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The HfP chat thread – Tuesday 3rd August

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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 (315)

  • Rash says:

    Hi, can I buy third party gift vouchers from Argos using my nectar points? For example Next gift vouchers or a Netflix voucher?

    • Blenz101 says:

      If you can find a cashier willing to process the transaction then it will go through in my experience. You can’t purchase gift cards at the self checkouts.

      Depending on the amount you are talking about you could perhaps buy a physical item alongside your gift cards so you part pay with Nectar and then pay the balance on a normal card. You could then return the physical item for a refund back to your original payment card. Maybe be more subtle if a little more hassle.

  • roberto says:

    For those that did not see it BA yesterday extended their Book With Confidence policy to the end of Augusr next year. Your FTVs should also get extended inline with this.

    • BuildBackBetter says:

      Aren’t FTVs anyway valid until Apr 2023?

      • Rantallion says:

        FTVs have been extended to Sept 23 according to TLFL.

      • roberto says:

        Yes FTV have always been the BTC deadline plus 12 months so now end aug 2023

    • Andy says:

      Voucher validity extended until 30 September 2023 which is nice – “Your new trip booked using a voucher must be fully completed by 30 September 2023 (departure and return)”

    • ChrisC says:

      Good news!

      I was considering some late spring / early summer bookings for next May / June but was hesitant.

      Problem is we are all so used to BWC it will be a real shock when it does end.

      Maybe BA could introduce a new fare / fee – say pay £50 – to have the equivelent of BWC in the future. I’d certainly be happy to pay that. Even if it only allowed one cancel for a voucher it would suit a lot of people

      • ChrisC says:


        Just priced up a BA Holiday for next May and the BWC ‘red notice’ does not appear at the moment so obviously needs to feed through their systems

  • Blindman says:

    What’s the best \guaranteed way to contact them these days?

    Mrs B has been sending emails\using the App and getting no response for about 2 weeks now.


    • Mr. AC says:

      She’s on the free tier I reckon? On any paid tier you get access to chat support in the app, and response time is pretty much instant during business hours in my experience.
      Email on the free tier does occasionally take a long time, yes. Try @askcurve on Twitter to hurry it along.

    • Benilyn says:

      I have also been waiting weeks now on my free acct…

    • SteveKicks says:

      Try a Twitter DM, much faster in my experience

      • Blindman says:

        Thanks for the replies.

        And for normal people who do not have and a self inflated ego and are not on Twitter?

        • Oh! Matron! says:

          I/m on twitter for the sole purpose of being able to contact companies. No need to follow anyone, or post anything.

        • JDB says:

          No Twitter, get the Metal card for instant service.

        • Dave1985 says:

          Haha. I’m not on Twitter anymore but there did seem to be a lot of people who thought getting hot and bothered online was a good use of their time.

    • Andrew says:

      Doorstep their directors.

      When all else fails, just turn up at their front door and give them a stern talking to. Honestly, no complaint is dealt with swifter than when you are banging on a CEO’s front door at 6am.

      • kitten says:

        Have you done that, Andrew?
        If do, please share !

        • Dave1985 says:

          Yes! Do tell!

        • Andrew says:

          Absolutely. I’m one of the worst people to irritate as a customer.

          So, yes, I’ve done the 6am doorstep to a FTSE250 CEO, and the complaint was resolved to my satisfaction (after 6 months of stonewalling).

          I’ve also door-shadowed at the Head-Office of a FTSE100 company, made my way to the executive offices, and secured a promise that an engineer would be onsite to resolve a problem with my parent’s phone line the following morning. The engineer was there at 8am.

          • BP says:

            Surprised you didn’t get arrested with the second one! That said, Anna might be along soon to tell me there would be no basis for arrest 🙂

  • Andrew says:

    Anyone else having trouble with Avios to Nectar transfer tool? I pass the DOB check and it says it will send an email with a link to click, but nothing comes through and I’ve tried multiple times (and checked junk folder).

  • Chrism20 says:

    Morning everyone

    Just a quick follow up from the BP/Avios article from yesterday.

    Someone mentioned about the BP Pulse being connected to the BPme card.

    I done a focus group about six weeks ago (the £50 Amazon voucher was too good to turn down) and it was on BP and their apps.

    From what we were shown BPme and Pulse will be getting rolled into one app and will be points earning at some point.

  • Billy says:

    Does HsBC premier Credit card work with Curve or do you get charged cash advance fees? (Like Virgin are about to do)

    • Syed says:

      Works like a charm. No fees.
      I use it to pay my amex bill and HMRC.
      What’s Virgin up to? Do they charge fees if using Curve?

      • Reney says:

        They are changing their T&C from I think the 5th.No one really knows which transaction will charge and which one won’t yet.

        • The Urbanite says:

          Reading the T&C changes and cross referencing with the Mastercard MCC guide, you can get a pretty good idea of which additional categories will be treated as a cash advance. And thus be able to avoid triggering charges.

      • Jimc says:

        For me it works fine with no fees, however none of my recent HMRC transactions received HSBC WE points 🙁

      • Jonathan says:

        You won’t get points for this anymore & you’re relationship with them is on borrowed time if you’re paying Amex.

        • Rob says:

          Another reader contacted me today to say that he wasn’t getting HSBC points on Curve cash-like transactions.

    • Reney says:

      I don’t have one. Sounds like it works but lots of recent reports of no points being granted for certain transactions. If you read the last weeks’ of the chat thread that should give you an idea.

    • Memesweeper says:

      Depends what you want to do with it.

      Several reports of folks here getting a call and/or a ticking off from HSBC for using it behind curve for paying things you wouldn’t normally be allowed to use a credit card for.

      I’ve had a call recently from account management team despite *never* having linked my WE to Curve. I have piled a ton of money through it, in excess of my declared earnings, which now puts me in jeopardy of account closure I’d guess. 😒 Hopefully my (truthful) explanation of a mortgage advance and lots of building work will see me through.

  • ee says:

    Does anyone have experience of John Lewis gift cards and how long they take to activate once purchased? Eg if I bought some in Boots to get Airtime Rewards, could I spend them 10 minutes later in JL?

    • SteveJ says:

      They are active immediately AFAIK

      • SteveJ says:

        PS – my Santander has additional cback at Boots, so will double dip with Airtime, might be worth checking your underlying card too.

        • ee says:

          Thanks I know some (B&Q or Argos) used to have a lag. Will definitely check my underlying cards – thanks for the heads up!

          • ee says:

            Nothing at Boots, but 7% at Argos on MBNA which should do the trick as long as Argos sell JL or Waitrose vouchers!

    • Eoc says:


  • Reney says:

    Morning all. I am looking to open an investment account for passive investing (already have an ISA). I have read the monevator comparison table, and it looks like iWeb is the cheapest. I hope my account will be sizeable over time and I will likely make one trade every month. Are there any reasons I should not go with iweb instead go to something like interactive investor instead, which looks to be the next best one (for me). I have seen some people use ii here. Are there other platforms I should consider? Thanks.

    [For anyone who is worried. I know this is a travel blog, but experience suggests there are a lot of high-income people who hang out here with very useful insights. I will do my own research but have received excellent pointers here before].

    • John says:

      Some people don’t like the “basic” interface of iweb, but it suits me perfectly well.

    • Richie says:

      Do a full comparison using a spreadsheet and colour the negative cells with red etc and then you should get a clearer picture.

    • JSemity says:

      Used IG for many years and they’ve been good. At 1 trade a month there should be no ongoing fees other than the per deal commission. Also look at Trading212 if you’re happy with app based investing. Had good experience with them

    • JDB says:

      iWeb is cheaper than ii but if it is a SIPP you are investing, for drawdown I think iWeb becomes more expensive. Both offer flat fees which makes a big difference. iWeb only offers a limited range of markets, so if you graduate from passive investing, you will be more constrained. I haven’t tried iWeb, but some say it is quite clunky/basic. ii dealing platform is good and has lots of additional features and information.

    • Genghis says:

      iWeb costs £5 a trade and works for me with my minimal trading. But it costs £100 now to set up the account and investing once a month = £60 a year in trading fees.

      ii is £120 a year but you get your free trade a month and free on the trading plan.

      Depending on the size of your pot, it could be worth going with an ad valorem broker like Vanguard and then transferring over later.

      Also consider what other accounts you’d like to add. e.g. adding a SIPP to iWeb isn’t that cheap, ii adds another £120 whereas Vanguard it makes no difference, just based on the ad valorem charge up to £375 a year.

      Run some numbers based on how you think you might use things and what you might invest in (e.g. Vanguard you can only invest in Vanguard products and would miss out say on the HSBC All-World C fund, the cheapest fully global tracker.

      • Genghis says:

        To clarify on the last point, the cheapest fully global tracker that is any decent.

    • BuildBackBetter says:

      Run two or three scenarios other than what you currently think your trading pattern is. Trading behaviour can change in the future, you might start trading actively etc. If iweb is still the cheapest for you, or atleast in the top 3 cheapest in all scenarios, go ahead.

    • The Savage Squirrel says:

      iWeb has been consistently competitive on price for many years which is encouraging; while others have shone briefly then retreated to higher prices.
      For my requirements (absolute basics of low-cost trading interface and access to UK and US markets and ETFs only) it has been just fine – and they dealt well with some minor issues (not of their making).
      I trade twice a year. Who gives a stuff what the interface is like when you use it for 10 minutes per year.

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