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The HfP chat thread – Tuesday 1st June

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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.

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Comments (299)

  • Lee says:

    It’s been a while since my last booking through FHR. It’s now showing this “Earn +5 Membership Rewards® points Platinum Cardmembers can now earn an additional +5 points for every £1 spent on pre-paid Fine Hotels + Resorts bookings.” Is this new?

    • Rob says:

      Didn’t think there was such a thing as a pre-paid FHR booking, but I agree the message is there!

      Basic Cardmembers enrolled in the American Express Membership Rewards® Programme who book a pre-paid Fine Hotels + Resorts or The Hotel Collection stay at americanexpress.co.uk/travel will earn, in addition to their standard earn rate plus the additional bonus point on pre-paid bookings on Amex Travel Online*, an additional 5 bonus Membership Rewards points for every full £1 charged for the stay to their eligible card. *The additional bonus point on pre-paid bookings on Amex Travel Online is 1 point for every £1 spent for Platinum Cardmembers and 2 points for Preferred Rewards Gold Cardmembers and American Express Preferred Rewards Gold Credit Cardmembers.

      Offer valid for bookings made from 01 June through 30 June 2021 for stays through 31 December 2021. To be eligible for the Membership Rewards® bonus points offer, you must both reserve and charge the pre-paid Fine Hotels + Resorts or The Hotel Collection booking with the same eligible American Express Card. To modify a reservation you must cancel and rebook your reservation. You can cancel and rebook your reservation on americanexpress.co.uk/travel or by calling your Platinum Travel service on 0800 917 8054. Cancellations are subject to hotel cancellation penalty policies. If hotel reservations are made or modified directly with the hotel provider, the reservation will not be eligible for this Membership Rewards® point benefit. Bonuses you may receive with your Card on other purchase categories or in connection with promotions or offers from American Express may not be combined with this benefit. Merchants are assigned codes based on what they primarily sell. A purchase will not qualify for additional points if the merchant’s code is not eligible. The benefits associated with the Additional Card(s) you choose may be different than the benefits associated with your basic Card. The additional Membership Rewards points may take up to 90 days from end of promotion period to appear on your account. If you book within the promotion period but then cancel your booking, the additional Membership Rewards points gained on that booking will be detracted from your account. Additional Membership Rewards points cannot be earned on products which are not prepaid on Amex Travel Online but are paid directly to the supplier, including cruise bookings and select hotel bookings. These bookings will earn at the normal rate of one point for every £1 spent. Full Terms and Conditions apply, please visit americanexpress.co.uk/termsandconditions.

      • meta says:

        This is a new thing as discussed last night. You can now pre-pay FHR. Didn’t see 5 points per £1 bonus. However, there is a risk that you don’t get hotel loyalty benefits with prepaid rates as that’s what happens with prepaid FHR rates in US. For independent hotels it doesn’t matter.

  • Jonathan says:

    My wife had the exact same scenario which is interesting. She got a text alert earlier from Creation but gave up holding for the fraud team after 45 mins. No Amazon transactions on that card in months. Is it a Curve verification or just a c0ck up with Creation?

  • Yorkshire rich says:

    Got Annual leave from next Tuesday for 10 days. Originally booked turkey but that will be cancelled. I can’t for the life of me decide what to do. Trying to wait for the next review now but maybe tempted with Barbados. Anyone got any ideas. Anywhere will do?

    • Lord Doncaster says:

      Stay in Yorkshire, man. Take a break in Doncaster!

  • BJ says:

    That was the week that was … huge news that seemed not quite so huge and bad news that seemed not quite so bad! Every time our hobby gets a bit lacklustre, inevitably sonething happens … whatever next? Personally I’m hoping for a loss leader of sorts from Chase to shake up the market.

    • Harry T says:

      I have the same hope. It’s either that or watch Amex devalue their cards progressively over time, whilst a fortunate few find game changing value.

      • BJ says:

        In conjunction with the airlines and hotels they and other service providers can only push their customers so far. Good loyalty schemes are very profitable, they don’t want to shoot themselves in the foot. Sure they will probe the margins but we have to assume they are not going to squeeze the customers too hard for fear of scaring too many of them off. The direction of travel has been very much what Rob predicted when the cap on fees came into play, however, it remains better for customers than I had expected so no real complaints from me.

    • Cat says:

      I’d welcome a bit of competition from Chase too. Badly need to rethink my Plat + BAPP strategy, as this is getting absurdly expensive, given that I haven’t left the country in nearly 2 years now…

      • Harry T says:

        I personally can’t see the value in the Platinum card any more. It’s too expensive and the gold card has a better earnings rate, with perks you can use without travelling.

      • meta says:

        I love the new BAPP voucher with which you can start outside UK. Hopefully no more huge surcharges. Competition is always good, but if there is one thing I learned is to diversify. I never regretted transferring huge chunks of Marriott points to AA Advantage couple of years ago. Also hotels will probably continue offering deals outside peak periods for the next 2 years, so will be interesting.

        I would really like to see a new hotel credit card (new Hilton, Hyatt?) that challenges the poor Bonvoy Amex. I also think Chase would do well to have something similar to Amex MR points, but better transfer rates.

        • Harry T says:

          You still need to pay to travel to your preferred place of departure though – once you factor in the cost of a flight to Amsterdam or wherever, and a night in a hotel, will you have saved much money overall? It is probably a useful option though if you are using the 241 on a one way to somewhere (perhaps starting in Japan or HKG) rather than starting a journey from near the UK to a far flung destination.

          I actually think the possibly increased redemption seat availability due to opening I class is a more interesting potential feature.

          • BJ says:

            Positioning flights are only a hardship if you make them so. Always felt they were best used to facilitate a short break financed from the savings, plus a bit more if desired.

          • meta says:

            2 x nested 241 vouchers. Never paying BA surcharges again. Just pay APD which is manageable.

        • BJ says:

          I worry more about the hotel schemes than the airlines. Redemption rates relative to earning rates seem like they are becoming too high at both the top and the bottom end. There are always the headline-grabbing exceptions which are welcome but they mask the bigger picture. IHG has been not too bad but then we cannot earn there like we used to.

      • BJ says:

        Strategies need some reevaluation in light of this I think. Feels like there is a need to factor in some guestimates on where the market may go from here.

  • Degsy says:

    Is it just me or has anyone else noticed that refunds from Sainsbo’s don’t seem to have any detrimental effect?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Probably because let’s face it who gets a refund from sainsburys on a regular basis

  • mart says:

    can you cancel a platinum personal charge card over live chat?

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