Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Friday 17th 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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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 (588)

  • James H says:

    I moved to Aus in March and just want to say I haven’t found anything as good as HfP since I arrived. Still a daily reader! Thank you

    • Lyn says:

      Not sure there is anything as good as HfP in any country!

      Hope you are settling down in Australia and enjoying it, lockdowns aside.

    • Louie says:

      AFF is probably best.

      Like you I’m still a daily HfP reader though even though I’ve been here 6 years.

    • Guernsey Globetrotter says:

      I agree that HfP sets the standards!
      However, for Aussie content, have you seen as Immanuel seems to have some decent stuff on there?

  • AY says:

    Membership rewards bonus offer on card today Spend £11,900 to get 3000 bonus membership rewards points.

    • Andrew says:

      I’ve got a measly spend £1800, get 900 MR – which won’t be happening as I’m focused on my spend £5000 get 10k Avios on BAPP.

      Also note this is from 1 to 31 October – spend before then won’t count.

      • Dean says:

        I’ve got spend £1,100 get 600 by end of October. Also won’t happen as focussing on the BA Amex bonus which is do-able now I’ve loaded up at Morrison’s with Amazon gift cards.

    • BJ says:

      Does anybody at amex seriously belive such offers will drive more spending? Reversing the figures definitely would.

    • Doug M says:

      My offer is £5200 for 1300MR, not exactly tempting.

      • Doug M says:

        What I meant to add is this seems a really odd offer. It won’t make me shift spending to Amex as for me that’s too much to just manufacture, but if I did happen to be spending that much then they’re just throwing away 1300MR for spend they’d get anyway. I appreciate the balance is tricky, but this is far too weak.

        • SG says:

          Hi Doug M
          With regards to your post yesterday about not being able to login to your Heathrow Rewards account
          I have had the same situation,when finally managed to speak to someone at their customer service I was told that my account was closed in 2020 as there was no activity for 3 years,which was clearly untrue on my case.When I told them that I have used the card recently and many times in the past 3 years,they did not really have an explanation
          Closing people’s account without even noticing them!They advised to reapply,does anyone know of a referral incentive at the moment?

          • Doug M says:

            Cheers. I’m not bothered as I have points on my home one, I’ll leave the work address one ‘closed’ in case of a reason for a new account.

        • Dubious says:

          Perhaps they are generating data that is getting feed into a machine-learning algorithm that, after enough data points, will predict the right balance in future?

    • AL says:

      Ding-ding! We have a new winner! This beats my previously reported corker of £7k for 1800MR!

      • Sandra says:

        Mine appeared today, spend £2900 for extra 1500 points on my PRG card. It won’t happen as BA Blue is spend a £1000 for 1500 extra Avios and, unless I decide to book flights, I don’t see nearly £4K of combined spend in just over a month.

  • Paul says:

    So for the numerous people who have been concerned with the ArriveCAN requirements for a quarantine plan, and straight from the chatty border guy at Vancouver, that’s really only for the non-vaxed, and basically “you can just put any old address down”, and if you’re double jabbed, come on in. So we did. And after 550 days, it’s great to be away again….

  • KBuffett says:

    I’d be grateful if anyone highlight relevant information to help me maximise sign up bonuses by churning gas/electric suppliers. I own multiple properties and have their utility bills in my name. Given that prices appear to have shot up, it might be beneficial for me to literally just keep moving/self referring supplier. Also, paying/loading by AmEx would be beneficial to help me reach spend targets.

    • BJ says:

      Bulb refunds exit fess if that helps, and I think they took amex last time I was with them. Got an email from Virgin Red yesterday promoting their Octopus switch, boosted with a chance to win energy for a year or some Virgin Red points.

    • FFoxSake says:

      Igloo is a good option for those needs. You can load account from Amex cards and earn 3% interest on up to £1000 of credit balance. I also reduced my DD down to £1 so I can pay in monthly with Amex to cover new billing amounts and keep topped up to £1K
      Referral code if you want it is
      That earns you and me £50 each.
      As always check the rates are competitive for you (difficult currently as all suppliers changing suppliers so often!)

      • FFoxSake says:

        Forgot to mention there are no exit fees from Igloo either, which could be important for your planned strategy.

        • Youllnever says:

          Rates are going up massively next month though, so I would’t really recommend switching to them, even with the Amex payment option.

          You’re probably better off switching to a fixed tariff asap instead if you haven’t done so.

          • FatherOfFour says:

            I tried switching last night, as my current fix actually expired yesterday- just as I read the news about the turmoil in the wholesale pricing. Barely any suppliers were appearing on the comparison sites. Sticking with eon on a new fix was -£100 than the “variable” rate. Based on £60 cancellation fees, I’ve decided to stick on variable to see what happens, but sounds like I should lock that fix in.

      • BJ says:

        Thanks, I’ll keen in mind for next switch.currebtly on a cheap fix with Scottish Piwe through end of 1/22. My sister recommended me to that so £100 each but horrendous systems and CS, got a further £75 goodwill for that. You cannot pay Scottish Power directly with amex but I got my DD removed and pay monthly by amex via paypoint using the code on self printed bill. Despite all this I cannot recommend them.

    • StevieKicks says:

      Get referred/refer your other properties between: Bulb, Octopus, Pure Planet, Igloo, Orbit Energy. Easy £50 each time, obviously doubled up if you refer one property from another. No exit fees on any of them

    • Stephan says:

      Issue with Bulb’s one variable tariff is that even if it should be making a profit it has to constantly increase prices on customers which leads to customers looking elsewhere. I’d decided to go fixed a coupel months gap with a low exit costs
      rather than these fluctuating/increasing variable deals.

  • Can says:

    Is anyone really using Amex Plat’s Addison Lee credit? In my case, for my trips, I receive oddly obnoxious prices that even with Amex credit it is more expensive then Uber or bolt. So I end up not using the credit, which bothers me. Thoughts?

    • Craig says:

      It was marginal the first time I used it in Cambridge, Uber was £8, AL £16 so a saving of £2! That was until the AL driver added a £7 waiting fee which took me a week to have removed, we were waiting on the pavement when he arrived. I’m really not impressed. Planning to use it in London in November, the app is quoting £12 at the moment.

      • C says:

        I don’t believe AL are in Cambridge – when I go to book, it shows me it is a ‘Partner’. AL have always worked well for me in London, when I need the larger vehicle. They are also very good with having children in car seats as passengers. It’s not intended as a budget service (like entry level Uber or Bolt)–but when one needs that service, I have always been pleased.

    • Andrew says:

      I use it for a short off-peak journey a month, usually a £15ish journey, which after the £10 makes it about half the price of Uber for the same journey – so I value it at more like £5 than £10 credit. I also had an erroneous £8 waiting charge which took 3 phone calls to resolve.

    • Can says:

      They have the worst service.

    • Toby says:

      I use them a fair bit for pre-booked services. They’re excellent at that because they often arrive early and you only get charged waiting from the time you booked.

      I find using them for pre-booked lots less stressful than Uber etc, they’ve never let me down.

      I’ve also found they’re good with small kids. Very understanding and helpful..

      • BuildBackBetter says:

        +1. Good for pre-booked taxis. Clean, large and punctual. Their prices have also been competitive compared to local taxis (no Uber here)

    • Cats are best says:

      I use AL regularly, for short trips the credit makes it effectively free for one and a bit each month. But I’d use AL even without the credit.

      In ten years I’ve only once had an AL car turn up significantly late, though I recall there was a traffic nightmare that day. Never had a single billing issue.

      I stopped using Uber a few years ago, too many drivers late and/or getting lost, Uber charging me for a driver who admitted they were lost and never even arrived was the final straw.

    • Rob says:

      That’s the equivalent of saying that you won’t use the Amex £200 fine dining credit because McDonald’s is still cheaper.

      • Andrew says:

        Albeit there are few journeys you can make with AL which would be totally free with the £10 credit – the equivalent would be using your £200 credit for a £250 meal and comparing the remaining price to McDonalds – it would still be £50 v £5.

      • Craig says:

        That’s not really a fair comparison Rob, I’ve found Uber to clean and reliable, the service from AL was rude and fraudulent. For a decent taxi journey the car needs to be clean, reliable and punctual. Comparing that to the difference between fast food and a fine dining experience is disingenuous.

        • meta says:

          I found Uber cars the dirtiest. They are also not reliable. I stopped counting how many times Uber drivers cancelled the journey after accepting and not forgetting a few times when I had serious incidents. I still use them.

          In regards to Add Lee, I use them for getting to the airports. With Plat discount, I found them cheaper than the local companies. Plus as a ClubLee member there are sometimes additional discounts.

        • Rob says:

          I was comparing an UberX car to an AddLee. UberExec is fine, took one this week. I also do a load of Bolt and UberX’s in the average month, but some crappy scruffy Prius is not a comparison for an AddLee car.

          • Thywillbedone says:

            AddLee: for when I absolutely, positively have to have that ‘travelling in the back of a van’ feeling. Can’t abide the Ford Galaxy seats …feels like a re-badged Transit at best.

          • Stephan says:

            Not sure addlee is really the fine dining of taxi services..

          • Rob says:

            It’s not, unless you need 4 in the back when it is as good as you get. Still fond of Wheely for those events where showing up in a posh car with driver is de rigeur.

            Blacklane is still a decent choice for airport pick ups abroad but pricey otherwise. We used them a couple of times in Mallorca over the Summer but eventually gave up as the costs were getting silly – we could take two standard taxis and pay 30% less than one Blacklane vehicle.

      • Yorkieflyer says:

        Are you sure you’re from Yorkshire Rob?

      • Can says:

        No it just doesn’t rob

        • Rob says:

          Of course it is. You are saying you won’t take a hugh quality taxi service because, even with a £10 discount, it costs you more than sitting in some guy’s dodgy UberX Prius. That’s the same as saying you won’t pay for a £220 meal because, even with £200 of Amex credit, it costs you more than McDonalds.

          • Can says:

            I honestly never thought ALee is a high quality car service. I had ALee drivers arriving without a mask in the midst of the lockdown, can’t even follow satnav, dangerous driving etc. Maybe it is just me, but categorically it is not an accurate comparison with fine dining.

          • Swifty says:

            Ah wondered why we got a jaguar with a wheely for my airport transit the other month. That makes more sense now.

          • Rob says:

            Wheely tends to give you free upgrades regularly if it means you get a car quicker.

    • Chrisasaurus says:

      I use it most months, in particular booking airport trip has been flawless 100% of the time in terms of punctuality.

      But the drivers are getting a little more ‘LBC’ these days and my early AM pickup from a Heathrow hotel for the airport which was booked for 5 pax turned up with a car full of crap and left me having to break their own rule against sitting in the front seat

    • BuildBackBetter says:

      £25 off code: BlacklaneEV, in case anyone wants to try Blacklane.

  • Jenny says:

    What time so you think the new travel announcement will be made today?

  • Annabel says:

    Good morning. BA have cancelled my first class 2-4-1 flights to Singapore for next month ( booked in October 2020 for october 2021 ) The email says they’ve rebooked me onto other dates ( funny enough return date is one day after rescheduled outbound flight 🤷🏻‍♀️) however I can seem to change the dates on MMB but I’d like to go similar dates next year and only book T-355. By not accepting the changes on line will my booking be ‘frozen’ until I can rebook the flights to my desired dates? T-355 for 2022 will be after the current scheduled outbound date . Or if I do call them to tell them this -will the facility of rebooking myself disappear? Thanks in advance.

    • Jonathan says:

      If the outbound has also been rescheduled (different date or flight number) then you can wait till new dates available without having to worry about a no show. Booking will disappear from MMB shortly after departure date though so you will then have to call +\- fight BA to get rebooked. Unfortunately there’s no way to keep the online rescheduling option after flight departure.

    • DZOO says:

      Isn’t the issue here that BA’s current “policy” is that they will not rebook you more than one year after the original booking date (Oct 20) so you are stuffed for Oct 22 unless you take an FTV and find availability in F on your dates (unlikely) OR the policy changes yet again to “ticket validity one year from departure date” (also unlikely)

      • BJ says:

        No, current policy is one year from date of flight, not booking. Unless that has changed too since and I haven’t heard.

        • Nick B says:

          Hi there. I have just had an Avios booking to Chile cancelled in November. Does anyone know definitively if BA will rebook one year from ticketing or flight date. It would be great to have this flight in the bag even if it is now Nov 2022.

          • Jonathan says:

            You won’t be able to secure your new flights until November/December as they are not bookable by any means until 355 days prior to departure so hang fire until they’re available & see what BA policy is then.

          • r* says:

            I had 3 different refusals to move it within 12 months of flight, they will only move it within 12 months of ticketting. Even had one say he knew about eu261 rights but he can only do what BA policy says.

        • DZOO says:

          Seems to have been discussed here quite a bit and on FT in last week or so – now back to 1 yr from booking – obvs great if I am misinformed!

        • Jonathan says:

          Policy changed back a couple of weeks ago so it’s back to ticketing date +365 days.

          Obviously doesn’t negate EU261 rights so whilst BA will try & push you to FTV I would hold firm unless there is Avios availability on your preferred new dates in which case may as well take it without a fight.

          • Colin MacKinnon says:

            Flights from EDI to LHR-DEN downgraded from F and then cancelled. Tickets bought in 50% sale and booked for three weeks later, which was also cancelled, so then rebooked for today.

            YouFirst said they can rebook from one year from the date of the first booking – so not one year from ticket issue, or one year from latest cancelled flight!

            Or I can pay extra avios to fly in CW instead of F and book for next year! Staff admitted that was crazy for a cancelled ticket.

            They have been off to people higher up the chain for the past week, no reply yet.

          • Lady London says:

            clarifying that if BA cancelled a flight on your booking made with avios them BA is not allowed to insist an avios seat is available on your preferred date to rebook you into. You have the right to be moved into any seat being sold for cash in your cabin on your preferred date without charge. Don’t let any BA agent tell you otherwise.

          • Lady London says:

            Don’t put up with that rubbish Colin.

        • Lady London says:

          That has changed too since and no you haven’t heard it BJ

  • Scallder says:

    JP Morgan have announced their Chase digital bank to launch next week. Starting with savings but should then go to other products, possibly including payments…

    Let’s hope they bring out some credit cards and hopefully give Amex some competition which could lead to higher points accruals (although know it’ll never be like the US due to the interchange cap).

    • BJ says:

      I think we might all have invested too much hope here already 🙂

    • Youllnever says:

      Even if they bring out reward credit cards, I doubt it’d ever be a competitor to Amex with the four-party interchange cap.

    • Andrew says:

      I suspect that the only thing that we can be sure of is a Credit Card that they launch will have a loyalty scheme with at least 10% back the ubiquitous Sweaty Betty.

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