Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Wednesday 23rd 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 (413)

  • Diydegsy says:

    Can anyone let me know which lounge BA are using at Manchester please now their own lounge is closed?

    • Save East Coast Rewards says:


      None. Pretty much the same as anywhere that’s not Heathrow. There’s only a few places that BA has maintained lounge provision.
      NCL, MAN – permanently closed
      EDI, GLA, ABZ – not open yet
      BHD – used to be BA (inherited from bmi) but was given to Aspire, BA terminated contract with them a few days ago
      JER – still BA branded, but BA passed to a third party years ago, BA terminated contract with them. So now you have a BA branded lounge that BA passengers can’t use!

      Most third party lounge contracts have been suspended. BLQ where I am allows IB passengers but not BA passengers – ok BA are not flying there at the moment but I got a surprise last December when I went there and had to pay for access after getting free access a few months before.

      • Diydegsy says:

        Sorry I should have said “when the lounges re open” which one will BA business class use in Manchester?

        • Anna says:

          Seriously, at this point I am just hoping they continue the MAN-LHR flights in any class or all my avios and 241s will become much less valuable.

          • Pete M says:

            The BA lounge provision is frankly shocking at the moment outside of LHR. I make a point of complaining after every single flight. Get the same generic email back every time.

          • BJ says:

            That’s why I always defaulted to Hilton transfers from Virgin, however, now saving Virgin in hope of ow ANA to TYO.

  • graham says:

    just called amex to cancel my BAPP as have just got the Amex Nectar card and was told I would lose my companion voucher if I cancel. I am pretty certain they are wrong. can someone confirm and clarify please

    • HAK says:

      Amex do not have access to your BA account so cannot actually take the companion voucher from you. So, they claim they will take your voucher but in reality they can not.

      • BlueDogz says:

        I cancelled mine yesterday and was told exactly the same, but went through with cancellation anyway.
        Companion ticket still in my account today, fancy that??

    • BSI1978 says:

      I wonder how many ‘normal’ people (i.e. non H4P readers in the main) they manage to get with this…….

      • TGLoyalty says:


        • Chris Heyes says:

          TGLoyalty I agree at the moment they wont/cant but as its in the t&c and not enforced, there is nothing to stop them enforcing it on/after 2nd of Sept when different rules kick in ? or any time after then that’s the risk we all take ?

      • Tariq says:

        I’m planning to tell them that I’ve already used it to shut down the conversation.

        • Reney says:

          I tell them I doubt I will manage to use them in the current environment and fully expect to lose them anyway so shut down the conversation.

  • BH says:

    Does anyone know how IHG manages reward night availability? I’m looking at a stay at a Kimpton in the US next Apr and it already shows none available. Perhaps I’m booking too far ahead?

    • Josh says:

      keep checking. I’m not sure how it works but was recently in the US and checked every day until it became available!

    • Anna says:

      Also Americans tend to make multiple bookings as far out as they can, so availability usually re-opens when they start cancelling the ones they’re not going to use. They don’t have much truck with the concept of non-refundable over there! (And they expect standard hotel rooms to sleep 4!)

      • BH says:

        Thanks both. I guessed as much. I might try their customer services people, but I don’t hold out much hope!

      • Optimus Prime says:

        Yeah, they also have it easier. The US IHG credit card holders get a fourth night free when booking 3 reward nights.

    • berneslai says:

      Kimpton’s are a law unto themselves regarding reward night availability in the US. Have you tried amending the booking for the same dates (e.g. fewer adults)?

      I know that booking as a family will generate the “Rooms are not available for Reward Nights on one or more of the selected dates.” error on any date (e.g. Kimpton Palomar Beverly Hills). If you are a solo traveller then obviously this is not the issue.

  • Mark says:

    Wondering if anyone had much experience with Mexico riviera hotels, I’ve booked the Barceló maya riviera adults only but with the Melos sale and 20% off from being gold (via Amex) the melia Paradisus la perla is coming out at the same price, any suggestions/thoughts?

    • Mark says:

      I mean Melia (sorry auto correct)

      • David says:

        I’ve been to the Paradisus in Cabo – food was great – generally impressed – go for the adults only section

        • Mark says:

          Thanks yeah the La Perla is adults only but there’s talk online of them merging the hotels so I’m A bit confused

        • David says:

          One other thing – use your 20% off voucher you get as a gold member and book as miles plus cash using only 2000 miles you usually get the cheapest price that way! Also it may work out if you buy the miles there’s a 25% extra deal ATM.

          • Mark says:

            Yes playa del carmen, I’ll take a look at the buy points option too.

          • Sukes says:

            And always book via the Melia app for an additional 5pc discount vs website price.

    • Gtellez says:

      I stayed there many years ago (2011 or 2012, the hotel was only opened for few months at that time), but it was a really nice stay (usually I don’t like all inclusive but this one was really good quality).

      • Mark says:

        Thanks! Just looking and it looks like they might be merging the adults only section with general access but keeping some adult only bars and restaurants so might try and contact them.

    • Zoe P says:

      Not sure if it works but try the Excellence resorts. Amazing!

  • Lee says:

    Question for IHG Rewards Premium Credit Card Free Night.
    I earned one last year that expires Jan 2022. I remember someone said that date was book by date not stay by. I was trying to book a night next Apr for USA trip but couldn’t. Or should I call? Thanks

    • Anna says:

      You can only book up to the expiry date on the voucher, I think where people have had problems is where a stay has been cancelled and re-booking would take it beyond the expiry date and IHG have not been very co-operative in giving extensions.

  • Babyg says:

    Anybody know of any melia points promotions? I need to buy the min amount to stop my points from expiring…

    • Sukes says:

      Melia has extended points expiry until 30 Sept anyway. There is a Melia pts deal currently on their website (pay min eur5 get 1,250 pts rather than 1,000pts and they post straightaway.) Also not sure it’s meant to do this but you can transfer any number of pts to another Melia account for free – father & I did this last week – and it instantly reset the expiry dates for both sender & recipient.

  • Backpacker says:

    Easyjet login issues mentioned last year.
    Hello – trying to login to easyjet for the first time in 10 months to re-schedule some flights, but I get a “You need to reset your password” link which does not work (the email is never sent).

    I recall someone had a fix/suggestion for this to avoid calling easyjet for hours, have looked but I can’t find it. ANy suggestions people?

  • N says:

    Hi guys, any UK residents who choose not to put their Amex membership points into BA Avios, and prefer another airline? i’ve got a wedge of points (~130,000) that I am going to need to allocate to a miles programme. i already have about 60k Avios, but BA quality and service is not the best, as well as the high taxes you have to pay for reward flights. thoughts?

    • Rob says:

      You are best looking at it the other way. Decide where you want to go and what airlines you are willing to fly, and then look at all the programmes which can get you there and for how many miles. Even if you don’t like BA, Avios gets you onto Qatar Airways, Cathay etc which are clearly high quality carriers.

      • N says:

        yes good point! i mostly find myself going to the US or Asia. i was tempted for Qatar or Singapore airlines, but I guess they don’t really serve me for the US, unless I redeem through their partners? also not sure what their taxes are like?

        when redeeming avios with Qatar, Cathay etc, are the taxes you pay better than when redeeming with BA?


        • Rob says:

          If you start outside the UK, yes. With Qatar, the sweet spot is flying from selected German cities to Doha because it is under 3000 miles and so in a cheaper Avios pricing band. Cathay has exceptionally low taxes if you start in another Europen city. UK APD means you’ll never get a great deal from here.

          • N says:

            Hmm ok, i would normally starting in the UK. so i guess i need to either suck up the higher taxes or get a cheap flight to Germany and fly out from there?

          • Memesweeper says:

            You can transfer to Asia Miles and fly Qatar or Cathay or Sri Lankan etc. It can be a little less on the taxes and/or miles required. Booking with BA onto partners can be easier with Avios than Asia Miles.

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