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The HfP chat thread – Thursday 3rd December

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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 (365)

  • Chrisasaurus says:

    Cash transaction fee (into the hundreds) on Tesco MasterCard- possibly linked to recent MCC shenanigans on curve? Assuming it posts shortly after the offending transaction the would appear to be the case

    • Brighton Belle says:

      I have a system message that I’ve exceeded a spending limit which is nonsense for the linked card and my new supersize curve limits. There seems to be a new limit criteria implemented which is not published anywhere.

      Metal card renewal unlikely until Curve explains themselves as the product offer doesn’t match the T’s&C’s

      • Crafty says:

        Metal cancellation imminent for me.

      • The Urbanite says:

        @Brighton Belle are you trying to do more than £700 of financial transactions in a week with Creation as the underlying card?

        If so, that error will come up. The limit being exceeded is that Creation set for 6012 transactions.

        If not, which underlying card are you using?

        • Brighton Belle says:

          Creation. Your explanation fits and it seems to be an implementation within the last 14 days. Just takes time to comprehend a change of policy that isn’t in any T’s&C’s.

          • The Urbanite says:

            That’ll be the one. Creation limit MCC 6012 transactions to £300 a day, £500 over 3 days and £700 over 7 days.

            Getting this information from Creation is harder than getting blood from a stone and something I only worked out after weeks of observation.

            Technically the Curve error shows the correct information. It’s Creation who hide that particular limit which is why it’s hard to make sense of.

    • Fred S says:

      Hasn’t Tesco MC been a big no go for using as underlying on curve for quite a while now?

      • memesweeper says:

        Absolutely. Never use Curve with Tesco for anything you couldn’t use the Tesco card for directly. If it wasn’t charging you recently that was a (happy) accident. Curve have presumably corrected a fault at their end, and Tesco have applied the fees they always used to.

        It was this problem that caused me to cancel my Tesco card, not my Curve card.

        • The Urbanite says:

          Yes, they have stopped recharging 6012 to 8999 and are passing the MCC through to the underlying card. That was a temporary and unadvertised side effect of the Wirecard issues that had no negative impact on people.

          Given MCC passthrough is something Curve do advise, it’s good practice to know how your card issuer treats cash like transactions if that’s what you do. Sometimes they charge fees and immediate interest. Others don’t always – I know Amex don’t on 6012 merchants.

          • Ashish says:

            Is it possible to share “Others don’t always – I know Amex don’t on 6012 merchants.” We can do MS?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Hopefully you can make use of go back in time and the reverse the cash fees too. However, as above I thought Tesco started adding cash fees to most of the curve oops a while ago

      • Brighton Belle says:

        Now that Curve has invisible limits on credit card transactions you’d have to Go Back In Time and recharge to a debit card to be sure the fees were erased and not reimplemented on a different card or just plain blocked.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          No you can go to a CC you are sure doesn’t charge for that type of transaction. But since no one has any idea what they were you suggestion is probably best.

          This goes back to something a few of us have said said before this game isn’t as easy as all the comments in these chats suggest and these are the risks you face and you can’t really complain when they happen.

          The only constant in this game is that it’s constantly changing.

        • The Urbanite says:

          @Brighton Belle I very much doubt Curve are applying invisible limits!

          The error message you referenced is Curve relaying the reason for the decline from the card issuer.

        • cinereus says:

          What invisible limits?

    • Reney says:

      Is it possible to share a bit more what type of transaction? ATM, paying off CC, earnie etc?

      • The Urbanite says:

        @Reney most of the recent complaints on here are from people who are transacting with MCC 6012 merchants, i.e. paying off credit cards. Some credit card issuers block these or charge a cash advance fee and Creation limit these cash like transactions to £700 a week.

        Best thing to do in enquire with credit card issuer as to what kind of merchants they charge cash advance fees for transacting with and avoid using a credit card with them.

        • Jane says:

          have you managed to work out whether that is a rolling week or mon – sun week ? I got a similar message yesterday and thought I’d previously seen mention of a limit.

      • FloriGuy says:

        Yes, presumably Ernie would be ok since the MCC is quite tame?

    • The Urbanite says:

      Tesco Bank have been funny with MCC 6012 for ages. Them charging cash advance fees for transacting with those merchants isn’t a new thing –

  • Andrew says:

    New Harrods offer on Platinum – spend £300, get £50 back. In store and online until 31/12. Selfridges offer remains online only which is a little annoying unless it triggers anyway.

    • Harry T says:

      I’m genuinely bemused by the fact that I never get Harrods offers on my Amex cards.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Not got it either. But £300 get £50 a bit miserly vs past years.

      • Doug M says:

        They’ve got you weighed up as not their sot of people 🙂

        • Harry T says:

          But they give me Harvey Nichols, Selfridges and Lululemon offers… do they think I’m a basic middle class white boy or not?

    • Sina says:

      Does it says it’s targeted in the terms? I’m hoping i could get them to add it manually on my Harrods amex?

      • Andrew says:

        Yes targeted to 10,000 cards. I got it on my main Platinum and one of my supps but not the other supps. But agree with TG – not the best of deals compared to other years or other department stores this year.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Selfridges have lots of gifts around £100 which you could order online and collect Instore.

          Perhaps you might not like them and you could exchange for a gift card to spend at your leisure. Even better if you’re going there anyway.

        • KBuffett says:

          Not on my Plat Charge, AC or the supp, BAPP, Plat Cashback or SPG/Marriott. Not on my wife’s Gold Charge either.

      • George K says:

        I’m wondering if having a Harrods amex precludes you from getting targeted from these sort of offers. I’m on the same boat, having missed the free £100 that was given out to Plats last month. I have had an offer on my Harrods card recently for spend £200, get £75 back, so I’m not complaining.. yet. A Harrods x Amex greeting card came through the post too about a free gift about to be sent out, so that was interesting (and hopefully not anti-climactic when it arrives)

    • Rob says:

      Sale is already on too!

      • KBuffett says:

        Will pop in to stock up on Hanro / Zimmerli with by Black Tier 10% day activated too!

  • Anna says:

    I’ve got an email from Revolut offering to pay me my salary a day early if I start having it paid into my account. It sounds a terrible idea given their reputation for freezing accounts!

    • Brighton Belle says:

      I wouldn’t trust Revolut with any critical funding. They are just too trigger happy to freeze accounts and tip you into arguments of their choosing.

    • BSI1978 says:


      Absolute non-starter for me, but I’m sure someone more wise than I will be able to advise why Curve are pushing this.

      Won’t be classed as on-lending one assumes, and are that they that desperate for credit cash balances? If only for a nominal period….🤔

      • Crafty says:

        This is a copy of other fintechs’ proposition. I think it’s exploitative (you pay for the privilege), in much the same way that the present explosion of ‘buy now pay later’ is.

      • BSI1978 says:

        Revolut – not Curve!

      • Sina says:

        It’s more likely that they want positive balance on customer accounts and boost their statistics when convincing investors! Also it could ultimately increase overall spend on their cards.

    • BuildTheWall says:

      Agree with Sina. People are more likely to use their salary account as primary account which is why Revolut is pushing for this. But given their reputation and zero protection, stay away.

    • Nick_C says:

      No real cost to Revolut. BACS is normally a three day process. Day 1, your employer sends the payment for. Day 2 is processing, and payments can still be recalled. Day 3, the payments are released by the receiving bank.

      Revolut are just taking a chance that payroll credits will not be recalled and releasing the payments a day early.

      But if there is any benefit to the account holder, it is one time only. You get your first salary a day early, but then you are back into a monthly income cycle.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        I was going to say it’s just a gimmick to make people think they are getting an advantage. In reality will 1 day make any difference?

        • Crafty says:

          For people living pay cheque to pay cheque I imagine it will be very tempting.

      • Tarmohamed says:

        Can someone explain to me how Revolut will pay the salary a day early if the employer doesn’t use BACS? All my staff are paid using FP currently (moving to Amex this month) so this service is redundant as we don’t schedule the payments.

    • Anuj says:

      Monzo do this too and are infinitely more trustable than Revolut

    • Doug M says:

      I’d trust Starling, but no of the other newer financial organisations with more than £200.

      • KBuffett says:

        I send a payment to India via Revolut. Recipient hasn’t received the funds. Revolut just keep providing me with a PDF confirmation. On asking them to escalate, they are asking for a copy of the recipients bank statement as proof that funds haven’t been received. I find that very unprofessional. It’s £300 so not a huge amount, but looks like I’m in for a long fight with them.

        • KBuffett says:

          Also, their complaint form is a SurveyMonkey link!!! Nice and professional.

        • Brighton Belle says:

          What recipient is going to provide a copy of their bank statement to someone a few thousand miles away in a foreign country? Can Revolut provide proof it was actually delivered to the bank you specified? Quite possible the client can’t see it or withdraw it for several days as overseas banks have a habit of sitting on incoming funds for several days before releasing it.

          • Lady London says:

            And Revolut are wanting to become a bank ? They’re so short of decent customer handling standards it’s laughable.

            Been told on a few occasions now that in banking/finance it ‘s the responsibility of the sending end, not the receiving ebd, to follow up and prove what happened if money has not arrived correctly.

            It’s up to Revolut to provide the tracking and proof, not the receiver.

            If Revolut dont agree to sort this out promptly then threaten them you will report them to the FOS, give them 7-10 working days to resolve, and report them if they are not showing wilingness, competence and progress.

  • TGLoyalty says:

    Airtime now has 20% off laithwaites for a limited time. You might be able to stack with a card offer from your bank and triple stack with miles and £ back sites.

    XMKEY9J6 If you haven’t signed up already.

    • Vit says:

      A bit late to the party but just signed up and use your referral code.

    • Andrew says:

      Should stack with the current LBG 20% offer.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Yup that’s what I was thinking plus T C B etc.

        Don’t forget wine flyer bills as laithwaites too (login is the same) if you haven’t had the 1k bonus.

    • Tonyb says:

      Just looked at joining but it seems BT are the only network not on the list of partners!

    • d4ve says:

      Airtime is just Mastercard on my account. RTTJFN6R if anyone needs a code.

  • Gothbe says:

    I have a Marriott free night certificate with an expiry date of 31/1. I think this was extended already as it was issued in October 2019. I thought that the expiry dates were being extended again to 1st August 2021? If so any idea when the dates will change. Also is this a use by or book by date

  • Tix says:

    Got my 1500 avios bonus for £100 spend on the BA PP card this morning. Easiest 1500 avios I’ve ever earned. Anyone knows if BA are going to have a similar sale to Virgin and what BA had earlier this year (50% avios reduction on reward flights and 2-4-1 voucher) bookings ?

    • Brighton Belle says:

      Wots Avios? Now that BA are out of LGW and a trek to LHR is needed to burn them they’ve become a pointless currency for me for a while. I suppose BA will return to LGW one day as there’s only a limited amount of 2 mile long tarmac to use in the south east. A jump in APD looks an easy cash source to help fill the Covid19 cash black hole.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      BA already had one a couple months before virgin!

      • Tix says:

        Yes I saw but flights only book able to the end of June – hoping they have another one bookable till the end of November.

  • David says:

    I would like to combine my Avios in to Iberia, but have yet to ‘earn’ Avios in Iberia. As I don’t currently have an Amex Gold/Plat so can’t transfer from Amex, what is another (cheapest possible!) way to do this?
    Many thanks

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Transaction through their miles back store? Try looking for somewhere that pays faster.

    • Rob says:

      Hotel points transfer? Buy 1000 Avios? There is a shopping portal but those can take ages to credit.

      • David says:

        Thanks. Does buying Avios count towards ‘earning’ Avios in this context? I didn’t think it would! If so, will definitely take that option due to speed.

        • Rob says:

          Yes, it counts for activation. Bad deal at £31 (or whatever the Euro equivalent is) for 1000.

  • Reeferman says:

    Seats1A and 1K
    Tried to book these seats yesterday but was told by BA You First that both passengers have to be Gold, not just one of the two on the booking (one of us is Gold, the other Bronze).
    Anyone know if this is correct – or should I huaca? Thnx

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Only 1 has had to be gold in my experience unless they are separate PNRs but even then I linked them and choose gold “protected” seats.

      • Jonathan says:

        Not correct. Only the Gold member can select 1A/K until they remove the block at circa T-72. Why do you want 1A & K though if you’re travelling together? Apart from on the 747 they’re miles apart so pick middle or 1A/2A. Row 1 generally not the best option anyway as closest to galley noise on 787/777 or a bit claustrophobic on 380.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          It is correct since see below.

          Some people don’t care about sitting miles apart on a plane either.

          • Jonathan says:

            free seat selection from the time of booking for your whole party on British Airways flights – even friends and family on other bookings, as long as they’re in the same travel class and on the same flight* plus exclusive access to 1A and 1K when travelling in First for the Gold Member only

            I’m not wrong. You may get an error in your favour occasionally but high chance the non Gold will get the boot at some point so just pick one of the other (better) seats.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Well I booked them for a first flight just this year (it ended up being cancelled but they stuck for about 6 months)

            Perhaps I benefited from an IT error or it’s one of those cases where the terms aren’t actually the practice. But it happened.

          • Reeferman says:

            Many thanks both – will try one more time on the phone, but not a huge issue in the great scheme of things!
            For what it’s worth, I tried on-line first of all – when I made the original booking – but the system rejected that too.

    • MD says:

      Definitely not true, have booked similar many times and only I’m gold, partner is a mere silver. Certain it worked when she was bronze too. 🙂

    • Michael C says:

      Can’t be right: I’m the only silver in the family, and can prebook all the seats for the others on the same reservation.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        That’s true for gold but op is talking about gold “protected” seats in first.

    • Rob says: