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The HfP chat thread – Friday 19th 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.

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Comments (303)

  • Boi says:

    Was late to the IHG article. Just curious, is there anyone who struggles to qualify for IHG status? It’s only March and I have already qualified for spire.
    🏃🏿‍♀️🏃🏿‍♀️🏃🏿‍♀️I said I am curious please don’t kill me…

    • John says:

      I am platinum but I don’t care. I probably won’t stay in any IHG this year as I need 27 hilton nights

    • Chris Heyes says:

      Boi I’m struggling as well “to see why i would want to qualify”
      I as well can’t remember wanting to stop in an IHG Hotel when Hilton’s so much better

      • SwissJim says:

        Think Mr & Mrs Smith, Voco, Principal hotels. Then IHG gets more interesting.

        • Secret Squirrel says:

          Especially this year on Staycation. Mr&Mrs Smith via IHG Points have come in very handy.

        • TicknBash says:

          Redemption availability is poor though or not fully rolled out.

          Get so much more with Hilton gold than IHG Platinum unless free KitKat is the desired perk.

          • Rob says:

            I prefer the chocolate orange Jacob’s Club biscuit.

          • Dave says:

            The Hilton and Doubletree in York gives you free KitKats and breakfast, upgrades etc for Gold and above.
            IHG scheme is truly awful.

      • DJ says:

        Only stay with the AMB 2-4-1. Kimpton and IC are not too bad.

        Hilton properties in the UK outside London are not that exciting. I’d prefer Marriott more.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          IHG has the best UK properties outside London bar none.

          Indigo is a very strong brand.

          • Chris Heyes says:

            TGLoyalty Only problem is in the UK We stop at independent’s unless we are flying abroad then it’s either Sofitel Heathrow or Hilton Gatwick, the night before.
            My Partner says her hols start with overnight at Hilton or Sofitel who am I to argue lol
            I blame it all on Sofitel Heathrow started soon as it opened.
            Its that bad hols end with same for flight home
            Luckily we get upgraded to a Suite so i can book the cheapest room that sleeps 3
            We are only an hour away on train to Gatwick but she still expects overnight Hilton
            There is a Sofitel at Gatwick but they don’t upgrade to Suite no idea why

    • SwissJim says:

      March seems about 2 months late to me….

    • Graeme says:

      Still a bit to go. Another month as long as things don’t change. Worth it for the extra points. Happy staying at HIX, mostly cheaper than other brands such as Hilton and Marriott and got heaps of points. Each to their own.

    • bazza says:

      No, everyone knows about national savings and investments now.

    • Secret Squirrel says:

      Not when having the IHG premium card.

  • BJ says:

    Well if it helps satisfy your curiosity Boi I’m spire too but I haven’t set foot in an IHG hotel for at least 18 months and stayed only 2 nights in last two years if my memory serves me right. My status wasn’t bent either, came from a match and didn’t end yet 🙂

    • Tom says:

      IHG status is basically already lifetime status!

      I qualified for Spire through spending the year it was introduced (2015? Can’t remember). I have been Spire every year since then despite on average probably doing 5 nights a year in IHG hotels over that period, thanks to a combination of extensions, buying Ambassador, VS transfers in the early days, etc. Then again, it’s not like IHG are giving away a lot of free benefits by allowing people to retain status, can’t even get an offer of more than 1 hour late check out at a lot of hotels…

      • The real John says:

        Same, got Spire the moment it was introduced, except I never requalified via any means, and only bought Ambassador once. Downgraded to Platinum 2 months ago.

    • Boi says:

      It must be the easiest scheme to qualify for top tier out there. Just like others here I hardly stay in IHG. But the ability to pay creatives with cc is doing wonders for my HH and Virgin bank balances. Thank you bendy bondy, berdie, Ernie and the revolutionaries.

  • Chris Heyes says:

    On a different note, tried to book a RocketMiles hotel as a 1st timer.
    First time site said “We don’t take this type of credit card (come on) AMEX.
    Tried another couple of times same answer, ok tried My MasterCard
    Came up with this hotel is now unavailable try another hotel.
    Oky tried another hotel again don’t take Amex (“what”?)
    Hmmm MasterCard 3 more attempt’s “sorry there is an “error” accessing your account” please get in touch
    Sent them an e-mail, but gave up on them, now I’m a member as nowhere to cancel

    • AndyC says:

      Perhaps try again but using different card/E-mail address, keeping fingers well and truly crossed…

    • ChrisC says:

      Trying again and again with Amex was futile. Makes no difference which hotel you were trying to book you are paying Rocket Miles not the hotel.

      I got the ‘unavailable’ as well but in the alert at the top of the screen there is the option to go back a screen which I did, searched again and the room I wanted came up.

      No idea why it does this but other people reported that issue (and the not taking Amex) in the post about RM earlier this week.

      • Chris Heyes says:

        ChrisC Yes but was saying error with accessing my account that’s with MasterCard as well. Amex was just no we don’t accept this type of card

    • David B says:

      Had the same thing – said that I can’t use AMEX when paying in £.

  • Michael says:

    Well it finally happened, I’ve been blocked from my Rev account. Had a couple of warnings over the past couple of years but wasn’t take the piss with MS. Mostly just payments to Brighton with little day to day spend to mix things up in fairness. I never keep any money in the account so easy to just walk away. Is it worth arguing my case/pleading ignorance or chalk it up to experience and move on?

    • Jonathan says:

      Don’t waste your time, when it happened to me the chat investigation protracted over several weeks with different people. Each time having to explain myself again and again with more and more questions and information requested. I eventually gave up trying as it was just easier to close the account and move on with my life.

      • Secret Squirrel says:

        If you have a check can you just tell them to shut the account? I thought they still had to tick the boxes with evidence for compliance reasons?

      • Boi says:

        I had a different experience. Account was blocked for a week but it got sorted once I supplied supporting docs. BJ I am taking it easy too. Going to apply for a mortgage here soon and I need to relax on MS (though I have no clue what bearing it will have). Besides we have too many unused points right now with zero travel. How I miss that buzz…

    • BJ says:

      I’m giving all of these opportunities a rest at the moment, there has been too much smoke to be no fire.

    • ashish says:

      I prefer to use HSBC now to national savings

    • Chrisasaurus says:

      Anyone experienced having theirs closed/restricted with investment products active?

      • kitten says:

        would anyone seriously get involved with anything to with investments with Rev? Seriously?

        • mr_jetlag says:

          Seriously yes. Cheapest fees / spreads to trade US shares and crypto – as long as its for de minimus / fun money (£1-5k) I’m happy to use them. Their vaults also work well for short term cash (0.5% for USD which is better than anything else this side of the pond).

    • Benilyn says:

      Unlucky, I got 1 warning on CC top up & withdraw and have stopped since. I quite like the account, the virtual/disposable cards, trading etc.

      • Harrier25 says:

        If you top-up with credit card and immediately withdraw on a regular basis then you are asking for trouble.

  • BuildBackBetter says:

    Amex platinum card members will receive DISCOVERY Platinum as a replacement for the outgoing Shangri-La Golden Circle Jade benefit.

    • George K says:

      What’s Discovery?

      • David D says:

        The loyalty scheme of the Global Hotel Alliance (GHA) you can find the levels and benefits available at and if you are Platinum or Black you can have access to experiences at each hotel, which differ depending on the level you are in the scheme. For example, there are 83 different experiences available across the hotels which take part in Dubai.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Actually not a bad benefit as they have some decent properties

      Still would have preferred Hyatt / hyatt points transfer

    • Rob says:

      I know some Asian countries are getting that. Not sure about here. I tend to get 1-2 months notice of benefit changes.

    • Kai says:

      Poor deal considering you can buy GHA Platinum for £30 and there are even offers for free Black status sometimes. Shangri-la Jade is worth a lot more.

      • MQ says:

        Can AMEX for once provide something more premium, instead of some lousy benefits which cost £30

        • Rob says:

          You have to buy a Business Traveller subscription to get it – it’s not as if GHA openly sells it for £30. The Business Traveller deal is one year only, too.

  • ZW says:

    Anyone knows if there is a way to check the expiry date of Virgin Atlantic reward voucher online? Instead of calling the costumer service? Thanks!

    • Ste Cox says:

      I always text them on 07481339184. There is a whatsapp as well but i dont know the number for that. no way of seeing online as far as i know

    • happeemonkee says:

      I Whatsapped them for the info on 03448747747 and got a response within the hour

    • Yorkieflyer says:

      Still can’t login to Virgin Atlantic

    • Sarah says:

      I whatsapped them earlier and got a response in about 2 minutes

    • ZW says:

      Thanks everyone. I will message them.

  • Rob says:

    As an existing customer I think you will be ok, especially if you have switched over your other card and bank accounts and bills.

  • Secret Squirrel says:

    They will just ask you to confirm previous addresses up to three years prior.

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