Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Sunday 14th March

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

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 (287)

  • JonD says:

    Branson ponying up some more money for VS.

    “Virgin Atlantic is finalising a fresh £160 million support package from shareholders and creditors as the airline scrambles to secure its post-pandemic future.”

    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/richard-branson-pumps-100m-more-into-stricken-virgin-atlantic-3gtb3v2ck

  • Alexis says:

    Can you change your AMEX billing cycle?

    • StevieKicks says:

      Yeah it’s easy to do over live chat. The options they give you are slightly limited though

  • AJA says:

    I received my council tax bill on Friday. I normally pay by DD over 10 months. Council accepts credit cards but not Amex but notice that I can pay at Paypoint. Do those of you who do this cancel the DD and just pay at paypoint or can you reduce the DD to say £10 per month and pay the balance?

    • Alex says:

      You can ask them to send you a barcode, might be on your original bill. You then go to a paypoint and they’ll scan it. You can pay in one go or monthly. I would phone you council and check about AMEX as many won’t list it, but will accept it.

    • Genghis says:

      Getting the means to pay at paypoint depends on the council. IME, for some it means cancelling the DD and getting a barcode on the new revised bill or getting a paypoint card. I pay all at paypoint but only generally when required or to hit an offer, eg Amex SUB, co op 10% back etc.

      • SwissJim says:

        I seem to have missed a trick here. Always pay council tax on credit card but never got it onto Amex (I need some Amex spend – seems hard to manufacture). And what’s co-op 10% back all about?

        • Genghis says:

          There’s often 5 / 10% back on Santander and LBG brand (Halifax, Lloyds, BOS I believe too) portals up to £30.

    • AJA says:

      Thanks Alex and Genghis. My bill has a paypoint barcode pre-printed on it. I also have an online key to pay via the council website. I will contact the council to see if they take Amex, although the website clearly states they don’t accept Amex or Diners Club.

      • Anna says:

        Have you checked whether they accept PayPal? My council doesn’t officially accept Amex but I put it through PayPal every year linked to whichever Amex I want the spend to go on and never have any issues!

      • AJA says:

        Thanks Anna, hadn’t thought about PayPal. That’s another possibility to consider.

        @Harry, when you say pay at Coop do you mean at one that has Paypoint? Also do you just pay at the till?

    • Harry T says:

      @AJA I’ve paid at coop before and I just have to scan the barcode on my original bill.

      Can anyone weigh in on which bank accounts offer the most reliable rebates for coop? I want to sign up before I need to pay. I was hoping for a switching bonus to one of the accounts but it’s not a good market for that right now.

      • Matthew says:

        Coop have always capped each transaction via Amex to £200 for me. Is this unusual?

        • Harry T says:

          £200 is the limit per transaction but they can put it through as multiple transactions if they know what they are doing.

          • Genghis says:

            Eg £200 paypoint + £200 paypoint + £200 paypoint = one £600 credit card payment

          • AJA says:

            Just looking at my council website again and it says “You can use the barcode on your bill to make cash payments at any PayPoint outlet.” Does that mean they won’t accept Amex at PayPoint or is it up to the Coop that operates the PayPoint outlet?

        • Secret Squirrel says:

          £500 per transaction in my local Co-op?

      • Andrew says:

        The most important element is having the right kind of Co-op near you.

        I’ve had Co-op (and Spar) on BoS/Hfx recently, but I have to go out of my way to get to the right kind of Co-op. The closest ones to me are Mid-Counties and they don’t (usually) trigger the offer.

    • Charlieface says:

      I never bothered with setting up a direct debit at all. If they ask me (sometimes I need to contact them about it, eg change to 12 monthly), I just say I prefer paying in cash. Then I go pay at Paypoint

    • Phil W says:

      In Edinburgh. Cancelled DD, council sent a Council Tax payment card. I use that to pay at PO counter with Amex. Yet to find a PayPoint in Edinburgh that take card payments.

      • EwanG says:

        @Phil W – try a Scotmid that is also a PayPoint. Used a few in Edinburgh last year to top up Monese using my Amex.

    • Wally1976 says:

      My council says cash only at PayPoint and I have found that that is enforced in Co-ops in the local area. If I venture slightly oit of the local area, however, the co-ops take Amex for it no problem.

  • Joyce says:

    Hi, I have a question about a possible Companion Voucher glitch I was hoping someone might know about.

    After earning our Amex CV last year due to an unexpected large purchase I downgraded our Plus card to a regular for a pro rata refund of the fees. However, after the downgrade the spend bar on the Amex website kept going towards £20,000 rather than being full or greyed out, having already earned the CV.

    Does this mean if I hit the £20,000 there’s the possibility it will trigger another CV in the same year? Or is just a visual error and at 20k the system will do a check and send back a “Nah, you’re alright, mate!” rejection.

    Thanks for any advice.

  • Munch says:

    How long do I need to wait for an incorrect transaction to resolve itself on Curve. Transaction did no compete but showing on both Curve and underlying card. Just over a week, not sure if to leave it 10 days before contacting Curve?

    • the_real_a says:

      5 days for pending transactions to drop. No reason not to raise a ticket, they can close the transaction at any time.

      • Genghis says:

        I’m having an issue of three transactions since cleared and paid down on underlying cc remaining as pending against available balance. Contacted curve today and nothing they could do but wait it out until fall off, apparently.

    • Pierre says:

      same here, exactly a week since a failed transaction, which has posted to both Curve and underlying card. I did query it with Curve, but they say they have to wait for the merchant to cancel the transaction. The merchant confirmed that the transaction failed and I should not have been charged. I’ll give it another few days, then chase with Curve again… sigh…

  • Phil says:

    Hi all
    Does anyone know what happens to your IHG status if you don’t renew Ambassador? My Ambassador renewal date is 1st May. If I don’t renew will I keep Platinum until the end of the year, or does it immediately drop to Gold or even to Club?
    I also read in the T&Cs that it’s possible to get a 6 month extension. Is there a cost for that?
    Thanks

    • Craig says:

      Not sure about status but are there actually any benefits of renewing annually rather than just before you need to?

      • Rob says:

        Not at the moment, no, not since the 10% refund on redemptions was dropped.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          There’s 15k points on renewal

          But weigh up the time before your next stay (c£12 pcm) and the cost of that period vs 15k points (c£60) so if it’s not going to be for 6 months it’s not worth renewing.

          • Genghis says:

            I thought renewal options are same now as for new customers with no bonus? I can’t see as mine now expires Aug.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            still gives you 15k points from what I’ve read. Mine doesn’t expire until 1/9/21 due to the 6 month extension I didn’t want or need.

      • David says:

        The single most valuable aspect of the Ambassador scheme at a time like this is the absence of any requirement to renew!

        • Craig says:

          A very telling comment, delaying renewal extends the validity of the next weekend night certificate!

    • Genghis says:

      Extension is free. I did it as had bookings in April (now cancelled) and Aug (prob won’t go ahead) so prob a waste.

  • Bryn Cooper says:

    Hi guys,
    I have an Amex Gold card but have been looking at the Premium British Airwards Amex to help boost Avios points (which is our main aim for collecting the membership points). I can’t claim the rewards on this having had the Gold card, but my partner can apply for this.
    My question is can we combine the Avios points from both cards when booking flights? We’re planning long-haul trips next year, restrictions permitting, and want to maximise Avios as best we can.

    Many thanks,

    • Rob says:

      The BAPP Avios would go into an account in your partners name, but you could form a Household Account with them so you can share your combined pot.

    • mark2 says:

      Also getting the Companion Voucher can be worth150,000+ Avios.

      • Bryn Cooper says:

        Yeah, I saw that but worried we won’t be able to get this in time for when we want to fly (May 2022). Thanks for mentioning though!

    • Genghis says:

      Rule for getting BAPP sign up bonus is no avios earning Amex in last two years.

  • Jimbob says:

    How late can you make changes with Virgin Holiday’s “You’re in safe hands” policy?
    Can’t see anything on the website, at least with BA is made obvious that it’s 3 weeks before travel.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.