Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Saturday 3rd July

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 (356)

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

  • dragonfly says:

    Good morning!
    Need some advice re credit card for a friend.
    I have a friend from Germany who has lived in London for over 20 years, and she has never had a credit card (!) A few years ago she asked me about where to buy euros when she visited her family in Germany (quite regularly). I told her the best FX rates – a Thomas Exchange in Canary Wharf – where I got FX cash. Then I tried to convince her that she should get a no FX fee with Barclays. She has had a Barclay bank account where her salary has been paid into. She said she did not see the need for a credit card because she does not have mortgage, nor borrow money etc. Anyway she did apply for a Barclays credit card but was rejected. I told her to follow up, but she never did. Now the subject matter has come up again. She and her husband (a British) are about to move to Germany and she wanted to get a German credit card but worried she would not be able to get it if she has not got a UK credit card. So, again I told her to try Barclay. Her husband had never had a credit card either! Long story but these nice people know nothing about managing their finances. He applied for a credit card from Barclays and got it. Her application got rejected again 😩
    So my question is how to deal with her rejection from Barclays? I am thinking of her telling Barclays to move her account to HSBC first direct and apply for a credit card with them. Would this work? She works for the NHS, not on a high salary at all. They live in a free accommodation as her husband works for a Christian charity. They don’t have any debt. Any suggestion would be appreciated 🙏🏻

    • SteveJ says:

      Have a look at the moneysavingexpert site. There are some cc providers who will offer a low limit cc in such circumstances. Get one of those, spend and pay off to build a history.

      TBH not sure how much if anything a UK history will help them when they move to Germany, don’t think the Germans would review a UK credit file, though could be wrong.

      • dragonfly says:

        Thanks SteveJ. Our friends are very simple people in financial matters. They think it is good that they don’t have any debt, credit card, or loan of any kind. I have sent them snippets from MSE but to be honest they don’t really understand it 😒

    • TimM says:

      If it is only the ability to exchange currencies then the likes of Revolut, which is not a credit card or have any overdraft facility but is otherwise works as a fully-fledged bank account with spot rates for FX and zero fees for IBAN transfers, could be the answer. Living between the UK and Greece, it has saved me a small fortune over the years.

      • dragonfly says:

        Thanks TimM. It is difficult to education people in one go when we have been doing it all our lives as a second nature. They understood using wise to transfer money from UK to Germany when they move there later this year.

        • BJ says:

          Sounds like she was rejected simply because she has no credit file to speak of. If they have no need or desire for credit and their mindset is as simple as you say then a good currency card such as FairFX or Caxton might best suit their needs. Sounds like they can do without the potential issues of bendy etc.

          • dragonfly says:

            Thanks BJ. I did suspect that because she has had no credit history. She said she is on the electoral register for voting.

    • BuildBackBetter says:

      As BJ said, it’s more likely due to credit history. Have they registered their names for utilities, voting list and council tax etc?
      The only card that can help them for moving to Germany is Amex.
      Get an Amex here and do a global transfer after moving to Germany.

      • BuildBackBetter says:

        That’s for getting a credit card. But Amex has fx fees so tell them not to use it for other currencies! Get Wise multi currency account or Revolut.

        • dragonfly says:

          They did mention wise, so i have explained it further to them about wise multi currency account which they will set up for transferring funds between the UK and Germany. He is British and she is German – they will move to Germany temporarily for a few years to look after her elderly parents.

      • dragonfly says:

        Thanks for BuildBackBetter. Yes, she said she is on the electoral register, and I think her name is on the utilities and council tax – I will check with her, maybe they are in her husband’s name only. [ i always make sure my name is on all bills with my hubby – because they refuse to talk to me when he is at work!]
        I was thinking the same thing about her applying for an Amex card in the UK, as they don’t require income level, and transfer it after moving to Germany. She said Barclays said her borrowing is greater than her income – yet she has no credit card, no loan, no mortgage. She was astounded! Women are generally not financial savvy like men, unless working in the financial sector. Over the years I have held hands of my girlfriends on these issues (some of them married to well to do men who do not teach them anything).

        • Danny says:

          As you mentioned your friend said Barclays have told her that her borrowing is greater than her income, yet she has no borrowings, then first and foremost she needs to check her credit reports for any errors or inaccuracies. Until then the general advice or comments on here will just be going around in circles and you seem to know what you are talking about.

          • kitten says:

            If there’s time defo put her name alone on utilities.

            Some stores will give credit pay over say 4 monthly instalments and credit file does not have to be strong.

            I believe mobile phone contract payment record is often reported to credit agencies now – didn’t use to be and might still be excluded as a qualifier but might be worth checking if any good for your target card

          • Tariq says:

            This, and make sure she’s filled in the application form correctly!

    • Tim says:

      ‘…Long story but these nice people know nothing about managing their finances’. I suspect they have a significant grasp of managing their finances and view you as an arrogant and annoying ‘friend’. Citibank and Amex is the answer if they are moving back to Germany. But they’ll have no problems in Germany at all. It is a very different setup to the U.K.

  • aviosnewbie says:

    I paid IHG via bendy, and while I got a declined msg at IHG, bendy approved the transaction and has charged my card. Will it get reversed automatically or do I need to follow up with bendy?

    • SteveJ says:

      Not sure about the answer to the question, but why did you insert Bendy into the equation? You can pay Solihull without Bendy intervention.

    • Benilyn says:

      Will reverse out in a few days

    • VerdantBacon says:

      IHG card can be paid with any card you like without using Curve at all

  • Craig says:

    Does Amex Platinum travel insurance cover cruises? I couldn’t find anything that said it doesn’t?

  • Gtellez says:

    How long does it take for the 10k Amex points bonus for spending £15k in the personal gold card to arrive? I read that can be up to 60 days after anniversary date but would like to know if it usually arrives earlier, since I wanted to cancel that card soon. Could I get some retention offer after receiving those bonus points? Thanks!

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Usually around 30 days and yeah you can try and get a retention bonus.

      I was offered 20k a few months back I’ve read people have been offered 10k recently

    • JDB says:

      They should arrive just after the first statement generated after your anniversary date. At least that’s how they say it works and, for me and my wife, has done in the last two years. My anniversary date is 27 Dec and I received them two days after my 23 Jan statement.

      • Gtellez says:

        Great, I’ll wait a little bit then before asking for retention bonus, thanks!

  • Marie says:

    Waiting for Randox PCR. Flight 8am tomorrow .Received in lab 6am today .Fingers crossed everyone.
    Not booked hotel,parking or transfer yet . Nor have I checked in for flights . It’s all quite stressful.
    Anyone else in the same boat ?

    • Idontfly says:

      We received all our results by 6pm, the most recent results arrived by 3pm.

    • Anna says:

      Sort of – 3 hour PCR tests booked for 2 teenagers at MAN later this month but I’ve got refundable bookings for all the elements you’ve mentioned!
      Are you still going to Mallorca?

      • Marie says:

        Yes, but other half is having a wobble and are looking at if Madeira would work with more generous 72 pcr window.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      You’ll be fine.

      • Anna says:

        +1, people on here generally seem to have had good experiences with Randox, they’re doing our tests as well.

    • Colin MacKinnon says:

      Travel nowadays is stressful, yes.

      The worry is not will they process tests on time, it is whether or not there is a glitch and your test comes out “uncertain”. Then you are stuffed.

      That’s why always book refundable.

      Waiting until the last minute is becoming a poorer option, since many businesses are waking up to this and hiking the prices for last-minute bookings. Got to increase revenue somehow!

    • Patrycja says:

      My flight is at 6:25 am tomorrow morning. I did tests in two different centres just in case. My Randox test notification came through at 1am that it has been received. Fingers crossed and good luck to you

    • TGLoyalty says:

      FYI Spain accept LAMP tests. collinson will provide a result within around 2 hours.

      • Anna says:

        TGLoyalty, you may be correct but I can’t find an official Spanish source which says that anything other than a PCR test is acceptable from yesterday. I don’t fully understand the difference between PCR and LAMP but I’m not going to risk it!

    • Birdy says:

      We were in a similar boat yesterday for our flight to Palma today. We did our PCR tests at ExpressTest in Croydon on Thursday afternoon, 47 hours before scheduled arrival in Palma. Certificate received just after 10pm last night and uploaded for BA to verify shortly after. We’ve just received confirmation that test results and QR codes are verified and were able to check in online while on our way to LHR.

      It does get a bit stressful. Fingers crossed for you and everyone in a similar position.

    • Patrycja says:

      My results just came through! Well done Randox! Is the Fit to Fly certificate the results/certificate pdf they attach to the email? It does not say Fit to Fly but has all the details of the test and my details including passport number

  • Reney says:

    Anyone else finding Airtime tracking a bit poor lately? Today is the second missing transaction I’m filing in the last month also. When missing transaction gets approved it doesn’t auto recognise any bonus you might be working on so it needs to follow up with an additional message.

    Last two transactions were both in store, I used different cards (no curve inclusion, tesco and virgin respectively), will try another card later today.

    Someone a while back mentioned they struggled to build up amounts in Airtime, not sure if you saw my response – taking advance of promos help. Currently there is a JULYBONUS spend £7 get £2 ends tomorrow.

    • Andrew says:

      It’s just as bad as all of the others.

      I’ve got transactions with missing credits, but they’ve managed to chargeback the return elements of the uncredited entries!

    • Reney says:

      Thanks both, agree with Maximus, I had no problems before. It only takes a couple of minutes to log the missing transaction so still worth my time. But I am thinking if the Morrison offer comes back whether manual granting would let a lot of gift cards through…

      • Hugo says:

        They said on the missing transaction page that there is a known issue with boots

  • Pieter says:

    NHS Covid Pass
    I understand that the NHS app will generate the Covid Pass ‘two weeks’ after the second jab. I am having my second jab soon an intend to fly to Malta two weeks plus one day later. Do people have experience what ‘two weeks’ means in practice? Is it exactly 14 days after the second jab, is it available earlier (e.g. when the jab is registered), or…

    Many thanks for any insights!

    • Andrew says:

      There are two Covid passes available on the app – one for travel and one for events. The travel one updates a day or two after your first and second jab showing the date and detail of your vaccine(s). The event one only generates 14 days after your second jab.

    • Degsy says:

      So I will have had my second vaccination two weeks ago tomorrow. Just checked and my Travel pass is on the app, my Event pass isn’t yet, which confirms Andrew’s point. My travel pass appeared very quickly ie within 24 hours.

  • Colin says:

    Really strange attempted yesterday. Call from “ Amex” .. faked Amex number. Stating card used twice at “big retailer” . first once went through but large second one had triggered suspicion. I logged on and yes a pending small transaction showing. I Kept asking for the caller to give me info, he knew my phone numbers, address, transaction amount, and he gave me the end digits on three different Amex cards, but I was wary when asked me to confirm my full card number. so I called Amex on a different phone. Now Figured out my “big retailer” account was hacked ( loads of info saved their including three cards! . Crooks had ordered something to be delivered to me used saved details, ( This big retailer was on my safe list !) and used that as a lure to try and get my full card details.
    I didn’t fall for it, but can see why would be easy .

    Lesson not to save cards on retailer sites/ not to use Amex “ no two stage authication safe list”

    • LS says:

      Uh oh. Who is the big retailer? Can you give us a clue so I can ensure all my details are secure?

      • Colin says:

        Ok not sure I whether I should have stated or not.. Costco

    • Anna says:

      Has anyone had flights cancelled by Ryanair recently but still travelled? There’a a chance out TFS flight might be cancelled, I suppose, if it stays on the amber list and there aren’t enough customers who are vaccinated and/or willing to pay for all the tests to book enough seats.
      Are they massively resistant to re-routing? I am absolutely prepared to book other flights and take them to MCOL but I’m wondering if anyone else has been in this position.

      • Anna says:

        Sorry, don’t know how that come out as a reply! Will post again below.

    • Doug M says:

      Good you were suspicious, but isn’t that the system working well. I thought saved cards with another party don’t save the card number, just a token that is validated as the card, they do show the last 3 or 4 numbers for you to identify which card is which.

    • Freddy says:

      Think a further lesson is to have a unique password for each site. Unless Costco has been compromised the main way is using previous data breach information to try on different sites

    • kitten says:

      Thanks for mentioning.Did you call CostCo to alert them? Could be someone with internal access doing a few over time, or could more likely be a giant hack that they’re not aware of and should inform their customers about

      • Colin says:

        Yes I told Costco when I called to cancel the fraudulent order (being sent to me!) … they didn’t seem that bothered.. just suggested I change password. Have to admit whilst I now have mostly unique passwords for shopping this was one that I had used elsewhere.

      • Doug M says:

        Maybe Costco is a Kayesa client.

        • Colin says:

          Just thought it was a step up in the process… to order something so they could use the transaction to “prove” they were Amex . Silly thing they ordered something I knew my son was about to buy… he has a Costco card on my in-store account.. but no access to my Amex or online Costco accounts . ( It wasn’t him though)

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.