Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Tuesday 28th September

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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.

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Comments (516)

  • BJ says:

    Not sure if this is a new offer or not but noticed that my dad’s PRG referral bonus has been boosted to 18,000 MR points through 9 November.

    • Polly says:

      Yep, all 3 of our golds have that offer now. Must cancel and re refer some v soon, as it ends Nov 9th.

  • elguiri says:

    Any hotel recommendations for a weekend stay in Portsmouth?

    • Mikeact says:

      You need to lower your sights for a hotel in Portsmouth, be prepared for disappointment !

      • elguiri says:

        I had taken a look online and was disheartened that the top results were not actually in Portsmouth…

        • Harrier25 says:

          I stayed at the Premier Inn in Portsmouth a few years back. It was cheap and perfectly acceptable.

          • Super Secret Stuff says:

            There are now 4 from memory. The one by Southsea station is the newest and best

    • MisterE says:

      Nothing very special, but I have always found the Portsmouth Marriott perfectly OK. Easy access off Motorway, good parking, places to eat within short distance

    • Super Secret Stuff says:

      Stayed many times, best place with a points angle is the Holiday Inn on Pembroke road or HIX in Gunwharf is also good. Both mainly because of the locations etc. Marriott is far out of the way.

      Premier Inn by Southsea station is good too, although i don’t stay there because it never has enough staff to evacuate disabled people when the fire alarm goes off. Learnt the hard way!

      • elguiri says:

        Thanks, was looking at the HI, as it also has ‘executive’ rooms that have space for 2 adults and a child, but a lot of reviews weren’t very complimentary.

        • Super Secret Stuff says:

          The rooms are boring to be frank, but then there is lots nearby so you don’t need to spend too much time in them. Not sure how executive the executive rooms are. Restaurant and bar are nice but lots of nearby alternatives too

          • elguiri says:

            The only bit of executive I wanted was the third bedspace…good to know the local area is good for food, as I envisage a long day of walking. Any tips for parking? I think HI has it but charged for

          • Super Secret Stuff says:

            I dont drive but I know the HI one gets full quickly and there are a few others around

      • Guernsey Globetrotter says:

        +1 for HIE Gunwharf – near naval dockyards etc, lots of parking, loads of retail therapy if that’s your bag and also plentiful F&B options in Gunwharf til late!

    • admg says:

      HIX Gunwharf Quay is good. Discounted parking, near shops and restaurants. Short walk to the excellent historic harbour.

  • QwertyKnowsBest says:

    Just built up enthusiasm to call BA to yet again push back a 241 booking to the USA, this time to November, but looking at the BA availability chart nothing available to anywhere in the USA for November. Is it me?

  • Craig says:

    Made a couple of overseas IHG Creation transactions in the last few days, they’ve appeared without a transaction fee. I didn’t get a message about the offer, does anyone know whether the fee gets added later or whether it’s included when the transaction posts?

    • stevenhp1987 says:

      The fee is included in the rate itself. When your statement is generated it will show something like “20.00 EUR @ 1.1300 inc conversion fee of 2.99%”.

      The promotion offsets this by adding a separate “fee-saving” entry giving you the fee back.

      • Craig says:

        Weird then because it’s posted with a rate of about 1.16 €/£ which is neither one nor the other?

  • Jaime says:

    Any 9ther way to contact BA holidays besides 0hone.
    They rebook our cancelled flights to an earlier one and MMB does not allow to pick another one later in the day.

  • Tom says:

    Does chase credit check? got my code this morning to join but I just opened one current account with Barclays

    • Ste C says:

      I didn’t get any alerts from the credit check sites I am signed up to

    • DJ says:

      Just a soft check to confirm your identity 🙂 This has been confirmed by Chase. And I have also checked my credit profile as well.

  • Paul says:

    Now that ‘Bendy’ and ‘Solihull’s’ relationship has come to an end, is there any direct uses for the latter?

    • Rui N. says:

      Surely the card can still be used. Cards work without Curve.

      • Pete M says:

        But it doesn’t do Apple Pay, it charges foreign transaction fees… I may keep it in a drawer for a bit, but can’t see much use for it longer-term – maybe for IHG Gold once the Spire days come to an end?

        • Rui N. says:

          You don’t need to take it out of the drawer to get IHG Gold.

          • Paul says:

            I’m more wondering re. past activities in their relationship that Solihull could still continue to enjoy directly on its own?

          • Pete M says:

            Presumably you can still pay Solihull off with other CCs, but can you generate enough spend on it to make it worthwhile?

          • Paul says:

            Exactly! I’m not sure now how to generate enough spend on Creation. On a slightly related note, how prompt do you think Creation would be at issuing a refund of a credit balance?

    • Paul Pogba says:

      If you can get £10k a year through it the free hotel night is still worthwhile, you can get £200-300 of value out of a one night stay plus 20,000 points. If its staying in a drawer is Gold Elite worth £99??

    • Guernsey Globetrotter says:

      If you are ‘Paul the Destroyer’ from the Bendy/ERNIE thread earlier this month then I don’t imagine anyone will be keen on sharing tips on new routes with you!

      • Paul Pogba says:

        I have no idea who Paul the Destroyer is. There are plenty of reasons people on here may dislike me, but I doubt excessive MS is one of them. I’ve never done anything that couldn’t be explained as an innocent mistake to manage my cashflow (and has only once used NSI when I was legitimately depositing money) and in any case I don’t discuss much on here.

        • Guernsey Globetrotter says:

          Hi Paul Pogba – don’t worry – this comment was aimed at the other ‘Paul’ in this chain. Who doesn’t like Paul Pogba?? Except for Graeme Sourness that is !!

          • Paul says:

            I am not Paul the Destroyer, although worryingly this isn’t the first time I’ve been mistaken as. I am the less greedy and slightly better behaved Paul still keen to earn some IHG

  • Lyn says:

    A niche question re land entry into Spain.

    Does anyone happen to know what paperwork, if any, is required apart from proof of vaccination, for crossing the land border from France into Spain?

    Thanks for any advice. The PLF type forms seem to only be for air travel and I can’t find any other forms on the Spanish web-sites.

    • stevenhp1987 says:

      Correct. PLF only required for arrivals by air/sea.

      There may be checks at the border though.

      There was plenty of checks on the French/German border 2 weeks ago when I was there. Felt like the Schengen agreement didn’t exist as they thoroughly checked peoples cars…

      • Pete M says:

        Was that the French doing the checks? I think they are on some sort of high terrorism alert at the moment?

        • stevenhp1987 says:

          Both I believe. Was some officers between the Luxembourg / Germany border too.

          Nothing at Belgium/France border though.

      • John says:

        Ad hoc checks are precisely what Schengen means

    • Lyn says:

      Thank you everyone. Interesting. It sounds very time-consuming.

      I wonder if anyone has any recent experience with the France / Catalunya border / autoroute toll booth crossing specifically in either or both directions?

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