Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Monday 20th 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 (509)

  • captaindave says:

    *** stupid newbie question alert ***

    If paying for a Hilton with points, do you get points for the stay ?


    • Andrew says:


      • captaindave says:

        Thank you Andrew & John

      • Save East Coast Rewards says:

        You do get points for anything you actually spend in the hotel (room charge) so if you eat or drink in the hotel then charge it to your room. If you do part points, part cash you will earn points based on the cash you pay.
        Points nights count for status. So it’s worth ensuring they credit as the status levels are lower than usual so getting some status is easier to achieve and as the nights stayed rolls over until next year you have plenty of time to start climbing the ladded.
        I always make sure I spend something at the hotel when staying on points, I don’t think it’s necessary but it does make things easier if the stay doesn’t post (but it has been quite a few years that I’ve not had a stay post).

    • John says:

      If it’s cash and points together, you will get points for the cash aspect.

    • John says:

      Actually the correct answer is YES you do get points. You get the number of points you would expect on a room rate of £0.

      That means you get the 1000 bonus for Hilton and DT if diamond, etc.

      I very rarely spend incidentals at hotels and points stays have always posted without any trouble. Also, the 3 times I did eat at the hotel on points stays, not only did I get points on the food spend but somehow I also got points on the amount Hilton paid to the hotel. Once I got back more points than I used so the stay was free and the food was effectively free.

      I don’t expect this happens regularly so I seem to have been lucky with Hilton. Maybe that’s why I haven’t won anything at premium bonds after 15 months (average qualifying balance about £5000)

    • Rob says:

      On food and drink, yes.

  • Phil W says:

    Can I still extend the life of my Companion Voucher by making a booking and then cancelling for a FTV?

    • Save East Coast Rewards says:

      Yes. I’ve seen advice here suggest waiting at least 24 hours. Although that’s not strictly necessary and you can request an FTV immediately if you want to there’s no hurry to do so as long as you do it before the flight you booked. I waited a few days between booking and cancelling. Main reason is because if BA detects a lot of people cancelling as soon as booking they might think something suspicious is going on.

      • KBuffett says:

        But once you have done this, on top of the restricted availability of reward flights, you have an additional hurdle of successfully trying to get through to BA on the telephone whilst hoping the tickets remain available.

        • The Hunter says:

          But that’s the price you have to pay if you’re doing it to extend a 241 I guess…

          • KBuffett says:

            A deliberate move by BA to ensure some people will not be able to book and the voucher is wasted. It would be easier all round for them to further extend 241’s

            I wouldn’t be surprised if FTV terms are changed soon.

  • Save East Coast Rewards says:

    Last week I was talking about ways to get to the US without spending the 14 days where I’d have to be working in a different timezone. We worked out a plan for that, but I still have the original BA BLQ-LHR-MIA booking too.
    There is a cancelled leg in the booking (BLQ-LHR) and the plan was to leverage that. If Biden sees sense in the next few weeks I’d change the cancelled BLQ-LHR to one that’s operating and go the original route. Otherwise I’d kick the booking into 2022 and follow the new plan.
    Something odd has happened though, I got an email saying some of your flight numbers have changed. I went to MMB and the booking was no longer showing with cancelled flights, it had fixed up the misconnect (the suggested new BLQ-LHR arrived after MIA departed) by moving LHR-MIA to the next day.
    So looking at MMB it doesn’t appear my flights have been cancelled.
    Has this happened to anyone else? Have you managed to get the flights moved OK if this has happened?

    • Ikaz says:

      The robot does automatically rebook you usually, you have to make sure that you do not approve the change when you are looking at the booking on MMB, no issues rebooking at a later date as your original flight was cancelled

    • Lady London says:

      A change of date by airline even if flight number is still the same is still a cancellation.

  • John Smith says:

    Anyone know of insurance that will cover some / all of the holiday value of having to quarantine on arrival? Got a 7 day trip to Barbados booked and hate the thought of being stuck either in a hotel room or worse, government facility for 5 days. At least some financial cover might soften the impact….

    • idrive says:

      Check Coverforyou (Axa) on comparison websites, i used it recently to protect my sailing trip value which was not refundable.

    • Anna says:

      I don’t think you have a choice in Barbados, if you need to quarantine you get hauled off to their facility which sounds quite unpleasant, at least for the first few days!

  • YC says:

    What’s the best lounge open in T5 (BA silver/PP) to get some work done? Potentially some zoom meetings too

    • Cats are best says:

      One of the Galleries Club lounges.

      PP is not accepted at Plaza Premium, only at Club Aspire which is pretty small, pre-pandemic it was often so crowded that PP holders were turned away / queuing outside for a free space.

      • YC says:

        Forgot to mention I have Amex plat too. Is the plaza premium a quieter space than galleries? Not fussed about f&b

        • Andrew says:

          Best to go to both and see which you prefer. Will depend on the crowds on the day.

        • Pid says:

          When I visited at the begging of the linty on an early morning flight galleries was packed. Plaza premium which I popped into as my flight was delayed from the gate next door was almost empty and was offering a far better breakfast spread. A much better space to work from if you need it to be quiet and to have a work space.

      • Memesweeper says:

        I generally use the Galleries but Plaza wins for a conf call IMO

        • YC says:

          Thanks – they are relatively important calls so will try Plaza and quiet corner/nook. Is there a time limit you can spend in this lounge with the amex card access? Will probably spend 4hrs+

    • Paul says:

      Galleries was like a zoo this weekend; I can’t think of anywhere worse for a zoom call. The gate would have been quieter!

  • a270 says:

    In August, BA cancelled our flights as the country was on red list. Its now come off but I want to call and change the city. Will they allow that? Country remains the same.

    • AJA says:

      Is the new city within 300 miles of original destination? If so BA will allow change but you may have to pay any fare difference. I don’t think they are obliged to do it for free. Anything greater than 300 miles no chance. But you could take a FTV and use that to rebook new flights paying any fare difference .

      • Jonathan says:

        They’ll change a flight to any destination with fare difference at the moment due to BWC. If your original flight was cancelled then you should get anywhere within 300 miles with no fare difference due as long as new dates are within -3 to +14 days of original.

        • a270 says:

          Unfortunately, the flight was for late July but it got cancelled and I haven’t done anything with it yet. Two tickets were reward flights and the other two were paid.

  • EvilDoctorK says:

    Anyone used the Amex Platinum Dining offer yet ?

    I used it on Friday at Allegra in Stratford ( in my view one of the more interesting places on the list and wasn’t disappointed – would definitely recommend )

    Never got the usual offer redeemed email on paying ( bill for 2 was just over the offer total) and the offer doesn’t appear in my saved offers list on the Amex site ( though if I click on the email it says I’m already enrolled, which I know I am )

    I guess it will probably work, but maybe I’ll need to chase .. just wondering if any other experiences

    • Cats are best says:

      I’ve used it three times so far on Centurion, two Colbert brekkies and an Ivy dinner.

      The first credit was 4 days after the charge appeared on my statement. The other two meals were Thursday and Friday last week, no credits yet.

      No email notification.

      • EvilDoctorK says:

        Great thanks .. I’ll assume it will just post in its own sweet time and only chase it if it hasn’t shown up in a few weeks

    • Peter K says:

      Emails for redeemed offers are very hit and miss at the moment. It’s give it until at least Friday to chase to allow time for everything to process through, probably until Friday next week to be honest.

    • Anna says:

      I used ours on Saturday, no email but it changed to “used” in the app almost immediately.

    • SteveJ says:

      I never get an offer redeemed email these days on anything.

    • VerdantBacon says:

      Used the offer, no email, credit posted about 5 days after the spend

    • Benilyn says:

      Mine (5 transactions over 2 cards) posted between 5-7 days, appeared in savings sometime before 5 days but not immediately.

  • SG says:

    Morning all
    How long does the first points transfer from Amex to Virgin Atlantic usually takes?
    Transfer some yesterday,still not at Virgin yet!
    I know that transfers after linking are supposed to take 30 minutes!

    • Travel Strong says:

      You need to call Amex. They post instantly if going through correctly. The first time transferring from an amex MR account to virgin always needs a phone call to resolve. After that you can transfer online.

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