Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Monday 30th August

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Comments (498)

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  • Tomgold says:

    How soon is too soon to cancel the Platinum card after receiving a 35k retention bonus last week.
    Will they claw them back?

    • Alan S says:

      My personal view is that it’s only fair to play the game on this and let it run for a bit, plus you may see other benefits/future retention offers (which we’ve all had).

      Others have the opposite view and believe you should smash Amex for what they’re worth.

      Depends on your own view. Highly unlikely they’ll claw them back, but I have seen reports of people being warned and I’d question whether you want to run the risk of asking for trouble with Amex. Maybe you do.

      • Tomgold says:

        Thanks Alan,
        I’m definitely not out to smash Amex… but I genuinely can’t afford the Platinum.
        It was great value for a few months of lots of travelling, but I’ll be staying put for now and can’t financially justify it

        • JDB says:

          If you “genuinely can’t afford the Platinum”, why did you ask for a retention bonus last week rather than just cancelling then? Sadly, I think I know the answer.

          • Tomgold says:

            no secrets here. Points grifting

          • JDB says:

            @Tomgold, I admire your honesty in owning up and the euphemistic use of the word ‘grifting’ (OED definitions – grift : engage in petty swindling and swindle : use deception to deprive of money or possessions, obtain fraudulently)…

        • Lady London says:

          Worth holding out in case Shop Small is revived?

          I personally would want to see how autumn plays out.

          • Andrew says:

            Not worth holding onto Platinum for Shop Small as it’s on all the free cards too! But I do agree, let’s see if there’s any more “more value from platinum” offers coming soon, as the last one expired in July.

  • Blair says:

    Any live evidence from this weekend on how bad T2 LHR border queue is? Due to fly LIS-LHR Weds night and seriously mulling swapping OPO-LGW the following morning. Can’t tell if media reports are just excepti

    • Bob says:

      fluctuates

    • Dave says:

      I came through earlier. Massive queues except for e gates. My wife was through straight away within 15 mins of leaving the plane. The e gate didn’t work for me (and lots of other people) and it took me 90 mins!

  • Reney says:

    Checked out of the Kimpton St Honroe today. Rob, Thank you so much for the recommendation. I booked it back in January using 2* Chase IHG certificates which were capped at 40k.

    We got a double grade, apparently due to being Spire and using the secret password (pretty sure I gave him the password after he had done the key cards). I think it is my fav Kimpton to date and one of my fav hotel.

    • Sal says:

      What’s a secret password? Lol

      • Reney says:

        Kimpton has secret passwords every so often which you say at check in and gives you something. There is a thread on flyer talk on the latest password and what kind of stuff you get. seems to range from drinks, upgrades to hotel labelled goodies. The passwords are announced on their facebook too. The current one is ‘no more sweat pants’, which i think expires some point in sept.

        • Lady London says:

          Which building exactly is the Kimpton St Honore? What is next to it?

          • Rob says:

            Used to be the Le Samaritaine department store.

          • Lady London says:

            Thanks Rob. That explains why I couldn’t place it. Not really St-Honore more Rivoli or even Pont Neuf. I remember the rooftop bar cafe had some of the best views in Paris. Anyone could go up there through the store free or for a drink. Bet the view’s rented at higher prices now.

          • PJJ says:

            Sweaty Betty’s ?

          • Reney says:

            @ Lady London the roof top is amazing and the bar is open to public. I saw three places in Paris with queues and that was one of them. Probably the most expensive coke zero I have ever had in my life at 14 euros….

          • Bob says:

            Be carefull Rob and Lady London:

            Kimpton St Honore is inside the building (but not only this one, there are two or three buidlings used) of LA SAMARITAINE DE LUXE.

            La samaritaine de luxe has closed 50 years ago probably and has been converted in an office building before becoming the Kimpton St Honore.
            It is located at the Opéra area.
            The department store LA SAMARITAINE (the one Lady London you identify correctly in Pont-Neuf) which at that time was kind of a Debehamms or House of fraser one, not a Harrod’s one, decided probably to compete with Galeries Lafayette and Printemps and created another store to sell more luxuous goods in the same area of its competitors at Opéra. But it failed and the store was close long ago (probably fifty years ago)

            The building (at opéra), the exterior at least, in itself is quite remarkable and distinctive.

            There was no rooptop on la samaritaine de luxe. But the hotel has created one.

            Now of course, there were a fantastic rooptof, with free entrance, at la samaritaine (in pont-neuf).

            La samaritaine was a belonging to no-one company (yeah this does exist only in France) but also a continuously declining in revenu company since the development of hypermarkets in France in 1970.
            I think the director of la samaritaine made a great mistake ‘to sell’ la samaritaine to LVMH in 2004.
            Then the authorites became more rude with them and in 2004 the fire inspection said the building of la samaritaine is in great danger (after 120 years of existence and suddenly only at that time) and needed to be closed for refurbishment.

            Never in the history of la samaritaine, any works on the buildings had close the department store.

            La samaritaine has reopened this year, 15 years after its closure (due to huge justice implication from the neigbourhoud people about the restorations of the buidings and 3 years of real work)

            La samaritaine (so not la samaritaine de luxe) is now an ordinary subsisdiary of DFS and a so aseptised inside building that you would believe to be at an airport duty free shop.

            And because LVMH wanted to create a cheval blanc hotel, the original and genuine rooftop is now part of the cheval blanc hotel which is suppose to open in 8 days, but the rooftp only for the customers of the hotel.

            I have visited la samaritaine in june and I am very sad.
            It is not anymore la samaritaine.
            But I guess it will make a profit now when la samaritaine did not make a profit during 40 years, but being a non-owned company helps.

          • Bob says:

            So Kimpton St-Honoré is at LA SAMARTAINE DE LUXE in Opéra.

            And Cheval Blanc & LA SAMARTAINE are at La Samaritaine in Pont-Neuf.

          • Lady London says:

            Thanks Bob.

            So a priceless national asset that everyone knew and useful to ordinary people, became so valuable due to its location, that the asset was taken from the ‘people’ that owned it, and given to rich capitalists to make a profit on. The capitalists, and all their ‘friends’, of course. As you mention, too much coincidence that the officials finally declared it a fire trap which miraculously forced it to need redevelopment by capitalists.

            And La Samaritaine is now DFS and the centre of Paris becomes a theme park….

            Technically La Samaritaine probably had fire safety issues for decades whilst it was still operational. I’m thinking of its quirky layout which had not been revised. As does another well known Paris department store. So we know who will be next. I’m sad too there are enough DFS stores in the world.

  • Andy says:

    Am I allowed to visit the Netherlands as a fully vaxxed UK citizen? The advice seems unclear online

  • Fazzy Bear says:

    60k plus Corporation Tax bill to pay before end of calendar year.
    Got bendy and Brighton business.

    What is the best Business card I could use as going through personal card isn’t a option to maximise points?

    Capital on Tap was rejected for some unknown reason even though we have been open over 10 years and don’t a penny to any suppliers.

    • Andrew says:

      I just tried to get a Capital on Tap – also rejected – my business has been going for 16 years, no debts etc

      They say they are being very careful atm due to Covid

      “bendy” and “brighton”… I’m new here, and these are code words I don’t get

      • Mark says:

        Also new here. Keeping hearing about bendy, Brighton, Solihull etc and feel like I’m missing out on some real clever way to maximize points. But as with all good things in life ‘those who say don’t know and those who know don’t say😬

        • Fazzy Bear says:

          Brighton FC Stadium – cant be more obvious.

          When you bend the ball like Beckham – it curves quite a bit.

        • KBuffett says:

          Bendy is Curve
          Brighton is AmEx

          • Graham says:

            thank you for explaining 2 of the 3 so who is solihull

          • Graham says:

            could you also tell who ms is as I have no idea what is going on with the abbreviations as i am not a regular contributor

        • bafan says:

          You could just google previous explanations but that would require 30 seconds of effort I suppose.

          • Graham says:

            have googled but found no reference to solihull so maybe you could be kind enough to share your knowledge with the rest of us who are less familiar with these expressions

          • kitten says:

            +1
            We are democratic here there’s no basic level of resourcefulness needed to work out key conversations that recur and re-recur and re-re-recur on the site. Or even those that recur daily. The main thing seems to have a gob big enough for a spoon.

            I have none of these cards and no interest in MS but it’s always been clear after triangulating 2 or 3 conversations exactly what any of these terms means.

          • Graham says:

            the question is always easier if you know the answer but i do not know what solihull is and now with kittens help i don’t know what ms is as I thought MS was a muscular disorder

  • Jeff Greene says:

    From The Times:

    “ American travellers face a ban on non-essential journeys and new quarantine restrictions as the EU removes the US from a safe-travel list.

    EU governments are set to blacklist American tourists later this afternoon after a surge in US infections. The decision is not automatically binding but it sets the framework for new European restrictions on transatlantic travel after a summer of eased rules.

    One key factor in the decision has been America’s refusal since June to allow vaccinated European travellers to visit the US for non-essential reasons, such as tourism or visiting family members.“

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Tbh I’m about pissed off we recognised American vaccine certificates.

      We should have made it clear it must be reciprocal.

      • Lady London says:

        Not costing much to make a big fuss of bringing back restrictions now on practically the last day of summer! Those Americans who wanted to vacation in Europe this summer have now done that.

        I will be interested to watch how Biden ddeals with the large numbers in US still unvaccinated – regardless of whether they are unvaccinated by choice or not.

        America is a great nation and I hope US EU and UK can work together without unhelpful and baseless political posturing on any side.

        • Blair says:

          Currently on a FHR stay in Lisbon and the place is full of Americans. It is pretty galling that they’ve had free run of Venice, Florence etc. when quiet while UK arrivals have been thrust into self isolation. I agree; without insisting on reciprocity the US has no rush to let Europeans in (before anyone shouts, I know it’s UK/Ireland/Schengen only).

          • Paul says:

            They were in Greece in their droves mostly sweeping up the breakfast buffet at the IC Athens before boarding a cruise. In Santorini there was 7 cruise ships in 4 days including Seabourne, Silverseas,Norwegian, celestial and a monstrosity call Celebrity Apex. The latter looked like hell on the high seas. Americans were everywhere!

            There was report on Friday that the EU was expected to reinstate restrictions on US travellers from Monday as the US and not reciprocated. I would not expect the craven UK government to follow suit.

      • Jeff Greene says:

        Yep. We’ve let in fat and loud Americans in but the only way we can go there is by spending 14 days in a third country.

        • JDB says:

          In Santorini, I felt sorry for the donkeys that have to carry the large and loud Americans from the pier where the cruise tenders dock up the hill into town. Most people walk and there is a cable car, but it is often out of action.

      • Harry T says:

        Letting in the Americans when they haven’t had covid under control for months now has been galling, especially considering they can use vaccine certificates that look like they come out of a cereal box. Several parts of the USA are now reaching crisis point due to the ideologically driven, recalcitrant anti-vaxxers. Booster jabs will make zero difference in this context. With that being said, letting in Americans is a pure cash grab by several European countries, which is ironic considering that many of them derive their largest amount of tourism income from British travellers.

        • Anna says:

          A tiny section of the tourist industry but the Cayman Islands are only allowing Americans with digitally verifiable vaccination certs in and even then they have to quarantine for 5 days. They know full well there is 2 way traffic between US/Mexico/Turkey/Bahamas/other places with high infection rates.

    • FlightDoctor says:

      We’ve got family flights to Boston booked for October half term but seriously considering a switch to the Canaries as I’m not at all confident now in US opening up. What do people think?

      • Jeff Greene says:

        Zero chance in my opinion but no one knows enough to make a proper prediction. Rob said “soon” last month but unless soon means some time next year, that’s going to be a wide of the mark prediction (like many I and many others have made to be fair).

        • Jeff Greene says:

          Edit: I was referring to the chances of going to America but I clearly didn’t read your post properly!

      • Anna says:

        Canaries – shortish flight, sunshine, beaches (if that’s what you want), low cost of living, no jet lag, reliant on U.K. autumn/winter tourism so unlikely to ban you!

        • Blair says:

          My main problem with the Canaries is it’s long enough for me to want a widebody jet with a biz service and seat. Even 2-2-2 on an old 757 I’d accept. But it’s mostly LCCs running the trade.

  • Diydegsy says:

    Trying to book expert medical day 2 test £28 but when I hit submit it disappears and is no where to be seen anyone have any ideas why or what other websites with a good price?

    • Sandgrounder says:

      You could just use randox, 43 with a code and it just works, 2 mins and you can get on with your life.

    • Keely says:

      It was doing this last week …just keep checking every day .

  • StevieKicks says:

    Thinking of finally going for the AmEx platinum sign up offer. Plan would be to get the bonus, open free rewards card to preserve points, and then cancel platinum.
    If refunds then came to the cancelled platinum card, would the bonus be clawed back?

    • Blair says:

      Safest bet would be to transfer the MR out to place them far out of Amex’s reach.

    • Lady London says:

      Wait through September, at least. No sane card company is going to launch any enhanced signup offer in August with target customers not back from hols.

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