Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Forum Replies Created

  • in reply to: Glasgow – Hilton or Doubletree?
    Tariq

    Stayed at both pre-Covid. My preference was always Doubletree. Good breakfast and lounge and often upgraded to Executive room as a Diamond. Extra benefit that on-street parking used to be free off peak, not sure if still the case.

    in reply to: Addison Lee is no longer Platinum partner
    Tariq

    Technically yes, as the letter is quick to ‘remind’ us of a recently-added benefit, but the dining perk was always supposed to be in addition to already existing benefit, including the AddLee one – not a replacement. Plus, the wording points the finger to an ‘unexpected change’ so it’d be reasonable to expect a replacement.

    So “unexpected change” is Amex trying to say “AddLee caused this, not us” I guess

    Indeed. Equally though, if Amex was that bothered, they could continue to fund it themselves from their own pocket.

    in reply to: Chat thread – Saturday 10th September
    Tariq

    Just checked VA statement and I’d triggered 241 back in July… so my planned Sept 24 trip to San Francisco/Vancouver (VA out, BA back) will now have to be April/May 24 before it gets too warm. Is this a good time to visit – I’m guessing could be last throes of winter in BC in April so maybe May better?

    Good time to visit? I don’t do heat…

    I would think May would be a lovely time to visit BC, with longer daylight hours than September as well.

    Indeed, we went late April/early May this year and had 5 really nice days in Vancouver – cool, but sunny and dry. Complete contrast to my last visit there where it poured with rain consistently.

    in reply to: The HSBC Premier Mastercards thread
    Tariq

    I’m pleased to have received the unexpected 40k bonus others reported yesterday in lieu of the email; good to see them sorting the sheep from the goats.

    I’m sure they’ll be swiftly removed once Mr X calls HSBC and tips them off to their error. 😂

    in reply to: Reasonable to leave teens in economy
    Tariq

    Slightly off-topic, but one of the funnier travel stories from my family:

    My brother was 12 and travelling from Prague to Mexico via JFK. Czech Airlines would let you travel on your own if you were over 12, Aeromexico over, I think, 15, but my parents didn’t realise that so he wasn’t booked as an unaccompanied minor.

    So he happily made it to JFK, went to board his onward flight and was stopped from doing so. Whilst the ground staff were trying to work out what to do, the last flight to MEX left. So they booked him a hotel, gave him a voucher and told him to get a shuttle bus and stay in NYC overnight. And come back the next morning at 6am, on his own, on the shuttle bus.

    My dad was worried sick when he didn’t emerge in Mexico and no one there had any idea of what had happened. He only found out where my brother was when he called from the NYC hotel, after he’d gone to dinner at Denny’s. He had a blast and thought it was the coolest thing ever.

    Invariably when my brother returned to the airport the next morning the same issue cropped up, but Aeromexico eventually agreed it wasn’t a great idea for him to stay alone in NYC any longer and sending him to MEX was acceptable…!

    This was c2009!

    What an epic story!

    I think I like it more than the one about the guy that took 50lb of food to Bora Bora.

    https://www.headforpoints.com/2019/02/13/intercontinental-bora-bora/

    in reply to: The HSBC Premier Mastercards thread
    Tariq

    I am seeing points awarded against some Curve transactions but not others. I am not certain that this is a result of incompetence associated with the change in points portal/system as opposed to an intentional change by HSBC.

    in reply to: Algarve resort suggestions
    Tariq

    I just came back from Hilton Vilamoura As Cascatas. Really nice resort, not all-inclusive, but was a bargain on points compared to the cash price.

    Complimentary transport from the hotel to the beach and the hotel has a beach bar down there too where you can charge back to room. Plenty of food options in the hotel itself, free parking, very modern and well maintained rooms (less than 10 years old I believe). Spa facilities onsite and a kids club where you can park the little ones for a half-day.

    Any specific questions, just ask.

    in reply to: BA Amex to BA Premium Plus – should I upgrade?
    Tariq

    Agreed, just done the upgrade myself and was really easy using that link.

    Tariq

    35K given fairly easily via chat today, last bonus over a year ago.

    Interesting that Amex only value 35K at £157 though (per the dialogue that I had with them).

    Tariq

    There’s an argument that checking in on the app demonstrates you’re likely to turn up, especially relevant for cancellable rates and logically you could imagine that would inform their choices around upgrades

    But, truly we don’t know…

    I used to think this, and always checked in online. Until I arrived late at night (11.30pm) due to a delayed flight and the hotel had reallocated my room and walked me – I don’t bother since then…!

    Tariq

    And when you finally get the date, put another DSAR in for any new information since the last DSAR. So that you can see any internal written dialogue pertaining to your original request.

    in reply to: Stranded in NYC
    Tariq
    in reply to: £50 back from £200 Amex spend
    Tariq

    I tried ringing up Doubletree Chester to charge my card now in advance of a Semi-Flex booking in August. They said they were unable to charge my card on file so have sent me a secure payment link beginning https://s[dot]360[dot]com.

    Upon clicking the link it takes me to a site where I can input my card details and billing address. The amount is pre-populated. Has anyone else had this experience? I’m guessing paying via this payment link probably won’t track to qualify for the Amex offer but would love if someone has experience to prove otherwise.

    Hotels often use such secure sites to collect your payment details. They should then charge as normal via the hotel’s own system, the website merely playing the role of a secure means to gather your card details and authorisation for them to use it.

    Indeed, not Hilton but Hyatt – Amex offer triggered fine.

    in reply to: £50 back from £200 Amex spend
    Tariq

    Not Hilton, but Hyatt. Using the payment link that they emailed me, worked to trigger the Amex offer.

    in reply to: NYC Mid Budget Reward Hotel
    Tariq

    Since the message is in the IHG subforum, I’m going to guess IHG.

    in reply to: £50 back from £200 Amex spend
    Tariq

    Yes, all of mine have been advance bookings and triggers just fine.

    in reply to: Booking a Hilton in advance – 10 month limit?
    Tariq

    I think it depends on the hotel. I just checked a couple of properties and one was bookable up to April 30th next year and the other one 12 months and even further ahead, cash and points.

    This is my experience – searching far ahead, some hotels are showing big blocks of ‘sold out’ which just seems implausible – more likely that they haven’t uploaded/opened availability yet.

    in reply to: Amex Plat 70k referral?
    Tariq

    Looks like targeted referral is back – 70k points for spending £4000 in 3 months.

    in reply to: Amex Plat 70k referral?
    Tariq

    Referral offer is showing as 35K points for spending £4K in three months in my app.

    in reply to: IHG amenities when booking with points
    Tariq

    Sounds like IHG are rapidly descending to Accor levels of hospitality and reward…

    Nonsense.

    They are about to implement a huge change to the programme with lots of new benefits.

    If it was so great the benefits would be live already, not this paralytic nonsense where people are getting neither the old nor new benefits.

    in reply to: IHG amenities when booking with points
    Tariq

    Sounds like IHG are rapidly descending to Accor levels of hospitality and reward…

    in reply to: Canada to USA
    Tariq

    Yes, with retrospect we would have taken the train if we had known it was more advantageous ref testing (crossed from Niagara by train a few years ago and was a bit of a protracted process which put us off). Couldn’t get a one-way rental car from Canada to USA.

    I ordered the tests from Qured a couple of weeks before we went, booked the video slots pretty much as soon as the tests arrived – quite an easy process. At the appointment time, you just click a link and wait in a queue and you seem to get allocated to the first available agent – my wife and I both got different people. Fairly straightforward process but take a permanent marker with you (you have to write a reference number and date/time on the LFT cartridge and then photo it with your passport for them to issue the certificate).

    We took NHS tests as well to do a pre-test before the main event, just to be on the safe side.

    in reply to: Canada to USA
    Tariq

    Yes, I flew into Vancouver in April and then a few days later took a short flight Vancouver to Portland. Used Qured remote video testing. If you only have to be in Vegas though, personally I would avoid the complexity and just fly to somewhere in the USA directly.

    in reply to: Pacific Northwest – Seattle & Vancouver
    Tariq

    Don’t suppose anyone has an email address for the Renaissance Seattle please?

    Very elusive on Google and guesswork hasn’t been successful either.

    in reply to: Keeping couples together (Club World)
    Tariq

    We prefer middle and aisle as I don’t mind flying backwards but my wife rather faces forwards. The window between the seats allows interaction.

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