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The HfP chat thread – Thursday 12th November

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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 (201)

  • 747_Brat says:

    Got stung with interest charges for topping-up revolutionaries using Bendy + Creation. 🙁
    Sucked it up this time, and going to stay away from this now.

    Has anyone received interest charge on their latest Creation statement?

    • Doug M says:

      I don’t have the R card. But others have mentioned this or similar and just pay the underlying card the amount topped up the same day, this reduced the interest to pennies. Don’t wait for the statement.

      • Peter K says:

        As @Doug M says, it accrues interest straight away so you need to pay it off as soon as you can to minimise the cost and gain the maximum benefit. No need to use an intermediary card by the way.

      • 747_Brat says:

        Thanks Doug.
        I remember reading somewhere that payments are applied to the highest interest rate service first (cash in my case). I am not sure if this is a regulatory guideline or not, but hope Creation follows this practice. I will try to square off a R top-up of small amount to see if that works.

        • Jane says:

          I just got my R card, top up from HH didn’t seem to accrue interest which I was surprised about. question, can I use it to pay HMRC ? I haven’t quite worked out what else it is useful for yet but felt I was missing out not having one !

          • S says:

            Did you use HH directly to top up R card? Did you pay off the balance straight away to avoid any interest?

        • TGLoyalty says:

          You must pay off the whole balance. The highest interest first is only in play once you’ve had your statement!

      • Nick_C says:

        But be very careful. Virgin charge a cash advance fee. Mastercards in general may be problematic. Visa CCs seem to be fine.

    • BrianW says:

      Stung and incurred are not the same thing 😂. Rookie error / one for the team in reality!

  • mark2 says:

    Recently someone asked about direct debit required for current account bribes etc.
    I have a direct debit for all of my credit cards for £20 each month.
    NB Barclaycard does not collect it if you have already paid off the previous month’s balance.

    • Harry T says:

      Thanks, Mark, that was me. Can you have multiple direct debits for an amex account or are you just using a minimal amount for the DD and paying the rest manually?

      • mark2 says:

        I believe that you can only have one DD per card account, although, for no apparent reason, I have only done it for Visa/MC cards.

  • BSI1978 says:

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/nov/12/tripadvisor-warns-users-over-thai-hotel-that-sued-guest-for-bad-review?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Other

    Fair play on TripAdvisor including this caveat. Could end up ‘costing’ this hotel more than the original review!

    • marcw says:

      Amazing disclaimer by TA.

    • Anna says:

      Crikey – avoid posting reviews until you leave the country then!

    • AJA says:

      I think the hotel may regret its actions. I see the hotel is “deeply disappointed” by TripAdvisor’s action. That said I do think the customer was being a bit OTT in the first place as I think it is perfectly reasonable to expect to pay a corkage fee to open a BYO bottle in a hotel restaurant. The fee of 500THB (roughly £13) may have been a bit steep however the hotel didn’t prevent the bottle being opened and drunk which it could have done.

    • Lady London says:

      very nicely written, or at least approved, by Tripadvisor’s lawyer

    • n_g says:

      Saw this earlier and thought the name of the place sounded familiar and turns out I stayed there well over ten years ago. I loved the place too.

      That news story tells me just as much about the risks that come with holidaying in Thailand as it does about leaving a TA review at that hotel.

  • Chas says:

    Rob / Rhys – is there an update on the issue with the pages jumping around and taking you back to the top of the comments which I see people reported earlier this week? It’s still happening for me (Safari on laptop – I’ve cleared my cache), and I can see that the progress in the address bar is taking ages to properly load which I think must be causing it. It doesn’t happen on the homepage – just articles.

  • Alex says:

    Looking for some advice, I have circa 70K virgin points and have earned a 241 voucher(black card). Any suggestions on the best value redemption for this for 2 people? New to virgin so not sure what to do, as I know you can use it in conjunction with £ etc now

    • Travel Strong says:

      The best thing to do is read the article on this site about the voucher possibilities, and then run searches on the virgin app to experiment.

      But for a guide/ballpark expectation – for 70k miles + £600-900 cash + 241 voucher – you should get a pair of ‘Premium’ cabin tickets to most transatlantic destinations.

      You will likely need more miles for ‘Upper’ cabin (not loads more, definitely achievable with some Amex signup or referral bonuses added on top!).

      There is little value in redeeming for Economy cabin unless you are really infexible on dates and the dates you want happen to be really expensive if paying cash.

    • dezbez says:

      Hello Alex – take a look at the redemption chart at the attached link:
      https://www.virginatlantic.com/gb/en/flying-club/points/spend-points/reward-flights.html
      As you can see (other than Israel) you don’t currently have enough miles for a redemption in Upper, so you’re likely looking at a Premium one. If you can, aim for Standard season which is cheaper.
      Note also, you may be able to upgrade to Upper at a later date if you are planning on collecting more miles (& have enough miles to do so).
      Given you’re using a 2-4-1, you’ll get most benefit the further afield you go i.e. ‘save‘ the most miles.
      Lastly, if it were me, I’d book somewhere you really want to go rather than just for the sake of using the voucher. And also given the Covid situation, I’d be looking to book quite a long way out, so things have more chance of getting back to normal.
      Hope that helps

      • PJJ says:

        Agree with Dezbez but remember the voucher is valid for 2 years, so remember that you have a little time to decide and also accumulate more miles for better redemption
        Always choose where you want to go and not where you could travel to

        • Lady London says:

          and as you’re advised to book far out and things are uncertain probably slightly better to use a UK credit card to pay cash part as that brings the whole ticket into Section 75 just in case

          • Alex says:

            Thanks all!
            I’m thinking East coast USA would be nice, haven’t flow virgin premium before but heard good things if we get a day flight. Hopefully gunna earn some more points before dumping the card to push mo

          • Alex says:

            Push more through IHG – (hit send to early!)

          • dezbez says:

            +1. Defo pay on credit card – if you use your Virgin card you should earn double miles

  • Ronald Jeremy says:

    I have a three month assignment in Hemel Hempstead starting in January, on an admittedly cursory glance it looks a pretty soulless place, anyone have any knowledge of this Hertfordshire gem?

    • mark2 says:

      I always wondered why the Marquess of Hertford lived in Warwickshire until I worked in Stevenage for some time.

    • Alex says:

      Hey I live there! What sort of info do you want?
      St Alban’s is a nice city and not far, easy to drive or bus.

    • DMW says:

      The old town is pretty. The new town is indeed rather soulless. you’re best off drinking/eating/shopping in St Albans (assuming shopping/drinking/eating out is allowed by then)

    • Chas says:

      I live 15 / 20 mins away, so don’t know it as well as others might. As said above some nicer places nearby to eat / drink if you have transport whilst there (apart from St Albans also try Berkhamsted or Harpenden). Hemel has a decent cinema complex (Cineworld at Jarman Park) as well as an indoor ski slope (The Snow Centre) if they’re reopen by then.

      • Lady London says:

        if you’re not fussy there’s a HIX in HH with normally excellent cash or points rates. Pub by the canal right next to.it. An organic farm with a farm shop on the right a mile or 2 going South from the HIX towards the M25

  • Lady London says:

    wasnt someone recommending Halifax within LBG? free FX and some offers.

  • AndyS says:

    I guess shopperpoints.co.uk is no longer in use, as there’s nothing there about the current Nectar double-up, so I have to ask this here.
    I have a message on my app saying there is a problem and to call customer services. but customer services are clueless. Has anyone else had an issue and managed to solve it? I’ve deleted and reinstalled the app, changed my password as it didn’t have numbers in it and that is now a requirement. Can’t think what else it would be.

    • AJA says:

      I had an issue trying to link my Argos account to my Nectar account recently and Nectar required me to change my password. I changed both Argos and Nectar passwords and everything is working fine. What issue are you having? Are you trying to do the double up and it’s not allowing you to? Have you tried using the desktop website rather than the Nectar app?

      • AndyS says:

        Thanks for your reply. Both the desktop site and the app give a message headed “Double Up” – “Uh-oh, something’s gone wrong. Please call our customer careline on 0344 811 0811 and we’ll have this sorted in no time”.

        I’ve tried calling again, but was in a queue for over 30 minutes and gave up. I guess I am not the only one having problems. They are crazy running this promotion during lockdown!!

        • mark2 says:

          If you solve your problem (I am too old to have issues), I can recommend the TTD Chenin Blanc. I bought a load last year and this morning I used my £12 off on £80 coupon for a load including four bottles and got £20 off on Double Up so £2 in total.

        • AJA says:

          How much are you trying to double up? There is a limit of 10,000 Nectar points worth £50 giving you £100 to spend. It won’t work if you try doubling up more than that.

          • AndyS says:

            I don’t even get as far as being able to choose, that message appears in the app presumably in place of the actual double-up offer. (likewise on the website)

          • AJA says:

            @ AndyS Oh, that’s not good. I get the Double Up message and can click learn more which then takes me to a second page and then a further button to Continue. If you’re not getting that far I’m afraid you’re stuck with trying to call. Sorry!

          • AndyS says:

            no worries AJA – thanks for your suggestions.

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