Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Monday 26th 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 (308)

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

  • George K says:

    Quick -hopefully- question for when the world opens up a bit more: What would the easiest routing be for a trip to Havana with a toddler in tow (from London)? I’m thinking Iberia… ?

    • Pete M says:

      Virgin normally fly direct, but can’t see any flights for a while into the future.

      • ChrisC says:

        You can only book VS flight only to HAV via the phone or as a Holiday

    • Mzungu says:

      I *think* that Virgin fly to Valparaiso, not Havana – can’t be sure, I’m not much of a Virgin flyer. I’ve done LHR-MAD-HAV which worked well, were you looking for Avios or cash? I had a couple of days in Madrid on the way out to be sure of connecting, just took the second available flight on way back to allow a bit of leeway. 3-4 hours in the lounge wasn’t much of a trial.

      • Travel Strong says:

        You are thinking of Varedero, and that route ended some time ago.

        Virgin currently plan to fly a HAV route a couple of times a week, but their plans for Caribbean schedules have been known to change over the past year or so.

        The virgin call centre are very helpful and go back and forth with virgin holidays to complete your booking over the phone. Reward flights are possible too, but availability has also changed drastically over the years.

        • Anna says:

          You used to be able to fly direct to Varadero from MAN! And Bahamas, Maldives, Miami and Margarita Island (off Venezuela). The golden days of travel …

  • Fred S says:

    Just took the plunge for Curve Metal paying £150 upfront. Personal card (9000). As soon as I signed up, the daily limit dropped from £4500 to £2000! Any suggestions?

  • Lady London says:

    Try reading back this thread it’s been thoroughly covered on quite a few occasions. The absolute max you’d have to go back to get 3-5 cases of this being dealt with in detail would be 2-3 weeks and they start much sooner back. Click on blue in last paragraph of article above to catch the back days.

    FWIW at the level of reimbursement I’d accept and fly it. 241 just adds gravy.

    • Lady London says:

      *above for CG on downgrade from First Class

    • Steve says:

      LL, noticed that when you write long replies the system forgets who you were replying to. Hint while this gets fixed, before hitting submit, scroll back up to make sure it still shows as a reply, if not, click reply again and it’ll “relink”

      • Lady London says:

        Tried it @Steve but did not work. It’s lost the link to the post being replied toon a 2-line one that took less than 10 seconds as well. Really tacky cache management or incorrect parameterising.

  • Benilyn says:

    What are people’s best / favourite Cat 8 Marriott Maldives resort, for points booking for the base room? All offer private pool and all look pretty awesome.

    RC Fari Islands
    JW Marriott

    • KK says:

      W gets the best reviews and recommendations on tripadvisor and forums. Not been to any of them personally but W is by my preference from researching before COVID.

    • Ikaz says:

      RC is expensive (most expensive transfers of the 3, no free breakfast for platinum and above). W has decent reef and food, plus there is a platinum discount for food (St regis didn’t offer this, could have changed since). W was my choice after looking into the 3 hotels for the same price. Trip planned for later this year though, so not based on experience

    • YC says:

      St Regis is an amazing property, base room is not overwater but they are open to additional pay to get an overwater (if thats what you want). Reef seems to be not as good as W but apart from that, I can’t see why the W is better. *Only experienced StR

    • Benilyn says:

      Thanks for feedback guys, will dig more into it. I have done, on points, WA Maldives (free brek as Gold), and hopefully doing IC Maldives (free breakfast to all I believe) this year.

      • Secret Squirrel says:

        How did you get free breakfasts on Gold? Did they communicate this prior to arriving or advised you at check in or out?

        • Benilyn says:

          @SS was that directed at me? WA is part of Hilton, where gold gets free brekkie

          • Secret Squirrel says:

            @Benylin: my mistake, for some reason I thought you meant you got free breakfasts at St.Regis Maldives on Marriott Gold status!

      • BuilBackBetter says:

        Let us know what you go for and why!

  • Optimus Prime says:

    When applying for a new Amex card, they don’t ask you if you have another card anymore?

    They haven’t on my Bonvoy application and got rejected straight away. Called them up and was told it was due to Experian saying I don’t meet the criteria.

    The only reason I can think of is that my credit utilisation was 32% when the Experian report was generated (11-April) but I cleared those balanced before applying.

    • Bobri says:

      Curiously it didn’t ask for the existing card number on a Bonvoy application, but did on Gold and ARCC

    • the_real_a says:

      The CC companies report total debt and spend to credit reference agencies on a specific date, its NOT the date of your statement. For example if the reporting date was the 30th of month, it would be a snapshot of your account standing on that date. You would need to call the CC company to understand when the reporting date is for your particular account. Its possible news of your payment has not reached Experian yet.

      Also note that credit usage “velocity” is an indicator of acceptance. That’s a measure of drawing against your credit line vs a rolling average. Its not always total outstanding credit Vs % of total credit line or salary whichever if more relevant.

      Right now many financial institutions are refusing credit to otherwise A1 rated people. Its very difficult to understand certain decisions other than Covid is making them very risk adverse.

  • Sarah says:

    Just noticed that 10,000 nectar points posted a couple of days ago for taking out the Sainsbury’s credit card and spending £400 within first 2 months. Apologies if already posted somewhere else.

    • Hotelier says:

      +1 Had not noticed. Haven’t used the app since the offers are pretty much gone.
      Back to my Morrison’s GC …

  • Gavin says:

    England NHS now accepting vaccine bookings for 1977/1978 DOB according to someone I know

    • aDifferentSimon says:

      ooh yes, it’s letting me in! It didn’t a couple of days ago.

    • Blindman says:

      Is your source Stacey ?

      Not so for my son.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Worth trying every couple days. It’ll drop very before it’s announced.

        • Andrew says:

          40+ supposedly by “later this week” and yes, always best to keep checking – 44+ could book from late last week and yet the landing page only updated today to reflect that.

    • Sussex bantam says:

      Yes. My 43 year old friend got an appointment for Wednesday

  • aDifferentSimon says:

    I have a 241 that (currently) expires June 2022. Realistically I’d like to use this in the school holidays in 2022. Is the best solution cancelling a cheap zone 1 booking for a FTV?
    (A la
    That article stated that any further voucher extensions would need to be done by 31/3. This didn’t happen so is the locked in FTV the way to go?

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