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Bits: pay your car tax on Amex, sale, beat luggage theft with a gun

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News in brief:

Pay your car tax with American Express

Long-term readers of HfP will know that the ability to pay your road tax with an American Express card has come and gone over the last couple of years as the DVLA has trialled new payment systems.

The new system is now permanently in place and Amex is accepted.  The fee for using American Express is £2.50 which will be up to 2% of your fee depending on which band you are in.

This may not be a great deal if you own a low-tax vehicle.  It would however count towards the spending target for a sign-up bonus or towards your British Airways American Express 2-4-1 voucher. hotel sale sent me details of a 10 day sale that is running from today until 31st August, although you can book for stays until June 2017.

Selected properties are offering 30% off, based on one or two night stays, or free breakfast.  Full details are here.

It might be worth a look for the Bank Holiday, although I would hold off until Accor releases its list of hugely discounted £25+ Happy Mondays offers tomorrow, as that will cover the Bank Holiday weekend too.

Stop luggage theft in the US … with a gun!

Finally, I was reading Business Week on my airberlin short-haul flight yesterday (more on that to come) when I found a handy tip for stopping airport employees breaking into your luggage when flying in the US.

A quirk of US aviation law means that guns must be flown in bags which cannot be accessed by a third party.  All other suitcases must have locks which can be opened by TSA staff.  Declare your gun at check-in (you must show that it isn’t loaded) and your suitcase – with non-TSA compliant locks – will be allowed through.

Comments (94)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Mr Dee says:

    I heard people check in cheap starter pistols so that their luggage is treated with priority so is less likely to be lost/stolen.

    • Madmax says:

      O/T but hoping for some advice. I referred my wife to a BAPP Amex credit card the other day with the 9k referral bonus for me and 18k for her if meeting £3k spend in 3 months. After she applied, the next day welcome sign up bonus changed to 26k. I called Amex today to ask if she could get the 26k, however Amex rep on customer service line stated there’s nothing that can be done as they were the terms in place when she applied. If she cancelled the card, she can’t reapply for another six months.

      Does anyone know what else I could try to get the higher 26k bonus? Any advice appreciated.

      • harry says:

        ask a different rep

        or even a 3rd one

      • Genghis says:

        Send a secure message which gets handled by the team in India. Surprisingly, they can be even more helpful than the Brighton based call centre.

        • Madmax says:

          Thanks. Do you mean a secure message when logged into my wife’s account?

          • Alan says:

            Yes, via the ‘contact us’ option – I know of a couple of friends that have had success via this route

  • N says:

    How often do Heathrow hotels show up on Happy Mondays?

    • Rob says:

      Very often, on busy weekends they are often the only London options. Ibis can be £25.

      • N says:

        Thanks. Will extend my bedtime tonight. I’m in Acton but have a 7am flight next tues from t5. Every hour of sleep counts!

    • Mr Dee says:

      Heathrow Ibis hotel with breakfast for £25 is a bargain especially when you check in and see people are paying the full amount!

  • roger says:

    that was very quick reply, thanks

  • roger says:

    Another OT

    Has anyone taken any advantage of Mastercard priceless cities and mastercard surprises?
    almost all of my current cards are either amex or visa, so cant check it myself.

    • Rob says:

      Been to a few of the V&A etc private views, and the Heathrow Express deal is the best available.

  • Arnold Judas Rimmer says:

    Using AMEX directly through DVLA for paying VED certainly was working this year – I taxed one car this way in April, one in June and one in July. Each time there was a £2.50 fee but still worth it for the £230, £295 and £110 tax bands. It was simply a payment option on the normal DVLA web site. Never went near the Post Office…

  • Ynox says:

    I used my Amex to pay for my VED earlier. Worked well.

    Will be a shame if they’ve scrapped it!

  • tomsurfer says:

    As the DVLA are not accepting AMEX directly, I have followed the alternative suggestion and paid my VED at the post office using AMEX.

    • harry says:

      Good idea!

    • Rob says:

      Apparently it is a random trial. Some people will see the Amex offer and some won’t.

      • harry says:

        I paid for my driving licence renewal with Amex this year

        ISTR £14 and it came in the post 2 days later

        they grabbed the photo off my passport data

        amazing Brit efficiency – that’s what won us the Olympics! 🙂

        • harry says:

          £1000 fine if you can’t be bothered to renew yours

          & yes – they do actually routinely fine people for not bothering, luckily I got tipped off by a friendly NatWest bank mgr who noticed mine was expiring

          • harry says:

            anyway since everybody is in bed or so it seems

            o2 sent me my Justin Biebers a couple of days ago, plenty of time to let a more deserving recipient get them as I think they are for 14th October

            OK OK I know music lovers hate me, can it, lol

            it’s legal and just for the record, as a method to do MS it works fine, seems you can’t really lose if you choose the right day, the right artiste

            looking at 100% up after costs but that’s not the point, the point was MS

        • Alan says:

          Yep, I liked how they used passport photo – some decent government IT does exist!

  • Sean says:

    No Amex taken for my car tax over the phone! Amex credit avios after ring there customer service.

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