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. John Pagani says:

    The capital on tap card is obviously much better Avios earner than the Tesco current account debit card but…. I’ve been charged £199 for my point earning card this morning? Also, the limit placed on the account is too small for many of my HMRC payments. Is it possible to pre-load the card so if can be used for my HMRC payments?

    • Mr(s) Entitled says:

      Can you make smaller but more frequent HMRC payments and pay these down immediately as an alternative to preloading?

    • Mr Dee says:

      If the credit limits are low not really much good for businesses

  2. LATAM flights can be booked via Skyscanner for £1180pp. 2-3-2 on 777 though so not the best seat

    • Richard says:

      Looked at Skyscanner and LHR-SCL is £1,153 on Air France in business in September 2019.

    • I travelled from Sao Paulo to Santiago on a LATAM 787 last week and the seat wasn’t as comfortable as I thought it would be and not very supportive. Also, climbing over the passenger next to you, if they’re reclined, is awkward. I was surprised how tatty the seat was looking with various bits of trim coming away. Although, the service, food and drink was good.

      Saying that, I flew back from Santiago on a BA 787 in First and the leather trim on the console had completely worn through, which was surprising.

      LATAM is often quite good value, certainly better than the £9200 my ticket cost from London to Rio on BA in Business and return from Santiago (LATAM Rio to Sao Paulo and Sao Paulo to Santiago)!

  3. Uh oh!

  4. Concerto says:

    I looked at a LH Early Bird special from FRA to SIN for 3 of us, wow, only 30,000 miles RT, what a deal! But the jolly taxes are €498 and a paid ticket would be €715 on my dates. So, I take my business elsewhere once again and buy an AFKL ticket to further my Plat requalification, and use the said M&M miles for hopping around Asia for great value with almost no taxes.

  5. Helen says:

    Rob, in the commentary above re the Capital on Tap card, it goes through as a personal Debit Card when linked to Curve, right? Or are you saying it goes through as a personal debit card on its own and doesn’t need linking to curve? I used it twice successfully, but both times linked to Curve. I don’t see Curve mentioned in your commentary above. Might want to clarify that to make it clearer?

    • You can’t link it to Curve because it is a prepaid debit card, technically.

      • Memesweeper says:

        I’ve linked to Curve without issue. Drinking a tea that I’ve just for using Curve + CapitalOnTap! Great news about HMRC payments working directly though, I was worried about what might happen if Curve go under.

        • Memesweeper says:

          Drinking a tea I’ve just PAID for that should read…

          (Rob: editable comments please! Disqus maybe?)

        • Disqus is rubbish and most people who try it drop it quickly.

        • Even if not Disqus, than another way to edit comments (and get notifications of later replies to your comments) – these are two necessary features which seem to be in high demand here. Rob – please consider rolling them out at next update. Thanks!

        • You cannot let comments be edited. It’s like Twitter. It would lead to manipulation.

        • Alex D says:

          Notifications on post comments would be a great feature!

        • Shoestring says:

          or just increasing ‘Recent comments’ from 6 to 10 latest posts

        • the_real_a says:

          A good practice is to allow comments to be edited for 5 minutes that should mitigate the risk of manipulation, that would allow enough margin to correct typo`s etc which i think people are asking for.

        • Why?? Using up Curve limit for exactly no reason?

        • Mr Dee says:

          Some sort of commenting accounts feature would be good as currently its difficult to keep up never mind find old/replied to comments past today

        • Mr Dee says:

          No point wasting Curve limit unless you will never come close to it.

        • Twitter is losing out competition because of that! Facebook introduced editing of comments long time ago, as well as all major messengers and blogging platforms. If you are afraid of “manipulation” (though it’s difficult to see where it could be!), editing could be time-limited, just for people to realise that they made a typo or posted something twice and correct it!

          Notifications would help IMMENSELY to keep track of replies to one’s comments or questions in previous posts

      • Helen says:

        I’m using it with curve with no issues

        • Helen says:

          In fact I used it dIrectly with HMRC once but I chose Business Mastercard that time and it charged me a fee. Are you saying if I had chosen Personal mastercard it would have still gone through without any fee? In any case Curve have upped my limits and I’m using it regularly to pay HMRC via Curve with no problems at all.

  6. Just done the Capital Partners app, approved for £6k so that’s probably standard, however as someone earlier mentioned, the option is free or £199. That’s completely different to what the opening page on their website says, where it clearly states £99. That smells dodgy to me as it doesn’t give the option for £99 card. The quickest way to put me off is to play silly buggers, I’m not sure they are even allowed to do this given they are supposedly FCA regulated

  7. Ammar says:

    OT – How do you link the Raddison Reward a/c to Amex for MR points transfer – do you have to put something infront of the a/c number I recall?

    • I was only able to do it by calling Amex.

    • the_real_a says:

      You have to add leading zero`s but agree with Tim, call them up the agents are used to the workaround (but hang up if routed to manilla)

    • Andrew says:

      I can’t remember which numbers you miss off but I think the help box or the full information on right hand side of the screen tell you which numbers to pop into the website. Of course, I only spotted this after the helpful chap in Brighton told me what to do!

    • 1nfrequent says:

      I ended up calling Amex as I had the same problem and they guy who did it for me said he needed to knock off the first 6 numbers.


  8. Munch says:

    OT Looking to status match IHG Spire Elite to Hilton Platinum. There seems to be a mixed approach from Hilton looking at Statusmatcher feedback. Some people seem to receive Platinum immediately, others are given a challenge. I’m currently gold not sure if this makes a difference? Anyone have any
    experience? If I’m given a challenge do point stays count?

    • You get both. 90 day match with a challenge to keep it.

      • Munch says:

        Do points stays count towards the challenge?

        • Hope so, I’m on a 10 stay Diamond challenge now and have used point & cash rather than full points for 2 stays so far (9 completed by next week for end of March deadline) as should meet the paid stays criteria in the original HH status challenge email.

        • Munch says:

          Paul – do you get one year at the new status from the the last date of your 10th stay? Or is it from the start of your challenge?

        • Challenge started 2/1/19 and Diamond will run to 31/3/20 when I am successful as per original email.

        • Genghis says:


      • I am Gold Rob and was told during present challenge from Gold to Diamond that Diamond benefits only granted at the end of the challenge and not during the 90 days period.

        • Munch says:

          Rob – if I’m matching from IHG could my challenge be less than Paul’s 10 nights?

        • The Hilton deal is non-negotiable –

        • Qwerty Bertie says:

          When I took the challenge I was told the same bit I said that was not good enough as I had an expensive resort stay coming up during the challenge period. They reacted well and made me diamond straight away (but still on the challenge of course).

        • Rubbish, as soon as I applied I was upgraded to Diamond (email confirmation – keep it too as had an argument with them in Dubai) and had Diamond status for the 8 stays I had to do

          For the next 90 days, get a taste of the elite life with Hilton Honors and enjoy the highest earning potential out there.

  9. Georges says:

    I missed Rob’s post about this last month but came across the card by chance yesterday. The Rewards offer is very different to what Rob describes so it may have changed recently. The cost is £199 instead of £99. “Redeem 1 Avios for every £1 of card spend. Redeem 1 point for 1 Avios or 1p (1% cashback). Get 20,000 point bonus when you spend £5,000.” (All clearly stated in those words). Also please note that if you need the statement billing date to coincide with a specific date for internal accounting purposes as we do, you need to apply and get approved for the card on the day of your desired first day of your billing cycle. They cannot change it manually after you’ve accepted their terms and your account is setup. Bottom line though I can’t understand how they can afford to pay out 1% if it’s a debit card. With regards to Curve, you can link to some prepaid cards but the list is limited to Monzo, Osper, Tide, Revolut, Monese, Loot, N26, Qonto, Soldo. I specifically asked about Cornercard (linked to the Miles and More Diners Club), and they said they might add it to the list in the future.

  10. I just called Capital on Tap and they told me it is now £199. They said they changed it. Even though their website still says clearly £99 and no mention of £199 until you have already applied.
    They told me to email them directly and state what has happened and someone will see if they will do the £99 fee. Not a great start.

    • Chris says:

      Website now says £199

      • Ok. Let me explain. COT is launching a 2nd Avios card imminently. I didn’t know the terms but the fee is higher with better earning. It seems they may be doing it this weekend without telling me.

        • Helen says:

          Rob, please can you also find out if those who got the £99 card can upgrade to the £199 card for the better Avios and higher sign-up bonus if we are within the 3 months? Thank you.

        • Will do. It seems they are still experimenting and have asked me not to cover the new card until everything is locked down in a couple of weeks.

  11. B Bop says:

    I just signed up and it gave me two options. A no-bonus standard account or the “club” account but the terms were £199 fee for 20000 points (once u spend 5k) and points were 1:1. Didn’t see an option for the £99 card. I think it’s still good value though right? Annoyed if u can’t link to Xero or curve tho! I’m no adverse to using a non biz card for my company expenses so maybe something else would be better, but the idea of being able to pay corporation tax is appealing and it’s good to have a backup to the Amex now that curve wont support it

    • Shoestring says:

      Good value @£199? That will depend on how much you pay HMRC. [HfP has repeated that despite the £199 appearing in places, it *will* only be £99 as per home page.]

      So if you can’t get points from your payments to HMRC any other way & pay in hefty amounts, the £99/£199? fee could easily be covered many times over, partly by the introductory bonus (5250 Avios)

  12. Munch says:

    Paul – do you get one year at the new status from the the last date of your 10th stay? Or is it from the start of your challenge?

  13. DaveL says:

    Sao Paulo…

  14. Paul Stevens says:

    >>This would allow our self-employed readers to pay their VAT, PAYE, corporation tax and personal tax

    I understand the VAT and corporation tax but how can I pay personal tax on a business card? Wouldn’t it come out of the company account?

    • James M says:

      If you’re self employed, you are your company there’s no reason you couldn’t pay personal tax.

      Obviously for limited companies etc. you are not your company so personal obligations couldn’t be paid on a business card.

      • “If you’re self employed, you are your company”

        That’s only the case if you’re a sole-trader, but if you’re not (and you’re incorporated) that is most definitely not the case – the company and the person are completely separate legal entities. If you’re incorporated, then paying your personal tax on a corporate card could lead to tax consequences depending on the value and the length of time it’s outstanding for – get your accountants advice.

        If you’re self-employed and incorporated, you can already pay your VAT, PAYE and Corp tax on personal cards and earn miles (through Curve), and then expense it to the Company.

      • Paul Stevens says:

        Ah thanks, for some reason I read self employed as having a limited company.

    • Mr Dee says:

      It’s called a directors loan

  15. Crafty says:

    OT: KLM flight cancelled and rerouted for next day. It was a fully non EU sector (Singapore to Denpasar); am I right in thinking EC261 therefore does not apply?

    Secondly, they are saying they aren’t liable for accommodation costs. Presumably this is good enough for Amex Insurance (Plat) – I can show them a statement from KLM saying they won’t compensate me. But their reasoning is flimsy (wouldn’t get them out of EC261 if it were within EU) – saying flight cancelled because a PREVIOUS flight could not get through Pakistan airspace. Am I expected to have challenged this, or for insurance purposes will the statement that they won’t compensate me be sufficient?

    • Shoestring says:

      First point: correct, EC261 does not apply.

      • Shoestring says:

        Second point: not an expert, sometimes it is a good idea to ring the insurance co to get clearance for a cost *before* you incur the cost. Eg for BUPA, I know from experience that if you are likely to undergo medical intervention costing several £thou, ring them and get the OK first to make the claim painless afterwards.

        • Crafty says:

          Yep. Understand that. Cancellation was last minute so we weren’t in much of a position to do so this time… either way, incurring the cost is definitely fine under the policy, it’s just a question of where the needle points to on the burden of proof/effort.

        • the_real_a says:

          My experience of this (apart from medical) is that they wont “clear” anything. The CS agents dont know and will often tell you the wrong thing, and its difficult to get through to the underwriters who are trained to be be noncommittal. Having said that, i have never had a claim turned down.

      • Lady London says:

        Er…. Shoestring, would that also be the case if the ticket was departing EU… then the sector above… then continuing on? surely EU261 covers you to final destination including all intermediate flight segments, provided departing out of EU?

        • Shoestring says:

          it wasn’t ex EU

        • Shoestring says:

          but if the flight was 2 segments on one PNR, departing EU first then (say) refuelling break in Singapore before leaving for Singapore-Denpasar, you’d be covered

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