Bits: Capital On Tap card earns Avios from HMRC, £1410 UK to Sao Paolo on oneworld, Miles & More ‘Early Bird’ deals

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News in brief:

New Avios payment card from Capital On Tap works at HMRC

(EDIT: with bad timing, Capital On Tap is changing their website this weekend to reflect a 2nd Avios card they are launching with a higher fee but better earning rates.  To avoid confusion I would hold off applying for a couple of days.)

Capital On Tap’s Capital Club card is a new payment card for small businesses which offers Avios on your spending.

We covered it in detail here but in summary:

you get 10,000 Capital On Tap points (converts to 5,000 Avios) for signing up and spending £5,000 within 3 months – and HFP readers get a special higher bonus

you get 1 Capital On Tap point for every £1 you spend (converts to 0.5 Avios)

no foreign exchange fees when spending overseas

no ATM fees if withdrawing cash on the card

up to 56 days interest free credit on purchases (minimum monthly repayment is the greater of 10% of balance or £250)

up to 15 free supplementary cards for your staff

The card has an annual fee of £99.  This is obviously tax deductible as a business expense.  The maximum credit limit on offer is £50,000.

I have now heard from two HFP readers who have successfully used the card to pay HMRC.  It appears to go through as a personal debit card and is therefore accepted without any fees.  This would allow our self-employed readers to pay their VAT, PAYE, corporation tax and personal tax via Capital On Tap whilst earning 0.5 Avios per £1 spent.

You can learn more about the card in our main article here, which I have updated to include this HMRC information.  The application page is here.

If you use promo code headforpoints when signing up, you will receive an additional 500 Capital On Tap points.  This is worth an additional 250 Avios.

Capital club card from capital on tap

LATAM offering £1410 return fare to Sao Paolo from London

LATAM has an attractive £1410 business class return fare to Sao Paolo from London at the moment.  The fare seems widely available during 2019.

As well as being good value, you earn Avios and British Airways tier points when you fly LATAM as they are fellow oneworld alliance members alongside British Airways.  You’d get 280 tier points return and Avios based on 125% of miles flown.

There are other South American destinations on sale as well so it is worth having a look at their current sale offers.  The LATAM website is here.

Click the image below for an example fare.  Thanks to Adam for this.

LATAM sale to Sao Paolo

Miles & More launches discounted ‘Early Bird’ awards – with catches

Lufthansa‘s Miles & More scheme has launched ‘Early Bird’ rewards.  These are aimed at leisure travellers who are willing to book their reward flight well in advance and give up some flexibility.

I am not totally convinced so far, and for UK members they are even less useful.  Here are the rules:

  • they are only valid for non-stop redemptions, eg Frankfurt to New York.  You cannot add on a connection, so you’d need to pay for this separately.
  • they are only bookable as round trips and you cannot mix and match airlines, eg Lufthansa out and SWISS back
  • you must stay away for four days
  • you can only book in Economy
  • you must book 90 days in advance
  • no changes
  • no refunds

The last two are particularly painful, as one of the key benefits of a redemption is the ability to make changes if needed.

And, of course, full taxes and charges are due.

A return ticket from Frankfurt to Boston, for example, is 20,000 miles return plus €423 in cash.  This is VERY high – a cash ticket won’t be much more than €423 if booked well in advance.  For our UK readers, adding in the cost of a return flight to Frankfurt to connect would add insult to injury.

Even the longer routes – Cape Town, Mauritius etc – start looking expensive at 40,000 miles return plus such high taxes.  In general, it is a decent idea ruined by Lufthansa’s failure to reduce taxes to an acceptable level.

Here are the long haul routes included:

20,000 miles:

Frankfurt to Amman, Baku, Boston, Cairo, Delhi, Dubai, Montreal, Mumbai, Nairobi, New York, Tehran, Tel Aviv

Munich to Boston, Charlotte, New York

Vienna to Amman, Cairo, New York, Tehran, Tel Aviv

Geneva to New York

Zurich to Boston, Cairo, Dar es Salaam, Delhi, Dubai, Montreal, Mumbai, Muscat, Nairobi, New York, Tel Aviv

30,000 miles:

Frankfurt to Austin, Bangkok, Beijing, Chicago, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Male, Mauritius, Mexico City, Miami, Orlando, Rio de Janeiro, San Francisco, São Paulo, Shanghai, Singapore, Tampa, Toronto, Washington

Munich to Bangkok, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Chicago, San Francisco, Singapur, Québec

Vienna to Bangkok, Beijing, Chicago, Los Angeles, Male, Miami, Montreal, Shanghai, Washington

Zurich to Beijing, Chicago, Johannesburg, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco, Shanghai, Singapore

40,000 miles:

Frankfurt to Bogotá, Buenos Aires, Cancún, Cape Town, Johannesburg, San Diego, San José, Tokyo

Vienna to Cape Town, Mauritius, Tokyo

Zurich to Bangkok, Hong Kong, São Paulo, Tokyo

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  1. Sorry for the OT but I’ve lost my passport and need it as flying out Friday. I’ve not lost one before and don’t know what the protocol is. I understand have to cancel it online but what do I do about getting a new one fast? The website’s as useful as a box of frogs….

    • Qwerty Bertie says:

      You will have to go to one of the passport offices in person, for an urgent appointment. They offer a same day service, where you pick up four hours after the initial appointment at a counter. It means going to Victoria in London, unless you happen to have an easier route to one of the few alternatives. I think there is one in Belfast, but otherwise I don’t have a clue where else you could go.

    • Shoestring says:

      oo-er you are a bit stuffed as I’m sure you know

      in the past the UK was happy to issue 2 passports to people if they travelled for business to both Israel and Arabic countries as this made things easier – shame we can’t all get 2 passports!

      I think your only route is fast track new passport (2 days), don’t worry about cancelling the old one as they’ll do that

      • ‘oo-er you are a bit stuffed as I’m sure you know’

        Yes I did know thanks Shoestring LOL 🙂

    • You’ll probably have to get yourself down to your nearest passport office and queue with the (reportedly) thousands of others who need to renew their passports before March 29th. Good luck!

    • A colleague did his passport renewal and it arrived back in 2 days, guessing as you’ve lost yours, some extra security checks will be needed/time wasted.

    • Shoestring says:

      btw if you lose your passport abroad, go to the nearest Embassy or Consulate and they can generally sort you out there & then

      • Lady London says:

        Apparently lots of them are no longer able to issue passports but issue some kind of “travel authorisation” to get you home and you apply for a replacement passport separately?

        • Shoestring says:

          sounds about right

        • Shoestring says:

          OK you are on a boys night out in Prague. You lose your passport. What next ?

        • Craig says:

          It’s an emergency travel document and only available outside the UK. Having a photo of your passport makes it much easier.

        • Doug M says:

          Definite on the passport photo, that would have been a big help. Happened to me in Vienna and was fortunate to have a friend to vouch for my ID. Had to report theft to police and get a report, get some passport photos, and then embassy issued a travel authority. Once home applied for new passport.

    • Lady London says:

      just google it. there are appointments available at all the passport offices on Monday. Belfast a bit thin but others enough through the week. In London they only seemed to offer morning when I checked recently. I think it’s called “Premium” service.

      • Lady London says:

        beg pardon. There were available on Monday, but taking a closer look I think you can only book 2 days ahead now. so think you could book Wednesday. feedback on the service is it’s expensive but excellent.

        • Lady London says:

          0300 222 0000 but you can arrange online. There are photo booths at the place where your appointment is, if it’s London. You have to bring your completed form (from Post office)

        • Yes I expected it wouldn’t be cheap, or even reasonable but what can you do?

    • FOUND IT!!

      Thanks everyone. If it ever happens again I’ll know what to do. It’s been so stressful. We’ve turned the whole house upside down in the process only to find it in the car. So relieved.

      • Shoestring says:

        I lost my wallet once out at our place in the sun – searched everywhere to no avail, we’d been visiting vineyards previous day and had shared the driving, as in: I drove there, my wife drove back, you get the picture, plus my younger bro was visiting so we’d made merry ‘testing the quality’ – anyway, having lost my wallet, I phoned up the banks & cancelled the credit cards

        Needed to get some milk and bread from the local shop later that morning, so I jumped in the car, only to find my wallet safely wedged next to the front passenger seat! 🙂 what a useless faff

  2. Jimbob says:

    OT – need to put through £400 on my SPG Amex in the next couple of days to get the sign up bonus, so I can used the current bonus offer for transfers to Avios.

    Any suggestions as what I can put on the card that would be easily refundable to make the £1000 target spend?

    • Peter 64K says:

      Not refundable but council tax? Or send £400 friends and family via PayPal to someone you trust to give it back?
      Gift cards you will use later?

    • Memesweeper says:

      Peter’s suggestion is a good one: get down to Tesco and grab some cards for Netflix or John Lewis or whatever else you know is certain to soak up some of your spending over the next few months.

    • Mr Dee says:

      Morrisons gift card, use on fuel, shopping and they give change

    • Plus you don’t want the transaction that triggers the bonus to be refundable – I’d go with the suggestions above!

  3. I applied for a Capital on Tap card immediately after reading this article and while the fee doubled, though £199 was still a good price given the return. During the application I was particularly impressed by the fact that it recognised my obscure company name from just the first few letters and more impressed when it brought up the current shareholders names asking what % holdings they had.

    The next day I got an email saying I have been approved £10,000 credit and the following day received my card which I registered online. They then very quickly collected the £199 by direct debit from my Company bank account. I then tried to use the card but it was rejected, and TODAY received an email to say my application was unsuccessful.

    BEWARE Guys !!!!!!

    • Odd. The £199 card is the new version with 20,000 Avios as a sign-up bonus, which is actually better than the original version.

      Very weird if they collected the fee but then cancelled it! I can chase with them if you want.

  4. What is the general experience of trying to use this on the HMRC website ? Is it accepted as a free free debit card ?

    Once the credit limit is used up, is it possible to pay the debit balance off immediately and therefore use the credit limit multiple times in a month ?

    Did I pick up from one of the posts above that the fee for the card has now gone up to £199 per month ?

    • It hasn’t gone up. They are trialling a different – and better – card which is 1 Avios per £1 spent, 20,000 Avios sign up bonus (+ 500 extra for the headforpoints promo code) and £199 fee.

  5. As a PS to my last question, how reliable are the Avios transfers ? Do they transfer automatically to a linked BAEC account after the month end like Amex ?

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