Credit card bits: Tesco to refund Curve fees, Tesco closes its Premium card, Lufthansa closes its card

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Credit card news in brief:

Tesco Bank backtracks on charging Curve customers

As we noted a few weeks ago, Tesco Bank had started to treat purchases made using a Curve Card as a cash advance.  Which, of course, makes no sense.  This meant that Tesco Bank had started to impose a whopping 3.99% fee on all Curve transactions.

Tesco Bank has now backtracked.  The following statement has been posted on Tesco’s “Your Community” site:

We recognise that the application of this fee when a Tesco Bank credit card is used to fund Curve accounts has created some confusion for customers. We apologise to customers for this confusion. As a result, we have chosen to pause the charging of this fee in relation to Curve customers while we review this matter. Any customer who has been charged to date will be refunded, and should we make any future changes we will let our customers know.

Hopefully those of you were charged fees by Tesco Bank will soon see the money back on your card.

Tesco Premium credit card closing

Tesco drops the Tesco Premium Credit Card

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote this article about the Tesco Premium Credit Card.  I suggested that the card did not have much of a future given the closure of Tesco Direct in three weeks, because the main feature – 5000 bonus Clubcard points if you spent £5000 annually across all Tesco businesses – would now become trickier.  I know some people relied on putting large household purchases through Tesco Direct in order to hit the £5000 target.

It seems that Tesco Bank agreed with me.  The Tesco Premium Credit Card is being withdrawn from the market for new applicants.  I don’t know if it is being closed to existing cardholders too.

If you were on the fence about applying, the application form might still be live if you click here.  There is a 5,000 Clubcard points bonus (worth 12,400 Avios or 12,500 Virgin miles) for signing up.  I have been told that it will be gone by the end of today, if it hasn’t gone already.

Whilst this was definitely a niche product – and one I struggled to get excited about – it does have potential.  It may have suffered from poor marketing, because the free travel insurance benefit would have been valuable for a lot of mainstream card users who will not have Amex Platinum, HSBC Premier etc.  At a lower fee (say £50) or with a different benefits package, it may have worked well for a lot of HFP readers as a strong points earner.

I have updated our core ‘best credit card’ articles, all of which are listed on this page of HFP, to reflect this change.

Miles and More credit cards to close

MBNA announces closure of the Lufthansa Miles & More credit cards

MBNA has sent letters to the holders of its Lufthansa Miles & More card, including myself, saying that the cards will close on 28th July.

We will all receive the pretty decent Horizon Visa card which I reviewed here.

I will run an article tomorrow on alternatives to the Miles & More card.  However, even if you start to collect Miles & More miles via an indirect credit card route, it will not stop your miles from expiring.

Miles & More miles have a hard 3-year expiry – no exceptions – unless you have status or have a Miles & More credit card.  Two things could happen now:

Miles & More IMMEDIATELY (well, at the end of September which would be the first quarter-end following a month with no credit card miles going in) deletes all miles over three years old from your Miles & More account, or

A three year clock now starts after which your miles will start to disappear

We will, apparently, receive a separate letter from Lufthansa about what will happen.  I am worried that the first option is the one that will apply but hopefully they won’t be that silly.  I will see if I can get any news out of Miles & More although I am not very well connected there.

(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.)

What is the best replacement for the UK Lufthansa Miles & More credit card?
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Comments

  1. Geoff says:

    Slightly OT re Curve: I have been unable to access the Curve app for a few days now. Keep getting a ‘connection error’ message. Is it just me or are they having problems?

  2. It’s intriguing to see that the M&M credit card lives on in other European countries but not the UK. See the list below the Ts & Cs. Why would this be as surely they are all affected by the interchange rules? Germany and Austria I can perhaps understand, but Italy and Hungary?

    https://tinyurl.com/yap47bn3

    • In Germany both Miles & More cards have an annual fee. The blue card has a welcome bonus of …wait for it … 500 M&M miles!

    • Though some of the Amex ones are closing, though at the end of 2019 when the current contracts run out.

    • Richmond says:

      I have to check if I can get card in Poland. Have some credit history there, just no income …

  3. Is the Amex Gold companion credit card dead? I was thinking of applying to net 5000 bonus points but can’t find anything on the website.

  4. Completely OT, but does anyone know if Marriott Memories packages get discounted in the days before an event?

    • Very occasionally I have seen it happen. Sometimes the London hotels get offered unclaimed O2 seats to offer to guests or staff.

  5. You must spent more than my six figure sum them to be offered £15 🙂

    • They must have decided you’d cost them enough already 😀 Although weirdly I’ve spent oodles on my AA and they’re offering me £55 to keep it!

      • Michael Jennings says:

        The only applicable card for me is a Virgin White. I spent about £5000 on it over the last 12 months. No free money for me.

  6. OT: Does Amex do a new credit search when upgrading from Amex Gold Charge to Platinum? Also, when the upgrade is completed, does it show up as a new card in the credit report or just continue as an Amex Charge card?

    • Lister says:

      My experience from upgrading in January.

      Hard search

      Continuation of the current charge card agreement. No new account opened on credit file.

  7. Neil Donoghue says:

    Does anyone have the gold companion link please and does it work on the Amex plat?? Thanks

  8. Does anyone have the link for upgrading Amex Rewards Gold Charge to Platinum? Assuming this still gets you 20k for the upgrade. Thanks

  9. Vasco says:

    OT: If I cancel my BAPP, will my 2-4-1 voucher remain available? I know it stays if you downgrade, but I’ve heard conflicting accounts of what happens if you cancel altogether. I have the Amex Gold and SPG, so I can always pay the the fees with those, that’s not the problem.

    • Radiata says:

      In all likelihood, yes.

      There was a report on flyertalk of a voucher being rescinded but this contrary to the t&c and in the main, although the AMEX agent may insist otherwise, the voucher remains in one’s BAEC account.

      As you are aware, one must pay associated fees when redeeming with an AMEX.

  10. Navara says:

    OT.
    Buy a Phone or Tablet From Sky Mobile, and You’ll Get a Free Return Flight to Europe.
    No sure if it’s been highlighted before.
    just seen it in the nectar app

    • the real harry1 says:

      I got this in the post & thought about flagging it – until I saw the cost! If you had somebody else paying for the phone or tablet, you might go for it – if it’s your own money, you’d be crazy, really poor pricing.

      Return Flights >£100 on Lastminute.com only

      I threw it away but there’s a page online if you feel like googling it

    • Alex W says:

      Cheapest option seems to be Sony Xperia L1. £6 per month for 2 years i.e. £144. There are flights worth hundreds available. Could be another hoover??

      • the real harry1 says:

        +£5/ month cheapest data plan = £11/ month for 24 months then £6.50 for 5 months
        total £296.50

        • the real harry1 says:

          If somebody HAD to fly in say August, they might end up saving money, I guess – plus you can add on extra people for £89
          http://skymobile1.lastminute.com/vg1/flatpricesearchindex.action

        • the real harry1 says:

          before anybody gets too excited, the thingy I got in the post made it clear it was only valid for flights up to £100 on Lastminute.com (& limited destinations) – so they’ll be filtering out any flights currently over £100

          The most you can get as a discount is therefore £100 (plus possibly £11 discount per person for additional pax paying £89)

  11. Anyone receive an email from Virgin Atlantic re: the new credit card? says it’s targeted.

    15,000 extra miles per month as long as you spend £1.5k, valid for 3 months, so 60k miles in 3 months essentially including the sign up bonus.

    will apply on that basis

    • Tom H says:

      I Got :
      A welcome bonus of 15,000 miles,
      Plus, a bespoke offer for you – an extra 6,000 miles a month for the first three months your account is open. You just need to spend a minimum of £1,000 each month on your card to qualify.

    • YoungL says:

      That sounds very good.

    • KevMc says:

      I have just received one with 6,000 extra a month for 3 months if spending £1k, so looks like it is targeted. I only spent my £10k on the MBNA card to get my two vouchers and then stopped using it, so perhaps this is the reason for a lower offer than yours?

      • Now, here is some news no-one will tell you. This offer is retrospective. If you had the MBNA cards and applied for this already, you will get the 18k. I am still looking for clarity on exactly how (a one-off drop or a spend target) but you will not be worse off.

        • KevMc says:

          Do you think it is worth holding out for a better offer like the one DTB was sent, or is the 18k as good as it is going to get?

        • This is a one-off conversion offer as far as I understand it.

        • Louise says:

          So is the offer not going to be targeted Rob? I still haven’t got round to applying but no email (as yet)

        • It is targeted but all MBNA cardholders are getting some version of it.

        • Melvin says:

          For clarity, my offer is for 33,000 miles total (18k + (3 x 6k))

        • Jonathan says:

          @Rob, will this only be for recently active MBNA card holders in the sense that i have held both VS MBNA white and black cards in the past but cancelled them about 6 months ago?

        • Only people whose cards are being cancelled now.

        • Camille55 says:

          Mine is also 15K + (3 x 6k). However, I HAVE already applied for the Reward+ card, which I received last month and have been spending on it.

          Rob, I’d be interested to know when you find out – ie. whether the 18k will be a one-off drop at the end of the 3 months, or whatever. Thanks in advance.

          c55

        • I know now. You will get an email with a spend target like everyone else. Emails being staggered over 2 weeks.

    • Lev441 says:

      I got the same. Before this i wasn’t really interested in getting the card but this is giving me some food for thought…

    • John G says:

      I got: 5000 on card opening + an extra 2000 miles for the first 3 months when spending £500 per month. This is for the free card. For the fee card I go the 6000 per month as above.

      Note I haven’t had a VS MBNA card for years.

    • Wow! That’s massively more generous than what I received!! Is that for the free or the paid-for card? I’ve got the free card and they said:

      “Plus as a new Reward Customer, you can take advantage of our introductory offer. As well as your 5,000 mile welcome bonus (earned when you make your first purchase within 90 days of opening the account), you’ll also get get the opportunity to earn an extra 2,000 miles a month in each of the next three months. You just need to spend a minimum of £500 each month on your card to qualify” – see https://uk.virginmoney.com/virgin/credit-cards/vaa-cards/flying-club/lift-off/reward-premium/

      So only 11k in total.

      I was planning on getting the fee-paying one soon too, would definitely go for it if I could still get the 6k/month as well as the sign-up bonus, I wonder if they’ll still honour this other offer if you don’t yet hold the card?

    • the_real_a says:

      Yup also got 15k plus 3 x 15k for 1.5k spend in first three months (60k total bonus miles)… I wasn’t going to bother getting the virgin cards for a while until i burnt down my stash of miles but this might change my mind.

    • BTW watch out, the first qualifying spend period doesn’t start for another 4 days…

      https://uk.virginmoney.com/virgin/credit-cards/vaa-cards/flying-club/terms/

  12. I’ve had the black virgin card for 3 years, probably spend £30k-£40k on average, so it’s potentially targeted on that basis?

    never paid any interest though

  13. the real harry1 says:

    @Alan – sounds like dumping 2 of your 3 cards here would not be a particularly good idea 🙂 (not until 3 months is up, anyway!)

  14. Melvin says:

    For BETTER clarity (doh), my offer is for 33,000 miles total (15k + (3 x 6k))

    • Do you have a link to the generic landing page for the 3x6k offer? I’d like to find out if I could be eligible for it too (as an existing MBNA VS cardholder but not currently holding the premium card).

  15. the real harry1 says:

    O/T bits – Stobart fun & games (Southend Airport etc) – see FT story (and others) 🙂
    https://www.google.co.uk/search?client=opera&q=stobart&sourceid=opera&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

    Bit of a shame on the PR front coming just 1 day after RyanAir announced Southend will become another RA base

  16. More interestingly, does that mean the Virgin Atlantic sign-up bonus will increase eventually?

    • Don’t think so. Never say never but the discussions I had pre-launch with Virgin were based around the very tight economics here. Perhaps if the cards prove more profitable than expected ….

  17. Richmond says:

    I reached my Curve limit of £10K and they are not keen to upgrade it until I will build more history. Obviously I won’t since I won’t be spending on a card any more. So what are my other options to earn points/miles/whatever on HMRC payments?
    I think there was Tesco debit card giving points? Is it still around? Any other options to earn rewards on HMRC payments?

  18. CoolKestrel says:

    anyone have any updates on miles and more expiry after July 28? still awaiting a letter.

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