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.

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Comments (516)

  • Ant says:

    we decided for a week holiday split between Rioja region and San Sebastian. Any suggestions for restaurants and things to do appreciated

    • Will says:

      I’m sure others can recommend Michelin type places in SS but we went for pintxos bars instead and ate incredibly well for a few days. No need for recommendations really, pop into one for a couple of small bites and a caña, move on to the next. Only recommendation would be Bar Nestor which gets very busy. They basically only sell delicious steak and red wine. Well worth it

    • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

      Casa Julián de Tolosa is on my to-do list if I ever make it to that part of the world.

    • Michael C says:

      Haro is the heart of Rioja country: anything you eat or drink will be fabulous. Just go for vino de la casa, which will be ridiculously good.
      For nearby visits to San Seb, both Hondarribia and St Jean-de-Luz (the latter in France) are gorgeous and close,

    • Patrycja says:

      We just came back from San Sebastián. Our favourite places were Ganbara (order famous mushroom and egg dish), Atari (beef cheeks were amazing) and Bar Nestor (famous for Spanish omelette but you have to pre-book a slice at 11.45am). We also went to Arzak which I would highly recommend.

    • Tony1 says:

      The view from the Mercure is good, the hotel is not.

    • Eoc says:

      Try Marques de Risqual hotel designed by Frank Gerry. Deep in Rioja country. Exquisite.

  • Babyg says:

    FYI thanks to all the HFPers from Lisbon hotel tips, went with the MOXY (which HFP did a review of), pretty much on par with what Rhys wrote, including getting a Moxyfied Balcony Sleeper (largest room) as a lowly gold… The only downer is the desk and seat situation (there is none) in the room, but there were plenty of working areas downstairs, and they even had a quiet enclosed board room that i had sole use (only one brave enough to open the closed door) for most of the day.

    • ankomonkey says:

      Did your room have a clown horn? Or did only Rhys get that as a guest of Marriott?

  • Paul says:

    Does anyone know a trick to get Heathrow express savings? Travelling out in 13 days and back in 15 days. Saying £44 per person. Thanks in advance.

    • Michael C says:

      Family railcards work, if that’s any use!

    • AL says:

      Depending how you view and value points, then book via Virgin Trains Ticketing in the Virgin Red app. You’ll get 3x points – 66 for a £22 fare.

      Avios also available via a conversion from Heathrow Rewards.

      If you’re worried about price, the regular TfL Rail service isn’t too bad.

    • John says:

      Use TfL rail if you really want to start in Paddington

      At £44 per person even a black cab should be cheaper from almost anywhere in London?

    • Babyg says:

      Booking upto 90days in advance gets the best pricing, but when i havent done that I take the Heathrow connect, it can be used with Oyster (so part of your daily cap), HEX was only running every 30mins.. not sure if its back to every 15mins now thou…

  • Rob says:


  • Definitas says:

    Just had an email from BA asking me to download Verifly and upload travel information for an upcoming flight to Canada. I previously had an issue with difficulty scanning a QR code off my phone and was thinking I would prefer to rely on paper copies of everything. We are flying in J (F was withdrawn ☹️). Is it worth the trouble of installing Verifly?

    • Andrew says:

      It made our journey through Lisbon airport on the way back to the U.K. last month much easier (but we were a family of four with the accompanying pile of paperwork)

    • J says:

      I think if you don’t, you can’t check in online. Or at least it seemed like that for us last night.

      • meta says:

        There is an option on Verifly to upload documents manually if QR code doesn’t work.

    • Tracey says:

      Easier to scan the QR code off a paper copy or displaying it on a tablet. You can always choose the manual verify option – I had to do that for an antigen test that didn’t have a code.

    • sushisushi says:

      Depends on where you are starting your journey. We started in EDI and at check-in they said we don’t use Verifly here, it’s mostly for London! We flew to Canada 10 days ago and printed everything. It was easier that way.

  • Mco says:

    Got Amex MR that I want to convert to miles but been waiting for a miles promo. Don’t want to send to EY but nothing else has popped up. Anyone know of past offers and when they usually come. There haven’t been any in the last couple of years right?

    • Rob says:

      Hilton and Marriott had promos, but neither was outstanding and not good enough to make them a better deal than miles. The only airline ones have been ‘unofficial’, ie where Amex refuses to promote it but the airline puts something out in an effort to raise some cash from Amex.

  • Grant says:

    Anyone got a Bulb referral code?

    • Rich says: for what it’s worth, but I believe they’ve temporarily suspended referrals.

      Was £25 per fuel.

      • Rich says:

        Well that’s interesting. Clicked on my own link – they’re now offering a whopping £2.

        When I checked yesterday, the were offering nothing. May be worth holding off a day or two to see if they increase it.

        • Harrier25 says:

          Why would anyone want to move to Bulb when they’re on the verge of going out of business?

          • Rich says:

            I wouldn’t say on the verge – no more than any other supplier, anyway. Octopus was looking at buying them, I believe.

    • The Rooster says:

      Why would you not move to octopus out of cruisouty?

      • Harrier25 says:

        Bulb are most certainly on the verge.

      • Rui N. says:

        Why would they move to Octopus? When I changed suppliers (in August, which I know I was a long long time in this current market) they were the 4th cheapest (after referal bonus) only in the ~10 that I looked into detail.

        • Rich says:

          Not everybody goes for the absolute cheapest. The race to the bottom is partly why we are where we are.

          • Rui N. says:

            But that doesn’t explain why The Rooster is so surprised that anyone would go to any supplier rather than Octopus.
            I doubt the race to the bottom in terms of prices has anything to do with the wholesale prices of electricity, which is “whe we are where we are”. It has everything to do with the number of failures, of course. But the prices of electricity/gas arecaused by global gas prices and the decision to get rid of virtually all gas storage capacity in the country.

          • The Rooster says:

            Because octopus did offer (they still might) that is 15.2 and 5.5 for electricity which s the cheapest on the market?

          • Rui N. says:

            Assuming that’s the unit rate for electricity/gas, for me they don’t offer those prices (and for electricity not even close). The cheapest tarrif is 24.50 for electricity and 6p for gas. When I changed suppliers in August their cheapest tariff for me was 18.8/3.5.
            If that’s the Octopus Go rate, also not the same here (24.1p during the day, 5p at night)

          • Rich says:

            It’s a bit pointless quoting the unit rates for gas/ elec without also factoring in the different standing charges, what region you’re in, whether it’s fixed and for how long. Let alone comparing August with now!

            This is what price comparison sites are for.

          • Rui N. says:

            I wasn’t exactly the one first bringing unit rates to the conversation, was I? *rolled eyes emoji*

        • John says:

          Prices are different around the country so the 4th cheapest for you may be the cheapest reliable supplier for someone else

          • Rui N. says:

            Maybe you should explain that to the person that thinks Octopus is the cheapest around and is surprised anyone chooses any other supplier?

      • Aston100 says:

        I got a quote from Octopus yesterday.
        Was really bad – unit charges were pretty much what Rui N is saying.

        • Rui N. says:

          I don’t know if for the current market conditions these values are bad or not 🙂 I was simply saying that not everyone can get the prices The Rooster mentioned and that they were not the cheapest for me just last month (maybe today they are, I haven’t checked).

  • Kevin says:

    Talked to IHG CS but go no way. Thought better to ask for HFP expert opinions here.

    May i know if the UK free night voucher can be used on Kimpton hotel. Trying to move the booked with voucher at intercontinental paris to kimpton paris for this weekend as quite like kimpton (stayed for last few nights) style etc. Unfortunately intercontinental free night reward had no longer available now and thus a bit risky if cancel first and not able to book at kimpton with the voucher. TIA

    • YC says:

      They can. I used one here. Whether there is availability is another question

    • Anna says:

      Do you mean the credit card free night? You can use that at any IHG property, subject to availability.

      • Anna says:

        Though on closer examination it looks like you may mean Ambassador 2nd night free. In which case, you don’t need to cancel the first booking before you make the second as the certificate is only deactivated after you stay. It’s valid at Kimptons till the end of the year, but again there needs to be availability.

      • Tw33ty says:

        You can use the free night credit card voucher at any ihg hotel except six senses and regent brands.

    • Kevin says:

      Thx to all with confirmation. Got it rebooked so that 4pm check out is great (finger cross based on my last weekend stay experience) as Intercontinental seems rather busy and no guarantee late check out for a free night booking.

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