Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Monday 7th June

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Comments (435)

  • Colin says:

    Is there any possibility of a bonus on conversion of Amex points to avios? I can see reports of a 40% bonus in the past but don’t think this has happened in quite a while. Is this a thing of the past? I have a Gold card and am thinking of moving my points to avios then cancelling the card to reset the timer on the sign up bonus.

    • Rob says:

      Amex stopped them 10 years ago. Look at it this way – Amex gives you 0.45p if you redeem your points for statement credit and 0.5p for gift cards (less whatever discount Amex has negotiated). It is paying 0.8p to 1p for airline miles. What possible reason would it have for encouraging you via bonus to convert?

      • Youllnever says:

        Do you know why they did the bonus originally?

        • Rob says:

          The airlines fund the bonuses, not Amex, so they would have seen it as a no-brainer.

          However, someone at some point will have decided it wasn’t a no-brainer because Amex was still paying 0.8p to Avios vs 0.45p if the person took statement credit.

          That said, as Amex has just pre-bought £750m-worth of Avios from BA they may, possibly, look at various incentives to use them up.

        • Colin says:

          Thanks for the response, was unaware of the economics of point conversion for Amex. So tell me, what was the historical reason for the bonus then?

          • Rob says:

            When Amex was sloshing in cash before the cap on interchange fee – although admittedly this change of heart predates that, although they knew it was coming – I doubt they cared. After all, its obviously an incentive to spend on their cards if you think you’ll see a conversion bonus on a regular basis.

            Remember that some airlines, eg Etihad, still do unofficial Amex conversion bonuses. They email you directly saying you will get a bonus and they add it when they see points coming in from Amex. It’s just that Amex won’t promote it for them.

  • MKB says:

    Data point: just arrived into Gatwick North. Egates open. No wait/queue at all. Quickest I’ve ever got from plane to landside here.

    Lots of very militaristic-looking Border Force guards lining the route from plane to immigration, presumably intended to intimidate, and succeeding.

    • Andrew says:

      That’s good. I knew all those tabloid reports about 7 hours waits at the border was hugely exaggerated.

      • Pete M says:

        Remember Gatwick is seeing minimal traffic and virtually none from red countries – LHR can get very bad if you get several wide-body arrivals at the same time…

      • Rhys says:

        7 hours maybe, but it’s also not as efficient as it could be. When I came back from Portugual T5 had 4 eGates open and just 2 staffed desks…….

        • MQ says:

          Last week I arrived at heathrow and it took about 1 hour to do all the checks. It was ok, def. not the 7 hour horror stories I saw on the news.

    • ankomonkey says:

      FAO-LTN last week before Portugal moving to amber list would have had any effect – Easyjet check-in at FAO was a mess with long queues, no proper social distancing and many people wearing masks around mouth only or chin. Easyjet staff blamed the UK government for vastly increasing their responsibilities with minimal time for staff training. LTN arrival was excellent – about 10 Border Force staff at manned desks so through in 5-10 minutes. Baggage on conveyor belt when got through to reclaim area.

  • MattB says:

    My wife has 10% back at Morrisons via Natwest Rewards but it states online only in the t&cs. Just wondering whether anyone had already tried buying GC in store to see if it pays out anyway… If not I’ll try tonight.

    • 747_Brat says:

      I have tried it. It doesn’t work in-store, if it says online only.

  • N says:

    Friend of mine has a free BA card. Is he eligible for SUB for marriott and plat cards (in that order)?

  • mikescores says:

    Hello Rob/hello all
    Can you please confirm- I applied for the Amex Business Gold on 7th April (e-mail confirms); it was reviewed and accepted , e-mail 14th April. Having reached the spend limit, I see only 20,000 points as welcome bonus. As the offer of 50,000 closed on 9th April, I assume I still qualify for the 50,000. Am I correct and has this happened to anyone else ? Thanks – stay safe.

  • Rob says:

    Quick question for someone:

    What is the wait time for nectar points earned through Argos to arrive in your account? Been waiting weeks and still nothing, despite accounts being linked.

    Ebay is only a few days so assumed Argos would be too.

    • Super Secret Stuff says:

      Argos is up to 35 days for me, think they wait until you can no longer return the items

    • AJA says:

      It is up to 35 days from date of transaction. When they do post it will be backdated to the date of purchase so you need to scroll back through your nectar transactions to see it. I’ve never had them not post but then again I don’t think I’ve ever returned an item.

  • PerkyPat says:

    Can anyone recommend a place to get a fit to fly test in or around Newcastle? Cheers.

    • Rich says:

      I got mine by NPH at the airport. Wasn’t the cheapest, but it was done in 5 minutes and result back by 8am. They’re in the meet & greet car park.

      • PerkyPat says:

        Thanks Rich, airport is easy for me as close to Metro. How far in advance did you book?

        • Rich says:

          I did it a week or so in advance, then changed my time slot (because I changed my flight) a day or so before. There seemed to be plenty of availability – you can book the same day if you want

          • PerkyPat says:

            Great, want to leave it fairly late as its Germany and we may still be banned.

          • Rich says:

            I believe they will let you cancel for a few £. But yes, no need to book it way in advance. I just checked and you can get one pretty much immediately

          • PerkyPat says:

            Thanks, v helpful.

  • James says:

    Stayed in DT Hilton in Cheltenham over the weekend and someone asked for a review so here’s my short one:
    – Room was fine, slightly tired, but did not have air conditioning, which was more surprising than anything as I have always had it in the past, so it got quite warm at night, especially since it was very warm last week
    – We booked a room for 3, and it had a double bed and a sofa bed, the sofa bed was not that comfortable (but expected this)
    – Shower/taps didn’t seem to go over a certain temperature
    – Staff were pleasant enough but probably just very busy
    – Pool was really quite cold and had to book in advance, we could only use it once as we arrived on the Thurs and it was only available Sat morning
    – Breakfast was in line with other Hiltons, nothing special
    – Setting is nice, but the hotel is quite long, and we were at the end of the corridor

    • chabuddy geezy says:

      Thanks for the review James, I normally visit Bath regularly, is Cheltenham worth a weekend visit?

      • TGLoyalty says:

        It’s deffo worth a visit but stay in the centre.

        The George was nice enough. Same group as 131

    • The motorist says:

      Hi James, did you get any status recognition / upgrades?

    • SteveJ says:

      Thanks James, I was the one who asked. The no AC is a surprise, need to recheck my booking as I can’t say I noticed it was a no AC hotel?

      How busy was the pool, I know the pre booking is to limit numbers, but no idea what DT Cheltenham consider to be a reasonable capacity.

    • MattB says:

      We stayed there a couple of weeks ago for 3 nights, agree the hotel is tired and with it being so long it feels you are constantly hearing people walking past.

      This is our third stay and the first time we had no status upgrade or drinks vouchers (compared to London Waterloo Hampton the follow weekend which came through nicely).

      On the plus side rates can be attractive – think it was less than £70 per night with breakfast for 2 as gold then used the £50 off £200 Amex offer.

      Cheltenham itself is good IMO for food and drinks in evening although nothing special for shopping. We like it as its less than an hours drive from home and on the edge of the cotswolds too.

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