The new HFP chat thread – Friday 26th June

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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:  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!

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  1. Chris says:

    Re: Amex Platinum pay for purchases with points:
    Does anyone know how long it takes for this to show in one’s account? I processed a small transaction this morning and no change to the balance yet this afternoon, even though my points have been debited.

  2. My cards with no foreign-exchange loading from the card provider are Halifax, Post Office and Santander Mastercards and an MBNA Visa. What I have not been keeping tabs on is the loadings applied by Mastercard and Visa International.

    On the MBNA Visa, I lost £88 (just over 2%) on a refund from a Qatar flight charged in Norwegian Krone due to currency fluctuations. This was despite the interbank rate having moved slightly in my favour between debit and credit processing dates.

    Comparing VIsa International’s daily exchange rates against the interbank rate (from, it seems Visa’s loading can vary significantly and without pattern each day. Mine was 1.8% on one of my dates and around 0.4% on the other.

    I wonder if I would fare better with Mastercard in future?

    • Genghis says:

      There’s an MSE article which discusses the different rates MC vs Visa vs Amex. I think this is it

      • I remembered that. I was wondering how the rates compared more recently,

        My partner has been having a dig and managed to find Mastercard’s daily rates and ran the numbers for non-GBP transactions we have made in the past year and compared to Visa’s.

        Mastercard are more competitive than Visa on most days, but not always,

        MBNA Horizon Visa still works out better on non-refunded purchases once you factor in the 0.5 percent cashback. It works out badly in the current world where so much is being refunded.

  3. IAG’s analysis of safe countries for reciprocal travel (final two paragraphs).

    Includes UK. Excludes Bulgaria, Poland, Romania and Sweden.

  4. Lisa Mundy says:

    I’m booked on the first BA flight to Barbados on 18 July after the airport in Barbados reopens. The Barbados government has announced this afternoon that all arriving passengers will need a certificate showing a negative COVID-19 test issued within the last 72 hrs. Does anyone know where/how travellers in the UK can obtain such a test? I’m not a key worker and I don’t have any symptoms. I rang You First at BA who were clueless.

    • Andrew says:

      Anyone in the U.K. can get a test. The government announced it a few weeks ago.

    • Chris Heyes says:

      Lisa [email protected] the naughty way get a cough or pay for a test

    • Jimbob says:

      How’s that cough? Nudge, nudge, wink, wink
      But you have to hope the turn around is less than 72 hours (unlikely)

      • Charlieface says:

        Did one a few days ago for all of us incl kids at Etihad stadium. 11am got results at 8pm. No one is checking symptoms

      • Peter K says:

        I disagree. It depends where you are. I had a result come back (negative) within the past 3 weeks after about 30-32hrs.

  5. Charlieface says:

    Not sure why it got deleted.
    I said on the other thread that if you want to maximise Nectar take out as many Sainsburys Bank products as possible. Each type of product gets you 1 bonus point on Sainsbury shopping spend per £, max 10. Works out 5% cashback.

  6. Brian W says:

    Hoping someone can help me regarding the process for booking the outbound flights online on a BA 241 voucher open jaw booking, T-355 days out.

    I know I need to book the outbound online and then call to book the return flight via a call to another call centre like the USA. What I’m unsure of is, do I select the use of the 241 voucher when booking the outbound online as a one way (with the inbound booking being added to that and adjusting the maths later) or do I book the outbound as a clean one way Avios booking without the voucher and the agent on the phone will subsequently apply the voucher and do the maths at that point when I book the inbound?

    Any help is greatly appreciated.

    • avidsaver says:

      You must use your 2 4 1 when you book your outbound. Then when your return becomes available you call and ask for this return flight to be added to your 2 4 1 outbound booking. The avios and taxes will the be re calculated.

      • avidsaver says:


      • Brian W says:

        Thank you @avidsaver, you help is greatly appreciated. Used many 241’s but this is the first time booking a T-355 return or an indeed an open jaw on a 241 so the clarity on the process puts my mind at rest 🙂

        • avidsaver says:

          If you have enough avios you can always book your return at midnight online as a one way and then call the UK first thing in the morning to add it to your 2 4 1 outbound. This way they will re calculate your avios but NOT the taxes and the booking will remain as two one ways. Then if you should need to cancel you will have to pay £35 X 2.

          • Brian W says:

            Thanks @avidsaver, understood. I don’t have enough in the tank to book the inbound online too so I’ll need to grin and bear it and pick up the phone at midnight. I’ve got some bounce in the schedule so I have a few shots at banking the returns in Club too over a 4 day window so fingers crossed!

          • 4 x £35 to cancel or change whole thing, 2 x £35 to change one leg.

            If 4 days available to play with, Tuesday or Wednesday is generally easiest to get.

          • Brian W says:

            Thanks @BJ

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