Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Thursday 13th May

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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 (339)

  • Rory says:

    Need some advise. Flying back from Miami next month on a BA 777. Looks like it has 8 seats in F, and it’s got Club Suite. It’s an extra £200 for First. Worth it?

    • H says:

      Yes £200 for an upgrade to F is worth it. The F seat is much better than the rock hard club suites

    • Harry T says:

      Never fly in business if you can fly in first, especially with airlines like BA.

      • Andrew says:

        Indeed. BA’s business class service and food is like other airlines offer in premium economy.

        • James says:

          Really? I’d happily take BA Business food & drink any day.

          I guess I am common people.

    • AJA says:

      I’d pay £200 to upgrade to First – sounds like a decent deal.

  • KK says:

    Strange question but vaguely points related! Has anyone had laser eye surgery as seriously considering lens replacement? If so how was it and does anywhere take Amex as for this amount I want MR and a very good surgeon!!!

    • roberto says:

      I had two lens replacements in my 40’s due to cataracts. Went in with low night vision and halo effects and had them done about six months apart with a long distance in one eye and a multi focus one in the other.

      Instant success, a little unnerving but intrinsically pain free. Private health plan cover the cost so no avios option. Had it done in Spain by a German clinc so can’t offer any reccomendation either. I have pretty much 20/20 day vision by its a little narrower that I would like , thats more likely my age tbh.

    • Peter K says:

      Are you on about laser vision correction (lasik, lasek) or lens replacement surgery? They are completely different surgeries with completely different expectations to be had from them.
      Points should be the last thing on your mind with these as the results will be with you until you die.
      With lasik/lasek, time after time research shows the biggest variable is the surgeon doing the procedure.
      In my personal experience, cataract surgery results suggest something similar.
      It sounds like you need to do a lot more research before how to pay for it is even considered.

      • KK says:

        Looking at lens replacement due to severe short sightedness over -12! Normally wear Gas permeable contacts but dry eye is killing me and was hoping lens replacement may be the solution. Points are not any concern really but a side benefit with the cost!

        • Peter K says:

          My advice would be to go to a good local independent Optometrist for an eye examination and ask them for advice on which surgeon they recommend. Then find where that surgeon works privately.

          Also, do not get your hopes too high. The surgeon may still not get things spot on and you may still need a (lower) spectacle prescription.

          Another thing to try before committing to a surgery that is very difficult to reverse is multifocal contact lenses. They are expensive in gas permeable form but worth it to see how you find the vision and if you feel it to be good enough. The clarity of vision with lens replacement lenses is similar, with a ‘soft focus’ effect etc.

          In fact, if you don’t already have multifocal contact lenses then why not try extended range soft lenses. It may help.

        • Pauline says:

          Best thing I ever did – prescription lens replacement. Choice of surgeon is the most important factor

          • Jonathan says:

            Not sure I’d get too hung up on surgeon. You need someone competent not (usually self-anointed in the private sector) “world leading”. If anything I would avoid anyone who exclusively practices in the private sector as standards of appraisal are lower & it tends to attract those with an operate regardless mentality (profit>patient).

            It’s exactly the same operation as done for cataracts & performed tend of thousands of times a year in NHS. Serious complications are incredibly rare, more likely to have poor results due to not being suitable for procedure in the first place – hence finding a respectable surgeon who will give impartial advice.

            Moorfields or the Western Eye Hospital (part of Imperial Hospitals) would be good places to start if based in London/SE.

          • kpk1981 says:

            Cheers (including Jonathan) – based in Birmingham if anyone has any recommendations.

          • Peter K says:

            As someone in the ocular field I’d like to respectfully, but partially, disagree with Jonathan.
            I agree those who work in both private and NHS are less likely to be money driven and more likely to give you what you want/need. I also agree that cataract surgery is very common, the most common procedure in the NHS (pre covid). However, having seen numerous disappointed patients after both standard lens and multifocal lens replacements who still need spectacles (though the surgeon had claimed they wouldn’t need them any more), I know that surgeon choice is very, very important! World leading is not essential, but more than competent certainly is.
            You don’t want to spend £3-5k per eye and still need spectacles afterwards. Trust me, it happens.

  • Christophe says:

    Where’s the category drop-down gone from the HfP home page?
    Is it a problem with my browser or has it befallen a BA-style ‘enhancement’?

  • Graeme says:

    Any downside to using Paypal to pay for something,blinds in this case to get via Amex rather than using Mastercard and S75 cover?

    How has people found Paypal protection compared to S75?


    • Aston100 says:

      I purchased something using Paypal backed by Amex. This is because the retailer didn’t accept Amex, and the value was only about £250.

      There was an issue with it after about 7 months I think.
      Amex weren’t interested (quite rightly) and PayPal said it was outside their period of cover.

    • BuildBackBetter says:

      PayPal always sides with seller. That’s where they get their money from, so no surprising.

  • Ghosty says:

    Earned an extra 150 points from my offers last week in store. Looking today at my app, yesterday (12th) they took the 150 points away, added them back and then took them away again. Checked on my wife’s phone for her account and they have done the same on her account (now a minus nectar balance on hers)
    Don’t know if it is the actual store, which was Newport. Anyone had this happen to their account?

    • Andrew says:

      Oh I’m glad I’m not the only one! I had a random 50 points added yesterday from Sainsbury’s even though I’ve not been for a week, and then today another 50 added but also 4×50 taken away! So I’m 100 down for some reason. Not that I’m going to go chasing 50p, but all a bit strange.

    • Daniel says:

      Likewise – 290 earned and added last week via offers in-store (Kensington Cromwell Rd store in my case); and then 290 added again and subsequently removed yesterday. No overall loss/gain, but still rather odd.

  • BSI1978 says:

    DP – phoned BA late Monday PM requesting a transfer of some Avios into Nectar.

    Said Avios/points landed earlier this AM.

  • dragonfly says:

    I know this question has been asked time and time – so just smack me on the hand and answer it, please. I am about to cancel my amex ba plus card. I earned a 2-4-1 voucher the year before last (did not earn any last year, not enough spending) and the voucher is in my ba account.
    Q1: The existing voucher will stay there until I can use it, before the expiry date. Correct?
    Q2: When I use the voucher, I have to pay for taxes with any amex card, can be an amex plat card. Correct?
    Thanks for confirming.

  • Sandgrounder says:

    Called Amex, followed up after being told to call back 1 year after last retention bonus, I directly asked for some points to offset lack of travel next few months and was given 35k.

    • Sandgrounder says:

      That’s for the Plat btw.

    • APB says:

      Can I ask if you put much spend through your plat @sandgrounder – just before I call

    • HeadingForNoPoints says:

      I got 85k late last year, might try my luck again, card was taken out in October. Platinum of course. @sandgrounder, assuming you only had one batch of 20k points in May/June last year? when did your card renew

      • Sandgrounder says:

        @HFNP My renewal date is coming up in the next month, I suppose I might have done better if I’d been prepared to walk away, but my parents use the insurance and they have holiday bookings outstanding I wanted to be sure would be covered. I wasn’t going to cancel. @apb not a huge amount, probably about 1k pm, or nothing some months if I’m working towards another card’s sign-up bonus.

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