Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Saturday 12th June

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We are running this daily chat thread on Head for Points during the coronavirus outbreak.

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Comments (274)

  • Njb says:

    Has anyone taken up the Beauty Pie offer thats on Amex – wondered what Beauty Pie was like?

    • Reney says:

      I currently have a membership and was thinking about taking the offer because it works out the same price as the basic membership (which i’m currently on) but you get twice as much and helps me towards SUB.

      I have been using them for a couple of years. there seems to be a lot of people online who thinks they are the most amazing thing since slice bread. I’ve liked a few products but no holy grails. In fact down graded my membership because weren’t buying so much recently. They bring out new stuff all the time thou.

      I’ve written an explainer that has more numbers which HFPers might prefer. (link below) Most beauty bloggers don’t really focus on the numbers. I have also reviewed a few products on the blog. There is a referral code around (not sure if i put it into the post or what is offered now as written or a while ago, usually extra credit on the first month), I don’t know how it works with the annual membership thou. Think most people don’t start with the annual. I wonder if you could trial the first time and then buy a membership. Pretty sure you can buy annual at any point and they reset your month start date. But if you hate it, think you used to have to to stick it out for 3 months.

      https://thewalletedit.com/buyers-club-beauty-pie/

      Happy to try answer any questions. Basically I think it is ok, every so often consider jumping off ship but my mum really likes one of the products so kind of had to say in to buy them.

    • Nadeshka says:

      I used it – had it across 3 cards so used it for my membership (it had renewed last week but managed to cancel in 2 weeks cooling off), plus a gift membership for someone else and then an order. So overall £120 saved, v pleased!

      I tend to do an order every couple of months, allowing the allowance to roll over to build up to a decent size and gets a couple of things.

      I like the skincare, don’t really wear much makeup these days to comment on that range.
      Prices are reasonable, not sure if the RRP is realistic but skincare for £10+£7 membership is good (always remember that if something has an RRP of £70 then you have paid 10% of that RRP in membership towards it and factor into the value calculation).

      I really like the serums and day creams with SPF. I would say comparing to previous stuff I used they are probably No7 / Clarins / Clinique quality at L’oreal prices. Lots of variety but can be annoying when you like a product and it goes out of stock for a while when you want to repurchase. Given the prices I feel I can try new things more readily than I would if paying £20+ for each item.

      • Nadeshka says:

        I’d actually add getting an order up to £99+ was tough with the limited allowance!
        Luckily when I cancelled and then resigned up I kept my previous rollover plus got the new 100/month + £100 SUB allowance.
        So had ~£400 allowance to play with. But products with an RRP of £100 may only be £15, so buy 4 of those and you won’t hit the trigger.
        But key I think is any order, including a new monthly membership, should trigger. don’t think it needs to be the annual membership through their link.
        You could always buy a 3 month gift membership as a top up to an order to gift/use later?

      • Njb says:

        Thank you

  • Bach says:

    My spouse reaching 24 months of having no Amex. I am holding The American Express Card (the one with 60£ membership to keep my MR points). Looking for the best tactic to maximise referral and signup bonus and currently thinking:
    I upgrade to Amex Plat 20000
    I refer her to BAPP 12000
    She opens BAPP 26000
    I refer her to Amex Plat 12000
    She opens Amex Plat 35000
    She refer me to BAPP from Plat 12000
    I open BAPP 26000
    Does that sound like the best approach or any advice to improve?
    Thanks!

    • SteveJ says:

      Slot the Nectar card in there as your spouse’s first card. Rob has an article on this. Rest looks good.

      • Bach says:

        I read that She would not get Necar SUB if held Plat or BAPP before within 2 years. But you are saying if she gets Nectar first then Plat then BAPP, all good, is that right?

        • Bach says:

          Ignore that – the following comment confirms that, did not see it! Thank you all for your replies!

    • DT says:

      Nectar card can go in there too as the BAPP and Plat SUBs are still available if you hold Nectar.

      A lot of Plat card holders have enhanced referral offers of 70k SUB which will be better than your refer points + normal SUB.

      There is also an enhanced BAPP referral offer but I’m not sure how many points it is as I don’t have it. Might also be better than your refer + normal SUB

      I believe Rob will either have an enhanced refer link or know of someone who does if you drop him an email.

      My wife and I have maxed out our 90,000 MR refer cap for the year so will leave it for someone else who needs it.

      • Bach says:

        Thanks – is there an article about this enhanced bonus? The ones I found were temporary and now expired – and not as much as 70k – this sounds great!

        • Reney says:

          No articles on it. It is a selected offers that several people have in their accounts and mentioned in the chat threads. We did not get it in our household which is a shame. On your plan above, you are going to upgrade yourself to Plat. Then you should see if you have the enhanced offer. Because if you do, then you get 24k (I think) and she gets 70k!!! Otherwise email Rob.

          It is not clear how long the enhanced offer will last for. So you might want to swap around her Plat and BAPP to make sure you don’t miss out on the 70k. No one has mentioned how long the 70k offer lasted for. I don’t think it makes a big difference to your plan (others shout if I am wrong). I assume you have the spend to meet all of these SUB and are not lining up a particularly big spend month…

          I don’t know how long it will take you to meet each spend. Does the monthly fee matter to you? If you change your wife plat card order you want to think about the rest of the chain, because she will have to hold the plat card for a while before she refers you for the BAPP (time to finish the Plat spend and BAPP spend). Work the maths and see points vs fee.

          You didn’t mention plans on spending enough for 2-4-1. The change in rules might impact when you want to trigger that too. Long reply, but several things for you to consider.

        • DT says:

          I believe there’s no article due to it being a targeted offer and there’s no indication of how long it will last, but many commenters have this offer as well as the gold and BAPP enhanced offers. 70k plat is definitely the best one though.

    • Reney says:

      I did the sums because a platinum is in my future, if you refer her to Platinium between you you will get this if you don’t have the enhanced offer: 12k (refer) + 35k (SUB) + 5k (sup card) + 4k (spend) = 56k points

      Taking the enhanced offer from people here:
      70k (SUB) + 5k (Sup card) + 4k (spend) = 79k

      In both scenarios she refer you for a BAPP gets 12k. The enhanced offers available do not move the dial. But the enhanced offers for platinum does.

      Someone tell me if my sums are wrong, because I’m going to pull the trigger in a few weeks.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Sums are correct.

        Also for OP if you have ever upgrades to plat before you’re not eligible for the 20m upgrade bonus.

  • EdMo says:

    BA Holidays and Upgrade with Avios

    Hi all, wanted to sense check something. I was going to book holiday to Orlando in WTP in 2022 with intention of upgrading with Avios to CW for the return leg as there is availability.

    I just wanted to make sure if we cancelled the holiday due to COVID we’d get the Avios back?

    Alternatively cash fares on the return leg for Biz (albeit with connection in MIA) are £350 difference so might just pay…. However is there a way to do a mix class flight and hotel booking online or may I need to call?

    • Anna says:

      You have to call to do a BA Holiday in mixed cabins, it’s annoying as It would be very easy to tweak the IT to allow it to be done online. Re cancelling a holiday, you can only get a FTV if you do this, I’ve no idea how it would work if you’d used avios to upgrade the flights!

    • ChrisC says:

      Just be aware that if this booking is for after 1st May 2022 the current booking with confidence policies don’t apply and if you cancelled up to 3 weeks before departure you’d lose the deposit but I’m not sure about the upgrade element.

      As to mixed cabin holiday bookings you would need to call BA hols to do that.

      • ChrisC says:

        Just remembered that sometimes BA Hols will price up a higher cabin in the booking engine if they don’t have any availability on a particular flight.

        So I’ve had F offered even though I’ve asked for Club flights.

        I’ve also had economy offered as well but that’s been for US internals.

        • Andrew says:

          To book a holiday with multi cabin – first do a flight only search and select your cabins, then when you get to the price quote screen you’ll be offered options to add a car or hotel and it will then take you to BA holidays with the multi cabin flights attached.

          • ChrisC says:

            Wasn’t aware of that so thanks Andrew but can you select a hotel for a single night using that method or only for the entire stay?

          • Anna says:

            I think last time I tried this it wouldn’t give me the deposit only option but BA IT can be very temperamental and I will try again next time!

  • Tom H says:

    HSBC WE MC. I ve just seen my statement and my points earned this statement are massively reduced. All Rev topups. Instead of 14k points only received 4 k points. Has there been a change in earning rates that I missed? (No other fees were charged)

  • DAJ says:

    Hi. I have a BA Holidays flight + car hire reservation for next year. I wish to amend the number of days I wish too have the car (reduced by 5 days). Is this possible to do and if so, are there any charges for doing so? (Can’t find an answer to this on BA website).

    Also, am I able to cancel the car hire reservation or is there an expectation that this forms part of the booking hence remains a ‘holiday’?

    Thanks in advance.

    • DAJ says:

      to have the car, not ‘too’!

    • ChrisC says:

      It’s always been my understanding that having a flight and / or hotel in the booking is a requirement to make it a holiday even if those elements aren’t for the entire length of the trip. (Ref many of us just adding in a single night as we use points for the rest of the stay for example)

      I don’t think it would be a problem to reduce the car high period but it would to eliminate it completely.

      I’d price this up carefully as the savings might not be as large as you think they might be. A shorter period might take you below a hire length discount threshold for example and actually cost you more.

      You could do a couple of dummy bookings to get an idea if the difference between your current trip and the one with the shorter car hire length.

    • Doug M says:

      DAJ. If the day reduction is at the end I’d just take the car back early, I don’t think anything will come if this. I returned an Avis car in Miami booked through BA which couldn’t be checked in. Having time and not liking the vagueness of that I went to CS, they established the car had been returned in their system a week before. Clearly something was amiss and presumably a returned car somewhere was marked as unreturned. Regardless when Avis did eventually email me the receipt it showed the rental closed a week ahead of my actual return, and a much lower amount. I suspect at some point BA got a refund from Avis.

      • Jonathan says:

        I’d be careful doing this. If you return the car a day early they may try & reprice at walk up rates which will cost you $$$. I think the T&C’s with Hertz & Avis allow them to do this. Easier to get away with not collecting car at all as they don’t have a preauthorisation on your card in this situation.

        If you call BAH they can amend the car hire component up to a (?) month prior but it will reprice at current rates which may also be substantially more depending on when you originally booked.

  • David S says:

    I still have a 241 with an expiry date of Oct 21. What’s the chance of BA extending validity again….or is it better to book a cheap flight to anywhere and cancel it a week later to get a voucher with a 2023 expiry date ? Will a U.K. flight do the trick to keep the cash component down ?

    • ChrisC says:

      Who knows with BA at the moment!

      Yes the book a short haul cheapo flight and then cancel is – absent a general BA extension – the way to go. You could wait until early September before doing this though just in case they do do something,

      Remember though that the name of your travelling companion is locked into the FTV .

  • Memesweeper says:

    I’m in the market for a new bed and mattress. Considering doing what many hotels seem to do 2 * singles with a king topper. Any recommendations? I’ve been spoiled by some wonderfully comfy beds thanks to HfP and now need to replicate the five star experience at home.

    • Bill says:

      Have a look at premier Inn if that’s your thing. Or Marriott. Both sell bedding

      • Lady London says:

        Are Savoy beds still around? They did originate from the nice beds in the Savoy Hotel, were just off Portman Place at the back of Selfridges.

        If you’re feeling cheap Lidl Germany do some that look excellent. Wait for the models with pocketed coiled springs to come up. By the pricing of their other ones they are very expensive but in fact excellently priced

      • Gavin says:

        Premier inn mattresses have apparently reduced in quality

      • KBuffett says:

        The Premier Inn bed is not long lasting. It’s comfortable initially, then starts creaking. The mattress is not reversible. If you want something to last more than two years, don’t get this.

        • Lady London says:

          Are they getting them from IKEA, I wonder. Sounds like my experience with multiple IKEA sofas,chairs and the odd mattress.

          • Memesweeper says:

            I’m on an IKEA mattress now – it’s terrible. And I’ve had more than one of their beds break (useless wooden slat things). Perhaps if I spent more at IKEA I’d do better, but for now I’m going to avoid them.

    • Harry T says:

      Marriott do sell the bedding and mattresses for their respective brands. I am a big fan of the W bed, but haven’t purchased my own.

      • Memesweeper says:

        The courtyard Edinburgh bed wasn’t at all bad, nor was the one at Park Lane Sheraton – I’m going to check this out, thanks.

      • KBuffett says:

        Four Seasons also sell their mattresses

      • AnotherUser says:

        I’ve got an Eve mattress. Very comfortable, and if you buy a refurb one the prices are v reasonable (my last mattress was lot more expensive, and no more comfortable). I found Eve’s customer service awful, but I can tolerate that for the price and quality

    • SimonP says:

      Westin Heavenly Bed is the best I’ve slept in! They are available for sale, but the price … !

    • Yorkieflyer says:

      IKEA can’t go wrong in my view

      • Memesweeper says:

        I heard that an estimated one in three Europeans are conceived on an IKEA bed. And yet first time we tried it we were thrown out of the store!

      • Yorkieflyer says:

        You do need to go for the better quality stuff in fairness

    • Andrew says:

      Check the Ercol Outlet at Princes Risborough for frames.

      I’ve recently switched from a Myers to a M&S mattress. It was fine in winter, but it seems to reflect the heat back now. It’s extra deep so the mattress protectors and fitted sheets are an absolute swine to find. M&S do extra deep protectors, but with a polyamide backing – so they melt in my Miele drier on a “low” setting.

      I’m sorely tempted to switch to a far more basic mattress…

    • Sandgrounder says:

      I’ve got a Brook and Wilde, stacked some offers and got an elite king for 584, can get the same for just over 500 this weekend, site auto discount, code JUNE175, Voldeportal and amex 15%, had it about 2 months very pleased so far.

      • Sandgrounder says:

        Actually the amex is only for 750+ so that won’t work, but you could add some other bits on and get them for very little extra.

    • LST says:

      I swear by ViSpring, I used to get terrible back ache but no issues at all since buying our first one 15 years ago. They aren’t cheap, but then you do spend a substantial amount of time in bed!

  • John says:

    I’m going to close my AMEX Business Gold card account down. Are they likely to offer bonus points to stay on at this stage? Wondering if there’s a certain way to approach or it’s just purely pot luck.

    • Toby says:

      They offered to refund my annual fee. Which I took and then cancelled a few months later. I didn’t push very hard — just said that I wasn’t seeing any benefits

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