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The HfP chat thread – Friday 30th 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.

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Comments (382)

  • Jonathan says:

    It’s nothing major, just them redefining or making clearer their definition of things like cash advance.

    If you’re using a credit card for any of the purposes they mentioned, then you’re using the wrong type of card in the first place ! Most people who use their card to pay for everyday goods and services won’t be affected by the new changes

  • Jonathan says:

    This was meant to be response to a comment thread from page one about the Virgin Atlantic credit cards

    • Genghis says:


    • Catman99 says:

      Thanks Jonathan…. Lloyds is doing something similar so I will have to see but I think 100% of my spend on my Virgin is MS!!!!!

  • mr_jetlag says:

    morning all. What’s the cheapest day2 amber test now for vaccinated travelers?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Expert medical if like me you don’t care if the test or result turns up or a little more randox.

      • Doug says:

        What’s the score with the Day 2 tests. I have back to back trips coming up (hopefully), the first since the pandemic began. If I submit my Day 2 test but the result isn’t back before I Friday for trip 2 I assume there’s no restriction on me departing?

  • Tracey says:

    Completely OT. OH has the option of a company car through work and apparently there is zero BIK on an electric car, meaning the numbers make sense. Can anyone point me in the right direction for further reading on this.

    • Kevin C says:

      Last year it was 0%. This year BIK is 1% and next year it will be 2%. If the company offer a suitable car it can work very well. We have an EV and are very happy with it.

      • Chrisasaurus says:

        Well you’d need to know enough to know which resources that google offers you are legit and which are not or are out of date.

        Sorta a whole anti-vaccination industry based on the fact people can’t do that very well…

    • Andrew says:

      It’s a hard one to work out. We have the option, to pay for one, through a staff lease scheme. The net cost would be around £300 a month for an Audi Etron (that’s a £70,000 car).

      I went through the processes, but I couldn’t get a defined answer about what the long-term impact would be on my NHS pension. So just bought a regular petrol car through the NHS discount scheme.

      • Mark says:

        Going to 1% then 2% BIK but still a good deal. There are BIK calculators online.

      • Nick says:

        @Tracey the tax guides above will help with the numbers, but honestly the best place to start is with his company’s car provider (it’s almost always done through a third-party). Different leasing companies operate in very different ways and it makes a massive difference to what the deal is (and whether it’s worth it). I have one available but it’s not great, mainly because the company charges higher than market rates (I suspect because they’re paying kickbacks to my employer), so I haven’t taken it up. But a paramedic friend has a great deal on his and snapped their hand off immediately.

    • Dan says:

      Check the numbers for taking the cash and leasing personally versus the company car. My NHS organisation uses a broker that really load the monthlies which takes all the benefit out. Company car should include insurance and maintenance so factor this in. However, still found the overall cost of ownership marginal compared to going solo. And if you should leave the company, you may suffer penalties on early (forced) return or have to take over the lease without the BIK benefit!

      • Lady London says:

        especially for electric would look at taking the money, putting its equivalent into pension if I wasn’t using up my £40k, to keep it taxfree, then looking for a lease, financing or even outright purchase with or without battery lease as a personsl customer.

        Especially at the time of year we are approaching car mfrs and their dealers have aggressive targets to shift EV’s plus some have really good finance deals and little freebies. Always know what your level of freedom is not to keep paying if your circumstances change and choose accordingly. Similar to phones really

        • TGLoyalty says:

          @LL are you aware of a global chip shortage right now?

        • Alan says:

          We have a Tesla Model S and a VW ID3 and given the current state of the national charging network If you plan on driving long distances even occasionally a Tesla is the only practical option. I have had the Tesla since 2016 and never had a problem with charging or even had to give it a second thought.

          Last year my wife bought an ID3, it’s great for local use and commuting but a nightmare on her regular 300m trip to see her parents. She has not manages a single trip without some sort of charging problem, chargers not working, only slow chargers available, queues, rip off pricing. Often she has hours added onto the trip. A neighbour has the same problem with his eTron

  • jac says:

    Can anybody tell if you can use the 40K Ambassador certificate to pay for a room on a points and cash rate? I had booked the cert I earned for taking out ambassador status for a planned trip in November but probably have to rebook to another date. I noticed however that te rate has crept up to 46,000 points but that you can book for 36K plus cash element. As the voucher is expires end of Nov, I would like to know whether I would be able to use it together with cash payment. Sadly I cant try it out as cancelling my existing booking would mean I would no longer be able to rebook the same night given the increase in points

    • TGLoyalty says:

      No my understanding is that it must be a full points booking under 40k

      • TGLoyalty says:

        That should say 40,001 not 40k

        • meta says:

          I’d contact hotel on the odd chance they might move your reservation without any extra cost, but be prepared that it will probably be a no.

  • David says:

    Morning all,
    Any advice for travel insurance to USA (American citizens, so entry not an issue). They have an Amex green which could be upgraded to plat, but tickets weren’t bought on Amex. Mainly want it for the health insurance.

  • Mikeact says:

    My son has come on overnight from down under , saying there are press reports that BA have increased Avios for short haul partner flights with immediate effect. One for Rob to try and double check?

    • maccymac says:

      LL reported it yesterday.

    • BuildBackBetter says:

      They were long due for a devaluation as one of the best sweet spots in Avios.

      • Sam G says:

        yes – cheaper than Asia Miles which I doubt Cathay Pacific would be happy about in HK/SG market etc. Shame, one of my favourite redemptions was the CX Singapore-Bangkok flight after they opened their T4 Changi lounge & the intra-Japan ones were handy too

      • Lady London says:

        not good news as to be that specific “short haul routes on 2 particular airlines in Asia” tells us BA has someone going over all sources of value intending to eliminate them. Expect more stealthily using the BA boiled frog approach.
        Remember how the so-called “taxes” for award tickets on transatlantic routes, aka “money BA puts in its pocket” were sneakily ramped up chunk by chunk by BA? Here it comes again.

        Watch carefully there’s more coming.

  • HH says:

    Any recent experiences with how long Randox Day 2 tests take to arrive? I ordered yesterday, flying back on Sunday so need it to arrive by Tuesday.

    • BigSi says:

      I have ordered quite a few and they usually dispatch the next day or the day after and send you an email to let you know. They use DPD to deliver so you should get it Mon/Tues. Good look calling them if you need any help but the lab works well in my experience.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Do you?

      You just need to order it then take it whenever it arrives and forget about it.

    • Aaron C says:

      Why do you need it to arrive by Tuesday? Just take it when it arrives and if the results turn up bonus. If you’re worried you’re infected take a NHS test and stay inside until you get the result.
      I ordered Expert Medical on a Sunday and it was waiting for me when I got back on a Tuesday a few weeks back.

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