Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Friday 30th 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)

  • Catman99 says:

    Hi all…there’s been a few dark mutterings about upcoming changes to the Virgin Credit Card. Like their changes they made to cap the amount of rewards you can earn in a month they seem to have been a bit lax in sending out emails or letters….So what’s new? Thanks

    • Iain says:

      Amount of rewards has always been limited to your card limit ie £25k = 25k miles per month

      • Genghis says:

        Incorrect. Changed early 2020

        • Secret Squirrel says:

          Genghis – incorrect in the fact of terms already changed in 2020 or incorrect you can earn more VA points per month other then your credit limit?
          I only earn a cap of my per month’s credit limit in points.

          • Genghis says:

            When I had the card previously I’d earn many, many times my credit limit. Then in early 2020 it changed so you could only earn points on credit limit, eg you have a £10k limit and the premium card = max 15k points per month.

            So to say, “ Amount of rewards has always been limited to your card limit” is incorrect. It hasn’t “always”, just from early 2020.

    • Catman99 says:

      Anyway!!!!! What are the new 5 August changes???? Smile

      Are they Secret?

      • TGLoyalty says:

        No they were emailed to you.

        They made it clearer that

        Cash advances or cash like transactions won’t earn points and will attract fees. What that means in real life is anyone’s guess until Aug 5th. Imagine new cardholders will have these terms from day 1

      • Travel Strong says:

        It reads like paying off another cc may be an issue, and topping up savings accounts may be an issue. But the extent is unknown until tested. Probably unlikely to be able to top up isa/vm savings accounts like you used to. Buy paying off solihull or buying from ernie – TBC.
        I’ll be testing both of these around the 1st-5th sep and will report back though.

        • Travel Strong says:


        • Patrick Cold says:

          Great – thank you.

        • Babyg says:

          why report back on various MS success failures to a public forum and have more people pile in and get those MS routes shut down?

          • bazza says:

            Thats what they do here.

          • VerdantBacon says:

            This wouldnt be HfP comments section without MS being spelled out step by step. But don’t worry, they’re going to use codewords that change every 10 mins and require an enigma machine to crack

  • Si says:


    • TGLoyalty says:

      Another month …

    • Andy says:

      Works out pretty well for me, fewer British tourists and they are accepting the NHS covid pass which makes my life much easier once the quarantine is over

  • Si says:

    Has anyone who has said at the Sheraton on intern rate been brave enough to take the full-sized MB handwashes? I didn’t, but friend of mine is/was there last night and he’s really struggling with the temptation!

    • Andrew says:

      They’re only £20 – why not just pop next door to Harrods and buy one if he’s that desperate.

      • Tariq says:

        I think it’s a bit much, they are very obviously not to be taken! At least take your own bottle to decant it… 🙂

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Harrods is next door? We must have very different definitions of next door.

        If you take full size bottles expect them to be added to your “friends” bill.

        • Rob says:

          They won’t. Burj Al Arab in Dubai puts over £200 of Hermes stuff into each room and expects you to take it. Still have the conditioner on the go actually ….

          Whether it is morally right given that you got the room at 80% off is a different question and it will clearly encourage the hotel to cancel remaining error bookings.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            What’s the Burj experience got to do with the Sheraton grand? Are they even in the sam stratosphere for nightly rates?

            I can’t recall at SG but I have visited others using full bottles and it’s made clear they will charge.

          • Rob says:

            £1000 per night for the suite puts it in the same range as the Burj base rooms – which are over 100 sq m – off peak

          • JDB says:

            Hmm Rob! So at what % discount is it OK to nick the big bottles? The morality and the price should not be connected.

          • Rob says:

            They are meant to be taken. You think the hotel expects people paying £1k per night to reuse someone else’s toiletries?

            To be fair, when we were at the Burj, 2 of the 3 nights ended up being comped and the 3rd had been booked at a big discount 🙂

            Guy who owns the Sheraton just died so from that point of view …

          • Rob says:

            What are you talking about? You aren’t ‘nicking’ the big bottles. When you arrived in the room, the bottles were brand new. Think that is a coincidence? That the previous guest had coincidentally finished them all? Once you open the bottle, it is going in the bin when you leave. Take it, or it is thrown away (well, recycled).

            What do you even think the hotel pays for them? If they are £20 in the shops then the hotel is paying £5 max adjusting for the VAT and the bulk discount. This is £15 of toiletries in a room selling for £1,000. The bottle of champagne and the food they will leave for you on arrival costs more than that.

            It is a general rule of hotel housekeeping that toiletry bottles get bigger as you go up the room chain. You can see this clearly if you look at the housekeeping trolley in the corridor. There will be big bottles and there will be small bottles, depending on room.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            We all know the suite at SGPL has probably sold for £1k a night about a handful of times every summer. It’s compd to guests paying significantly less.

            Totally different to the Burj where most of time it’s £££

          • Rob says:

            Er, no. In a normal Summer that suite will be block booked to a Middle Eastern family for the full rate.

            Most of the top tier London hotels are 75% Middle Eastern guests in July and August. Many extended families take entire floors at the Dorchester etc.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Maybe at the Park Tower and JWM.

            Don’t recall many Arabs on my visit.

    • Crafty says:

      What a bizarre thing for your friend to have asked you to post on a website about!

      • Si says:

        He’s def got liberation fever… I’m waiting for him to give me a call and ask me to head up in a work van to help sneak the desk out

        • mradey says:

          The Nespresso machine and china should fit in his bag….

          • Tony1 says:

            Kribi Sofitel has a “price list” for room items – from the TV to the shoe buffer. They said its a “Chinese’s thing” what ever that is, TBH not a good hotel either.

        • Chris Heyes says:

          Si Fancy having such an “Idiot” as a friend I’d drop him quick ?

          • JDB says:

            I would be worried having those friends round if I had an open bottle of one of those Japanese whiskies being talked about yesterday.

    • Christina says:

      Why doesn’t your friend go into a Molton a brown shop and steal some handwashes from the shelf?
      It’s the same thing.

    • BP says:

      Minis are fine to take. Full size stay in the room.

    • sloth says:

      I dont know how much this intern rate was? but im guessing you saved around £2/300 on a room that you would clearly never have paid full price and now you want to nick the full size toiletries as well? “your friend” sounds like the sort of person who also nicks the toilet rolls…

      cheap doesn’t begin to describe it. go and buy a bottle they are not that expensive!

      • Si says:

        I didn’t realise you knew him… that’s pretty much all his character traits condensed down into 1 post!

        P.s. I am actually, genuinely talking about someone else 🙂

        I had the minis but left the rest (inc the coat hangers!)

        • Mike says:

          Si – if your friend is there right now can you not email the hotel and suggest they gift them to him as he admired them so much ( just a thought )

      • Lady London says:

        oh sloth, I do so agree with you!

        But this discussion is hilarious.

    • FFoxSake says:

      I wonder what happens to these full-sized, partially used bottles after checkout when they prepare the room for the next guest in these Covid times?

      • Lady London says:

        better than 50% probability if it’s London, no matter what you would think they’ll be combining the remainder of one bottle into another one at the vast majority of hotels whatever their level even during Covid.

        The Middle East is different and I would fully expect much more normal and acceptable for even the big name bottles to leave the hotel with the guest.

        Truly wealthy families might still leave them anyway as they have enough at home

    • Babyg says:

      LOL, that was one of the first things i noticed too… wasn’t really tempted, thought it may be gauche for anybody to pocket them. My multiple bookings on the intern rate alone was a big enough win for me.

      • Si says:

        I think I’ve just worked out that it is… we’re both going to a wedding tomorrow, I guess he still needs to get a gift 🙂

  • tony says:

    Flying to Greece on BA tomorrow with the family. I need to put the pre-flight information into MMB (vaccine status/tests/Greek QR code when I get it later).

    Do I enter this all as a single transaction or do I have to go into MMB separately for each passenger (not even sure if that’s possible).


    • AFKAE says:

      I added them together. I think there’s a heading for vaccination cert and a separate one for “other documents”, you can just upload it there. Then it gives you the option to do the same for another passenger. I think my approval came through about 3 1/2 hours later.

  • Andrew says:

    Updated MBNA terms and conditions. “Your Account is for personal use only. Your Credit Card account is for your own use and you should not use it for business purposes”

    Noting the “should not” rather than “must not”.

    So where is the line drawn? If LBG see me spend £100 at the cash and carry, then my employer credits me with £100 by BACS – will I be flagged for business use? Their IT presents as good enough to flag discrepancies like that.

    What about if I use my MBNA card to prepay my charity’s venue for a conference. The venue prefers card payment. It’s £10,000, and we have don’t have (or want) a charity credit card. Business use or reasonable use?

    • Ls says:

      They don’t want to see you spend more than your disposable income. £100, you will get away with it. £10,000 probably not.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      I think you worry too much

    • Paul Pogba says:

      My two pence, £10k as a one off on a personal card probably isn’t a big deal, from time to time you’ll buy a kitchen or bathroom and spend that sort of money but every month for most of us that would be non-personal.

  • YC says:

    Looking to make a hyatt redemption but will fall short 10k points after maxing current buy promo. What is the best way of getting these points quickly?

    • Rob says:

      No easy way. Could transfer from a friend but both of you must have had a stay in last 12 months.

    • Guernsey Globetrotter says:

      It looks like you can do it via the points purchase as gift route which doesn’t seem to be subject to the requirement that your account must have been open for 60 days before a transfer (unlike points sharing).

      Open another account online (just need to use a different email address or if you have a gmail address use the ‘ignored characters’ trick) then use this link :

      Let us know how you get on 🙂

      • Guernsey Globetrotter says:

        Actually I just tried this myself and it doesn’t work as the 60 day limit also applies before you can purchase points (whether for yourself or to gift). Just goes to show that the default when establishing such loyalty accounts is to open two at the same time to facilitate this sort of thing…

        • YC says:

          Yup – tried this with OH new account. I also tried purchasing below the limit then trying to buy more but system knows and caps you

  • Paul says:

    Struggling with BA You First to have a cancelled booking kicked down the road by a year under BAs new policy. The policy allows flights to move providing the final sector is flown no later than 1 year after the first sector was originally due to be flown.
    In my case this is the 12th August but none of the return flights are in date range and You First claim this means only refund or voucher.
    I will try again next week when all the outbound services are in range. It is infuriating that BA cannot follow their own rules even when these are likely to be in contravention of EU/U.K. 261.
    Simply place holder flights or open sectors are all that is required for a few weeks until the flights are in range yet this is beyond them.

    • Jane says:

      I’m having the same issue but can’t even get through to BA (only ClubWorld so no YouFirst to call). My flight is on the 5th August return 28th and I want to switch it to the same 4th / 27th next year. Every time I call I just get the ‘it’s too busy call back later’ message, and twitter claim that there has to be reward availability which there doesn’t. Not sure where to go from here.. it’s to USA so thinking of just moving it to late September so that when they cancel that one I can move it to next august – will that work ? worst case I guess if they don’t move it is that I have to have reward availability so I’m no worse off than I am now.

      • pauldb says:

        My understanding is you’ll have to rebook even the inbound leg before 5th Aug 2022: the 27th is beyond ticket validity (1yr from 5//8/21).

        If you can make a completely new booking for Sep then that one should be easy to move to Aug 22, but that’s if the Sep flights are cancelled.

        • Jane says:

          Ahhh.. is the validity for inbound based on the outbound ? ie 5th august and not based on the original inbound (28th) – in which case I’m stuffed anyway !

    • pauldb says:

      What’s the problem waiting a week until it’s easy to complete?

    • Mouse says:

      You can always go to CEDR, the new 1 year policy is still less that EU261 requires

    • Yorkieflyer says:

      I thought the policy was in respect of flights cancelled by BA and rebooking allowed up to one year after both outbound and return dates. Clearly system constraints don’t allow booking till 355 days before flight. So what is the problem in leaving it till after the original cancelled departure date?

      • Jane says:

        No problem if it’ll work but BA won’t give me a straight answer on what happens. Inbound isn’t likely to be cancelled (miami)

        • Lady London says:

          if your outbound is cancelled then until you rebook/redate/reroute/confirn any alternative flight showing in MMB (instead of just leaving it untouched) there is no reason why airline would still expect you on the return flight ecen if the return leg has not itself been cancelled

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