Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Monday 30th August

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

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.

Please only comment under the main articles on the site if your comment is directly related to the topic of the article.  This has long-term benefits as it keeps the commentary relevant for people who read those articles in the future.

Old chat threads are hidden from the HfP home page.  If you want to look for something in an old thread, click here.  This brings up all the articles in our ‘General’ category which includes the chat threads.

Comments (498)

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

  • Kevin says:

    Thinking a weekend away. Any idea Emyr is happy to book a night stay and can the booking links to IHG ambassador free weekend night.

    • Blair says:

      IC Ambassador free night must be booked direct with IHG using that rate. No agent intervention

    • ChrisC says:

      Yes Emyr can book one night stays

      The only way for that night to link to a BOGOF stay is to book them for consecutive dates.

      • Blair says:

        If doing this, contact the hotel in advance to link the reservations to avoid any chance of having to move rooms mid-stay.

        • Kevin says:

          So that means a min 3 nights in total would be required for that to work

          • Blair says:

            Also any Emyr related credit would be presumably time-bound to the day of his reservation rather than spread across the entirety of your linked stays.

          • ChrisC says:

            Yes it does.

          • Lady London says:

            Or 4 but at no extra cost if you are lucky enough to get one of Emyr’s 3for2 offers

  • Kevin D says:

    Guys, what’s the best card to use for general spend abroad (Spain)? Tap/chip and pin spend in bars, restaurants etc. I usually would have got several hundred euros and spent cash in the past. Is there a credit card with good exchange rate and no fees? I’ve read here IHG no FX fees. Maybe I should apply and get one of those?

    • Blair says:

      VA mastercard also fx free for in-person transactions though they don’t promote this feature much. Also if you’re paying your hotel at check out in local currency you may need to calculate if using a hotel group branded card is better, even accounting for the FX fee (only likely to be the case if promos are on).

    • Harry T says:

      I have been using the Curve card linked to a points earning card (usually Creation IHG). I think the offer for zero FX fees on the IHG card is only offered to exiting cardholders for a short period of time – I wouldn’t be confident you would receive this if you signed up now for the card.

      The Virgin card also offers no FX fees for in person charges abroad in euros – I sometimes use this as well.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Curve – any Visa/MC can be used in the background and gets you free weekdays and 0.5% fee weekends but they also give you true spot rate so can often be nothing in reality.
      Revolut – top up with any visa/MC but some may charge a fee / interest.
      Sterling – bank transfer only

      Virgin is fee free for in person EUR transactions (for now)

      IHG is just a 1 month long period and may not be open to new customers.

    • The Original Nick says:

      Halifax Clarity mastercard.

  • Zara says:

    Does anyone have a view What is the best use of the IHG free night (40k) in and around London? Thank you.

    • Blair says:

      Scant now dynamic pricing is here. Try waiting till CP The City and CP Lambeth are back open. Both very decent hotels and will generally upgrade Spire and provide lounge access.

      • Zara says:

        It expires November I think. I would have to do it at a weekend because of schools but I should have said it can be about an hour, 1.5hours away from London

        • Blair says:

          Makes no diff. Scant good IHGs outside the cities.

          • Zara says:

            Ok thanks. We are using one of our nights today at wotton house after cancelling a paid stay and we have another to use before expiry.

      • Lady London says:

        Didn’t a few people like The Indigo in Stratford on Avon?

        • Zara says:

          Thanks. We aren’t hugely restricted but I’m just being difficult! – and if it sounds like it is definitely worth going to, we can maybe do it. We have a bmw saloon car and with the 3 car seats, I’m literally squashed (I sit at the back with the baby) and the kids are tough. Am I just complaining too much??! I sound terrible! We actually haven’t travelled more than 1.5 hours with the 3 of them but hey, maybe it’s worth it!
          Wotton house is mixed so far. I will review back when we checkout tomorrow.

          • Anna says:

            Get an SUV. We have travelled with 3 kids and the difference in the amount of space is astonishing. I sometimes travelled in the back as son used to get travel sick and needed to sit in the front and really appreciated the extra room!

    • David says:

      Indigo Stratford upon Avon has some odd 38k, 39k nights that canbe used with thus voucher. Mainly Sundays in Oct and Nov.
      Nice hotel and restaurant.

      • Zara says:

        That looks too far from us -2.5hours with 3 kids 🙂
        Crowne plaza marlow looks nice. Has anyone stayed there?

        • Lady London says:

          CP Marlow pedestrian

          • Lady London says:

            Seriously if you are that restticted (and it sounds like you’re S or SE or very E London) I’d do the extra time to S on A.

            Unless someone knows a decent one South of London. Is there an Indigo in Brighton.

          • Lady London says:

            Actually if you dont really want to leave London 🙂 isn’t there a very well rated HIX or HI at Watford Junction?

          • TGLoyalty says:

            There’s a HI but Rob commented the room was awful and the Hilton was better …

            My experience of the Hilton is it’s awful and real shame considering the location… therefore the HI must be really bad

          • Rob says:

            Not been to CP Marlow since it was refurbished. It is still a bizarre location on a business park but pool is good for young kids and its a nice walk down the riverbank into Marlow itself.

            Not really high-end romantic weekend break material for a couple although perfectly decent if your usual haunts are not 5-star. We used to pay £99 for a suite in the months after the 2007 banking crash.

        • Dave says:

          Had a big issue with my stay there several years ago. Perhaps Management has improved?

          • Lady London says:

            One of them consistently gets 4.5-4.6 ratings across sites plus good comments and has , since it opened. I’ve been watching as it’s convenient to many places I go/work (or currently, likely to work ) ncl London/Not London.

            Got an idea the Harry Potter thing isn’t a million miles away either.

  • Tomgold says:

    In continuation to yesterday’s discussion re when to trigger the BAPP 241.
    I actually already amassed 2 vouchers in the wife’s account and 1 in mine.
    is there a possibility of booking for 6? otherwise, might as well let it trigger after the first

    • ChrisC says:

      Not on the same booking. Max is 2 vouchers.

      Your wife can use her 2 vouchers for herself and 3 companions

      You use your own voucher for yourself and the remaining companion.

    • AJA says:

      No I think you can only book 4 seats using 2 2-4-1 vouchers in one holder’s name at the same time although your wife could use her 2 vouchers and you could use your voucher separately at the same time assuming you could find 6 reward seats.

      • Anna says:

        You have to use vouchers from the same account to make a single booking – I don’t know if anyone has ever tried to use 3 of them on one booking, though it’s technically possible to have 3 unexpired ones at one time.

        • AJA says:

          Yes that’s what I said , his wife books 4 seats using her two vouchers and he books 2 seats using his voucher.

  • Amg says:

    Hi,

    Two of my Virgin 241 vouchers are expiring soon. Any chance of them getting extended again before the end of this year? Worst case scenario, I can make a speculative booking to the US or Caribbean for next year, but what happens if we are not allowed into those countries again? Many thanks

  • Ammar says:

    Off to TFS in a couple of weeks, booked return flights from LHR but debating whether I should fly back to EMA with ryanair (times similar and less travel to home), but mainly to avoid long border control checks – is that still a problem? Coming back on a Monday evening around 10pm, if that makes any difference?.
    Also does ryanair charge to take pushcchairs like a baby zen yoyo on flights or is that complimentary?
    Staying at the Abama and Gran Melia with a 3 yo – any tips of childrens activties, think the normal touristic stuff might be too much for her eg mount tiede but suggestions welcome.

    • Anna says:

      There’s a water park called Aqualand aimed at younger children and much less expensive than the more famous Siam Park, also has an aquarium and dolphin show (depending on how you feel about that!)
      Reports yesterday that people were queuing for hours at LHR, I would definitely stick with regional airports just now.
      Check Ryanair website for prams etc as it can be very costly if you turn up with too much luggage! That said, I would expect families to be allowed to take pushchairs and car seats but not needed these for some years now.

      • Ammar says:

        Thanks Anna thats very helpful, will have a look, maybe get a FTV from BA and book some FR flights.

        • Simon says:

          Make sure you are around the Koi Carp pond at the Abama at midday – they let the kids feed the fish…..

  • r* says:

    Are airlines supposed to ask to see vaccination certificates on flights to the uk? Hadnt been asked for one before when returning to uk, but easyjet wanted to see it.

    • Anna says:

      That’s weird as the only requirement to enter England is a negative antigen test. Vaccination status is irrelevant at the moment except for quarantine from amber countries.

    • Harry T says:

      That’s odd but who knows what they’ve been told to do!

      • meta says:

        I’ve been asked to upload it by BA via Verifly. I have also been asked by Easyjet. You do need to declare it on PLF and I believe it does say you must carry it as the airline may ask to see it.

    • John says:

      Should have asked what if you weren’t vaccinated

    • Tracey says:

      If you haven’t been vaccinated and are returning from an amber country, then the airline should ensure you have day 2 and day 8 tests booked. If you have been vaccinated or are returning from a green country they should ensure you have day 2 booked.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        But it makes no difference to your ability to enter the U.K. which is all the Airline should be concerned with.

        • Bob says:

          well they have to make sure you’re following the correct testing requirements as that is a requirement to enter UK?

    • Bob says:

      i am aware of BA asking for it for flights from Dubai back to London

    • Cats are best says:

      BA check-in at ACE wanted to see it last week.

      Based on what Timatic shows, I’d assume it’s to decide between whether day 2 or day2+8 booking is required.

  • Frances says:

    Have not kept up to date but is there a way to cancel an Avios booking online and select refund or do I need to try and call to do it?

    • Harry T says:

      Sadly you need to call, unless you are happy to take a voucher (FTV). I took an FTV recently to save me the £35 pp cancellation fee and the bother of calling BA at present.

      • Andrew says:

        Do you get the £35pp back if exchanging for a voucher? Do they voucher the Avios?

        I had booked 2 people on 2 separate bookings for each leg (the 355 day thing) so am facing £140 charge; on chat they recommended waiting to see if BA cancel…

        If they just voucher the £35pp/booking then that’s probably worth me doing as I am pretty sure the max I paid per person was £50/booking

        • ChrisC says:

          there is no charge if taking an FTV

          The FTV contains the cash and avios you paid for the original booking.

      • Frances says:

        Thank you, I may look and see if I can find a BA holiday and use it the voucher that way…don’t want to bother with calling.

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

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.