Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Saturday 31st July

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

Historically, the daily ‘Bits’ articles were the de facto repository for random comments and questions.  With the news flow being lighter, we are running fewer ‘Bits’ articles.

The comments under this article are where you should post questions about travel and, indeed, anything else on your mind.  At this tricky time, and given that many of you are at home, we want the HfP community to have a place to chat.

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Comments (317)

  • BJ says:

    Ten days come and gone and no sign of avios-Nectar points.

  • Jamil says:

    Hi, I am in North West London. My sister and kids need a PCR test to go back to Qatar when they leave in August. They need to do it 72 hours before they arrive in Qatar. Seems like it is the wild west in terms of operators out there. Could I get some recommendations on an in person test place or mail order one that doesn’t cost a fortune? Or a way to discern a decent operator? Thank you

    • Harry T says:

      We used Vivo clinic in Glasgow for a next day PCR. Results came the next morning. They have good trust pilot reviews and clinics across the UK.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Expresstest or collinson in person

      Randox If acceptable and you have a Dropbox nearby.

      • Save East Coast Rewards says:

        Randox is fine. Don’t forget there’s a BA discount code which will knock a few quid off what is an already reasonably (by UK standards) priced test. I had no issues although in my case it was day 2 and day 8 tests – I did repurpose my day 8 test to also be my pre-departure test to leave the UK.

        There’s always a slight risk that the results don’t come through in time but I’ve got my results back in under 48 hours both times.

    • Cats are best says:

      I’ve used the Biogroup place in Hampstead for FTF, day 2/8, TTR, results mostly same day (for next day service)

    • Tracey says:

      Centennial Medical Centre, Elstree were excellent when we used them last December. Even opened on a Sunday so we could get our certificates for travel early.

  • The Savage Squirrel says:

    So I’ve tranferred 60,000 Amex pooints to Radisson and been given … 60,000 RR points when the transfer ratio should be 3:1 and I should get 180,000. Do I contact Amex or Radisson first???

    • The Savage Squirrel says:

      Initial update: was checking transfer rate hasn’t changed, and Radisson has disappeared from transfer partners in Amex MR section. Is the partnership at an end??

      • TGLoyalty says:

        No Rob mentioned it might’ve been removed temporarily because of the very issue you’ve had. Best to contact Amex.

    • BuildBackBetter says:

      Amex is working on fixing it. I have the same issue.
      Something to do with the recent Radisson split

  • TOBIAS L says:

    Silly two part question re-Amex Plat car hire insurance, as I’m currently in Spain:

    1) Is car hire excess insurance still valid on Amex Plat in amber/amber plus countries?

    2) I seem to recall it depends on FCO advice stating “FCO advises against travel to…”. I’m on the FCO Spain website and cannot find an equivalent statement. Does this mean I’ll be OK with insurance?

    Thanks.

    T

    • Harry T says:

      The FCDO does not advise against all but essential travel to Spain.

      • TOBIAS L says:

        Thanks, shouldn’t be an issue then for insurance.

        A separate question for the HfP hivemind…how do you deal with the “24h roadside assistance” upsell? I usually don’t know what to do here. Is this another scam from the car rental agencies or is it actually worth paying this/would amex cover it?

        • N says:

          I wouldn’t bother. Even the RACC and similar driving clubs that offer breakdown assistance will outsource their pickups to local affiliated mechanics, so car hire agencies do exactly the same.

          In around 100 Spanish hires, I’ve had exactly one hire car breakdown. You’ll phone the hire company, they’ll phone the national assistance company, they’ll phone the local mechanic. The mechanic will tow you to the nearest hire car depot, you’ll ask for a new car because you’re not going to hang about waiting for them to repair your lemon.

          If you have waived the assistance, they’ll pass the towing charge on to you at the end of your hire. 150 euro, maybe?

          The question then is, would this be considered “damage to vehicle” that Amex would reimburse? I don’t know. I had that experience BP (Before Plat), but even then the other savings waiving breakdown assistance 99 times saved considerable amounts. I’d more more annoyed about the time wasted on holiday swapping out the car.

        • Tony1 says:

          I have “used” my Nationwide when I broke down a few years ago in Spain – easily got all my fees for the packaged account back for the next thirty years !

  • Eric the Half a Bee says:

    Does anyone have any experience using Medicspot antigen tests? Prenetics have messed up my order and am thinking of using an alternative (non video) provider.

    • Andy says:

      What was your issue with Prenetics? I was just about to order their pre-arrival test to take with my on holiday

      • Eric the Half a Bee says:

        Ordered over a week ago and still not delivered/no contact from DPD despite two calls to them and promises of replacements being sent.

        • Andy says:

          I’ve gone ahead and ordered mine, let’s see if it arrives by Friday. Can always get one for 35€ at the airport before flying back so wouldn’t be the end of the world if it doesn’t come

  • Alan Todd says:

    Regarding the Deliveroo £5 credit on Amex Gold, am I okay to make a purchase today for July’s credit, as it usually takes a few days to show on statement? TIA

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Does it really matter? You can’t go back in time and it will just come of next months £5.

      I suspect it’ll work just fine as a July credit though.

      • Alan Todd says:

        Not really although that only leaves one credit for next month. Not too concerned really as a fairly infrequent user, but the chance of a 50p lunch is too much for this grippit Scot to resist..

    • Travel Strong says:

      With all other amex offers, i’ve had no problem with purchasing on last day of offer.

    • the_real_a says:

      Its fine. AMEX pays on the transaction date not the settlement date. Deliveroo will trigger for July if you spend today.

  • Keely says:

    Can I change the flight details for a 241 after I’ve flown the outbound ? I know I’d have to call but not sure if it’s possible ? Thanks

    • TGLoyalty says:

      When you say details you are trying to change the date/time of the flights not who is flying?

      • Keely says:

        Yes sorry if that wasn’t clear !

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Yes and you might even get it done for free if it reprices at exactly the same Avios / cash otherwise £35 each.

    • Rob says:

      Yes, but you cannot cancel it entirely.

  • Dave1985 says:

    Happy freedom weekend part two! 🎉

    • HBommie says:

      Hi Dave, I’d like to go to Italy without the 5 day quarantine please. If you can sort this out I’ll give you a chunky kitkat.

      Thanks

      • TGLoyalty says:

        If we are making wishlists.

        Id like to come back to the U.K. without a form and a swab up my nose.

        My friends want to go to France and come back without having to isolate for 5/10 days.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Oh I’d also like to go out to Dubai without having to spend 10 days in hotel prison / 11 days elsewhere.

          Thanks

        • Save East Coast Rewards says:

          “My friends want to go to France and come back without having to isolate for 5/10 days”

          That’s easy. Schengen is your friend. Fly into Spain (or another EU country) then go to France by any means, then when you return fly from another amber/green country. Your passport stamps will show the country you entered/exited Schengen and UK border force will not know you’ve been in France unless you have busybody ‘friends’ or neighbours who report you for violating quarantine. In that case best to keep quiet about where you’re really going and say you’re off for a weekend in Milton Keynes or something 😂

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Doesn’t sound like freedom to me. That sounds like lying and deception to evade ridiculous rules.

          • ChrisC says:

            I am becoming disilusioned about the amount of lying people appear to be advocating on here recently

            Couple of days ago someone was basically saying make up your Day 2 test order number.

            Today someone else advocating lying on the PLF as to where you have been

            Lying on the PLF is a crime.

            If you can’t follow the rules then just don’t travel.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            All about why.

            A day 2 test is £36 there’s no need to lie

            However when they made you buy tests when you were actually overnight transiting I’d have 0 problem with people making up a number.

          • Ash says:

            So many arrogant self entitled people around these days. How shameful.

      • Save East Coast Rewards says:

        One of the exceptions to quarantine in Italy is:
        “anyone who enters Italy for a period not exceeding one hundred and twenty hours (5 days) for proven reasons of work, health or emergency, with the obligation, at the end of this time period, to leave Italian territory immediately or, failing this, to begin the period of surveillance and self-isolation in compliance with Art. 51, paragraphs 1 to 5, of the Prime Ministerial Decree of 2 March 2021”
        Source: https://www.salute.gov.it/portale/nuovocoronavirus/dettaglioContenutiNuovoCoronavirus.jsp?lingua=english&id=5412&area=nuovoCoronavirus&menu=vuoto&tab=6

        So if you have a work reason (if you freelance this is easy) you can stay in Italy up to 5 days without quarantine. If you don’t want to have to explain your work reasons to a border official then you could fly Iberia and you then enter Schengen at the Spanish border and don’t pass through border control in Italy. You will still need proof of exemption in case they pay you a visit or they’re doing checks in the arrivals hall but in general it’s less hassle. The queues on my last BA flight to Italy moved very slowly at immigration as they were asking lots of questions

    • John says:

      How’s the nightclub doing?

      • Dave1985 says:

        Jeez. You lot sound fun.

        Get out and enjoy yourselves instead of moaning on the internet!

        • Andy says:

          Well Dave this is a travel website and so unsurprisingly a lot of us don’t feel like we’ve got that much freedom given all the hoops to jump through!

        • Andrew says:

          Yup, I don’t go to nightclubs and the travel situation is far from feeling like freedom.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Don’t know how you find the time between all the fun to post here …

        • HBommie says:

          Don’t you like chunky Kit Kats Dave?

          No fun you!

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