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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)

  • ian_h says:

    IHG Credit Card Rewards Night – I had to cancel my trip last Easter and have been in Tier 3 (or equivalent) pretty much ever since. My CC Voucher was returned but with a new expiry of 31/12/2020.

    I still cant travel, and appreciate 31/12 is a book by date but if i later have to cancel the voucher will have expired and be lost.

    Has anyone any experience of getting the voucher extended beyond the end of the year ? (I’m Spire Elite if that matters).

    Thanks

    • Anna says:

      It’s worth contacting IHG and asking because I think a lot of people are affected by this at the moment. They seem quite easy to get through to n the phone. On email they tend to be more receptive if you’re an IC Ambassador in my recent experience!

      • Brighton Belle says:

        I have an Intercontinental Park Lane IHG reward night booked for June2021. Their admin emailed yesterday apologising they were going to stay closed until mid January and my future booking has got swept up in their message list. In their email it says rewards nights due to expire by Dec31 will be extended 6 months by IHG Loyalty and they’ll contact clients in the next few weeks to explain how this will work. Dunno if it’s a general reward night offer or just the Intercontinental Park Lane

  • KBuffett says:

    Rob – Is it worth applying for a Virgin card now – or should I wait for an increased sign up offer that may or may not be coming in January? Nudge nudge, wink wink

    • Rob says:

      Not heard anything. Virgin Money is losing tons at the moment and publicly says in its accounts that it is trying not to take on new credit card or loan customers because it has enough problems with its existing ones (6% of credit card customers are in default). They think – correctly – that most people applying for cards now are about to be fired and are trying to build up credit before it is withdrawn. Hard to see why they would want to incentivise you to apply.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        They think – correctly – that most people applying for cards now are about to be fired

        I don’t think that’s correct as most implies more than those that won’t be losing their jobs. As > 50% of the workforce won’t be losing their jobs I think that’s a massive overstatement.

        If you said there’s a higher risk of default from new applications as a larger % than normal are likely to be losing their jobs in the near future then perhaps that would be correct.

        • Phil says:

          I don’t think Rob was referring to 50% of the workforce, I think he was referring to 50% of new applicants… which might not be far from the truth for many retail lenders such as VM. However, my suspicion is that people prepared to pay for the Reward+ card are significantly less likely to be facing into the same situation. That said, I wouldn’t be inclined to offer material improvements to sign-up incentives for the following reasons, (1) It will increase the time-lag between customer acquisition and profitability, and (2) Nobody else is – as the VA Reward+ card is already one of the best in the rewards market, there is little benefit to be derived from VM increasing sign-up incentives.

    • Andy says:

      I applied for the 160£ card yesterday and got rejected, despite have a near perfect credit rating. Going to send them a letter asking to reconsider, but quite frustrating as I’ve put most of my spending on Curve over the last couple of months planning to move it to the Virgin card once I got it…

  • MD says:

    Any brave souls flying out of Heathrow T5 today who can report on lounge and first wing status? Flying tomorrow evening and expecting the worst from BA, frankly.

    • Paasan69 says:

      I’m in the Galleries South lounge in T5 right now. Fair to say, a lot of space between people. On my way up I could see that the First lounge and Concorde Terrace was open. Regular table service here as before the lockdown.

  • Travel Strong says:

    Following my flight in January being cancelled I called BA today on 0800 597 7580 and options 3 and 3 to speak ‘about something else’ – got through immediately and total time from dialling to having email confirmation of refund was 8 minutes.

  • Jane says:

    Question re household accounts. If I remove my parents from my household account are there any restrictions on when they can create their own (at their correct address) or make bookings ?. thanks

    • ChrisC says:

      No restrictions on them.

      It could affect you as the one change per 6 month rule would apply to your HHA.

  • John says:

    Info:
    Number of people saying yesterday they were having problems paying PAYE via Curve.
    Just done a £9000 transaction for PAYE and a £9000 (wife’s card) transaction for Corporation Tax – both went through fine. (Metal)

    • Paul says:

      Problem i have is miles and more card direct without curve no longer works for paye.

    • Paul says:

      Tried miles and more direct paye again today and it worked fine.

  • Debra says:

    I thought BA was supposed to have reinstated the refund button on their system? Just received a cancellation email for a January flight (3 out of 4 segments cancelled), straight-forward booking paid in cash, and the only option I have in MMB is voucher or phone for refund. That’s naughty isn’t it?

    • Paasan69 says:

      Same story with me. Flight cancelled for Feb 4th. Voucher and change booking options available or call to discuss refund options. Straight revenue booking. Will probably settle for the earlier departure option the same day.

    • Rui N. says:

      It’s not a button, it’s a special form you have to fill out asking for the refund. The link is on the article here from a couple of weeks back.

      • Paasan69 says:

        No such link on the page. I have seen it a few weeks ago on a different booking but not on this one.

    • MS2402 says:

      Click through ‘find out more’ on the ‘COVID-19 | Travel and service updates’ banner, scroll down to ‘Are you eligible for a refund? and there is an embedded link to ‘this form’ – you just need your booking ref number and of course confirmation via text/email that the flight is cancelled.

      Fill out the form and you got a confirmation email that you’re now in a refund processing queue – will see how quickly that happens.

      • Debra says:

        Thanks. Just submitted the refund request.

      • DT says:

        Thanks for the link, have three cancelled flights I need refunded and had been putting off calling them

  • Aston100 says:

    Hello, when taking an organisation to an ombudsman or arbitration or even to a small claims court, can the organisation decide to cancel your cards / membership / refuse to do any business with you thereafter?

    This is not about a specific organisation (could be credit card companies, airlines, hotels etc, but more about the bigger picture to help me understand whether it is worth pursuing issues by weighing up any short term success versus long term blacklist. These would be genuine issues and grievances.

    I am sure I read a couple of reports on places like Tripadvisor that low cost airlines have blacklisted certain passengers after they successfully won cases against them, however I did not see any actual evidence of these claims so it may just be misinformation.

    Thanks.

    • KBuffett says:

      Of course. I’m sure very few organisations are required by law to supply you with their services. Even GP practices can ask you to jog on.

      • meta says:

        However, there is an element here which hasn’t been tested in court. This is entirely hypothetical therefore. If you have points or miles which they take away from you in the process, then there is certain compensation one would expect.

        I know that T&C of all points and miles schemes state that the points and miles are not yours, but if you earned a lot of miles from credit card spend, buying miles, I believe you would have a damages claim. I also don’t think these schemes wouldn’t want to test the validity or the fairness of their terms in court, so I would think they would give some compo in the process. Especially if you have not done anything wrong, just claimed your legal rights.

        Also, what if you have tickets booked with an airline for an advance and they cancel them vindictively. They would be bound by EC261 and they would have to reroute you on comparable conditions on another airline. It could prove to be costly for the airline.

    • memesweeper says:

      I took a firm complaint up with a travel agent and was required to sign a ‘I will never book with you again’ agreement to get my money back. Didn’t even get to court!

      Unregulated industries in the UK can do pretty much what they like provided it’s not ‘unfair’. As soon as they try and remove an accrued benefit like air miles they’ll need to be careful. Similarly the financial services industry can’t do as it pleases because the regulator won’t let it.

    • the_real_a says:

      Yes – Nationwide decided to do just this a few years ago when the FCA found in the favour of customer. They paid the compensation, closed their accounts and allegedly placed a flag on their internal file which may or may not prevent future products from being taken out.

      Recently however it does seem spiteful and generally not the done thing. Personally I have seven FCA complaints upheld in the last couple of years and i’m still a customer of each.

      • meta says:

        Yes, but they gave compensation! I’d be happy in that case. There are plenty of other options. Can you imagine if BA had to pay full price or compo for all the reward tickets you have booked in advance?

    • Charlieface says:

      Low cost airlines, not sure. They are not regulated anything like the level of banks.

      Banks are unlikely to close your accounts because of this, as that opens them up to further complaints. Obviously they can choose not to do business with you at any time, but if you could prove some kind of causality from the claim, you may have something legit on them. Plus, generally they have bigger fish to fry for closing accounts (expats, arms dealers, Americans, Iranians, etc)

    • TGLoyalty says:

      They can decide to do no further business with you I’d give you two months notice that they are closing you account for financial institutions but they won’t be able withhold your points or cash without another valid reason.

      If we are talking BA virgin etc then they could close your account and keep your points as the terms say they belong to them not you. If you had enough you could probably do a MCOL or other claim and a judge would probably award you some compensation but they couldn’t force them to do business with you.

      • Aston100 says:

        Right, but if you’d paid for avios, surely that has a monetary value which would need to be refunded if they decide to close your account.