Bits: 25% off New York redemptions at five IHG hotels, 20% off Heathrow Express, check your Virgin card payments

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News in brief:

Save up to 25% on redemptions at five IHG Rewards Club hotels in New York

IHG Rewards Club, the Holiday Inn / HI Express / Crowne Plaza etc loyalty scheme, is offering discounted redemptions at five of its New York hotels.

You need to stay before 30th April to get the reduced rates.

The participating hotels are:

Hotel Indigo Lower East Side – usually 55,000 points, now 45,000 points

EVEN Times Square – usually 50,000 points, now 40,000 points

EVEN Midtown East – usually 45,000 points, now 35,000 points

EVEN Brooklyn – usually 40,000 points, now 30,000 points

Hotel Indigo Brooklyn – usually 40,000 points, now 30,000 points

Click through the links above for more information on each hotel.  Our review of EVEN Midtown East is here.

Full details of this promotion can be found on this page of ihg.com.

20% off Heathrow Express for the next week

Heathrow Express is running a Chinese New Year promotion.

Code LNY2019 will get you 20% off an Express Saver return ticket.  The outbound must be used by 20th February whilst the return half is valid for a month.

Full details are on the Heathrow Express website here.

You can’t earn Avios from Heathrow Express if you use this deal as promo codes are not allowed on the heathrowexpress.com/avios site.  You can earn Heathrow Rewards points.

Heathrow Express discount

Check your Virgin Atlantic credit card repayments

thisismoney ran an interesting piece last week about issues with the Virgin Atlantic credit cardsYou can read it here.

It appears that if you agree to pay by Direct Debit when applying for the card, your account is set up to only take the minimum repayment each month.  This is made clear in the direct debit instructions but you could easily miss it.  If you want to pay the full balance by Direct Debit each month, you need to log in to your Virgin Money account and change the settings.

It seems that quite a few people did not read the small print and were not aware of this, although arguably after the first month they should have spotted what was going on.  If you have a Virgin Atlantic credit card on Direct Debit, double check what is being taken out.

PS.  The article also flagged some commentary on the Virgin Atlantic cards from Virgin Money’s 2018 half-year accounts, which were the last to be published before the company was taken over.  I hadn’t seen this before. It says:

we successfully launched a range of Virgin Atlantic credit cards, with a stronger than expected customer response driving high quality new customer acquisition and increased levels of retail spend;

we issued [to 30th June 2018] over 37,000 new Virgin Atlantic cards, reflecting strong customer demand. A significant proportion of Virgin Atlantic customers are choosing a card with an annual fee, supporting other income;

as expected, the credit quality of the new Virgin Atlantic card customers is superior to that of the existing portfolio, reflecting the more affluent nature of the customer base

Remember that you can get an increased sign-up bonus on the cards if you apply by 28th February.  The free card is offering 10,000 Flying Club miles whilst the £160 fee card is offering 25,000 miles.  Full details are on the Virgin Money website here.  Just be careful how you set up your direct debit …..

How to pay £1,872 for a £10,187 five night stay at the new Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi
Marriott Bonvoy launches tomorrow - and memories of the Starwood brand
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Comments

  1. How does the IHG Rewards discounts in New York compare to the prices prior to last month’s pric rises?

  2. OT: Planning to buy a work reimbursable flight, but wondering if I should skip tier points, use a little avios to fly First on one leg. Can either:

    Buy cash PE LHR-JFK (earning TPs)
    Or
    Redeem 44,000 Avios for PE out First In (and no TP earning)

    Taxes/cash equivalent is similar for both options and will be fully reimbursed by my company. I guess the question is JFK-LHR red eye in First worth 44,000 avios + 180 TPs?

    • I’m confused. So option 2 is you paying your avios for a work flight (as non TP earning) but only costs 44k? I wouldn’t use my own avios for work travel (v hard to get a proper receipt to get anything back). I save avios for personal travel. What I would question though is the PE only travel policy!

    • Firstly isn’t it 47,000 avios?

      Are you saying your options are to pay ~£800 outright for a PE return, or redeem for a PE out/First in with ~£800 of taxes/charges? And your work would reimburse you the £800?

      Avios have a value but TPs are worth £0 unless you are certain you need them, so you’re effectively spending £400-£500 for F. The flight is 6 hours and red-eye, personally I wouldn’t as flat bed or no, I’m still going to be tired and won’t stay up for the service on board. You would get lounge access in JFK and on arrival if you don’t already have it, but that wouldn’t make it worth it for me.

      How much did you pay to obtain the avios? (e.g. you get 40K+ “free” by churning the Gold Amex twice) Do you earn avios faster than you can spend them? If yes then the effective cost to you is actually very little, so you might as well go for it.

      • Take the PE flights and upgrade with avios to CW?
        Not as good as first, but reasonable and you will get the full ticket refunded from work.

  3. OT – with Amex now publicising bonus for supplementary cards do you get the bonus if you add on at the application stage? Or do you still need to wait until after the application is complete and then add one?

  4. Netutgamer says:

    On the VAA Card and the piece in thisismoney. I signed up for the reward+ card and it was very clear to me it was a min-repayment Direct Debit.

    It’s easy enough to change through the online account or over the phone if you want to.

    How that fella went 6 months and didn’t look at his statements is beyond me! More money than sense.

    • ^^ I agree,

    • Just decided to change mine this morning after reading the article. Have become fed up with minimum payments as different cards have different policies on additional paynents relative to direct debits. Keeping track is too much hassle so that’s me changed them all to full statement balance. The email from Virgin was slightly ambiguous as to whether the new instruction kicked in from next payment or next statement but it is the former.

      • It is confusing. The balance on the VM statement is the amount that is collected by DD, regardless of any future manual payments to the account.

        • I am always careful to set up DD for full payment . I thought I had set it up and logged in 3 times to check. When I complained on the phone I was told there was a problem with the website – still not 100% sure if it was not working or whether my brain just assumed it was on full payment when I logged in. There was definitely a problem – I also got the interest back..

  5. Shoestring says:

    Flybe boss Christine Ourmières-Widener was close to breaking point on the evening of Sunday Jan 13. Robbed of sleep, Ourmières-Widener and her board wearily convened at the City offices of law firm Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner. In sight of London Bridge, executives were told Flybe was falling down.
    “We were in a very critical situation,” one of those in the room explains. “As an airline, once you are grounded, there is nothing left.”
    After a frantic week, Britain’s biggest regional airline appeared to be on the cusp of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Behind closed doors, a cut-price rescue was collapsing.
    A consortium called Connect Airways had swooped on Jan 11. Offered just 1p-a-share, investors were gobsmacked. The company says agreeing to the takeover was the only way to save the 40-year-old carrier – a claim that is hotly disputed by others.
    But just two days later the fire sale looked doomed. The Connect takeover tripped at the final hurdle after a deal with Flybe’s credit card providers fell through. At 8am the following morning, the Civil Aviation Authority was warned that the airline was on the brink of collapse.
    Debate continues to rage over how Flybe got itself into this mess. The company’s shares were not worth much – about 16p a pop and a far cry from its 295p IPO price. But a penny? Flybe stepped back from the brink, however. Away from the public glare, a new deal was secretly thrashed out within hours of the fateful Sunday meeting and the emergency cash it needed was found. Flybe, and the 2,500 staff and 1,350 pensioners it supports, may be off life support but it still looks very poorly.
    Hosking Partners, Flybe’s biggest shareholder, is concerned there may have been foul play. The eponymous asset manager run by multimillionaire Tory donor Jeremy Hosking wants to oust chairman Simon Laffin and launch an investigation into the sales process.
    Without the balance sheet clout of a major flag carrier, Flybe has always appeared to be in a precarious position. To many in the City and in the aviation industry, the plucky airline has done well to survive in one form or another since 1979.
    Back in December 2010, when Flybe listed at £215m, Douglas McNeill, an analyst at Charles Stanley, said: “The aviation industry as a whole has an inglorious record on delivering returns for shareholders.” Eight years later he has proved to be correct.
    Ourmières-Widener blames Flybe’s recent plight on a cocktail of problems: Brexit fears, weakening sterling, rising oil prices and declining consumer confidence. But the knockout blow – the one that forced the airline to put itself up for sale last November – was delivered by credit card providers.
    Rules from Brussels in January 2018 mandated airlines could no longer pass on credit card charges to customers. The number making Flybe bookings with credit cards jumped from around 50pc to 75pc. Credit card providers can withhold some or all of customer payments as collateral to protect themselves against the failure of a company to deliver a good or service. With more bookings made over credit cards, Flybe was now even more beholden on the credit card companies. They could effectively turn off the airline’s cash flow.
    It was against this backdrop that Flybe put itself up for sale in November. Spooked by a fresh profit warning in October, credit card firms were withholding millions in cash and demanding additional collateral. This, according to auditor PwC, represented a “material uncertainty which may cast significant doubt over the group’s ability to continue as a going concern”.
    Investment bank Evercore was tasked with hunting out interested parties. Southend Airport owner Stobart, backed by US investment firm Cyrus Partners, was one of the first to sign a non-disclosure agreement to participate in the auction. Many others did likewise, including Virgin Atlantic. The confidentiality agreements, as is the norm, stipulated that interested parties were not allowed to contact one another.
    Indicative offers in early December from the two parties had been “not inconsistent with the share price”, insiders say. This suggested an offer of between £35m and £40m was on the cards. Hardly satisfying for shareholders, but much better than what was to come.
    Alarm bells were set off on Dec 19 when Virgin took the unusual step of formally reiterating its interest in Flybe through a regulatory announcement. A formal expression of interest had been disclosed on Nov 23, so why would the Branson-backed airline do this again in such short order? Was it trying to flex its muscles? To put others off?
    Hosking, the airline’s biggest shareholder by some distance, asked whether something wasn’t quite right. Emails were exchanged with Evercore raising concerns about the way the sale was being conducted. Could it be running off the rails even at this stage?
    On Dec 20, Hosking was told there was a “level playing field” between all parties. The investment firm was starting to get worried that interested parties were talking to one another, preparing to join forces in the hope of getting a better deal. When pressed further Hosking was told advisers “cannot control all bidder action”.
    One banking source insists there was “no evidence of collusion” but admits the Dec 19 announcement had led to concerns “Virgin was hopping around the market”.
    At this point, accounts of the story start to diverge further. Some claim a new confidentiality agreement was signed by Virgin Atlantic, Stobart and Cyrus Capital on Dec 28 making the main suitors bedfellows.
    But sources close to the company say they are “not aware of such a joint NDA”. Flybe claims it only found out the interested parties had come together “shortly before” Jan 11.
    On Jan 7, at the height of Flybe’s January flight sale, one credit card company in particular started demanding more collateral. Multiple industry and banking sources allege Allied Irish Banks Merchant Services started “gating” cash.
    Precisely at a time when money should have been flowing into the airline’s coffers, quite the opposite happened. Flybe was running out of cash quickly. Panic set in.
    On Jan 10, Connect made its soon-to-be-infamous 1p offer to Ourmières-Widener. It valued Flybe’s shares at just £2.2m. Under the terms, bridge loans of £20m from the consortium would keep the airline flying but shareholders would be almost completely wiped out.
    At 2.30pm the same day Flybe executives called Hosking and dropped the bombshell. Flybe’s top brass said it hoped this deal would “flush out” other bidders. Cash could not be raised quickly in any other way, Hosking was told.
    At 7am on Jan 11, Connect’s approach was announced, accompanied by a recommendation from the board. Shares plunged from 16p to next to nothing.
    Later that afternoon, Flybe announced it had sold slots at London Gatwick to Vueling, a sister airline of British Airways, for £4.5m. Hosking fumed – hadn’t the company said just hours earlier that no other levers could be pulled to raise cash? This is another bone of disagreement: those close to the board say the Gatwick slot sale was already in motion.
    On the surface, it seemed as though Flybe had been saved. Privately though, top Virgin Atlantic executives worried the deal could still be scuppered. The need for credit card companies to relax cash remittance to the airline would be a deal breaker.
    And it was a failure to agree this element that led to the gloomy Sunday evening meeting on the banks of the River Thames on Jan 13.
    The next morning Flybe’s board reconvened, informing the CAA of the depths of their plight. The legal advice was clear, all stakeholders needed to be considered – not just the wishes of the shareholders. Executives needed to be ready for an insolvency in order to protect creditors such as banks and pensioners.
    By midday, however, advisers had hatched a new plan. Flybe’s operating company, rather than the plc, could be sold off quickly and, importantly, without shareholder approval. Rescue cash could be drawn down straight away, bypassing the need for the credit card providers to turn the taps back on. A raft of City advisers sharpened their pencils and hammered out the details. It was signed at 1am on Jan 15 with an announcement made to the stock market six hours later.
    The sale of Flybe’s operating assets must be completed by Feb 22. The main thing holding up matters is a regulatory sign-off from the European Commission. This will leave a plc shell, with no airline – just a bit of cash and a number of liabilities. Shareholders will have the option to vote on this element of the sale. Flybe has warned that if shareholders reject it, they won’t even get the £2.2m, 1p-a-share, payoff.
    A further wrinkle remains. Hosking has requisitioned an emergency general meeting to insert aviation specialist Eric Kohn on the board in the place of Laffin. Those close to the firm say fund managers feel a duty to get to the bottom of matters at the very least. Flybe’s board can frustrate the calling of such a meeting until after its operating assets have been sold to Connect, however. Does Hosking think it can block the sale to Connect? No. The hope, however, is that a post-mortem will at least get to the bottom of the “penny sale”.
    Despite protests to the contrary, rumours abound that Connect’s cash rescue was not the only deal in town. At least two aircraft leasing companies were ready to provide tens of millions in loans within hours, insiders say. Why were they snubbed?
    Ourmières-Widener, who will remain at the helm under the Connect deal, admits it was an “unusual” set or circumstances but insists that the “situation was desperate”. She will once again miss out on any bonus. It was a “difficult decision” to accept the penny offer and she can “understand the frustration” among shareholders, said Ourmières-Widener.
    “We are building the next 40 years,” she claimed last week. It’s inspirational stuff, but getting through the next few weeks is the more pressing concern.
    (courtesy Daily Telegraph)

  6. Wildly OT-

    Does wordpress offer email options?
    i.e. If I have wordpress website (+YouTube channels etc.); is there an option to have a professional email address such as [email protected]?

    • berneslai says:

      Yes. Get hold of a minimal web hosting package with the domain name you want, set up a redirection to your WordPress site from the domain you have bought and utilise the mail package that comes with the web hosting. Your WordPress isn’t really involved in any of this, you are just utilising a separate hosting/redirection package.

      • I don’t mean to down talk Robs recommendation, but it’s incredibly simple to set up an email address and you don’t need to hire anyone to do it for you.

        It takes a couple of minutes and if you are computer literate enough to make or run a wordpress site, you can do this with ease.

        • You may need some DNS changes if the same domain is also being used for a website.

        • It depends how their site is set up of course, but I’d wager for the vast majority of simple websites it’s just a case of going to your domain dashboard and clicking a few buttons.

    • You can set up an email using the same domain you use for WordPress but it is nothing to do with WordPress. Neil who does our IT stuff can help you – link to his website (Embecom) is in the sidebar. He will sort you out without any bother and will never give you any trouble over over-billing etc.

    • You’re much better off using Google Apps (gmail) for email. WordPress can be on element of a website, but that’s all it is, one element.

      If you’re looking to send emails from WordPress, most hosting providers offer a very basic option, for branded (and more importantly “verified” – DKIM, SPF etc.) use a 3rd party such as Amazon’s AWS Simple Email Service.

      • Chrisasaurus says:

        This is sage advice. If your WordPress host is charging you less than c. £300/month for a simple site then they’re not managing it, they’re merely hosting it and if that’s the case the implication is that you are managing it.

        And that, is a great deal more involved than meets the eye. WP is a great tool, but it has a massive surface area for attack and just take a look at the number of compromised wordpress installations out there for an idea of how unprepared most businesses are for protecting them.

        And look at VFEmail this week for a chilling wake-up call on what it can mean to not have proper systems in place.

  7. filipino_chino says:

    myself and my wife both opted to pay the full amount, but virgin switched it to the minimum…

    • Combatjohnny says:

      Seems rather underhanded

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Happened to me too

    • I had same issue and changed it back

      • RussellH says:

        Several letters in last weekends Sunday Times saying just this. People claim to reset their D/D to full payment, they log out, log back in again and it has reset to minimum payment only.

        These are in response to an article the week before, about Tony Wood, former marketing director of Vigin Money, who got badly stung by this.

    • Seems like they have yet to learn that their fantastic new customer base that they are so delighted with is highly unlikely to fall for such games and might bite back harder than they are used to.

    • Happened to me too, I was charged interest on my account for one month before I realised, about £12 on a £500 balance 🙁

    • I’ve just logged in to check/change my DD setting but surprisingly it’s already showing to pay the full balance. Maybe I got lucky.

  8. Moderately on topic… Stayed in the Indigo Lower East Side last March on a points redemption. Really surprised by how much we liked it. I’d very much recommend it.,

  9. OT. Looking at hotel/accom in Hong Kong. Solo trip but it needs to be cheap cheap cheap. Spotted marriott have two hotels at 12.5k and 17.5k per night but don’t know how reasonable their location is considering I’ve never been to hong kong…

    • It’s HK. It is small and the subway goes everywhere.

      • Not really so small if you get out to Aberdeen, New Territories etc. But I agree with the sentiment, public transport is fab and makes it feel small. Every area has it’s merits, none I wouldn’t stay.

    • Last time I was there for work we stayed at Harbour Plaza North Point. It’s very close to Quarry Bay underground and there was always an Uber to be had if you wanted to stay above ground.

      Felt like it was well located. Didn’t take long in a cab back from Lan Kwai Fong. Can’t have been that expensive if you’re going to pay cash somewhere.

      You need to get on board with the well-worn-in 80s vibe and decor, but once you’ve embraced the ‘in shower landline’ etc it is a comfortable place to be. And they do an extensive breakfast with almost too many choices (the buffet area was about the size of an Olympic sized swimming pool).

      As rob says though, it’s tiny and everywhere is within very easy reach on the sub way. If you can find 17,500 – 25,000 Bonvoy redemptions around there would seem like a decent choice to me.

    • We’ve always stayed in the Admiralty area: Conrad and JWM – easy to get everywhere.

    • If the Courtyard on Water St is one of the options above, I think it offers a free shuttle bus service into the central business district, which would then presumably be quite well linked into rest of HK.

      I stayed at the Cordis in Mong Kok a few years ago, and found the location perfect. I think it was a fairly cheap option, too (paid cash), but that was in comparison to other higher-end properties…

  10. I think it’s pointless spending points in NYC at current price levels… hotel prices there are very soft until april (perhaps not Easter).

    • Hmm, the Embassy Suites we’re staying at the end of May is $500 per night so I was happy to use 210,000 points for 3 nights. That week seems insanely expensive anyway, my F & J redemption flights are currently pricing up at £10k in real money for 2 of us!

      • End of May is a different story. But my point was that until end of April, prices are very soft, which is when the promo is running.

        Nevertheless I’ve stayed mid-may paying just £100 a night in a Hilton Garden In (total 3 nights). Booked last minute though.

    • Spurs Debs says:

      Not the first week of April either …. it’s wrestlemania week. My grandson can’t wait!

  11. Anyone know if the Lloyds avios upgrade spend year starts from the card accept date or the card annual fee charge date? There’s a three week lag between the dates which coincided with a reasonable chunk of holiday spend which I’m hoping it falls into the new card year. The 2nd year annual charge came out in the same month but after the spend. Thanks.

    • I think the fee gets applied on the last day of the anniversary statement month. So I’d go with activation/ first use anniversary.
      I’m pontificating however and a phone call would clear it up!
      No 60 days notice for me yet, and mranniversary is 50 days away!

  12. Mark Rogers says:

    I’m one of those who got caught out by the VAA card. (I thought I opted for full balance but either I didn’t get a choice and my memory is bad, or it wasn’t acted on.) Worse, it took me a few months to notice, and cost me about £70 in interest as a result.

    Obviously this is my fault for not checking, not reading things carefully enough, etc. But it’s interesting to see that several others have been caught out. When you use credit cards a lot, it’s easy to assume that a new card works the way the others do without even realising you’re doing it.

    For me the biggest pain, and the reason I’ve all but stopped using the card now, is that logging in to their website is hard work. If you have a properly secure password then selecting characters X, Y and Z from it is not trivial, it means extracting your password from your password manager, pasting it somewhere, and working through it to extract the letters. Which is why I didn’t bother very often(knowing the DD was set up), and when I did it was to check something other than a statement so I didn’t spot the interest. If (as others do) they also had an app which I could secure with my fingerprint it would also have been easier, but they don’t.

    It turns out that their policy is that they will refund the first month’s interest if asked. For me, that was one penny. (I asked them to do it on principle, and they failed to, so in the end I got a £20 goodwill gesture on top, which was a small victory.)

    But they’ve lost my non-Amex spend to Tandem and if it’s catching others out they’d be wise to fix this.

    • Shoestring says:

      They already fixed it

    • Get a better password manager. 1Password works really well, no association other than I’m a customer.

      • Mark Rogers says:

        Does 1Password handle the “characters 1, 3, 11 from your password” type of login? If so I will take a look. LastPass doesn’t, nor are they interested in fixing it because if a site is asking you that question then it means they’re storing your password in a decryptable format, which isn’t considered good practise.

    • RussellH says:

      Sounds to me as though people should be insisting on postal statements, and spending 5 minutes per month checking it carefully.
      I have always done this since I first took out a Barclaycard in the early 1970s.
      I know it is not fashionable, but whenever possible I insist on paper statements. Every credit card I have issues them on request.
      I did have a Halifax statement not turn up in time last year, and they immediately accepted that as a valid reason for my not having paid.

      • Not only is it not fashionable, it’s very wasteful! If you want to check your statements you can just read the PDF ones.

        • +1

        • RussellH says:

          True, but I was also thinking of Mark Rogers who was unhappy with the log-in process, and as a result has all but stopped using the card.
          No log-in, no PDF.
          As to being wasteful??
          I see it as supporting the postal service, something that I made enormous use of when I was working, but seems to be increasingly under threat.

        • RussellH says:

          Oh, and if I want to look back at a staement from the past, which is not unusual, it is far quicker to go to the filing cabinet and pick out the statement than to turn on a computer, log-in to a website, find where the old statements are, if they have not already been deleted, that is. Then download it and print it.
          And why should I have to pay for the paper on which the statements are printed?

        • When you have to trawl through all of your statements for VAT and tax returns, you need them on paper. PDFs don’t cut it, especially as you would be flicking from Excel to PDF every 5 seconds.

        • Agree VM website a bit annoying with the bits of a password method but once downloaded I just keep them all in the relevant Dropbox folder so easy to refer to.

          @Rob – I still use Quicken XG 2004 – dated but makes it much easier when dealing with tax returns! I reconcile each statement as it comes in too #geek

        • Mark Rogers says:

          Just to say that I do keep all statements in PDF form, but because VM is a pain to work with I was downloading them in batches and not then looking at them in depth as a result. I did switch to paper statements when this came to light, although that was very much after the horse had bolted and when I can face logging in again I’ll turn them off.

          The simple fact that so many have been caught out is an indication that VM could have done better. I freely admit that my failure to check properly is on me, but my loyalty to that brand has switched to one that doesn’t require me to give them special treatment and does what I expect.

    • RussellH says:

      As to logging in to their website, it sounds as though they have adopted a similar scheme to the Clydesdale Bank, which also asks for three characters from a maximum of 16 character password.
      FWIW I never save financial passwords, but I do keep written prompts under lock and key. I use three or four syllable words which I can easily associate a number with, and then add a couple of other symbols between syllables. I find that this makes the pw easy to remember.
      What gets me are the otherwise respected institutions that:-
      a) do not have a case sensitive pw system (Amex)
      b) do not allow non-alphanumueric sysmbols (too many to list)

    • TGLoyalty says:

      An app is on the way. Few people are beta testing. does the business from what i can see

  13. Does HH ever offers any discounted redemptions?

  14. I took out the Virgin Black card in Sept / Oct. Had the MBNA version before this. Received a 15000 sign up bonus after the first month. I’ve put £2k-£3k through each month. I’ve not had any other bonus. Received my 4th statement last week, so nothing from holding the MBNA version previously.

    I also seem to recall that there was an additional bonus if I put £1000 through the card for the first 3 months but nothing on that front either.

  15. OT – How are Creation credit cards working with Curve?
    Are curve cash withdrawals, payments to HMRC etc working OK or are they being put through as cash advances? How are people doing with their Creation Marriott/IHG credit cards?

    Thanks in advance lovely HFP people!

    • This is one of the few cards which still work perfectly with Curve – I withdraw £200-500 every month from Creation via Curve and it works good in terms of everything (treated as purchase, accrue points etc). Could change any day of course as Curve is in trouble these days but so far so good!

    • HMRC is not a financial institution so don’t get it confused with cash withdrawal charges.

  16. Just paid £80 into my NSI account using my Virgin Atlanti card via Curve to hit the £1000 spend target. Will that work or will it be coded as cash and not count towards the target?

  17. OT. I can’t see where my Lloyds Avios points are going. Could anyone share what they show up as in their BA Avios statement, please?

    Could it be related to the transition from Avios.com?

    • You can see it on your BA statement as “Finance Card – LLOYDS BANKING GROUP AVIOS AWARD ” it happens on credit card statement day (as long as your avios account is now closed).
      If yours aren’t going across, I would call avios to check they have the correct account details.

      • Thanks Simon. Can’t see it at all, nor in my Avios account (which seems to have merged with my AerClub account).

        I’ll give Avios a ring at some point.

        • Chris, download the ba app and login.

          In recent transactions, you should have it showing unless they just haven’t posted yet.

        • Yep, worth giving them a call – they may have set up a new BAEC account for you if they couldn’t match it to your existing one.

  18. I applied for virgin credit card and wasn’t accepted. I have never had this issue before. I love Amex as they accept an application so easily.

    I’m annoyed with Virgin. I’m not going to bother in future since I won’t be getting any bonus.

    • Very odd. You will be even more confused to know that I had an email from Virgin Money yesterday asking why the acceptance rate of HFP readers had shot up sharply in recent weeks! I said that VM must have finally sorted out their algorithm as I doubt we have suddenly been invaded by a group of (un)credit worthy readers, which is who their old algorithm wanted to attract.

    • Virgin IMO are strict and will check the amount you have been paying off other credit cards per month and if doesn’t match your salary then expect a call or a decline…

    • I’ve found Amex much more tricky recently – had to move balance from existing cards, been refused, etc. (despite income not changing!)

  19. OT – Can I use Avios to upgrade an Iberia-booked flight on a BA plane (IB flight number)? If yes, can I do this from BA or do I need to transfer the Avios to Iberia?

    • Technically you can, but you have to follow IbPlus rules, which only allows UUA on Flex Tickets.

      • Bugger – found some sub £800 PE tickets ARN-NYC ticketed by IB but on BA metal. Looks like that an avios upgrade to Club is off the table there.

  20. OT: Can you apply for an additional card for the BAPP? Also, those with an additional Platinum card, is the member since date correct? My additional card member since is 19, but original member since is before that.

    • Kayleigh says:

      Hi Sarah,
      Yes you can get an additional card for the BAPP. If you wait till after your application you will also get bonus avios for it.
      I’ve just been made a supp on my husband’s Platinum card and mine says 19. Even though another Amex card I have just applied for says 18 (which is correct). I must admit, it doesn’t bother me though, as not sure what difference it makes day to day?

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