Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Saturday 21st 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 (240)

  • Jamie says:

    Anyone had a problem with upgrading up to Premium Plus BA. I’ve previously downgraded and upgraded a few times depending on when it’s been my main card and now they’re saying they won’t reupgrade it to Premium Plus. Anyone had this and been able to resolve?

    • Anna says:

      I think you may have to do it as a new application now? Should work out the same anyway.

      • Jamie says:

        Does that roll over existing expenditure of the basic card to the new Premium one?

        • JDB says:

          That’s the question I and others have been posing. With the greater disparity between the free and PP vouchers Amex can’t really continue to allow the upgrade/downgrade charade (ie giving the voucher to a few people for £25, but charging most £250). Not carrying over spend would be one simple route, but they could do it in other ways or a combination of ways.

        • SteveJ says:

          You start the online application, during the process Amex will realise you already have a Free BA card and you application will flip to an upgrade application. Start it, you’ll see what I mean. It works.

    • Sandra B says:

      I upgraded by phone on Thursday. Confirmed on the spot and cards arrived this morning. I have also graded up and down over the years.

    • Manny_D says:

      Could be a change of policy. As I haven’t been able to upgrade my Gold Charge to the Platinum (which I’m fairly certain is possible).

      May also be the CS Agents today who aren’t sure on the upgrade procedures (called in twice).

    • Yorkieflyer says:

      Mrs Yorkieflyer upgraded to the BAPP at the start of August on the phone

  • Anna says:

    It’s turning out to be an interesting day. Just checked cash & points prices for our Berlin trip in December and IHG app is saying that breakfast is included on points bookings at the Regent.
    I was considering changing to the Hilton as both hotels are in the area where we want to be and we’d get breakfast as HH gold. Points prices quite similar now so if breakfast is in the mix anyway, which do people prefer?

    • Richie says:

      The one with an egg chef.

      • Anna says:

        OH does like a breakfast omelette. I have made a provisional points booking in case the rate disappears (intern rate or re-branding as a HIE?!). Breakfast not showing on the confirmation but I have a screenshot of it appearing on both pages of the booking where it shows the number of points required.

        • Richie says:

          Good. I do like the Berlin Christmas markets, I hope they will be open when you are there.

    • Blair says:

      Regent definitely include breakfast with points stays. I had them confirm by email and send a menu.

      • Blair says:

        And Regent’s breakfast is delightfully elegant.

      • Anna says:

        Thanks – is this the only time an IHG hotel gives free breakfast then?!

        • Blair says:

          It might even be hotel specific and rate soecific at that hotel. We’ve atumbled upon a very small subset.

  • Dave says:

    I’m looking to book a night or two away and noticed a new hotel on the IHG app in Dorking, Surrey called ‘Wotton House’ that looks rather nice. However, it doesn’t appear to have any of the usual IHG branding and I can’t seem work out what family it belongs to. Does anyone have any experience of this hotel and/or know what status benefits are likely (if any) for a Spire AMB? Many thanks

    • Harry T says:

      It’s Mr and Mrs Smith.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        It’s not.

        Wotton House is an unbranded IHG hotel. It’ll probably be part of their new collections portfolio.

    • Mr. AC says:

      Great grounds and beautiful historic buildings, otherwise rather mediocre I’d say. Really geared towards weddings. Absolutely zero status recognition (I was Spire). Does have an ok pool, sauna and jacuzzi.

    • David says:

      I think it came with the Principal Hotels acquisition.

  • JM says:

    Does the AMEX platinum car hire insurance cover apply for Zipcar / Zipcar flex journeys in London?

    • BuildBackBetter says:

      Nope. Think it has to be combined with an accommodation booking to make a car hire eligible.

      • Gavin says:

        I’ve checked the T&C’s and I see no mention of needing accomodation booked. I’m currently abroad but staying in my parents property, so I hope I’m covered…!

    • Rob says:

      We’ve never got an answer to this officially – question comes up every couple of months – but I have always assumed no. If I ever prang a Zipcar I assume I will find out!

      • KBuffett says:

        I seem to recall that it only covers you when you’re on holiday, or something along those lines. I believe you have to have accommodation booked.

        • Aristeides says:

          Just to be clear I have used the insurance many times on UK domestic car hires and you do not have to be travelling abroad or have any sort accommodation. It is a stand alone product and you do not have to even pay with Amex. However, no experience with Zipcar.

          • KBuffett says:

            When you say ‘I have used the insurance many times’, do you mean that you have made many claims?

  • Princess says:

    Ba chat report. I thought to share that chat agent, after I pushed him and spoon fed all the info managed to make a booking for me with a FTV.
    He initially said he couldn’t do it because they can’t take payment. I explain my FTV would cover the same amount of money, but he insisted he couldnt recalculate tax. I replied that was a reward flight, then he said it could be different amount of Avios because peak/off peak dates, I again reassured him that I checked, then finally he decided to check and confirm with booking team! 1 hour later he managed to send me the new booking!!!!

    • Anna says:

      Good to know, thanks. I’ve also found that if you cajole the Twitter reps (which could well be the same people?!) they can also do things they try and tell you can only be done on the phone!

  • J says:

    Afternoon All!

    Just a quick Q – Is it possible to use an evoucher for a cash upgrade from WTP to CW? Have £500 and it’s £440 to upgrade but only allows me to put in card info.

    Thanks

  • The Rooster says:

    I just miss out on the HSBC Premier earning requirements but have over 50K worth of savings which I’m planning to invest in buy to let.
    How often do HSBC check the savings/investing requirements once the account is opened?

    • Alan S says:

      I’m not sure they’ve checked mine since opening. Plenty of spend/money through the accounts, but technically I wouldn’t qualify at the moment (I ended a life insurance product).

    • Memesweeper says:

      Mine was checked on application and once subsequently (about 5 years in). YMMV.

    • Harry T says:

      If you qualify on salary, you can just open a general investment account after opening the premier account. Having said that, I’ve only had the account for a few months but they haven’t checked my income formally, to my knowledge.

  • Ian M says:

    Thanks for your help. Grosvenor House looks to be the winner

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