Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Saturday 19th 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 (308)

  • Jack says:

    A bit off topic, but booked some van rentals (Luton vans with tail lift) with greenmotion Heathrow. They no longer do the luton vans, so tried to cancel my bookings. The problem is trying to rebook the vans elsewhere is a lot more money than my original booking with them. I am trying to see if they can rebook (not looking good at the moment), but presumably at the very worst I could rebook myself and try and claim the difference back from them since they were unable to supply the van I’d booked? Any advice appreciated.

    • Blenz101 says:

      You can rebook elsewhere but greenmotion are under no obligation to pay towards the cost of hiring at a rival beyond a goodwill gesture.

    • A says:

      Don’t cancel, if they don’t provide source an alternative abs fail to provide what’s agreed when you turn up, source it yourself (perhaps boom cancellable now) and either MCOL or s75 for it. Should be a straightforward contractual claim assuming they don’t have an enforceable termination right.

    • Number9 says:

      One of the reasons if you’re booking this month is Luton vans are like gold dust for moving house. Removal firms are booked up into July people are having no choice but to self move if they want to beat stamp duty deadline. It all puts the price of hiring up.

  • Luke says:

    Does anyone have any experience of HSBC Premier vs First Direct? Looking for a new current account…

    • Dani says:

      HSBC premier..free Aviva travel insurance… Ok service…but others have had different experiences…

      • Sam G says:

        If you are HSBC Premier you can get the points earning Mastercard. Can’t say anything either way on the service as I’ve never been with FD but I very rarely need to engage with a bank anyway

    • JDB says:

      I have had FD account for years, recently opened HSBC Premier as well, for the WE card once Tesco stopped Avios. The app/online for both is essentially the same and good; better than Nationwide or RBS. FD usually answer the phone on the first ring and are super helpful. HSBC doesn’t seem much good if any human intervention is required as it takes forever to get through to anyone on telephone or chat and they have too many jobsworth agents. WE card good Avios earn rate and the double sign up bonus.

    • HH says:

      I’ve had both for years. They essentially run on the same platform with a different front-end. FD have lost any differentiator over the years. Premier at least has perks as others have mentioned, plus more generous limits / rates on some offerings.

  • Steve says:

    IHG points reservations: is there any automated tool for checking if the prices are going up/down? I have a few reservations for later this summer, and I’ve been looking every few days and have seen some go up and some down, but it’s pretty tedious (and I don’t know how frequently I should be doing it).

    • Anna says:

      If only!

      • meta says:

        It’s a regular daily activity now for me. First thing in the morning or just before going to bed, I check all reservations on the app. Today, I saved 5k points by rebooking one reservation.

    • Andrew says:

      And Hilton is a similar story I’m finding, shaving a 1000 per night off here and there.

      • meta says:

        I find that with Hilton it’s less regular, so I can check once a week or a fortnight. With IHG it’s every two days it seems.

        • John says:

          It’s whenever the GBPUSD (or rather hotel currency/USD) rate changes as well as if the hotel changes its own rates

    • BJ says:

      Agreed, I just gave up and decided to stick with what I have, I have 16 reservations in September alone.

  • Reney says:

    Has anyone ever brought Amazon giftcard from Wilko and it was recognised on airtime? Thx

  • Dan says:

    Some interesting news: Priority Pass now adding the Cathay Pacific First Lounge to their network. I do wonder if it is a pandemic related change or a permanent one though…

    https://onemileatatime.com/news/cathay-pacific-lounge-priority-pass/

    • TGLoyalty says:

      First lounge probably won’t be permanent it’s just the only one open right now.

  • Charlie says:

    Was looking at using the Easyjet Amex offer to book a package holiday to Egypt early November….. any indication what the travel is likely to be like later in the year? I know they are a red list currently, thanks

    • Amy carpenter says:

      Ditto, been talking to friends in Egypt and monitoring things there. I can’t see it coming off red any time soon. Desperate to make use of the easyJet offer too.

  • Anna says:

    https://www.msn.com/en-gb/lifestyle/travel/prices-are-ridiculous-uk-holiday-costs-more-than-europe-as-demand-grows/ar-AALcApH?ocid=msedgntp

    How people seriously can be expected to holiday in the UK?! Center Parcs (among others) features …

    • DK says:

      Plus quality of what you get for these prices

    • Keely says:

      Totally agree! Factor in the extra costs you spend for food and drink as well the real possibility of awful weather and it doesn’t seem worth it! . We looked to book the Hampton by Hilton at Bournemouth . For the same period as last year the price is exactly £100 per night more …

      • Peter K says:

        Surely that’s just supply and demand?

        • Rob says:

          Of course it is, but it is distorted supply and demand due to Government policy. I can’t begin to imagine what % of bookings will be cancelled if Spain and Portugal open.

          August Bank Holiday week, the brand new Hyatt in Malta is €170 per night. Hilton Bournemouth is £332 per night. I’ll leave you to decide which of those offers the better holiday.

          PS. Hilton also bookable for 50k points (averaging to 40k for a 5-night booking if you have status) so a great deal vs cash.

          • Freddy says:

            Hotel rooms may have shot up but I haven’t really noticed a ramping up of self catering cottage prices for 5/6 people. Perhaps it’s bit more of a niche market. We’ve had to rebook in the UK

          • Harrier25 says:

            We stayed at the Hilton in Bournemouth last night and were upgraded to a wonderful junior suite on the 8th floor. Not bad for 50,000 points and only Gold tier.

          • Sloth says:

            You’ve got to be pretty desperate to get away to pay £330/night for a Hilton in Bournemouth…

          • Rob says:

            Guardian yesterday had a caravan park in Cornwall charging £3,500 per week.

    • Yorkshirerich says:

      I stayed in village Chester the other night. I went to the bar and was told it was app service only. I explained I was having great difficulty with the wi fi even setting up the app up. After almost 30 minutes I told them again I was on the app but I was having extreme difficulty and all I wanted was a pint. She looked at me like I was a massive pain and said there was nothing she could do, so I asked for a glass of water and again she looked at me like I was a complete pain.

      Unfortunately these places aren’t going to get my custom again once our prime minister lets us leave covid island. I wasn’t the only one either with these issues

      • Freddy says:

        Bit late now but there’s a Marston pub across the road from this hotel. Or a pub within 2 minute walk from this hotel.

      • Blindman says:

        The digital age is not for you then.

        Did they not take postal orders?

      • John says:

        Why did you waste half an hour. They obviously didn’t want your business anyway

        • Yorkshirerich says:

          I had got a deal where I had £40 pounds worth of food and was waiting for the other half to come of the swimming pool, so I could order it. That was the only reason why I persisted In the most frustrating of processes. That reminds me, I think I will review it now on tripadvisor.

          • Freddy says:

            Bet you were miffed it was called village Chester and it’s not even in Chester, Cheshire or even England!

          • Sloth says:

            Village Mold doesn’t have quite the same cache does it…?

      • Mike says:

        I agree – I don’t have / need a smart phone !

      • Yorkshirerich says:

        I’ve put the onus back on management in my review. I merely stated that maybe management need to be giving staff other options to allow customers to order and make payment. I went on, as I have been encouraged/forced to staycation if I want to stay overnight away from my house, then it would be advisable uk companies actually try to want there customers to re visit, once international travel re opens more Widely.
        Don’t know why I’m bothering, it’s quite apparent from a few of my uk stays that no one actually gives a t0ss at present and will just continue to charge generally stupid prices, and blame Covid for anything and everything.

      • A says:

        What a complete failure of imagination by whatever half-wit served you. Hopefully there will be some retraining after your complaint.

        Side note: if they genuinely are app-only with no workaround (eg pen and paper and entering through a PoS system that likely already exists…) that’s probably unlawful with respect to disabled customers who may be unable to use the app in question

    • The cyclist says:

      I quite agree, the prices are now quite silly,I had a weekend cottage booked with my partner and some friends, only for the owner to cancel on some very spurious pretext, a day later I saw the same weekend available but at 60% more, the price for a cottaging weekend is now beyond a joke I will spend the weekend instead gardening

  • Muhammad Abdullah says:

    Has anyone resident in the EU had any success getting their British NHS vaccine cert recognised by national authorities and issued under the EU Covid Passport?

    Considering the number of British residents in the EU and the speed of the vaccine rollout in the UK vs EU there will be many persons eligible for an EU Covid Passport who were vaccinated by the NHS. Plus, the millions of EU nationals living in the UK have been vaccinated months and months before their compatriots back home and are still eligible for said Covid Passport should the restriction be on nationality (illegal).

    I understand fully vaccinated persons are not recommended to undergo a 3rd/4th vaccine

    • meta says:

      My country requires an in-person visit at local health authority office. They said I just need a copy of my vaccination record and a passport/ID. I’ll hopefully be doing it in July when I go back.

      • John says:

        Spain?

        • meta says:

          Nope, the other side of EU. I could have probably done it through online system, but I never sorted access to it as never really thought I needed it.

    • BJ says:

      Also related to recognition; does the NHS in England list the country as England or United Kingdom? Not very happy that in Scotland the certificate I got last month uses Scotland as opposed to the United Kingdom. I have visions of problems with officials in some small far -flung countries as a result.

      • JonD says:

        My NHS England vaccination certificate courtesy of the NHS app, lists my country of vaccination as GB which is the correct ISO designation for the UK and so should tie in with the international Covid passport plan.

        Unsurprising to hear the small minded SNP wanted to use vaccination certificates for ideological purposes rather than consider the practical future problems caused.

        • BJ says:

          Thanks Jon, not sure if it would have been SNP or government decision, possibly just an oversight by NHS Scotland or a problem as you describe with somebody significantly senior there. Whatever it was, I see it as a potential problem some place some time.

          • ash says:

            Yes, very bad nationalistic

          • ash says:

            SNP bordering on xenophobic

          • Wollhouse says:

            I spotted this too. Who knows if it will cause problems. I do know that when I travel, the money changers (in Thailand and Vietnam) will not accept my Scottish notes. The English ones are fine. Although, I did see one site that was offering one rate for English Sterling and a substantially lower on for Scottish ones!

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