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The HfP chat thread – Saturday 17th 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 (215)

  • Ali says:

    Thank you everyone for the replies on yesterday’s chat regarding my account closure by Lloyds.

    Based on Lady London’s suggestion, I am visiting the branch with that letter. Currently waiting to enter the branch in a long queue outside, but I will update this thread with the developments as they happen.

    • Mr. AC says:

      On the edge of my seat!

    • Anna says:

      The thought of going to a bank on a Saturday, especially at the moment 😱

      • The Savage Squirrel says:

        Also what are the chances of anyone senior enough to make a decision “over the head” of the central office being present at a typical branch, on a Saturday? Unless it’s a huge city centre location I’d suggest they’re very low?

        • ChrisC says:

          I thought Ali was going to a branch to veryfy that the letter is real and not a scam?

          Any challenge would come later and would be addressed to the proper people.

          • Lady London says:

            well…that was supposed to be what his visit looked like…..

            As @memesweeper said, if it is genuine they have not gone about it in accordance with the best current banking standards. So no harm in an opening that could raise a slight hint of a potential complaint…

          • The real John says:

            He can make a complaint, Lloyds may pay him a few hundred but he won’t be able to have any Lloyds group accounts for the rest of his life unless changes his name and leaves the UK for 7 years severing all credit records with his old name.

        • Lady London says:

          hadn’t seen your reply @Savage but yup…

      • Lady London says:

        I suggested Monday as sometimes you cant get things done in a bank on a Saturday as fulltime/senior staff with the authority to solve problems often don’t work Saturday.

        Let’s hope with Covid banks might have made more effort to ensure more availability of those staff on Saturdays.

      • @mkcol says:

        The thought of going to a bank at all, but for this I’d make the trip if I was in their position.

    • Harry T says:

      Are you the person who opened three accounts in rapid succession and then tried to switch them all? If so, I proclaim you the inaugural candidate for the Head for Points Darwin Award 😂

      • Gruntfuttock says:

        Harsh but fair 😅

      • ChrisC says:

        Yes from the post Ali did yesterday that is exactly what he did!

        • Tw33ty says:

          4 hours and no update, must be a little bit long queue or he’s found out it’s real.

      • Doug M says:

        I think the comments can lead to this, bit too literal in following advice based on posts without considering context. I’ve seen “Just open another account with your existing bank” many times. Regular posters and those with more real world experience may apply consideration to advice, others don’t. Much of the ideas and suggestion in comments carries risk if you’re literal in following it and just dive in. I’ve seen numerous posts from people complaining Curve doesn’t work for them, follow up responses often reveal they got card and tried to buy £5K NS&I 5 minutes later. Much if what’s discussed here needs to be supported by some consideration of method and timing. I don’t do anything moody with my main account or with that bank.

    • Ali says:

      Thanks everyone for your messages.

      So I spoke to the staff at the bank. The letter was real. The staff looked up my account and after checking my ID read out the notes on the account.

      There was a block on my account for new deposits, but I was free to withdraw money if I wanted to. The account closure date is set to 26 April, as was mentioned in the letter. I also spoke to the Branch Manager and the staff. The staff wasn’t particularly friendly, but they did mention that in rare cases Lloyds allows customers to withdraw their deposits before they close the account. It is usually done for customers with a longstanding relationship with Lloyds.

      Long story short, I came out honestly and apologised for opening those account. But I also emphasised that I wasn’t thinking of leaving them at all. Manager took pity on me and wrote an email to someone in the Compliance team, and advised me to withdraw the money, which I did.

      I am now hoping to receive a call from Manager next week with a positive news. Fingers crossed. I will keep you guys updated. Thanks for the help.

      • Aston100 says:

        I’m staying tuned for next week’s episode.

        • kitten says:

          Well done so far @Ali.
          When they call you, whatever the outcome, be regretful and gracious.

          If they don’t call you by end of day Thursday, call them as soon as you can from their opening time on Friday, keep apologising and humbly ask is there any news. Stay gracious whatever.

          • Lady London says:

            This is about avoiding black marks on your external financial probity/credit records if you can – although in the conversation it’s about your relationship with them so keep it nice whatever.

  • DR says:

    Planning for LHR/MIA Apr 22, for this I will be using a FTV. I have been checking occasionally at 1am and there is availability for CW, but by 6am it is gone as you would expect. Is there any point in booking at 1am to secure the seats (no voucher just Avios) and then phoning at 6am to canx (I know there will be a charge of £35pp) and hope they can pick up the seats when they are canx (know this is not a guarantee). I have enough Avios sitting that I could do this, and as far as I know I would get the Avios back and the tax back (not a voucher value) and I would have to pay the £35pp fee. Would this work or is there a call center open at 1am that can process the FTV? Thanks

    • Alex says:

      If you have exact dates you need to fly then this is potentially worth doing, but as you mention, no guarantee the seats you get at 1am will be re-released back into the reward availability pool.
      If you aren’t as fussy about days within the month of April i would just wait as more seats are bound to open up, just check each day AM&PM.

      If you do try at 1am the US office is probably your best bet at trying to use a FTV over Japan. You could also speak to a UK agent during the day and try to get the direct line to them after closing as the line is manned 24hrs a day they just close to British calls but I know some people who have been patched through to the UK before.

    • Anna says:

      There are certainly call centres open but I don’t know whether all of them can process FTVs.
      Would you have to pay the £35 fee if you cancelled within 24 hours, I can’t honestly remember but someone here will know.
      Consider another destination (ATL/NYC/IAD) which might have more availability than MIA and book a short, cheap internal flight (turn it into a 2 centre trip)? Even look at Tampa/Orlando as they sometimes (rarely) have better availability than MIA – though probably not if you’re travelling over Easter.
      I’d be inclined just to call, have a few options to hand and go with the best option you can get at the time. This is certainly what I’m going to do with my FTVs – it’s also what I find generally to be the best policy for getting the most out of avios bookings!

      • Alex says:

        Yes very good point Anna, 24hr cooling off period so if you book at 1am and cancel within 24hrs you wouldn’t have to pay a penny…again though, doesn’t guarantee you get them back into reward but for free it’s worth a shot!

      • DR says:


    • Nadeshka says:

      It doesn’t hurt to call, I have contacted call center at 1am who were able to reserve seats without deducting any avios or taking cash payment – they basically held the seats until a few days later when I called in the day to finalise.
      Call and say you want to use the FTV and they may offer to hold them if they can’t process it.
      It was US number (via Skype) but transfers either to US or India.

    • Harry T says:

      No charge for cancellations within 24 hours. Just call and ask them to apply the FTV at time of booking. Might not work, but you could always book anyway and then call within normal working hours later that day to have the voucher applied.

      • DR says:

        Thanks for all the comments

        • Jonny says:

          If you’re ok paying the £35pp, is a safer strategy to get the FTV fully refunded so you can make a 1am online Avios booking? As I’ve never done this, I don’t know how long it takes for BA to process a redemption FTV cancellation but it sounds like you have enough Avios not to wait anyway.

  • Njb says:

    I am looking at booking a 241 flight from London out to East coast USA in early September. Hopeful that we will be allowed to travel! Would like First out CW inbound.
    There seems to be lots of CW outbound but very little First. Looked primarily at MIA, New York, Boston.
    Any thoughts out there about whether this is due to aircraft size which may change if restrictions lifted?

    • Alex says:

      Business class availability is always high to East coast US due to the sheer volume of flights per day per destination. First class firstly isn’t released as much normally and secondly BA have a lot less aircraft with first class on-board now due to 747’s all being retired etc.

      I would definitely recommend book CW/CS both ways for now and then you can always upgrade to first if/when it opens up. If you haven’t flown CS, it’s worth trying maybe instead of First… A lot of equipment changes are likely to happen in coming months also due to changing covid rules, countries letting us in changing demand across the globe etc so you could book first and it get downgraded anyway so keep that in mind…

      • Njb says:

        Great advice Alex – thanks.
        We have no BA status so fancied a trip to the lounge that comes with first. Also can bring our daughter and niece who are coming on trip but travelling down the back.
        Going to buy as part of spend for amex referral bonus. Your plan sounds like a good one.

        • Memesweeper says:

          If there’s availability the F lounge in JFK is lovely. Late flight, dine on the ground, it’s a great way to get home.

        • Chris Heyes says:

          Njb Not only 1st but business class (Club) Gets you into the lounge free as well.
          I’ve never had BA status (blue plebs us) If you travel 1st or business anyhow status is almost useless certainly not worth chasing unless you pay for you flights

          • Njb says:

            Thanks Chris – but with First we can take a guest in each (daughter and niece) but not with Club.

    • Anna says:

      Very little F around at the moment. I think this is mostly due to F capacity being reduced on a lot in general these days. Have you tried PHL? I think there was some F availability when I was looking at East coast recently. IAD is another option people often don’t consider. Both great city breaks.

      • Njb says:

        Thanks Anna.
        We did First to IAD a couple of years ago – few days in DC followed by a Virginia road trip. It was our first taste of First and we loved it!
        I do fancy PHL as never been there so will take a look.

        • Anna says:

          We did 5 days round that area 3 years ago, agree it’s a great destination and we’ll definitely go back for longer, want to see W Virginia and the Blue Ridge mountains/Shenandoah.

          • Njb says:

            We did exactly the same – West Virginia and Shenandoah. We never made it to the Waltons mountain house but I was very tempted!

    • Chris Heyes says:

      Njb A lot of First seats are unavailable, because BA are unsure at the moment
      I Don’t think BA want to sell 1st for Avios then have to make a loss if/when they have to downgrade to CW
      I would book Club and be pleased to go
      We tried to book 1st to Denver, Club back from Phoenix, had to settle for Cub both ways.

  • Dan says:

    Is there a weekly limit of £700 for creation spend or is this only for topping up che?

    I guess, I’d like to know whether this applies to Ernie purchases…

    • Harrier25 says:

      I topped up Che the other day with ‘no free breakfast hotel card’ by more than £700 without an issue.

    • Alex says:

      It seems to be 700 if for anything deemed a “financial service” transaction. You can spend as much as you like generally. The 700 limit also seems to vary as some people can do much more, inc myself.

      I don’t use Ernie although I’d assume the 700 counts on that

    • Guernsey Globetrotter says:

      Solihull to Che can be done direct with no limit cap. I regularly do £2-3k once or twice a week (trying to keep the churn within my ‘customer spending profile’ and not totally take the p*ss) with no problems and no charges other than interest (which can also be avoided if you credit the sum back same day)…

    • Travel Strong says:

      No ernie cap

  • KBuffett says:

    Does anyone have experience of selling stuff on FaceBook? I want to clear out a lot of unwanted items at home. Is it possible to set up a pseudo account just for selling and is it worth the hassle?

    • Benilyn says:

      You can should be fine… but 1) risk FB finding out it’s a clone account, 2) it will say member joined April 2021 so you look possibly a little more suspect (but high value items)

    • Alex says:

      It tends to be okay, just no obligation to buy so you might pull an item as sold and they never show( if collection not posting of course)…can be a bit annoying but worth it seen as you don’t pay any sales fees etc

    • the_real_a says:

      I sell quite a bit on FB, the main problem is with unreliable people. I would say about 50% of firm appointments to pick up on the general marketplace page just dont turn up. Its not politically correct, but i generally only list n local groups covering the better areas of town these days.

      • Benilyn says:

        Oh yeah it’s full of people who click the default “Is this available” and you never hear from them again

      • Lord Doncaster says:

        The only people who use FB in my part of town are invariably those who can’t find the comma or full stop button on their phone…

        I think even Shock is better than FB Marketplace 😵

        • Magic Mike says:

          You earn more money selling on eBay, and most regular sellers and buyers on eBay can string a sentence together and describe things reasonably accurately with dimensions etc.

          FB Marketplace in comparison, well… its filled with the kind of people who spend too much time on Facebook…

  • Newbie says:

    I’d like my partner to take advantage of the 24k referral bonus from their Plat card.

    The problem is our mortgage deal expires on 1-November. If I apply for a couple of cards now, will it impact our chances of getting a good deal? I would also close another Amex that I’m not using.

    I closed my company last year so I have enough funds to pay the mortgage off now. I don’t want to do it because rates are so low that I’d rather have a mortgage and invest some money on passive index funds. I was thinking that if lenders ask about number of credit applications this month I could always send them bank statements with proof of enough funds to pay it off now?

    • Charlieface says:

      6 months is the gap they normally recommend, as beyond that most banks don’t care. And a single application also doesn’t make much difference, depends what else you are doing at the same time.

      Furthermore, I’m not even sure a product change (if that is what you are doing as opposed to applying to a new bank) will even trigger a check, as no new borrowing

  • KBuffett says:

    In contrast to recent reports of Barclaycard credit limit cuts, I’ve just received a letter from AmEx offering me a credit limit increase on one of my four AmEx cards. A bit strange and clearly I don’t need or utilise these cards a huge amount.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Will be to do with the fact that barclaycard must have a proportion of all credit limits set aside. Imagine with crap interchange fees there are far better investment opportunities for that capital.

    • Graeme says:

      I called Amex a couple of weeks ago to request an increase on my £4500 limit – they declined. Last week I received an e-mail and then letter offering me a £12,500 limit. Strange bunch.

  • mart says:

    Long shot but does anyone have a copy of the recent business card promo 50k/100k offer terms and conditions? Thanks.

    • Rob says:

      There were no special terms published – all the usual terms just with a higher bonus and higher spend target inserted.

      • mart says:

        Thanks Rob and apologies for the late reply – hope you get this and can poss help – reason for asking is I applied on 7 april (but wasnt accepted till april 12th ish), so before the 9 april deadline. But amex are claiming that I only qualify for the 20,000 bonus. I need to be able to provide some sort of evidence to support my claim..!

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