Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Tuesday 17th 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 (394)

  • J says:

    Made a billhop invoice for “works” to meet amex spend but now im being asked to send proof of the invoice as part of compliance. Can anyone advise what exactly they are expecting?


    • Number9 says:

      Just mock up an invoice, name address invoice number ….

    • Harry T says:

      An invoice for actual work

    • Sam G says:

      The warning that appears

      “Are you paying with American Express?
      Due to new guidelines from American Express, you will no longer be able to make payments to private accounts.
      You can still use a Visa and/or MasterCard to make payments to private accounts as long as they are related to a business transaction e.g. Housekeeping, rent, tutoring etc.”

      Suggests to me that it needs to be a business account + they do not allow payments to your own company. So mocking up an invoice using a random company’s info but your own bank details is pushing it a bit…

    • JDB says:

      To the extent that you are receiving ‘advice’ here to forge an invoice, you should think more than twice. Well done to the two others who have directly and indirectly offered cautionary advice!

      • Rob says:

        Clearly depends what you said the invoice was for. If it’s piano lessons then nothing you can send.

        Invoices can look ropey (you should see ours) but would contain invoice number, order or client reference, issue date, name and full legal address of the sender, their VAT number and the amount separated into gross and net, plus payment terms.

        • Lady London says:

          not forgetting that VAT number may well not be needed as many self-employed people being paid may well have a lower turnover that means they don’t have to be registered for VAT. In which case just the amount for the services without VAT is the only amount that’s invoiced.

          Make sure you have the word Invoice on it somewhere clearly scannable as I’ve worked on systems that would reject, say, ‘Fee Note’ as an invalid invoice.

    • Memesweeper says:

      Make sure you are not listed at companies house as having anything to do with the company (director, significant control, common address etc). Never pay your own firm with your own Amex.

  • ACK says:

    Had a 241 booking within EU, which BA cancelled and we got rerouted: outbound via FRA with LH, return via HEL with AY. Was a nice surprise to see miles being granted for the outbound flight, as 241 usually does not come with avios or tier points (the return leg certainly did not).

    • Harry T says:

      They will have rebooked you into a revenue class. I think I might also profit from this next May (cancelled and rebooked UUA to F from cash business) due to being rebooked into A class.

  • Number9 says:

    What’s best number for adding return 241 flight at 1am Japan or North America ?
    I do have enough points to book on line then phone up but it’s North America and I believe I’ll get charged top whack on taxes/ surcharges?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Unless you risk booking at 1am then cancelling on the phone for free within 24 hrs and having the agent bag them straight away (assuming they go back in the pool which they should)


      • Number9 says:

        I hadn’t considered that I might just do that …. Better set my alarm!

      • Wayne says:

        I’ve tried this approach last night but now impossible to speak to anyone at BA today to cancel the inbound booking and add the flights to the 241 outbound leg.

        Phone lines are rammed and it wont even let you join a queue. Don’t suppose they’ll waive the fees on this at a later date either.

        • Memesweeper says:

          I’ve had a 24 hour free cancellation respected after > 24 hours as I could demonstrate I called and could not get through (pre-pandemic).

    • Number9 says:

      Well I got my seats I’ll worry about calling BA later on. As a side note my brother called Japan and was re routed to India where they told him they couldn’t book his return flights.

    • Super Secret Stuff says:

      I mean it amazes me it is still in use across the US…

    • John says:

      I paid by magnetic strip at a UK Hilton last month

      • Andrew says:

        I paid using an old fashioned zip-zap and sign machine at the Naval Academy in Annapolis in late 2019.

    • mark2 says:

      One4All gift cards use the magnetic strip method for payment at retailers.

  • John says:

    I have tried paying HMRC via curve/virgin – no charges showing on transaction but my bill is not due for 3 more weeks.
    Anyone done this since 5 August and had a statement to check if charges added on production of statement?

  • James says:

    There are some excellent BA ex-EU fares to USA, just booked Club World return ex AMS next June for £1150, I don’t recall having an ex EU fare that low for donkeys years! Saved £800 pp compared for identical flight without the hop from AMS 🙂

    • Aston100 says:

      Yes but how much will it cost you for the positioning flight and overnight hotel?

      • Sam G says:

        AMS is a very simple B2B option and if you chose your timings carefully you can do the B2B the night before (say out of LCY after work) and then take the US flight the next day. On the way back book an LCY flight (used to be LGW but highly doubt they’ll ever return) and then you can “get stuck in traffic” and miss it on the way back

      • James says:

        Approx £40 each for the EZY positioning flight and £90 for the on-airport CitizenM hotel. Small change given the £1600 saving per couple. Done this a fair few times before but this time the savings are more than ever before!

        Made sure the last sector to AMS is from LCY as we never use the last sector and want luggage checked through just to LHR, not AMS. All booked direct on so Expedia or the like middlemen!

        • KP says:

          All makes sense but a HUGE hassle merely to get to the US in a relatively more comfortable fashion. I would consider this convoluted approach for the Far East but definitely not for the US. Each to their own though !!

          • James W says:

            We honestly love doing it this way, as mentioned have done a fair few ex-EU’s, from DUB, BRU and AMS. It’s minimal hassle for us as we avoid having to drive to LHR (we live close to LGW) so will simply do the hop from LGW to AMS, stay at the lovely CitizenM where our holiday starts. Had we been going straight from LHR we’d still have overnighted it at LHR the night before as loathe the morning M25. Then the 40 minute hop back to LHR in the morning and transfer to our flight to USA. £1600 is a saving I can’t ignore, not for the identical flight!

          • Mikeact says:

            Hardly convoluted…no more than hoping on a flight to Madrid for substantial Iberia/Avios savings to the US, or elsewhere. I can’t recall the last time we did long haul ex Heathrow…never ever, had an issue…dead easy.

          • ChrisC says:

            It’s not really a huge hassle to start in Europe just takes some organisation. But I wouldn’t do it with young kids though.

            I fly to AMS (for example) the night before. Then start the main trip the next morning. When I fly back into LHR I book the last leg to AMS for the day after and use the return portion of the outbound as the return home.

            Trip to SFO next March

            Cost of ex LHR flights my dates – £1850.

            Cost of ex AMS(inc one night hotel in AMS) £ 1020. Positioning flights £ 180

            Saving – £650. That’s just for one person. I’d rather have that in my pocket!

            The ex AMS flight booked as a Holiday for a €150 / £130 deposit.

          • John says:

            I’d only do it for west coast US, or if I wanted tier points or if it was ridiculously cheap

            East coast is too short – you are more than doubling your total journey time, and if you have say 10 days free to do the whole trip you end up having only 5-6 proper days at the destination rather than 7-8.

            If you genuinely need to do something in the chosen European city rather than just going for the sake of it, then it’s a different matter; for example there’s an office that I could productively visit in Amsterdam from time to time so I did use to schedule some ex-EU trips via there

    • Harry T says:

      Prices to east coast US from LUX were under £700 return last year. The fare you’re quoting is fairly solid, though.

  • Ben says:

    Just restarting my 2 year Amex cycle and been referred for platinum. Looks like the bonus has changed to 65k points of spending £6k over 6 months. Not sure if everyone and @rob is aware of this limited offer.
    I’m still hoping to make the increased spend and get the points as early as poss to get as much of the fee back as poss!

    • Mark says:

      Starting with platinum seems a bit of a waste surely?

    • Rob says:

      Due to staff changes at Amex we are currently out of the loop but will do something tomorrow.

      • Alex says:

        It seems that AX is playing with the referrals quite a lot the last few months? Any thoughts on that Rob?

        • Rob says:

          They don’t tell us about targetted stuff but they clearly seem to be doing a lot of market testing.

          Amex is being quite aggressive at the moment – there is the BA shake-up, the BA Acc Bus shake-up, the (done) Amex Gold Business shake-up and, presumably, an Amex Gold shake-up on the way to launch the metal card in the UK. It’s almost as if they are afraid of something ….

  • Aston100 says:

    Can anyone confirm they’ve successfully triggered the Amex Apple £500/£50 offer by purchasing gift cards?
    I need to buy someone the new iPhone when it comes out, which is after this promotion ends.


    • Tom says:

      Mine triggered with a gift card purchase.

      • Aston100 says:

        Hi Tom, how long after the purchase did the statement credit trigger?
        Basically wondering how late I can safely leave this.

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