Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Friday 11th June

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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.

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Comments (341)

  • Tobi says:

    Fun and unexpected use of Shop Small just now, ordered a new coffee table for £1205 from some shop on The King’s Road and got the email confirming my £5 off. Quite the saving lol

    • Mouse says:

      Crikey, £1,200 for a coffee table, I hope it makes the coffee and tells you you’re looking great at the same time!

    • DT says:

      I assume as a good HfP’er you asked to refund the table and pay for it again spread over 80 Amex cards with shop small offers?

    • Babyg says:

      every little helps… smalls shops is the only time myself, my wife and my daughter split the dinner bills 3ways 🙂

      • Genghis says:

        My wife paid a bit towards her own bday present today.

        • Babyg says:

          my wife is technically paying for her birthday stay at the Langley this weekend with all the points she earnt…

          • Rupert says:

            Make sure they don’t charge you the tray fee for the “free room service”

            Hotel is great, but staff and service is absolutely attrocious

          • Babyg says:

            ah whats the free room service, im booked on points so i assume i dont have any free room service?

    • kitten says:

      Looks like they saw you coming. £1205 list price? of course it was expected to be £1200 🙂

  • Dave says:

    Am I correct in thinking that any BAPP companion voucher triggered this year will have a 2.5 year validity or has this ended now?

    I’m trying to work out when to trigger mine but have lost track of the extension criteria.

    Thanks

    • Genghis says:

      Still going till end of calendar year

    • Rob says:

      Still 2.5 years if issued by 31/12.

      Key is whether you trigger before 1/9 so that you can combine it with an existing one, or you wait until 1/9 so you can get the extra CW seats.

      • Al says:

        I’m confused and so will ask my question here! We’ve got two free BA cards close to our 10k spend on each(anniversaries are October/November) which we were planning to upgrade before the anniversary ends to gain our vouchers. I’m keen to take advantage of the new potential advantages of the BAPP – should I upgrade before 1/9/21 and trigger afterwards or upgrade after 1/9/21 and then trigger? I’m sorry if this has been answered within the last week or so.

        • Rob says:

          Upgrade after 1/9 to get the extra CW availability.

          However, do NOT go over £12k spend before 1/9, or your voucher will be automatically triggered on the free card on 1/9 when the limit drops to £12k.

      • Dave says:

        Thanks for the clarification.

        It’s all become a bit complicated as I have asked BA to extend an existing voucher currently expiring early August 2022 because I need to travel 2 weeks later (I would ideally use this in combination with another voucher triggered last year, for 4 x CW seats).

        If BA agree to extend the voucher, I won’t need to use the voucher I’m currently earning for the 2022 trip, so I would like to trigger it as late as possible. If BA don’t extend, I will need to combine this year’s voucher with last year’s, so need to trigger before 1st Sep. I’m expecting the BA furlough situation to further dalay thier response, so hope I hear back before I need to decide.

        I had considered making a booking using the expiring voucher and cancelling for FTV but I’m after 4 CW seats in the summer holidays, so will probably need to grab them online at midnight.

        • Jonathan says:

          You’re generally better calling at midnight then booking online. Especially if there’s 4 passengers & 241’s involved. In the time you’re inputting all the passengers etc then an agent can inability them for a phone customer & hold them while they process details.

          Booking online only holds the seats once you reach final page & pay.

  • Iain says:

    Hello all!
    I have a question on a BA companion voucher booking.

    We have a booking for October to BGI. We made my wife the lead name and used her voucher because mine was due to expire in June or July of this year.

    In the meantime of course they have extended all vouchers with mine now due to expire at the start of February 2022 and the wife’s not until 2022.

    I wondered if BA would allow us to change the lead name and use my voucher instead of hers for the October trip? If not I think I’m going to struggle to use mine before it expires.

    Does anyone think BA will be open to the switch?

    • Anna says:

      Someone posted about exactly this the other day – called BA and the agent swapped their vouchers round, so it’s definitely doable.

      • Iain says:

        Brilliant!
        Thanks for the response.

      • Genghis says:

        … whether they will then do his for hers, you can only try.

      • ChrisC says:

        Wasn’t that where the vouchers were owned by the same person?

        Iain wants to completly change the person whose voucher is being used which isn’t the same circumstances.

        Still worth a call and if they can’t do that then Iain could book a cheap flight using his soon to expire voucher then cancel and have it returned as an FTV so extending it’s use.

        • Iain says:

          Well I phoned them and he said no.
          Sid she’s have to cancel then I would need to book, and the reward seats might go in the meantime. Don’t know if it was just the agent wanting me off to get a revenue customer on for his commission. Might try again tomorrow.

          Chris, pardon my ignorance but what is an FTV flight? And how would I do that?

          • AJA says:

            Book a cheap Avios flight using the 2-4-1 voucher eg LHR-CDG in ET. Then cancel for free in exchange for the Future Travel Voucher (FTV). This would be valid until 30 April 2023. Downside is it locks both passengers and the Avios into the voucher and you have to phone up to book a new flight and pay more Avios and taxes and fees.

          • ChrisC says:

            I don’t think the agent was trying to get rid of you it sounds like the official position especially as you didn’t get a ‘no’ you also got the consequences of what could happen if you cancelled and the original avios seats didn’t go back into the pool for it to be rebooked.

            Swapping a voucher from within the same persons account is relativly simple. Swapping between different accounts isn’t

            AJA had answered the Q re FTV which is the easiest and quickest way to extend your soon to expire voucher.

          • Iain says:

            Thanks aja and Chris.
            Good info

  • bafan says:

    So I’ve never booked a hotel with points before, and I’m confused because it’s not a 1 /1 transfer. Hilton in the Faroe Islands is 26k points a night. My U.S. Amex has a 40% transfer bonus on points at the moment so 1k MR points is 2800 Hilton points. Cash price is £120 a night. Does that work out as decent value or not? I have a lot of points but I went for it with the stock market so slightly less liquidity re: cash…

    • Genghis says:

      IMO, 26k points a night vs £120 cash price is a win for the points.
      Question is then how you should get those 26k points.
      Ignoring transfer multiples then, it looks like you can get 26k Hilton points from 9,286 US MR points. What do you value those MR points at? I’m not too au fait with the US system. Compare that to what you can pay cash for the points. Is there an offer on now, I lose track.

      • bafan says:

        That sounds about right. I use 1MR/1p as a baseline (ultimately I can transfer them to BA for that). So 9286 points is roughly £92.86 a night. That is decent value. I’ll book with points. Thank you 🙂.

  • Carol says:

    I took out a Platinum Amex last month – just gone over the £4000 spend and the full 50,000 points have been credited – I believe some people were having a problem receiving the additional 20,000 so hopefully the issue has been resolved now.

  • Craig says:

    NHS App now showing 11 Jul expiry for Covid vaccination status. I’m guessing that will now be the new freedom day?

  • TimM says:

    We are flying BA Manchester-Heathrow-Kalamata tomorrow. The BA web site only allowed us to check-in for the MAN-LHR leg. I assume this is because of Greece’s entry requirements and the need to check them before boarding.

    Does anyone know what the procedure is when we arrive at T5 tomorrow morning? The nightmare scenario would be if we had to collect baggage from the carousel and check it in again with limited time and my mother in a wheelchair.

    • AJA says:

      Assuming it’s all on one ticket I think BA will check your luggage all the way to Kalamata. Can BA check your entry docs for Greece when you check in at MAN? If so then they should be able to allocate seats and issue BP for the LHR-KLX leg at that point.

      • ChrisC says:

        I don’t think anyone can do OLCI for Greece at the moment.

        MAN can do the checks that you have the right documentation and then issue BPs

    • TimM says:

      OK, thanks, we shall see.

  • Ryan says:

    Amex sup offers:
    Just received the Amex Nectar card, are they still offering bonuses for new Supps? Any limitation with using the same nectar card as my own for the details?

    • Genghis says:

      Using same “nectar card”? Only primary card holder gets the points. If you’re on about an AC, sure. I have ACs, though not labelled as such.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        For some reason supp card application asks for a nectar number.

        I use the same account for the All the nectar Amex in my household without issue

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