Bits: Curve and cash withdrawals warning, new IHG PointBreaks on Monday, Kimpton Fitzroy London coming soon

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News in brief:

Curve and cash withdrawals

A quick update on this subject, which has been discussed at length on HFP this week.

Whilst Curve announced last weekend that they were changing the coding on transactions, which would make ATM withdrawals visible to your card issuer, it turns out that they did not actually go through with this change until Thursday.  We were told it was happening last Monday.

If you made a cash withdrawal during Monday to Thursday and it was treated as a purchase – which it will have been – this does not necessarily mean that your card issuer will not pass on these new charges.  You need to have a transaction done from Friday onwards before you can be sure.

I did test Creation (IHG, Marriott credit cards) and MBNA (Horizon) transactions yesterday so let’s see how these end up.  You might want to wait before doing any further withdrawals.

New IHG PointBreaks lists released on Monday

IHG Rewards Club will be releasing a new PointBreaks list on Monday.

These hotels will be bookable from Monday afternoon UK time.  It seems at the moment that we won’t see the list until it is officially published.  I would expect to do an extra post on Monday evening if I have the time.  If you are on our email list you will have to wait until Tuesday morning or pop onto the site on Monday evening.

The 100+ PointBreaks hotels on the list will be bookable for the period 1st October to, probably, 30th November.  The cost will be reduced to between 5,000 and 15,000 points per night depending on hotel.

There is no teaser list this time so I can’t give you an examples of what hotels will be included.  The selection last time was better than we have seen for while and included the Crowne Plaza Heathrow.

principal london Kimpton Fitzroy

Kimpton Fitzroy London opening soon

Following its acquisition of Principal Hotels and De Vere Hotels, which we covered here, IHG has moved quickly to rebrand Principal London.

The hotel will soon be known at Kimpton Fitzroy London and will be only the 2nd Kimpton hotel in Europe after Amsterdam (reviewed here).  The hotel will be named after the original architect of the hotel, Charles Fitzroy Doll.

The IHG website says that the rebrand will take place on 24th November.  A press release put out by IHG this weeks says “late October”.  In any event, you can’t yet book it via

Principal London reopened recently after a total and hugely expensive refurbishment of The Russell Square Hotel.  It has generated a lot of buzz for its bar and restaurant.  There is a decent chance that this will be the best IHG hotel in London.  If you find the InterContinental London Park Lane to be a little tired and dated, I think you will be very happy at the Kimpton.

I will try to take a look once the switch has gone through and I’ll let you know when it is available for booking.

Other Principal hotels in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Manchester will be rebranded as Kimpton over the next 12-18 months.

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

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  1. Brighton Belle says:

    Curve is getting very close to being chucked out of my wallet. My card was cloned. It took them a month to get me a replacement. “We’re busy”.

    Then a new card charge was accepted and then declined. Curve billed my underlying card and after 5 days of asking customer care through the app haven’t explained how a declined transaction can get billed. Why use Curve? It is a catalogue of aggravation and unfulfilled benefits. They will need to deliver some unique features soon to make it worth being their financial guinea pig. All my underlying cards do the stuff I need. Having Curve over the top of them is not working out.

    • swhostring says:

      If underlying card can deliver the same benefits, no point at all in using Curve.

      A lot of people on HfP don’t seem to get that.

  2. The T&Cs of my curve card say no charges for withdrawals of £200 a month. E-mail from curve then says there will be charges. Article on HfP then says there will be charges but not yet but in the future. Comments then indicate there are no charges. Then another article says let’s wait and test. In the meantime curve team say it is not their business but credit card providers.

    What a mess!

    By the way I am talking about Curve – IHG CC.

    • The mess is with misleading advice given on here, not with Curve. They’ve been pretty clear on what’s happening.

      • And yet on their Twitter feed yesterday they retweeted an article where someone had written glowing praise and why you need to get the curve card now.
        In the article it clearly said “free cash withdrawals from your credit card”, which Curve know not to be true. So Curve is willfully retweeting contradictory messages. I’d have been happier with the situation if they’d given decent notice of the changes rather than the ambush it was.

        • This is all starting to look like Curve is unraveling and that the new fee card is their last roll of the dice.

      • Curve has no idea because it is down to underlying issuers, in the same way Revolut has no idea who surcharges topups.

    • No charges from Curve.

      Your credit card company can do whatever they want. Creation IHG always limited Revolut top ups to about 250-300 pounds / 3 days (well, empirically).

    • Agree. Curve is becoming totally unpredictable to even consider using. Imaginen if your abroad right now

      • Well if you only use it for purchases then there shouldn’t be any new problems

        • the_real_a says:

          Whats a purchase? I got a cash advance fee for a motorway toll in spain, also a cash advance on the entrance to a government museum in Slovenia. I also received a cash advance fee on the “deposit” for a hotel check-in in Russia. Whilst these are outliers one of the reasons for Curve was i was getting sick of these types of charges. That’s before we get to paying “bills”…

  3. BlueHorizonUK says:

    If a transaction has posted as a purchase then we are safe? Wouldn’t something being treated as a cash advance show up as a cash advance?

    Transaction: Purchase

    • No. They can charge for that.

    • Yes

    • the_real_a says:

      (Cough) Doing “what” you are doing on the card you are doing it with will be OK. But on other underlying cards from other providers it wont be.

    • Where is the best place to find whether a transaction is classed as business service or financial services (or cash)? In the Curve app it only lists business service – do I need to look at the underlying card statements? Where do I find this information for IHG/Creation and Lloyds Avios Rewards MC? On the IHG transaction list, entries only have a date added and ref number and on the Lloyds statement entries list as “Professional services not elsewhere classified.”

      • the_real_a says:

        There is conclusive list. That’s why there is so much thrash and confusion and comments about this change everywhere, as no-one knows exactly how charges will be processed. Each credit card may display or not display the MCC information and any discussion with customer service agents about MCC will likely lead to confusion and misinformation.

        The general advice is that you will need to make test transaction for the purchases you intend to make and see if you get charged a cash advance fee on your next statement. The underlying credit card can treat the purchase according to their own rules. At this stage no-one knows.

        • the_real_a says:

          *no conclusive list

        • Thanks – so does that mean that any cash advance charges don’t appear when a transaction hits the online transaction list (i.e. not a pending transaction) but only appear when the next monthly statement is generated?

        • Differs by provider. For Creation, hits straight away. For MBNA, I believe month end

  4. OT – My brother is flying out of non-EU country today on an EU airline, connecting in an EU country. He will arrive at his final destination more than 3 hours late. Is he therefore able to get compensation for this?

    Also – This was on a flight that was booked and paid for by a production company. Would he be able to claim the compensation himself or would it need to be paid back to the company?

    Many thanks

    • swhostring says:

      Does the law apply to your flight?
      The information on this page only applies to flights covered by EU law. These must be either:

      departing from an EU airport and operated by any airline
      arriving at an EU airport and operated by an EU airline
      Under this law, EU airports also include those in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

      • swhostring says:

        So it would appear that he qualifies for compo. Compo would go to the passenger, not the company. (Raffles may disagree about who should get the compo/ who paid for the flight, but it’s the person who puts in the claim who will be paid. Poor old Anika.)

        • Anika has had 2 lots of EU261 delay payments via HFP! The Vueling downgrade payment was refunded to my credit card though.

        • Indeed, I’ve claim d direct from FlyBe for a flight booked and paid for directly by the company with the company travel agent. Nice little bonus for my inconvenience as I was travelling outside working hours.

      • Are there any airports in Liechtenstein? I was in Vaduz a couple of weeks ago, and it looked like it could barely sustain a supermarket, let alone an airport…

    • Would be clearer if you gave us the route and airlines plus which leg created the delay and why.

      • LOT airlines

        TBS – WAW – LHR

        Initial delay in TBS (no reason given but not weather related) caused missed connection in WAW, leading to final landing in LHR more than 3 hours after scheduled time.

        • All LOT flights are eligible for compo unless weather

        • Lady London says:

          And the weather issue has to be with the person’s own flight. Incoming aircraft delayed by weather is not a get out for the airline. Has to be with the own person’s own flight at the time it should have taken off.

    • It’s an EU airline so yes and he gets the compo himself.

      Going to miss this come April, had a few claims with BA before.

      • Lady London says:

        I thought the general idea was we would keep existing law we have from Europe just not add any more?

      • It isn’t up in the air at all.

        There will be NO change come Brexit day.

        EU 261 is already existing U.K. law (as a Statutory Instrument) and and that won’t change unless and until the SI that made it UK law is repealed.

        What will happen though is that if a European court judgment changes the interpretation of part of EU261 that ruling won’t automatically apply to the U.K. (same situation as Switzerland) unless the U.K. government passes it as U.K. law.

        And even if it was repealed it would still apply for flights on EU based airlines.

        What would change if it was repealed eventually is that it wouldn’t apply on for e.g. a BA flight TO Amsterdam but it would for the flight back to the U.K. (same as e.g. US airlines now)

        • the_real_a says:

          I agree with ChrisC

          Just because our government gets control back, doesn’t mean that this specific law will be repealed. Its just as likely the UK Govt will improve the compensation element as remove it. Ability and likelihood to do something are very different things.

          • And even if they said they would …

            Look at the Scottish Parliament. Lobbied for years to APD devolved so they could scrap it. When it got devolved, the pledge suddenly changed to ‘halve it’. And now they can’t even get enough votes to get that through.

        • Agree with all that ChrisC says. It’s crystal clear.

        • I seem to remember that leftie Boris couldn’t wait to get rid on congestion charge when seeking election as London mayor. Then as mayor and found he liked the revenue to spend.

        • If no deal though we don’t even know what’ll happening with flying rights (not covered by WTO). Whole thing a total mess.

  5. OT If you’ve booked Iberia flights and now want to change the FF number to your BA because of status, you can do it via Finnair site. HT to . Means I can now select my seats on my flight.

    • Could always do this, for any oneworld flight. Qatar website allows the same.

      • Exactly. I learnt new two things this week to do with Finnair: as BA emerald, you can’t choose seat on Finnair flights if has a BA flight number. Even if you call Finnair. And apparently same for BA flights with Finnair number. Also: Emeralds get complimentary mini bottle of champagne in economy – but you have to ask. Technically – any item off menu, which includes mini bottle of champagne.

  6. Hi all. I’ve been reading this website for months but I have my first question. I took out a Black Curve card a few days ago after reading the article. My understanding is that I can now withdraw £400 a month from an ATM when I’m travelling abroad. Does Curve bill that as a cash withdrawal but in GBP? So, as long as I select for the transaction to come out of my UK debit card – there will be no fees at all? I understand that if I select my UK credit card, they will now see that as a cash withdrawal and will likely charge me? Is that all correct?

    Also – if I make a transaction abroad in a shop – there are no charges whether I use a credit or debit card – because curve will just bill my credit/debit card company as if the transaction was made in the UK and do the currency conversion for me? Is that correct?

    I’m sorry to ask on here but I have emailed Curve and nobody has got back to me.

    • I’m hoping to find an answer to this too as am currently on way to airport with curve and no euros…

      • Yep, if your underlying card is a debit card, then you shouldn’t get any fees from them, provided the card currency within the Curve app is set to GBP for that card. The transaction should get charged through as GBP.

        But don’t forget about the new weekend rule for Curve – they’ll screw you for 0.5% on the exchange rate, rising to 1.5% at some point in November (but not sure if that’s reduced for the Curve Black…). And they haven’t defined what “weekend” means, so probably best to avoid Friday-Monday to be on the safe side.

        • 1.5% is for non €$ purchases, rest are 0.5%

        • 0.5% or 1.5% is still better than most debit cards, some of which also have a fixed fee.

          If you have a 0% debit card might as well use it directly.

        • Although if just charging a debit card (thus getting no points) would probably be better to just go for Starling and not have any weekend charges.

  7. Thomas Howard says:

    Does anyone know if financial services payments via Curve on Lloyds Avios Rewards (the £24 pa cards) earn points and contribute towards upgrade voucher spend? Is there any advantage to stringing payments even if you have to pay cash into the credit card account same day to avoid interest?

    • yes they do earn points etc

    • They count if they go through as a purchase. If it’s a cash advance it doesn’t earn Avios and doesn’t count towards the voucher threshold.

    • You’ve asked to separate things here. Yes payments (e.g. to Brighton based company) earns avios and counts towards the voucher. You would normally have to pay cash on the same day to avoid interest of foreign atm cash withdrawals, which is a bad idea on this card as they charge cash transaction fee. Using curve should mask the withdrawal as a purchase so no cash fee and no instant interest. Although it’s unclear at this point if that’ll still work after the recent changes.

    • Historically yes, now you need to do a test.

  8. How do I recommend my wife for a BA/SPG Amex from my Platinum, what referral reward do I get?

    • Send the Plat referral link. They can click “see other cards”. But this has been only working intermittently recently. If it works you get 18k MRs.

  9. Off-topic: I’m on a Hilton diamond challenge. On my profile page there is a progress bar showing how many stays, nights and points I’ve accrued so far, and therefore how many of each category are remaining to meet the targets set. (10 stays, 18 nights, 120k base points)

    Is it necessary to achieve the remaining numbers on all three categories, or just one, to complete the challenge?

    • One!

    • You just need to meet one of the three targets.

    • Where did you get this challenge? I didn’t know they varied, I thought they were all 8 stays in 90 days.

      • Yes, hang on a minute. My earlier reply was based on a misreading.

        If you are on the challenge, it is just 8 stays (or whatever it is). Ignore the charts on the site. Once you hit the 8 stays you get an email from HH confirming the extension of your 90 days temporary status.

        • And when you complete it you should get another email within 24-48h informing you that your status will be extended to March 2020. If not received contact them after points hit for final qualifying stay.

        • Aargh sorry Rob, scrap that, I now misread your reply.

    • They’ve certainly never previously changed the progress tracker to reflect you being on a challenge, this is just showing your progress towards the 3 potential routes to status for the following year. For the challenge you just need to meet the rules they outlined.

  10. That’s great news, thanks very much. I would really have struggled to get the stays and points done, but nights is within reach.

  11. Wildly OT: Does Oxford university accept amex for tuition fees and also accommodation payments

    • When I was there, all payments were to individual colleges so it’d be on a college by college basis.

    • Yep they do. You pay through the university shop online. They ask you to include a 3% fee if you pay by card. But they don’t levy the charge so it’s at your discretion.

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