Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Tuesday 8th June

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Comments (484)

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  • Olver says:

    My partner and I have both finished our British Airways American Express Premium Plus credit card sign up offer so at the moment sitting on 70K+ Avios which is amazing but I am just wondering if there is any point in keeping the card for the 2-4-1 voucher? We basically always fly economy and are not really interested in flying business class. Just curious if I am missing something or if it just makes more sense to cancel them both and switch to the free version for daily spending to earn some extra Avios.

    • SteveJ says:

      Do you fly short haul only? If so then find a way to maximise your points earning (taking out a platinum for the sign up bonus is a better bet than keeping spending on the BA. Also see the Economist offer for 18k points).

      If you fly long haul I don’t understand why you’d not be interested in a business flight for a cash price (+points) similar to what you’d pay for an economy cash fare anyway (in many cases)

      • Olver says:

        Fair point! So we have 1-2 long haul flights a year each costing us £1K return roughly (we fly on budget airlines or often with a deal) and I was always under the impression that I will struggle to get a cheaper business class flight vs my economy one and that it is considered a poor use of the Avios points.

        • SteveJ says:

          Avios on economy is a poor use (unless you use short haul rewards flight saver, usually good use then).

          You can pick up business flights for £600 each (+Avios). Personally 1,200 for business vs 1,000 for economy is an easy choice. Avios have a cash value (as mentioned below convert to Nectar) so the maths isn’t as simple as I make out, but I still would suggest you think twice before writing off using them on business.

    • BJ says:

      Unless you are flying around peak holiday dates or flexibility is essential then it makes little sense to use avios to fly economy. If you are certain you do not want to fly premium then you would probably be best to convert those avios to Nectar points, and cancel or downgrade the BAPP.

      • Olver says:

        This was my thinking to be honest and just use the Avios to cover the next months shopping at Sainsbury which would give us a return of 0.8p per avios which is pretty ok.

        • BJ says:

          Money saved can then be spent if airline of chouce too, not only BA/OW airlines.

          • BJ says:

            Also, if converting to Nectar then it is probably a good idea to keep 10k Nectar points each for a double up event before Christmas.

  • Jaime says:

    About to buy a day 2 & day 8 test at Randox for myself and wife but their form only asks for the name of the person making the purchase, I was under the impression there was a need for each passenger to be listed on it.
    Anyone had that experience? Don’t want any setbacks at arrivals.
    Thank you for any feedback

    • Soo says:

      When you activate/register your kit you’ll be asked for all the details.

      • Jaime says:

        Thanks Soo
        For the border control purposes I only need to provide the confirmation of purchase?

    • Bigsi says:

      Each passenger will have a separate reference code. For example if you buy two tests you will get two reference codes and this is what you need to enter on each of the UK passenger locator forms. When I travelled last week I had to show my email with the code and to prove they matched what was on the locator form i.e different reference numbers for each member of the party travelling.

      • Jaime says:

        Thank you. I completed the purchase and do have 2 reference codes. The email mention that I need to register the kits and I assume it is once I receive them.

  • Tariq says:

    What rate are Marriott base points supposed to credit at – is it 10 per USD? IIRC it’s based on pre-tax spend, and presumably at a crap USD:GBP exchange rate?

    • Rob says:

      Yes. I had a recent stay where the FX rate was bonkers – I got 40% fewer points than due. A quick email and it was fixed.

      Remember that VAT is only 5% at present so £100 = £95.23 net = $134 = 1,340 base points.

      • Tariq says:

        Thanks, yes I seem to recall that they were using something like 1.2USD per GBP, even when the rate was well over 1.3. Had a £325+VAT stay last week that credited at 900 base points initially, emailed Bonvoy and they have adjusted it up to 2994 base points but still seems short to me…

        I’d settle for a night credit, I’m on 74 nights… 🙂

      • TJones says:

        Holiday Inn Express Bradford (for example) is claiming 20% taxes. Others say 5%. Seems a bit fishy.

        • Ryan says:

          I have no idea why a hotel would want to charge more VAT… assuming they charge the same gross price, they’re losing out on net turnover…

          • Rob says:

            Your final bill will itemise the VAT. Messing with VAT unleashes the dogs of hell in a way that failing to pay income tax never will.

  • BJ says:

    You want polarized new Wayfarers. I recommend Fashioneyewear. You will pay less than going direct with the amex offer. Normally aboutb £90-100 depending on colour and size.

    • KBuffett says:

      Funnily enough the chap that owns fashioneyewear also owns Maverick & Wolf and they do have an Amex Offer running

  • Eugene says:

    Having cancelled next week at the new Six Senses in Crete, I thought I’d try Shropshire! Looked at some hotels but it seems a bit of a 1970s-80s throwback for hotels. Anyone know anywhere good for a couple of days there and then in the Cotswolds? I tried the Smith site which is consistent but all their faves are sold out, even on a Mondays and Tuesdays..

    • KBuffett says:

      Everywhere decent in the UK is booked.
      Central London might be your best bet if you want a very nice hotel, but it’s a tradeoff against the countryside

  • Martin says:

    I’ve spent £12k on my free BA card, Im strongly thinking of upgrading to the Premium BA card so I can claim the 2-4-1 voucher now, while it’s on the good terms. However, I would then look to “downgrade” to the rewards card since- it seems to me anyway- for my level of spending, it’s essentially the same as the free BA card.

    Any objections to my idea? thanks!

    • Rob says:

      Works fine. Makes marginally more sense to do it in September though as your voucher will have better Club World availability.

      • Martin says:

        then september it shall be, thanks.

        • Ed says:

          Might be missing something, but if you’ve already spent 12k would they not issue a econ only 241 immediately on 1 sept? Therefore wouldn’t it be better to upgrade before September?

          • Rob says:

            You are correct and I am wrong. Sorry. Still need to get used to the £12k thing …

  • mart says:

    Sitting on a decent amount of avios (300k roughly), got about 150k MR points on a business card i am about to close to not pay the fee. Don’t ideally want to open another credit card. What is best use of the MR points for future travel aspirations – i.e. safest hotel partner, etc?

    Any and all advice welcomed!

  • Aston100 says:

    Which would you choose to visit for 6 nights at the start of June next year for a city-ish break:
    Hong Kong or Tokyo?
    Flight times to/from HKG look good, but I presume Tokyo has more to see?
    Will be a one-off visit to those cities (and indeed those countries) and am unlikely to return again.

    Thanks.

    • Alex says:

      Love Hong Kong and can easily fill a week with plenty to do on HK island, mainland and other islands nearby.

      • David S says:

        Totally agree – HK is much bigger than you might think. You can also take a trip over to Macau from there

    • TicknBash says:

      Used to do HKG annually to visit the in laws.

      It will be very humid and HKG is a massive Neff oven around June / July – unless you enjoy that sort of weather.
      Best thing about HKG is the Cathay lounge – highly rated.

    • Gavin says:

      You’d probably have a great time in both. I’d maybe choose HK for a short-ish city break because you’ve got mountains and hiking really close to the city centre, which makes a change from doing typical city based stuff. There’s definitely enough to do/see in 6 days in both cities.

      • meta says:

        I’d also advise against Tokyo in June, although first week or so in June might still be ok, because it’s start of the rainy season and it’s really humid and not very pleasant. Hong Kong is similar. To be honest you want to go south of the Equator in SE Asia such as Bali. Unless you enjoy humidity and hot rain.

    • BJ says:

      Why not both, 3 nights each with good use of arrival and departure? You could easily spend six nights in either but if you are always on the go type you will see most of what you want to see in three nights each. I wouldn’t worry about the weather, take your chances.

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