Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Tuesday 28th September

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Comments (516)

  • AY says:

    Got spend £1 to get 100MR on and platinum cash back, and spend £1 to get 50MR on my platinum. Always frustrating when it’s less on the fee paying card.

    • Andrew says:

      Mine round the other way – £1 get 100 MR on my Platinum and £1 get 50 Avios on my BAPP

      • Graham Walsh says:

        Got the same on my two. What is the point? To see if anyone is actually using the offers?

    • Ian says:

      I also have the “Spend £1 collect 50 MR Points” offer on my Amex Platinum. Seems a very strange offer

      • BJ says:

        It is strange. I am not saving these offers. I didn’t save them last time too. All we are doing is notifying amex that we will accept rubbish offers. Yes I know the return per € is huge but they are still rubbish offers from my POV.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          one way to cut off your nose

          its a small bonus just accept it and move on

          • Rui N. says:

            Yeah, 50 or 100 MR extra points for a lot of Amex users is likely to be 5-10% of their monthly MR take. Yes, I also like the 42k avios that I’m getting from churning the BAPP since my 2 years were up. But for most users 100MR is a nice top-up.

          • BJ says:

            What is the rationale for an incentive to spend £1 on accounts that routinely spend thousands a month? I just think there is more too it, I’m suspicious amex wants to collect and analyse tge data on this for whatever reason but then they’ll almost certainly do that with every offer anyway.

        • illuminatus says:

          +1

    • CarpalTravel says:

      Nothing on my Plat Bus. For such an expensive card, it has been a real dud lately. It’s not like I am getting to enjoy any of the travel benefits it offers, not until at least Sept’22.

      It’s days are seriously numbered.

    • Swiss Jim says:

      Nothing on my Platinum card. Devastated.

    • Can says:

      I’ve got it on both plat and ba. Give it to less people but give at least 1000mr, Amex!!

    • John says:

      “Spend £1 collect 50 Avios”

      Great to FINALLY be getting some return on my annual fee! Are they doing this just to take the piss?

    • Kai says:

      100 MR bonus on the cash back card? That sounds a weird offer

    • Justin says:

      Platinum Charge – Nothing (like last time!)
      Gold Rewards – £1 for 100MR
      Gold Business – £1 for 50MR

  • Annabel says:

    Good morning. Advice please BA have cancelled my first class 2-4-1 flights to Singapore for next month ( booked originally 10/2020 ). I would like to try again for Sept 2022! However on MMB I can only seem to amend the date 🎉 of either outbound or inbound flight at a time to another first class flight of my choosing. On the change date page it shows 2 inbound flights for some reason. 🤷🏻‍♀️ Is it probable once I’ve accepted the change in date on say inbound flight, the ability to choose a new outbound in first will be gone and I’ll have to pay £35 change fee to book CW? I’m aware the telephone agents won’t let me book past the one year date from original booking 😞Thanks in advance.

    • ScienceTeacher says:

      The rules changed; you can rebook now 1 year from first outbound date. So no harm in calling.

      • Beardless Hipster says:

        Not anymore. They reverted back to their original policy of 1 year from the booking date.

        • Paul says:

          They haven’t a leg to stand on!

          If BA cancel they are obliged to refund you
          or
          re book on another carrier in comparable flight conditions ie 1st class close to original departure date time
          or
          re book you in comparable fare conditions at a date and time that suits you. They cannot place a time limit on this though it would be reasonable to re book with 1 year of the outbound date.

          If you think about this logically – many people book Avios seats 355 days in advance. That would mean a re booking period that is within 10 days of the booked date. Its bizarre that they are even trying to enforce this ludicrous policy

          Push back hard and if you fail take them to CEDR.

          • Lady London says:

            +1.

            The key thing is that EU261 and its currently equivalent UK261 are statutes ie overarching national or international laws.

            Legally, statutes always outrank contracts ie agreements (such as terms and conditions on purchases of almost anything and including air tickets).

            So it doesn’t matter what British Airways says. It doesn’t matter if British Airways system says it can’tbdo something. If a statute says you have a right British Airways isn’t giving you statute wins.

            Thank heavens EU261 is quite a solidly drafted easy to read piece of legislation (statute).

            Factually, EU261 says you can choose to reroute your cancelled-by-airline flight to a later date convenient to *you* and if it was a booking including avios/points/miles, airline is *not* allowed to insist on an award-type seat being available for you on your convenient date. EU261 specifically states any available seat in same cabin (ie are they selling one?) you have a right to. BA’s system will try and restrict you often so you’ll have to call.

      • GT says:

        Is this the case? I saw some comments recently that BA had revoked this change and reverted to limiting ticket validity to 1 year from date of ticket issue.

    • Colin MacKinnon says:

      Should be in Denver now, but thankfully my Edinburgh-LHR flights were cancelled, and my F LHR-DEN were downgraded to CW.

      Ticket bought in 50% Avios sale, booked for October last year and then BA cancelled.
      Rebooked for Easter this year, and BA cancelled.
      Rebooked for the end of the year since purchase – ie now – and BA cancelled.

      Phoned YouFirst two weeks ago: can rebook to next year in CW – without Avios availability – but you’ll have to pay extra avios (difference between 50% F and 100% CW !) I pointed out that was ludicrous, chap said it would be referred to manager.

      Phoned yesterday. Nothing had come back from “manager”. Operator said rebook should not be an issue, and sorted tickets.

      But then said I wouldn’t be due an avios refund! I said that was ridiculous.

      Phone call an hour later to say avios refund approved.

      Moral: BA staff are completely confused by all the rules. Just keep trying and don’t take no for an answer.

      • barnaby100 says:

        Good luck.I had the same- they took extra Avios to ticket and assured me they would refunded- then changed their minds. Took 6 weeks and a lot of chasing up followed by a complaint. Currently paying 50% of 1st to fly in club. 1st is now available again and they won’t move me back.

  • TPGreen says:

    Morning all, looking for some pre-travel test for Netherlands, I’m double vaccinated but aware I need a test before I get the Eurostar, travelling on 7th October. It’s either a PCR 48hours before or a Antigen 24hours before. Any recommendation? I’d ideally like something good value but this is a really important trip (finally seeing South African family after 2 years apart) so also valuing speed of turn around /reliability. Thanks

    • Reeferman says:

      I’m off to Netherlands on Thursday am – and have booked Antigen test with Collinsons (at LCY) for Wednesday pm. Will report-back on how it goes – in both UK and Netherlands

    • Michael says:

      I’ve used Collinson at St. Pancras for the Eurostar a few times now. Not the cheapest option, but definitely most convenient.

      • Rob says:

        Agree, used it last week. Was done and dusted in under 10 minutes from exiting the secure Eurostar area.

    • Sarah says:

      If the antigen test doesn’t need to be done in person then go with Chronomics – £23.50. I used this to return from Greece and all worked fine.

    • MM says:

      Just to let you know that though the rules require a test before departure no one is asking to see one at UK end. They only want to see your double vaccination proof. This has been the case for my last 3 trip in 4 weeks. I know it is not worth the risk not to have one. We used a local pharmacy which did the test for £20 and issued a certificate. Just FYI

  • YC says:

    Morning all, any tips on getting the best price for sixt car rentals?

    • C says:

      I have received very good pricing from Sixt over the past year by getting Sixt Diamond status through their partnership with Turkish Miles and Smiles (Elite status benefit). The rates have consistently been better than Hertz with the Amex Platinum discount.

    • Beardless Hipster says:

      Get a gold or platinum status match. Amex Platinum -> Marriott Gold -> Sixt Gold; Amex Platinum -> Hertz 5 star -> Sixt Platinum

      • Pete M says:

        Have you checked a broker like Holiday Autos? Obviously wouldn’t get the benefits of going direct, but can often be a lot cheaper.

    • southlondonphil says:

      Sixt partners with multiple airline and hotel programmes, and will status-match you from many (but not all!) of them. BAEC isn’t one of their partners but Virgin FC Gold will get you Sixt Platinum which comes with ~15% off rental costs. On the hotel side the partners include several German chains but Radisson, Melia and Marriott are represented (no Hilton) so holders of an Amex Plat can easily parlay their ‘free’ Gold status in one of those three into Sixt Gold if they don’t already hold anything higher.

      See https://www.sixt.com/sixt-partners/#/ click through to a partner and look for the Reservations and Promotions button at the bottom of the page to see what points earning and status-matching offers apply to each partner.

      • Rob says:

        I did a Sixt rental for our Center Parcs trip and the best price was via a Virgin Gold match. They don’t actually check to see if you have it.

        Laughably, I was then refused Flying Club miles for the rental, either because it was prepaid or because it was discounted.

      • YC says:

        Thanks for the suggestions all – did you have to use a new email address to register? I have an account with Sixt and its just erroring out…

  • Mark says:

    Have an Etihad J class ticket booked. What is the best airline to credit the miles to? I’m now Asia based having moved out of the UK.

    • BJ says:

      You can check your options on the wheretocredit web page.

      • Mark says:

        Thanks, diddn’t know that website existed! None of the airlines are ones that I frequent but was wondering if there are any programs that then allow me to transfer the miles to hotels etc.

  • Paul says:

    I need to cancel an Avios booking however online I’m only offered a FTV or eVoucher, I assume the former! Anyway, my preference is a full refund although it’s proving difficult to get through to BA and the flight is in the near future. Can I take the FTV online now and request a refund later when their phone lines simmer down?

    • Pete M says:

      Yes, that’s an option.

      • Paul says:

        Is there another option? No rush for the refund, just some time sensitivity to cancel. I would just hate for the option to request a refund for the FTV to suddenly disappear, although I’m sure it won’t!

        • Pete M says:

          Sorry, I should have said that’s possible! Another option is to try Twitter DMs (been waiting for 4 days for a reply now, though), web chat (no idea about response times at the moment) or persevere on the phone. I got through to them yesterday evening via the US Avios number after holding for about 30mins.

          • Paul says:

            I see! There is no rush for the refund if that’s an option once accepting the automatic FTV if cancelling the award booking online. There is a rush to cancel however with T-24 approaching, and I’m not hopeful in getting through to BA

  • Sprout says:

    Anyone else unable to pay the bearded one with the bent one regardless of underlying card? All these changes are begining to get irritating!

  • MarkH says:

    Morning – heading to Athens this weekend with IHG points to use and struggling to decide between the Intercontinental Athenaeum or the Crowne Plaza.

    Tradeoff seems to be that the Intercon is a nicer hotel but CP better located and more convenient for getting around but also restaurants nearby etc so I’m leaning towards CP.

    Any thoughts on these hotels?

    • John says:

      CP

      • Paul says:

        A general bemoaning, has IHG figured out their non-sensical dynamic award pricing yet?

    • Peggerz says:

      I had this conundrum last year until C-19 had me cancel anyway. I had managed to get a great deal on a club room at the CP.
      There are resto’s and public transport on your doorstep.
      If you want a decent pool, the CP pool is v small.
      The IC is further out of the way, but if you like walking……….

      • MarkH says:

        We’re heading to the riviera (Vouliagmeni most likely) for a few days after so pool not too much of a concern. Think I read somewhere the IC pool is shut from Oct anyway.
        Looks like CP it is.

        Re dynamic pricing I’ve been checking the individual nights regularly over the past couple of weeks and they’ve not changed at all

      • John says:

        CP gave spires lounge access in 2018. Had breakfast and dinner in lounge, was almost empty, I think other guests were too snooty to do that – but there was so much food and it was all wasted as I could only eat so much….

      • EvilDoctorK says:

        Yeah IC is a nice well run hotel ( though in a slightly old fashioned kind of a way) but location is not great , not much around it … Pool isn’t great either ( probably less of an issue in October!) .. okay size, but very little space around it.

        Location of the IC means it’s probably at least 5/10 minute walk to anywhere you’d probably want to go out to with restaurants/bars etc and the immediate area around it is a bit grim / full of busy roads .. It’s not terrible, easy enough to walk to whevever you want and taxis are cheap .. but it’s not the best location wise

        Haven’t stayed in the CP but location looks a bit better

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