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The HfP chat thread – Thursday 5th 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.

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 (283)

  • Sina says:

    Not sure if this is useful for anyone, but if you have an Amex platinum, you can sign up to Discovery Platinum:
    (@Rob pls delete if T&C won’t allow it!)

    • Dave says:

      Thanks. Strictly speaking this is only for German Amex Plats.

    • YC says:

      Can you add it on if you already have an account?

    • BP says:

      World Elite MasterCard in Middle East give Black status if anyone has a link to that?

    • Oliver says:

      Just to add to this, Discovery Platinum offers worthwhile benefits if you can get it – I have it through Business Traveller magazine.

      On an early 2020 UAE trip we stayed in 3 different Anantara hotels, and got a room category upgrade in all 3. They also let us have the room until 6pm on our last night.

  • N says:

    Marriott Moments are back – v v US centric!

    • Rob says:

      Yes, they sent us a press release and forgot to mention there was nothing in Europe 🙂

  • Will says:

    Anyone who can shed light on the process for redeeming Virgin Credit Card vouchers or checking their current expiry dates? I see there have been some extensions, we had to cancel upgraded flights due to a positive covid test in Dec 2020, but zero communication from Virgin, no luck on phone 1 hour, no SMS/whatapp response except a loop to ‘we are looking after those flying within 7 days’ – same as a year ago….Really has Virgin not progressed anything like the way BA has done?

    • Jonathan says:

      Unfortunately their vouchers can only be redeemed by making a phone call to them. Virgin’s policy for n releasing reward seats is nowhere near as clear or guaranteed like BA’s system is

  • Will says:

    Rob, any chance you can spend a bit more time on Virgin Red/Flying Club – given its a MR partner, perhaps an update on what they offer currently and how to access service?

  • Amo says:

    Does anyone have any success in getting the £50 back for £200 spend at Hilton on prepaid (online) bookings? The T&C say it must be checkout at hotel spend but wondering if there’s a way around that as I’m not due to stay until September (offer ends Aug 31)

    • Tariq says:

      Yes, I made a booking several weeks ago, on a ‘deposit plus pay the remainder at checkout’ basis – the deposit was over £200 so triggered the offer.

    • N says:

      call/email the hotel and ask to pay in advance – they’ll have a system in place to be able to do so

    • NvT1115 says:

      Yes – stayed in The Edinburgh Carlton last week and credit hit my account day after the charge

  • Super Secret Stuff says:

    Currently with HL and looking for a 2nd self investment shares ISA with lower fees. Any recommendations?

    Thinking trading 212 as its free and just steer clear of the CFDs

    • Super Secret Stuff says:

      Aware the cheaper options have less shares hence why I want to keep it and get a second one

      • LS says:

        iWeb works for me. I have about £50k in fundsmith and just leave it there – no trades, low maintenance. If you don’t need to trade, and intend to leave, their pricing structure of £100 one off, £0/year, and £5/trade works well.

    • John says:


    • Grant says:

      I have a T212 account as a secondary, and think it would be fine for ‘investing’ – say once a month top up and buy funds. If you’re looking for something to use for trading more volatile stocks where you need move a bit quicker then look elsewhere. T212 will collate your order with other customer orders so they can combine them and save fees when they place the trade on your behalf. This often leads to orders going unfilled for a long time.

    • Andy says:

      I opened a Freetrade account earlier this year at the recommendation of a friend – 3£/month flat ISA fee, lower FX fees vs. HL and commission free trading (of course it’s never free and just embedded in your purchase/selling price) and a huge range of stocks. I’ve put my ISA allowance in there this year and just plan to hold my current positions for a few years, so I don’t bother looking at it much but it’s all app based so very user friendly I’d say.

      I’ve got a referral link but frankly it’s not worth much, you just get a free share which could be worth less than 10£ (as was my case when I signed up, the friend who referred me conveniently got quite a bit more)

    • Genghis says:

      HL is only good for exchange traded products in the ISA where their platform fees are then capped at £45pa. iWeb for long term buy and hold.

      • Super Secret Stuff says:

        Thank you Genghis and all for the recommendations. I’ll keep looking at it tomorrow.

        @Genghis what do you mean by exchange traded? Shares or forex?

        • Genghis says:

          Exchange traded = shares, investment trusts, ETFs etc. You’re buying (or could be buying) on the secondary market on an exchange (or with ETFs maybe with an Authorised Participant though you won’t know).

          This contrasts to non-exchange traded – OEICs and unit trusts – where you effectively trade with the investment manager and shares / units then created / redeemed as part of the trade. HL for these there is no fee cap.

  • John says:

    Where can I find a current definition of essential travel?
    Dies it purely relate to work, medical or compassionate reasons?

    • Sukes says:

      Here’s the FCDO “definition”, basically it’s whatever you want it to be. Your travel insurer’s view on ‘‘essential’ is likely more important.

      ‘Defining ‘essential travel’ – Sometimes we say that only essential travel is advised. Whether travel is essential or not is your own decision. You may have urgent family or business commitments which you need to attend to. Only you can make an informed decision based on your own individual circumstances and the risks.’

    • Ls says:

      The insurance definition (which is more helpful) is something which is important, and cannot be delayed, deferred, or done remotely.
      Visiting a second home for routine planned maintenance would not count. Visiting a second home for repairs that otherwise might put the property at risk of delayed would count.

    • Ls says:

      The real question is why are you asking? If it is to gain entry to a country then that countries definition is the most important.

  • Munch says:

    I have a 425 Golden Circle points. Is there a bar in the Shard I can use these points for drinks? Not bothered about a meal.

    • AY says:

      Yep, you can use at Ting or Gong. Was there a free weekends spending some of my golden circle points.

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