Bits: no more churning of the Hilton HHonors Visa card?, Tesco deals round-up

News in brief:

No more churning of the Hilton HHonors Visa card?

The Hilton HHonors Platinum Visa is my preferred first pick for anyone who is new to this hobby.  This is because it offers a quick win – a free weekend night for spending just £750 – which is easy to redeem at any of their global hotels.  The card is also free.

A free night at, say, the Conrad in London or the Waldorf-Astoria in Amsterdam, Rome or Berlin is an easy way of showing someone how rewarding this hobby can be.

Unofficially, you have always been able to re-apply for the Hilton credit card after a six month gap as long as you don’t hold any other cards from Barclays.

Yesterday, however, an eagle-eyed HFP reader spotted what appears to be a change in the Barclays terms and conditions:

Free Night Reward Certificate will only be awarded for first time applicants of the Hilton HHonors Platinum Visa card.

It remains to be see if Barclays actually imposes this rule or if there is an unofficial time period.  MBNA has a similar rule on most of its credit cards but you can usually reapply, with a bonus, after a couple of years.

If you were thinking of applying for the first time, be certain that you can use the voucher for a high-value free weekend night over the next six months.  If you don’t have a plan in mind then you may want to hold back until you do if this is now a one-off lifetime benefit.

(Want to earn more miles and points from credit cards?  Click here to visit our dedicated airline and hotel travel credit cards page or use the ‘Credit Cards Update’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Hilton Visa

Tesco deals round-up

Here is a round-up of the deals we have covered on Shopper Points recently which offer bonus Tesco Clubcard points.  These can, of course, be converted in Avios or Virgin Flying Club miles.

Ends 30th July – 100 Clubcard points with a 50% off (£10) pre-order for Harry Potter & The Cursed Child

Ends 21st June – 3,000 Clubcard points with Tesco Home Insurance

Ends 1st May – 500 Clubcard points on selected £25 NOW TV boxes

Ends 1st May – 500 Clubcard points with Happy Beds mattrasses and toppers

Ends 27th April – 100 free Clubcard points when you make a MoneyGram transfer in-store

Ends 26th April – 5,000 Clubcard points with E.ON 18 month fixed tariff (also covered on HFP here – this is worth 12,000 Avios so worth pricing up)

Virgin launches new 30% off redemption seat sale in Economy, booking to 2017
100% bonus when you buy Hilton HHonors points returns
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  1. I’ve taken the card out in the last 4 weeks, for the 3rd time and straight after cancelling my ihg card..
    I’ve phoned and checked I’m eligible last week to be told I am, I asked for a note to be left on my account saying I am.
    I’ll know in about 4 weeks if I get the email certificate.

  2. Applying in the summer after at least a 2 year gap, hoping that should be plenty.

    If they improved the long term benefits on the card I’d be tempted to keep iit for securing the God status.

  3. Heather says:

    Sorry a bit off topic, but when using the free night voucher can I book a standard room, then upgrade using cash, I’m wanting a family room as travelling with a child but there aren’t many standard rooms available on my dates, managed to get the park lane last time.

    • You would need to agree it with the hotel, it is entirely at their discretion

    • Globetrotter7 says:

      It’s probably different for each hotel but I used mine at the Conrad Hong Kong in Feb 2015 and I was able to book a room 4 people (2 adults and 2 kids) and upgrade to a suite. This was through e-standby so it wasn’t confirmed until check in but the e-standbys were offered straight after booking.
      It’s worth noting that, to the hotel, this was just another points booking as your voucher is converted into 80k points when you use it…. At least mine was!

  4. OT – but if anybody is looking for hotels for the Bank Holiday weekend, Accor are doing their Happy Mondays deal already – you can book at the usual (very cheap) prices from now until Tuesday.

  5. Just noticed this!

    Curve Fair Use Policy

    ATM Withdrawals from credit cards
    You can withdrawal up to £200 (or currency equivalent) for free using your American
    Express or other credit cards per calendar month after which there is a 2% charge. This
    limit does not apply to ATM debit card withdrawals.
    Furthermore any behaviour which Curve deems to be “cash recycling” whereby high
    volumes of cash are taken out of an ATM using a credit card and then used to repay the
    credit card in order to gain rewards on the funding card or Curve Rewards is not
    permitted. Such behaviour may result in your Curve account being blocked or

    • Hmm interesting changes, I’ve not had my card yet but these changes will stop people using their card for cash, it also make them uncompetitive for cash withdrawals overseas

    • Thanks for the heads up, I got mine at the start of the month and this change has definitely dampened the benefits of this card.

      Still pretty useful card though.

    • Thanks, Harry – that certainly makes more sense. Am loving Supercard for this just now, I just use it whenever I want cash out rather than using my bank debit card!

      • Alan what are the limitations (max withdrawal) when using super card at the atm in the UK? Assume still not charging the 50p?

        • Still not charging the 50p and I took out a max of £250 as that seems standard for most cards.

    • So one of the main benefits of the card – ATM withdrawals abroad and earning points on a linked Amex – has now effectively gone. Over £200, the charge is effectively 3% + £1 right? This doesn’t make it the gateway to my money!

      • The Urbanite says:

        Can’t exactly blame them for putting the stop on this activity. The product already allows accrual of Amex points where Amex isn’t accepted, which is useful in itself. High volume free cash withdrawals was never going to last for long, more fool anyone who punted £35-£75 solely to do this!

    • I wonder how long that has been in the conditions. Be interesting if anyone with the card had been hit by this or if it is new

      • Just noticed this today too as linked from activation email, fair usage policy is dated yesterday. Received mine this morning from the batch due 27 April. Won’t be using for significant travel cash now @ 3% when you can do it on Halifax at 0% provided you pay off the transaction the next day. At 1% it is ok though, and still useful for travel where Amex is less accepted eg most of Europe.

  6. Anyone know for sure whether the Hilton Free Night lasts for 6 months or 1 year. Every forum I read says it lasts 6 months, but when I got my certificate last August, it said a validity of 1 year. Concerned that I haven’t used mine yet so will Hilton honour it or not

    • Me too as the ‘six months’ date was June, but successfully booked a night for August

      • Globetrotter7 says:

        Mine was valid for a year. But I got it around Dec 2014, used it Feb last year do I could have been the glitch Alan is talking about.

    • It’s six months at present and historically has been that however I believe there was a glitch period last year where they issued them with 12 months validity. I’d go with what it says on your voucher – you can easily argue your case if they try and deny it after clearly issuing a voucher stating 12 months!

    • For a few months they were being issued with a 1 year expiry. I purposely never wrote about it because the website continued to say it was 6 months. They then flipped back to a 6 month expiry.

    • Definitely 6 months, I got mine this week and it expires in October.

  7. I don’t think Barclaycard would be allowed to hold details indefinitely (Data Protection Act), so it comes down to whatever their data rentention policy is….

  8. Curve

    Wise up, you guys – when something appears too good to be true, it’s generally not true.

    Curve will have its uses – especially if you shop in Lidl lol, no problem with that as it is indeed a decent European deli @ great prices – but those who fondly thought they were going to get (say) 10,000 extra Avios out of it were always gaga.

    Shame they still have not had enough time to work out what the loyalty prog will look like.

    Nor what their relationship with Amex will be.

    Mgt team are not exactly joined up, despite previous success.

    • biscuiteer says:

      I have a BMI Amex card which gives me 2 Air miles to each £ spend. I regularly spend 7-8k per year non Amex so I’m definitely going to hit that threshold.

  9. OT Sorry to be off topic about the Curve card. I paid the fee with my BAPP card. I loaded the IHG and HIlton card and tried to load the BAPP but it said it was already loaded but it doesn’t appear on my list. It won’t let me add it again so I am stuck? Also the IHG and HIlton both show up as Hilton cards in the wallet so you need to be careful which one you want to activate. Has anyone else had the same problem?

    • Scrap that – I’ve uninstalled the app and reinstalled it and it’s there now!

      • Just don’t use it @ ATM or in Lidl & you’ll be fine

        • Hi Liz. – I’ve had similar problems with cards being displayed incorrectly (e.g. My Amex gold credit card shows up as a BA Amex?!) but other than that, it’s been a brilliant card.

          I’ve been using it at ATMs and my regular CC spend for a few weeks now – works perfectly. One tip would be to contact their Twitter team if you have a problem. I had a question about ATM withdrawals via a linked Amex and they answered within 20 mins (at 10pm).

        • Why not in Lidl although I don’t shop there ?

          • And why not ATMs?

            • Fair usage policy :)

            • Dan see above comments re ATM withdrawals – now restricted to £200 per month for free withdrawals ! T&c’s changed before we even get to use it!

            • I think that’s actually unfair and people should be offered refund and cancellations if they wish….this is not what we signed for at all. That is misleading advertising. How many people would have signed up with current terms?!
              And some people haven’t had the card yet despite initial “March” promise

            • So you signed up for free points?

            • No Harry, I didn’t sign up to free points- you are being presumptuous just to drive your point through.
              There is no doubt there has been significant changes to original terms.
              FYI: my attraction to it were:
              1. Being able to use Amex where not accepted- my card has been declined but other visa/MC worked.
              2. Use abroad- they have a mark up and yet it is now more restrictive than the free super card- I was in Spain last week and withdrew money to use in places where my super card wouldn’t work, I would be severely restricted if I try to do the same with curve.
              3. I know people say debit cards are not limited but I have a zero current account with Santander so to me there’s no bonus in using curve.

              Had I known all above I wouldn’t have signed up! That is not wanting free points in anyway, I just wanted to be able to earn points for my normal spending and I am sure you do the same Harry, and everyone else on here for that matter.
              So what’s your point?
              What’s the value in paying for it now?

  10. Tilly71 says:

    When the article on Curve came out I knew the atm option wouldn’t be around long. Still a great card for amex where not accepted.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Mine was supposedly shipped a week ago by 1st class and yet to see it, though that was far earlier than the expected date of Mat 7th so might be a glitch email.

      It would be a great card for spending where AMEX isn’t accepted which is plenty of my spend but £200 cash withdrawal isn’t a lot, £50 a week would be fine in the UK as card for most purchases but that same limit abroad is a bit rubbish as its where i usually need cash most

      • Curve people should have been upfront with T&Cs from day 1.

        That they were not implies people you cannot trust.

        • And they have cheated you out of your £75 card

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Agree but in this case we all signed up as Beta testers, unfortunately that means you can end up getting something which isn’t what you signed up for until more people come on board and they have a chance to develop.

          £35 I’m not going to moan and guess I should have £20 on my account from referrals so ill have some MS go through ‘for free” so to speak.

          • the referral payments are only going to get credited when they launch their rewards programme later this year.

            I understand you can make about 10 ATM withdrawals a month from my own usage over the past month though the amount drawn will depend on your status level.

  11. I got my Curve today (although email said I would get it in May)
    I tried to use the card on one website that doesn’t allow AMEX but does allow MasterCard but Curve was not accepted…
    I also could not pay my council tax bill with Curve although have no problem paying with any other MasterCard or visa…
    Quite disappointing..
    So it seems I will have to withdraw 200£ a month to get at least some value …

    • Looks like they have a few questions to answer – I don’t trust these Curve cheats

      • Raffles you should distance yourself from Curve cheats

        • Not sure if I got my card today as away but all this chat doesn’t bode well for curve. Not even sure if I want it now. The only use I can think of for it is to pay my council tax directly and not via paypoint and even that doesn’t look hopeful.

        • I’ve met the team, they are a very serious and high powered bunch of people with some well regarded money behind them and an incredibly well connected board of directors. Simply to get to where they have got to is impressive. Whether their business plan turns out to be a mess because they didn’t understand the nature of the business they were entering is a different question.

          How many times do I feature promotions on HFP where we all know that the organisers simply did not fully think through the implications of what was going to happen because it was structured in a particular way with loopholes obvious to everyone except them? Answer – very often ….

          • Sussex Bantam says:

            That’s as maybe but changing the T&C within a couple of weeks of sending out the first set of cards (and before many people have received them) is appalling. It will be interesting to see if they offer refunds given the very significant changes in benefits they are offering.

        • I think it’s a bit unfair to call them cheats. If Curve say that they don’t support Amex then yes I would agree that they misled but I think it is obvious that you can’t really hope to get reward points just for withdrawing cash from ATM and putting it back in your bank. Yes curve should have made this clear right from beginning and I am pretty sure Rob said something to the effect that this is not sustainable but the card’s USP for me was always using it in places where Amex is not accepted. 200 GBP withdrawal limit abroad sucks but that limit is not for Debit cards I believe so the card isn’t really ‘useless’ abroad or for foreign spend. For ex: If you use BA Amex via Curve to buy Hilton points in latest sale you save 2% in FX fees..yes there are FX fee free cards but if you have specific spend targets to meet then Curve does help in such cases.

          • Sussex bantam says:

            The point here though is that we all signed up knowing there was a ‘fair usage’ policy on cash withdrawals and so no-one can seriously have expected to be able to churn significant amounts of cash.

            However 200 a month is not a ‘fair usage’ policy it is basically ‘no usage’ – and that’s not what anyone signed up for.

    • I got my card today too – it says you need to do a chip and pin transaction first so try that before using online – I’m going to buy something tomorrow with it and then try and pay my daughters rent with it.

      • There’s an issue with some address verification for online payments til 27 April which prob explains current declined payments. Had the issue and their support app was very quick.

    • biscuiteer says:

      First transaction has to be chip and pin. Plus they’ve a problem with anything on the web over £200. there was an email about it saying a fix should be ready 27th April.

      Hope that helps!

  12. Peter K says:

    A bit O/T. When converting virgin points to Hilton, do you need to ring to do it or am I missing something online?

    Also, how long before my wife and I are likely to gain Accor plat via AMEX plat? We got cards and applied for accor status via website on 4th April but nothing has happened to our accounts yet. Is it time to chase yet?

  13. Totally OT but does anybody know what happened to VAA’s order for A350s which was imminent in January but never announced?

  14. Does anyone know if Amex Statement credits can be achieved by multiple purchases? I.e. do I have to spend £250 in one go or can I have 2 x £125 hotel bookings to trigger it.

  15. For the Hilton free night I assume it’s for two adults? Anyone had experience of adding a third person eg a child?

    • You get a standard redemption room. Some of those are big enough for 1 or 2 kids. In big cities it is harder. Only a handful of the 50ish Hilton hotels in London have standard rooms which will take 2 kids.

  16. If you cancelled your Hilton Card before the changes in T&C (Feb) do you think you will still be restricted in getting the free night if you apply later in the year?