Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Thursday 10th June

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Comments (393)

  • Chris Heyes says:

    Apparently a couple of friends who I referred a couple of years ago have received notification that from Aug the interest rate on their Amex balance is going up
    not seen the notification personally yet
    Warning though always pay off your balance before Month end

    • MW says:

      Some work colleagues asked me about this and I usually tell them something like:

      If you think you may have an issue paying off the balance every month, Amex cards are not the right product for you. If you do pay off in full regularly, but there is a one-off purchase that you cannot pay off immediately, balance transfer to a cheap card is the way, not Amex interest.

    • KBuffett says:

      It amazes me that anyone could be so financially illiterate that they pay AmEx interest.

      • Andrew says:

        Depends on the circumstances.

        I knew plenty of people who’d run up Credit Card debt, making minimum repayments, and pay off once a year with their bonus. I myself did something similar when I was younger – buying luxuries now and settling it from dividends twice a year. That card wasn’t on any Credit Agency report, if I’d opened something new it would have been.

        Then there were my old colleagues who’d end up paying interest on their Amex cards as a consequence of their own, or the company’s tardiness at claiming/settling expenses.

        It’s not always about financial literacy, it’s often about an effective compromise for quality of life.

        • MW says:

          I could possibly see this as a likely method with a really low interest rate card, but how would that ever be viable with Amex? Having said that I have no clue what the Amex interest rates are.

        • The Savage Squirrel says:

          Still pretty financially illiterate to do on Amex when either using a low-rate card for that strategy or doing without luxuries for a whole 6 months then going back to the same luxury-stuffed lifestyle but now paying with money you’ve actually got would save enough interest for … plenty more luxuries :D.

    • DT says:

      I think most here are paying their Amex off in batches of 300 per day, 500 per 3 days and 700 per 7 days anyway 😉

      • MW says:

        All very good but doesn’t count without references to bendy, Che or Hong Kong!

  • Anna says:

    https://www.cornwalllive.com/news/cornwall-news/covid-outbreak-among-staff-st-5508053
    That’s the UK-US travel corridor definitely off the table!

  • Steve says:

    Anyone got experience of BA Holidays and their allocation of hotel rooms? I’m booking for October, 2 adults and 3 children and BA is only offering a room that the hotel website shows as being for 4 people. The hotel does have accommodation available that sleeps 5

    • Anna says:

      Contact the hotel directly and ask if they can accommodate the 5 of you, you might have to pay to upgrade to a bigger room but it should be possible. One downside of BA holidays is that the choice of hotel rooms is often limited (though sometimes if you click through to the hotel details, it offers different categories of room, depending on the hotel). I often book one room through BA holidays and a 2nd directly with points or cash, never had a problem getting the rooms close together.

      • ChrisC says:

        Some of the room descriptions on BA Hols hotels are useless with exactly the same description generating different prices for no apparent reasons

        But you only see those once you’ve clicked through further into the booking process.

  • Aslan says:

    Slightly random one – I have a Mela 20% off code they dish out for Gold.
    I plan on using this for a group booking (8 rooms) where I will not be present – would this be allowed?

    • Aslan says:

      Melia, not Mela

      • Sina says:

        it probably works if one of the people who are going makes the booking and pay with their card, otherwise they will be a pain!

        Once I lost my card I booked my hotel on the plane and they wouldn’t let me check-in, and demanded I cancel that booking and book again!?

        Even Amex tried to call them to give them assurance that it is me but they wouldn’t agree! until some manager from Amex called their head office in Madrid and then they called the hotel!!

        • Anuj says:

          That seems like great customer service by Amex, did you book with Amex travel ?

          • Sina says:

            No booked it myself, but yeah they were great with dealing with it!

  • NP says:

    Datapoint in case helpful to others. Called to cancel my Gold Card and offered 10k bonus points instantly to stay, with no fuss from the UK call centre – thanks to Super Secret Stuff for the tip earlier this week. I’ll call to cancel properly first thing on Monday!

    • Matthew says:

      How long have you had the PRG card? Into your second year yet? Thanks

      • Super Secret Stuff says:

        Shouldn’t matter too much

      • NP says:

        Yeah into the 2nd year, just got hit with the annual charge last week, was previously a Plat holder that downgraded

    • Super Secret Stuff says:

      No problem, glad I could help

    • Aslan says:

      They didn’t offer me anything – hadn’t got to the second year yet.

  • Stewart says:

    Just booked the Hilton Wembley at 50k points for next Friday’s England and Scotland game.

    Cash rate is £379 so seems like a good deal!

  • Marie says:

    I cancelled a BA /avios holidays hotel only booking 10 days ago. I am expecting a refund minus £35 back to BAPP. Does anyone know how long such refunds are taking at present?

    • DT says:

      My last BA refund was in the middle of May, it took about 5 working days to hit my account if I remember correctly. Though this was a flight only booking, not sure if they’re quicker to refund those

      • Marie says:

        That’s what I was expecting- loathed to ring but might have to .

    • Reeferman says:

      Refunds should hit within a day or two. BUT if there’s any complications or reference to being sent to a backroom team, then it can take weeks. I’ve got some due and, despite various chasers, am still waiting 13 days later. This has been regular occurrence in my experience.

    • Anna says:

      What kind of booking was it, it can’t be avios AND a holiday or hotel on the same booking? Or do you mean you cancelled multiple bookings? Different departments can often have different timescales with BA.

      • Anna says:

        Avios flight bookings are £35 pp to cancel, for holidays you’d get a FTV unless BA has cancelled, hotel only is usually non-refundable (unless booked with avios).

      • Marie says:

        Avios hotels , you can pay cash and get 15 avios per pound. Their rate was quite competitive and I stood to pick up 81000 avios! Alas not this year

        • Anna says:

          That would have been an excellent return! I didn’t know the £35 cancellation fee applied to hotel bookings, I thought you’d just get a voucher.

  • MKB says:

    Just had an email from Amex with subject “It’s easy to go small.” and content:

    It’s easy to earn money back with Shop Small at small businesses until 25 June 2021.
    – Save the Offer to your Card
    – Find participating small businesses
    – Get £5 when you spend £15+ up to 5X

    Given the reports on here of the inaccuracies in the list of participating businesses and the failure to pay out when some listed ones have been used, Amex have a funny idea of “easy”.

    • Super Secret Stuff says:

      I didn’t even read it, I just deleted it

    • mark2 says:

      I find it easy. I have been doing it for a few years now and know all the merchants who expect a number of cards.
      It does seem to depend on where in the country you live.

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