Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Forum Replies Created

  • in reply to: Unable to switch from Avios to Avios Plus card
    Olly 249 posts

    Related question for me as the option to upgrade has now appeared for me again (after 12 months, was previously AP, then standard). Will I still receive the 5k bonus Avios if I now upgrade again? The Ts and Cs only cover the scenario of awarding one Avios welcome bonus – ie. if you close your account then you aren’t eligible for 2 years. But in this instance I haven’t closed it, simply downgraded and now planning to re-upgrade? Anyone done this and know?

    in reply to: Hotel recommendations in Athens
    Olly 249 posts

    If you want a cheaper Marriott than the Grande Bretagne then the Academias is a good option in a decent location. If you want a cheaper option then I found the Athens Key a decent option with a nice terrace though Omonia isn’t as good a location. Also second George Ks point that the IC and Hyatt options are in a rubbish part of the city. Glyfada is fine if you don’t have any intention of going in or out of the city but it’s too far otherwise to be worth it

    in reply to: Lake Constance advice
    Olly 249 posts

    That looks excellent @AFKAE – thank you. We’ll have a car so that looks like it would make a great base for exploration

    in reply to: HMRC and Council Tax Amex workarounds?
    Olly 249 posts

    Just tried to make multiple payments of £200 on my BA Amex (Apple Pay) at the local co-op. First three payments went through fine but fourth was declined and Apple Pay now suspended.

    I suspect it’s just the standard fraud prevention but if anyone’s planning to do similar, doing via chip and pin is likely a safer option

    Olly 249 posts

    Just wondering if this is still an issue? My card year is up in a month so guessing I should be looking to cancel as soon as I’ve cleared this month’s statement?

    in reply to: Golf clubs as silver member?
    Olly 249 posts

    Just reopening this as wanted to check this also applies to flights from LCY – I’m not silver but will be flying CE which I assumes grants the same priveleges even on Cityflyer/Embraer?

    (I’m aware the benefits of CE from LCY aren’t as great, but the the Avios cost is the same as the cash for ET)

    in reply to: Abu Dhabi advice please
    Olly 249 posts

    I can see Rob revieweded a couple, he was not very positive about the IC, but he was much more positive about the Conrad.

    If you have or would be buying IHG points, the IC residences is very good. Managed by the same group as IC, but in a modern adjacent tower.

    Is the ambassador complimentary weekend night valid at the residences do you know?

    (answered my own question – they are!)

    Olly 249 posts

    Just sent you a message

    Olly 249 posts

    No dice from Marriott:

    The extension of free night certificates was eliminated in 2023. We are unable to grant exceptions for any reason, as this option has been removed from our system.

    Your certificate will need to be used before the expiration date. Once expired, the certificate cannot be reinstated, reissued, or converted to points.

    As such, if @Rob is happy to share contact details for Mart or Faris, happy to donate it rather than see it go to waste

    Olly 249 posts

    I cancelled the hotel as today was the deadline to do so, but I’ve just tried emailing Marriott CS to ask if they’ll extend the voucher. Let’s see what they say. Thanks for all the advice

    Olly 249 posts

    Farcical that they don’t even make it easy to pay off your VM credit card from a VM bank account. One less Curve double-dipping opp, oh well

    in reply to: Using Avios to book with SriLankan
    Olly 249 posts

    Seems to be a longstanding issue. There were no flights showing when I was looking a year ago https://www.headforpoints.com/forums/topic/booking-sri-lankan-with-avios/

    We didn’t go ahead with our plans so can’t be off any more assistance I’m afraid

    in reply to: Singapore hotel suggestions
    Olly 249 posts

    I’ll be heading there in a couple of months on a work trip, but sadly our hotel budget doesn’t stretch to any of the hotels listed here or on the previous thread. Wonder if anyone had any recommendations for mid-range hotels either at one of the chains or independent?

    As an example, the sort of places (for chain hotels) our budget stretches to include The Vagabond Club, Indigo Katong or Sheraton Towers

    in reply to: Processing of new status
    Olly 249 posts

    Mine is also still showing as platinum even though it should have dropped to gold. It does also say “We have begun annual processing to ensure your account reflects all qualifying activity. To explore your 2023 and 2024 nights, click on Nights This Year” though so I would think it will be updated shortly

    in reply to: Anyone been to Bahrain?
    Olly 249 posts

    It’s also far easier to find BA redemption availability at peak times than Dubai.

    Wonder how BA keeps this route open despite loads of availability.

    Lots of business between there and the UK, which means a single daily flight is likely sustainable.

    in reply to: Anyone been to Bahrain?
    Olly 249 posts

    We’ve been to Bahrain for a holiday twice, and the way I’d describe it is like a much smaller (and IMO more pleasant) version of Dubai, without the hordes of western expats and tourists. Culturally there isn’t much to write home about, but most people heading to that part of the world are predominantly looking for reliably warm weather and nice hotels over culture.

    I can heartily recommend the Four Seasons which occupies the prime spot on Bahrain bay, but there’s a relatively new Hilton Garden Inn just across the bay which is more than serviceable, and that’s attached to a mall (Avenues) with plentiful local restaurants (both local and international chains). Further across the city there’s also a Ritz Carlton and a new Hilton, and I believe a Jumeirah opened on the far side of the island last year. At weekends, a lot of Saudis come over the bridge and that makes it a bit busier but it never feels congested in the same way Dubai can.

    It’s also far easier to find BA redemption availability at peak times than Dubai.

    in reply to: Hotel and location – Where to stay?
    Olly 249 posts

    Somewhere near Euston (Russell Sq perhaps?) would be convenient for getting a fast train to Watford, and close to many sightseeing locations

    in reply to: Krabi or Koh Samui?
    Olly 249 posts

    Between Samui and Krabi I’d take Krabi every time. Stun ing coastline and forests, can easily escape tourists and encounter authentic Thailand. However, my partner is Thai and loves Samui, tourists and all. So I think you just have to do do your own research, hear the comments and make up your own mind. You will enjoy whatever you choose I’m sure.

    Hey BJ, I’m very keen to know which are your favourite bits of Krabi? Are there any hidden gems? Which are your favourite bits of coastline and forest?

    For me it’s Railay beach, accessible only by a long-tail boat. When I visited (20 years ago) it was very unspoilt by mass tourism, though it’s a bit better known these days. It’s well regarded as a rock-climbers destination but it’s got a lovely quiet beach and is a great place to while away a few days away from the hustle and bustle, if that’s what you’re interested in

    in reply to: Rixos – any experience?
    Olly 249 posts

    Sorry to disappoint you Alan but unless you book direct via the hotel booking platform, ie. ALL or the hotel website then you won’t be receiving any points for the stay. If you already have status, then it’s possible that the hotel will recognise this at check-in but not guaranteed.

    Unless you’re in a position to cancel the easyJet booking and rebook direct then you’re unlikely to benefit

    in reply to: Egypt: Cairo, Luxor, Nile cruise, Aswan and Dahab
    Olly 249 posts

    Thanks for all the tips @PeteM. We’re off to The Chedi in El Gouna next month I shall definitely be taking some cash to change at the local rate. Thinking of doing a day trip to Luxor to do the hot air balloon if I can convince the kids about the very early start. Did you pre-book that or arrange it locally?

    Olly 249 posts

    I didn’t get the cashback for an IHG stay in September. When I called them they noted it was an issue and because I had a Lloyds current account they paid it directly into that account as apparently it was quicker for them to do that rather than wait for the MBNA team to action it

    in reply to: Bangkok & Phuket restaurants
    Olly 249 posts

    You’ll do well to find somewhere better than Nahm in Bangkok – it’s within your budget and you’d pay a lot more for food of this quality in London or any other Western metropolis

    in reply to: 5 star hotel South East with spa
    Olly 249 posts

    Heckfield Place is very nice, and has a very new spa. Expensive but you said you’re happy with a blowout

    Olly 249 posts

    Ah good point. It’s with BA and another good point about explaining the reason. I’ll call them once we have a better idea of what’s happening

    in reply to: One companion voucher usable for four one-way tickets
    Olly 249 posts

    Clause 5 of https://uk.virginmoney.com/virgin/credit-cards/vaa-cards/terms/reward-plus.jsp (for the Reward+ card) and https://uk.virginmoney.com/virgin/credit-cards/vaa-cards/terms/reward.jsp (for the Reward card), but it’s a useful reminder nonetheless.

    Having experienced the less flexible BA version, I’d likely read that and have expected it to mean having to have two separate single flights as a paying/points passenger rather than two on the same booking. Probable everyone else is more clued-up but thought helpful in case there are others out there like me

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