Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Wednesday 13th October

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Comments (600)

  • Peter Taysum says:

    I’m First!

    Well CW/CE actually, on Avios; NCL to SEA for New Year to see my godson. I’d booked a “holiday” (flights and car) after missing BA sale due to timing/cash flow etc.

    Do I request FTV to not lose £150 deposit? I COULD put holiday back to June for another trip as CW is cheaper that WTP, with car.

    Which works better?


    • Harry T says:

      I think you can call them and get them to FTV the old booking and immediately use the FTV to book the new trip for you over the phone.

      Alternatively, you could wait and see if new year prices improve and then rebook in a similar way.

    • ChrisC says:

      Yes you can get an FTV – need to claim that before the balance is due – the date of that should be in the original booking email or in MMB (note if you changed the booking since making it then that date does not update but balance due date is still 3 weeks before departure)

      I’d wait until then just incase there is a flight cancellation or major time change in which case you can have a refund.

      BA hols have different rules on rebooking as packages come under different legislation to flight only.

    • Peter Taysum says:

      Thanks for the advice! I’ve hit until 7th December, so can watch and wait…

  • Anna T says:

    Good morning. Trying to maximise Amex Hyatt offer at Andaz London across two cards for upcoming stay. Do Hyatt automatically do express checkout on check out day and charge the card you’ve given when you booked / checked in with? Or allow you to pay at desk when you leave. Thank you

  • KBuffett says:

    I paid for seat selection on BA 241 tickets. Originally booked seats 1A and 1B
    Been changed for operational reasons to 10D and
    The seat map looks the same as previous, and we’ve been over to the middle section with three seats from previously having one window seat and an aisle seat.
    Row 6 onwards are available, so I don’t think it’s a plane change.
    Rather annoying as at £60 a seat, it’s not cheap to then not get what you’ve paid for.
    Might try and charge back on my BA AmEx and get banned for life by BA 😂

    • Save East Coast Rewards says:

      “If we are unable to offer you a suitable alternative for seating you paid for, you can apply for a refund.”

    • ChrisC says:

      You asked this yesterday afternoon (at 14.38 to be precise) and got the correct answer that yes you could get the seat fees refunded so no need to ask it again!

      • VerdantBacon says:

        It’s clearly better to repetitively waste time asking for a refund off an unrelated website than to ask the question to the company you paid money to.

      • KBuffett says:

        As you like to be precise, I’d like to point out that I haven’t asked a question today.

      • Damian says:

        @ChrisC If you read yesterday’s again the advice was to contact BA for a refund which anyone knows can take hours or days at the moment trying to get through.

        Save East Code Rewards has actually best answered the question by providing the link for the refund page which was not posted yesterday.

        • Niall says:

          Still, asking the same question again when it has been answered… there are many questions which can be asked every day and some days you’ll get a better answer than others. The point is that it is a bit of a waste of peoples time if everyone did this.

          • CarpalTravel says:

            Whilst I agree, at the same time being on Page 1 likely means they got a better (and indeed did) response. Hopefully now we won’t get it again tomorrow. 😊

  • Ravi says:

    USA will allow visitors from UK likely in January 2022. As for November opening looks likely only for Canada & Mexico.

  • Gary says:

    May I check Amex *personal* cards SUB strategy. We mainly after avios. Player 1 & 2 both have BAPP, intend to cancel player 2’s BAPP once voucher obtained, and keep Player 1’s. So player 1 refer player 2 for Plat, then Player 2 refer player 1 for Plat, both cancel Plat after SUB achieved. Player 2 serves 24 months Amex “sentence” whilst continue using Player 1 BAPP supp. After 2 years, player 2 follows Rob’s article re max SUB. I wasn’t sure if player 2 could have a Amex nectar card for example during the 2 year period? Am I missing any points opportunities?

    • Memesweeper says:

      AFAIK you can go from Nectar to BAPP and still get a SUB. Handy to keep another Amex for offers, etc.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Wouldn’t keep a BAPP live as you’d be eligible for the bonus again.

      Get a nectar card for the fallow period.

  • Thywillbedone says:

    Morning all (re-post from yesterday but I didn’t get any replies).

    I have holiday plans for Thailand in late December. Everything is currently cancellable for free but the ‘go/don’t go’ decision point is earlier than I would like driven by a hotel booking in the Andara Phuket which has a 45 day notice period or full amount is due. They are part of the Preferred Hotels & Resorts group. I was wondering if anyone has had success getting a hotel to relax it’s notice period? (I understand longer cancellation periods are often demanded by resort locations)

    Thanks in advance!

    • Anna says:

      Are there no hotels with more flexible policies where you want to stay? I assume changing something like a cancellation period would be a corporate decision and therefore quite slow and laborious to implement even if they did agree to review the policy.

      • Thywillbedone says:

        In short: I got a great rate unlikely to be seen again (which continues to get better as the Baht falls). Yes, there are plenty of other options but not at the same level.

    • meta says:

      You can always try, but why would they? I would cancel and rebook something else with a better cancellation policy.

    • marcw says:

      Give them a Revolut card as a payment card. If you don’t travel, don’t put funds on it.

    • JDB says:

      It’s definitely worth asking; we have found many hotels very helpful and successfully agreed much shorter cancellation periods than the officially advertised ones. Emyr might possibly be able to help as well.

    • Sandgrounder says:

      Do you think Thailand will be busy? I would bet that it will not. You should still have a good selection of accomodation if you cancel and book a replacement closer to departure.

    • HBommie says:

      There’s only one way to find out, hope it works out for you.

    • Thywillbedone says:

      By way of update: Preferred Hotels were not able to handle the request but the hotel itself did, and agreed to a significantly shorter cancellation policy (email confirmation pending). For those looking for Thailand data points, their reservations team said they were fully booked for Christmas period.

    • Clive says:

      Government decision is expected 1st Nov on allowing in without quarantine. Why not apply under Sandbox rules?

  • Sprout says:

    Payments to Creation from Friday last week (& later) still not registering.
    Question is, do I ring them and challenge it or wait a bit longer.
    The 60 day clock is ticking …

    • meta says:

      Just checked mine. Same here (white card), paid last Wednesday for a payment due this Monday. Still not showing on the account and they have now charged me late payment fee and still haven’t processed it. I was going to let it go with FOS complaint about closure, but now I am going to even if there is nothing to be gained from it.

      • Anna says:

        Hi @meta, do you mean you’re going to include the late payment processing in your complaint (I assume you’re not letting the free night issue go!)? I’m thinking it’s good evidence of how generally useless and incoherent Creation are. It will be interesting to see what kind of defence they are going to muster to all the FOS complaints!

        • meta says:

          @Anna I have a white card, so no free night, but I am just going to make a FOS complaint for the sake of it. I’ll muster something up. I just want them to get charged £750 because I know deep down I am probably going to get nowhere with this late payment fee. Interbank transfers are instant or at most 2hrs wait!

          @Rui N. Interestingly they haven’t applied any interest. I had only about £500 to pay off.

          • Rui N. says:

            @meta, interest shows right away or on the statement only? I’d figure the latter, but I don’t have any experience with that on Creation. Does yours show interest also or just the late fee?

          • xcalx says:

            When we do and don’t charge

            You won’t need to pay a case fee for the first 25 complaints against your business that we deal with in each financial year. From the 26th complaint onwards, we charge a case fee of £750.

            If a case does need to be investigated, it becomes a chargeable case, regardless of the outcome.

            Most businesses have very few cases referred to us, meaning that most businesses don’t pay any case fees. For businesses that do pay case fees, the cost involved is likely to be much less than the legal costs of defending the case in court.

          • meta says:

            @Rui N. Just the late payment fee. The full statement hasn’t generated yet. Maybe they’ll actually reverse it as they know they had the money.

      • gillydee says:

        +1 on black card

      • Mick S says:

        Same here, payment from three days ago still not showing. I’ve got a statement due next week, hopefully it will make it onto that.

      • J says:

        +1, black card. Not showing on my account but I do at least have an email from Creation showing the date the payment was made, so my expectation is that when it finally appears, it will be backdated to then, so no late fees or interest etc. But who knows… 😉

    • VJ says:

      +1 on payment still missing from last week.

      • Rui N. says:

        +1. Deadline was Monday, paid on Thursday. Still nothing processed. If they charge interest, I’ll also make a formal payment. (I had paid more than the minimum amount earlier last week, and that got processed, so I don’t expect a late paymen fee).

        • Sandra says:

          I paid (black card) Sunday 10th via bank transfer and the credit was showing yesterday backdated to 10th. It never shows immediately despite it being a faster payment but I’ve never had an issue with it crediting a day or so later but backdated to payment date. Had no closure letter either although I have only ever used it as a standard credit card, no MS.

          • Sprout says:

            Update after biting the bullet and calling the creationsists…
            There was an IT issue affecting payments made on Friday and over the weekend. The individual payments I made were checked and they confirmed they had recieved them.
            On asking whether these payments would be “backdated” to the dates they just quoted, there was some hesitation and I was quoted a 3 day processing time included in the T’s and C’s. It was therefore confirmed that any charges relating to a period outside of the 3 business days rules would be refunded.

        • EwanG says:

          I’ve called Creation and they advised they had an issue whereby payments (towards the outstanding balance) on their cards on Friday and over the weekend have not been applied – they are aware of this and their reconciliation team is working to fix it.

          I had a default fee applied yesterday and they noted to remove that as I paid the statement balance in full.
          I stopped short of suggesting they could advise customers of the issue (message on the IVR or an SMS sent to all customers – perhaps the SMS intern has gone?)

          • meta says:

            They are lying that it started on Friday. It started much earlier as I did a payment on Wednesday and @Rui N. did it on Thursday.

            They are trying it on, aren’t they? Perhaps they are hoping people will not notice they have charged fees and interest.

    • Memesweeper says:

      I complained by letter. I’ve received a response by email. I’ll likely MCOL if they respond unfavourably by post, or on the date the card is cancelled without a free night credit appearing, whichever comes first.

      The supine FOS process I’ll reserve for less important matters.

      • JDB says:

        @Memesweeper you mentioned previously that you are going to be relying on ‘fairness’ at MCOL (since the T&Cs are not in your favour). If they look at that at all (and if there is any time to do so) it’s a two edged sword – their conduct vs your conduct and the latter may or may not favour you; only you know that.

        • Paul says:

          MCOL don’t look at ‘fairness’ only the letter of the law, whereas FOS look at ‘fairness’ and not the letter of the law. That was my understanding

          • JDB says:

            That’s correct Paul, but Memesweeper has been saying otherwise several times on this issue. The terms are clear, so I am not sure what he would be asking the court to decide. The FOS may consider FCA fairness principles.

        • Memesweeper says:

          The T&Cs need to be fair — consumer rights act requirement — and MCOL can look at that.

          My conduct in the management of my account prior to closure is entirely justifiable… had I been cycling money around in circles via NS&I I would not take this approach!

          • JDB says:

            What exactly are you saying is unfair? I am only asking because you need an answer and others may benefit if you have a good answer. There is no lack of clarity in the terms and there are precedents for loss of a benefit, even when the firm cancels your card. It’s annoying, but specifically where is the unfairness in any legal sense? You sound very confident, so hopefully you will share your wisdom.

          • Char Char says:

            The free night voucher was advertised clearly on the sales page, the terms and conditions regarding when it was distributed were not clear and required a lot of work to clarify this in the terms and conditions to the extent where the FOS had to be brought it hence that case JDB mentioned before.

            Creation cancelling cards and not refunding annual fees based on ‘business decisions’ seems an unethically gain to me, I would be interested to hear anyone with legal experience an actual path to pursue.

            I know JDB keeps mentioning the negatives sides but how about some positive avenues to pursue please?

          • meta says:

            I think he might be going for the unjust enrichment argument. MCOL will definitely look at this.

          • JDB says:

            @meta I think he would struggle to make out an unjust enrichment/restitutionary argument that undermined the contractual arrangements (Macdonald v Costello). It is intriguing that nobody has yet made out the case. The terms are clear, simple and fairly standard.

          • Chrisasaurus says:

            I don’t have any knowledge in this area – but the account closure letter makes no mention of conduct – is it reasonable for them to raise the spectre of conduct only once challenged? It would by extension allow revisionism on their part would it not?

  • Reney says:

    This looks fine to me. If player 2 gets nectar during the 24 months, then they will skip step 1 of Rob’s strategy, i.e you miss out on the sign up bonus for player 2 for nectar or marriott. Whether that is a good idea depends on a number of things. If you give each other supplementary cards, what is the reason to keep a card open for player 2, why not both use player 1 BAPP, unless you use a lot of amex offers and think having extra cards help.

    A well timed referral could be worth about the same as a nectar sign up bonus. For example I currently have no amex cards in my name, but I am only 3 months into 24 months. There is a 24k plat referral bonus, that is worth about the same as the 20k nectar points bonus (12.5k avios) plus normal referral of 12k MR points on plat or 9k on BAPP – not the uplifted version. No waiting 24 months, obviously if you wait 24 months and line up with an uplifted referral bonus then you are $$$!

    • Reney says:

      sorry this is reply to @Gary!

    • Mikeact says:

      Are there any strategic issues to consider to make it worthwhile to apply for an Argus card ?

      • Andrw says:

        You mean an Argos card?

        I don’t see the point really. You get 2% back on any purchases at Argos with your regular Visa or Mastercard by linking to Airtime. This stacks with the various current Argos money back offers out there on LBG and others. If you are a member of a union you probably have a Ode(Spree) card which permanently returns 5%.

        And you can always buy Argos Vouchers in Boots at the moment, with the right combination (eg Barclaycard and Airtime), to get 18% money back.

      • QFFlyer says:

        There used to be, as despite it not being advertised you could pay it off with a credit card (the benefit being you could take advantage of the 0% periods and still get points). That loophole was shut many years ago.

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