Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Wednesday 25th 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 (433)


    Morning trying to get hold of British airway ls now, can anyone suggest best number as won’t let me change flight for this morning online.

    • Dallas says:

      Can you try British Airways on 020 7949 3086

    • Mike says:

      Gerard – do let us know if you manage to get through easily as there have been some reports of people having difficulty get through to BA on the phone

      • Gerard says:

        I wasn’t able to get through, thankfully managed to sort at desk, was initially quoted £550 to change but got sorted in end

    • Rhys says:

      Do you have status? If so, try the status lines. Worked for me last time (silver).

  • Si says:

    I’ve had 5,000 nectar points appear in my account under title ‘First Group Bonus’

    Thinking It may be a prize from the nectar/avios transfer competition a few weeks back.

    Anyone win big??

    • Andrew says:

      First Group run some of the train companies, so maybe there was a booking bonus?

    • Super Secret Stuff says:

      Have you brought any train tickets recently? They do run some competitions

      Although being honest it’s either a prize or bank error in your favour!

      • Si says:

        No tickets purchased. Don’t think have been on a train in 2+ years

        Whatever the source, all happily received 🙂

  • BSI1978 says:

    Morning all,

    Has anyone had cause to stay at the relatively new Hyatt Place East London yet? Any thoughts, pro or con if so?

    • Rob says:

      We have an invite to try it, should get there early Sep. Location is not exactly high end but walkable to City.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Looks like a decent option at the right price if that’s where you want to be.

      Report back if you do try it.

  • Magneto says:

    Rob – I remember reading back when you announced changes to the BA Amex (both free and BAPP) that new card designs would be rolled out, at least for the BAPP. Any news on that?


    Any news on any IHG Promotions/Offers in the pipeline, i have none showing available in account at moment.

    • SteveJ says:

      Received this via email last night:
      “Stay two nights by 30 September 2021 and earn 3,000 points. Stay two more nights by 30 September 2021 and earn an additional 3,000 points totaling 6,000 points in just four nights”

    • Andrew says:

      I’ve got stay 2 nights get 3000 and another 2 nights get another 3000. They sent an email about it this morning – not sure if it’s targeted.

  • Relaxo says:

    Can Amex Gold cardholders not refer people to Platinum anymore? Dosent show up as an option under the refer tab in app.

    • Peter K says:

      You refer to the gold card. When they use your link they should be able to choose which card they actually want to go for.

      • Stephen says:

        Yup that works. Did it last weekend referring my fiancee to Platinum from my Gold

  • Etk says:

    Has anyone been to Portugal recently? Can you confirm that the nhs app to prove double vaccinated status is enough to avoid any testing prior to travel?

    • meta says:

      In Portugal right now. You have to have both the antigen test within 48h (PCR is fine too within 72h) and vaccination to avoid quarantine. NHS app or printout recognised fine.

    • Rui N. says:

      To avoid testing you need the EU digital certificate. I don’t think the NHS certificate is enough.

      • VerdantBacon says:

        This is wrong. NHS cert is accepted

        • meta says:

          NHS is accepted, but you also need a test. @EtK asked about testing and @Rui N. is right if you have EU digital certificate no testing required. We have both situations in our household, so know it pretty well.

          • Harry T says:

            Meta is correct about the requirements for mainland Portugal and Madeira, which do differ.

          • James says:

            I’m also in Portugal now and it is exactly as Meta has stated. A few restaurants have asked for covid vaccination certificates but not many. Douro Valley is beautiful btw!

          • Javier says:

            You can convert your NHS status to an EU digital Covid certificate using the app Covid tracker Ireland and scanning your QR code

    • Patrycja says:

      In Madeira just now and vaccination certification means you don’t need to test before arrival

      • meta says:

        That’s Madeira. Different rules to Mainland Portugal!

        • Patrycja says:

          Correct but that’s still Portugal. Original post did not state mainland Portugal!

  • Craig says:

    Random couple of nights in Cambridge coming up to burn some IHG points, I know the hotels aren’t central and can live with taxi fares. Any suggestions while we are there?

    • C says:

      Punting, visit a college (King’s, St John’s, Trinity), walk along the Backs, drink on the roof terrace at the Varsity hotel. If it’s nice weather then walk (or punt!) to Granchester for a cream tea at The Orchard or lunch at one of the pubs

      • Lyn says:

        +1 for walking along the Backs and along the river to Grantchester.

        Are the Fitzwilliam Museum and Cambridge University Botanical Garden too niche?

        • Lyn says:

          The Three Horseshoes pub in the nearby village of Madingley used to be lovely. Its a very long time since I visited, but reviews seem OK still.

    • Craig says:

      Thanks all. Planning to take the bikes and cycle to Duxford.

      • Lyn says:

        That sounds like the best idea yet. The Fen country is blissfully flat for cycling. Hope you enjoy yourselves.

    • DesignforHomes says:

      Cambridge IHG options not good. Everything they have is a bit edge of town business park. Bizarrely the IBIS next to the station is a really good bet… Be careful to avoid the Hilton in Downing St. Voted England’s worst building about 20 years ago

      • Crafty says:

        Disagree. It wasn’t there 20 years ago. Had a good stay there 5 years or so ago for friend’s wedding.

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