Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Forum Replies Created

  • in reply to: US city stop over – Washington
    iamlost

    I spent a week solo in DC this summer, and I loved it. It’s on par with NYC for museums and landmarks, and I was surprised by how liveable and clean the city is by US standards.

    It has an interesting foodie scene – I lost count of how many starred restaurants I visited. My highlights were Kinship, Rooster & Owl and Albi.

    The local population of wealthy young working professionals and students (Georgetown and GWU have the highest tuitions in the country) also makes it a fun place to go out. At the higher end, Silver Lyan was reliably good and the Conrad (where I was staying) had a lively rooftop bar. At the trendier end, Blagden Alley and the whole Logan Circle/Shaw area is great for nightlife.

    You won’t regret visiting DC, I guarantee it.

    in reply to: Reduced tier points – when are you upgraded?
    iamlost

    My wife reached reduced level 3 weeks ago I contacted ba chat last week and was told it will not update
    Until her year end in jan23

    That’s plain wrong information. Speak to them again and you’ll get a different answer (if her status hasn’t updated already).

    in reply to: Waldorf Astoria Maldives (not an elitist post!)
    iamlost

    There are many 150k nights available, just not in consecutive blocks of 5. You’ll need to catch them as soon as they drop the next batch.

    I’ve been to both the Waldorf and the Conrad, and this property stands head and shoulders above Rangali…so persevere!

    in reply to: Bonus on Hilton transfers
    iamlost

    Just searched my emails to see.

    Q4 2019 50% extra offer
    Q4 2020 25% extra offer
    Q4 2021 no offer?
    Q4 2022 30% extra offer

    in reply to: Bonus on Hilton transfers
    iamlost

    Didn’t the bonus rate used to be 1:3?

    in reply to: Say what? 25,000 free Avios from Barclays!
    iamlost

    I have Premier but decided to go for the free Avios CC when the HfP promo ran, and I haven’t received any text.

    in reply to: Switzerland short break
    iamlost

    I spend 1-2 weekends a month there. November is highly unpredictable, but that’s part of the charm. I’ve gone from warm sunshine to snowfall in the course of a one hour train ride with elevation change. Some potential ideas:
    – Luzern is postcard Switzerland no matter the weather for a first time tourist, and you can spend a night on top of Mount Pilatus where you’ll either be treated to breathtaking views or feeling like you’re in the clouds
    – Geneva is great if you like lakes, fountains and grand hotels… Also taking the train to Vevey (or Lausanne / Montreux) is a must for probably my favourite vista in the world
    – Not too far is Gstaad for a more ski resort feel (though you won’t be skiing in Nov), if you want that chalet vibe
    – Lugano in the south may be a bit of a trek but it’s a super relaxing place with a holiday vibe year-round and more varied food and drink options and very cute villages all around
    – I’ve warmed up to Andermatt as a mountain resort for outdoorsy activities in the shoulder season (without a car), or consider basing yourself in Interlaken for an outdoorsy weekend if you rent a car
    – I wouldn’t recommend Bern, Basel or Zurich to a first timer, although they all have their charms too but are somewhat less memorable
    – Equally, some lesser known places are absolute gems, like Neuchatel and Gruyere, but maybe not for a first time visit

    I hope that was useful – enjoy!

    in reply to: Resort fees on points bookings
    iamlost

    Thanks – I will argue it there if needed, the Hilton site is very clear about no resort fees on reward stays.

    in reply to: Best use of points for a resort vacation
    iamlost

    I know you’re iffy on the Maldives, but the Waldorf Maldives was near-perfect. I wouldn’t recommend the Conrad Maldives on points without paying to upgrade to a nicer villa. If you’re iffy in the Maldives, you probably won’t be keen on the Conrad Bora-Bora either…

    Stateside, of course the Waldorf Los Cabos is the best if you find any points availability and don’t mind the long flights. Otherwise the Conrad Tulum and Waldorf Cancun (opening November) look good. There are also the three Curio properties in the Florida Keys (one rebranded from a Waldorf this year) worth looking at.

    in reply to: Nassau hotels – recommendations?
    iamlost

    Wouldn’t have put those brands and baha mar into the cheap and cheerful category! Are you one of Rob’s billionaire banker readers?

    Ha it’s all relative. The corporate rate I got there for April is $239 a night. I call this cheap and cheerful compared to the cash rates at my Key West and Miami hotels of $1000 and $600 a night respectively (if I wasn’t staying there on points…)

    in reply to: Nassau hotels – recommendations?
    iamlost

    For cheap and cheerful, I’m spending a few nights in Baha Mar next April. The ‘super resort’ is only 15 mins from the airport and has Grand Hyatt, SLS and Rosewood hotels (I got a cheap corporate rate at the Hyatt). It looks good enough for a short stay.

    in reply to: Miami – Nassau using Avios
    iamlost

    Interesting. Two singles work out the same, but you’re right that 95% of the fees come from the NAS-MIA leg.

    Thanks for all your help! I already have return LHR-MIA flights booked using a GUF2, so Bahamas is just an incremental stop for a few days.

    in reply to: Miami – Nassau using Avios
    iamlost

    I love using AA for US domestic/Caribbean redemptions and only paying $6 tax!

    Hold up Anna, $6 tax? BA is pricing MIA-NAS return per person for me between 8300 Avios + £187 and 15000 Avios + £97. Am I doing something fundamentally wrong?

    in reply to: Miami – Nassau using Avios
    iamlost

    Thank you both @SteveJ and @NorthernLass

    Re. Baggage, I saw that status gives a baggage allowance on AA flights but wasn’t sure if that would apply on Envoy / American Eagle. I will go ahead and assume it does.

    iamlost

    Interesting they link to a separate page to upgrade from Gold charge to Platinum charge – I didn’t think they’d allow any new charge card applications.

    Even more interesting that they’re only offering 20k bonus for charge card upgrades!

    iamlost

    This looks great! Is that bonus offer with Amex or Hilton themselves?

    It’s a Hilton offer on buying points they run a few times a year. I’ve used it before to stay at the Waldorf Maldives and Conrad Maldives at a fraction of the cash rate. It’s covered by Rob here https://www.headforpoints.com/2022/08/05/7pines-sardinia-open/

    iamlost

    I just booked 5 nights at the new Conrad. They have wide points availability @ 90k/night (or 72k effectively if you have Hilton status and book in multiples of 5). The cash cost for my dates was $5750. I bought 320k points with the current 100% bonus offer for $1600 and topped up with 40k from my existing stash.

    I noticed their 2 Queen bedded rooms available on points sleep 4 people, so your family could all fit in one room if you want.

    in reply to: Favourite Luggage (Checked and Carry-On)
    iamlost

    Antler suitcases have never let me down yet, and they’re usually at a better price point than Samsonite.

    I was set on buying a Rimowa carry-on last year until I physically picked one up in the Bond St store and realised the difference in weight. I don’t know why I’d give myself more physical labour.

    in reply to: How to manage US Amex card on iPhone
    iamlost

    Unless it has changed recently, I was able to change the country settings, download the app and then change it back to UK.

    Ah your way must be new. My US account goes back almost 15 years when I definitely couldn’t do that!

    in reply to: How to manage US Amex card on iPhone
    iamlost

    All you need to do is create a new Apple ID set to US region, then sign in to the App Store with it. You’ll be automatically redirected to the US App Store where you can download the Amex US app. You can easily switch back to your normal account, but whenever you need to update the US app you’ll need to log back in to this Apple ID.

    At this point, I’ve lost count of how many Apple IDs I’ve created every time I want something on a specific country App Store 😂

    in reply to: Curve and Barclaycard Avios plus
    iamlost

    Good luck in getting a reply, awfy hush hush as there was a spy in the group i have gathered

    I just want to clarify one thing. I know I’ll have to pay the 1.5% Fronted fee (or get Metal) to be able to pay Amex, but will Barclaycard charge anything e.g. by treating it as a cash-like transaction?

    in reply to: Two cards but mostly using one of them
    iamlost

    I have the legacy Gold charge card, and around five years ago Amex offered me a bunch of points to open a Gold credit card (not the replacement PRG, this is another legacy product that’s very similar to the Blue card). I still hold both cards because it lets me double up on most Amex offers, Shop Small etc. and is beneficial in making my credit utilisation % lower.

    in reply to: Curve and Barclaycard Avios plus
    iamlost

    What about using Curve/Barclaycard to pay off Amex – does that work?

    I finally received a reply from BA. They have not found why it happened but they have said that it should not have happened and they have apologised. They have also refunded me the Avios used on that leg of the trip.

    Wow! That’s a great result for just having been moved seats in the same cabin. You still haven’t said what the route was, hopefully one that used many Avios 😉

    in reply to: Barclaycard £10 Amazon credit
    iamlost

    Can’t see anything about this on the main Amazon or Barclaycard site, and moments is a developer site for Amazon, so I’m not clicking the link until there’s something on the main site pages

    I understand that Moments is their platform to deliver third-party rewards and campaigns like this one.

    But I’m also waiting for this to be tried and tested first…

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