Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

  • Rivo 17 posts

    For the second time this week, I am having to raise a dispute with BA’s Shopping Portal.

    Dispute #1 was with a booking I made for Hilton Hotels, who refused to award Avios. Having supplied all the documentation including booking confirmation, I was this week asked to provide further evidence including invoice and credit card statement. Being sarcastic in nature, I also provided a screengrab of my Google Timeline and a raft of Taxi receipts from my trip and even told them to look at my flight history. They have relented this week.

    Dispute #2 was raised this morning over a booking made with Booking.com. A pending transaction from January was cancelled, however none of the reasons provided in the generic email we valid. Again I have had to raise a dispute, which is a little concerning as with 8 Avios per £1 spend, Booking.com is my go-to for Hotel Bookings and I have over 10,000 Avios pending.

    I am now finding that more often than not Avios are either not awarded or subsequently cancelled, especially where it’s a large haul.

    I get the impression that BA considers this to be a “free” or “bonus” service, therefore, there is no obligation from them, however, are happy to throw T&Cs at customers, regardless of them not adhering to theirs.

    It’s starting to look like a big con from where I am sitting, with BA relying on people just accepting their judgement.

    drdan 107 posts

    I have to say TCB is my go to and I love collecting avios.. the 8 avios/£ would be tempting… But it’s a constant battle as per the blogs.

    dougzz99 638 posts

    It happens. For me it’s all about the retailer and not the portal in terms of who is reliable and who isn’t.

    NorthernLass 8,532 posts

    I gave up on the shopping portal a few years ago because they got so aggressive about clawing back the avios. I did enquire with one of the retailers, and they said it was BA doing it, not them. If there is any other offer or perk whatsoever associated with your order (even free P & P), they seem to claw them back.

    ATP 60 posts

    Agree it’s not worth using the portal given the hassle. The only retailers I bother with are Harvey Nichols as it posts pretty accurately and stacks with plat credit, and Holland and Barrett. The in-store spend link works pretty well (only tried at HN).

    kevinchoi 99 posts

    I stay regularly with Accor and normally book via the BA shopping portal. Historically it used to post fine, but in the last year or so almost none of them have actually posted and keep on saying ‘pending’. Very tempted to start using other cashback sites for Accor bookings at least. Does anyone know any sites which give a high cashback for Accor?

    Andrew. 514 posts

    I stay regularly with Accor and normally book via the BA shopping portal. Historically it used to post fine, but in the last year or so almost none of them have actually posted and keep on saying ‘pending’. Very tempted to start using other cashback sites for Accor bookings at least. Does anyone know any sites which give a high cashback for Accor?

    It’s not on there at the moment, but 12.5% was regular on PAW in the past.

    sturgeon 223 posts

    I find 9/10 times that TCB offer a better rate than BA. Additionally they offer a 5% top up on any cash converted to Avios (the conversion is 1:1, so 1.05 Avios per £1 effectively). So no need to use BA most of the time who clearly have a smaller team working on the shopping portal than TCB as a dedicated service.

    Bill_B 90 posts

    I stay regularly with Accor and normally book via the BA shopping portal. Historically it used to post fine, but in the last year or so almost none of them have actually posted and keep on saying ‘pending’. Very tempted to start using other cashback sites for Accor bookings at least. Does anyone know any sites which give a high cashback for Accor?

    Sorry, unrelated question, but do you need to pre-pay for the transaction to track?

    JDB 4,884 posts

    The issue of the BA eStore and tracking is raised quite often and clearly experiences vary considerably. We find it an easy way of collecting 30k+ Avios p.a. just remembering to go via the portal for things we are buying anyway and others here have reported the same. I did try TCB for a short while and found it a pain.

    The BA eStore is quite ‘sensitive’ so you need to follow the terms precisely and I think that using the various sorts of blockers, VPNs etc that many people here report using that may compromise orders tracking. We find that probably 90% track and don’t get clawed back. I don’t bother chasing if it’s a small unjustified clawback but when I challenge bigger ones, they get reinstated. Also, some retailers never claw back even if items are subsequently returned so it all evens out.

    Rob
    HfP Staff
    2,374 posts

    The BA store never lists the exclusions. We know the exclusions because they are the same contracts that we have. TCB does a good job of exclusion listing.

    Hilton status for eg impacts your rewards. Diamonds get nothing or very little depending on the partner.

    Annie 221 posts

    I find 9/10 times that TCB offer a better rate than BA. Additionally they offer a 5% top up on any cash converted to Avios (the conversion is 1:1, so 1.05 Avios per £1 effectively). So no need to use BA most of the time who clearly have a smaller team working on the shopping portal than TCB as a dedicated service.

    I gave up on BA portal and switched to TCB in Feb but am still finding a lot of my transactions are declined. Less than with BA though. However I am still waiting many months after Hotels.com stays.

    I had no idea the cash could be converted to Avios. I’ve looked on the app but can’t see how to do it. Can you point me in the right direction please ?

    jj 564 posts

    The eStore works great for me.

    I’ve collected well over 100K Avios through the eStore in recent years. In that time, I’ve needed to lodge two claims, only one of which was unfairly declined (Trainline – I have never used you since despite spending many £’000s on railway fares).

    I use TopCashback much less, but currently have 6 outstanding claims, one of which (Avis) has been unfairly declined.

    I think that problems largely lie with retailers, not the portals. Only ever buy things you”d have bought anyway, throw some mud at the wall and see what sticks. It’s effortless and usually lucrative.

    davefl 1,474 posts

    The eStore works great for me.

    I’ve collected well over 100K Avios through the eStore in recent years. In that time, I’ve needed to lodge two claims, only one of which was unfairly declined (Trainline – I have never used you since despite spending many £’000s on railway fares).

    I use TopCashback much less, but currently have 6 outstanding claims, one of which (Avis) has been unfairly declined.

    I think that problems largely lie with retailers, not the portals. Only ever buy things you”d have bought anyway, throw some mud at the wall and see what sticks. It’s effortless and usually lucrative.

    This is a misaprehension. It’s not the retailers rejecting the claim, the whole unregulated wild west mess is run by affiliate marketing companies that get paid by the retailers to generate business. TCB/estore etc get paid by the affiliates.

    I did write a whole rant about declines across many sites and the ridiculous excuses but this site timed out and lost it, so I wont write it all again.

    davefl 1,474 posts

    I find 9/10 times that TCB offer a better rate than BA. Additionally they offer a 5% top up on any cash converted to Avios (the conversion is 1:1, so 1.05 Avios per £1 effectively). So no need to use BA most of the time who clearly have a smaller team working on the shopping portal than TCB as a dedicated service.

    I gave up on BA portal and switched to TCB in Feb but am still finding a lot of my transactions are declined. Less than with BA though. However I am still waiting many months after Hotels.com stays.

    I had no idea the cash could be converted to Avios. I’ve looked on the app but can’t see how to do it. Can you point me in the right direction please ?

    Use the TCB website, you’ll see it on the list of conversions but there are many retailer cashbacks that you can’t convert to Avios, they can only be turned into cash. You’ll see more info on the web page

    Rivo 17 posts

    The BA store never lists the exclusions. We know the exclusions because they are the same contracts that we have. TCB does a good job of exclusion listing.

    Hilton status for eg impacts your rewards. Diamonds get nothing or very little depending on the partner.

    The issue is, they award them, then claw back at a later date, providing a generic list of exclusions, none of which are valid in all my disputes – of which I would say 1 in 3 transactions results in.

    On this occasion I have asked to make a formal complaint, however, if necessary Sean Doyle will be getting an email from me. It reflects very badly on BA that they market these organisations as their trusted partners, yet renege of their commitments.

    BuildBackBetter 705 posts

    The BA portal must be one of their most profitable businesses. Collect all the commissions and find the flimsiest excuse to refuse avios for users. Or even remove them after 6 months when they have forgotten about it. People get easily attracted by the headline rates.

    BuildBackBetter 705 posts

    I had no idea the cash could be converted to Avios. I’ve looked on the app but can’t see how to do it. Can you point me in the right direction please ?

    Go to payout options and you’ll see BA avios option there.

    Lady London 2,184 posts

    I stay regularly with Accor and normally book via the BA shopping portal. Historically it used to post fine, but in the last year or so almost none of them have actually posted and keep on saying ‘pending’. Very tempted to start using other cashback sites for Accor bookings at least. Does anyone know any sites which give a high cashback for Accor?

    The main 2 do Q and tcb. But waiting up to 9 months for the credit is not unusual.

    Hilton, on the other hand, IME&O over several years, just didn’t pay out (mine were tcb). I just gave up booking Hilton unless I really need to in a particular location, last time was about 2 years ago. I’m not assiduous about trying to get cashback on hotel bookings with anyone – but cashback or not I’m likely to start with other chains not Hilton first now when I’m booking.

    Lady London 2,184 posts

    The eStore works great for me.

    I’ve collected well over 100K Avios through the eStore in recent years. In that time, I’ve needed to lodge two claims, only one of which was unfairly declined (Trainline – I have never used you since despite spending many £’000s on railway fares).

    I use TopCashback much less, but currently have 6 outstanding claims, one of which (Avis) has been unfairly declined.

    I think that problems largely lie with retailers, not the portals. Only ever buy things you”d have bought anyway, throw some mud at the wall and see what sticks. It’s effortless and usually lucrative.

    This is a misaprehension. It’s not the retailers rejecting the claim, the whole unregulated wild west mess is run by affiliate marketing companies that get paid by the retailers to generate business. TCB/estore etc get paid by the affiliates.

    I did write a whole rant about declines across many sites and the ridiculous excuses but this site timed out and lost it, so I wont write it all again.

    IME it’s the retailer more often than the site that refuses to pay out. The (dis)honorable exception being the shyster site BA partners with.

    Jonathans 129 posts

    Q refused paying out on a laptop i bought from Dell. I queried it with Q support and provided them the invoice, delivery note, credit card statement and even a photo of the device but they were insistent that either I or Dell had changed\cancelled the order and wouldn’t budge.

    They are all the same, great if it pans out but a successful payout seem to be getting less and less.

    George K 310 posts

    I used to get all my hotel spend recognised as soon as I would book (via email) and credit would come fairly shortly after a stay. Since the start of the year, I get neither and have to constantly chase. Not sure what’s happening.

    ExpatInBerlin 201 posts

    I am also waiting on several hotels.com Avios payouts via the BA e store, some from stays that took place in January

    davefl 1,474 posts

    Just today been declined £70 on TCB from a claim raised in May 2019 for MoreThan…. they’re all as bad.

    Rivo 17 posts

    UPDATE:

    I nicely worded an email to Sean Doyle has resulted in them reversing the decision and them crediting the Avios.

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