The new HFP chat thread – Saturday 1st August

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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:  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.

Lounge news: Birmingham Aspire lounge to open, photos from the new Leeds Bradford Airport Yorkshire Lounge
BA / IAG "to break even in Quarter 4" - and more from IAG's January to June financial results

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  1. Readers might want to check their BA status. My partner just received an email that he was now blue, he checked his account and it has indeed been reduced to blue for no reason.

    • What was he before receiving the email? Presumably Bronze?

      • Yes, but he had already requalified bronze and status was extended if he understood it correctly.

        • When is his TP year end? Sounds like it was 8 June with a card expiry of 31 July. If so he was part of the TP reduction given to those in April, May and June. Unless he had enough TP to re-qualify as Bronze with the 30% TP reduction then he would revert to Blue today.

          The 1 year extension of status only applies if your TP year end date is between 8 July 2020, through to 8 June 2021. If your tier year was 8 May or 8 June 2020 and you are due to drop a level, the 1 year extension announcement doesn’t save you from the drop, unless you qualify under the lower thresholds

          • Thanks AJA, that is very helpful and I’m sure that’s it. I will get a look at the account details this evening. I never bother with status myself but my partner will miss the 7 day seat selection.

      • 1st of the month is the usual downgrade day. This would be for someone who was not renewed on 8th June, which is correct because the status extensions only apply to years ends from 8th July.

        Sounds perfectly reasonable, assuming the person did not achieve (300 – 20%) 240 TP to retain Bronze.

        • Yes, think this is it. However, where I’m confused is that I thought status lasted two years and I think he qualified June 19. Will check later tonight but based on explanations here I’m sure he’s missing something on qualification and the downgrade is correct.

          • ChrisC says:

            fepends when in June 2019 he qualified

            when you reach a status level you get it for the rest of that status year and the next year.

            So if he got bronze on say 1st June 2019 (with a earning year ending on the 8th June) he would have got it until July 2019 and then end July 2020

            If he got bronze on say the 25th June 2019 he would have it until July 2020 and then July 2022

          • ChrisC says:

            that should be 2021 not 22

  2. Sorry if this is old news – I have just noticed a direct message facility on the Amex app and it seems even more straightforward than the Chat!

    • Michael says:

      I always thought that’s what people were referring to when they said ‘chat’ What’s the difference?

      • I normally use chat on a desktop and it’s more like a live conversation. It might just be the same thing though! Having said all that, though, I got nearly to the end of my enquiry and it ground to a halt with the message that the system wasn’t responding 🤦🏻‍♀️

        • I think I’ve used both and thought they were same thing. A while ago though as I nearly always call as I find it quicker.

  3. Terry Semmence says:

    Anyone cancelled a QR flight recently? I have OSL-CPT via DOH in December and think I might cancel it. Know doubt it won’t be easy to rebook these and they’ll need to be business promo – is that an online fare only? Should I take a voucher or just cancel and hold the booking? Cheers

  4. Has anyone had any issues trying to withdraw from an ATM using Curve cash when it’s topped up by a refund

    • The Urbanite says:

      I didn’t think it was possible to do ATM withdrawals when Curve Cash is selected –

    • Connor says:

      Cant withdraw from an ATM using Curve Cash. Got 2k sitting there that I can’t use as I’ve hit my purchase limits

      • Thanks for the confirmation. That’s a little cheeky given you then have to use your spending limit to spend refunded funds. Could be why they increased all the limits.

        Additionally no Curve 1% Cash back on transactions using Curve Cash.

    • The Urbanite says:

      If anyone is considering generating Curve Cash refunds deliberately as is being discussed elsewhere on the internet, I think it’s a pointless exercise.

      I might be missing something really obvious so please left me know if I have!

      1. Make a purchase with Curve. Get underlying card points.

      2. Make a purchase with Curve with the intention of getting a refund. Get underlying card points. Refund to Curve Cash card. Spend Curve Cash (eating up your Curve spending limit a second time apparently).

      It seems to me that in both scenarios, you only get one lot of points on the underlying card. So what is the benefit of adding the refund step? If anything, you forego points because of the spending limit wasted?

      Furthermore Curve Cash can’t be used for ATM withdrawals or GBIT which is what I guess people were intending to do.

      I’m not an advocate of using refunds to earn rewards – generally speaking they’re a very effective way to get accounts flagged for review if done repeatedly and/or for large amounts and would say it’s not worth it.

  5. bermeslai says:

    Quick question on 2-4-1 vouchers. I have a 2-4-1 voucher and my wife has a 2-4-1 voucher, we also have 300k Avios in a household account (200k me, 100k family).

    Am I right in thinking that I can book any return for the four of us (2 x adults, 2 x children) to a maximum value of 600k Avios by combining the avios and the vouchers. I’m guessing there are some catches that I have not thought of. I assume the booking has to be done by phone also?

    • It will be 2 separate bookings, one for you and kid A and one for your wife and kid B. Can be done online in 2 separate transactions.

      Only ‘catch’ is that if only one of you has status, only 1 booking will qualify for free seat selection.

      • Berneslai says:

        Thanks for your help Rob. Just to make sure I’ve understood correctly, I will book with my son with one 2-4-1 voucher and my wife and daughter with the other. Does the disproportionate amount of Avios in my account (200k) vs the household account (100k) cause any issues when my wife is booking? Or does it come out of the same 300k pot?

        I vaguely remember some issue of how Avios is split between the household but not sure if it applies here.

        • Avios will be taken pro rate from each family member, so you will have enough. Where are you planning to go?

      • I am going to try to do this at T-355 in a couple of weeks. Unless I can get my OH to stay up and do one of the bookings simultaneously, I am going to be very anxious about the rest of the seats disappearing while I’m making the first booking! (And that’s if they even release more than 2 on that date).

        • Unless I have 2 devices logged into our accounts and do each stage on each device as I go along – has anyone done this?!

          • Anna, just ring them and they will book one of your 2-4-1 journeys, put it on hold until they sort the second booking and then put them both through together………..did it last year for me and my partner and daughter and her partner.

          • The call centre can steal seats in your basket for a phone client until you the second you pay. There is no real security.

          • In the days when there were two BA CPT-LHR flights daily, at 00.00½ on T-355 I was able to book the two CW Avios seats on one of the flights and a friend accompanying us booked one of the other two (from her home, using her own Avios account, synchronised by phone). I practised at that time every day for a week beforehand, and input as much information in advance to reduce the number of keystrokes needed (eg the credit card details and even the search details for the flight, which are stored unless you say not to). And I logged into the site at 23.59½ so as to be ready. From memory, I think I got it down to about 14 seconds – which might well be quicker than a BA call centre operator can manage, given they would probably want to verify your identity before starting to make the booking. If you do this, I think it would be advisable to rope in a second person to assist so each of you can concentrate 100% on one of the two bookings.

  6. Mick S says:

    question re. Lloyds Upgrade voucher.
    I have a booking to the US in November, booked with the upgrade voucher, effectively upgrading Premium Eco to Club World. I called Avios yesterday to see about moving the flight. I was told that as the flight has not been cancelled yet i cannot change the flight under the “covid” policy – ok, understand etc. It will be around 6 weeks before i can move it.

    However, it was pointed out the upgrade voucher will no longer be valid if and when i rebook, as it will have expired. Does this sound correct?

    • Claire says:

      I think if you cancel that would be true but if they cancel you the voucher comes back to you. We have managed to use our voucher for august booking to rebook for next easter. Our flight was cancelled first. We used it when we phoned to rearrange so i suppose you may need to know where you want to use and do it all in one go. Good luck.

      • Mick S says:

        Phew, thanks. re-assuring reply.

        • Slightly different. At present Lloyds vouchers are only extended till 30 Sep if BA cancels. (this is book by, not fly by). If BA does not cancel, you can extend by 3 months from the day you call in, but I believe only if your flight is till end of September. You need to call Avios and not BA line.

  7. Loser Shopper says:

    What is the quickest way of earning around 10k avios (in time to post Avios)? I’ve got all the Amex cards and I could convert hotel points (as a Plan B).

    • Quickest way is to buy them, but clearly not a good deal. Quickest transfers are from Amex Membership Rewards and Clubcard (should be overnight). Hotel transfers can be slow so should be a last resort.

    • The Urbanite says:

      You can buy Avios if you really need them quickly – that’s near instant. Are you willing to fork out for these points? A few more ideas:

      – Conversion of Amex MR, HSBC Premier, Marriott Bonvoy or Tesco Clubcard points – can go across within one day.

      – Conversion of Capital on Tap points – not sure how quick they are!

      If you’re asking how to earn by generate spend on your cards, you could try some advance spend by buying gift cards for purchase you know you will make at a later date? Or buying something you know you can sell easily. Or, if you know people with big purchases coming up, you can ask if you can put them through your card and let them pay you the cash?

      Which hotel scheme are you thinking about converting from?

      • Chrisasaurus says:

        FWIW COT is instant

      • “If you’re asking how to earn by generate spend on your cards, you could try some advance spend by buying gift cards for purchase you know you will make at a later date?”

        Will spending on gift cards on the BA Amex count towards the £10,000 spend required for the 2-4-1 BA voucher? It’s going to be much more difficult in coming years generating that sort of spend with no holidays to pay for and no railway season ticket to buy.

    • If you do buy, AerClub has just launched a 50% bonus offer.

    • Harry T says:

      Could refer someone from a platinum card to get 12k MR, and then transfer 10k into Avios. Only issue is this will probably take at least a week. It is free, though.

    • Aer Lingus currently running 50% bonus on avios purchases.

  8. Brighton Belle says:

    In passing Koto card popped up on these threads a few days ago so I thought I’d apply to see what they offer. After they required my passport image and a mugshot they then wanted today my driving licence and HMRC info. Just way too much. The most demanding ID I have been asked for and too much in one place for hackers to extract.

    • Secret Squirrel says:

      Read some not so good reviews online also. Accounts frozen for no reason, money tied up for a long time.
      I decided not to proceed after its credit ref needed, I’d, selfies & driving licence. Agree, for a Lithuanian fintech co I’m not happy with that much info on me.

    • Looks very Ukrainian to me. That raises a lot of red flags.

    • Lady London says:

      that’s really worrying.

      Revolut level was already too much for me.

      Did anyone wonder if the mentions of koto were actually paid posts?

      Even @The Urbanite, with the huge list kindly provided about three weeks ago, did not have it on that list IIRC.

      • Secret Squirrel says:

        It got mentioned twice last week by the same poster, could be promotion from insider.

      • The Urbanite says:

        Ah, if it it’s the list I am thinking of, that was only Wirecard issued cards to help people identify accounts that were inaccessible at the time (a few of them were not notifying their customers).

        Koto belongs to the Prepay Solutions stable, along with the likes of Coconut and Monese, that’s why it didn’t appear 🙂

  9. Annabel says:

    Advice please regarding BA ‘Our book with confidence commitment’ 2-4-1 redemption booking. I recently changed dates due to HK entry restriction extension to international visitors – at no fee. Anyone know if have to change dates again would this be at no fee again? Thank you

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