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The HfP chat thread – Sunday 4th April

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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 (222)

  • Tiger says:

    I am probably late to the party. But I want to open a Lifetime S&S ISA. Can I still do it and put in £4000 this side of the tax year? Which LISA S&S provider opens an account almost instantly and allows you to put in £4k? Any tips would be gratefully received.

    • AndyGWP says:

      Moneybox WON’T work for you if I recall correctly (they direct debit it on a scheduled date) – sorry, doesn’t answer you question, but does cross one off your list 👍🏻

    • Harry T says:

      You’re cutting it very fine. Worth looking at the various providers but I’m unsure if payments would even clear quickly enough if you set an account up today.

      • Jonathan says:

        Payment credits your account instantly with AJ Bell. No idea on how quickly they set you up initially but I topped my existing LISA up this afternoon.

        • CH says:

          +1 for AJ Bell. Set up was very quick (basically instant I think?), and they didn’t follow up with anything else in terms of requiring documents later, when I opened some (2?) years ago. I assume they might have done an electronic identity search though.

    • Genghis says:

      When I looked into LISAs, AJ Bell had the best offering. But decided not to open. Funding by debit card should allow you to open today.

      • Jonathan says:

        Surprised you’re not a fan. 25% top up makes it a better option than pension IMHO (even for HRT’s) considering it’ll be tax free on the way out.

        • BuildBackBetter says:

          If you’ll be paying lower tax rate in retirement compared to what you pay now, pension trumps LISA.
          If you’ll be in the same tax bracket, LISA is marginally better.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Exactly and it depends on how old you’re as to if that marginally better tax rate is worth it.

          • Jonathan says:

            It’s a close run thing. I’d take a locked in tax benefit (ISA) now over the big question mark that is future pension taxation. I’d put the 25% tax free element as an endangered species & who knows with LTA.

        • Genghis says:

          It’s just not for me. But everyone is different.
          – On a gross basis (to keep no’s easy) LISA has a 20% benefit. If a HRTP now and BRTP in drawdown (likely given less than 4% SWR) pension has a 42% – 15% = 27% benefit. I get relief at more than 42% so difference even more. Even if 25% goes, this becomes 22% for HRTP. Yes, there is the LTA. Pensions are outside of estate (currently) for IHT.
          – I want to retire way before 60 when could access LISA. The more in ISAs to pay for early retirement, travel, for children’s university / house, the better. The LISA £4K comes off the £20k ISA total.
          – LISA not on the cheapest of platforms and therefore have another set of dealing fees etc.

    • Mo says:

      I use AJ Bell and fund via curve liked to HH. I think you should be able to set it up and put the money in today, worth a shot at least.

    • Tom says:

      Could you open a Cash LISA that might have quicker opening time, and then transfer it in the new financial year to a S&S LISA? And then add another 4k to that S&S one for 21/22.

    • HH says:

      HL S&S ISA opened and 20k deposited within 10 mins as a new customer (note not LISA, so YMMV).

    • BriannG says:

      Try Nutmeg?

  • Paul says:

    Has the spend tracker disappeared for tracking spend on the Marriott Bonvoy card? Used to show for tracking the free night

    • Matt says:

      I’ve not got a tracker on mine – it’s rather annoying.

    • Harry T says:

      I’ve actually never seen that tracker.

      • meta says:

        It was removed with website redesign. Annoyingly my statements don’t show it either, so I am not sure how they are going to track it either. You’ll have to manually add up and I suspect there might be a need to call to get this.

  • Jonathan says:

    Does anyone know how to see what booking class Air France puts you in when making a dummy booking ?

    I’ve tried seeing the class code that would be selected when making a dummy booking (directly) but nothing shows

    • David D says:

      You can see it, if you look at the full flight details and the booking codes under “View trip details and fare conditions” on the “Your trip to xxx” page then the first letter of each code for example “Fare basis code: AL55UMN8” highlights the booking class for you to be able to understand where to credit the flight to. Beware if considering crediting to Virgin Atlantic on O or Z class for a short haul connection as the mileage received is minimal.

  • David D says:

    Ladies and Gentlemen of Scotland who have an Amex Platinum on file and enjoy a round of golf or two. The FHR rate for suites at the Old Course Hotel in St Andrews which includes a round of golf and a buggy for two is pretty good at around £400 per night in May for most days barring any Saturday. Bearing in mind two green fees plus the buggy is £190 unless you live in Fife, and includes breakfast and a guaranteed 4pm check out, plus the other possible FHR benefits is a fairly good rate overall. A standard room is around £350 per night.

  • The cyclist says:

    Sounds good, me and the wife would benefit from this as a pair of swingers.

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