Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Monday 9th August

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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 (353)

  • cinereus says:

    Any good way to get to Colombia on points (not just Avios) without having to go IB via MAD?

    • Christina says:

      AA via Miami?

      • Yorkie Aid says:

        But only if you’re a US citizen under the current US rules.

        • cinereus says:

          Yeah and I’d rather connect almost anywhere than via the US.

          Didn’t realise there were any low-tax sweet spots on AA to Miami either…

    • ChrisBCN says:

      TAP through Lisbon?

      • cinereus says:

        Am I missing something? No direct flights and fees are def not a sweet spot?

    • Gtellez says:

      Avianca used to have a direct flight from London, but not sure now. Maybe it has other European destinations to do one stop. It is star alliance but it is an IB partner too, so you could use avios through IB.

    • Sam G says:

      Pre covid there was plentiful availability on the direct Avianca flight and you could buy Lifemiles or use other *A miles. Currently not available in business. Lufthansa has had some excellent prices recently via Frankfurt that make miles pretty poor value

  • Jill ( Kinkell) says:

    Just had an email from BA cancelling our Denver flight on 7th Sept. (241)
    Will be asking for a USA booking for next year as per new conditions . Yippee!

  • Alan Todd says:

    Has anyone received the additional bonus for adding a supplementary card to Gold Amex and subsequently spending £500 on that card? TIA

  • AndyS says:

    Does tesco still give 25 clubcard points for surveys? I have 85 points and need to get to 150 for the virgin autoconvert bonus, if I get 25 for a survey I only need to spend 40 quid!

    • Karl says:

      Yes Tescoviews still going. They probably post 2/3 of the time but will add them if you chase up with a quick email.

  • Scott says:

    Any rooms at the Doubletree Newcastle Airport worth selecting above any others?

    • Andrew Mc says:

      Request 352 or equivalent. End of wing. Larger + double aspect views of airport + metro. As interesting as you’re going to get view wise 🙂

  • Aston100 says:

    Can someone help me with the maths here please.
    Regarding the value of Hilton Honors points if my main source is from converting Amex MR.
    I am guessing 0.4p
    Based on:
    1 MR = 1 Avios = 1.6 nectar = 0.8 pence
    Given that 1 MR = 2 HH, therefore 2 HH = 0.8p, thus 1 HH = 0.4p

    Am I right?
    I know the articles and comments on this site often value HH at 0.3p each, but I am basing this on my ability to use my MR for shopping at places that accept Nectar.

    Looking at Hilton redemptions at numerous properties, the cash prices seem cheaper than using points based upon a 0.4p value.
    e.g. The Conrad Bali, basic Deluxe King Room is 34k per night or £82 per night on the dates I randomly selected.

    Am I doing it wrong? I don’t think I’ve factored the 5th night free thing.

    Thanks.

    • Luke says:

      The value of something isn’t based on what you paid for it.

      Seems like you are asking if it’s a good deal to buy HH points for 0.4p when they are only worth 0.3p.
      The answer can still be yes if you need to top up to round off a balance or extend expiry.

      • Aston100 says:

        Thanks for the reply.
        I’m, not buying points.
        I have a stash of Amex MR. I can use this at Sainsburys, Argos etc and receive 0.4p value per MR.
        I’m trying to get my head round whether HH points are worth 0.4p to me, given that I don’t earn them other than the occasional stay at a Hilton property in the UK.
        I also don’t understand how people value them at 0.3p. Maybe due to getting lucky with a conversion bonus when one appears?

        • Genghis says:

          £250 / night / 80,000 points

        • Luke says:

          As you’ve said MR have a base value of 0.4p due to nectar, transferring to Hilton is effectively buying HH points at 0.4p. Agree you aren’t parting with cash, but the opportunity cost is effectively the same thing.
          I can’t recall any Amex Hilton transfer, and it’s been many years since the last Avios bonus from Amex (possibly predating the Avios name!)

          • Harrier25 says:

            When I stayed at the Hilton in Bournemouth one Friday in June, the cash price was £325 or 50,000 points. That worked out at 0.65p per point and they upgraded us to a junior suite, but these are crazy times that we currently live in.

          • Aston100 says:

            Thanks Luke and others.

          • Harrier25 says:

            Aston, I swapped MR points for Hilton points towards the end of last year when Amex ran an offer of 1 MR point = 2.5 Hilton Honors points. May be worth holding off for a while to see if they offer the same again later this year.

    • Ken says:

      You can regularly buy (practically all the time) HH points for 0.36p – they can’t be worth more than that.

    • BuildBackBetter says:

      Cash prices in Asia are most often good value compared to points.
      Use points for expensive cities or resorts like Maldives.

  • Swiss Jim says:

    If you could convert HH to MR/Nectar then yes, you’d have a clear floor valuation. But you can’t. I second what Luke says.

  • Cabal of rabid baboons says:

    There are many schemes to transfer your AMEX points into, Hilton isn’t the best choice as it reduces their value by a third using ballpark values.

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