Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Tuesday 21st 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 (443)

  • Ja says:

    Looking for hotel in Toronto. Any recommendations please. Plenty of points with Marriott IHG and Hilton. Thx

    • Tariq says:

      Stayed in the Radisson Blu by the harbour a couple of years ago, was upgraded to a top floor room with view as a Gold.

      • Rob says:

        I reviewed the St Regis (was the Trump at the time). Easily the most ‘manly’ hotel room I have ever had – you felt it should have come with a silk dressing gown, box of cigars and a decanter of whisky. Location wasn’t ideal though and I’d take somewhere in Yorkville next time.

        • Fm says:

          We stayed in the Delta right opposite the CN tower a few years ago – treated very well, excellent room, swimming pool and location. Didn’t eat at the hotel so can’t comment on the food offering.

    • Sandra says:

      Page 5 of last Fridays (17th) chat had some suggestions as this question was asked then too – Toronto obviously popular now Canada opening up!

  • David says:

    I upgraded to Amex BAEC on 2nd September from the basic card having spent circa £14k on the basic card. Have been credited with new 241 voucher after Amex upgrade accepted.
    The problem is the voucher is a basic 241 which only allows economy avios bookings.
    Have called Amex to request the correct 241 voucher to be applied as the upgrade is what triggered the voucher – not my spend on the original basic card. They tell me it is up to BA to sort but I believe that is not correct. Any thoughts from the collective please?

    • JDB says:

      Based on what you say, you triggered the free BA card voucher on 1 Sep as you had already spent £12k which was the new threshold from that date. It wasn’t your upgrade the following day that triggered the voucher. Whether Amex/BA will take pity on you is another issue.

    • meta says:

      You need to nag both Amex and BA. It can take a few weeks for it to be sorted.

      However, with the new type vouchers this might not be possible and you might be stuck. The general wisdom here is to upgrade just before you reach the threshold.

      • Polly says:

        Yep, stop spending at 9.5 k until you upgrade then put the last bit on to get the new 24m 241. As Rob says, put it in the drawer until… Looking forward to our 1st new one.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      You should’ve upgraded before 1st September, because on 1st September you were a free card holder with 12k spend and the voucher was correctly triggered.

      In fact you should’ve upgraded before you spent £10k because doing it after always ran into problems.

    • AW says:

      I upgraded on 8 September after having spent 11k. I’ve received a basic 241 voucher. This seems different to David’s circumstances. So I think I should have received a new 24 month 241, but I need to nag BA / Amex.


  • Anna says:

    Aer Lingus offering MAN-JFK in business for £1320 in January – this looks a decent fare for a direct flight from MAN.

  • Sina says:

    Is club Lounge given to Spire Ambassadors? what are people’s experiences?

    • Sandra says:

      Depends on hotel generosity really, some do some don’t. I’ve always been given access at CP London City and some overseas IC’s if it didn’t come with the room, at others had to pay a supplement.

  • Ryan Gill says:

    IHG question. My OH joined ihg on 31st June in response to Hfp highlighting that new members could have 2 stays and receive a free night. A night was booked and stayed. OH then joined Ambassador, stayed at a kimpton through Emyr and an expected free night posted from Ambassador (this was a separate promo). However, I should be expecting a further free night as the kimpton stay was the 2nd stay? I’ve sent an email, but no reply. This isn’t an Ambassador issue. Is there an ihg email address someone can give me? Thanks.

    • s says:

      did you register for the 2 stay 1 free night promo? I took part in the same offer based on the hfp article, which did not mention you specifically had to register for the promo. It just said join IHG using this link. Because I only joined using the link, but then did not register for the promo separately, they refused to give the cert.

      If you were registered, I don’t see why you won’t trigger 2x free certs.

      • Ryan Gill says:

        Tbh, I can’t fully remember. Like yourself, I joined ihg through Rob’s article. As memory serves, the link took me to a page that advertised the promo and I then joined up on this page. There didn’t seem to be any code that needed entering. By joining ihg through this page I was surely availing myself of the offer advertised.

  • Alex Sm says:

    Hi – sorry if this question has been asked here already and maybe multiple times but this forum is very poorly indexed and it’s impossible to find anything or receive notifications of replies…

    anyways, the question is: has Iberia reset the negative balances many HfP readers accrued in the infamous summer 2018 sale? the Avios should have been forfeited after three years of inactivity. I am still waiting as I stupidly allowed an activity on my account in 2019 but it would be intersting to know if thpse who left their negative balances untouched in 2018, now see the shiny new ZERO balance or not?


    • Blenz101 says:

      The 3 years is to wipe the potential Avios liability balance sheet clean on dormant accounts.

      This would only expire a positive balance. If you owe them Avios then your debt remains. They won’t be writing database software to reset you to zero. At best your account will just be closed.

      Simple solution is just to open up another account with a different email address.

      • Lady London says:

        If it’s to clean up a balance sheet surely negative balance should be wiped same as positive?

        Not seeing how it could work any other way if they’ve programmed it correctly.

  • Aston100 says:

    Just thinking ahead and making notes.
    I’ll hopefully be on the US East Coast when the t-355 date Avios reward seats become available.

    Lets pretend I need to fly on 17th December 2022.
    Does that mean I need to dial at 7pm local time on the 27th of December 2021?

    What time does the US call centre close? I think I read recently that they are no longer able to help with reward bookings / companion vouchers at UK 1am, but for my purposes the clocks will have gone back an hour in December, so not sure if that changes things.


    • FatherOfFour says:

      I’m not sure if the US change their clocks too- but whatever- I’m sure there’s an online “world clock” that will help you know it’s midnight in the UK!

      I’m interested in the answer to the “handling reward bookings at midnight/1am” question too. I assume if this is a problem, it would also extend to resolving a cancellation/FTV issue, as if I struggle with ticket validity issues, I may have to resort to plan B before the availability gets swept up.

    • Anna says:

      Can’t you just book it online?

      • Aston100 says:

        Very popular destination at the peakest of times on a mobile phone.
        I’d rather speak to an agent.

  • Ursicles says:

    Anyone know the best way to change an avios & companion booking on BA? I booked a flight on the weekend, and spent an absolute age trying to speak to someone there to move the flight as can go out earlier now.

    Getting through to anyone on the phone has been a nightmare.

    • KBuffett says:

      They have deliberately made it extremely difficult to make changes.

      • Ursicles says:

        Definitely appears to be the case…. been on hold for absolutely ages!

        And cut off 3 times.

        • Louie says:

          Try online chat. Takes just as long but at least you can do something else online at the same time.

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