Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Thursday 14th October

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Comments (443)

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  • Gavin says:

    How’s everyone doing in the Nectar Christmas challenge?

    I’ve almost achieved what feels like a high target of 3000 points for Sainsbury’s shopping, have booked a £1.20 train ticket, and currently deciding what I need from Argos.

    I have been easily getting 1000 bonus points per shop with the offers, which are all things I bit each week. Not used my nectar prices yet as don’t like the smartshop device and there hasn’t been anything I need to buy so far.

    The only question is what I can use the nectar points for beyond converting to Avios. Usually went for Double Up.

    • Crafty says:

      Nectar Prices is an absolute car crash. Did they even test it with customers?

      • Scott says:

        Works for me, although so much easier if you could just scan your Nectar card.
        Not easy scanning and packing with a basket, with your phone in your hand in order to try to remember what’s included, and/or what bonus offers you have 😉

        Did forget to press “checkout” on the scanner the other day, scanned the QR code on the tills and then had to get someone to cancel it and re-scan every item. Pain in the proverbial.

        Few random items I’ll never buy on there, and a few I’ll only buy if I have bonus points on them.

      • Doug M says:

        I don’t mind Smartshop but I won’t use my phone because of connectivity, the devices are fine. Many of the Sainsbury’s buildings effectively block mobile signals meaning the phone is ineffective. They claim to offer ‘Free’ WiFi, but it’s not free as it requires a lot of personal data that both has value, and you may not want to pass on to them/O2, I certainly didn’t want to.

    • Craig says:

      Thanks for the nudge, just bought a children’s ticket on TPE for £1.30. It’s been going well for me too. Totally agree on Nectar Prices, I have a midweek delivery pass, works out at 50p a delivery or thereabouts. Getting the odd substitution but generally replaced with a higher value item and a voucher for the difference. Why would I go into store when I don’t need to? No incentive at all.

      • Andrew says:

        So you spent £1.30 on a train ticket to get £2.50 back? Doesn’t seem a good use of time for £1.20 gain.

      • markpeterborough says:

        My £1.20 train ticket paid out 500 nectar, and those 500 nectar stacked up and counted towards my spending target , earning me 100 more and taking me half way to a further 150.

    • Scott says:

      Completed all my targets a few days ago (bar the Esso and Argos ones, and need 2 more shops out of 6 that will be completed tomorrow). Very easy what with all the bonus points for spending a few £ on selected shopping items once a week.

      I’m just converting to Avios every month as it’s the best option for me.

      Esso isn’t worth the effort for 100 points. Assuming I put some petrol in, it would cost me as much, if not more than the points are worth.
      Argos, never shop there. 99.99999% of the time, and item that may be slightly of interest isn’t available within hours of me. 100 points isn’t encouraging me to randomly buy something either.

      Next months offers seem to be “spend £5 on beauty products”. Might be able to buy shampoo or something to do that.
      Pipers crisps are easy, especially if they’re on offer.
      Union Coffee. Never bought that in my life (might have had that in a BA lounge?)
      3 shops should be easy, unless they’re for £30+ a time.

    • Youllnever says:

      Just need to do the Esso one this Sunday and I’m all done until the new challenges come out on November 15.

      • Craig says:

        As far as I can tell there’s no minimum spend for Esso apart from the pump limitation? Might just splash and dash.

        • Youllnever says:

          There’s a £1 minimum spend I believe. Was actually just planning on going into the Esso store and buying something cheap there.

    • Andrew says:

      I’ve had the marketing invitation for the Christmas Challenge, but the tile hasn’t appeared on my App yet.

    • AJA says:

      I’m 2/3 of the way to my second 150NP target so have netted 150 points so far in addition to the bonus 580NP from smart shop and nectar prices worked well for 4 items this week saving me over £5 off the price on items I buy anyway. Not a bad return for £32 spent.

      Haven’t bothered with the train bonus but I see people buying a child’s ticket for £1.43 seems to trigger it, not sure that is worth it since 500NP is £2.50 so you gain just over £1. May trigger the Esso bonus if the price of petrol is decent (it usually isn’t).

      Am only 1 out of 6 Sainsbury’s shops so far but will do that easily enough by the end of Nov to trigger that bonus.

      • Gavin says:

        Sounds like I’m not missing out much on nectar prices.

        I need to do Esso as well, am taking a trip on Sunday so will fill up when I pass one. The beauty offer excludes shower gel but looks like haircare and skin care stuff (Bulldog for example) should be included. Won’t be able to do the Union coffee one – only drink instant as don’t have a machine and the offer is on beans.

      • Scott says:

        Well, the 500 points for a £1.xx ticket is around 310 Avios, so a good return there.
        Even better if it triggers another bonus.

    • Andrew H says:

      Nectar Christmas challenge? Not on my app or the Nectar website…

      • ChrisC says:

        see above in reply to a similar comment

        delete and then down load the app again

  • PL says:

    Anyone used randox pcr fit to fly home test for travel to s Africa?? Thanks for replies

    • jj says:

      Random took four days to issue me with a reference number for my PLF this week, by which time I had already flown. They are refusing to reimburse me on the grounds that their test kits are non-refundable under any circumstances and time is not of the essence in providing tests.

      If you’re lucky, Randox may be OK. If you need the test to fly, I would use a provider who resolves problems in less than 4 days.

    • Tracey says:

      Nationwide Pathology are cheaper, more reliable and use RM priority boxes rather than Randox drop boxes.

  • JW says:

    Switching from HSBC Premier to Barclays Premier for the Avios Rewards bonus.

    Besides the big upside of the avios benefits, seems like the features of premier banks between them are otherwise pretty similar, anything I’ve forgotten that I should expect to miss when I’ve left HSBC?

    • Harry T says:

      Why bother switching? Just open a Barclays account in addition. The HSBC account offers a really good credit card.

    • Benilyn says:

      Open both.

    • ExperiencedRunner says:

      HSBC Premier offers great credit cards, free worldwide travel insurance which is much better than the Amex Platinum one (it covers nearly all pre-existing health conditions for a start), ability to seamlessly open Premier accounts in other countries (you are automatically eligible for Premier accounts in other countries where HSBC operate as long as you meet any legal requirements of opening an account in those countries) and transfer money globally between HSBC accounts fee free. Also it has some further additional perks like 12 months expedia gold membership, preferential terms on mortgages and savings and so on (not to mention all the perks of the CCs which you become automatically eligible for). Barclays Premier is just not worth it. Open it as a new account if anything but don’t switch from HSBC.

    • Doug M says:

      Travel Insurance is a paid add-on with Barclays, and free with HSBC. I’d open an additional account rather than switch.

    • Youllnever says:

      You’d lose the worldwide travel insurance in addition to the Premier cards.

    • Doug M says:

      As a general bit of advice it’s worth having a current account or two you don’t care about, simply for the switching benefits.

    • Red Flyer says:

      Agree with others in that you should have both – I have both and salary drops into Barclays on 28th and into HSBC via standing order on 30th. Recently had to claim for a last minute holiday cancellation on health grounds and HSBC paid out no quibble.

      • Sina says:

        Agree with others, there’s no benefit in having a Barclays premier account, other than a one-time 25K Avios, if you join their Avios rewards.

      • JW says:

        Thanks for the tip everyone + especially Red Flyer — salary requirement is exactly the reason I was thinking about switching. So I think I’ll just open an empty account, switch that, and set up a standing order

  • Crafty says:

    Spanish PLF says one should not enter Spain having tested positive for Covid in the last 14 days. First I’ve heard of it. Is this the law, or advisory? Nothing on FCO that I can see.

    Wording is “DO NOT TRAVEL…if you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 within the last 14 days, or if you have had close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 within the last two weeks.”

    • Harry T says:

      Why would you be trying to enter Spain when you have had covid in the last 14 days? The FCDO isn’t the relevant source here – the Spanish PLF supersedes any UK information.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      FCO advices on what they interrupt the Spanish laws/guidance to be it is NOT the definitive answer.

      All seems pretty sensible since in the UK you need to isolate for 10 days after being diagnosed/suspected diagnosis of COVID19 still.

    • Anna says:

      Won’t your kids have to have a test anyway before travelling to Spain? If there’s a chance they will still test positive that’s going to scupper any plans.

    • Andrew H says:

      You shouldn’t be out and about in the UK for at least 10 of those 14 days, so not sure what your complaint is?

      • Crafty says:

        It’s not a complaint at all, just wasn’t familiar with the rule. We are working on how long after my daughter’s recovery we might be able to reinstate our cancelled holiday.

        • Crafty says:

          Also, it’s not true that you have to isolate for 10 days after diagnosis; you have to isolate for 10 days after symptoms began. In our case, diagnosis was on day 5, so isolation is almost complete. The guidance on the PLF however would imply no travel until day 19, whereas we could theoretically have been travelling freely within the UK for 9 days at that point. That is why I’m trying to clarify.

  • Chrism20 says:

    Airtime promo “SOCIAL” £1 back on £5 before Saturday

    • Shaw West says:

      Does airtime work with Lebara? I have moved to their 99p a month plan 🙂

    • Reney says:


      A while back someone made a comment saying it took ages to earn enough on Airtime. My advice is if you time purchases with promo codes (which comes quite often), they do make a difference!)

  • AngryOctopus says:

    bonus for first supp on gold credit card hasn’t posted and its been 2 weeks since card received…..hmmm

    reluctant to do any referrals given all the chat about delay in points posting….any recent data points pls

    • Anna says:

      A few of us are in the same boat. I was told up to 60 days on chat.

      • Dave says:

        I was told by the first statement date for my card. My wife was told up to 90 days.

        So who knows!

    • Lee says:

      No problem for receiving referral bonus, turned up in 2 days

    • QFFlyer says:

      Referrals fine for me, supplementaries same boat, still waiting, about a month now.

  • TGLoyalty says:


  • Anna says:

    I’m waiting to see what happens with the free night/£99 fee before I make a move. I’m assuming if I don’t receive a response from Creation within a reasonable amount of time I can just move on to the FOS? I emailed them nearly 2 weeks ago to ask what would be happening with the free night and not even had an acknowledgement.

    • JDB says:

      You need to wait eight weeks from the date they received your complaint before going to the FOS or for their final decision if that is earlier. Is the email you sent clearly a complaint (and sent to the contact email/form they state for complaints) rather than a request, as others have reported receiving the standard complaints protocol email/letter? Even for them, i would be surprised if they don’t carefully follow the procedure.

      • Dave says:

        My wife sent an email asking if she would be getting the free night voucher this month and whether they would be taking the annual fee.

        She just got sent the generic “you have raised a complaint, here is your reference number, we will be in touch within 8 weeks”

        So she never got clarification either way

      • Anna says:

        How do I know if they’ve received my complaint if they don’t even reply?!

    • stevenhp1987 says:

      +1 Same. Emailed without any acknowledgement.

      However, mine was a query, not a complaint. You need to actually complain to start the 8 week window. I won’t be complaining until they inform me of their intentions.

      I also emailed them Monday last week with a DSAR request which has gone unanswered too.

    • Lady London says:

      You need to log it as a complaint. Then exhaust their complaints process, get “final answer” not resolving it to your satisfaction, or wait 8 weeks after date of your complaint with no resolution then you can reasonably FOS, MCOL etc. A polite request is not counted as a complaint – or at least it’s much harder.

      Creation really, really deserve the ton of bricks that’s going to fall on them if they keep up this attitude – for stupidity if no other reason.

      This kind of mean deaf behaviour might be got away with in France by large businesses – but in the UK – unless everyone’s been breaching card conditions – it’s gonnq cost them.

    • Allan Boswell says:

      Same here. Two black accounts: one renews November, the other July. November account hit spend target in March. That’s clear cut shenanigans if the award night is not received in November. July card: will push 4k on by November 22nd to make the 10k. For reference: both cards had Curve attached but nothing silly. 30k total IHG and Curve used mainly for FX only and typically £50 cash withdrawal per month. NS and I use: £1,000 on each card this summer and still there. No silly games played here. Will see if the £99 fee gets put onto the November card and then chase £750 on each card in lieu of points if award night not awarded, plus the November fee if not refunded.

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