Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Friday 23rd April

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

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Comments (223)

  • Lol says:

    We are using my wife’s Amex Gold card for most spending at the moment. When I closed my own Amex Gold card last year I opened an AmEx Rewards card to hold on to the Membership Reward points rather than transfer them to Avios or one of the other airline schemes. This prevents the clock ticking for the 2-year gap however for me to take out another personal Amex Gold Card and obtain the bonus available at that time. When my wife’s free year for the Gold card ends I could take out the Gold card and not get the bonus of course, but can anyone suggest a way round this problem? I’ve read AmEx won’t allow transfer of Membership Reward points between individuals so it looks as if I would have to transfer them to Avios or similar if I’m to close the Rewards card now.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Having any personal AMEX card means you are ineligible for the gold bonus

      The only way around it is long and convoluted – get an ICC MR card – was an article about Plat but most things apply to Green (apart from the fee is lower and there’s no bonus)

      • Lol says:

        Thanks TGLoyalty, this looks promising. I’m a regular reader of HfP but missed the article you linked. I just meet the income requirements and the insurance cover is up to age 80 which makes it worthwhile as I’m over the UK Amex 70 age limit. Spending €5,000 within 3 months would be a problem at the moment but I can see this being worth applying for later this year.

        • BuildBackBetter says:

          One option is to get the Dollar version and use it to buy airline or hotel points. Plenty of discounts on points and miles now.

  • JH says:

    Guessing this will have been discussed here before as I can’t be the first to encounter it …
    I hit £10k spend on BAPP about 4 weeks ago and Companion Voucher has duly posted on BA account. I’ve now received a £1k+ refund for son’s student accommodation, which has dropped me back down below £10k annual spend. Progress bar on AMEX site now says I still have to spend about another £900 in next 3 weeks to get my Companion Voucher. AMEX agent didn’t know whether the voucher would be clawed back or not (and would get back to me within 2 weeks with an answer).
    Any thoughts? Can the voucher be clawed back? Or am I possibly in line for an additional voucher?

    • Pete says:

      My understanding is that the vouchers are not clawed back once in your Executive Club account, but you will also not get a second voucher.

    • Anna says:

      Never been clawed back yet, you will just need to spend the extra money to get your next voucher. Best not to draw too much attention to these things for future reference!

    • Rob says:

      No clawback, but no extra voucher – this is a long-running Amex IT glitch.

    • Ryan says:

      It’s briefly a boosted limitless AIA, the qualifying assets seem pretty broad (similar to AIAs)
      Computer equipment is included in that, do you require new office furniture too??

    • Super Secret Stuff says:

      Sounds like a god send for anyone wanting to make a start up

      • Ryan says:

        Very… could also see it as an easier R&D for tangibles!

        • Super Secret Stuff says:

          Very, I work in an R&D role and expecting something to flow down soon about it

    • Ming the Merciless says:

      Get yourself a pickup truck?!

  • Pete says:

    Quick help – I have a cash BA booking, if I don’t need the return anymore, are they able to split the PNR so I can get an FTV for the return?

    • ChrisC says:

      Yes but they will more than likely reprice your outbound (assuming you haven’t flown it).

      Refund / FTV may not be for as large a sum you might think it to be.

      • Pete says:

        Thank you, ChrisC. Would waiting until I have flown it help?

        • Sam G says:

          Yes this one option – you’ll get back the value of that segment as an offline FTV (to be used by the same travellers). This may or may not be ~50% depending on which fare class it ended up in. If it was dirt cheap then I’d expect it was I class both ways and you’d get back a bit less than 50% due to the outbound APD

    • Lady London says:

      Price a new booking Single.
      Price a new booking return.

      That will give you an idea of the proportion you will lose.

      Find your fare class in your documentation and check fare class refund rules.Check also part flown there.

      You may well find pushing the return date well forward or even taking an FTV makes more sense.

      Or, refund the whole thing and rebook or FTV it if there’s a voucher in it.

      For one ways consider other carriers, one or two don’t overprice one ways.

      • Pete says:

        Thanks as always, Lady London!

        They were excellent value J flights, which are now 4x the price. Now likely to return from elsewhere, but was hoping to bag at least some TPs on the way out. Think the easiest may be to FTV the whole thing and just get a one-way Avios redemption.

        • Lady London says:

          If the tickets are that much of a bargain then don’t cancel till you really need to.

          Meanwhile was not an idle suggestion to read the fare class rules. Surprisingly once you take off about £200 rule of thumb for true taxes on a long haul, some fare classes may turn out to preserve historic pricing if part flown and rest refunded or needs changing. Look at the fare class conditions, fare breakdown if given, or just phone the airline and ask what would happen if…. This is by no means a dead duck, defo worth looking into

  • Joe Dillamore says:

    I’m trying to make a 241 avios booking, and I want to go outbound economy and return in 1st. I can’t seem to be able to do this as BA website seems to only offer a spread of 3 classes (i.e. Econ/PE/Biz or PE/Biz/1st). I could have missed something on the site, but can’t see that this has been covered. Has anyone had experience booking a flight like this?

    • ChrisC says:

      You need to phone to do this.

    • AJA says:

      I am not sure it is possible to do online I think you have to call BA to do this. As it involves First cabin you might be able to call YouFirst to book.

    • Chris Heyes says:

      Joe Dillamore, Just ring them

    • Anna says:

      Yes, it’s a quirk of the BA website, it will only show up to 3 cabins. Call and don’t forgot to mention this if they try to charge you the fee for booking by phone.

      • Jonathan says:

        Strictly speaking the phone booking fee should be charged. It’s only waived for functions that are usually available online but aren’t functioning correctly. If it’s something that never works online then you are supposed to pay. Normally they will waive it in situations like this though

  • Michael C says:

    Just done my first ever BA hols booking.
    We’re in PE and want to upgrade the flight (club is available) but I can’t see an option online: can I only do it by phone?

    • Anna says:

      Yes, you need to call but also I think you need to have booked in the right fare bucket? Only done it once many years ago (Y to PE, not worth it!), but other people on here have mentioned it.

      • Anna says:

        Might be different if you’re upgrading with avios.

      • Michael C says:

        Thanks Anna! I’m on the traditional mid-morning hold to them…
        Btw you were quite right in your Weymouth guess: Haven it was! The pre-breakfast unheated “lazy river” was…errr…bracing!!

        • Anna says:

          Oh dear, it would be at this time of year! We went one August and it was glorious – my son was about 7 at the time and asked which country we were in as he’d never known England to be warm enough to swim outdoors until we visited the south!

      • Jonathan says:

        All (mainstream) WTP fare buckets are eligible for upgrade with Avios. May not be the case with some super cheap fares from online travel agents but anything from BA Hols is fine.

    • ChrisC says:

      it’s only certain economy fares that can’t be upgraded so PE will be fine

      Issue will be availability as it pulls from the same as flight only redemptions – you can do a dummy avios booking to check before calling.

      If you do manage to upgrade once you’ve flown remember to check that the avios and TPs from your cash fare are credited as sometimes UUA mucks the system up.

      • Michael C says:

        Good reminder Chris, cheers. Of course, the trip is at the end of Aug., so I’ll probably still be on hold to BA by then *eyeroll*

  • Navara says:

    Happy St Georges Day.

  • Bill says:

    Anyone care to guess which of the following will be on the green list late August ? Mainland Spain, Portugal or Mallorca

    • The Lord says:

      All of the above

      • Simon says:

        Yes Mallorca…… 50/50 Portugal, No to Spain

        • Anna says:

          Spain seems to be banking on income from Brits this summer. If the mainland is excluded it’s going to hit them very hard.

          If the Balearics are green, I would expect the Canaries to be as well. In fact, I’m toying with booking a Plan C to Tenerife in case Malaga and Florida don’t come off. Getting really fed with cancelling stuff now though!

          • Simon says:

            I’ve optimistically/naively/pointlessly booked Malta and Palma flights for June 1st half term trip….. We will both be double jabbed by early May. Fingers crossed

          • Rhys says:

            I’ve booked Berlin, Barcelona, Stockholm, Florence, Tel Aviv from June – August. Hopefully some will go ahead….

          • Anna says:

            You’re young and free, Rhys, I’d do the same! If we can’t travel during my OH’s leave in August I’m seriously contemplating abandoning the family and jetting off on my own somewhere for the winter!

      • marcw says:


    • Navara says:

      None till after the school holidays

    • Chris Heyes says:

      Bill My guess is all of the above, some of the above, or non of the above
      But that’s only a guess

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