Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Sunday 5th September

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We are running this daily chat thread on Head for Points during the coronavirus outbreak.

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Comments (378)

  • BJ says:

    I noticed 😀

  • Kipto says:

    My wife has the ba premium plus card. She’s qualified for the companion voucher. Her membership year starts next week. If she downgrades her card to the free one can I refer her from my platinum card in a few weeks time for the paid card and get a bonus. ( I know she won’t be eligible for any bonus ) ?

    • BJ says:

      No, you wi ll not get a referral bonus either because when she uses the referral link it will process as an upgrade. However, were she to cancel the card and then use your referral link, say a month later, then you would get your referral bonus if her application is successful.

      • Kipto says:

        Thanks. Do you know what the waiting period is for my wife cancelling her card and then me referring her and me getting the referral bonus ? Can’t see anything anywhere indicating how long the minimum time is ?

        • Benilyn says:

          There is none

          • BJ says:

            That’s my understanding too but I always waited a month before reapplying for the same card as I felt more comfortable about this. HowevervKipto’s wife would ge cancelling BAPP and applying for Blue s I might be tempted to risk trying sooner.

  • Andy says:

    Anyone seen the 10% Amex credit for Morrison’s spend yet? Did £100 last week and seen nowt so fsr

    • Andy says:

      It was discussed earlier in the week, around the time the Bits article on Morrison’s reappearing on Shops Away popped up

    • Aston100 says:

      What Amex cards was this on? I don’t seem to have it across multiple cards

      • BJ says:

        Across many cards, dome even reported getting it on three cards IIRC. And some have 8% FC on top.

      • Andy says:

        BA Amex

        I don’t shop at Morrison’s usually but popped into buy some gift cards

    • BJ says:

      They have worked fine for my partner but they took about a week I think so hopefully you’ll see them soon.

    • Cabal Of Rabid Baboons says:

      26th credited on 28th, 2nd yet to credit…

    • Char Char says:

      I’ve not got it on any amex either 🙁

      • KBuffett says:

        The great thing about AmEx offers is that there’s no need to panic. I don’t think anyone on here’s been refused credit where isn’t due.

    • Justin says:

      two days *after* shopping

    • CH says:

      10% for the transaction on the 31st just hit this evening.

  • Happy Today says:

    Been working at home alone barely seeing another person for what feels like forever, but today I go on holiday.

    Haven’t had an ugly red zit in the middle of my forehead for what feels like forever…. But today I go on holiday.

    Currently at the HGI T2 rooftop watching the take-offs, sadly without a drink because the manager says they can’t serve outside “because there might be flies” and he “has to think of people’s safety”…

  • Aston100 says:

    Aston100’s Hong Kong questions, round 2:

    After BJ thought £750pp was too much for PE on Swiss (A new product launching next year), from BHX to HKG, in school summer holidays next year, I wonder what the view is about the price of this itinerary:

    LHR > HKG (5 night stopover) // HKG > DPS // DPS > LHR (change planes in HKG).
    All on one ticket through BA, all in business class (fare class I) including the 2 Cathay flights to/from DPS.
    £1961.87pp next summer

    I personally feel happy with this price and routing, but not sure if I should hold off waiting for some sale or other, bearing in mind it will be in school summer holidays.
    I think I would gain 20k avios for the route and whatever additional avios/MR depending on which Amex gets used.

    Any thoughts on the pricing please?

    • MisterE says:

      Seems Ok from a quick reflection. I recall the good Swiss deals (via Zurich) being around £1,400? to HKG or SIN. So you are paying extra for a more convenient direct itinerary less vulnerable to Covid-based problems, plus connections to/from DPS.

      It also gives a decent slug of Avios (can be used on One World) rather than Star Alliance points, which for me would be orphaned.

      Of course, I guess this would be in old Club World rather than new Club Suites – ie, a below average Bus Class.

      Finally, in the ‘Old Days’ there might well have been a better ex-EU fare on Avios-earning Qatar. But that would have meant a positioning flight and probably an overnight stay.

      As always, YMMV. But in any event have a great trip

      • Aston100 says:

        Thanks for the reply MisterE.
        Was hoping large parts of the BA long haul fleet would have been updated to CS seating by then.

    • BJ says:

      To be a bit more precise about the LH PE, my thoughts were that £750 was at the high end of normal sale fares for the class and routing. I think I mentioned too that you should not equate LH PE with say CX PE.

      The BA/CX fare you quote is a good one for them, and avios and TP earning. However in terms of cost it can and will be beaten. Unless you have your heart set on HK I would look at alternate options on Garuda or via BKK, SIN or KUL. Even a year from now I imagine HK being difficult to visit.

      • Aston100 says:

        Hong Kong is somewhere I’d like to visit, but not a priority.
        Useful as a gateway to Bali which is where I intend to spend the bulk of my trip.
        From my local airport, there aren’t many options into SE Asia, and those that do exist are quite pricey.
        I’m not convinced that there will be amazing prices during summer holidays from my local airport. Do any airlines genuinely offer good sales prices at peak travel periods?

        If I’m forced to go via London, I would want to minimise the number of connections, and would not want to stop in the middle east half way through the night, given I’ve already been inconvenienced with spending time driving to London.

        So as far as I can tell, currently my best option seems to be to put up with a drive to London and do a direct overnight flight to HKG (somewhere I would like to visit anyway) and hop over to Bali and back.

        By the way, last time I flew Garuda, they had stopped operating to London. I had to go via AMS. Fantastic onboard service and lovely food. Shame they don’t do the UK anymore.

        Interesting point about HK being open or not, nearly 11 months from now.
        I would hope BA would allow a change to BKK or SIN if there were problems nearer the time?

        • John says:

          Hong Kong will allow foreign visitors without quarantine when mainland China does.

          Tourists from mainland China are much more valuable to certain sectors of the economy. And it’s now illegal to complain about them.

          The problem with HK is that the vulnerable elderly have not been vaccinated, because doctors have advised that things like heart disease and diabetes make the vaccine risky – and are banking on the hotel quarantine strategy to not let SARS CoV 2 in

    • AndyGWP says:

      Did BHX – FRA(?) – SIN a few years ago on LH in PE on an A380… I was very impressed 👍🏻 I’d be tempted at that price during school hols 🤷🏼‍♂️

      (and for some reason they managed to not load OH’s luggage so gave us $200 SGD to tide us over for 24 hours… we had already planned luggage wouldn’t make the 1 hour connection so had packed hand luggage accordingly…. Winner winner)

    • Lady London says:

      You doing that as a holiday now that it’s on BA, Aston100?

      • Aston100 says:

        LL – BA are unable to do it as a BA Holiday due to the stopover in HKG.
        The poor chap tried a number of ways to no avail. He could do it, if I removed the HKG > DPS flight.

        Interestingly, I was through to a sales agent within 5 minutes of dialling the main 0787 number. So sufficient staff available on the phone to take our money.

    • BuildBackBetter says:

      That’s a good price I think. But as BJ says HK opening up is a risk.
      Have you tried pricing a trip to SIN? If going to DPS is your main aim, I’d prefer SIN over HK. Shorter flight from SIN, good airline options, a far superior airport, less political risk and more likely to welcome tourists next year.

    • Paul says:

      It’s good for ex U.K.
      I am a frequent Bali holidaymaker and for the last 12 years would say ex EU is still the best deal my 2020 and 2021 trips were cancelled but I sat on the 2021 ex CDG ticket till this week. Have now rebooked but I held the ticket as I had upgraded to F using Avios and that’s unlikely for next summer. BA rebooked me in F for next year.
      My fare was £1,350 and I have paid less than £900 on Qatar from Amsterdam. The most expensive was £1,600 ex MXP on CX. Worth every penny.
      Ex EU not for everyone but (touch wood) I have not had an issue. Till recently I had two kids in tow so the savings overall were huge and I arranged day trips at the various EU dep points and at times stayed the night before in a hotel.
      In some instances it was even cheaper to depart from one EU city and return to another. In my case out from MXP and back to CPH. That a lot harder to judge now as ITA matrix won’t mix countries.

      The best deal of all was 2019 when I found an ex Cairo fare on TK for about £600. It was an astounding deal as it allowed unlimited stopovers. As a result I ranged an Easter trip to Israel and Jordan and routed back from Amman via Cairo, then Istanbul. Where we officially stopped over ( returning to LHR on Avios) I imagine a few security services flags were raised by that!!
      3 months later we went back to Istanbul stayed a couple of nights and then flew non stop to Bali. I should add the miles from 4 adults were enough for two one way seats in J JFK IST LHR plus $400.

      Enjoy Bali. I hope it opens back up but take care about HKG entry. At the moment you can transit to Bali on BA as it requires a night stop! CX arrive early morning so don’t have this issue.

      • Chrisasaurus says:

        Good lord I hope never to be behind you in the US immigration queue!

    • Andy says:

      I would be happy to pay ~2k for peak summer business class tickets on my desired dates to Asia unless there is a substantial saving (~1,500 or less) to be made by going ex-Europe, and assuming it is the most convenient routing for my desired destination. But only for a good hard product (ie. not BA Club world)

  • G says:

    Is there any advice on how to get through to BA? – trying the silver exec number 0800 408 0 009 but been on hold pretty much all day.

  • KBuffett says:

    I’ve got a BAPP retention offer:
    Spend £3,000 in the next 3 months you will get 10,000 Avios

    I also have saved in the same card
    Spend £5000 get 10,000 bonus Avios

    I’m hoping spending £5000 once will trigger both offers. Any inspiration on how to hit the spend? I assume if I book something prepaid & refundable, the points will be clawed back with the refund?

    • Super Secret Stuff says:

      Nice!

    • TicknBash says:

      What was the last time you received any retention bonus ?
      Had extra point per £1 around 4 months ago….too soon to ask ?

      • BJ says:

        No, they just hiked the fee, aren’t you feeling increasingly unhappy with the card?

      • KBuffett says:

        I haven’t had a retention offer prior to this on my BAPP card. But I think you should just ask and explicitly ask for a retention offer during office hours on chat.
        They will highlight the benefits of the card, you need to ask for a retention offer.

    • BJ says:

      The points will not be clawed back if you cancel the card before triggering the refund.

    • Peter K says:

      Morrison’s offer if you have it.

      See if friends want Morrison’s gift cards for cheaper fuel/Amazon etc.

      Prepay the rest of your council tax.

      Buy supermarket gift cards for your preferred supermarket from then so prepaying your next few months shopping.

      Book a holiday online.

      Pay professional fees, if applicable.

      Book a holiday if you feel confident to do so.

      Add money to your gas/electric account.

    • Grant says:

      I got the same retention offer on player 2’s BAPP and also have the £5k for 10k Avios, hoping for the same outcome as you.

      Both offers are over a 3 month period which is reasonably easy to do with day to day spending, but if you want to do it quickly with a large refundable purchase then you’ll need to delay the refund until after a statement date and the points have been swept in to your BAEC account. When the refund hits the following month then you’ll have a negative Avios balance on your card account which you can rid yourself of, and avoid it impacting your BAEC Avios balance, by cancelling the card.

      • BJ says:

        Guys, we’re these offers over the phone or viabonline chat ?

        • Grant says:

          Online chat. Having read reports previously I wasn’t expecting anything rather than the usual “you’re a valued customer and my colleagues would like to speak to you about some offers” which I’ve never bothered doing before and just asked them to continue with cancelling the card. This was proactively offered rather than the suggestion for me to call. Perhaps Amex realised they needed to empower the chat staff to offer the retention deals because a lot of people CBA to call.

        • KBuffett says:

          Online chat, must be during office hours. You must specifically request a retention offer and that you are considering cancelling.

  • Super Secret Stuff says:

    BAs future airline at Gatwick should be called BASH British Airways Short Haul. Distinct enough that it doesn’t damage the reputation of Heathrow operations but retains the British Airways branding (kind of)

    • Super Secret Stuff says:

      Also an accurate reflection on how they will treat customer service (basically there cost base): BASH it down to the lowest levels possible

    • Aston100 says:

      BALLS – British Airways Local Lowcost Service

    • BJ says:

      Imagine the pics on the front pages the first time one of the a320s collides with something…

    • ChrisC says:

      Most people won’t know or won’t care that this is to be a “new” BA owned entity.

      How many people actually realise that city flyer is a BA subsidiary and not not just called that because it flies from LCY?

      All they will be aware of is the BA branding and the BA uniformed staff and they booked it on the BA website and be checked in on the BA app and handedtheir bags over at a BA branded desk and then the apparent lack of onboard service and that will then affect their feelings towards booking BA from LHR.

      I know for certain that BA lost some bookings because after flying on an old plane to JFK (when it wasn’t cancelled at the last minute and pax shunted to LHR on the National express coach) from LGW some of my friends refused to book BA ever again because it so damaged the reputation.

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