Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Saturday 10th July

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Comments (244)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • TimM says:

    Morning all!

    Just to confirm that BA’s information re. remaining airside in the UK if travelling from an ‘amber’ origin and connecting in the UK is incorrect. The UK PLF system allows multiple addresses to be added, with dates, for the 10 days of self-isolation. E.g., as we have to do, stay in a an airport hotel overnight. One does not need to stay airside.

    • Nick says:

      There was clearly a misunderstanding in this story even at the time. Heathrow does not allow anyone (other than staff) to remain airside overnight, so it would never have been possible to be there anyway.

      • TimM says:

        Precisely, BA telling us that UK regulations say we must stay airside and knowing that was impossible. I got in touch with BA via Twitter, their most reliable communication channel, on this point. I was robotically handed to an agent who did not respond in the few hours I left the chat open for. I suggested a reroute if we were not allowed to leave airside at Heathrow. Hopefully, BA will correct their advice. We are travelling today, regardless.

  • SteveJ says:

    Pension thoughts please:

    Over the years I’ve combined pension pots, currently have 2 with Aviva. A few weeks / months ago there was talk on here about being able to transfer them over to a personal SIPP.

    Something I’d be interested in doing to get better options of funds & more flexibility of funds to pick from, as well as to compare the fees vs my legacy works plans.

    Can anyone share an online resource that explains all of this, and if you have personal recommendations of SIPP providers those are also greatly received. Thanks!

    • Erico1875 says:

      Monevator is quite an interesting blog for investment stuff, lot of which points the reader to Vanguard products.
      It depends whether you are passive or active which platform and also which products you go for, the choice is massive

      • SteveJ says:

        Very much passive. For my non pension stuff I’ve read a lot of Monevator to build a passive portfolio. Didn’t realise they had a guide on SIPP transfer (now found), will have a read, thanks!

    • QwertyKnowsBest says:

      Interactive Investor (ii) has been a good choice of platform for me with SIPP and general trading. Easy to use, good service and value. Was cheaper to place some Vanguard funds on ii than through Vanguard direct.

      Candid money useful info source.

      • SteveJ says:

        Thanks! ii’s flat fee model was exactly what I had in mind when thinking of switching, save the percentage slice approach Aviva uses.

    • The Savage Squirrel says:

      If you are just looking to chuck your pension in a spread of ultra low cost tracker ETFs (which is not a bad strategy at all) you do not need fancy features, bells and whistles; focus on cost. AJBell can do all this and was the best SIPP for low fees for me last time I looked (and have been happy with them since). However with various different fee structures around, what works best for you and is cheapest depends on the size of your pension pot so you will have to do a little legwork.

      • SteveJ says:

        Thanks, will look at AJ Bell too, great to have as many ideas as possible, and agreed ultimately I need to run my own numbers and compare everything before I decide. Thanks

        • Doug M says:

          I use AJBell/Youinvest and entirely positive about them. In terms of the lowest cost the size of your fund is a factor, as does whether you intend to use funds or ETF/shares for the underlying investments.

      • JRC says:

        What is the fee structure for AJ Bell? Have my investments with Interactive Investor for the fixed £9.99 per month which was the cheapest when I researched 4 years ago.

  • Patrycja says:

    Has anyone had experience of returning to UK on a European passport? I assume you have to present your settled status. Anything else I should bring with me to the airport?

    • Patrycja says:

      Should have added, apart from locator form and Covid tests pre and post departure as they will be the same as for UK passport holders

    • Optimus Prime says:

      They’re not asking for anything. I guess your settlement status comes up when your passport is scanned.

      • Patrycja says:

        That’s helpful, thank you. I’ve got my share code just in case. I’ve seen a few articles highlighting the issue of people being asked at the border so want to be prepared just in case.

    • Rui N. says:

      You need to present the same document you used for registering for the settlement scheme. For example, if you used your passport, don’t try to show your ID card. If you get a new passport, you’ll need to update it with the settlement scheme.
      Your share code is for landlords, employers, etc. For the border what you need is the correct document.

      • Patrycja says:

        Super. I have the same passport as the one on application. Thanks!

      • Gtellez says:

        That happened to me last week, I changed passport and then was asked to provide proof of my settlement status, the email that I received when it was accepted was ok, but the border officer told me to update my passport through the website to avoid that in the future.

  • Annabel says:

    Morning. With future travel vouchers are changes to destination / dates permitted free of charge up to the expiry date 4/2023? Looking to switch Miami booking from next month to June 2022. Thank you

    • ChrisC says:

      A voucher simply contains whatever it was you paid for the original booking with.

      Once you have the voucher you can spend it on whatever flights you want. You aren’t locked into your original destination or cabin.

      If your new flights are more expensive then you will have to pay the excess. If cheaper you’ll get another voucher.

      The rules are different if BA have cancelled your flight.

      • Annabel says:

        Thanks chrisc. So you wouldn’t be charged £35 each time you made a change using a FTV?

        • ChrisC says:

          Using an FTV is free but you have to call into use it (unless it was from a cash only flight booking).

          As you mention £35 that indicates that these are avios flights and you want to cancel them and have the avios put back into your account and the cash element in your bank account?.

    • Lady London says:

      no need to ftv unless there is a voucher (eg 241) in your booking that you want to take the opportunity to still book and fly with up to end April 2023.

      Personally I’d even pay the £35 canx fee to get my cash/avios back. But not before waiting till 48hrs or so before the flight in case BA cancels, or reschedules significantly enough, for me to have EU261 cancellation rights.

      As if BA cancels, I get a refund without deductions but also the right to choose to rebook on any later date(s) I choose at no extra charge and can rebook onto any seat in same cabin available for cash -does not have to be an avios seat available.

      Hence lining up your options and waiting till very near your flight is often very smart.

      Be aware that BA willl stop offering FTV’s as and when they can see a season of flights picking up, ahead.

  • Zoe says:

    My daughter is currently staying at La Villa del Re in Sardinia (no quarantine needed as she lives in Zurich). It just occurred to me that this could be somewhere that booking via Emyr would have given her extra benefits. How does one know? Thanks in advance.

  • AG says:

    Morning,

    Can Amex €/$ be used to hold MR points for the 6 months gap between cancelling my basic rewards card and applying for business platinum? Are there any risks involved?

    • Ian M says:

      Yes I believe so, you might lose out slightly on the exchange rate if it changes to your disadvantage during the 6 months, but of course it could go the other way and you could be a winner. However I believe you can only make 1 transfer per year from the UK GBP MR account to the USD MR account. You’d better check you’re also allowed one per year going back the other way

    • Rob says:

      No risks, only transfer each way allowed every 12 months though.

    • AG says:

      Cheers both 👍

  • Michael C says:

    Just as a fyi, paid for LHT T2 fast-track parking yesterday.
    When we arrived, no spaces left (many blocked off for Euros), obviously no contact person there, and when I rang the contact number in the email “open from 0700-2300h”, an automated reply said they close at 1730h…

    • Lady London says:

      I’d want double my money back or 48 hours free parking at my chosen date in future to compensate for that. You could have missed your flight due to having to park elsewhere.

      A refund is not enough. That would let them get off scot-free. I’d demand a significant gesture from them – and not a two-fingered one

    • the_real_a says:

      That’s also likely grounds for a S75 claim…

      • Lady London says:

        Good idea the real a. s.75 covers consequential loss in the form of replacenent cost even if higher. If a suitable gesture that is not worth more than the loss and inconvenience is not offered then s 75 would cover if paid on UK credit card. Just keep in mind your credit card will have a time limit within which a s.75 claim would have to be lodged with them.

  • Annie says:

    Can anyone tell me if it’s straight forward to call at midnight ( T-355 ) to book a return 2-4-1 avios journey using a future travel voucher please? I think I’ve called US office number in the past with a regular 2-4-1 booking. Thanks.

    • JohnT says:

      US closes at 1am (summertime gmt midnight) so they tend not to answer and you get cut off). Japan opens at 1am. Sorry don’t know about FTVs.

    • Keely says:

      The Exec Club had to do the booking if the FTV contains a 241 . Each time I’ve called (I think I’ve had 4 FTVs) the normal line hasn’t been able to do it and I have to be transferred so I doubt you’ll be able to do it that way. Something about computer says no…

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