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The HfP chat thread – Friday 11th 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.

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 (341)

  • PK says:

    Sorry I am pretty new to this Seagull/Solihull thing. Just wondering how long do I have to wait after reaching the £700 rolling week limit, before attempting a £300 payment to Seagulls – is it 1 full week?
    Thanks.

    • Anna says:

      I don’t understand why people are still having problems with this, if you bring Che to the party these limits don’t apply!

    • Genghis says:

      day 0+7 days

      • Genghis says:

        Remember it’s £300 / day, £500 / 3 days, £700 / week.
        So if you’re doing £300 on the Monday, £200 on the Tuesday, £200 on the Thursday, then you can do £300 again on the Monday.
        But if you’re doing £300 on the Monday, £200 on the Saturday and £200 on the Sunday, you’ll have to wait to the following Tuesday to do £300.

        • PK says:

          Thanks Genghis. It all makes sense but I am struggling with the “wait to the following Tuesday” logic for the second scenario. Shouldn’t it be Monday for scenario 2 as well, if it is indeed Day 0+7 days?

          • Genghis says:

            In scenario 2, I guess you could do £100 on the Monday, taking it up to the £500 limit over 3 days, but would have to wait to the Tuesday to do a full £300.

    • BuildBackBetter says:

      I believe a week is 7 full days. Have they changed the definition?

    • DT says:

      Top up Revolut with as much as you want from your IHG card, without the need for Curve. Then pay off your Amex with Revolut. No more messing about with small payments every few days and you still get your IHG points

      • Ste C says:

        can you use beardy without a charge instead of IHG?

        • Reney says:

          No, massive discussions last year when codes changed and beardy started charging cash transaction fee. A lot of people were caught out. As a one off charges were reversed but it is not a long term thing.

          • Guernsey Globetrotter says:

            What you CAN do is double-dip by paying Solihull with Beardy and then on to the Seagulls…

          • DT says:

            Amazon CC -> Virgin -> IHG -> Revolut -> Amex gets you a nice double dip of points with a bonus of £10 Amazon vouchers.

      • PK says:

        Thanks Anna & DT for suggesting Che, but I walked away from Che after they froze my account and asked for s**tloads of documents.

      • Louise says:

        Do IHG charge interest on payments to Revolut?

        • Ryan says:

          Yes

        • Reney says:

          yes but if you paid off on the day or pre paid then the final charge should be minimal and no cash transaction fee

        • DT says:

          Yes, but I avoid this by accumulating a balance on IHG and then paying the balance twice on the same day, then topping up Revolut by the value of the IHG balance.

          Both charges usually come off pending on the same day and clear each other off without accruing any charges or leaving the account in credit.

          • Reney says:

            DT, just checking there are no fees to paying virgin with amazon? First time I have seen this and excited to try!

      • Mr. AC says:

        As much as you want, really? I got a stern talking-to after trivial sums (<£2k overall). Luck of the draw, maybe.

    • Toppcat says:

      I am also new to Solihull. Do they treat payments to Ernie/Seagulls etc as a cash like payment (and therefore have to be cleared the same day to avoid interest charges) or is it just treated as a purchase? Thanks.

      • SteveJ says:

        Ernie via bendy not treated as cash

      • Reney says:

        seagull via curve for me has not been treated as cash like and for those i don’t paid off on the day. I do pay off on the day for Che. If i was going both on the same day then I paid off both, since i don’t know if the system recognise that you are paying off one and not the other if you see what i mean?

      • Toppcat says:

        Fair point, Genghis, but always nice to benefit from the wisdom of others!

        It’s a new card, so I am giving it a month of normal spend pattern before I kick off any MS. Maybe overkill, but I would rather not draw attention to myself straight away.

  • Mr. AC says:

    Curve chargeback data point. Had an Air Europa flight booked in December (before the variant discovery was announced) via Curve, flight cancelled after I got to the airport already due to weather. Alternatives offered (2 days out) didn’t work so I didn’t take the trip. Airline employee at the airport said they’d refund me, this was later reiterated twice by their call center and once in writing. Refund didn’t come, so after 4 months I initiated a dispute via Curve Customer Protection (which I think is just a fancy wrapper for the MC chargeback process).
    Contacted Curve within 120 days of the date of the flight, they asked for details, screenshots, tickets and any other info, and then gave a timeline of 2 more months. 2 months went by – dispute resolved in my favor (I assume Air Europa didn’t reply at all), money landed back onto the card. Process of interacting with Curve quite painless. The only small issue: the ticket in CHF was charged in GBP to my underlying card originally, but the CHF refund went back directly to the card so my bank converted it back to GBP using their rate. I asked Curve about it, and they said it’s possible to ask for the refund to go to Curve Cash ahead of time, but they can’t undo it once it happened.

    • Char Char says:

      I assume Curve did the original CHF to GBP transaction so its a little strange they didn’t do the same on the refund

      • 747_Brat says:

        I actually had a very different experience on this. When I raised a dispute for my flights on Turkish booked through Avianca Lifemiles charged in USD, they refunded everything to Curve Cash without me asking for it. And since the amount was circa US $100, they credited it to Curve Cash without any documentation as a “goodwill gesture” because apparently I am a “valuable customer” to them for feeding Ernie! 😎

        • Sam G says:

          I had a refund go to curve cash (and didn’t realise, so I’d been chasing Turkish airlines unfairly!) – they couldn’t refund the original payment as it was originally processed via Wirecard who are now dead

          • Char Char says:

            I had a refund which I chased Curve about and they couldn’t find it until I eventually found it had been credited to Curve cash, curve cash is great when you can just pay something off with it.

    • John says:

      I had an odd situation. I bought something in euros with a euro underlying card.

      The card’s currency was set to GBP in curve. The website timed out. Because of using Curve, the amount was charged to the underlying card, even though it was only an authorisation.

      I then had to repeat the purchase. I changed the currency to EUR in curve.

      The next day the authorisation dropped off, but Curve refunded the second (successful) transaction, not the first (failed) one.

      The underlying card has a weird fee structure thus occasionally it is better to set it to GBP in curve. I made a mistake and it would have been better to set it to EUR for this transaction. But because the forex fee is charged on refunds, if the first transaction failed and was refunded, I would have received £20 less back; however, because Curve assigned the refund to the second transaction in EUR, there was no charge for the refund, so my mistake only cost me £10 but the website’s error would have cost me £20 if not for curve….

      My explanation is probably too difficult for anyone to understand.

  • Andy says:

    What are people’s thoughts on European travel next Easter? Not the usual destination for fellow HfPers, but looking at a Belgium CentreParcs for April 2022. Do people think testing and quarantining will still be in place? Although France and Belgium are behind UK for vaccinations they are making good progress. It’s possible that Winter 21/22 and further variants will emerge that affect things, but I’m looking at 10 months away! I’m guessing governments just can’t look that far ahead. Are people just covering the risk through companies giving good covid cover. I’m not keen on going if it means tests on arrival and departure and quarantining on return – i.e. current situation.

    • Toby says:

      Fwiw I think we’ll be doing tests for the next 2-3 years minimum. However, they’ll become a lot cheaper and faster. I don’t think there will be quarantine from Europe come summer ’22

    • Anna says:

      It’s very difficult to say – refundable bookings are the way to go and check your insurance if that’s important to you, you might not be covered for any trip you book while FCDO advice is in place not to travel (which would include Belgium at the moment).

      • Andy says:

        Thanks! I was concerned about booking while FCDO advise remains as it is. Unfortunately I can’t see it changing any time soon.

  • r* says:

    Is anyone going to SS DV on the intern rate in june?

    Do we know yet if ambassador benefits will apply there?

    • Rob says:

      I am booked in for late July but clearly dependent on the quarantine rules changing. We actually have the top room and the 2nd top room for a few nights.

    • Genghis says:

      I’ve liaised with the hotel. They don’t know if they will offer AMB. But I got a deal on the meal plan.

    • Pid says:

      Selfishly I am hope Portugal does not open up until mid Aug so I can go! 😉 Last year had to cancel our late summer trips as we could not go any earlier so was very jealous reading about others trips.

      I thought the t&cs stated the benefits Amb would get? If not might try to get a better deal on the meal package as well

  • Richie says:

    Any chance of hotel reviews from the Greek Islands, particularly those that may be amber but the UK FCDO allows travel?

  • Alan S says:

    Anyone ever stayed at the Westbridge Hotel in Stratford before?

    Not normally one for staying outside of the chains when in London, but flying in & out of London City in August and I booked a refundable rate a couple of months ago for basically £40 a night. Few nights pleasure trip, so it seemed like an interesting base.

    Seems to get a fair enough write up in the usual places.

  • AJA says:

    Just had this week’s TAP newsletter arrive in my email. Weirdly it’s in French!

  • Mike79 says:

    Anyone had experience with check in on the Hilton App and Amex cashback? Does it still trigger and if I check in on the app will I loose the option of an upgrade being Gold?

    • Rob says:

      Won’t impact the cashback. Jury is out on how it impacts your upgrade (although Gold isn’t guaranteed much) – most people prefer to check in manually to improve things.

    • Dave says:

      Also choosing your own room sounds great in theory but you might plonk yourself in the room next to the honeymoon couple with the bad cough and the yapping dog.

      • Andrew says:

        Don’t forget the service lift on the other side that, has squeeky doors, rough counter balance and is never quite level, so the room service trolley or maid’s trolleys need a good bump to get it in and out – they are never on the floorplans.

    • SteveJ says:

      Choose your own room often doesn’t work anyway. For some reason on check-in the gave me the room door to the one I’d chosen. No it wasn’t as an upgrade. Seemed my in app room selection counted for nought.

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