Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Thursday 23rd 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 (529)

  • Allan says:

    Amex travel £100 off £400 on Gold business today

  • Green Plastic says:

    Morning all. I have a 10k bill to pay HMRC and just checking if there are any magical methods of gaining any miles/points from this. Have checked HFP for previous posts and seems that there are pretty much no ways of making any meaningful points out of it, which is a blow 🙁 devastating to pay such a big amount and get next to nothing from it! Obviously appreciate that some people pay WAY more than this

    • Jack says:

      Curve to pay with a MasterCard is the only thing but the max you’ll get (excluding sign up bonus possibilities) would be 1.5% on the premium virgin card (so 15,000 Virgin points).

      Unfortunately you’re fairly on the money when you say others pay way more. Getting decent points involves quite high volumes going through and £10,000 is not that.

    • Allan says:

      Billhop works but adds 3%. Did it last week without issue and triggered the BA business card signup bonus in the proccess so was worth it.

      • Green Plastic says:

        Cheers Allan.

      • Char Char says:

        Bill hop is absolutely not worth it when you consider the 3% fee, only if you haven’t planned ahead and desperately need to trigger a bonus could i ever see this being useful.

    • Rich says:

      It could easily be worth paying 2.95% – £295 – via billhop in the right circumstances – if you or a family member is eligible for an Amex signup

      New Preferred Rewards card – 35k
      Points earned on £10k spend – 10k
      Bonus points for spending £10k in a year – 10k

      That’s 55k points for £295

      • Rich says:

        Basically any card with a high reward & high spend target that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to meet.

      • Yuff says:

        I’ve done the billhop route for the business plat, works out at about £340 for 12k in tax for 150k MR points, ok return
        Referred mrs Yuff, was a bit quick on the supp application as it appears in offers now after a couple of days.

      • Char Char says:

        I thought the bonus points of 10k were in the 2nd year which would then require a second £295. You would then be paying £295 for 45k points effectively £450 so a profit of £155.

        Clearly the main benefactor here is Bill hop, effectively if you can’t spend on the card you are losing profit to Bill hop but for those that for some reason can’t’ plan ahead then this is a last resort to get something.

        • Rich says:

          They should post a couple of months into the second year.

          You have to pay £140 (not £295) for the second year of the card, but you could cancel after a couple of months and get a pro rata refund

    • Tarmohamed says:

      Make sure you’ve got a personal curve card rather than the one that says commercial at the back of it otherwise hmrc will charge a fee.

  • Mikeact says:

    I see that BA have now lifted the restriction on AUS/NZ residents. They are now welcome to join the EC. My son is pleased…he can use his own home address now.

    • Paul Pogba says:

      Doesn’t this go back to pre-Emirates 1995 BA/QF joint service agreement which was binned in 2013? I had no idea it had taken this long.

  • Matt says:

    I’ve booked flights to the USA for 3 weeks next spring as backup plans in case we can’t make it to SE Asia again. Just had a look at car hire and the cheapest I’ve found, on a website I’ve not heard of before, is about £900 for 3 weeks. A lot of sites start at £2k!

    Anyone got any suggestions I might have missed?

    • Steve says:

      Auto slash. Always saves us a huge amount.

    • Harry T says:

      There’s quite a few discount codes you can try – look at auto slash and Flyertalk.

      • Graham Walsh says:

        Just looked at my booking from March 20. Booked a Group F car via BA/Budget for £198 for 10 days to/from MIA. Just looked now and for 10 days March 22 which I’ve got flights booked too, car rental for a group F is now £982. Ouch. Maybe uber/lyft will work out cheaper.

    • BLT says:

      Try starting your booking from a city location rather than airport. Worked for hertz and Avis when I was looking

      • Graham Walsh says:

        Worked out £300 more expense for a day’s less car use too. That was with Budget direct.

    • IanM says:

      £900 for 3 weeks sounds pretty good right now, you could also try TURO.

      Non airport locations sounds good but in reality much more difficult to organise and I’ve not found them any cheaper, why would they be if companies can get substantially more for their airport locations.

      • Matt says:

        Thanks for the suggestions. Autoslash is no cheaper than other places, and TURO appears not to allow different drop off points, which is no good for us. Will have to adjust my expectations.

    • Chris says:

      If you have Amex try amex travel, have found hertz/ Avis is often cheaper booked through them rather than direct

    • Damian says:

      I have used previously. If you sign up as a member the rates are more favourable.

  • Alex says:

    HSBC Advance to Premier upgrade question

    Thinking of upgrading my HSBC current account from Advance to Premier. Is it easy to do this with the Premier team over the phone/in a branch directly? I’ve seen a number of posters on here saying the direct upgrade route is complicated by a cumbersome process, but they’ve had success with applying for a new Premier account online, which creates it, upgrades the existing Advance account to a second Premier account, and they end up with two parallel Premier accounts. Has anyone tried this recently? Any recommendations?

    • HH says:

      Was completely painless in branch (Canary Wharf) to go from Adv to Prem a few years ago. All I had to do was sign the travel insurance paperwork and watch a short video extolling then virtues of Premier…

    • The Urbanite says:

      I did it in branch which was a painless process.

    • Alex says:

      Youllnever, Urbanite – did you make the transition in branch recently? I was under the impression the pain only started w/ Covid. Maybe things are back to normal now. Probably worth it to give it a try in a branch myself

  • Allan says:

    What’s the situation with booking an IHG room for somebody else (in the UK) using points or free night voucher? Just add their name as second guest?

    • Peter K says:

      Or ring up and book it. IHG don’t mind from reports on here.

      • Craig says:

        Points OK, free night voucher not. You can book on the website and add a name, has worked for me in the UK. Correct policy is to phone and book though.

  • Peter K says:

    Just a thank you to everyone who suggested taking screenshots of your balance and downloading statements if you feel your energy company is about to go pop.
    Mine did yesterday and instantly you couldn’t see your balance or access statements. Thankfully I’d already done both 2 days earlier!
    I also took photos of my meter reading yesterday as well.

    • Jody says:

      I just missed out. I logged onto Avro in the morning to look at my statement, as it was due, but it wasn’t there. I’d only sent the meter readings in the night before, so thought I’d pop back on later to see if it had been sorted out.

      Next time I logged back on was after I’d heard they’d gone bust, and everything had disappeared!

  • Trystan says:

    Didn’t expect to see this in my inbox this morning. I suppose better late than ever! Gift Card
    £10.00 Gift Card

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