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The new HFP chat thread – Friday 24th April

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We have decided to run this new daily chat thread on Head for Points.

Historically, the daily ‘Bits’ articles were the defacto repository for random comments and questions.  It is unlikely that the news flow will be so big over the next few weeks that we will need many ‘Bits’ articles, however.

The comments under this article are where you should post questions about travel and, indeed, anything else on your mind.  At this tricky time, and given that many of you are stuck at home self-isolating, we want the HFP community to have a place to chat.

Please only comment under the main articles on the site if your comment is directly related to the topic of the article.  This has long-term benefits as its keeps the commentary relevant for people who read those articles in the future.

By default, HFP shows the last page of comments under the article.  If you want to see the first page of comments and read them all from beginning to end in order, click here: https://www.headforpoints.com/2020/04/24/the-new-hfp-chat-thread-friday-24th-april/comment-page-1 The page will refresh with this article but the comments will now show the first page and not the last page.

We will continue to monitor how this is working.  Let’s see how it goes.  Take care!

Comments (345)

  • Daniel Evans says:

    I just chatted with Amex as i’ve run out of time to hit a £3000 spend target and they sent the message below… vague but also vaguely promising – sounds like they are at least considering an extension – bit cheeky asking me to continue showing them card loyalty with no actual guarantee though!

    FROM AMEX:
    We are awaiting a communication from our Marketing Department on this one.

    At this time, we request you to try and reach the spent threshold if possible. If there would be an extension of period on offer, we will place a request but we recommend you to wait and check back with us after sometime. ​​​​​​​

    As of now, MR team has not indicated any extension on offer. We are working closely with them to see if there is something that we may offer at that time.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Have you actually missed the target or is there time left?

      How much have you missed by? Is there no spend you can bring forward ie a gift card for your supermarket of choice etc?

    • Lady London says:

      .my response would be “in that case I’ll close my card then”. Until they start getting that response straight back nothing will change.
      Depends how close to target you are of course.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        But what’s the real loss to them of this threat? If you were unable to spend the c£3k in 3 months then it’s unlikely you will be putting significant revenue their way.

        Also if you cancel they don’t have to pay out any bonus points either way.

  • Freddy says:

    Curve paying the seagulls party is over – email saying fee now applies apart from their metal card

    • Scallder says:

      Saw this – booooooooooo

      • BlueLabel says:

        Golden goose well and truly strangulated.

        • BJ says:

          Her much more generous sister remains alive and well 🙂

          • Harry T says:

            @BJ
            They are now charging for premium bond purchases, according to their website.

          • Don says:

            What do you refer to? Please expand what this means.

            Why are commercial cards treated the same as personal cards? Surely even for paying off credit cards, DVLA etc Curve get a better commission than on the personal ones?

          • BJ says:

            @Harry T, thanks, was just about to start my next round of top ups to my savings account so I’ll now give it a miss.

          • Harry T says:

            @BJ they tell you to turn on Curve Fronted in the app when you are going to get charged. So far for me today it’s an issue when paying seagulls but not the bank.

    • Tom says:

      Trying to force people to upgrade to Metal!

    • Crafty says:

      Email has no date so I’m assuming it’s immediately effective too 🙁

      • Vinz says:

        On the community forum there’s an official post saying from 21st April which is… 3 days ago! How can they do that?
        I’ve literally just changed (went back in time) the charge from my Virgin to another card because I fear losing points etc – I hope that doesn’t attract any extra fees!
        Will dispute that if they do…

    • Matty says:

      Is it just paying off another credit card or is it paying anything with Curve when the underlying card is a credit card?

      • fivebobbill says:

        “Back in December, we introduced a 1.5% fee for paying (UK) tax bills with an underlying credit card. We’re now extending that fee to include credit card bills paid for with an underlying credit card.”

        • Sideshow bob says:

          “This fee will only apply to payments made to financial service providers, money transfer platforms, mortgage brokers, loan providers, banks/building societies, investments, savings & payments that represent taxes or are categorised as governmental payments; when you have a credit card selected as funding card when making the payment with a Curve card.”

        • Lady London says:

          Quite surpised they’re allowed to state they do this at all.

    • Ali says:

      please elaborate on this?

    • jc says:

      It’s everything with MCC 6012 (financial services), in addition to MCC 9399 (government) – so baaasically everything that made Curve a useful hack or worth having at all. Card bills, mortgage payments, topping up any ‘bank accounts’ (that hadn’t already been moved to MCC 4829 like Revolut)… as well as NS&I / taxes etc.

  • Travel Strong says:

    Can you employ S75 protection for a past purchase if you subsequently cancel the credit card?

    Same question for the amex guarantee if you cancel a platinum charge card?

  • Tom says:

    Curve now charging for paying credit cards off unless you have Metal. No HMRC and now no Credit Cards, might as well close my account now!

    • KevMc says:

      Email seems to imply this is with immediate effect. Not sure how they think they can get away with changing Ts & C’s without giving notice.

      • Claire says:

        Immediate effect, I can confirm, when you try to make a payment you are taken to the screen where you have to switch on “Curve fronted” and are warned of the 1.5% charge. It is a shame but i’m sure between tax bills and the like it is worth £14.99 for metal?? Might have to weigh up what you gain vs the monthly charge. Was good while it lasted *sigh*

      • Brian W says:

        It’s actually against their own terms and conditions which state that Curve will provide two months notice of any changes and it specifically states that this includes adding fees.

        They’re flying by the seats of their pants again.

        • EwanG says:

          Again being the key word – same as when they originally introduced the HMRC charge!

    • Steve says:

      Agreed, the recent back in time 90 day extension will be useful free credit for the next few months, but the usefulness of Curve is diminishing. Are these changes immediate?

      • Crafty says:

        Can you explain free credit?

        • Steve says:

          If you have two or more cards loaded to your curve. Spend on the card with the longest to go until statement date, when that statement is then payable to “back in time” and move the payment to another card. You can only do this once, but done right could give you around 3 months to pay that initial purchase.

    • jason says:

      also find a start date

    • JImbob says:

      Can’t be long before they stop allowing you top up premium bonds with curve with no fee

      • Doug M says:

        They just did I think. Premium Bonds come under NS&I?

        Payments that represent taxes or are categorised as government payments – these payments fall under the Merchant Category Code (MCC) 9399 such as, but not limited to, HMRC, National Savings & Investments, DVLA Vehicle Tax, and Student Loan Payments.

        Transactions falling under Merchant Category Code (MCC) 6012 such as, but not limited to:

        Paying credit card bills, loans or mortgages with an underlying credit card selected in the Curve app
        Purchasing financial services or products from banks, Credit Unions, Deposit Takers
        Purchasing foreign or non-fiat currency such as cryptocurrency, travelers cheques or money orders
        Purchasing store value cards such as prepaid cards

      • Harry T says:

        Apparently they already have stopped free investments in the government bank:

        “ Curve Fronted is a service provided by Curve that allows you to make payments with your Curve debit card, using an underlying credit card in instances where credit card payments may not be accepted by the merchant.

        There are two types of transactions that we charge a fee for when using a credit card to make the payment:

        Payments that represent taxes or are categorised as government payments – these payments fall under the Merchant Category Code (MCC) 9399 such as, but not limited to, HMRC, National Savings & Investments, DVLA Vehicle Tax, and Student Loan Payments
        Transactions falling under Merchant Category Code (MCC) 6012 such as, but not limited to:
        Paying credit card bills, loans or mortgages with an underlying credit card selected in the Curve app
        Purchasing financial services or products from banks, Credit Unions, Deposit Takers
        Purchasing foreign or non-fiat currency such as cryptocurrency, travelers cheques or money orders
        Purchasing store value cards such as prepaid cards
        The following charges apply when using a credit card as underlying payment card:

        Curve Blue (free) and Curve Black (£ or € 9.99 p/m) customers (including Curve Black Legacy users): 1.5% of the total amount of the transaction
        Curve Metal (£ or € 14.99 p/m, 150 p/a): no charges apply
        Please bear in mind that your underlying card issuer may charge you fees for making such transactions and Curve is not liable for such fees. Please refer to the terms and conditions of your underlying card issuer.”

        • Liam says:

          I wonder if they’ll add a charge to student loan payments now too. I paid off a chunk last month using Curve, with no fee applied, and was preparing to pay off another load this month too (and probably each month for the next three or four).

          • Freddy says:

            Already chargeable now

            Payments that represent taxes or are categorised as government payments – these payments fall under the Merchant Category Code (MCC) 9399 such as, but not limited to, HMRC, National Savings & Investments, DVLA Vehicle Tax, and Student Loan Payments.

          • Liam says:

            I think in theory they were chargeable before, but Curve opted not to (this was when they were saying that for the moment they were only levying charges on HMRC payments and would give notice if this changed). My question is, has that now definitively changed re: student loan payments?

          • Anna says:

            Blimey, I am late to this party. But how can they charge for something which was technically against their Ts & Cs anyway?

        • ventureloguk says:

          Thanks. Looks like this Curve has flattened! 🙂
          Still not clear on the date its applied from (21st April cant be right) and it must be today (assuming everyone got the email today).
          So, Curve’s benefits for free cards have pretty much been removed, frequent technical problems, “0%” foreign fees has better alternatives, Whats the point of keeping it anymore? I think it’s poor timing. They should have waited to asses in a couple of months. When the Curve has actually flattened.

          • Crafty says:

            Hang on a minute. NS&I isn’t in the email. Can anyone confirm this change has actually been applied? I topped up earlier today (see my other messages on the 3D Secure saga) and didn’t seem to be charged.

          • Crafty says:

            Just done it again without a fee.

    • EwanG says:

      Is it still free to pay off a **charge** card?? 😉 😉

  • BJ says:

    Any news on Curve legal action against amex oi did I miss it somewhere?

    • Freddy says:

      They’ve gone quiet so I think they’ve realised that a legal fight isn’t the way to go

    • Harry T says:

      Haven’t heard anything. I always assumed it was a PR stunt because Amex would eat them alive due to their essentially unlimited budget.

  • Jon says:

    Curve changes extremely annoying: retrospective to 21st April. I’m sure this is illegal – don’t they have to give a minimum notice period for detrimental changes?

    • Tony says:

      I’m not seeing any evidence this is retrospective? I paid Brighton this morning and it went through fine; tried just now & it was rejected. Curve Fronted FAQs state that any charge is applied immediately to the transaction: there are none on mine from this morning before the email announcement.

      • MattB says:

        If you click link in the email it takes you to their community forum where is says from 21st onwards

        • Tony says:

          I appreciate that, but I’m saying there is no evidence of this being backdated. The fact I could Brighton this morning sans fees suggests the opposite.

          • Crafty says:

            They’ve “corrected” themselves.

            Unbelievably shoddy outfit.

    • MattB says:

      Yes they can’t do that, how would they apply charges anyway? I used curve to buy some premium bonds on the 22nd and the £2k has already gone through on my card?

  • Jon says:

    Now started to receive foreign charges on closed amex cards.
    Was notified by BA that I was involved in their data breach.
    Anyone now considering joining a class action against BA?

    • Anna says:

      If the card was closed when someone tried to use it, it should have been declined.

  • Don says:

    The numbers just don’t work for Metal. Even pushing £8333 a month you can’t spread the payments across enough cards to make the manufactured spend work to cover the point value, like Hilton nor will most of us have £8333 going through our Amex cards and even if our credit card spend is so high, a good part will be VS and MC anyway to a points credit card that Curve just adds a £15 cost to each month. At max value of Metal linked to Barclaycard would be £49 Hilton value based on 0.3p.

    Monese does not permit the use of the same card across multiple accounts. That scuppers that MS. Does NS&I permit the same card across multiple accounts?

    The insurance is worthless due to the £50 excess, trip length and connections abroad and some limiting terms like UK car hire must have accommodation booked with it. Mobile cover is £50 excess and max £850 so does not cover my iPhone 11. Lounge access isn’t free at all and I have it free from PP, BA and Lufty and KLM.

    Plus, if/when Revolut change the VS MCC to 4829, the cash advance comes in and scuppers loading even further, plus the risk of a Revolut shutdown and the fact that using 6012 on Barclaycard is fee free as it is.

    Better to stick with the free one for some foreign spend up to £500 and otherwise forget the card. I can see Curve hanging on by a thread as more and more providers move to fee-free foreign spending. It’s not worth the hassle for £200 fee free cash, Starling have better rates than Curve.

    • Jill says:

      I have metal. I put £25000 a month through to HMRC to a Virgin Atlantic Reward + credit card ( 37500 miles a month) Don’t use any other benefit.
      Happy with £15 monthly fee for my miles.
      Might not work for you but does not mean does not work for others.

      • Freddy says:

        Ditto, I may do the sums when virgin Atlantic issue is clearer. For now I’ll put the virgin card and curve in a drawer

      • KevMc says:

        Were your limits automatically upped when you took out metal? Or did you have to ask them?

      • Don says:

        I did not realise the annual limits could be higher than £100k? That’s all I have read here. Happy to be corrected.

        The thing is Jill, if you’re in a very small group, which is getting smaller, then there is no way Curve are making any money out of you and it will be straight into the failed FinTech bin for Curve.

        You will really be up the creek with VS if they go bust. Could have done Hilton from day one? Nice Maldives or WA Amsterdams stay there.

        • Don says:

          I should ask, is Curve Metal commercial or personal card?

          My basic is Commercial but there is no fee discount. They just pocket it.

        • Dave says:

          Just swapped my Virgin card to my COT for paying HMRC via Curve. Not as many avios each month but like Jill, still worth the monthly payment for me.

        • Craig W says:

          my curve limit is 300k, so it can definitely go higher than 100

          • Don says:

            I’ve always wondered if the personal Curve’s work on Barclaycard. The commercial ones definitely do not.

          • stevenhp1987 says:

            @Don

            Barclaycard block all Curve, including personal cards, being used to pay off your balance.

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