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The HfP chat thread – Friday 23rd July

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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 (384)

  • TimM says:

    There are many fee-free cards that also give the spot interbank rate too. I use Revolut because it also allows fee-free SWIFT transfers and is almost a bank account (just lacks an overdraft facility) but there are many others that Rob and others have covered.

    • Anuj says:

      Just to clarify it lacks FSCS protection too. So don’t keep large amounts of money within it.

      • Bagoly says:

        Revolut does now have a banking licence in Lithuania.
        Some customers have been moved to the bank (perhaps all customers who opened the account with EU SIM cards?).
        So those customers are covered by the EUR100k state insurance.
        Others are not.

        But there is still a good reason not to keep large amounts of money there – after initially lax compliance, their AI systems are now over-zealous at freezing accounts.
        And as it is very difficult to get past the chat bot to a real person, that’s a real nuisance.

    • Andrew says:

      For the avoidance of doubt, Revolut is an e-money institution.

      Reading the T&Cs, if I had to decide whether it was more secure to deposit funds with Ladbrokes or Revolut, I’d probably say Ladbrokes.

      • Harrier25 says:

        Complete nonsense.

        • Harrier25 says:

          To reiterate….Money deposited with Revolut is protected by regulated banks. By law and under FCA regulation, money deposited is protected by regulated banks, such as Barclays and Lloyds. Deposits are kept in these accounts until it is paid out.

          • JDB says:

            FCA Regulation is law (FSMA 2000) but that still doesn’t give you FSCS protection. ‘E-money institutions’ aren’t places you want to be leaving much money.

          • Harrier25 says:

            That wasn’t my point, I was just correcting someone else’s fairy story that Ladbrokes was safer place to store savings, which just isn’t the case.

          • Bagoly says:

            That has long been true for most financial setups.
            Look at the collapses, and usually they abided by the rules and kept the money in segregated client accounts.
            Until it wasn’t a week/month before the collapse.
            So I suggest the question is how much one trusts management to stick to the rules in times of stress.

    • BuildBackBetter says:

      Just get Halifax Clarity or Barclays travel card.

  • Raveon says:

    With changes to Beardy CC on 5 Aug and paying Solihull then attracting cash advance fees, are there any other options? i.e. points earning cards that would treat it as a purchase?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Lots of assumptions there.

      • Raveon says:

        Pretty unambiguous isn’t it?
        We’re updating the definition of a Cash Advance. This still includes cash you withdraw using your credit card and buying foreign currency or traveller’s cheques – but we’ve made it clear that a Cash Advance also includes:
        “paying off other borrowing (like making a payment towards a loan or mortgage or using your card to pay another credit card instead of doing a Balance Transfer).”

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Highly likely it will be the MCC treatment that is changed.

          • Raveon says:

            So question is, are there any other points earning credit cards out there that wouldn’t treat it as a cash advance?

    • Olly says:

      HSBC WE or IHG

      • Nigel W says:

        Although HSBC WE not giving points on some items now like HMRC payments.

  • Harry T says:

    Apologies, as I’ve asked this question before and can’t find the correct thread. Any recent data points for an antigen test in Barcelona? Hotel hasn’t offered as many useful leads as we had hoped. Thank you!

    • Gtellez says:

      Try Quiron, there are many in different areas. I paid 40 euros 3 weeks ago and it was very quick (you need an appointment, you can get it online).
      Don’t use Laboratorios Echevarne, they do not give appointments and the queues are awful (more than 2 hours average).
      Another option is Centro Médico MAPFRE Barcelona (in Muntaner 40). You can get it cheaper (35 euros) at the following link: https://www.saludsavia.com/servicio/test-de-antigenos-rapido-covid-19_pb-78629_centro-medico-mapfre-barcelona
      However before paying for it online (as it is a third party, call the laboratory to check if they have available appointments that suit you).

      • YC says:

        +1 Quiron (recommended by RC). I ended up using teletest as was in that area but took close to 1.5hrs queueing and that was arriving just after 9am on a Sunday! Hotel told me queues can be more than a few hours at times. If you are doing quiron, antigua is a decent restaurant nearby and u can get 50% if booked via thefork

        • Gtellez says:

          Antigua is one of my favorite restaurants in BCN! The only problem is that doesn’t have a terrace for the summer! Quite expensive without the TheFork offer (50-60 euros per person), but if you can get the 50% off it is a bargain (the offer is not available always, sometimes is just 20-30%).
          There are several quiron in BCN (and other parts of Spain), just google it and try to make an appointment online (don’t know if they speak English, if not ask the concierge or someone in reception to help).

  • Mirp says:

    Nice new email from BA is saying you can move flights for no charge if it changes to amber or red

    To kick off the celebration, we’re offering our Executive Club Members 20% off worldwide flights when you book by midnight 25 July 2021. Simply use the code TeamGB1 on a European escape or code TeamGB2 on a break further afield.

    Wherever you decide to go, our flexible booking options allow you to book now and change later. And if your chosen destination changes to amber or red while you’re there, you can bring forward your return flight at no extra cost.

  • H says:

    Anyone been to Morocco lately? Do they accept the NHS vaccination proof or still require a PCR test?

    The guidance states they don’t officially yet recognise the NHS as proof of vaccination.

  • Anuj says:

    What’s a safe amount to do on che per week? I guess it should be based roughly on monthly income. Max of monthly income?

    • Guernsey Globetrotter says:

      Hi Anuj
      I’m currently going through a Che ‘verify sources of income’ process (with account frozen in the meantime) as my volume of monthly funds flow has exceeded their expectations. It’s a standard anti-money laundering check but the sheer amount of documentation they want is fairly time consuming to put together (e.g. last three month’s payslips, if not paid directly into Che then also copies of the relevant bank accounts where salary was paid in etc.).
      I’m sure after review the account will be ‘unfrozen’ but basically it is a pita – you are thinking along the right lines in terms of volume, particularly if it is repeating month on month. Good luck 🙂

      • Harrier25 says:

        How much have you had flowing in and out? I use Che for some basic banking transactions now, such as a few monthly direct debit transactions set up on my account and a bit of retail debit card spending which, touch wood, seems to be keeping the wolf from the door!

        • Guernsey Globetrotter says:

          Average of 15k a month over a year of (mostly) MS 🙂
          I have the income figures to back it up though so hopefully just a temporary set back… we shall see!

          • Harrier25 says:

            Oh. I do around £3 to 4k a month. A slightly different league to you, Guernsey Globetrotter. They must pay well on the Island!

          • Guernsey Globetrotter says:

            Well tbf talking about gross household income here and I only declared my own when I set up the Che account so I think that’s where the disconnect is. As people have said before, the review process is frustrating in that there is no real warning before the account freeze and when it happens you can’t do anything (not even see your current balance). As previous posters have said, there are several good reasons not to keep a high balance with these Revolutionary types and this is one of them! Still, it’s all part of playing the game… will post updates as data points as we go.

          • Anna says:

            I generally have his and hers versions of all these, it spreads the usage so you’re not putting as much through each account and you hope that if one version is taken out of play, you’ve still got the other as a back up. And 2 lots of perks, of course!

    • Reney says:

      I seem to have hit an unwritten limit, top ups seem to get rejected over a certain amount. So at the moment it is less what can you do more like what will they let me do.

      • Harrier25 says:

        I panic when I read what other posters go through with the likes if Che and yesterday, with Solihull, but I suppose at my levels of MS I stay well under most radars.

      • Harrier25 says:

        Reney, last week all my top-ups to Che from Solihull were declining until I deleted the card and relinked it. My £2,600 monthly top-up went through okay. Small change down the back of the sofa for most on here!

  • Jay H says:

    We’ve managed to secure points flight and hotel to the Maldives… hurray! I was just wondering if anyone knew of travel insurance that covered points bookings etc? Thank you

  • George says:

    Seeing my comment about Heathrow drop off charges being made into an HfP article makes me all warm and fuzzy inside 🙂

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