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The HfP chat thread – Wednesday 7th April

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We are running this daily chat thread on Head for Points during the coronavirus outbreak.

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Comments (262)

  • 747_Brat says:

    Does Hong Kong allow you to build up a credit balance on WE card to pay for something above the credit limit?

    • BuildBackBetter says:

      It’s possible. You have to be like creative. Won’t allow you to pay in if the balance is zero or credit.

    • Zana says:

      No. Not from my experience. It only allows it if it’s the result of refunds from a merchant. I’ve tried to “pay more than what I owe” via a bank account transfer from my HK account and the transaction failed. But I’m not sure whether it will send the money back if you send the funds from another bank.

    • Jonathan says:

      I wouldn’t do this with them. They’re quite twitchy with anything out of the ordinary & credit cards are not supposed to allow positive balances.

      They are pretty accommodating in my experience with temporarily increasing credit limit for one off purchases if you can demonstrate you have the funds to return your account back below normal limit though.

    • Andrew says:

      Hong Kong won’t even let me “overpay” by Faster Payment on my JLP card to accommodate a pending transaction. It always rejects.

      • Louie says:

        I have a couple of regular monthly payments totalling less than £20 per month on my regular HSBC Premier credit card but can go many months without any other expenditure. I generally transfer three months of payment over once a quarter from Barclays to save having to make a monthly payment. So probably two thirds of the time, my account is in credit, albeit only by a small amount. Never been an issue.

      • Genghis says:

        As above, “if the balance is zero or credit.”

    • Andrew M says:

      I had a discussion with an HSBC phone agent recently while my WE card was 50 pence in credit. He mentioned that being in credit could look like money laundering so personally I don’t do it.

  • Graeme says:

    Booked BA flights with Travelup before pandemic for Dec 2020. Flights canx and requested a voucher Nov 2020. No response to either email or phone. Just ‘be patient we’ll be in touch.’ 4 months on and getting frustrated as ready to rebook trip. Not a small amount of money. Have used them many times without hitch. S75 or some other way? Advice please. Thanks

    • Erico1875 says:

      They have an online form.
      I used it at the weekend for a hotel booking I needed cancelled. Response on Monday actioning my request so it may be worthwhile trying that

      • Lady London says:

        worst reports about Travelup and GotoGate are worst out of any I’ve seen since Covid. Do what @chrisasaurus says don’t waste time once they’ve failed to respond or refuse just go straight to chargeback.

        LastMinute has apparently not covered themselves with glory either on refunds but the two above I suggest you move quickly.

        If paid on UK credit card (not charge card) bear in mind card is also responsible for refund if worst happens but beware of shortish time limit to claim

    • Chrisasaurus says:

      Chargeback, just contact the credit card company

    • Vit says:

      As Chris suggested, do the chargeback if you booked using credit card. I have raised 4 chargeback against them via amex. They fought back 1/4 but still managed to get amex on my side at the end.

      • Pete M says:

        They are awful at responding to any normal contact, but super clued up on fighting chargeback claims. I eventually got my money back from them after about 6months, but previous to that they got AmEx on their side and the chargeback failed, despite me providing copious amounts of evidence. Vast majority of their reviews on review sites like Trustpilot are also obviously fake to create the impression they are a decent company…

  • James. says:

    I have noticed over the past 12 months Virgin were throwing vouchers at everyone to ensure they kept customers. Now I am finding I am having to fight and call customers services just to receive the vouchers from credit card spend.

    Has anyone else experienced this?

    Normally credit card spend rewards would post 2-4 weeks after the spend is reached. I am finding myself 6-12months and then having to call them up for them to investigate. I now have three in the pipeline (across 2 card accounts)

    • James says:

      Hit £10k spend last Friday. Voucher appeared in Virgin Atlantic App this morning. 4th voucher I’ve had, never any issue with it crediting or Virgin having it on their system when I’ve contacted them via FC

      • Sandgrounder says:

        Hit 20k on the free card in the last two weeks and the voucher arrived promptly.

        • Rui N. says:

          Where do you see the voucher? On my activity it says “You have qualified for a credit card reward voucher”, but I don’t see where I can choose the voucher…

          • Carol says:

            You have to contact Flying Club. I did this via WhatsApp and they were very prompt in responding when I wanted details of my vouchers. To use them you need to ring Virgin to book your flights

    • Matt says:

      I’m having the same problem with Virgin. I hit the credit card spend last December and still no sign of the voucher. It’s now been 3 weeks after contacting them and still no sign of a resolution. Very poor customer service

  • Ant says:

    Thinking of visiting Palawan next year & would like to use our Companion voucher for this. Is HK the best option? I cannot see any direct flightts to El Nido from anywhere so will have to go via Puerta Princessa.
    Appreciate any info

    • Blenz101 says:

      Any entry point in Asia should be fine HK,BKK or SIN to use your companion voucher. You can then connect on to Manila.

      There are direct flights to Palawan, I think I used maybe swift air.

      I wouldn’t plan to spend too much time in Manila itself. You don’t say if you are visiting multiple islands but an overnight ferry from Manila can be a good option to save a hotel room cost and more importantly travel time to get to some of the more beautiful parts of the county.

      • Ant says:

        Thanks. For some reason looks like all flights to El Nido have been cancelled after April.

    • BuildBackBetter says:

      El Nido airport has a short runway, so mostly small aircraft used by some of the resorts for their guests to and from Puerta Princessa. You should still be able to buy tickets.
      I planned a visit there but decided to go to Boracay and Bohol instead.

      • Ant says:

        Thanks. Out of curiosity what changed your mind?

        • Beardless Hipster says:

          El Nido airport is owned by Air Swift ( and they’re the only airline that fly there. It’s super convenient although a bit pricey due to them having a monopoly. Best to stay one night in Manila on each end as cancellations and delays are frequent in PH. Island hopping around El Nido is excellent, beautiful beaches, crystal clear water and great sea life for snorkelling. I stayed in Lio Beach ( which is a bit out of town and has a selection of new built hotels. Not as cheap as El Nido proper but it has more of a resort feel and there’s a free shuttle to el Nido. Air Swift also fly to Puerto Princessa and it’s cheap and quick. Puerto Princessa airport is bigger and has more airlines and more destinations so it’s ideal if you want to explore other islands when you’re done with Palawan.

        • BuildBackBetter says:

          Mrs decided she wanted creature comforts and a lively beach etc. So we compromised 😉

    • Dubious says:

      Not runnning at present, but Cebu Pacfic used to have some flights from Singapore that might let you route via Cebu instead of Manila. Not sure if Silkair (now merged into Singapore Airlines) ever flew direct (they used to flight Singapore to Boracay) but I can’t see that coming back for a while.

  • KBuffett says:

    Does AmEx Platinum Charge insurance covers trips abroad if booked for today if I travel once it’s ‘allowed’?

    • Sandgrounder says:

      Travel needs to be allowed when booking, the ‘roadmap’ is just an aspiration. Medical costs will be covered however if travel is permitted at the time of departure. As always though, DYOR before you part with you hard-earned cash.

  • Dave says:

    Emirates accept the following LONG list of tests.. my question is which ones are Lateral Flow Tests?

    The following tests are considered equivalent to PCR based test for COVID‑19: Real Time RT‑PCR for Covid‑19, Real Time RT‑PCR for SARS‑Cov‑2, RT‑PCR for COVID‑19, RT‑PCR for SARS‑Cov‑2, PCR for COVID‑19, PCR for SARS‑Cov‑2, Xpert Xpress SARS‑Cov‑2 or SARS‑Cov‑2 GeneXpert.

    • Blenz101 says:

      None. You are required to have a PCR test to enter or transit through Dubai.

      Home tests, lateral flow, DPI and antibody tests are not acceptable.

      • Dave says:

        But PCR tests are not real time, despite some of them named so?
        Also, the last two dont have any mention of PCR in the name, so it looks like non PCR tests are acceptable.

        • Rantallion says:

          You should check the names in Google. This shows the Xpert Xpress is PCR.

        • Andrew says:

          Brand names aren’t always good at defining what the product does.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          But the “real time” lateral flow are far less accurate/ sensitive

          The whole list is PCR.

      • Rob says:

        To be fair, no-one in Dubai checks your paperwork. There is a guy at the top of the escalator who says ‘had a test?’ and if you say yes he waves you through 🙂

        • kitten says:

          …and people are wondering why Dubai is on the red list?

          • Rob says:

            You won’t get on the plane in your origin country that easily though!

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Perhaps a day to day/hour to hour or on country of origin thing but they absolutely do check.

            As at end of Feb 35% of their population had had atleast 1 dose … it will launch as a Green list country in May. It’s purely political

          • blenz101 says:

            EK staff will have checked test paperwork before boarding at checkin. At DXB they are pretty relaxed about a large number of countries and will assume you aren’t lying when they ask if you have had a test.

            Howver, Dubai isn’t the UK. They are perfectly happy to profile arriving passengers and arrivals from other countries particularly the sub-continent will likey be taking another test and their paperwork verifed not to be a forgery.

            As for red list, check the numbers. Anybody visting here would be far less likey to catch CV19 than at home and any citizen or resident they encounter would likey have had the vaccine.

  • Mark says:

    Got an email from Radisson Rewards early this morning which reads like the US and RoW reward schemes are going to be separating in June, and (I think) that it will no longer be possible to redeem points in the other region…anyone else get this? Am I misreading the email?

  • BJ says:

    Belated thanks for feedback on Edinburgh council tax yesterday.

    @Colin, when you get your payment card don’t cancel your direct debit. The council will use this to refund you were you to accidently overpay or fall on hard times and needed your advance payments you had built up back.

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