Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Monday 10th May

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

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 (363)

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

  • bafan says:

    The first ever rail journey I planned up to the Scottish Highlands this week has now been canceled courtesy of LNER’s issues with the Azuma trains. Hopefully Premier Inn will let me cancel / move my prepaid reservation. I’ll stick with the planes in future, I think 😂.

    • BJ says:

      Ot’s Hitachi problems with the 800 series, affecting all ‘companies’ operating them.

    • John says:

      So much for LNER trying to avoid damaging their azuma “brand” when you (who I assume are not a rail enthusiast) mention the name straight off – notice that LNER do not use the word azuma in any of their communication about this fault

      • BJ says:

        The ScotRail decision to go with refurb old trains now looks like a much better one. Not being a rail enthusiast and having travelled little in the past year I might well be missing something but I hope they are now mostly on the tracks and doing well.

        • Andrew says:

          The old adage that they don’t “build em like they used to” is certainly true.

          • Paul Pogba says:

            The quality of steel coming out of the Far East is a scandal. It’s rarely lab tested and there is a complete over reliance on often fraudulent quality certification.

            Lots of construction work undertaken in the last twenty years will require significant remedial work once we have a Grenfell like tragedy.

          • Nick Booker says:

            I understand its aluminium thats failing not steel

        • Dave says:

          The Azuma is one of the worst intercity trains I’ve been on. The seats (ironing boards) are not suitable for long distance or any distance for that matter. The 125s and 225s were far superior in terms of passenger comfort especially in 1st class.

    • Super Secret Stuff says:

      Could go via avanti and then a scot rail service. Obviously depends on where you’re going too and from…

  • Tarmohamed says:

    If you get cash-back from a retailer with your shopping, how/would your credit card / amex know you’ve got a cash-back?

    I can confirm, having sight of an internal memo, “[staff] can provide [customers] with cash back as this is part of our service”

    • Tarmohamed says:

      Internal memo is in reference to Holborn.

      • Tarmohamed says:

        Thanks crafty. That’s the answer I was looking for.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      You’ll have to be more specific if you want anyone to answer.

      On the face of it you card company wouldn’t know unless the ca$hback was for signing up to the card itself. But what sort of ca$hback are you talking about.

      • BuildBackBetter says:

        I think he’s talking about withdrawing cash at the retailer, where they charge the card and return cash to you.
        The limit was raised recently.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          My best guess would be the till could be programmed to process the money part as a cash advance.

          • Jonathan says:

            It is coded separately as the retailers don’t pay the interchange fee on the cash element.

    • John says:

      Need to find a friendly convenience store which pays more than their CC merchant fees to deposit cash in the bank

  • Tom says:

    Nice offer of a £50 credit for £200 Hilton spend on my BA (blue) Amex this morning.

    • Tarmohamed says:

      Have this on platinum and corinthia spend 300 get 100

    • DT says:

      Got this on BAPP & Plat for both player 1 & 2. Also got it on player 2’s Nectar Amex that is only a week old and only opened for the 24k plat refer. Has had no spend on it yet at all

      • Aston100 says:

        Oh wow. My nectar has been open for a few weeks and has had several transactions made on it but only has the ATG theatre tickets offer.
        How random.

    • MattB says:

      Perfect timing for our trip in 2 weeks! Assume if our 2 nights cost £193 a drink or 2 will trigger the offer on checkout?

    • Aston100 says:

      Got it on PRG and also the supplementary.

    • Aston100 says:

      Would there be a problem with paying the Hilton bill with multiple cards (each of which have the £50 offer)?

      I’m tempted to cancel my IHG booking and find a Hilton in the fans area if I can make that work.

      • Jamie says:

        Sad

        • Mike says:

          Jamie – if you think that is sad you are the wrong website. Previously For shop small I split the cost of two bottles of wine across two cards – the wine merchant was quite happy

      • John says:

        No, but if you want to feel less awkward ask to pay £200 at check in

      • Matthew says:

        No, just ask. I normally prepay say £200 on arrival and then use a different card at checkout for example.

      • Jay says:

        Yes it will, ask to make a payment on account at various points during your stay, safest way. Or just ask to pay the bill at check-out with different cards. It can be done, On-Q caters for this and have done many times.

    • Anna says:

      Thanks for the heads up – in the Ts and Cs it says the offer only applies to GBP but also that the 2.99% fee will apply to transactions not made in GBP! I’ve got Hiltons booked in Spain and the US this summer so will I be able to use the offer in either of these (if either trip goes ahead, obviously)?

      • Anna says:

        *Just seen USA not included.

      • John says:

        There’s usually a list of participating hotels. I haven’t checked my account yet though

        • Andrew says:

          Yes there’s a PDF with all of the locations listed.

          • John says:

            Well, the first UK hotel (DT Aberdeen Treetops) doesn’t exist any more…

          • John says:

            HGI Stoke on Trent (opened Oct 2020) is there, but not HGI Snowdonia.

          • Karl says:

            I’m not sure how often the list gets updated. I stayed in the HbH Ealing a few weeks after opening and no credit while the promo was running. That hotel still hasn’t made the list. Would have been pleasantly surprised if Snowdon was on it.

    • IanM says:

      It says checkout spend only, will this still work with online prepayment?

      • Jonathan says:

        Based on previous experience it will as long as the hotel process the payment in the offer window. You’ve obviously got no comeback if it doesn’t work though.

        In the U.K. Hilton online bookings are still billed by the underlying hotel rather than Hilton centrally. Sometimes they won’t process pay in advance rates until shortly before arrival so if stay is after offer ends you should call up & ask them to process payment early which they’re generally happy to do.

        • ianM says:

          I guess with current cancellation policies they will probably not charge until the stay anyway.

  • Sina says:

    I & my wife were denied boarding on our flight to TFS by TAP on Saturday! I wasn’t given any reason despite having all the required documents including PCR results, letter confirming my appointment with my bank, etc.

    After the flight left I was told TAP decided to deny boarding us because my wife had an Iranian passport( despite having valid schengen visa and uk residence!) but also didn’t say I could’ve boarded after the flight!

    I contacted their customer service and gold line and after telling them the issue and my details, they either put me on an indefinite hold or hang up!

    Is there anything I can do seeing that I’ve paid for my hotel, flight, car rental, departure and arrival test fees and am not going to see any of it? I’ve never done an MCOL, Is that an option for me?

    • Sina says:

      Called them 4 times, 3 times were put on hold for 2+ hours! And once after telling them the issue the person hung up!

      Also in the airport they told me I have no rights and EC 261 only applies to European nationals!? And kept showing me the EU flag?!

      • bafan says:

        That’s definitely not right…some idiot at the airport was on a power trip. MCOL the **** out of them.

      • marcw says:

        Unless you’re a Spanish citizen, EU citizen or a resident in Spain, you are not allowed to enter Spain for non-essential reasons. Having a bank appointment is not a valid reason to enter Spain.

        • meta says:

          Same for Portugal (even when in transit, I believe) and this would be non-Schengen to Schengen transit where you need to clear Portuguese immigration.

      • cinereus says:

        Do not pass go, go straight to MCOL.

    • Anna says:

      You don’t say, but were you departing from a UK airport? I think Spain isn’t allowing entry yet to non-EU nationals/people travelling from outside the Schengen area so that might explain it.
      Also was the ground crew member Spanish? Don’t forget their national obsession with bureaucracy and finding reasons to claim people haven’t got the right documentation for anything!

    • John says:

      Are you sure Iranians on Schengen visit visas are allowed to enter yet?

      • John says:

        You need to be absolutely sure that she was entitled to transit Portugal and enter Spain – whether they lied about EC261 is irrelevant if they correctly denied boarding.

        If she was entitled to transit Portugal and enter Spain, then you can MCOL them for your monetary losses in getting to your destination, but any costs you do incur need to be reasonable.

    • BS says:

      Almost certainly not allowed in. The schengen visa would be a tourist visa – business visas are those issued by individual countries. Tourism is not ‘essential’ at the moment, or she was on the wrong visa. Either way it is reasonable to deny access.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      So you have an EU passport or a resident in Spain ?

      • Sina says:

        I have UK passport, and had an essential reason with confirmation from Spanish consulate in case I had trouble with spanish border police!

        If the reason was that spain is not letting no Europeans, then there shouldn’t be any difference between me and my wife as we’re both Non-EU!?

        And the fact that they said I could’ve boarded if I wanted to after the plane left?!

        • John says:

          Did your wife also have the approval confirmation from the consulate?

          • Sina says:

            Yes it’s for both of us but I was denied boarding as well?!

            Also a bit of good news, I was able to cancel and get a refund for my day 2 & 8 arrival tests! Got it from Testing for All dot org.

          • meta says:

            @Sina I’m sure it’s to do with Portugal transit rules as not even transit is allowed for non-essential business outside EU. And the way Lisbon airport is set up you need to exit non-Schengen area to transfer to Schengen area. You needed to have a confirmation from Portuguese embassy as well. I’d still try and do a S75 claim on the card for the flights at least as they said you could have boarded. TAP Portugal are known never to respond to such claims.

          • Lady London says:

            It’s just possible the plane was overbooked (perhaps with mandated lower capacity now due to Covid), and they needed to pick on someone to offload.

            I would be very upset about the racist overtones though towards your wife. Have done you a separate reply below.

            If the Portuguese Consulate does confirm you were in the right then there is such a thing as denied boarding compensation and I doubt being treated in a racist way and being told only EU citizens are protected by EU261 by official TAP representatives at the airport would get any sympathy from any mcol judge so no covid exemption to compo for denied boarding claim if you could be bothered after the s75 claim is done.

    • Track says:

      I do recommend to apply for Money Claim Online (small claims track of Crown Court).

      If you purchased with a UK credit card — call credit card provider and activate S75 protection for consequential losses and claim as much as possible.

      You will get nothing out of TAP “customer services” which were by the way simply physically shut for the last year.

  • J says:

    Anyone know if there are any weekly limits or other constraints on Solihull to Che? (Going direct, not via Bendy.) I managed one small test top-up last week (first time in years) but now (have been trying over the last few days) I’m getting declined. Well within credit limit and card is not locked etc. I’m guessing the creatives have spotted the advance party and immediately moved to block the revolutionaries 😉 Any advice/workarounds/things to know, or is it a lost cause? Thanks.

    • Aston100 says:

      There are rolling limits for daily, 3 days and weekly. Something like 300/500/700 respectively.
      You will also get hit with interest charges.

      • J says:

        Thanks Aston. I’ll try some smaller amounts tomorrow maybe and see what happens. I was trying 750 and 500, so that might explain it – my test transaction of 250 last week was fine. I paid that off as soon as it showed in the app so hopefully any interest will be in the pennies rather than pounds – but of course I won’t know until statement date, annoyingly 😉

      • DT says:

        This is not true. There are no limits going with IHG CC direct to Revolut. Sometimes the top up is rejected for no reason. Just give it a few days and try again with a lower amount.

        • Alex D says:

          I do £1200 a week without issue for the last 6 months or so. 1 x 600 on Monday&Friday.

          I had a call from IHG from their security team because they see Che as high risk as it’s easy to steal your money apparently. All I had to do was answer some security to make sure my card wasn’t stolen basically. The agent asked me what it even was, I just said a pre-paid card which I use to buy stuff in euro(I don’t) and he said no problem and put a note to say they don’t need to check-up on me again. (Unless the value jumps then it triggers its own flag again I was told)

          • Yorkie Aid says:

            I think the upper limit is 20% of your credit limit. Although I tried doing £2k on mine and it was rejected but £1950 went through fine in one transaction. I think multiple transactions in a few days are more likely to trigger the security call. I had one last week after attempting a third transaction in two days but just like Alex D only had to pass security and confirm that it was me making the payments and they said it would be fine in future.

          • Andy says:

            Wow good work Alex! I used to put £500 a week through che (did that for a month or so) and got told they’d cancel my card if I didn’t use it for more normal activities.

            Wish I could do £1200!

          • Alex says:

            @Andy – I should add then I do use the same card for the majority of my non-Amex spend which might help “hide” the 1200 amongst a lot of other stuff. But I have been very lucky I think so I’m just making headway while I can before it disappears.

          • DT says:

            I do around the same, £1500 per week, sometimes twice a week. I never transfer it back to a bank account in my own name though and most of my direct debit payments come out of Revolut. So there are regular payments going out and never paying myself

          • J says:

            Thanks all, I’ll keep trying. No luck so far… Not massively inclined to drop them a line lol 😉

        • TGLoyalty says:

          This IS true it just might not be true for you!

    • Blair says:

      Dumb question sorry but how can you tell if Solihull charged you interest in a given statement period? Does it show up in the main list of transactions on the statement? There’s a rather vague box on page 1 that mentions estimated interest with no explanation as to how the figure is calculated.

      • Genghis says:

        There’s a line item “Interest On Cash Interest Charged @ xx% per month”.

        • Yorkie Aid says:

          If you are still having trouble topping up from the app try logging in to Rev via a PC. I find that more reliable because the app often times out during the card authorisation process.

  • Aston100 says:

    The new Amex offer on Corinthia made me take a look.
    Surprised to see that in May half term, the Executive Rooms (45m) are cheaper than the rooms below that level.

    Brought back memories of when it used to be the Metropole. I wonder if they still have the ball room in the basement.

  • s879 says:

    When can we expect Tesci points to be converted to Virgin Flying Club miles. My account is on autoconvert. How long does it take after the cut off date/points are zeroed?

  • Pablo says:

    Entry restrictions and testing requirements continue to apply for travel to Spain. Only citizens and legal residents of the European Union, Schengen states, Andorra, Monaco, The Vatican (Holy See); and San Marino, and those who can demonstrate through documentary evidence an essential need to enter Spain, will be granted passage under current travel restrictions.

    • Pablo says:

      This was in response to Sina above.

      • Sina says:

        Thanks I had essential reasons confirmed by Spanish consulate.

        • Lady London says:

          I think I would get Portuguese Consulate written answer too – if necessary reminding them
          transit at Lisbon would have required landside then back to airside (if true). Unsure I would mention their national airline denied boarding before I got their initial answer.

          Also unsure if Spain/Portugal requirements discriminate on passport, residence (which I imagine is UK same as you and I’m sure you had proof) or just countries recently been in.

          You already got Spain so if Portugal confirms, then do a s75 claim on UK credit card to include all consequential losses. The consequential losses for car hire etc is covered even if those other expenses you lost paid by other means. UK cardco will eventually recover it all from TAP you will be paid sooner. Basis of your claim is loss and consequential loss due TAP illegally denying boarding (assuming Portugal confirms). It’s also in EU261 that this is covered I think.

          Let us know how it turns out?

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

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.