Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Friday 24th September

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

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.

Please only comment under the main articles on the site if your comment is directly related to the topic of the article.  This has long-term benefits as it keeps the commentary relevant for people who read those articles in the future.

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 (484)

  • Dave says:

    Mrs-Dave came home with £100+ of Sweaty Betty the other day.

    “Which card did you put it on?”
    “My debit card”


    • mr_jetlag says:

      I’d be absolutely fuming 🙃

    • PaulC says:

      I’d file for a divorce!! haha

    • AJA says:

      Oh dear.🤣 I’d remove the debit card from your wife’s purse. A true points collector and bargain hunter would go back and get a refund and then buy everything again on the right card!

      Nice to know someone actually does buy their stuff though and they’ve probably figured out that most of their customers pay on debit cards which is why they can offer the Amex discount 🤔 😂

    • WaynedP says:

      Threaten to make her travel Economy on your next long haul flight together while you enjoy champagne and a flat bed up front.

      That’ll get the point across (pun intended) 😆

    • Rob says:

      My wife did something similar recently ….

    • CarpalTravel says:

      Not sure they have an offer on at the moment, do they…..?

      Feel your pain, mine often misses out on BOGOF deals. {weep}

    • The Urbanite says:

      This is one step removed from paying full price at Pizza Express!

      • KBuffett says:

        Any tips please? I find their website limited with discount options and menu choices

    • Andrew says:

      D’oh could well be on you . 12% on Amex with Sweaty Betty…

      But if she’s registered with Airtime she will have had 14% back – not forgetting that Sweaty Betty is pretty ubiquitous across card offers so if she’s LBG, there’s probably 10% there too.

    • Lady London says:

      I’m not sure which is most offensive. Sweaty Betty or not putting it on the right card with correct promotion and stack.

      • Polly says:

        My poor OH actually phones me from the shop to ask which card am l to use today? On pain of death, he is never to even look at his debit card.. causes some amusement in WH S moths and Waterstones in our high street… esp if he forgets to use a gift card bought in M at 10% off. Shame…only have to mention Y seats to Asia….

    • TicknBash says:

      The Mrs has got a phobia of paying with the wrong card.
      She now sends me a list of things she wants to buy regularly….

      ‘Have you done it yet’ gets used a lot in my household.

    • Anna says:

      Make her write 100 lines: “Debit cards are for refunds.”

    • Janeyferr says:

      When I gave my partner a BAPP card he used it to steady a wobbly desk.

  • Ron says:

    Where is the best place to get the new iPhone to maximise Avios earning? Thanks.

    • Richie says:

      One option is Argos to collect nectar points, pay with an appropriate card.

    • Rhys says:

      The cheapest way to get it is buy it in the USA.

      • AJA says:

        Not sure it is if you have to add in the cost of an airfare though?

      • Sandgrounder says:

        Don’t forget to declare the IPhone and pay your import VAT
        You can do this before you arrive home, and then you can pass through the green channel.

      • Oh! Matron! says:

        It’s borderline now

        US: $999 + whatever taxes are thrown on. Lets say 6%. so, 1059 : 902 euro
        FR: 1159 euro – 20% tax back for tourists : 927 Euros

        • Save East Coast Rewards says:

          They sell them on Ryanair? 😲

        • stevenhp1987 says:

          You don’t get the full VAT back.

          Recently did a VAT refund from France.

          I paid €34.61 in VAT. My refund form said I am eligible for €24.92 of it back.

          When they process the refund they convert into your own currency, with a non-avoidable fee naturally. I was paid £18.95 today.

      • Greg says:

        Or if you have a small business here in the UK, put it through your company, claim 20% VAT immediately and expense the balance, reducing your corporation tax bill a further 19% in due time

        A £1200 item will cost you £810

        • BuildBackBetter says:

          It’s an asset, can’t expense it. Also you’ll have to use it exclusively for business purposes.

          • Ryan says:

            AIA on 100% = full cost against profits
            Super deduction would give 130% of the cost…

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Yup HMRC will deffo check how much personal use you made of your company mobile.

      • CarpalTravel says:

        Might be from the old days but wasn’t there a thing about USA phones working on different frequency ranges?

        • jj says:

          HMRC has an exemption in place for mobile phones. If a single phone is provided to an employee, no income tax or NI is payable regardless of how much it is used for personal purposes.

        • Blenz101 says:

          No issue with USA phones working. Getting to the US will be the bigger issue for most. November may be the ambition but won’t lose Joe any votes if it slips.

        • Rhys says:

          You can compare the supported bands online. Last time I did this (when I was living there) the supported bands were the same, I believe. But I’ve also been able to request a specific banded phone previously (via my friend who worked at Apple, admittedly)

    • Andrew says:

      Do you know anyone who works for our beloved NHS?

      NHS Staff, and up to 4 friends and family get a 20% discount off an IPhone 13 contract. So that makes a 40Gb contract with a 512Gb Iphone 13 with worldwide use (Smart Benefit) £61 a month for 24 months. £1440 total compares quite favourably with the £1249 charged at JLP for just the phone.

    • AL says:

      New BAPP/Avios-earning Amex and a SUP triggered for me… paid outright, so I’m now my own 0% interest loan provider.

  • Shaw West says:

    45% mystery bonus on Bonvoy!

  • N says:

    I have a UK Bonvoy Amex.

    If I take out a USA Bonvoy Amex, will I get the 15 nights from the card?

    Currently 150k Bonvoys bonus for $5k spend in 3 months on the US version…

    • TOBIAS L says:

      You’ll get the bonus but not the nights. Only combo for elite nights is US personal + biz cards.

  • Olly says:

    Contrary to being previously told by two separate reps that I couldn’t, I managed to get my flight only FTVs with BA applied to a 7 night trip with hotel to NYC for the end of November over the phone – subject to the US Government not changing their minds. The booking is showing 180 points each for the holiday for each of us, they’re AA flights but BA codeshare/ flight numbers in their version of World Traveller Plus.
    Back at the end of August @Rob did an article of BA running double tier points on BA Holidays on booking into next year and I’m asking is the n
    amount of points in WTP only 90 normally, or will the double points be added on completion of the trip, or 180 tier points would be the norm for NYC? Or, its needs me to contact BAEC about it as it is eligible for the promotion and should show more?

    • AJA says:

      Well done . You’ve confirmed what I said. Glad you tried calling back. Re double points offer I think you will be OK as it sounds like an eligible holiday booking. MMB only shows usual TP and Avios. You should get the bonus TP roughly 30 days after the holiday. You may have to Chase for it though. And if it is a true BAH booking you should also get extra Avios equal to the amount paid eg a holiday costing £500 should give a bonus of 500 Avios. I wonder if that’s applicable since you’ve used FTVs to pay though?

    • ChrisC says:

      LHR-JFK in WTP = 90TPs so a return = 180

      Will be doubled up after you return and allowed 30 days to post as per T&Cs.

      So in the end you’d get 360 each

  • Ana says:

    I’m looking for recommendations of a SPA weekend break in London or max 2h distance.
    Ideally, something that will work with some of the ongoing Amex offers.
    Any recommendations?

    • N says:

      Langley Spa is excellent.
      Hotel hard product excellent.
      Hotel service poor.

      Combined with the current marriott spend promo + free brekkie with marriott gold (off of Amex Plat), it could be an option. Also check Emyr.

      • Babyg says:

        free brekkie with Marriott gold? is this a new benefit at the langley?

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Gold members don’t receive free breakfast.

        Service has been fine on our last couple visits.

        • Niall says:

          I considered the Langley but going from reviews there do seem to be major service issues which I’m not sure id bother risking when spending that much. Amazed they haven’t done anything.

      • N says:

        Oops sorry

      • Harry T says:

        I like the Langley spa and the rooms are pretty good. Their gym is randomly top class if you like resistance training. The service was pants last time I stayed. They need to sort their shit out if they want to charge the cash prices they are demanding this summer.

      • Harry T says:

        Marriott Gold members don’t get free breakfast as an elite benefit.

    • Tracey says:

      The Grove?

    • Ana says:

      Thanks!! Do you know any that would have a package like “night + massage”? Or even any the you would recommend just for a spa day?

    • Nigel W says:

      I randomly came across Beaverbrook in the Surrey Hills and that looks very nice!

  • Mart says:

    Parents soon flying Manchester to Jamaica. hold plat and supp between them. Travelling with aunt and uncle. What are best options for accessing a lounge? Thanks

    • N says:

      If they each have their own PP, then they should be able to get all four of them into a lounge if there is a PP option in MAN

    • Rich says:

      Both the Plat and supp are entitled to 1 guest each on PP. just make sure they both bring their PP cards (or Apple wallet).

    • Anna says:

      Lounges have been packed out recently as people want to sit at tables without masks while they wait for their flights, though it may be quieter now the kids are back at school (unless they are going over October half term). I can’t remember if you can pre-book with PP, I gave up on it at MAN long ago!

  • JandeW says:

    Returned to UK from Amsterdam on KLM on Wednesday. Departure arrangements at Schipol were particularly painful. At check in, pre-departuere covid test and travel locator form were presented and checked. All fine. “Your departure gate is D24 but please go to gate D8 now for “Health Confirmation Check”. Apparently requested by UK Government. Gate D8 is miles away from the lounge: arrived there to find a long queue. Joined the queue at the first booth, to be asked once more for the exact same documents; passport sticker applied. We were then sent to another booth for a further passport check: Dutch immigration personnel. This procedure was for all passengers, not just British passports. By this time, it was too late to flog all the way back to the lounge so went to the departure gate. On arrival at Heathrow T2, armed Border Force guards were also doing additional passport control at the gangway exit into the airport. Is this something peculiar to arrivals from the Netherlands?

    • Rich says:

      Police/ border force at the jet bridge is usually when they have specific information relating to your flight or a passenger on it, rather than general.

      • KBuffett says:

        There’s been a heavy presence of armed police and border force at Heathrow when getting off a number of Qatar flights….

        • AJA says:

          As an aside Wednesday week ago I drove past LHR T4 as the Insulate Britain mob had closed the anticlockwise M25 after j10 so I diverted off at T4 and there was a very heavy police presence, several cars on each of the roundabout entry points to LHR and T4 and again on the A30 entry slip road from T4.

          • Blenz101 says:

            Making sure nobody flees flees the red list terminal and being imprisoned at their own expense!

    • Harry T says:

      Yeah, departure at Schiphol for UK bound passengers right now is an absolute joke. They just pointlessly replicate all the steps multiple times and create loads of queues and crowds.

    • Doug says:

      Travel is not simple these days, BA system to check your covid status is so flawed, I’ve done everything in my last trip and had to show it again at the gates (hand luggage).

      • Blair says:

        But is there a separate Sky Priority lane at these queues? I love the Crown Lounge; the food is the insipid stuff I quite enjoy. I don’t want to miss it.

    • MM says:


The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.