Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Thursday 29th 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 (460)

  • Gothbe says:

    Anyone had issues with curve this morning?

  • David S says:

    What’s the best option for getting car hire cheap in Portugal in Sept / Oct ? Flights were really cheap but £450 and hugely upwards for two weeks car hire

    • Sam G says:

      Keep an eye on it, prices are all over the place and I did eventually get a week in Spain for a sensible price

    • HBommie says:

      £450 isn’t bad for a fortnight, I’m paying that for a week in Italy.

      Pay now is the cheapest with the obvious risk involved, which I wouldn’t do personally. can be cheaper?

      • Wally1976 says:

        Agreed; we were going to be paying £330 for 11 days in Italy next week (until the whole thing cancelled) and that was booked months ago using MSE links with Discover Cars. Incidentally, they attempted to give us the deposit back as credit but I successfully insisted on the cash!

    • Rhys says:

      Often local companies are cheaper. I went with Rent Auto when I was there.

    • Rich says:

      Keep looking, and keep locking in flexible rates. Be flexible with airport vs downtown etc.

      As others say, prices are all over the place. Good chance of finding a low rate between now and then.

      In May, I was seeing prices of £250/ week in Faro. They dropped, and I locked in at £150, locked in again at £80, then I saw them back up to £350!

  • Wally1976 says:

    Has anyone been in the Aspire lounge at BHX recently and can report their experience? We’re due there next week. TIA

    • Harrier25 says:

      I’m there tomorrow. Are there any lounges still closed at Birmingham?

      • Grant says:

        No1 and Clubrooms closed until the end of the month, I think

        • Harrier25 says:

          Okay, thanks Grant.

          • Grant says:

            Also worth noting that Aspire is only open tomorrow (Friday 30th) from 05:00 – 10:00 and 14:00 – 17:00

          • Wally1976 says:

            Yes, Priority Pass app is showing Clubrooms, No 1 and Aspire South all closed.

  • PMG says:

    With the Miles & More Credit Card closed and (as far as I understand) some uncertainty on if it will be back is there any good way of earning M&M in the UK with a credit card?

    Not sure how hotel points transfer work with M&M but again seems to be an issue…

    Thanks for any help 🙂

    • Rob says:

      No. Only decent route would be Marriott to M&M but Lufty transfers from Marriott were scrapped as part of Lufty’s legal problems in Germany.

      • PMG says:

        Thanks Rob – it’s what I thought.
        Sad times as someone who regularly uses Lufty

        • Jonathan says:

          One might think if Lufthansa will change their stance on expiration dates of their Miles and More program points, I don’t think there’s many other companies that have such hard rules like Lufthansa imposes ?

          On a flip note, we can hope to hear some news on the replacement Lufthansa UK credit card !

          • Rob says:

            Lufthansa thinks it is being clever by banking tens of million of Euros by expiring miles. They are not going to change the policy now after not changing it for the last 18 months. They even shut down the loophole which let you get around it.

  • Ant says:

    Not travel related at all but i remember a while back there was a long conversation about whisky. Need to buy a nice bottle as a gift around £50-70, any suggestions? I know he likes to try Japanese ones but i have no clue. Recommendations for good scottish ones welcome as well.

    • Craig says:

      Can’t go wrong with Hibiki on the Japanese front.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      If he’s likes Japanese then probably Hibiki

      But I know very little Roku is a good Gin if you like Gin 🙂

    • SteveJ says:

      You can get the Yamazaki Single Malt for that price, it’s wonderful.

    • Jonny says:

      Japanese whisky has become v expensive and at that price point you can get a better quality scotch. Glenfarclas 15 and Glenallachie 15 are both superb drams for around £50, in my opinion! Both independently owned too.

    • Rich says:

      Try to find out some of the whiskies he likes. I’d hate to think of somebody spending £70 on an excellent bottle of whiskey that isn’t to my taste.

      For Scottish distilleries, see if he has a preference for the peaty Islays or the smoother Speyside.

      • Chas says:

        +1 it completely depends on what style he likes.

        I recall the same discussion 18-24 months ago on whisky, and am fairly certain that it was Anna who was looking for a gift for her hubby, although the price point might have been a tad higher – if it was her, I’m sure she’ll comment shortly.

        • Lady London says:

          It was @Cat looking for smoky.

          Google for smoky or smokey whisky on this site from outside the site not inside.

    • Phil W says:

      If he likes Islay / Peaty whiskies, then I’d recommend Ardbeg Corryvreckan or Uigeadhal.

  • Walty says:

    Morning All,

    QQ on credit cards. My wife currently holds the free BA Amex and is already on 18K spend for the year. The article earlier in the week left us with action to take before 1st Sept so we are not left with an economy only voucher so she will be upgrading to the BAPP today and triggering the 2-4-1 immediately before closing her account.

    I haven’t held ANY Amex card in the last 2 years so I am free to earn a bonus on a card she will refer me for. She currently has a 4000 + 4000 extra referral bonus on her Free BA Amex.
    1. Would the referral be bigger if she referred me from her BAPP?

    2. We will have 2 x 2-4-1’s which I will try and extend the 1st one using a FTV so no need to earn anymore, anytime soon. Want to keep card fee’s to a minimum so was thinking of getting the gold card for the 20,000K bonus, keeping it for 1 year but then what?? After the year is up, what cards could I (refer myself) or my wife earn a bonus on?


    • TGLoyalty says:

      1 yes it’ll be bigger from a BAPP

      If you have had no Amex at all for 2 years then get a bonvoy/nectar first. That will mean you’ll be eligible for both the BAPP welcome and Platinum welcome bonuses.

      Whatever you do don’t get the free BA.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Perhaps I should’ve read 2.

        She will be eligible for the platinum sub only as she had a free BA/BAPP so excluded from all others.

        If you do get the Gold then you will be excluded from all but the BAPP.

        Consider that some people on here have a special deal for a 70k Platinum sign up bonus! Worrying about fees is counterintuitive as the frees are pro rata refundable and you can downgrade the cards at any point.

    • Peter K says:

      1. Yes. 9k referral bonus from ba premium.

    • Zara says:

      Hi there, I have 241 vouchers expiring before we will get to use it. Is there an article or some information I can be directed to regarding FTV which means they would not necessarily go to waste? I have not kept in the loop over the last year as we now have 3 kids under 5 and my time has shifted elsewhere until it became necessary to know about all things travel!

      • TGLoyalty says:

        No article really needed

        Book a 2-4-1 flight to any Short hop RFS destination like Manchester Edinburgh paris etc. Then immediately cancel it for an FTV which can be used as part payment for a new 2-4-2 booking to any destination (must travel out by until 2023)

        Care point. The voucher will only be useable for the 2 passengers named on the original booking.

        • Zara says:

          Thank you. So you get back a 241 irrespective of the initial route chosen or the difference in taxes etc? As I’d be using the 241 for long haul ideally but won’t be able to do that until after it has expired.
          And I suppose the immediate cancellation is so that all taxes and fees are also refunded (as within 24 hours)?
          Many many thanks in advance

    • Jonathan says:

      You should ideally wait until the voucher gets posted to your account before shutting it down

      • Walty says:

        Thanks All. Yes will hold off waiting until voucher is posted and avios cleared down before shutting it down.

        Just upgraded my wife to the BAPP and the referral fee has increased from 9K to 14K

        You’ll earn (9,000) 14,000 Avios for each approved friend.

        Will have a think about what card next. Cheers for the advice!

  • Mark says:

    Any restaurants to recommend in Bilbao, San Sebastian or Barcelona?!

    • Genghis says:

      Bilbao = ad hoc cascanueces

    • Richie says:

      If you fancy a Michelin starred one, there’s one near San Sebastian. It was featured in a BBC TV programme, which could still be on the iPlayer.

    • Craig says:

      If you fancy a drive into the country, about 90 minutes? The restaurants and winery at Marquis de Riscal are stunning.

    • cinereus says:


      bar Zeruko
      Calle Pescaderia 10, San Sebastian – Donostia, Spain

      Plaza de la Constitucion, 20003 San Sebastian – Donostia, Spain
      +34 943425867

      A Fuego Negro
      31 de agosto, San Sebastian – Donostia, Spain

      La Cepa
      The Street 31 of Agosto, San Seb

      La Cuchara de San Telmo

    • Heathrow Flyer says:

      You have to try Bar Nestor in San Sebastian! You need to put your name down early to get a reservation for the evening.

  • Andy says:

    Booked Ibis Basel early June for a mid August stay on a cancellable rate. Cancelled on the 2nd July. No refund as yet. Hotel isn’t responding to my emails. At this stage am I better just raising a dispute with Amex and getting the refund that way?

    • Blenz101 says:

      Have you tried speaking with Accor rather than the hotel? Whilst others report poor service I have always found them rather good (could be a function of status?).

      Nothing stopping you speaking with Amex but if the hotel puts up resistance it could be a messier route than just getting a refund via customer services.

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