Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Tuesday 3rd August

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

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Comments (315)

  • Keith says:

    Has anyone been to Barbados recently? I see it is:

    TEST ONE – PCR before you go,
    TEST TWO – PCR on arrival,
    TEST THREE – Antigen before you return to the UK
    TEST FOUR – PCR when back in UK.

    In terms of the PCR and Antigen required when on the island – how accessible are these? (are they available in resorts or must one travel to a central location for them?) Any details / recommendations re: availability, cost, queues, waiting times of results from any recent personal experience would be much appreciated.

    • Babyg says:

      havent been – so dont have any info, but I am planning too. You probably know, but you also need to be double vaxxed or you’re stuck in your hotel room apparently…

      • roberto says:

        Tests on the Island are available at $50USD at the Garfeild Sobers Gym. You can pay for it privately at your hotel to save the faff of the queues ( which can be an hour in the sun ) but those prices are double and or more.

        I took a test with me to do myself , I used qured but others are now cheaper and don’t need a video link and with prices from £26 it’s the sensible option in my book..

        Check out the fast track arrival on Barbados if you’re happy to spend the extra to whisk you through if its busy. I booked mine with viator with [email protected] back via snap crack and pop. Saved me an hour or so.

        • Hannah says:

          Second the suggestion to use fast track on arrival – we didn’t and massively regretted it! We thought that because we had uploaded everything and got the app in advance then it would be quick but it made no difference and it took us the best part of 2 hours to get through (and we were pretty quick off the plane).

          Our resort included the antigen test for free so can’t comment about that. We used collinson for our day 2 test on arrival at T5 and it was v quick and seamless.

  • Reney says:

    I’m in a three person amex strategy, we have exhausted all the SUB. My plan is to have one person closing down all the cards for 2 years, 2 people keeping a non BA, non MR card (probably nectar for referrals and amex offers) and hit SUB when 2 years are up for the plat and BAPP. Is this the most sensible strategy? It will be a long gap between SUB, so I was wondering whether we should get one Gold Card for the spend 15k bonus, but that delays future plats SUB. Any thoughts?

    The timing of 2 year gaps means it doesn’t make sense for me to have 2 people cancelling all amex. As I can get a BAPP next March so need someone else in the group to keep an amex for referral unless I forgo the referral points.

    Thoughts pls?

  • LS says:

    Right, looking for clarity as to what counts as 10 days outside a red list country. If I left red list on 31st Jul, arrived green list on 1st Aug, what is the first day I can arrive in the UK? 11th? 12th? Gov.uk doesnt seem to be as clear as I’d want on this
    Thanks!

    • Blenz101 says:

      What counts is where you have been for the past 10 days. Your example isn’t great because it assumes you left red on one day and arrived green on another.

      Assuming you just entered a green/amber country on the 1st Aug you could enter the UK on the 11th having spent 10 full days in green/amber without hotel quarantine.

      A more likely situation may be that you depart red on the 1st Aug and land in your amber/green country later the same day/night. In which case that day would not count and you could enter the UK from 12th having completed 10 full days in green/amber.

      The UK works on full days not hours. So just arriving somewhere at noon doesn’t get you half a day credit, you need to do a full 24 hours to get a clear day. Think of your arrival as day Zero if you have been in a red country previously.

      Alternatively just head via Ireland where no hotel quarantine exists for red list arrivals.

      • AIB says:

        We need to be in Ireland for 10 days to avoid hotel quarantine in UK as getting through E gates is a 50/50 chance.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          ireland is a domestic arrival …

          • Blenz101 says:

            Not only a domestic arrival but one you can fly on your driving licence if you are a citizen.

            You can also enter the U.K. via Northern Ireland which again has no border. Again from here you can get to mainland GB with no checks other than photo ID.

    • Rob says:

      Irrespective of what you think the rules are, or how they read to you, you would be crazy to risk it and not spend 10 full days (midday to midnight) outside the UK.

      • ChrisC says:

        I agree.

        Ten full days outside the UK would be what I would count it as.

        So for example arrive Monday then I would count Day 1 would be Tuesday.

        Day ten would be the Thursday next and I’d return to the UK on the Friday

        • Blenz101 says:

          This is the correct. When you arrive that day is effectively Day Zero, your first full day is the next day. You shouldn’t leave on Day 10 itself but leave it until at least the following morning.

          You can then declare a FULL 10 days in a green/amber country on your PLF and if stopped your passport stamps/tickets/previous bookings will all confirm this.

          • Gtellez says:

            I am in a similar position. Flying out the Maldives at night and landing in Spain next day. I guess that the day I arrive in Spain is day 1 not zero, as that day I’ve not been in Maldives (the stamp in my passport would say that I left the day before)

          • Tracey says:

            When you arrive is day zero, irrespective of when you left, so overnight flights don’t help at all. So if you leave Maldives on one day and arrive in Spain the next day, it is the next day that is day zero. If there is any logic, it would be that all the people on the plane are still passing around Maldives air.

  • BuildBackBetter says:

    Any recommendations for luxury hotels in Norfolk or Suffolk?
    Chain hotels preferred as I have status in most.

    • Aliks says:

      Start point should be a website like awardmapper.com

      • Grant says:

        A handy resource that I didn’t know existed. Thanks!

        • mark2 says:

          Use with care; the hotel that I have just booked into is not listed (Hampton Canterbury).

          • Gtellez says:

            Wow didn’t know that existed neither but very useful if accurate!

          • Rob says:

            Hampton Canterbury has only been open for a couple of weeks. Rhys has popped in I think – his parents live there.

        • John says:

          Awardmapper is about 7 years out of date for Hilton at least. There’s a newer one on travelisfree and another on screwtheaverage

    • Toby says:

      I looked for one in Norfolk and due to poor choice and low availability went with Airbnb instead, as there was far more choice by the sea via airbnb. Sorry!

    • Jake says:

      Searching hotels.google.com can be very useful as you can filter by all sorts of chains (IHG, Hilton, Bonvoy, Premier Inn etc) and also see the cash price to compare as well

  • Save East Coast Rewards says:

    A recent Heathrow Rewards transfer to BA took 28 days. So if you want to transfer points don’t worry if they don’t appear quickly.

  • meta says:

    A quick brainstorm with @LadyLondon and others on EU/UK261. Basically BA are doing the same spiel as last year with my cancelled flights to Porto. However, this time the equation has changed in their favour as there is a semi-reasonable route with Iberia that they are proposing which would turn a 2h30 direct flight into a 6h flight with connection in Madrid. I am don’t feel going via Madrid is reasonable given current circumstances with ever changing travel restrictions and would like to go direct with TAP. My initial thoughts are I should take them to MCOL post-fact, but then I also think maybe I should just ask for a refund and rebook myself on TAP and avoid the hassle. What do others think?

    • Sina says:

      If you can refund/book with TAP, you can save yourself a lot of calls and headaches!?

    • Blenz101 says:

      What’s the cost difference? You are going to have to book the TAP flights either way if that is who you want to fly and certainly not unreasonable to fly direct.

      The only variable is if it is worth a bun fight and MCOL etc. with BA to cover the cost difference post flight or just get your money back up front.

      • meta says:

        @Blenz101 this is the exact dilemma I am having what is reasonable here?

    • Richie says:

      If you want to avoid hassle, pick the easiest alternative and forget about MCOL. You have to be determined to bother with CEDR and/or MCOL.

      • meta says:

        I don’t mind MCOL/CEDR. I might spend about 1h overall to do it and dealing with it and I’ve done it many times before. The difference is £120, so not a huge amount, but not peanuts either.

        • Blenz101 says:

          For £100+ I would submit the claim post travel via CEDR. I’d drop BA a note via the webform in advance now to let them know my intention and mention that a connecting flight which doubles the journey time is not comparable.

          Once back I would just fill in the paperwork and forget about it and expect a payout months down the line.

          Seems a pretty open and shut case and not like you are tying up loads of cash by leaving the money with BA until you can claim it back.

          • meta says:

            It gets worse. Whilst I was deciding BA unilaterally booked me via Madrid. I think that was just enough to make me tip over my dilemma. Now I’ve told them to remove it and leave the booking intact and informed them that I will rebook myself and claim it afterwards. The agent said basically nothing, just that they’ve cancelled the route completely and that they’re sorry.

  • Dave says:

    Have got a spend £200 get 5000 avios on my BA card for stays at Marriots in the UK and Europe. Assume this is cumulative spend rather than needing it on one stay?

  • Stephan says:

    Quick question on the Amex 24month rule. I had MR card up until Sept 2019 but my nectar card I cancelled in March 2019. Am I now eligible for the Nectar bonus and will I also then be able to get the Gold/Plat bonus come September/October? Or do I have to wait till the most recent cancellation is after 24 months?

    • Peter K says:

      It’s 24 months on all personal amex cards, of any type.
      So you need to wait until the date you cancelled your last card +24 months and 1 day.

      Even then you can’t get bonus on nectar, then gold. To maximise it’s:

      1.non-MR, non BA card.
      2. Platinum or BAPP
      3. Platinum or BAPP (whichever you didn’t go for in 2)

      • Stephan says:

        Ok thanks. Wouldn’t I get Nectar in 1) as it’s not MR or BA?

        • Genghis says:

          Looks like your last personal Amex was in Sep 19 so not eligible for a bonus on the Nectar card until Sep 21.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      When was you last BA card?

      • Stephan says:

        I have it marked down as cancelled as of June 2019.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Wait 6 weeks or so and youll be able to follow Peter K’s steps

          Marriott > Nectar atm

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