Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Saturday 27th February

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We are running 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 (240)

  • Anuj says:

    Can someone with more knowledge explain what the benefit is of restricting a paid service behind the premier account? The only reason I can think of is that this is either making them a loss or just breaking even.

    • BJ says:

      £12/month doesn’t cover the cost of the benefits, they need your £100k capital or £75kpa salary to do this. Therefore nobody should be fooled, these benefits cost them a lot more than £12/month, they are losing out on alternative benefits from their cash elsewhere However, I feel Barclays are missing a trick by not offering a ‘junior’ variant or the same package at a higher monthly fee to those with lower capital or income.

  • Anna says:

    Hope this isn’t going to replace the BAPP voucher, though it would be useful for a solo traveller as it looks to be the same as the defunct Lloyds voucher. Not sure it’s worth £144 per year and it’s rather disappointing that it’s reserved for people with high incomes. I’ll never qualify for anything like this now because I’m happier having less money and being out of the rat race!

    • TGLoyalty says:

      More Barclays chat?

    • meta says:

      You get 18k Avios on top every year.

      • meta says:

        My personal problem at the moment is that it’s rather difficult to burn all the points with all the cancelled flights and holidays.

        Whilst Amex and Barclays are very attractive and would have jumped on it in normal times, I have 3×241 vouchers (with another one coming this year) plus too many points which can keep me going for at least 2-3 years. I hope this will will still be around next year.

        • BJ says:

          +1 but I’m already invested at Barclays and I want payback for that. I’ll worry about spending the avios later, not difficult at all provided I feel sufficiently generous. I might dish out European city breaks as Christmas gifts this year.

        • Ian says:

          I’m in the same boat. Mountains of points and also 3 x 241s plus some Lloyds upgrade vouchers but I’ve no idea when they expire. I’ve no clue how to even use them anymore. Are they linked to my BA account now?

        • Lady London says:

          Do not worry about such things @meta a devaluation will be along to take care of it.

          • Aston100 says:

            Oh I really hope not.
            My avios is earnt without any MS (wouldn’t even know how) almost entirely through amex card purchases and card referrals between my wife and I.
            Didn’t take the opportunity to churn when there were bonuses every six months.
            Would really annoy me if a devaluation came along before I could spend my avios on another redemption.

    • Youllnever says:

      I suspect the BAPP voucher isn’t going anywhere. As a solo traveller, the voucher does appeal greatly to me. Everything else it’s offering is just icing on the cake imo.

    • Harry T says:

      Can’t upgrade to First, which seems stingy…

    • Lady London says:

      wondering why they are keeping it more limited target market as well. however @Genghis did hint it’s related to the everincreasing trend for banks to sell the quality fee account bundles to only 5-10% of their client base and include giving a “relationship manager” who is tryng to sell you things.

      The rest of bank clients, as Anne Robinson used to say, leave with nothing… or have to go online or use a call centre

  • Anna says:

    Business types – I want to register as a sole trader as I’m effectively self-employed now. There’s an online company called duport which offers to register your business and gives you a Barclay’s business account for £29.99 plus VAT – can anyone confirm if this is legitimate?

    • Anuj says:

      Tide business bank had an offer where they register your business for free. I think it may be £50 free when you deposit £50 now.

      • Anna says:

        Thanks, I’ll have a look.

        • Anuj says:

          However as a sole trader you simply register for one with hmrc. I’m don’t think you can register a business name as a sole trader. In which case there’s no need to pay anyone, just register for free with HMRC then open a tide account, which is free, you’ll benefit from the £50 free offer too.

          • Super Secret Stuff says:


            Any company trying to charge you is having you on. It is free to do for a sole trader and £12 for a ltd business with companies house

          • Anna says:

            I looked on the HMRC website but couldn’t find the actual mechanism for registering!

    • Genghis says:

      Go to HMRC website. Register for self assessment, choose trading income option. That’s it.

    • The Savage Squirrel says:

      As above. The whole point of a sole trader is that there is no separate registered entity for your business – it’s just you! Company is having you on.

      The only obligation is to register for self-assessment (and VAT if relevant). There’s a guide here with a link to self-assessment.

    • Lady London says:

      I would strongly advise you to go Ltd. not self employed.

      • Anuj says:

        Why’s that ? Genuinely curious. My understanding is that when you’re first starting up and not making much profit it’s more of a faff to start a LTD.

        • Super Secret Stuff says:

          Ltd protects you from debt if it goes wrong. Not to mention the tax benefits of paying yourself a smaller salary and the Ltd cpany paying out dividens to top it up

          • Genghis says:

            IIRC @Anna will do tutoring = limited risk of being sued and likely no debt. @Anna will need to run the tax no’s for her own situation but if it’s more of a side line, sole trader may win: IT @ 20% (I believe she already draws pension income?), no NI if under threshold vs 20% CT + 7.5% div IT. Also ability to cash account as sole trader makes everything v easy.

      • The Savage Squirrel says:

        I’m intrigued as to why, too? If just doing a bit of freelance work on the side of an employed role, or starting up something new where income is small, then any Ltd tax advantages are tiny, and far outweighed by the additional requirements such as GAAS accounts. Sole traders offsetting startup losses directly against taxable income from other sources is a massive benefit for most small startups in year 1, that you would lose by incorporating immediately. It’s also particularly useful at startup time when both expenses and profits are highly irregular, for money to flow freely both ways – for example the sole trader’s ability to borrow money from your business for longer than 9 months with zero tax consequence.

        I don’t think you can sensibly give blanket advice that Ltd is better without knowing personal circumstances in detail.

        Like most things …. it depends.

        • Peter K says:

          100% agree that going Ltd is not a slam dunk. I’ve even seen online webinars discussing this very matter, by accountants who charge far more for Ltd company accounts.
          It’s also cheaper to go from self employed to Ltd then it is to close a Ltd company to go for trader of you end up changing your mind.

          • Rob says:

            We don’t use a corporate structure. This is, admittedly, partially because I can produce a set of accounts but am not actually legally qualified to do so, so the ‘self declaration’ structure of sole trader is easier.

          • Howard says:

            You don’t need to be a qualified accountant to draw up accounts.

  • southlondonphil says:

    Anyone had their Nectar Saved Offers disappear completely (NOT expire!) from their account, both ‘in App’ and on the website? Assuming it’s an IT glitch, but I’ll be irritated if they don’t reappear in my account or I’m not able to re-save them.

  • Ian says:

    Barclays deal does look pretty good. I’m confused by your post though, are we not allowed to discuss it here? If not, why is that?

    • Alex says:

      Barclays have released info multiple times by mistake, Rob knows everything but is just waiting for the go-ahead from them to publish as they have said to wait. Doesn’t want to damage any relationship by publishing before they say so… which is understandable

  • Boi says:

    Has anyone got amex paypal credit by giving it to a family member?

    • Polly says:

      We tried and it failed. Still showing as unused….

    • aDifferentSimon says:

      Likewise. Even got the you’ve used the offer email. But the credit never arrived

    • Polly says:

      Now l remember you mentioned that.. but failed for us, sadly. Just bought pay pal gift cards yesterday will use at Waitrose. Worth having the 15 back…

  • Ryan says:

    I applied for the Amex Plat Bus card on Wednesday… card arrived in my letter box this morning!
    Insane turnaround time

    • Genghis says:

      Question says:
      24 Feb 12:40
      How quickly will the card ship, if approved. I have a big expense coming up on Saturday. Is this cutting it a bit fine?

      Rob says:
      24 Feb 13:27
      Usually 7 calendar days, possibly 5 if approved instantly. Saturday’s not happening.

      Genghis says:
      24 Feb 13:58
      I wouldn’t be so sure. I applied for a card recently on a Friday morning. Card was with me on the Monday.

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