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The HfP chat thread – Sunday 7th March

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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.

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 (202)

  • Kevin says:

    Tried to login ihg but without success and come up with a “general serve error”message. Is that a problem HFP readers encountered?

  • Secret Squirrel says:

    Anyone on here had their BA account temp locked? It’s been three weeks and still my account is locked.
    I have made contact via Twitter, who replied to contact BA direct. BA CS stated the could not help & someone would be in touch soon. I have completed a complaints form two weeks ago & no reply.
    Where do I go from here?

    • ChrisC says:

      Looks like they are doing an audit on your account.

      You can’t do anything until they contact you.

      • Secret Squirrel says:

        Thanks ChrisC – any idea how long an audit takes?

        • ChrisC says:

          Afraid not as the people who ask about an account audit on flyer talk never come back and report on the experience and how long it takes!

      • Mouse says:

        Under what circumstances does BA audit an account?

        • ChrisC says:

          When they believe you might have broken the rules of the scheme!

          Usually if you have done lots of redemptions in s short space of time to people seemingly unrelated to you.

          More recently lots of avios / nectar swaps -as reported on here a few weeks ago.

          I NOT saying Squirrel has done these things just these are the sorts of things that cause alerts.

          • Secret Squirrel says:

            The only thing I have done recently was a number of AVIOS to Nectar redemptions. All legit to my own account but I’m thinking what triggered the security lock was the amount in a short period of time.

  • Eric says:

    Can I confirm I’ll be fine to top up NS&I with free Curve (and HSBC WEMC) without fees?

    • Sam says:

      Stopped working for me last week (without fronted) 🙁 Hopefully just temporary. Also stopped working with Ihg

    • LST says:

      That route has worked fine for some time, but now appears not to for many (including me).

    • Alan says:

      My metal bendy stopped working for NS&I yesterday.

      It came back with an “invalid card number” error message which seems an odd thing to do as the card worked ok shopping at M&S today.

    • Secret Squirrel says:

      Bit late to the party, afraid not anymore.

  • Martyn Ford says:

    Whilst my Bendy isn`t working, can I book a QR flight and earn points without incurring forex charges? I have Amex Gold, VA+, Hilton Honours and IHG black card. Thank you.

    • Harrier25 says:

      All those cards you mentioned will charge FX fees. Do you have a Revolut account which you can instantly top-up with your IHG card? If you pay down the IHG card straight away then you will not be charged any interest.

      • Martyn Ford says:

        Excellent advice, thank you Harriet. Yes, I have. Much appreciated.

      • The Savage Squirrel says:

        Sure you want to go through an intermediary? I know it’s Qatar so not likely going bankrupt, but that Section75 protection is very valuable foir all sorts of unexpected things, as the last 12 months have shown!

        • LST says:

          Ditto. I would only pay for anything travel related site directly on a credit card with no intermediaries.

        • Froggee says:

          Totally yes. I’d use Amex Gold and be happy with the double points. Amex most helpful when things go wrong.

    • LST says:

      My bendy today works for normal purchases (used at M&S and an online toy purchase) but not for Ernie.

      • Alan says:

        Did you get the “invalid card number” error.

        • LST says:

          Nope. I approve the transaction in the app, get notification from WE app that the payment has gone through then a decline from Ernie. The money comes off my WE balance and is then credited back a few days later.
          Not sure if it’s a temporary glitch or the end of the road.

        • Tyler Durden says:

          Hopefully people arent surprised that almost daily chat about how to rinse NS&I via the curve potentially killed that off, at least that might be the end of the boring BENDY/ERNIE chat which was quite frankly boring.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            No no no. Everyone knew about it anyway …

            the constant chat tipping off every man and his dog didn’t contribute at all …

          • Jimbob says:

            Boring yet very lucrative

    • Harry T says:

      I wouldn’t book a flight on a debit card, especially not Curve or Revolut, unless it’s a trivial sum. I usually use amex gold or Halifax Clarity. If it’s in a foreign currency you should earn three points per pound on the gold card.

  • Gav says:

    Bendy with earnie declined yesterday but am out showing as authorised on virgin credit card and on bendy. Amount not with Earnie. Should I be, worried?

    • Tyler Durden says:

      Yes your MS has gone into a mysterious black hole never to be seen again, in all seriousness if you read above you will say other MSers are getting their funds back after a few days.

    • Red Flyer says:

      Just glad my ‘Golden Goose’ bendy MS has never been mentioned on here. 10-20k points per month typically secured between IHG and HSBC WE so hope that does not go pear shaped next as just a few points shy of redemption needed for my big birthday in April 2022. 🤞

      • Super Secret Stuff says:

        Golden goose? Genuinely can’t figure that one out…

        • LST says:

          It’s slang for his drug dealer who accepts debit cards

        • The real John says:

          I think golden goose means its usual meaning.

          I’ve had 2 golden geese, I hinted about the first on paid2shop 6 years ago and got absolutely inundated with private messages (was just a way to cash out unlimited 3V to bank in full) and obviously no longer works.

          The second I mention on MSE from time to time in forums unrelated to MS, and on reddit when someone asks about it… plenty of people use this method but unlike me they do not seem to be using it for earning points. I actually can’t understand why they do it, possibly tax evasion if they don’t use their real name and address.

  • Alex says:

    Curious if anyone has any experience with the ‘Pockit’ pre-paid MasterCard? Says you can top-up via paypoint so wondering if you could use any CC’s?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Yes as long as your pay point merchant allows any credit card to be used.

      • Secret Squirrel says:

        Charges apply

        • Alex says:

          Not small enough to still make it worth it? I don’t have one, just saw something on another site about it. I defer to others who have much knowledge!😂

          • mark2 says:

            £1.49 per month then £1.49 (just increased) per PayPoint load.
            Also they can get shirty if you use it too much.

    • BJ says:

      Here we go again 🙁

  • Red Flyer says:

    Not gonna spill the beans as too many have done that on here and look where that has got them now – first rule of bendy club and all that…

    • Callum says:

      I highly doubt it was the bizarre codewords on here that gave anything away. The huge volumes of cash going to single merchants are pretty obvious in and of themselves!

      • Peter K says:

        It’s not the code words, it’s the fact many spoke and more started doing it because they did and then they also spoke of our and more picked up on that and started doing it ad nauseum that possibly caused the problem.

        • Rob says:

          You should read about the ‘Comments Firehose’ on here –

          We do not opt in to this, but if you are on ‘free’ WordPress then you have no choice. The people who own WordPress basically sell your comments to companies that want to know what is being said about them.

      • LST says:

        Some have put £1m+ through this route, which is impressive but is going to get you noticed!

    • Mike P says:

      Bendy Club? Really? Are you 12 years old? 🙄

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