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The new HFP chat thread – Friday 31st 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 de facto 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/2020/07/31/the-new-hfp-chat-thread-friday-31st-july/comment-page-1.  The page will refresh with this article but the comments will now show the first page and not the last page.

Old chat threads are hidden from the HFP home page.  If you want to look for something in an old thread, click here.  This brings up all the articles in our ‘General’ category which includes the chat threads.

Comments (139)

  • Berneslai says:

    HSBC Premier eligibility – does anyone know what the minimum requirement is to qualify?

    I satisfy the income criteria but am locked in on a mortgage and insurance with other providers. Will opening an ISA qualify as an investment?

    • BS says:

      Not a cash ISA. But opening a stocks and shares ISA in their global investment centre will. I did this with £100 for a simple tracker without dividends that won’t trouble my tax return every year.

      • Genghis says:

        In an ISA so no tax anyway?

        • BS says:

          As always, correct.
          I myself did not use my ISA allowance, as the HSBC products are inferior, hence my careful choice of non-ISA investment to avoid troubling the taxman.
          I agree it is not relevant in this case

          • Genghis says:

            So it’s not in an ISA? If in a GIA (ie taxable account), you’re taxed on the notional dividends / interest and ERI (if offshore) of accumulation funds (UT / OEIC) and ETF. Of course if you have no other taxable account investments (or savings (!) if an interest fund in GIA) nothing to worry about given limits (£2k div allowance if equity funds, £500 interest if interest fund).

          • Genghis says:

            Or £1k savings allowance if BRTP, zero if ARTP.

    • the_real_a says:

      Its really open to negotiation. I explained that i wasn’t going to place cash into an investment until after i acquired premier as it would be silly to lock in at an inferior rate. Cash in a savings account was acceptable as an “investment” product for my application. When opening the account they run a credit check and offer you the premier credit card – have a think if you want it before you do the interview as i was caught by surprise.

    • memesweeper says:

      It could be easy to switch your life cover to HSBC and qualify that way.

  • Danilo says:

    Is it only me that got the feeling that Priority Pass is cashing up with post lockdown measures in place?
    Now that lounges are reopening with limited capacity, users are pensa listed having to be charged easily £6 to book their access.
    With reduced capacity (and reduced open lounges) it’s very hard to gain access and therefore the booking is realistically mandatory when flying.

    They also cashed in during lockdown having terminated all the operations and no costs on daily operations of their lounges.

    Together with the declining level of offering (lounges overcrowded and increase of extra fees for alcohol), I have more and more questions on the added value of the Amex, with the card issuers not taking in consideration all of this.

  • Sanders says:

    Amex related. I got a business gold card and haven’t been able to use it so phones up and got the years fee credited, not on the platinum as good as the offers but helps a bit

  • mr_jetlag says:

    quick q – is Ernie still working with Curve?

  • BS says:

    Just spoke to Amex in Brighton about any possibility of an extension/bonus on my Gold charge card given COVID
    Very nice about it, but said there was nothing at the moment, but worth calling back in a month or so to see if anything’s changed.

    • Kai says:

      Interesting. A friend called asking the same question (assuming you mean the anniversary bonus) and got the 15k despite not reaching the spending target.

  • Rahaney says:

    Can I get some advice please?

    Honeymoon booked to South Africa (end of Sept – Mid October)

    Booked BA WTP to South Africa via Amex travel in Jan 20, upgraded both legs to CW via BA in July.

    Now our Rovos Rail trip has cancelled (beginning of Oct) and we want to postpone the whole trip until next year.

    Who do I speak to about getting the flights changed to May? Or refunded? BA? Amex? They were initially booked pre-covid in Jan.

    Thanks in advance,
    R

    • Anna says:

      I think SA is closed for at least the rest of the year so you shouldn’t have an issue cancelling or re-scheduling. You might have to call BA as you booked in 2 stages. I think insurers expect you to approach the travel provider first anyway.

      • Rahaney says:

        Many thanks, hopefully BA will allow a straight day swap to next year!
        Cheers,

    • AJA says:

      I’d try Amex Travel first since that is who you booked with. But you might like to wait a few days and see if BA cancels the flights, bearing in mind that they may not since they may just operate as cargo.

  • dragonfly says:

    I tried to buy 1,000 melia rewards points to keep existing points from expiring soon. However, after I entered in credit card details (amex plat uk) i kept getting this error message “The requested URL was rejected. Please consult with your administrator.” Could someone please help me? I have used 2 different browsers and still got the same error message. the buy points offer expires today. Thanks.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Tried a non Amex?

    • Josh says:

      Why use Amex? The purchase is in Euros so you’ll have to pay a foreign exchange fee.

      • dragonfly says:

        @TGLoyalty: I tried a non Amex card – Mastercard, still the same error message 🙁
        @Josh: it is only a small amount €5 so FX fee is minimal. I have also googled the error message and people suggested to clear out all history / browsing data. I did that, but still the same error. People also suggested that melia website might be down for maintenance? I tried to call melia shown on website for UK but got very strange noise so I hang up.

        • AJA says:

          Have you tried incognito or private browsing and going in via the spanish website melia.com/es and then use google translate?

          • dragonfly says:

            Thanks AJA for your suggestion. I have just tried incognito / private browsing as well as going into melia.com/es – still no luck 🙁 Same error message!

        • TGLoyalty says:

          I paid on my phone via curve and it worked perfectly so very odd.

          Maybe try another laptop/tablet/phone?

  • Louise says:

    Apologies if this is a stupid question, I know it’s been asked before but I just want to totally sure before I push the button.
    I have an extended 241 ( April 21 ) which I would like to use to book flights and then cancel them in exchange for a voucher, therefore extending it to 2022.

    Will the voucher be for a 241 voucher to just anywhere in any class and the £ amount that I will pay in taxes ? So I should just book a low price flight in economy somewhere and then cancel it. Then I’m free to use it much later on for two club or first seats , by paying the difference?
    Thanks