The new HFP chat thread – Saturday 11th July

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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.

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  1. ChrisC says:

    Wanted to report a good experience with Expedia.

    In late January I booked a non refundable hotel in the US for mid May, Then the travel ban came in and I was due to fly 5 days later. Flights cancelled by airline and since refunded.

    I tried to call Expedia a couple of times to ask if they would refund or offer a credit note as I was unable to travel but could never get through to a human and I basically gave up and went down the insurance route. Messaged hotel to ask about rebooking for later date but they said I had to deal with Expedia.

    In the middle of May I got an email from Expedia saying they knew I had tried to call and could I answer some questions such as had I got a refund or rebooking from the hotel (nope – as above) credit card (MBNA said no because the hotel was still operating) or insurance, I responded no as that was the case but I had submitted an insurance claim but have yet to hear from them.

    Yes I did think it was a scam but the actual email address was a proper Expedia one and it did contain the booking reference and name of the hotel. A scam email would likely not include those details.

    In the middle of June I got a further email saying they would refund me the £1,300 or so and it would take up to 30 days to happen. Couple of days ago the credit appeared on my card,

    To be honest my flabber was ghasted. I was expecting an Expedia voucher at best (I did say that I would be happy with a voucher in my email response to them) and a denial at worst (It was supposedly a non refundable rate) but not the actual cash back on my card.

    I have withdrawn my insurance claim.

    I am very pleased with Expedia. I realise other people are having issues but amongst the complaints there are some good results.

    • MattB says:

      I had a similar proactive response from ebookers (isn’t that the same company as Expedia?) Where a non refundable hotel booking was refunded.

      Out of everything booked this year (over £10k across 2 holidays) we have around £1k outstanding which is also a non refundable hotel in the USA but booked via Agoda. I’m hoping the travel advisory is still in place until the end of the month so it will make an insurance claim possible.

  2. I’d like to report a good experience with Accor too.
    Flights to Japan in June cancelled by BA. BAPP 2-4-1 booking, took the extended travel voucher instead.
    Had a non-refundable night booked at Tokyo Mercure Ginza booked using Accor points. The hotel contacted me to say they were cancelling and would refund the small cash top up. I queried the 6,000 points I’d used and they passed it on to ALL Customer services. Pleased to say the cash and points arrived back into my account in 2 weeks with no chasing.
    3 nights booked via were also refunded (2 of which were Rewards nights bookings with cash top up), no questions asked. The rest of the nights were booked using IHG rewards points and needless to say they are easily cancellable online.
    (A boring good story … sorry :))

    • Harry T says:

      I’ve heard bad things about Accor and refunds, so I’m glad to hear you have had a positive experience. The Sofitel Munich Bayerpost refunded me for my non refundable stay in April, after I emailed them directly to politely ask. Very impressed.

  3. Any thoughts as to whether AMEX will extend it’s Avios and redemption offers on the Platinum card, due to end in a couple of weeks… Given travel is likely to be limited in the foreseeable future it is hard to justify holding onto the card.

    • Not been mentioned to me so you should assume it is ending on schedule.

      • What is the Avios offer? As far as I was aware we are earning double points on purchases and can get double redemption value for statement credit but that’s it?

    • Seriously, this is in London? He needs some kind of mental health intervention before he dies and there’s an outcry and an enquiry into how this was allowed to happen.

    • Doug M says:

      I hardly read the story, thinking why anyone would given the page is a absolute hotchpotch of adverts, some of which float and make reading the text impossible.

    • ChrisC says:

      his issue is with the Thai police not the hotel owners (which isn’t even Marriott)

      He’s not getting much sympathy from DM readers either which is generally a sign you are on a hidign to nothing

  4. Can you cancel a direct debit for Amex and set it up again? My payment is due to be taken soon. Does it have any impact on payment date?

    • Sandgrounder says:

      You certainly can cancel and set up again, I won’t change the DD payment date though beyond maybe missing a month, although the DD is usually taken earlier than the actual final date your payment is due without penalty. If it is very close to the due date, cancelling with Amex may not be enough, you may need to cancel with your bank. Under the DD guarantee you can get the funds back straight away. I had I do this recently when I accidentally paid my Plat by debit card as well.

    • Andrew says:

      If you call Amex they can adjust your payment date and even your bill end date. Amex are very accommodating, particularly if you’re a premium customer.

    • Unless you want to change banks for the DD there’s not much point in doing this if you can pay your minimum amount before then because that will stop the DD going out.

      • If you just want to change the bank you take the DD from this can be done in your Amex account online.

  5. Ralph says:

    Good morning – does anyone know if it is possible to book Malaysian Business First on Avios? On it shows business as available and under First ‘cabin not operated on this flight’ although ExpertFlyer shows the flight as having ‘F’ seats available which seems to be the (revenue) booking code used for Business First. Thank you in advance for any info either way.

  6. Anyone had any joy with a discount from HSBC on the usual £195 annual fee for the World Elite Premier credit card?

    • Nope, no luck

    • Luckyjim says:

      No. But did manage to get it refunded even though I was a couple of weeks late cancelling. I’ll reapply in. a few months a see if I get a sign up bonus.

      • You mean you were able to get a refund of the annual fee after you’d started a new membership year? Assume you hadn’t been using the card?

      • Flying Misfit says:

        I think it’s 6 months to churn, although not certain if T & C have altered

    • memesweeper says:

      Nope — called up to cancel (well, downgrade), explained the lack of travel opportunities, and was offer square root of jack. Was sent a form to apply for standard Premier card.

      Re-did my maths on the losses for six months waiting before reapplying for premium versus the loss of points earned, and decided to keep the card for now. Diary entry in for next year to do the maths again.

  7. George K says:

    The free Marriott Elite Night Credits just posted overnight. 25 extra free nights as Platinum just landed. Amex gave the 15 nights earlier in the year, so now got 40 nights without a single stay… Odd times!

    • Harry T says:

      I’m jealous, haven’t got mine yet! Pleased for you though.

      • George K says:

        It’ll come – it’s clearly done in batches. One of my friends who’s gold got his, another platinum is still waiting.

        • Harry T says:

          Thanks, that’s reassuring. I was credit card gold in 2019. Aiming for Platinum this year so extra nights would help.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Mine just landed. 1 stay to reach 50 and some more suite night awards 🙂

      Will probably hit 75 this year.

  8. Tanya Wade says:

    Has anyone stayed in the Anantara Benhavis, Costa del Sol and have any feedback?

  9. James says:

    Does anyone know the MCC when topping up Revolut and Monese using a debit card?

    • Connor says:

      The same as using a credit card? 4829. You won’t be charged using a debit card. Remember, all transactions using Curve are using 8999 for now.

      • James says:

        I have not noticed all Curve transactions being 8999? Are you telling me all cash advances are 8999 and remain that way once processed?

        • Connor says:

          Yes, use it while you can!

          • James says:

            Hmmm I maybe cautious with this. I presume a lot of people could be doing this and I often find Revolut is not very realiable. Thanks for the tip

          • Connor says:

            Not been exploiting it for Revolut myself, but it’s been that good I’ve hit my 30 day limit within 2 days!

          • James says:

            What’s your 30 day limit and what have you put this on?

          • Connor says:

            30 day limit is 20k. Just been looping a card which would normally incur cash advance fees + taking advantage of Curve Cash with it.

          • James says:

            How are you benefiting with Curve Cash when looping cards?

          • James says:

            Slowrain, what type of transactions you doing that’s not fronted? Ernie?

            I have Metal and Blue so what you do maybe a useful tip for the Blue Card

          • Connor says:

            Look at credit card providers that also happen to be on the Curve Cash list.

          • reney says:

            Does anyone know how I can change my curve cash retailers? I hold metal. Thanks

          • Connor says:

            Give Curve a message in the app. They changed mine a few months ago after asking nicely.

          • Reney says:

            Thanks Connor, I am allow to change retailers, but can I please 🙂 have more clues about who I should select, as I only get to change it once and I have to select all 6 in one go.

          • Connor says:
      • Word of warning: it seems that not all cards or transactions are 8999! Mine has the usual ones.

        • Connor says:

          Are you sure? They’ve been 8999 since they switched from Wirecard for what it seems is everyone.

      • reney says:

        Thanks, I am allow to change retailers, but can I please 🙂 have more clues about who I should select, as I only get to change it once and I have to select all 6 in one go.

  10. OT Amex:

    Has anyone had any ‘home improvement’ type offers on their Platinum recently? I used to see offers for Victorian Plumbing, various furniture stores etc on a semi-regular basis but I have nothing right now.

    About to embark on a complete gut + refurb of a 2 bed maisonette including new kitchen, bathroom and furnishings…

    • Amex pretty rubbish for me as well, but don’t forget the BA e store, loads of furniture shops on there as I reminded myself when I was looking at new beds this week.

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