Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Tuesday 27th July

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

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Comments (382)

  • Jimc says:

    Using HSBC WE via Curve (metal) to pay self assessment? Hi all, i’ve just been checking back on my recent statements and it seems WE points aren’t being awarded for my HMRC transactions. Is this normal?

    • JDB says:

      Sadly, yes, it seems to have become normal although I haven’t had any interest or fees applied to HMRC payments. I called and asked why the points on my statement didn’t match my spending without specifying the possible reason and they were completely unable to explain it as they also don’t seem able to see points per transaction as one can with Amex. I told them roughly how many points I thought I was missing and they added them, but unfortunately that isn’t any long term solution.

      • The Savage Squirrel says:

        Maybe not; OTOH if I was sending a fair chunk of self-assessment payment that way every July and Jan I’d certainly stretch to two phone calls a year 🙂

        • JDB says:

          Two calls a year is fine, but it can’t be long before they twig why the points aren’t being credited automatically; I wouldn’t want to count on being successful again in Jan. Following their deferred prosecution agreement in the US and the subsequent imposition of an independent trustee to oversee all their compliance/AML activities, they are super twitchy.

    • Axel says:

      Yes along with some Revolut transactions.

      I queried this with HSBC who couldnt get to the bottom of which transaction did or did not award points. But they dropped £50 into my account to close off the matter.

    • Jimc says:

      Thanks. Thats a shame. I’d hoped by getting the HSBC card i could build up a nice balance of KrisFlyer miles from my personal tax payments. I already use COT via Curve for business tax payments and it’s pretty lucrative for Avios.

    • Sam G says:

      I’ve said on here before about a call I had with HSBC after using Revolut (legitimately) – parts of their org at least are well up to speed on MS and I’m not surprised they’re further tightening up on transactions like this that award big chunks of points as they’ll be losing money

  • A says:

    Day 2 here, following landing from the US.
    Had three calls today from the covid-wombles confirming I know the requirements and am isolating. No mention of my 2&8 tests, which are of course non-existent, just asked if I was planning to test and release on day 5.
    Used one of the NHS ones this morning purely for peace of mind and to comply with the spirit of the rules without getting ripped off….more chance of catching mad cow disease than covid out here in the sticks.

    • SteveJ says:

      Though you could have had it before you got here / from the plane / in the immigration queue.

  • Sam says:

    Cheapest PCR test around that is UKAS accredited? Singapore has quite strict requirements on that!

  • GT says:

    Does anyone know what happens if a reward flight is cancelled if the Avios were due to expire last month under the 36 month rule. Do I have to make a date change to the booking or can I cancel & rebook at a later date. I suspect if I cancel my Avios will automatically expire.

    • Ghosty says:

      Unless the reward flight was booked 37 months ago, your account/Avios clock was ‘reset’ when you last used Avios (in or out).

    • Lady London says:

      If you booked a flight with any voucher or avios then it’s a flight that has been cancelled by airline if airline then cancels it. You can rebook it to when you like and you are no longer restricted by avios seat availability, avios validity, sale price, voucher or discount you bought with. All those are no longer relevant. Once you get a ticket, your ticket has these rights regardless of how it was bought.

      • Lady London says:

        If you cancel it then you pay all fees, but as you’ll have put/returned some avios to your account this prob counts as movement so am guessing they will be OK and reusable. If in doubt or if you have a voucher you want extended till April 2023 take an FTV and that will save you your fee for choosing to cancel as well, if that’s significant

  • Pablo says:

    BA just launched another sale

  • Tom says:

    Anyone booked one of the NCL hotel Indigo Travelzoo vouchers that Rob plugged a few months back? (Including £50 Marco Pierre White steakhouse credit).

    I have one coming up in a couple of weeks. Travelzoo just emailed me to inform me that the restaurant is closed. Apparently the hotel ‘will be in contact to discuss my options’.

    Anyone else affected? I can’t get through to the hotel and the travelzoo helpdesk didn’t know what would be offered in lieu…

    • Yorkie Aid says:

      Restaurant is closed until 9th August I think. We called and they said we could have a £50 drinks voucher instead. When I said we wouldn’t drink that much so would just cancel they said they would give us a £50 refund to card on check-in.

      • C says:

        We got the £50 bar tab plus a round of champagne cocktails. Breakfast is still available

  • mutley says:

    Is it possible to transfer MR from a personal plat in one name to a relative with a Business plat in another name?

    Thank you

  • George M says:

    Hi Guys

    Newbie so please take it easy.

    On the verge of booking Club World from LGW to CANCUN in October as there are some favourable rates.

    I wonder if anybody can chime in with any recent Club World experiences. Especially on the more dated aircraft that I understand BA use on this route. Also if anybody has any recent Mexico travel experience and how things are out there?


    • Richie says:

      If the extra cost compared to WTP for the return leg is a reasonable cost per sleep hour, then go for it.

      • Richie says:

        My calc is £21 extra per hour for 7 hours sleep, which isn’t bad.

    • GeorgeJ says:

      I fly the route regularly though I have taken a break during the recent pandemic, currently booked for November.
      The aircraft tend to be refurbished old style 777-200s out of Gatwick. Personally I would always book Club for the overnight return, less fussed about outward as long as WTP is available.
      According to friends there, everything is currently open on the Coast though vaccination rates in Mexico are low and cases are relatively high. US tourists (of the maskless sort) are very much back.
      My only reservation about October would be the weather, that is the end of the rainy season and it can be very wet, if you can leave it a month.

      • JDB says:

        Agree with the comment re weather – we are planning to go (albeit to the Pacific coast) in early November which is a bit earlier than usual but hoping will be OK. In terms of vaccination, the plan is to have everyone vaccinated by the end of October, ahead of winter. We were in Mexico in January and they were much more systematic than here about temperature checking, sanitising etc. Those old 777s are pretty awful, MEX has 787-9.

        • Harry T says:

          Temperature checking and sanitising aren’t that useful though…

          • JDB says:

            I did add an ‘etc’! I think you are a doctor so you know a lot more about these things, but my point was simply that, perhaps surprisingly, Mexico and its people simply seemed to take it all much more seriously than the UK. Police and council people regularly checking restaurants for their covid protections, very high mask wearing compliance, walking through a disinfectant ‘tunnel’ to the beach, all wrapped cutlery and much more. This was in a real town (Zihuatanejo) without so many tourists. It felt reassuring, even if it did little. We tried to be a bit careful, and we were all OK after staying there for over a month in Dec/Jan – extended when Xmas lockdown announced!

        • TGLoyalty says:

          A stat from somewhere that’s now stopped doing them c1.6m temp checks c400 exceeded the temp and only 4 then tested positive after a PCR test.

          • JDB says:

            I’m sure you are right, particularly with what we know now, but I was talking about 6 months ago and these sort of checks were all we knew then and few were vaccinated. I was impressed because life is really tough in Mexico for so many people, healthcare provision is patchy and there is a big distrust of politicians (and the president/federal govt there is quite covid sceptic) but the responsibility for health is within each of the states and in this state at least (Guerrero) they were able to convince people to take it all very seriously. Likewise the mayor of CDMX is a powerful woman who essentially defied the federal authorities to impose tougher restrictions in the capital which is obviously very densely populated, has overcrowded public transport etc. She has emerged from that quite well.

        • Harry T says:

          @JDB sounds like they are taking it very seriously then! I’m certainly not anywhere near an expect in these matters anyway – not my area. It just seems at this stage we have a greater appreciation that asymptomatic spread is a major issue, and fomite transmission is not a significant contributor.

          • Harry T says:

            Which is why “hands, face, space” annoys me – it puts primacy on hand washing when that’s largely irrelevant compared to social distancing and ventilation.

          • JDB says:

            Yes, as you say ‘hands, face, space’ was the initial response in the UK and worldwide but it now seems surface contact risk is probably minimal. The ‘hands’ aspect always made me laugh re France where I have at various times lived and worked. Any regular French restaurant visitor will have observed that virtually nobody there (men or women) washes their hands after going to the loo and they frequently had national outbreaks of vomiting bugs followed by big ads in the papers/TV telling people to wash their hands! Of course, the French say the English are dirty.

        • GeorgeJ says:

          Aged re metal to CUN, however have you ever had a decent price out of London on MEX? Anyway, BA normally would have a 787 of some sort to Mex which is fine (we are quite happy to spend a couple of days there on the way out).

          • JDB says:

            We do MEX on Avios – fairly easy availability, even in F, albeit not as good now vs when it was a daily jumbo.

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