights which are not possible to take because of country restrictions.

        • Pete M says:

          How would BA know your personal circumstances and whether you are allowed to travel to a particular country? I hold various passports which would let me into various countries that my UK one won’t currently, but BA has no idea about them.

          • Geoff says:

            Not talking about personal circumstances sorry. My understanding based on the SIA website is that London flights are not currently allowed to transit in Singapore. So to offer a transit to KL via Singapore is misleading

          • Pete M says:

            I see what you mean! And you are right – no one who’s been in the UK in the past 14 days is allowed to transit through Singapore. Imagine the booking system is not clever enough to take this into account then!

      • VickyTM says:

        I just got charged £35 for cancelling an avios flight – should I not have? I did however have a rather infuriating conversation with the guy who asked me at least 4 times if I’d rather have a voucher. He said it would be better value than getting my avios back…!

    • Sam G says:

      Changi will be allowable for transit again shortly (+ entry from UK for passholders with a 21 day quarantine)

      https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/covid-19-border-rules-hong-kong-south-africa-uk-official-travel-14659040

      • Sam G says:

        But this will not be possible from BA -> MH as they aren’t approved for transit. Only SQ-SQ (or a few other limited exceptions, none for oneworld)

        • Pete M says:

          Singapore is really keen to have us, then! 🙂

          • Sam G says:

            Well it’s a slight improvement on being forced to stay onboard during transits to Aus/NZ but yes, we’re still very much on the naughty list! Hopefully things improve as theirs & our vaccination rollout progresses but I wouldn’t have it on my holiday plans anytime soon.

        • Geoff says:

          Thats interesting thanks. I know MAS can transit there. Was hoping that BA transiting to MAS would be ok? Hopefully they will change soon as UK numbers keep falling.

          • Geoff says:

            Just checked again and I was mistaken. MAS not eligible for transit in Singapore – thought it was there when I checked yesterday but not there now. Anyway, hopefully it will change soon.

    • Sam G says:

      When are you thinking of travelling Geoff? Numbers in Malaysia along with many other countries out that way are headed in the wrong direction & their vaccine rollout has been sluggish at best. I fear that between their lockdowns/border closures/health situation and our quarantine policy travel to much of that part of the world will not be possible for the foreseeable. I’m definitely rethinking my November Thailand plans though I’ll wait and see a while longer

      • Geoff says:

        My wife is returning to KL for business. She is working there for awhile. Numbers are currently similar to UK with less deaths. Vaccine program progressing slowly.

      • yorkieflyer says:

        i am now having the same worry re Thailand at Christmas, avios and hotel points bookings certainly showing unforeseen benefits

  • Manny_D says:

    Think i’m going to take the plunge and upgrade the Green Amex to the Platinum as I have a decent chunk of spend coming up. Does anyone know how easy the process is for this?

    Is just a case of calling up and asking to upgrade, or do they run through a new application of sorts?

    • Memesweeper says:

      Call and ask for charge card upgrades. I’ve never had to complete a new application .

      • Manny_D says:

        Cheers. Gave them a call and asked for the options available. Interestingly enough they offered the Gold Card, after a few more queries on that they mentioned it would be the Credit card version as opposed to the Charge card (didn’t know this option was available). Went ahead with the Platinum upgrade anyway so all good.

        • BuildBackBetter says:

          Did they say whether you were eligible for the platinum sign up bonus?

  • Paul says:

    Wine flyer order delivered! Any idea when we can expect the 2k Avios to hit (as a new customer)?

  • sam says:

    Does anyone know if Virgin Atlantic credit card provides a bonus for existing cardholders on the free plan if they upgrade?

    • Rob says:

      No, they don’t. You may be better cancelling and waiting 6 months.

    • Jonathan says:

      I asked Virgin Money a few weeks ago about upgrading (without waiting 6 months), the process a bit of a hassle; apply for the plus card, they decline you (as you already have a VS card), you appeal their decision, they will then close your free card and you will get the plus card with the sign up bonus points.

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