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The HfP chat thread – Monday 19th 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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Comments (323)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Ali M says:

    Quick question : tried paying HMRC with Curve but says there is a 0.10% charge – this isnt a lot of course but havent encountered this before. Is this new?

    • stevenhp1987 says:

      On the back of the card does it say “Commercial” on it?

      If it does, that will be why. You will need to swap to a personal card to avoid the fee.

  • Tony Ella says:

    Am looking at getting the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Card and was wondering if anyone knew if the bonus was going to increase in the next couple of months. I know it’s been as high as 30,000 but is only 15,000 at the moment.

    Would be happy to wait a couple of months if it’s likely to happen.

    • Rhys says:

      Nothing on our radar.

      • Tony Ella says:

        Thanks Rhys. I was banking on if anyone knew you guys probably would!

      • Jonathan says:

        Anything about bringing back the sign up bonus on the free Virgin card?

    • Harry T says:

      Worth remembering that the spend requirement for the 15k is just making a purchase, whereas the 30k bonus usually requires some decent spend.

  • Manny_D says:

    Just curious, do we think there will be a refresh of the Amex Green Card in the UK?

    • Charlieface says:

      Every time there has been a refresh the Green has stayed the same. Don’t hold your breath

      • Harrier25 says:

        I know that they’ve recently refreshed Amex Green in the US, so fingers crossed.

  • Doug says:

    Shangai with Bendy not playing well with Vanguard in the past two weeks, been trying to use my ISA allowance, but the transaction does not get processed… Should I use a different ISA provider and transfer to Vanguard? 🙁

    • Max says:

      Interesting, thanks for sharing. Is this one of the Shanghai premiers or the Shanghai john lewis one?

    • mark says:

      Doug HSBC changed their T+Cs last month so from 31st of March they started to limit any spending related to gambling/onlinetrading etc.
      I imagine Vanguard falls into this.

      • Doug says:

        Thanks, I suppose Vanguard’s MCC is exposed to the funding card and HSBC is blocking it, I will try a different card to check this.

        • mark says:

          Yeap, they still override it and cancel the transaction even if you use Curve.
          Not sure what other cards are out there that allow it still.
          I think Virgin also stopped it a while back.

          • Lawro says:

            I’m not convinced this is all about HSBC’s changes. Using HH as underlying has also stopped working recently..

    • Nigel W says:

      Thanks for this and 🙁

      Only just signed up to Vanguard in the last few weeks!

    • Chris says:

      btw, is the reason for these routes to earn points on transactions you wouldn’t normally be able to use a credit card? Do they end up been “cash advance” or regular transactions when they hit the other side? (sorry maybe late to this game hence the question)

      • WaynedP says:

        In order of your questions

        Yes (you may be late, but you’re a fast learner)

        Depends, some do for some, some don’t for others.

        I’m not a player myself, but apparently the received wisdom is to try a small amount and see what happens.

        • WaynedP says:

          If you get stung, take it on the chin.

          If you get away with it, keep it under your hat for as long as you can repress the smugness, for fear of your gravy train being derailed.

          Others will have their own opinions, but that’s my take on the whole thing.

          Oh, and posts on the subject add to HfP’s kudos and reader/activity stats which benefits the rest of us in keeping HfP going and probably go a small way to making up for my not clicking on the adbait as regularly as I should.

  • Gtellez says:

    What is the current BA policy for flight changes? I just received an email that my flight was delayed by 2.5h. It is to Male for September and bought with avios; can I reschedule to another date without avios availability?

    • AJA says:

      I think BA recently “enhanced” the change in times to over 4 hours before you can request a change of flight.

    • Charlieface says:

      Has the flight number changed? If so you should be able to change flight

  • Andrew says:

    It’s sometimes hard to remember what’s new on the Amex Offers. I don’t remember seeing this one last time I looked:-

    Avios – 1 Bonus for every £2 spent anywhere up to 1,500 Avios until July

  • Richard says:

    New to looking to using Amex FHR or Emyr, so apologies if answer widely known. Re Hilton, IHG hotels etc, do nights booked through this count towards annual stay targets for status, and do they attract points?
    Also, is there much difference between Amex FHR and Emyr, or are they effectively accessing the same rates/benefits?
    Thank you.

    • Harry T says:

      Bookings through FHR and Emyr count as a preferred partner booking and are eligible for elite night credits and points earning.

      FHR is different to what Emyr can offer. Emyr can access STARS rates for Marriott, Impressario for Hilton etc which are meant to be treated better than Virtuoso or FHR bookings. Sometimes he can give you exclusive benefits that FHR can’t. It’s always worth asking him what he can do.

    • Phil says:

      My experience of booking FHR with IC Ambassador with Spire has been extremely positive. The benefits have always stacked for me (always received a double room upgrade, FHR F&B benefits stacking with free drinks vouchers, etc.). They’ve always counted towards nights earned and accrue points as well. The key is to add your loyalty card number into the FHR booking and it will pop up in the IHG App and the rate will display as FHR.
      If I’m booking an IC or IHG equivalent for cash, I will generally check out the FHR benefits.

  • AJA says:

    India just added to the red list.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-56806103

    • Chris says:

      Only 2 hours after the spectator lead questioned : Why has India avoided the red list.

    • Saiz says:

      About time! They left if so late. Only woke up when they realised there were over 120 cases in the UK already! Countries on either side of India were added two weeks ago and India, whose soaring cases have been making international headlines, wasn’t. Very strange.

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