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The HfP chat thread – Saturday 26th 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.

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 it keeps the commentary relevant for people who read those articles in the future.

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.

Comments (99)

  • Michael C says:

    So we have a LHR-GRU scheduled for 5 Jan, with Brazil just having temporarily banned any direct flights from the UK.
    BA haven`t cancelled yet, but if/when they do, it`s up to them to look for an alternative, right? Might the potential option as things stand with current permitted flights be LHR-NYC-GRU?
    (it`s for a Brazilian national)

    • Andrew says:

      Negative test required for flights to NYC now

      • Anna says:

        Hope you had a lovely Xmas Day Michael, even though your London trips were possibly cancelled! BA should re-route, however what is the situation for travelling to Brazil for anyone who has been in the UK so recently, are ESTA’s still suspended (I’ve lost track of the situation re the US) and also do you now live a Tier 4 area?!

        • Michael C says:

          Thanks Anna, hope you had a goodie! We ended up walking round the coast of Dorset – no Harrod’s, but still lovely!
          So yes, we’re now in Tier 4, and didn`t realise (thanks Andrew too) that you actually have to enter US.
          For now, no foreigners are allowed in to Brazil from UK, but nationals ok.
          The only other route I can think of is via Dubai! They actually have a direct 15.5 hour flight to GRU…
          Of course, everything could change within a week…maybe countries leaving it till after N Year, by which time they`ll see new strain is not just UK?!

          • Anna says:

            Dorset is gorgeous, we’re hoping to explore more of the south coast when OH retires. I read that 45% of all gene sequencing is done in the UK so it’s no surprise the new strain was identified here first! I’m sure it will appear in more and more countries, though whether that will make travel easier or more difficult depends to be seen …

    • Andrew says:

      And as there’s no such thing really as a transfer passenger in USA, they will need permission/visa to enter the USA, even though flying straight out.

    • The real John says:

      Brazilians are not currently allowed to fly to the US if they have been in the UK or Brazil for the past 14 days, unless they are US permanent residents or direct family of a US citizen/LPR.

      • Michael C says:

        Thanks all – will await a plan B/C/D!

        • Michael C says:

          So BA are re-routing through Spain, where transit is allowed. Phew…;o)

          • Nick says:

            Are you sure about that? Spain recently banned transit for all non-Spanish nationals. More details were posted on FT if you want to look.

  • Wally1976 says:

    A question re Amex Gold card. I’ve just had my first statement issued (and annual fee) after the 1 year anniversary but the 10000 bonus points haven’t appeared yet. When should I expect to see them? Thanks

  • Paul says:

    Anyone else struggling to pay HMRC with Curve at the moment? I’ve got Metal with Curve fronted enabled. Tried a variety of amounts. Always appears to go through, get the 2 factor authentication via the app, but then the HMRC site says payment unsuccessful. Curve app never shows a decline, and the amount is taken from my underlying card, but subsequently refunded. Any ideas? This was the sole reason I paid for metal!

    • Anna says:

      Not HMRC but my new Curve has been declined twice for ernie this morning. Asks for verification via the app but there’s no facility to verify the transcation (unlike Rev). Requesting and using verification code doesn’t seem to work either.

      • The Savage Squirrel says:

        Anna first thought is have you got notifications enabled for Curve app as this is how the verification pops up? 2nd thought is delete/reinstall assuming app already updated. Any luck?

      • George K says:

        You probably have already done this, but when this happened to me persistently, I found that removing the app and reinstalling did the trick.

    • Crafty says:

      Exactly the same “symptoms” as me Paul, ever since I switched to a personal Curve card. I cannot figure it out and neither can Curve (I thought it reasonable to involve customer service, since paying HMRC is an advertised proposition of Metal). I will cancel Metal when my 6 month minimum expires in 2 weeks.

      • rams1981 says:

        This is interesting. I used for first time yesterday at HMRC since switching to personal metal and it worked fine. ERNIE always worked so far too.

      • Paul says:

        Interesting. I also messaged Curve support on the same basis (that they actively advertised use in this manner) but so far they’ve not progressed beyond instructions to turn on Fronted (already was) and advising they didn’t decline the transaction.

        It’s a personal account, but how does one know it’s not a commercial debit card they’ve issued you with these days? Doesn’t seem to be any clues on it. Just a regular MasterCard ‘debit’ logo.

        • Crafty says:

          Yes, they also told me they didn’t decline it, and slightly huffily suggested that what they can see is a transaction going through and then being reversed from my end. I am not sure they really know what they’re doing here if I’m honest.

    • RH says:

      No issues for me and have done a load in the last month (metal and Beardy).

  • The real John says:

    Anyone know if Fidelity accepts deposits using Curve?

    (btw, no need to use “code” here as search results for these terms show a different meaning)

    • Sloth says:

      No, they used to but it stopped working abt 9 months ago

      • Reney says:

        My account is with a company that got sold to Fidelity some point this year. So I don’t know if that makes a difference with respect to the website and payments. My login is via Fidelity. Last time I topped up was 19th Dec, which worked fine. Ever since some changed at Curve in early Dec, I can only do this backed by IHG – respecting the 700 per week limit. Tesco charges a cash fee, and some of my other cards just reject it.

        • Sloth says:

          Cavendish online? Yes so was mine but I was never able to top up using curve after abt March this year. Admittedly never tried with ihg backed tho, always hh

        • Sloth says:

          Actually I tell a lie, I did try with jl, ihg and hh backed. All refused after March, and tried again only couple of weeks ago

          • The real John says:

            Thanks. Just learned that Fidelity scrapped platform charges for Junior ISAs so was considering a transfer.

            Currently with Vanguard who charge 0.15% per year but they accept HH as underlying card. Problem is can’t have more than one S&S JISA, and going via ernie cash JISA means out of the market for months

    • ambient says:

      Up until recently, all okay (with Curve Metal)

      The last few days, being declined after authorising in the Curve App. Fidelity says the underlying bank has declined the transaction, so if that is true then something buggy is going on. My suspicion is that Fidelity have banned Curve.

  • 2021chap says:

    New to this am I right in thinking that you can pay all HMRC bills including VAT with Curve Metal?

  • Marie says:

    I have 6x future travel vouchers for 4 of my family , the original flights were avios redemptions .
    Does there have to be avios redemption availability on the new flight I wish to book ?
    If I am short can I pay the difference in cash ?Most of my avios are stuck in these vouchers
    Thanks for collective wisdom

    • Rob says:

      You can add extra cash or Avios. Replacement ticket must be in the same name and I don’t think you can swap between cash and Avios tickets.

  • Rob says:

    Anyone else not able to log into their creation account ? 500 error..

  • Gary says:

    Just looking to book a BA holiday (one needs to be optimistic) – am I right that I can insist that they take the FTV towards the deposit of a holiday rather than having to pay the deposit and use the FTV towards the outstanding balance?

    • WaynedP says:

      I don’t believe that you can do this if booking online – I think you have to book and pay the deposit, then call to apply the FTV to the balance, certainly if you have the type that I’ve got, which hasn’t been converted to an e-voucher. May work online if you have an e-voucher form of the FTV.

      Alternatively, if you have the other type that I have, I believe you can have it applied to the deposit, but only if you phone up to do your booking from scratch with a call agent – although I haven’t actually tested this in practice.

      Booking BA Holidays with call agents is a bit hit and miss – they all know how to do flight-only, but only some have experience/competence when it comes to BA Holiday bookings, so you may have to ask to be transferred to another agent.

      Good luck !

    • GT says:

      I think the quick answer to your question is yes, you can use a voucher to pay the deposit on a holiday booking but you can only do this on the phone and you may have to be persistent.

      I’ve had experience of using an evoucher to book a BA Holiday. I couldn’t do it on line, there’s nowhere to enter the voucher during the booking process, so I called.

      The first agent I spoke to was adamant that the voucher couldn’t be used to book a Holiday and refused even to check with a supervisor. She was quite rude in the process so I rang of and called again. This time I was told I could use the voucher but only to pay the balance after paying the deposit in cash. After I persisted she checked with a supervisor and eventually allowed me to make the booking using the voucher to pay the deposit. That being said, it hasn’t been ticketed yet, but hopefully it will come through OK

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