Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Sunday 19th September

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Comments (390)

  • APB says:

    First in this morning – an hour ahead in France and a raft of hotel offers appeared on the Amex cards – Hyatt, Bonvoy, Clermont/Guoman/Hard Rock and Thistle – wow!

    • Andrew says:

      And Millie’s cookies!! Very unusual for a Sunday to see any offers loaded, seems like a Monday with this many decent new ones. And the long awaited Marriott offer!

      • Matt says:

        I’ve only got the Marriott offer on my Business Plat + supp, not on any of my personal cards (BAPP, Marriott + supps), which is annoying.

      • Reney says:

        love a bit of Millie’s!

        Looking forward to see how people make good uses of the Hyatt offer. I’m imagining Emyr could get busy 🙂

        • Crafty says:

          Stacking this with the triple points offer last time was highly attractive. Anyone know if another Hyatt internal offer is coming?

    • Tariq says:

      On both the BAPP and Classic, including supps. Quids in.

    • NSL says:

      Got Marriott £50 off £200 on Gold, not Platinum, BAPP or Marriott.

    • Tom1 says:

      Why are there rarely any hotels in Portugal on these lists?

    • KBuffett says:

      What is the best Hyatt property on the offer in London? Is the Churchill nice? Or is Andaz better?

      • Chrisasaurus says:

        Andaz is certainly very nice though it is right next to Liverpool Street and therefore the City so if you want somewhere touristy it may not suit

    • Harry T says:

      We have a fair few amex cards in my household and the offers are only appearing on gold credit cards.

      • David says:

        Have them on Gold, BAPP and Blue BA (and across all supps) in this household. Nothing on PLAT or Nectar.

    • Blair says:

      What sicko did the layout for the Marriott list? I feel like I’m being abused trying to follow the logic of how it is laid out.

    • Tracy says:

      Got Marriott offer on green amex and Marriott Amex and on the supps too. I have a 450euro booking in Barcelona. Worth paying on the amex to get the £50? Split over 2 Marriott amex cards? Or is most of the benefit lost through fx?

    • Harry T says:

      The Bonvoy list appears very limited – not many luxury hotels included.

    • JJ says:

      The Sheraton intern rate now looks even better 👍

  • Ant says:

    Morning I already have the personal BA and Amex Gold card. Are there any business cards i can apply for and get a sign on bonus?

    • Matt says:

      The BA business card, Amazon cards maybe.

      You can’t get the bonus on the MR business cards when you’ve got the Gold card (or had one within 6 months)

  • Annabel says:

    Morning. For the Hyatt Amex offer – do they tend to mind if you split the payment on check out with more than one card? 😬

    • Andrew says:

      Like staff in shops, the reception staff won’t have a problem with this at all.

    • Blenz101 says:

      Amex will be completely unaware that you are splitting the bill as they will not see the underlying bill.

      Hotel staff will be perfectly happy to split the bill across multiple cards and it is fine to just be honest and say you want to use a card offer rather than invent something which causes suspicion.

    • Jonathan says:

      No. Probably better to settle up when there isn’t a big queue though if you’re planning on using 7 cards!

      • Annabel says:

        Thanks all of you very much 😅

        • Annabel says:

          Sorry and food and beverage purchases just can get added to check out bill to make it a multiple of £250? 😬 thanks again

          • SteveJ says:

            Yes

          • Grant H says:

            That’s correct- get them added to your room at point of purchase. I’ve paid with multiple cards at Great Scotland Yard, Andaz London & Regency Manchester- no problems at any. If asked, mentioning the ‘cash back offer’ is more than enough for the staff to understand the reasoning.

  • BC says:

    Trying to get my sister back to UK for Christmas from Melbourne, can anyone offer any advice? Issue appears to be the return from London to Melbourne around the 8th jan. Found decent flights via Singapore but I think transit from Uk not allowed at the moment? Will this change? Also concerned about the direct flight to Perth, in case she has to quarantine on point of entry to Aus (and a flight into Melbourne would therefore be better)

    • Anna says:

      Are there restrictions on the number of people entering Australia each week? Are people now being allowed to just leave for a holiday and return a couple of weeks later? It seems unlikely the quarantine requirement will be lifted by January given how stringent it still is at the moment.

    • John says:

      At present it is not clear when Australian residents will be allowed to go on holiday

      • BC says:

        According to local press, 18th dec is the rumoured date that the international restrictions are relaxed

        • The Savage Squirrel says:

          Aus version of “relaxed” is very unlikely to mean freedom to travel to and from UK for anyone who wants to, unfortunately.

        • Mikeact says:

          And the major airlines are all taking bookings from that date, but, will you get on, be allowed on, bumped because someone paid a lot more than you, and cancelled because each port of entry will only accept a small number of entries per day/week. My son can probably get back for Christmas, but not coming as the risk is major to get back. And think of the 1000’s, of Aussies, 25k+ who are still stranded around the world, all wanting desperately to get back home..with the cost of flights way out of reach as well as the other issues above. Difficult to understand the mentality of the Aussie government.

    • Lyn says:

      Qantas say they are hoping to start flights to London again in late December. This may be optimistic, and is dependent upon on vaccine availability and vaccination rates.

      Perth apparently isn’t part of their plan for now because of internal border closures amongst other things. Perhaps they are using Darwin again as a backup? Their timetable shows direct flights starting from Melbourne on December 20 with 1 stop although it doesn’t say where.

      The other possible problem is getting permission to leave Australia in the first place. This has recently become even more restrictive. And getting back in again if your sister is planning to go back again.

    • Michael C says:

      No probs bringing her, problem is returning her!
      At least a BA ticket could be exchanged for a voucher in worst-case scenario?

    • VerdantBacon says:

      Better chances with a direct flight to MEL, WA has been quick to close its borders with the Eastern States.

      I’m returning home to Australia in February and have 3 flights booked, the only reliable way to do it at the moment is to have multiple flights ready to go.

    • The Savage Squirrel says:

      I definitely wouldn’t be booking flights with a stopover in Perth as you can’t even enter WA from Vic at the moment without prior approval and a G2G pass and quarantine as Vic is designated as very high risk by the WA government.. Given their mindset that one death from COVID is unacceptable then this is very unlikely to change. Other state travel restrictions could change so any transit anywhere in Aus is a risk and direct flights to Melbourne would be very wise. Anyway; does she have an exemption as international travel is currently banned for Aus citizens unless they have one? Even if she does then when arriving back in Aus direct she would still have to undergo mandatory 14 day quarantine at a government facility on entry to Melbourne. Is she happy to do this?
      More info at: https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/

    • Sam G says:

      No problem via Singapore now and Singapore Airlines have have been more reliable in terms of caps and not bumping people off on the way to Aus etc

      Qantas have said that the direct flight would maybe operate via Darwin if Perth is still restricted so could still be an option

      • Mikeact says:

        Singapore have been running, correct, but only those that have paid a lot….not $350 down the back at all. And then only the limits imposed by the port of entry.

        • Sam G says:

          True true. They do at least take some Y passengers though – I heard stories of needing an expensive J ticket to get in on Qatar for example or face getting bumped off last minute.

          I’d probably book the QF2 into Sydney via Singapore personally. Likely to need to do a 7 day isolation in NSW so I’d have a plan to do that cheaply somewhere. If anything changes and Melbourne is possible then it should be easy enough to swap to the QF10 to Melbourne which will likely operate via Darwin or to an itinerary with a swap in Singapore. If nothing changes and it’s still restricted numbers/no exit then highly likely the flight would get cancelled and you’d get a cash refund

    • Louie says:

      (long post alert)

      I’m in a similar situation to your sister, heading back to the UK for Christmas, with the advantage of having a permit to leave and flights booked.

      There’s been a lot of movement on plans for travel restrictions lifting in the last few weeks. Initial federal government plans sounded very positive, which combined with the rate the vaccine rollout is going (finally) made many people think everything would be fine by Christmas. Unfortunately, the state system is now proving to be a problem (much like devolution in the UK) as various states are reneging on the promises they made. For example, WA have said they won’t be opening until mid-next year at the earliest and only today, Victoria have moved trigger points from 80% of 16+ double vaccinated to 80% of 12+ double vaccinated. New South Wales are really the only ones interested in getting the stranded Aussies home and opening up to the world.

      Currently we need a permit to leave. If you are looking at just a holiday, unless there are “compelling” reasons AND she can stay away 3 months, she’s highly unlikely to get one. By Christmas there’s a good chance (in my opinion), permits will no longer be required, but there’s no guarantee of that.

      We have been told arrival caps (currently c3,000 for the whole country per week) will be amended once we hit either 70% or 80% fully vaccinated (can’t remember which) with extra spaces for fully vaccinated arrivals. Should be by early next year but again no guarantees.

      Hotel quarantine (14 days) for all arrivals will probably have been amended by January, again varying state by state. South Australia is midway through a 14 day home quarantine trial and New South Wales have announced they will be trialing just 7 days home quarantine, much to universal surprise. But trials take time. Victoria will probably go for home quarantine too for fully Oz vaccinated returning travellers. Could be in place by Christmas.

      (to be continued)

      • Louie says:

        You don’t say which airline’s flights you are looking at, nor am I clear of the route as you mention both Singapore and Perth, or are these different flights? Only some airlines can transit through Singapore currently though that’s not as restrictive as it was. Check the Singapore government site. Is Perth a stopover en route to or from Melbourne or would she be on separate tickets? If it’s Melbourne to Perth, then a separate international ticket, forget it. In the other direction, it’s likely to be easier. If it’s the non-stop Qantas, they will probably have moved flights to Darwin to avoid Perth. Thinking about it, I’m pretty sure you must be thinking of Qantas because unless things have changed in the last few days, almost all flights into Oz in January are most definitely not decently priced or even available at any price. Be clear that Qantas have said the flights they are selling are not guaranteed to actually happen, depending on how Oz opens up and when.

        Two ways to go in my view. She is far more likely to get back into New South Wales than any other state because they will be first to open and have higher caps. If she could manage her life so she could do 7 days home quarantine (friends, AirBnB, whatever) in Sydney, I’d do that. Getting across the NSW/Victoria border is unlikely to be an issue when she finishes quarantine. If not, straight to Melbourne, but they are unlikely to be as helpful at getting people back (though more helpful than any other state except NSW). Whatever, don’t set your/her heart on it and only buy fully refundable tickets as there are many hurdles to cross.

        I have two business class award flights to Sydney booked mid-Jan and early Feb and doubt I’ll be getting on either. I’ll probably cough up for a paid flight nearer the time.

        • Sam G says:

          This is a good point – booking now (expect Qantas) may put you at a disadvantage as airlines are pricing assuming the situation with caps etc is as now (I know Singapore Airlines have pulled flights/limited capacity as plans are still unclear for example)

          Once plans are clear on rules for destinations/permitted transit stops etc then prices should come down – airlines like Qatar are flying in lots of empty economy seats every day that they’ll be very keen to fill!

          • JJ says:

            What routes are Qantas flying now? The past few weeks Qantas has a 787 at LHR when flying in/out, is it cargo only or are they doing the direct Darwin flights for passengers?

          • Lyn says:

            They are probably special repatriation flights to get Australians home, via quarantine in Darwin. Or cargo. Not regular scheduled flights.

  • Matt says:

    Anyone know if it’s possible to attach a Bonvoy free night certificate to an existing points booking and get the points refunded?

    I can’t make a new booking with the certificate because the points required has gone up to more than the certificate is worth.

    Thanks

  • Anna says:

    Che just told me, “Due to a technical error you transaction cannot be processed”. Never seen that before 😬

  • xcalx says:

    Having a senior moment here. If I want to enter US on 4th of November what date do I need to arrive in a non banned country is it October 20, 21 or 22. Thanks.

  • Simon says:

    I booked 4 business class seats to Madeira using 2 Amex companion vouchers as soon as they were made available. Booked the return using Avios with the idea of getting the voucher applied retrospectively. Unable to get through on the phone so tried via twitter who say they cannot do it as I paid for a £2 RFS and then £98 cash. I had assumed as I paid £100 for the outbound and £100 for the 4 return it would work. Any idea what I should have done.

    • AJA says:

      Oh dear. BA is right. It sounds like you bought an Avios + cash booking for the return. The Avios on both outbound and inbound need to match in order to add the return flight to a 2-4-1. You should have clicked through to more options and made sure you clicked on the Avios + £50 fare.

      Are there still Avios seats on the return flight for sale? If so buy again at the right RFS +Avios option. Then cancel existing £2RFS + £98 + Avios fare for an FTV. Then add the correct return flight to the 2-4-1 to get the Avios back. This assumes you have enough Avios to be able to do so.

      • Simon says:

        This is where I am lost. I paid 4 x £25 for the outbound plus Avios and vouchers, then 4 x £25 plus Avios for the return. I changed from using all Avios and £2 to the £100 option.

      • Simon says:

        And no more Avios seats left. No going to risk cancelling if I have screwed it up.

        • Anna says:

          If the transaction was charged as 4 x £25 for RFS, this should show on your card statement and booking confirmation email.

        • AJA says:

          Further to Anna’s reply. Do the Avios amounts match on both inbound and outbound? If so I would try calling again.

          • Simon says:

            Just added all up
            2 companion vouchers, 35500 Avios and £100 for the outbound
            71000 and £100 for the return
            Struggling to get through on the phone but will try

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