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The HfP chat thread – Friday 10th September

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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 (617)

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

  • Munch says:

    Should I receive 3000 point bonus for adding a Supplementary card to the Marriott Amex? I’m sure recently on a different account I did receive the bonus.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Usually no but there was a promo a couple months ago. I think it’s finished now. Worth a search in HfP articles.

  • Wheezer says:

    Could someone from the site possibly look at setting up a proper forum that could be used for the chat thread? The current format does not work very well for discussing topics or asking questions as it is very difficult to navigate and find content.

    • Blair says:

      MSExpert dot com. Been running for years. All your MS washing needs.

    • Navara says:

      Rob is in the process of setting one up.

    • Rob says:

      Be very clear. Once the forum is running, we will not be allowing threads which would compromise our relationship with those companies that pay our wages.

      • Louise K says:

        Will you have to employ a full time moderator?

        • Rob says:

          Not if we can help it. Problem is that you would need someone who actually knew as much as Rhys and I to do the job in order to reply to questions. Same with a ‘social media manager’ role. We’re not paying someone £35k simply to forward messages to me for me to spend time answering.

          • CarpalTravel says:

            Having run and co-run several large forums previously, I suspect you may find that you will need either someone like that else a trusted group who can at least suppress posts, pending your / Rhys’s review. It doesn’t take long for threads to go off the rails, being it topic deviations, trolls or just people posting in the wrong place. Topics that involve heated opinion. say, anything slightly political are a nightmare. There is an unofficial ban on my remaining site – no politics allowed, there is another hate each day on the BBC’s HYS.

          • CarpalTravel says:

            *enough hate each day on the BBC’s HYS.

            Just to add, forums are still brilliant, they bring order to topics, allow easy searching for repeated questions and most of all – you can edit typos!! At least for 5mins you can, on mine, stop material changes being made later on.

          • ChrisC says:

            there is moderating in terms of answering questions and then moderating in terms of removing spam and relocating posts to their correct home in the structure.

            Think you may need help with the latter

          • Rob says:

            Spam will be automated, out of place will just get deleted 🙂

            What we MAY do is quietly give extra privileges to certain trusted regulars so they can kill anything they don’t like the look of.

      • Genghis says:

        Will you still be allowing comments on individual articles? But no chat article?

        • Rob says:

          That’s how I see it, yes. Whether Bits goes back to being a random stream of conciousness or goes quiet remains to be seen!

          • Navara says:

            All the above sound like the issues on PAIDTOSHOP already

          • Aliks says:

            Dont underestimate the problems of moderating forums “at scale” there are some serious bot issues, troll issues, legal issues out there

          • The Savage Squirrel says:

            Aliks, when I helpd run a very obscure small forum for a niche financial activity, it was entertaining what people would try and spam and the efforts they would go to (to a readership of maybe 200). We had to block a whole segment of Chinese IP addresses in order to prevent a particularly determined spam effort which was pushing …. a cowboy-themed colouring book 😀

          • Rob says:

            We already block traffic from multiple countries!

          • Polly says:

            Bits or daily chat is still a Useful side option tho..but difficult to moderate. An edit button would be so useful esp after a typo…

      • sloth says:

        is going to be a pretty empty forum I feel…

        • Super Secret Stuff says:

          Not all of the companies sponsor articles or engage with HfP so I suspect a few topics would be allowed…

          Although is this really unexpected? Considering the amount of ways to abuse various systems we have found and patches that have been circumnavigated

      • Mikeact says:

        Regardless of ‘companies that pay our wages ‘, should not stop constructive criticism.

    • BuildBackBetter says:

      A better option would be a subscription for viewing and posting comments. Would improve the quality and reduce quantity of comments.

      • Super Secret Stuff says:

        Personally I think a free area of the site should be maintained but something like a private discord with a subscription fee should operate

  • BrotherBear says:

    Currently in France and getting the ferry back on Sunday morning. Had ordered the Chronomics tests to return before we left, but they never arrived before leaving for France. Would using an NHS lateral flow test (and therefore getting a text and/or email) be okay to enable us to board the Brittany ferry home?

    Many thanks in advance

    • Mattb says:


    • ChrisC says:

      No because the text and mail do not contain the required information as specified by HMG.

    • Tracey says:

      No, you need to get a test locally that complies with the rules and shows the details required. Showing up at your departure point with just your NHS test text and email won’t allow you to depart.

    • Lady London says:

      Book with a pharmacy most places fee capped 29 eur often less results in half an hour

      • Lyn says:

        Exactly. Friends did this and then I think had to upload their results before they could board their ferry. Everything was carefully checked but it was just after France to Amber from Amber Plus.

        • C says:

          This is what we are doing next week. Most pharmacies do them. You can find locations on the website sante dot fr.

          • Polly says:

            Same here, we have LFT booked for Monday, for ferry Tuesday. Really easy system here…

    • BrotherBear says:

      Thanks all. First pharmacy didn’t have any appointments until next week. Second one we tried was able to do it there and then albeit after a bit of queuing.

  • Super Secret Stuff says:

    I’ve never engaged in MS, been saving for a house and can’t have that on the credit report!

    I’ve always been in favour of if able to do so. However things are clearly going on at the moment, things that we don’t know about.

    I’ve been saying for weeks Rob is oddly silent on the return of IHG prem, an odd comment here and there that is alarming.

    Probably almost definitely a good time to bail out if you value having a wide choice of financial institutions to choose from

    • JSemity says:

      I’ve hit MS pretty hard whilst going for a mortgage, provided you pay the cards off and keep credit utilisation in check then I don’t see how it would negatively affect credit score. If anything it would show healthy credit utilisation which would be a positive thing – lol!

      • Super Secret Stuff says:

        I’m 22, I expect to be treated with full sceptism during the application process. At the moment my credit utilisation on Amex is dominated by legitimate spend reimbursed by my employer. Not worth the risk personally.

        Also I’d highly recommend you bail ASAP, this is probably a warning shot type sticking plaster or creation are preparing g to leave the UK market

        • Super Secret Stuff says:

          For context my annual spend is 80% of my salary before tax

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Think you’re giving creation more credit than they deserve.

          Fully expect this is due to the issues assigning charges over the past 2 months and the headache from customers.

        • Rui N. says:

          When I got a mortgage one of the banks that accepted me didn’t even bother to run a credit check, at least in the multitude of services I subscribe. The one that wanted more stuff from me, wwas actually the only one that refused to give me their best rate.
          That said, I also refrained from MS in the 6 months prior to getting the mortgage. But I think the impact of that decision was zero.

      • jj says:

        It depends on your lender.

        To meet FCA rules, all mortgage lenders must obtain evidence of income and expenditure. Some, but not all, use bank statements as evidence. If your bank statements are full of unusual transactions, the verification algorithms are very likely to be affected. When a manual review takes place, you will be regarded with considerable suspicion by the underwriter.

        This has nothing to do with credit score and is unlikely to affect applications for non-mortgage credit.

        • FatherOfFour says:

          Recent mortgage application I made asked for bank statements and payslips and credit card balances. However, they weren’t interested in credit card statements.

    • Mouse says:

      Arent’t cash advances a bit of a red flag on credit checks? Which I assume a lot of MS transactions (or test transactions at least) would be flagged as?

      • Super Secret Stuff says:

        I think they are but I don’t want to test it! Last cash advance was in an emergency for £30 to get me home

      • the_real_a says:

        Many of the usual credit cards dont even bother to report “cash” to the agencies – or define cash differently as a sub section of MCC transactions than what they charge extra fees for on your statement.

  • s says:

    Any good destinations in Europe to burn 40k IHG certs? Ideally in close vicinity to an expensive IC where the credit card cert could be burnt! Currently sitting on 3x 40k certs and 2x credit card certs (across mine and partner’s account)!

    • S says:

      and by close, I mean within few hours drive. Would be nice to do a 2 stop itinerary. Don’t mind having to book open jaw flight and doing one-way car hire

    • Anna says:

      France? A few cities (Marseilles, Bordeaux etc) have a range of IC’s, CP’s, HI’s. Paris has Indigo and Voco as well I think. German cities also.

      • YC says:

        Struggle to get half decent hotel at 40k though… IC ljubjana can be found for 40k on some dates

  • Graham Walsh says:

    Now that IHG is toast after September when the free FX runs out (I’ll use it in a few weeks in Ibiza), would be great timing if Vigin Money did a sign up bonus, must be about 2 years since I ditched it. I would really prefer a Hilton Visa/MC if they set it up again.

  • Jody says:

    Been a really stressful week here, as one of our cats collapsed on Monday night, and had to have emergency surgery on Tuesday.

    He’s come through it, and my daughter is cat sitting this weekend. We’ve just boarded the Sky Princess for a 3 night cruise. Starting to relax with a cocktail in hand.

    • Peter K says:

      Sorry to hear that. Glad the cat is recovering! Ours had a sudden turn for the worse and had to be put down a fortnight ago :'( Hope you have a good time relaxing.

  • VJ says:

    Does BC-HH/200/PM still works with Curve with no Cash advance or interest charges

    • Reney says:

      I have probably read 95%+ of all the chat thread since they started. Can’t think what 200 and PM stand for?

      • Travel Strong says:

        200 and per month, though given the extra / it technically reads 200 per per month

    • The Urbanite says:

      Sorry can’t work this one out either and I didn’t hold back with that card.

    • the_real_a says:

      ATM 200 per month via bendy processed on a card not available to the public any longer that could be used by Paris as ID in an emergency?

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