Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Saturday 11th September

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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 (481)

  • meta says:

    Not sure if mentioned before. I’ve been playing last night with my new BAPP 241 voucher and looking at various options. It looks like you can make significant discounts on surcharges if going to Hong Kong/Tokyo even on long stopovers in London. Savings are between £400-£500 overall and only a total of 18.25k extra in Avios. I looked at the Hong Kong-Dublin route off-peak. Still need to play more, but seems some good savings opportunities for those who can fly indirect and want to go to Asia. Also need to check with BA agents how this can work with open-jaw tickets, but that’s probably best for later when the phone lines will be quieter.

    • BJ says:

      I’ve been trying to figure out options with 2 vouchers incorporating NA, HK, TYO, INV and DUB. TBH it is doing my head in but I’ll get there 🙂

      • Alex says:

        Do let us know how you get on! I’m looking at using a 2 aswell nested

      • xcalx says:

        Took me a moment to realise TBH was not an airport code 🙂 Yes I looked it up Romblon airport in the Philippines

      • BJ says:

        ,@Alex, will do. I need to focus more on better opportunities instead of getting distracted by trying to make my desirable opportunities fit.

        @xcalx, dies etc seem to be getting me in hot water these days 🙂

    • David says:

      Don’t 241 bookings have to originate in the UK ?

      • meta says:

        No, with the new voucher it can originate anywhere. I will get there after my holiday. I only have one voucher for now, but will have another one in 2 months or so.

      • Rob says:

        Not with the new vouchers from 1 Sep.

  • Tom1 says:

    Good morning from Moxy Lisbon.

    70eur per night, no upgrades to room with balcony but free breakfast instead (which isn’t great tbf).

    • Richie says:

      Are you going to have a dip in the roof top pool?

      • Tom1 says:

        Arrived Wednesday – so have used daily. Hotel apparently 60% full – no problems getting a sun lounger although can imagine not being easy at busier times.

        Too late Rhys ! Do you remember the name? I came to a coffee shop called Shakar a few streets away.

        • Rich says:

          Also try Manifest, about 5 min walk away en-route to Marques de Pombal. Fantastic breakfasts.

    • Rhys says:

      There’s a delightful street cafe just round the corner that I recommend for breakfast

  • Jimmy Shape says:

    I’ve recently received a SMS from Creation saying:

    With immediate effect we will be unable to process any transactions using your Curve Card where the transaction is allocated to your Creation issued credit card

    Anyone else had this?

  • Jenny says:

    Is amber and green list going to be scrapped?

    • Craig says:

      Hope so, off to Spain in a fortnight and holding back on booking any testing.

      • Rob says:

        Scrapping the difference between Amber and Green is unlikely to mean no testing. Just means that there will be the same testing for everyone coming in.

        • Craig says:

          I still think there’s a small chance that testing will change depending on whether you are vaccinated or not?

          • Andrew says:

            Lots of speculation about what will change on October 1st. Best case scenario – amber and green merge to become green with no testing for anyone travelling from those countries. Problem with the vaccinated only thing is it prohibits visitors (unless they want to do 10 days at home) from outside the US or EU really – so someone living in the UAE can’t come to the U.K. for a holiday.

          • Rhys says:

            You could allow testing for entry for countries whose vaccination status we don’t recognise yet.

    • Yuff says:

      I thought the government had stopped dodgy providers advertising cheap tests to get up the list?
      Just checked and the cheapest provider £20 only has a test for hcpc paramedics but click through and I says nothing about being a paramedic just for travellers returning…

      • Idrive says:

        On this test note i can definitely vouch for the below two providers i just used on my recent trips abroad:

        https://www.c19testing.co.uk/ for fit to fly (certified rapid test/back to the uk) first certificate issued within the hour and the second within 5 hrs.
        I was too late to order the cheaper £22 ones from other providers so i went for the £29 all in – that was promptly delivered by dpd, ordered around 5pm got it delivered next day (i needed to be independent without searching and arranging a local potential cheaper test abroad)

        https://nwp-online.co.uk/ for day2, was late again ordered on Saturday morning got it delivered on Monday, sent results and got them within 48hrs. £40 the cheapest i could find.

        If this can help with your trips, i will certainly use them again.

    • Jeff Greene says:

      No idea

  • KBuffett says:

    Does anyone here subscribe to Apple News, is it worthwhile?

    Also, what is the cheapest way to get a FT subscription?

    • Ls says:

      Got a free subscription for a while. Barely used it. Not worth it.

    • BuildBackBetter says:

      This is an old article but has links to couple of offers that may be valid.
      https://www.headforpoints.com/2021/02/01/how-to-use-your-25-financial-times-credit-from-american-express/

    • Ali M says:

      depends on how much time you spend reading news… some titles not included as well.
      worth a trial but a steep 9.99/month – audacious that more than Amazon or Netflix UHD / month. I would have paid half with more ease

    • BJ says:

      Check with your LA library, you can very likely get a free electronic access to a massive range of newspapers and magazines.

      • Ed says:

        @BJ – Do you know if the electronic access is to a direct replica of the print version, or is it (where relevant) the online version of the paper? Thanks

        • JDB says:

          @Ed if you are asking about the FT, on the app you can choose whether you have the print replica (they call it the Morning Edition version) or the regularly updated version and immediately switch between them at any time.

        • BJ says:

          ,@Alex, will do. I need to focus more on better opportunities instead of getting distracted by trying to make my desirable opportunities fit.

          @xcalx, dies etc seem to be getting me in hot water these days 🙂

          @Ed, I cannot say because my understanding is that what’s available varies widely from one LA to the next so just your luck where you live. Simplest solution would be to call head office of your local library services if detail on the Web is insufficient. Or better still just sign up, try it and you’ll know whether it works for you personally.

    • Harry T says:

      I date a student and that means I can get the FT for free 😊. Worth checking if anyone at university in your family will get you access.

      • BP says:

        I’m a part-time student. Never knew I could have it for free!

      • BJ says:

        @Harry T, I guess that means you are taking full advantage of amazon student, unidays, educational discounts and so on and so forth 🙂

  • Mycity says:

    Hi, if I upgrade to Curve metal monthly can I cancel at anytime without penalty?

    • J says:

      I think there’s a £50 fine if cancelled within 6 months.

    • stevenhp1987 says:

      £50 cancellation fee if cancelled in the first 6 months.

    • Peter K says:

      Cancellation fee was scrapped a few months ago because curve changed the terms so that a 6 months minimum contract was required instead.

      • Mycity says:

        Thanks Peter

        • Peter K says:

          From curve email on 30th April this year:

          Minimum subscription periods. We’re introducing minimum subscription periods to our paid subscriptions, Black and Metal. If you upgrade from Blue to Black or Metal and you choose to pay monthly, your minimum subscription period will be 6 months. If you choose to pay annually, your minimum subscription period will be 12 months.

          If you’re an existing Black or Metal subscriber, the minimum subscription periods won’t apply, as long as you continue on your existing subscription.

          We’ve scrapped our downgrade fee. Because we’ve introduced minimum subscription periods, we no longer charge you a fee to downgrade from Black or Metal to Blue.

  • Toppcat says:

    Just a quick note of thanks to the HfP community. Just back from the fantastic SSDV, and combined with a Sheraton Park Lane intern rate stay earlier in the summer, this group has flagged some pretty great opportunities this year! Makes up for the lack of other travel over the last 18m or so…

    • Diydegsy says:

      Hi Toppcat, can you provide more info on both visits please.

      • Toppcat says:

        Hi Diydegsy – happy to, what are you looking for? Mini reviews?

        Neither is still bookable at the steeply discounted rates which were available earlier in the summer though.

        • Diydegsy says:

          Toppcat did you use the butler at Sheraton and what was lounge like, any extra benefits you were/ weren’t expecting anything really please as going to both booked on same rates. Thanks

  • JSemity says:

    Is it correct that BA eVouchers can be used to settle the balance of BA Holidays, just not the initial deposit? If so, that a very appealing use for all my 2p/avios eVouchers

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