Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Monday 30th August

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Comments (498)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Vasco says:

    Not sure if anyone saw when I posted this yesterday. Creation are offering no FX fees in September on their IHG cards. Very well timed for my holiday, assuming it goes ahead (given the state of things I won’t believe it until I’m there).

    • Matt says:

      My husband got the email this morning. Nothing in my inbox and didn’t see anything from a google search. Well timed for our holiday too

    • stevenhp1987 says:

      Starts today until 28th September.

  • KBuffett says:

    Has anyone received a retention offer recently for AmEx Preferred Rewards Gold Charge Card?

    • Super Secret Stuff says:

      I’ve had 3 in the last 12 months…

      • Harry T says:

        They told me I couldn’t have a retention offer on my Gold charge because I had one in January, when it was a platinum card. This sounded a little silly because I’ve had three retention offers on my separate gold credit card within the last year.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        A large Points deposit (once per 12 months) or a 1 extra point/£ (offered more often)

  • jek says:

    We are going to spend our free nights in Manchester in December. What’s the better option, the Kimpton or the Indigo?

    • DJ says:

      Kimpton Clock Tower

      • Matt says:

        Just checking out of the Kimpton. It’s a bad hotel. Super loud music in the bar runs till late and can be heard audibly from our room on top floor. Housekeeping bad; ignored request for turn down on first night, in second day was out from 10:30-16:30 and room wasn’t cleaned in that time, third day housekeeping must’ve spent less than 5 mins in room as toiletries not changed, coffee stains left on tray, pillows left strewn on bed, Teabags not refilled, dirty teaspoon not changed, cleaner left their personal water bottle in our room. Recognition of Spire is stingy (£10 credit in bar and that’s it). In corridor, dirty laundry and room service tray left all day, informed reception when we went out for dinner and the stuff still there the following morning. HIX are better hotels.

        • Matt says:

          ^ also phoned down to reception re loud music and was told nothing they can do as it’s different department . Also request to speak to duty manager re housekeeping ignored. They sent housekeeping manager who refilled toiletries and teabags but that’s about it. No apology or further remarks about it. Also water pressure isn’t great and regular water temperature issues especially in the morning . Have to run the water for 5 mins with sink tap on full before hot water flows.

          • Sal says:

            I stayed at clock tower for 2 nights also this wkend. And this review seems very one sided. Depends how “lux” you need your stay to be. I got upgraded, had a delicious dinner and breakfast at the hotel. Room was super clean and was throughout the stay and restocked and replenished. Hot water was instant for us to the point of being scalding. I have stayed at high end hotels and yes this doesn’t quite meet the super lux but for the rates you pay it wasn’t an issue. My only comment was the sound proofing wasn’t amazing.

    • Blair says:

      I did an Indigo Manchester stay recently to earn an outsize Lufthansa bonus. It’s walking distance for me. Really quite disappointing. Poor room cleaning, the cylindrical shape means the rooms all have unused space between door and desk, public areas look under-decorated and cheaply finished, breakfast was ok but restaurant again showed signs of cheap finishes. It demonstrated for me the difference in the IHG portfolio between Kimpton (as in the original true US Kimptons) and Indigo.

    • Harry T says:

      Your best option is to go abroad and use your free night at the Kimpton St Honore in Paris or the Amstel in Amsterdam! I’ve heard bad feedback about London, Glasgow or Manchester Kimptons recently. The one in Edinburgh is meant to be good though.

      • Blair says:

        I am at Amstel on 2 expired free night certs (IHG badgering based on Anna’s advice saw me right) next month. I will report on experience.

        • Harry T says:

          I love the Amstel, but I’ve only ever stayed on cash rates. Please do report back on your experience with free nights.

          • Matt says:

            Amstel is good on free nights. However used to be better when they offered a package where you could add on breakfast and evening drinks and canapés. Worked out at something like 90 euro for 2 people, but last time I stayed they’d got rid of this. Brek is impressive. Got upgraded to river view on both occasions on points. Staying in winter was a bit of an issue as they don’t have the a/c turned on so you’re at the mercy of whatever temperature the hotel chooses. It felt very very hot sleeping. Summer was fine though when the a/c was back on.

      • Matt says:

        You heard right. Kimpton Manchester is a bad hotel. It’s seems more like a bar/restaurant with rooms. They care more about F&B customers than hotel guests. If you’re used to staying at 5* / decent 4* hotels then you won’t be happy here.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          I’ll agree wasnt that impressed

          Radisson sounds like the best point choice.

        • barnaby100 says:

          To get this into perspective
          Paid £92 a night for a recent stay
          For that price it was a good hotel with very very nice staff who have been there a long time (used to be the palace)

      • Kevin says:

        Harry, what was your experience at St Honore Paris? Got 3 nights with points next month, any feedback would be useful especially on room upgrade late check out benefits etc for spire ambassador.

        • Reney says:

          I’m a spire got a double upgrade for being a spire and using the secret password. Also got 2 free drinks ticket (think can’t be used at the roof top bar), never got around to using them or attend the social hour. Got some cakes, juice and strawberries left in room on first night. Got late checkout at 2pm probably could have been later but didn’t need it.

          I checked out today. Hope this helps. Best Kimpton I have stayed at so far and one of my top hotels.

      • Peggerz says:

        I was at the Glasgow Blythswood Kimpton a couple of months ago and thought it was a good stay. Edinburgh Kimpton Charlotte – for several reasons – is better in my opinion.

  • FlightDoctor says:

    We’ve left booking a half term holiday at the end of October later than planned. All the Avios availability to the European hotspots has of course gone and cash tickets are super expensive. Is the Gold “double Avios” option still available and can I combine it with companion vouchers?

    • Rob says:

      Still available BUT most agents now try to base it off the £1 price option.

      eg if a seat is 15k + £35 but the website also offers 30k + £1, they try to charge you 60k for a Gold Priority Reward. Never clear if this is policy or bad training.

      No 241 allowed.

      • h2d says:

        Rob I can share some recent correspondence on this topic with BA if interested after a long debacle trying to price at standard rates a few weeks ago and multiple escalations – short answer is officially any option to price at standard rates has been removed / blocked for GPRs

        • Jonathan says:

          So officially GPR prices off highest Avios/lowest cash price? Completely kills it’s value if true.

          • Rob says:

            Indeed. Thanks.

            I only ever used this once per year for Feb half term ski trips (and luckily I got 2022 locked in on the day BA opened up extra Avios seats on all flights) but there was huge value in this. I’ve also used it at times where the headline value looked ropey but the ability to cancel (vs a cash ticket) was important.

            h2d – if you can email me the relevant stuff (rob at then I can use it for an article. All personal info will obviously be excluded. Thanks.

  • Hak says:

    So, just to confirm for my two night trip to Paris via Ejrostar.

    Double vaccinated so I need the following:

    Proof of Vaccination status
    Complete French declaration form about Covid
    Fit to travel test for return into UK
    Booked PCR day 2 test.

    That’s everything right?

    • Alex B says:

      Yes, make sure you have the Vaccine Pass to go to places. (Tous Anti Covid App)

      • Hak says:

        Cool. Will download that app. Cheers.

        • Lady London says:

          Upload your NHS vacc certificate (from 2nd vacc) to be specific. You’ll find Tous Anti Covid under Anti Covid in Playstore.

    • Richie says:

      Do the french want a negative test result on arrival?

    • Reney says:

      on the way back fill out the UK passenger locator form (i did it the night before). I had the PLF, Covid test result and a copy of NHS Vaccine certificate (downloaded from the nhs app) all saved on Files app on iphone, easy to cycle through each document at Eurostar check point rather than closing and opening various apps.

  • Crafty says:

    In practice, is a negative LFT sufficient for returning to the UK from Canary Islands? The government website “advises” PCR, but given the greater cost and waiting time, I’d rather not…

    • Crafty says:

      Sorry, seen this has been addressed on page 1 of today’s comments, looks like we’re fine.

  • Ryan says:

    Just looking for a bit of advice on a ba FTV. I currently have flights in business to Boston in November, these were premium economy flights and then upgraded to business with avios. We would like to cancel this trip now but the chances are the flights will still be operating. If I cancel and take a voucher could I then use this voucher towards a BA holidays booking? There is some fairly good deals in the current sale paying cash so also wondering if my points I used to upgrade would then just be returned?

    • ChrisC says:

      You can only use a cash only voucher for a BA Holiday.

      You’d need to call BAEC and ask them to reverse the UUA and then take an FTV for the cash element which you could then use on a BA hol.

      You can call BA Hols and use the voucher for the deposit but personally I’d book it on line then email them to apply the FTV to the balance due

      • Ryan says:

        Ok thank you. I didn’t realise that you could reverse the upgrade. Now just to try and get through to BA on the phone! I will give it a go though

  • Andy says:

    Any Addison Lee referral / first ride promo codes?

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