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The HfP chat thread – Friday 16th 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.

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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 (258)

  • 747_Brat says:

    Just found out that Amex have started doing FinTech kind of ID verification for new applicants. I referred Mrs. Brat last week and they sent an email today with a link to upload a selfie and an ID for verification. Never had this with Amex before. Is this something new?

    • Alan says:

      I referred my wife a couple of days ago, no id check and immediate acceptance.

      • 747_Brat says:

        Mrs. Brat never had an Amex before. Probably that’s the reason they went the extra mile to verify her ID.

    • kitten says:

      Will be entertaining if Fido/Felix has to be photographed soon as well for certain things

  • Andrew says:

    Don’t generally sort out the import duty and taxes for you?

    • will says:

      I think so, possibly in that case go for zero rated item, or channel islands shipping address. The item isn’t being shipped. Just put a royal mail letter in the post with tracking and upload that to Amazon.

  • Andrew says:

    Anyone know the normal timescale for BA to comply with a CEDR adjudication?

    They sent a first chaser for me at week 5 on Monday.

    • Anna says:

      I’m sure they’re supposed to respond within 14 days, at least initially. My resolution was very fast (all done and dusted in less than a month), though I imagine they are a bit busier at the moment.

      • J says:

        I know that the standard respond-to-claim time has been increased to 60 working days (so I suppose roughly three months elapsed time) at the moment, due to Covid etc. Not sure about after-adjudication, haven’t got that far with mine yet. Disappointing if BA is dragging its feet after CEDR have found in your favour (which I take to be what Andrew means).

    • Toppcat says:

      This is ominous… I have a CEDR adjudication due next week, after BA cancelled our flight back from SEZ and left us stranded there in November. I would quite like that cash back!

      • WaynedP says:

        I’m sure it was an anxious time for you @Toppcat, but right now, Covid aside (plus having to act like a mature, working, mortgage-paying adult, of course) the thought of being stranded on an Indian Ocean island has an otherwise blissful appeal.

    • Mouse says:

      They have 20 working days, after which CEDR will send a reminder. If still not actioned 10 working days after the reminder they will escalate it to a senior member of staff at BA. If still not done after that then it’s sanctions time.

  • 747_Brat says:

    Amex PRG fee is coming up next week, but I don’t want to pay for 2nd year. Thinking of downgrading to free MR card to safeguard the points. Please can someone help with the following questions:

    1. Which MR earning card I need to apply to safeguard the points? I looked up MR earning cards on Amex website and found that the American Express Rewards Credit Card has zero fee and earns MR points at the same rate as PRG. Is this the card HfPers recommend usually to downgrade from PRG?

    2. How do I need to go about the downgrade – should I call Amex and ask them to cancel PRG and downgrade to Rewards Card or should I first apply online for the Rewards card and then call to cancel Gold?

    3. I have read both side of experiences here where joint and separate MR accounts for opened for both the cards. What is the best way to make sure that the new Rewards Card straightaway links to the existing MR account?

    Thanks for the help.

    • Harry T says:

      1) you’ve found the right card.
      2) I don’t think you can formally downgrade. Get someone to refer you for the ARCC.
      3) seems to be a total crap shoot. Just make sure the accounts are linked before you cancel gold.

      Don’t forget to ask for a retention offer for the gold card if you’re about to pay the fee. You may be pleasantly surprised!

    • Grant says:

      Assuming you’ve spent the £15k, don’t cancel until the 10k MR bonus has arrived – this normally means you pay the renewal fee but get 11 months pro rata refund. As Harry T says, try for a retention offer too before cancelling.

      • 747_Brat says:

        Thanks @Harry & @Grant.
        Yes, I have spent more than £15k on the card, so will wait for the bonus to be credited before I cancel. I recently got a retention offer in February, so the chances for another retention offer are slim, but I will still give it a try.

        Are there any enhanced referral bonus offers for the ARCC?

    • BuildBackBetter says:

      Don’t forget to transfer over your credit limit during cancellation

      • Harrier25 says:

        You can activate and add any new Amex cards to your existing account via the Account Management tab. Both cards will then be linked to the same account.

      • 747_Brat says:

        Thanks for your reply.
        How to go about the credit limit transfer? Do I have to call or can I do it online? And does it require a credit search from Amex or are they happy to just transfer the limit over to the new card?

  • AnotherUser says:

    Any decent points/[email protected] offers to open an investment ISA at the moment? I’ve not seen anything that would offset the low fees from Vanguard when investing £5k+.

    Best I’ve seen is a £25 RAF offer from Wealthify, but I’m not eligible for that and that only seem worthwhile for investments around the £500 mark.

    • Yorkie Aid says:

      Interactive Investor (ii) have a good referral offer at the moment. One year’s fees free (worth up to £120) for new customer and £100 for the referrer. Only triggers with minimum of £10 funding. Happy to refer you if it’s useful to you.

      • Yorkie Aid says:

        10k that should read!

      • Anuj says:

        I would be happy to be referred

      • kitten says:

        What are the strengths of II as compared to other platforms?

        • Yorkie Aid says:

          The thing I prefer about ii is the totally free regular monthly investing in up to 25 different stocks, funds or ETFs. It’s great for Pound Cost Averaging into positions. The fixed fee nature also saves quite a bit of money on larger portfolios. Perfect for ISA or SIPP investment imho. For more exotic trading with cheap overseas options I favour Interactive Brokers, a similar sounding but completely different company. IB don’t support ISAs.

          • AnotherUser says:

            Thanks. I want to invest quite passively (stick the cash in one or two ETFs over the course of the year and then forget about it), so not sure II will be a great option?

    • M says:

      Hey, there is a referral offer at fidelity – we both get GBP50 Amazon voucher if you invest GBP5k in an ISA. Email me at defensiveindicate at gmail dot com if you are interested. Having said that, it probably makes sense to have a look at monevator broker comparison table to make sure it works for you:

      • Yorkie Aid says:

        Definitely worth using the comparison site to help decide. Everyone invests in a slightly different way. Personally I prefer the monthly auto investment because it stops me worrying about whether I am buying at the right moment or not 🙂 YMMV

  • DZOO says:

    Anyone having issues making payments to Beardy via Curve (any card) – neither app/SMS seem to be working?

    • aDifferentSimon says:

      I take it metal curve?

    • Swiss Jim says:

      Nothing working for me. Not late last night not this morning. Hopefully temporary. Trying to pay HL. Email option also gone (this happened a little while back I think…)

    • Toppcat says:

      I was able to make a payment this morning, bendy backed by HK.

      • Swiss Jim says:

        Checked again. Works now on phone (didn’t try that before) not on laptop however. Odd, but DZOO you might want to try that if not already

  • Alan says:

    How about listing items on ebay (using the regular £1 commission offers) and fulfilling the orders via Amazon?

    • Swiss Jim says:

      Does anyone have the foggiest when those of us having to receive payments into paypal will be switched to new ebay payment system. Other than ‘this year’. £1 offer does work with paypal taking 2.9%… you don’t seem to be able to accelerate the switch (or can you?)

      • bafan says:

        I was actually switched this week, on Monday. I have a dislike of PayPal so I’m thrilled to get away from them.

      • Secret Squirrel says:

        Think it’s end of May 21. I’ve switched over & amazed how much fees on PP it’s saved me.

  • Andy says:

    Data point: I’ve just cancelled my Bonvoy Amex card, the retention offer was 1 additional point per £1 of spending for 3 months. I didn’t take them up on it.

    I currently have the Business Gold and no other Amex cards (and the Bonvoy was the only Amex I’ve held in the last couple of years). I’d rather not pay for another card at the moment but would like to have a personal Amex.

    Am I right in thinking that the sensible thing to do is get referred to the Preferred Rewards Gold, hold it for the best part of a year, then cancel and signup to the BAPP?

    • BuildBackBetter says:

      Is it easy to switch the MR account between personal and business cards? So if you cancel the personal card will the MR be automatically linked to your business card?

      • Rob says:

        There is no such thing as a ‘business’ MR account. Only a person can have an MR account. If you have two MR accounts, Amex should therefore have no issues in merging them.

    • Anna says:

      The Bonvoy Amex means you’ll only get a sign up bonus on BAPP or Platinum. If you got the Gold you could get the 10k bonus points for £15k spend but you only get the points after the anniversary.

      • Andy says:

        Oh darn, looks like I misread the HFP guide for signup strategy. There goes a quick and easy signup.

        So today I’m going to go from cancelling my Bonvoy to save £75… to spending £195 on a BAPP. What a fun game we play.

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