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The HfP chat thread – Sunday 18th October

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We have decided to run this daily chat thread on Head for Points during the coronavirus outbreak.

Historically, the daily ‘Bits’ articles were the de facto repository for random comments and questions.  With the news flow being lighter, we are running fewer ‘Bits’ articles.

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 at home, we want the HfP community to have a place to chat.

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Comments (148)

  • Sukes says:

    @Meta – thks for coming back to me y’day about EHIC. To continue the conversation… I am dual national UK / Irish and have always resided in the UK. My EHIC will run out 31 Dec 2020 – I have no current right to claim beyond simply by fact of being an EU citizen. This is because UK Gov’s EU Settlement Scheme explicitly states that applications from a British citizen, including a dual national, must be treated as void.

    The Irish Gov has committed to provide a scheme for NI residents needing healthcare in the EU to charge it back to Ireland, but as the politicking continues this is not finalised.

    • Jack says:

      So you want to use your EHIC and have the cost sent to the Irish taxpayer, to a country where you have never resided? Disgraceful.

      • Anna says:

        The whole thing beggars belief really, the UK will continue to pay for the healthcare abroad of EU nationals residing in the UK, but the rest of us will have to rely on travel insurance!
        Though if Sukes’ costs are going to be met by the NI government, it will be the UK taxpayer footing the bill, not the Irish. Again, not sure how they can justify different treatment for the Welsh, Scots and English …

        • Harry T says:

          If only there had been some way to avoid this confusing mess…

          • Anna says:

            I’m an EU citizen through my father but won’t qualify for EHIC from January. Fortunately we have very cheap comprehensive travel cover through work but I would still rather spend my money on that than throw it down the trillion euro EU corruption hole.

          • Sukes says:

            I’m going to stay out of the politics on this one….but in practical terms I don’t see how this separation of who has valid ehic and who doesn’t after 31/12/20 is going to work in practice at the clinic door. For instance qualifying EU nationals have until 30/06/21 to apply for UK settlement that affords rights (inc ehic) valid from 31/12/20. I can’t see how the admin of all this social security coordination in practice is goin to work but thankfully that’s not my headache!!

      • Sukes says:

        Hi Jack I didn’t say anything about what I wanted. I reported information as stated on the Irish Government website which I thought might be of interest to people on this travel orientated site. Feel free to address to the Irish Government if you wish that you consider their policy that they proposed disgraceful.

        • meta says:

          @Anna as I read it on NHS website any EU national resident residing in the UK before 31 Dec has the right to EHIC forever. EU will also allow any UK citizens residing in EU before 31 Dec to have access to EHIC, meaning they can go abroad in EU with EHIC only. UK students in EU will be aforded the same right as well as frontier workers. It’s all apparently already part of withdrawal agreement! However, given recent reneging who knows what will happen in practice and there is a possibility this ends in court.

          • meta says:

            @Sukes now thinking, I guess in practice it might mean anyone who has EHIC issued before 31 Dec will be ok. I haven’t checked if my EHIC states issue date.

          • Anna says:

            Sukes’ comment suggests that if you have dual UK nationality you’re not eligible to retain your EHIC from 2021. Presumably something Theresa May caved in to before she got the boot.

          • Anna says:

            Dont get me wrong, I totally support EU nationals living in the UK having exactly the same rights as UK citizens, it’s only right and fair for people who moved here legally under the current system, but all residents should be treated equally!

          • Anna says:

            @meta – the point is that the UK government will be paying for healthcare costs incurred in the EU for EU nationals but not for UK nationals!

          • Anna says:

            You do know that the way EHIC works is that the country you have your treatment in claims the cost back from the UK?!

        • Jack says:

          Also, can you link that? I’ve had a look and from what I can see they’re only guaranteeing it for people who live in Northern Ireland? I am prepared to be completely wrong of course. Protecting NI citizens who hold dual citizenship makes far more sense, than people who are Irish only in documentation, frankly.

          • Sukes says:

            Hi Jack I stated in my original comment that the Irish Gov statement refers to NI residents. The text currently says “Preparations are continuing to ensure that a scheme will be in place to address any loss of access to EHIC Card entitlements by residents of Northern Ireland. This scheme will allow eligible residents of Northern Ireland to seek reimbursement from the Irish State for the cost of necessary healthcare while on a temporary stay in another EU/EEA Member State (excluding Ireland) or Switzerland, should it be required from 1 January 2021.”
            https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/060fdf-northern-ireland/#health

          • meta says:

            @Jack there is a link in yesterday’s chat. But here it is again https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/healthcare-abroad/apply-for-a-free-ehic-european-health-insurance-card/

            You need to scroll to the end.

            @Anna This is not about rights in the UK. EU citizens won’t be able to claim on EHIC by coming here. It’s to do with travelling in Europe, UK excluded. So let’s say UK/French dual national residing in UK finds themselves needing treatment in Austria, they can use their UK issued EHIC to cover the costs. In the same way Spanish/UK dual national residing in Spain needing treatment in Austria can rely on their Spanish issued EHIC. They will not be able to claim for treatment in UK.

            I think you might be OK Anna with EHIC. Doesn’t matter how you obtained dual nationality as long as it’s before 31 Dec.

            This of course leaves out those who have single nationality. I agree this should have been handled better and if already agreeing to cover the costs for some of UK citizens why not extend it to all citizens? I’m stoping short here.

          • Sukes says:

            For anyone needing to look further my research is this:
            1/ the EHIC regulation (EC Reg 883/2004 Art 19) will no longer apply in the UK after 31 Dec 2020
            2/ The Withdrawal Agreement (WA) does provide rights for it to continue for a) “EU citizens who reside in the UK before end 31 Dec 2020 & continue to reside there thereafter”; or b) “UK nationals who reside in an EU state before end 31 Dec 2020 & continue to reside there thereafter” (Pt 2, Title 1, Art 10) [for simplicity I’m ignoring frontier workers and family members].
            3/ The UK Gov’s EU Settlement Scheme allows claimants to register rights under a). However this scheme explicitly states that applications from a British citizen, including a dual national, must be treated as void.
            4/ The WA does provide a special clause for Art 19 of Reg 883/2004 (aka EHIC) to continue to apply after 31 Dec 2020 to people who don’t fall into a) or b) above and who are on a stay on 31 Dec 2020, but the EHIC cover will expire at the end of the stay.
            5/ Illustration – if I at any point in the future moved to and resided in e.g. Spain then I would be exercising my right to freedom of movement as an EU citizen (by virtue of being an Irish national). Reg 883/2004 also protects my right to social security when exercising my right to movement, hence Spain would become responsible for my social security costs inc necessary healthcare and would issue me with an EHIC which I could use across the EU for temporary stays (but it would not be valid in UK). But if I did not do any of that and just maintain my residence in the UK I have no eligibility for EHIC past 31/12/20.

          • meta says:

            @Sukes But under 2a it would appear you would have the right to EHIC on temporary stays despite maintaining UK residence. I’m actually going to ask a friend of mine who works in the EU if they can find out definitely.

  • Anna says:

    On another note – anyone with special dietary requirements might be interested to know that ASDA has reduced the price of its “free from” products to the same price as regular ones, so, for example, a kilo of gluten free flour is now 33p! The supermarket has just been bought by two local businessmen and philanthropists so it’s nice to think they are making it fairer to customers who’ve been stung with much higher prices for years.

    • Jody says:

      I’m on a few gluten free groups on FB and have seen this advertised this week. I think it’s brilliant, and really hope that other supermarkets follow their lead.

      • Anna says:

        I think a lot of philanthropists do this – the tax system needs overhauling!

        • Anna says:

          And they live up the road from me and not on Necker Island 🤣

          • Chris K says:

            But Anna, SRB only lives there because he loves the Virgin Islands! Absolutely nothing at all to do with tax. He said so himself, so it must be true 🙂

            And regarding tax in general. It’s every financier’s fiduciary responsibility to (legally) minimise their tax bill. Hate the game, not the player, Andrew!

          • SteveD says:

            That’s a bit disingenuous. There’s no fiduciary duty to incorporate in Jersey. It’s a choice. I think corporate taxes are a lost cause. Businesses that can will always gravitate towards the lowest common denominator. To combat this we need global agreement and the UK has decided to move in the opposite direction.

            Personal taxes should be more easily enforceable. Starting with a closer link between domicile and citizenship for certain individuals!

            On a side note if anyone can highlight when the overwhelming positive effects of the B word start flowing, I’ll be keeping a keen eye out. My wife has been made redundant so we are waiting with baited breath for the much touted economic boost.

            Until then, I can only follow this site with wistful detachment 😥

    • Chrisasaurus says:

      It’s really hard to follow your politics Anna

  • old bob says:

    Hear hear, its time that supermarkets kept the cost the same for those with different dietary requirements, on that note thanks to Charlieface and Lady London for there suggestions yesterday, it did the trick. Brighton readers solution understandably I didn’t take up, though I am guessing they may have more experience of their suggestion that they are letting on!

  • Drennan Duplooy says:

    Thoughts on how to make work a 9 day mattress run as a last ditch attempt to maintain / chase Bonvoy Titanium for 2020? Platinum will be worthless next year

    • Anna says:

      Well prices are so low at the moment (£60 per night at some properties), it would be a shame not to.

    • Harry T says:

      Just find a cheap Moxy or Courtyard near you and stay there over weekends or during week nights. You can get 2500 points a stay under the current promotion as well.

      • Rob says:

        Certainly an option if you have one of the Marriott cashback offers on your Amex cards.

        Arguably you might want to wait until after 18th November to see what the final promo of the year offers. If they do double elite nights credits OR a double points bonus, you’d be better off. (You could then do one long stay, with double points being better than a flat 2500 bonus. If double elite nights appeared, you’d halve your requirements.)

        • Drennan Duplooy says:

          That makes sense. Thanks. Rebooking in line with potential mid Nov promo. Would have hit target had I not received multiple forced closures / cancellations.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        If only moxys were open!

      • Drennan Duplooy says:

        Yes – as I thought! Do you think it would work to physically check in on day 1 and out on day 9 – not physically there in between?

        • Rob says:

          I would explain to the hotel what are planning to do. They won’t care and it removes any risk of the hotel deciding you have done a runner and checking you out.

  • S says:

    Is anyone still using Hilton Barclaycard with Curve? How do you view the Merchant Category Code (MCC) – they don’t seem to appear on the statement?

  • Chelseafi says:

    Can anyone confirm if the Marriott CB works for cumulative spend, thanks

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