Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Saturday 22nd May

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

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 (289)

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

  • Laura says:

    BBC Breakfast just said that 32 and 33 year olds can start booking their jabs.

  • Chelseafi says:

    Update on my BA Hol to Miramare in July, I was emailed earlier this week by BA that there had been a pricing error on my holiday I’d booked over 6 months ago and they couldn’t honour the booking (booked for £1840 should have been £3120 they advised) was offered £500 FTV compensation if cancelled or £500 off the ‘correct’ cost. I replied to them to cancel holiday and accept the offer….. They have now called me to discuss and said they will honour the booking at the original price, so I think that’s good from BA.

    • LST says:

      Great result

    • Anna says:

      That’s great – but I wonder if they would have just taken your money if you’d agreed to pay the higher price?!

      • Lady London says:

        Perhaps they’ve been reading HfP. I particularly enjoyed Michael’s comment about onesided contracts being illegal and TG’s about the rule of presumption being in favour of the retail customer perhaps BA enjoyed these too.

        But a good result I am pleased Chelseafi.

        • AnotherUser says:

          Good result! A contract allowing BA to cancel after spotting an error like that 6 months after booking would be very one-sided – holiday prices can rise or fall by more than that amount just due to demand. No idea about the legal situation, but I wonder if BA realised it just doesn’t look good

    • AJA says:

      That’s a great result (assuming you still want to go?) Does that mean you don’t get the £500 FTV? I think BA worked out that it will cost them less to just let you go on holiday as BA will probably end up paying the hotel the difference of £1,280 which is less than the £2,340 [£1,840 + £500 FTV] they would have to pay out to you if you cancelled.

  • Ian says:

    I’ve just noticed that I can use my NatWest membership rewards to buy Avios – £10 gets 1,170 Avios. Has HFP ever done a review of this? I can’t find anything in the search.

    • Rich says:

      1.2p/ point isn’t good value most of the time. If you have a great redemption lined up, sure. But not worth it as a speculative punt

      • pauldb says:

        0.85p in fact. But similar rationalisation.

        • Jan M says:

          I always opt for them because I usually do get 1p per Avios. Calculus might change once I’ve finally used up my one last Lloyds upgrade voucher.

        • Rich says:

          Quite right! Complete maths fail- sorry

    • Gary says:

      Used to be an option intermittently but now seems pretty “permanent” although not explicitly advertised so could be pulled anytime. Essentially £1 spend get you 0.58 avios on basis of 0.5% “cash back/rewards” (vs 1.5 avios on BA Amex). Not the best value unless for an urgent avios top up needed

      • Rob says:

        I wouldn’t bother applying for one of these purely for Avios, put it that way 😉

        • Ron says:

          They sometimes have decent rewards though, like Morrison’s 10% back, 11.7Avios/£ spend. But agree, won’t be a very good day to day rewards card.

        • James says:

          You’re all missing the point… you also get the points just for having the current account (£2 fee but £5 back each month in rewards), which can be converted straight back to cash or to avios or a selected range of gift lists cards with varying degree of uplift from cash rates. Only thing required is having to DD set up on account and a log in via app every month. No brainer.

  • TJ says:

    Received the following Amex offer on my Bonvoy card: “Get 500 Marriott Bonvoy Points when you spend £500+ anywhere, up to 1500 points”.

    A bit of a damp squib to say the least!

    • LST says:

      You type faster than I do 😂

    • meta says:

      It basically means you get an extra point for spending £1.5k, so 3 points for £1 (or how it used to be).

    • Harry T says:

      It’s better than a poke in the eye. I’m currently trying to figure out if the offer applies to spend on supplementary cards, and whether it will apply to spend abroad. Anyone have any thoughts?

      • TJ says:

        The T&Cs imply that foreign spend is valid since it references the non-Sterling transaction fee. Will only trigger if you have it saved on your card…I guess you could ask Amex if they could load to supp card.

      • David says:

        Really Jarry? The way you criticise others for things of actually greater value suggests otherwise.

    • John says:

      So a £1500 transaction gives me an extra 1500 points?

  • LST says:

    Have a spend £500 on the card and get 500 bonus (up to 1500 points) Bonvoy on my SPG Amex today. Looks to be cumulative. Better than nothing I guess.

    • Jpa says:

      Or you could cancel the card and save the £2.50 worth of points in about two weeks…..

      • Jpa says:

        Or the full 1500/£7.50 in about 6 weeks but better than nothing.

        • LST says:

          It’s my main credit card, so it’s a bonus on spending that I would do regardless.

          • Robert says:

            I did search the site for “Marriott” or “Bonvoy” before I posted the same thing a few minutes ago but nothing came up so I posted… sorry for repeating.

          • Rob says:

            Search no longer searches comments – it was wrecking the site speed, unsurprisingly with over 500k comments vs 11k articles (and as old articles redirect onto each other, probably only about 6k active ones). Remember in terms of word count, some comments are longer than the articles …

          • Robert says:

            Ah, that makes sense. Also makes sense why I couldn’t find a very specific comment I knew existed from another user that I was trying to find via search. Still, sorry for duplicating MB bonus offer 🙂

  • Graeme says:

    Simon Calder suggesting UAE might not even go onto amber list before next year. We’ve holidays booked for September and December to Dubai. Surely the people travelling right now if connecting will just use another hub so makes no sense to keep them red just because of transit hub status?? Thoughts?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Some bizarre reasoning on “transit” hubs

      Reality is they didn’t want stories about influencers in the press. Once it goes amber they will be back out there.

  • BP says:

    SS DV Intern bookings. Who’s up first? I’m mid-September. I’ve had good success with high value IHG mistakes being honoured in the past and hope this one will be too.

    • YC says:

      Early July. Anyone know if ambassador benefits are provided for redemptions at SS?

      • BP says:

        I’ve been wondering that too. 2 Free breakfasts will be wonderful and I can use my weekend voucher at the IC Porto for a few night before SS. Avis car hire prices don’t seem too bad to pickup city centre and drop off at Airport.

        • Anna says:

          Free breakfast isn’t an Ambassador benefit, sadly, or is it included in the SS rate as it seems to be for some Mr & Mrs properties?

          • BP says:

            It is an Ambassador benefit at SS properties. 2 free breakfasts in the main restaurant each day.

          • meta says:

            Yes. It’s free breakfast for Ambassador at Six Senses for two even on reward bookings as Rob wrote here. You also get one massage for 2 or local experience.

            https://www.headforpoints.com/2021/04/01/six-senses-hotels-bookable-with-ihg-rewards-points/

            I couldn’t resist yesterday and booked a weekend in August. I really enjoyed my time last year in Douro.

          • Anna says:

            Ah, I am really behind but that is very good to know! Fingers crossed it doesn’t fall foul of current “enhancements” to various status programs before I get a chance to try it out …

      • Pid says:

        Benefits as follows from t&cs:

        42. Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spa is progressively integrating into the IHG Rewards programme and at that time the following benefits will apply for InterContinental Ambassador, Royal Ambassador and Kimpton Inner Circle members at participating Six Senses hotels:

        a. Complimentary Breakfast for two in the main restaurant per day

        b. Signature Amenity of either a complimentary 50 minute Six Senses Spa massage for two or local experience once per stay. The Signature Amenity varies by resort, is subject to availability and confirmed on arrival. Not applicable with corporate or negotiated rates.

        c. Complimentary one category room upgrade (subject to availability, excluding residences and 2 bedroom or greater suites/villas)

        d. Extended check-out of 4pm subject to availability. Guaranteed for Royal Ambassador & Kimpton Inner Circle members

        e. Early check-in of 10am subject to availability. Guaranteed for Royal Ambassador & Kimpton Inner Circle members and in circumstances where the room is not available at 10 am, the member may be checked into another available room until the original booked room becomes available.

        f. Complimentary Internet access. Internet accessibility, speed, and connectivity in common areas and guest rooms vary by resort

        g. Wellness Platter welcome amenity on day of arrival

        • Tom says:

          Note that SS DV isn’t participating fully in IHG Rewards yet, so you’ll be getting none of that unless the hotel opts in before your stay.

          • Pid says:

            But if they accept a rewards booking it would be difficult for them to argue that they do not participate?

          • r* says:

            How do we know which hotels do or dont provide the benefits? I would be getting amb if the hotel gives the benefits.

          • Rob says:

            IHG has been giving us lists as more are added. See our recent articles.

        • Tom says:

          If you search for availability on the SSDV website, it says in big letters at the top “IHG® Rewards is not applicable at this Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas hotel at this time.”

          I suppose it’s worth a try arguing for Ambassador benefits, but I certainly wouldn’t count on it.

          • Genghis says:

            I’d argue AMB is distinctly separate from IHG rewards, which it is.

          • Rob says:

            If you can redeem I reckon it has flipped over into ‘included’ and IHG simply hasn’t announced it yet.

    • Tom says:

      I am booked for mid-June. If it doesn’t get cancelled, happy to report back in exchange for the excellent tip off here!

    • Pid says:

      Reference taking children and the room capacity that is listed as 2 for every room. I emailed the hotel and asked if we could have two cots/beds add to the suite for children (aged 2 & 3). They responded to confirm it is OK – with the following message:

      I am happy to inform that children are more than welcome in our hotel. For smaller babies we can put baby cots on any of our rooms or suites and in some of our rooms, mainly in Quinta River, we do have daybeds that are perfectly comfortable for children until 11 years of age.

      I leave you bellow our Children’s policy that can give you a clearer idea.

      Child policy:

      Children 0-5 years stay for free in parents’ room in a baby cot or day bed, always subject to availability, and eat for free from child menu.

      Children 6-11 years stay for free in parents’ room in a day bed, always subject to availability; breakfast charged at 50%.

      Lunch and Dinner selection from child menu charged at 100%, selection from regular menu charged at 50%.

      Free use of spa facilities |Children younger than 12 years are welcome to use the indoor pool from 9am – 12pm always accompanied by an adult. They cannot use the saunas.

      So if any one booked an extra room for kids then, depending on age you might not need it.

  • N says:

    Does The Langley check ID on check in?

    Thinking of sending my brother and his gf for a points booking I have next week. Happy to give him my credit card, etc.

    • Chris Heyes says:

      N, Don’t know of any Hotels in UK that ask for ID unless your foreign/credit card
      Just let him check in with your credit card plus booking ref print out if you can get one

      • Sukes says:

        I stayed at crowne plaza in Kensington, now the doubletree, last Aug & they asked to see passport. Stayed at The Resident Victoria this wk & they asked for passports for both rooms & they wrote down the passport numbers. I’m UK resident & citizen.

        • Njb says:

          Seems surprising – Hardly likely that a UK citizen would have passport on them for UK stay. Driving license maybe.

        • Doug M says:

          That’s very odd. I’d ask what their data protection policy was having recorded a passport number along with the other information they’d have as a result of the booking.

        • Lord Doncaster says:

          Do you have a British accent, Sukes?

          • Sukes says:

            I’m not sure there is such a thing Lord Doncaster – accents across UK regions vary massively! I didn’t query it as had passport on me. I’m sure another form of ID would have been fine. I’ve always been asked for ID in hotels, whether in uK or abroad, & I think that is a gd thing. Maybe I look under 18 (I wish lol)

        • Genghis says:

          As UK citizen, just need to provide name and nationality. That’s it.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Didn’t think there was a requirement to show ID/register As a non U.K. citizen / resident either tbh

        • A says:

          This is an absolutely ludicrous request and unless they’ve let you know about this requirement I n advance I’d be politely declining pointing out that literally no Brits carry their passports as a matter of course. Absolutely mad.

        • Aston100 says:

          Send a complaint to IHG via email.
          That is potentially a humiliating experience.

      • Kai says:

        It’s changed in the last year possibly due to the pandemic. I’ve been asked for ID on a few occasions.

        • Anna says:

          That’s not the same as specifically requesting to see a UK passport though – as per the comment above I would never take mine on a UK break, it’s just one more thing which might get lost or stolen!

      • Laura says:

        Just showed ID to check into the park plaza today!

    • TGLoyalty says:

      I think they’d be happy with seeing name on credit card

      We legally don’t have to carry ID so reasonable to not have any on a U.K. break.

      • Lord Doncaster says:

        I’m guessing Sukes is a naturalised British citizen and the reception staff initially assumed they weren’t British.

        • Lady London says:

          Does Northern Irish count as British then 🙂

          • Sukes says:

            I’ve noticed in London this wk a lot of hotels & restaurants are training new staff following lockdown reopening. My guess is by default they are just asking for passports of all & sundry when you check in & staff are usually non-Brits who I bet don’t have a clue where my accent is from. Growing up with army roadblocks in NI I can assure you getting ID’d is something that doesn’t bother me in the slightest if you are lucky enough (not all are) to assume it is for your own security. But that’s a bit O/T with regard to a hotel checkin for a relaxing wkend!

    • Louise says:

      I’m Checking in Monday so can let you know

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

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.