Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Wednesday 20th October

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

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.

Please only comment under the main articles on the site if your comment is directly related to the topic of the article.  This has long-term benefits as it keeps the commentary relevant for people who read those articles in the future.

Old chat threads are hidden from the HfP home page.  If you want to look for something in an old thread, click here.  This brings up all the articles in our ‘General’ category which includes the chat threads.

Comments (468)

  • Andrew says:

    I’m still not seeing any clarity on what type of test will be required to enter the USA from 8 Nov and also if a day 3 to 5 test is required on arrival. Anyone got a clearer idea?

    • roberto says:

      It’s not been announced as yet.

    • A says:

      Currently even a simple rapid viral antigen test is sufficient. These can be done at expresstest on site at LHR terminals for 30 odd quid.
      Will this change? Who knows, but that is the current situation and has been for some time.

  • John Bancroft says:

    Please can you confirm that if we book a BA holiday, and have to cancel, can this be done online for an FTV voucher.?
    .

  • Andrew H says:

    Monese – I guess VACC+ behind Curve doesn’t work as a top up?

    Have opened a free account – are there any real benefits at that level (or any level)?

    Thanks

  • Sammy says:

    If the PCR teet needs to be done 48 hours before travel can we send it via post like 72 hours before. I think doing it 48 hours before and sending it by post (Randox) seems very risky.

    Also, are Hilton non refundable rates refundable if covid is the reason as in if someone tests positive on the day of the flight for example.

    • Andrew says:

      No. The test itself on you needs to be carried out 48 hours before – not the lab analysis, which is what you are suggesting could be done I think.

    • Blenz101 says:

      Hilton non-refundable rates are just what they say they are. If you want protection in the event you are unable to travel/stay due to illness then you need to have suitable travel insurance in place or book a flexible rate.

      For 48 hours PCR test countries I would be looking to do something in person where the results are generally back in 24 hours in the UK. There are also 3-hour PCR tests available at major airports.

    • Rob says:

      Non refundable means what it says. This is why you have travel insurance.

      • Sam G says:

        Yes – seems a misconception that insurance won’t cover this scenario but there are plenty of policies that will cover (and COVID medical expenses / quarantine abroad). What isn’t getting covered is travel disruption due to lockdowns etc

        One tricky bit is if the vendor is offering credit/reschedule then insurance might not want to pay but for a hotel this is less of an issue as you can ask a human to pocket the money and send you a letter saying they did so!

    • John says:

      Negotiate with the hotel at booking time. They won’t refund you but may agree to move dates, or keep your money as a credit against a rescheduled booking.

      • Sammy says:

        Thanks everyone. Would Amex Platinum cover the hotel/flight issue if we are the ones who are unable to fly due to a positive covid test as opposed to flight getting cancelled by airline?

        • GeorgeJ says:

          Depends on the exact circumstances and only you and Amex can determine this. Call them and ask, they are normally helpful.

  • Anna says:

    Virgin cards have arrived (2 weeks after applying). Can I assume a) spend on supp counts for SUB and b) it’s fine with bendy for normal spending, e.g. hairdresser only takes debit cards?

    • Harry T says:

      Yes and yes. No idea how you’ll struggle to hit the SUB either way 😜

      • BJ says:

        Hope you’re enjoying your effective net win of 5k Virgin Red points Harry 😀

      • Anna says:

        That’s what I was thinking, Harry T! OH mainly uses his for parking and as we don’t live in a major city that’s unlikely to hit the target.

        • Super Secret Stuff says:

          Have I missed something? What’s the play here?

          • Harrier25 says:

            Hitting the £3,000 bonus points target I think.

          • Anna says:

            Actually not that easy without Che, I don’t really want to move any spend from Amex so it’s fill the freezer from Iceland, pay the hairdresser, top up Ovo etc. Not sure if car finance payments will count either!

          • Harrier25 says:

            I’ve got the wife using Amex PRG supp card, so we continue edgeing closer to the £15,000 annual target, and the Virgin Atlantic supp card for non Amex spend, while I am solely using Virgin Atlantic until the magical £3k has been hit.

          • BJ says:

            @Anna, telecoms and budget hotels are your new friends.

  • bafan says:

    So I want to stay at Hilton Atlanta. 2 nights is $218 including taxes or 52000 points. Worth it or pay cash?

    • Harry T says:

      What are the taxes? Is it 26000 points a night?

      • bafan says:

        Yes. 26k a night. It’s $218 inc taxes…consensus seems to be to pay cash. I always forget how to work out if I’m getting good value or not 😂.

    • Anna says:

      Unless you’re very points-rich I would pay cash and as you’re not getting a great deal on points there and also not staying 5 nights which would give better value.

    • Mattb says:

      Depends if you are flush with HH points IMO, cash is slightly better value and you also earn.

      • Harrier25 says:

        @bafan, at that rate each point equates to just under $0.42 per point.

        • Mike says:

          $0.42 would be fantastic, however it’s 0.42¢ which is a hundred times smaller.

  • Matthew Peat says:

    How long after cancellation of a BA Avios flight do you get a refund of the payment for taxes and points re-credited? I cancelled a week ago and got my FTV voucher immediately but no sign of refund or miles back.

    • Andrew H says:

      They are in your FTV.

      • Andrew H says:

        If you cancelled online you will have an FTV with the avios and cash (and any 2-4-1 voucher if used in it).

        If you rung/chatted and asked for a refund you wouldn’t have an FTV and refunding avios and cash (less £35 per person) is just about immediate

    • Anna says:

      You requested a FTV so it’s not clear why you are also expecting a refund?

    • VerdantBacon says:

      What do you think the FTV is?

  • Mark says:

    Amex Hyatt offer. I’m looking to book on behalf of a family member. T&C says check-out spend only but I understand Hyatt allows people to call/email ahead to pre-authorize and pre-charge the room ahead of arrival. Would that work for the Amex offer?

    • Rob says:

      Even a prepaid room will work with 90% certainty as hotel processes it. The clause on not paying online is to stop people booking on Expedia and expecting the cash.

    • MKB says:

      Worked for me at Great Scotland Yard on the previous Amex/Hyatt money back offer. My cancellable, pay-at-checkout, stay was after the offer finished, but they sent me a link so that I could credit my account in advance of the stay, and that triggered the offer.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.