Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Forum Replies Created

  • in reply to: Cost effective International Money Transfers
    masaccio 739 posts

    A colleague looked at live rates every few minutes over the course of a day with Revolut and the range was 0.16%-0.18%. My last exchange was 0.18%. The OP was asking about AUD 100k and one person mentioned AUD 1M, so small variances matter.

    This is where you are going wrong – you need to look at total amount received, not the rate.

    OP mentioned a 5 figure sum.

    0.18% is the difference between the spot rate at the time of my transaction and the rate calculated from money sent and money received. I don’t understand what you think I’m missing?

    in reply to: Cost effective International Money Transfers
    masaccio 739 posts

    Revolut Premium is as low as you get (average spread is 0.18%) so if it’s a large amount, upgrading a free account for a month is easily the cheapest. Much more so than even Wise or TorFX.

    On your first large transaction you will probably need to go through a proof of funds dance. Wise will be no different.

    Even with a premium account the rate for 10k is right between Wise and Zing, before the costs of premium are added on top.

    It happens rarely, but I’m always bemused when people say Revolut is ‘easily the cheapest’ – I wonder what combination of currency/amount they are converting, or if they don’t understand that the total amount that reaches the recipient is the key number here.

    A colleague looked at live rates every few minutes over the course of a day with Revolut and the range was 0.16%-0.18%. My last exchange was 0.18%. The OP was asking about AUD 100k and one person mentioned AUD 1M, so small variances matter.

    In my case, the difference between 0.4% with Wise and 0.18% with Revolut was easily enough to be interesting and a tenner on fees was massively irrelevant.

    in reply to: Cost effective International Money Transfers
    masaccio 739 posts

    Revolut Premium is as low as you get (average spread is 0.18%) so if it’s a large amount, upgrading a free account for a month is easily the cheapest. Much more so than even Wise or TorFX.

    On your first large transaction you will probably need to go through a proof of funds dance. Wise will be no different.

    in reply to: Times article: the money behind Avios
    masaccio 739 posts

    @Rob, when we can’t rely on The Times for quality journalism and fact checking we may as well just give up.

    That’s a pretty shocking E&O list for just one article.

    Was considering paying for a Times sub, but if this is the quality, forget about it.

    Pretty much anything vaguely technical I read in the national press is full of errors. It’s just how it is. They’re all just different levels of clickbait these days.

    If you do want a sub, you can get it through Apple News for less. At least then you can compare different views on the same story.

    in reply to: Times article: the money behind Avios
    masaccio 739 posts

    This is actually pretty accurate, which is surprising for these things. Oddly they didn’t speak to us, which would have corrected the few errors that did creed in.

    Errors that ‘creed’ in 🙂

    Sorry, couldn’t help myself.

    in reply to: Sri Lanka and the Maldives
    masaccio 739 posts

    I’d suggest flying to BLR, a new route for Virgin from this spring, instead of DEL or BOM if possible. DEL often has smog problems. BLR is a small airport and easy to connect. Also has quite a few sightseeing options, is less humid and good hotels, if you’d like to take a break. Availability on upper class should also be good given it’s a new route.
    You can obviously use avios on Srilankan but Indigo is a good low cost airline and cost of extras such as spacious seat or baggage are reasonable.

    Strickers is the srilanka expert.

    If the OP wants to connect in India rather than stay, Virgin’s BLR flight lands at a grim 0245 and the BLR flight at 0855. There is a Vistara flight from BOM at 1225 which is more than enough time to collect bags and go back through immigration. Indigo flies from BLR 1130 which obviously works time wise, but is a long time to wait.

    Here’s my thoughts on the connection – https://www.headforpoints.com/forums/topic/trip-report-maldives-via-mumbai-redemption-and-destination2/

    in reply to: Manchester restaurant recommendations
    masaccio 739 posts

    Mowgli would be my choice and if you don’t want meat at all, there’s loads to choose from. The tiffin box is a fun first choice here, but I’ve never been let down. For £35 you’d get the tiffin box, a cocktail and a beer.

    masaccio 739 posts

    As someone who flies PE for work, I see this happens a fair bit when the PE cabin is close to full. It’s the only time I get to fly business class for work.

    in reply to: BA Gold Card – is there any point?
    masaccio 739 posts

    I was Gold for about 5 years and dropped to Silver last reset.

    I used to think the answer was First Wing, but the B gates lounge is just as comfortable as the Gold lounge and less crowded. I miss the amazing security experience, but the Gold lounge was always just OK for me.

    Bulkhead CE is a big one though. I personally think CE is a terrible product as legroom is something I am happy to pay for, but only Gold gets that.

    in reply to: Bangalore
    masaccio 739 posts

    If you have more time, Coorg has some good hillside resorts. But with just 2 days and poor traffic, I’d stick to the city.

    Yeah, we got driven there after Mysore and they were some of the worst roads I’ve seen anywhere. Pretty destination though.

    This seems to be happening again both in browser and in the app. Seems like booking redemptions is just borked.

    masaccio 739 posts

    Go to Google Flights, search LON-TYO for a couple of random dates two weeks apart, choose business class and up to 1 stop, then click price graph. You will see that there is a floor price and that it’s currently in November.

    A SS points out, business class this far out is always very expensive and will drop, sometimes in just a few weeks. But I don’t think this is always true – my SCL/LIM open jaw I booked for August hasn’t gone don’t since I booked it last year.

    Don’t dismiss going via China (the cheapest when I searched) or with Turkish Airlines.

    Were it me, it wait until 10 months out and book via China. The Tier Points and Avios are not worth 10 grand.

    masaccio 739 posts

    We used FS Expeditions who provided the guides/accommodation; but they are primarily a wildlife company. We booked our own flights SCL – IPC with LATAM; I seem to remember that Business Class was very good value booking thru the Chilean website; if you can still do that..

    No it’s the same price for everyone now. I tried the Chilean website with a VPN endpoint in Chile and it’s the same price as the international site.

    in reply to: Honeymoon ideas for India
    masaccio 739 posts

    My last trip I used, in order: chip and pin, contactless, cash. The contactless limit is quite low and I think it worked twice. Ola cabs I took didn’t seem to use my registered credit card so they needed cash.

    in reply to: Honeymoon ideas for India
    masaccio 739 posts

    OH has an urge for North India for say 10 -14 days plus a beach add on of maybe 5 tacked on the end. […]

    Any initial views particularly the beach add-on?

    We were in Kerala many years ago (just after 9/11) and although lovely have no particular urge to go back yet.

    Depending on your definition of North India, there is a cheap direct flight from Chandigarh to Goa with IndiGo. The Taj is a fabulous resort that is still within walking distance of other places to eat. The beach when we last went was safe and swimmable.

    in reply to: Award wallet and BA 2FA
    masaccio 739 posts

    AwardWallet needs to adapt to an API call from BA rather than the login methodology – the problem then lies in the ‘vouchers’ and ‘trips’ part that AwardWallet scrapes. So short term change it to manual

    Award Wallet stores your passwords? Good grief, what is this the 1990s?

    in reply to: Bali & Lombok
    masaccio 739 posts

    Also i am struggling to find flights from Bali/Lombok to Hong Kong both cash or avios in April.

    Cathay fly non-stop DPS-HKG but I just think you are too early to find flights. Unlike Google Flights, Kayak lets you search up to a year in advance and you will see when schedules are released. Nowt direct in April yet.

    masaccio 739 posts

    I keep getting ‘There was a problem with your request, please try again later.’ when searching for Reward flights, on my mobile and computer. Same for anyone else? It’s been like this yesterday too.

    Try incognito/private – that sometimes helps. Otherwise, try again later.

    in reply to: Maldives – reward flight recommendations please
    masaccio 739 posts

    Thanks for your help everyone! Managed to get Virgin (so direct flights) 2 x Premium on the way out and 2 x Upper Class on the way back. Only downside was my voucher expires in three days time and all the three agents I spoke to told me it was a ‘book by’ date so had to take the hit. Virgin were extremely helpful, got straight through each time and the agents held the seats for me pending transfer of AMEX reward points.

    Worth noting the upper class seats were still available at 7am- 330 days out.

    Cost – 165,000 reward points and £1591 for 2 people.

    Congratulations. Now on to the less stressful bit of choosing a resort! I find this tool a good one to get an idea of where to start looking.

    masaccio 739 posts

    OH and I enjoyed Nomad Beach Resort last year.

    in reply to: Bali & Lombok
    masaccio 739 posts

    We looked and were put off by it being the tail end of the wet season so are currently thinking of the Philippines instead. It’s not super wet, but you could get caught out.

    I have SIN outbound so far and waiting on next T-355 to do either KUL or SIN. There are heaps and heaps of short haul flights in the region so I plan to use cash.

    in reply to: Travel Suggestions for first reward flight
    masaccio 739 posts

    You have the equivalent of 300,000 Avios and I expect more to come? You should be trying for 2 business-class trips and forget all that economy nonsense! You may still find you need to ‘slum it’ in premium economy, but you will not want to do long haul at the back of the bus again once you fly business.

    Singapore is always tough for redemptions; I just ‘settled’ for WTP rather than CW for next year but fingers crossed SeatSpy will help grab an upgrade. Have you looked at KL instead of Singapore? Availability is a little better and it’s an excellent hub for some great destinations in south-east Asia. Also doable is Hong Kong and HKIA is another excellent hub. Finally, don’t dismiss China as both a destination and a hub from PVG/PEK. It’s a little more out of the way, but Shanghai and Beijing would make great stopover cities and you can use visa-free travel for short stays.

    in reply to: Maldives – reward flight recommendations please
    masaccio 739 posts

    Thanks, so @BBbetter, so visa needed to transit? That sounds a bit of a faff! Presumably yes as it’d be a separate ticket. BLR definitely has the best availability in J of any obvious route however.

    Not a massive faff, but faff. The form took about 30 minutes per person and it’s about $25.

    If you are able to find flights that connect such that you don’t leave the airport then you don’t need a visa. But I could not find ones that landed in India in time for a 1pm flight back to the UK.

    in reply to: Maldives – reward flight recommendations please
    masaccio 739 posts

    I’d do the India thing again. Indigo were perfectly decent if very much no frills. Rather pricey in terms of £/mile but the whole thing was so much cheaper than cash to MLE.

    https://www.flightsfrom.com/explorer/MLE?mapview

    If I were to pick a stopover city it could be Cochi but direct flights are limited to Air India.

    in reply to: No redemption tickets released for 3rd April
    masaccio 739 posts

    Looks to me like it’s a BA-wide problem. Seatspy is showing no availability in any class LON-NYC on 3rd and 4th April 2025, which I find hard to believe. I wonder when they’ll update availability

    And “Where can I fly” basically says nowhere.

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