Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Thursday 16th September

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We are running this daily chat thread on Head for Points during the coronavirus outbreak.

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Comments (538)

  • DI says:

    Say I have two credit cards, let’s call them BAD (B) credit card and GOOD (G) credit card.

    Say I really like my G card, but don’t really care about my B card. Let’s also say it is possible to pay off my debt on G card using B card.

    I know I might upset B corp if I do that and they might end up closing my account – that’s fine.

    Couple of questions:
    1) Is it possible that I somehow upset G corp while doing this?
    2) What is the *absolute worst* that might happen as a result of this? (I.e. I can go to jail, I can get black marks on my credit file and will never be able to borrow another penny, I can get a lifetime ban from B corp, etc.)?

    • Anna says:

      Well you won’t go to jail unless you’re paying G with stolen money.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Sounds like the plot of a channel 5 lunchtime film … you should run with the idea

    • DZOO says:

      Just try with a nominal amount and ratchet up until B (or less likely G) shut it down. No-one can give you a concrete answer with a hypothetical B and G. MS isn’t without risk / no risk no reward and all that…

      • DI says:

        I guess everyone has got their own line in terms of “this is bending (curving?) the rules” vs “this is breaking the rules, I’m not doing that”.

        I suppose this is somewhere close to my personal line, so I have not yet decided if I am ok with it.

    • Colin MacKinnon says:

      Biggest threat:

      A CIFAS marker.

      Read here and decide if it is worth the risk:

      https://www.richardsonlissack.co.uk/service/financial-services-regulation/cifas-markers/

    • JDB says:

      A CIFAS marker may be the worst outcome. While paying one credit card with another is not expressly allowed/disallowed, many cards don’t like it and at some point it be noticed as it might flag financial distress (ie you can’t pay your balance, so need to put it on another credit card). The issue has come up as part of the wider MS enquiry, so I suspect it is an avenue that may not last long.

    • DavidC says:

      To my knowledge there is only one credit card company that allows you to pay off a balance with another credit card. That company is Creation and although they allow it they do not recommend it as the paying credit card company may regard it as a cash transaction and charge a cash advance fee and interest on the cash advance. To my knowledge there are only two (maybe down to one now) credit card companies who do not treat a transaction of this nature as cash but as a regular retail purchase. They do not include paying off another credit card in their list of what they consider cash transactions. I think most of us know the credit card companies I am referring to so I will not name them. I do no believe you will have any trouble by doing what credit card companies allow you to do under their terms and conditions.

      • JDB says:

        The T&Cs can never cover every single eventuality, so if the card provider decides that using one card to pay another, in either direction is misuse, they can close your account without having to give any reason. Just because something isn’t expressly prohibited doesn’t make it a good/sensible idea. This is all going to be tightened up relatively soon.

      • Char Char says:

        Ever heard of fight club?

        • JDB says:

          I think it is a bit late to invoke ‘fight club’ now; the toothpaste is almost entirely out of the tube.

  • Stephan says:

    On the post on maximising avios for a couple wouldn’t it be better if Person A didn’t get the Nectar card but go directly to Platinum card first. They then refer B to get the nectar card using the platinum card thus getting 24,000 MR equivalent to 24,000 avios. This would mean person A would forgo 21,000 sub and 5,000 referral nectar points so 16,250 avios.

    Mentioned on the post regarding maximising points but didn’t get many comments so just curious if my logic is flawed as that was the strategy (with some alternations) I was possibly following.

  • Kai says:

    With almost all Morrisons offer now dead, curious to know how much money HfPers have blown on the offer this time, which might be the last of these offers we will see!

    I will start it. I “invested” £18.5k in Morrisons gift cards and saved £££s across my various credit card offers.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      £18.5k is a lot to have invested in M’s in one go!

      Unless you have a very large family to feed or a fleet of vehicles to fill up!

      • Char Char says:

        Depends on how much discount he got, if its anything like 20% then its worth it

        • Ryan says:

          A net 10%- 15% off cash in the bank is a very nice investment…

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Of course but it’s not risk free

            If their “out” was closed off tomorrow would they be happy having £18k to spend on groceries and fuel within 24 months.

          • Ryan says:

            I didn’t buy morrisons gift cards..

            I bought another one which is nicer

    • Char Char says:

      I found the card companies don’t like big Morrisons spend and took sometimes days to get through for them to unblock, with some asking to go in branch, also with half the transactions not tracking I gave up.

      That said on the ones I did get I effectively got over 15% off amazon vouchers which I already spent, as i was spending anyway happy enough with the discount.

      I do feel though that they are blocking people from getting the discount based on previous spend.

    • Kai says:

      @ TGLoyalty I have a use for them in mind. So hopefully they will all be gone in 3-4 months time.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        What can I say I don’t put the worlds hopefully and eighteen thousand pounds together 🙂

        Only £1,500 (half Amazon half M’s) this time as I let it time out I hope it comes back round!

    • Aston100 says:

      I must have been in the minority that didn’t have any way to benefit from Morrisons offers.
      No offers on any of my Amex cards.
      My mobile provider isn’t compatible with Airtime.
      My PAW is some cheap budget version because my employer is tight, hence no Morrisons.
      I don’t have any Virgin cards.

      Bugger.

      • Tw33ty says:

        This time I got 1k Morrison’s for fuel
        1k of Amazon for general spending
        1k of m&s for grocery shopping

        Then various 50 and 100 cards for Xmas presents for folk.

        The Amex 10% and virgin offer stacked quite nicely.
        I’m probably missing a triple stacker but with the Amex and virgin I can’t complain.

      • Reney says:

        I would consider changing mobile provider, I have done very well out of Airtime.

      • EwanG says:

        @Aston100 Airtime allow you to gift your credit to another member (friend, family, neighbours…) or save and use yourself if you change mobile provide in future. Nothing lost!

    • Kai says:

      Thanks all for sharing your Morrisons spend.

      Keen to hear how much HfP stalwarts @Sina and @Reney have put this time!

      • Reney says:

        Less than 10% of your amount. A bit more than when the last offer rolled around as I have a lot of house renovations coming up. Even though my % reward from each place was lower this time.

        I got a mix of Netflix (enough for my subscription for a few months), a bit of itunes (to cover icloud for the year), some B&qs (already spent), some amazon, quite a bit of M’s (this is one of our main supermarket), a small bit of M&S (requested). And some one4all, which has worked really well for me, I know some people don’t like them. But the fact you can add them to airtime means it is quintuple dip!

        I just used up the one Boots gift card from the last time this offer was here. Never buying them again. Such a pain to use.

    • Ming the Merciless says:

      I do t get why you would buy anything other than Morrison’s cards unless you have an immediate use for another type, as you can but say John Lewis GCs with Morrison’s GCs. Morrisons GCs like Amex MRs are pluripotent.

      • Ming the Merciless says:

        And I went for 3k…

      • Reney says:

        Well cards like itunes, netflix and amazon are sort of used ‘right away’. I load them into the account and regular subscriptions and shops get deducted.

        I only did a small amount of one4all. Because sometimes I am sitting at home and see a sale online and want to buy it right away, not get in my car, drive to Morrison’ and swap it for £30 Argos voucher before shopping. And they are good to keep in my wallet for the odd items in Boots, TKmaxx etc.

  • G-bit says:

    Hello. I seem to have an issue with World Elite points from HSBC. I’ve not checked statements for some time as work has been exceptionally busy. I checked for the first time fore months today and appear to be receiving far fewer points than expected. I pay taxes to HMRC using Curve Metal with the World Elite card underlying. These transactions seem to not be earning points. Has anyone else had a similar experience?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Yes it’s been reported in the comments for a few weeks that HMRC payments no longer earn points.

      • G-bit says:

        thanks – sorry I hadn’t picked that up previously. I would have thought that there is scope to challenge this. The ineligible spend is still listed as only the following on by HSBC;

        a. interest, fees, late payment charges or any other charges added to your statement;
        b. Cardholder Repayment Protector insurance premiums charged to your account;
        c. cash advances including foreign money and travellers cheque purchases;
        d. any balances from other credit or charge cards which are transferred to your card; or
        e. ATM withdrawals and gambling transactions.

        • JDB says:

          That list has nothing to do with transactions that are eligible for points. There is a separate set of T&Cs for points. They have found a mid way of not charging a cash advance fee, but still blocking the points.

    • Nigel W says:

      Yes, it hasn’t been working for a few weeks/months now, but it seems to be the only one.

      To be honest, I really wouldn’t challenge it. Hong Kong WE seems to be one of the few/only cards where you still can earn points via different methods. Doing that would only just raise alarm bells more.

  • Andy says:

    Hit my spend target on the BA Business Amex on the 9th, no sign of the 60000 points bonus yet. Amex chat said can take 90 days to post!? Anyone had the bonus yet?

  • Lyn says:

    Has anyone stayed at the Heathrow Marriott on Bath Road? Any thoughts on booking it for an overnight connection?

    We have lounge access at T5 so wouldn’t have breakfast at the hotel. I have been struggling to find a use for a 35K free night certificate from Marriott, especially with virtually no travelling, and this seems like a good use of it. Thank you.

    • Russ says:

      Have stayed and being truthful it isn’t the cleanest hotel I’ve ever been to. I don’t know if they’ve upped their game since covid. The offerings in the lounge are pretty good.

      • Lyn says:

        Oh dear, thank you that doesn’t sound good.

        I wonder if anyone has stayed recently and can comment on this?

    • KBuffett says:

      If the Moxy is open, go for that.

      • Rich says:

        Haven’t stayed at other LHR Marriotts, but I was impressed by the Moxy, and would happily stay again. Very convenient for the central terminals, with bus-stop directly outside, but less-so for T5.

        • Lyn says:

          Thanks both. Not sure we are the right demographic for a Moxy!

          The rooms look a bit small for suitcases if for some reason we aren’t able to use twilight check-in the evening before?

          • Phil says:

            I’m not the right demographic for the Moxy, but it’s fine and better than the Marriott!!!

          • Lyn says:

            Thank you. Lots of votes for the Moxy … but why is it better than the Marriott? Cleaner?

            And does the bus from T5 stop there?

            And are the rooms large enough to cope with two large suitcases and two wheeled hand luggage bags if we aren’t able to check them in on arrival at LHR? The photos don’t look promising.

            I originally booked the Hyatt Place but BA cancelled our flights so have to rebook anyway and thought I would try to use our Marriott certificate.

          • Lady London says:

            That Marriott in all its guises over the years has never had a good rep.

            Personally I”d save the certificate for somewhere else as Heathrow Hotels are still reasonable for cash. If you have a Marriott fetish I think there’s one near the M4 at Maidenhead

          • Lyn says:

            Thank you LL. Had to laugh at the idea of a Marriott fetish. It’s my last chance to use one of my two certificates before I lose them both. We haven’t travelled since Covid except for essential journeys. So it is a choice between a free stay at a Marriott hotel at LHR or a paid stay at the Hyatt Place.

            I thought I’d solved the problem last year until the Sheraton in the airport at CDG cancelled our reservation because of Covid. Once they re-opened they raised the number of points above 35K.

            Unlike many here I have no Marriott status and can never seem to find one of their hotels in the right place. So my (cancelled) Marriott credit card points are being hoarded for conversion to Alaska Airlines or to top up other airline miles to stop them expiring.

  • r* says:

    For Canada, you just need a pcr test+ vaccine cert, upload both to arrivecan and thats all?

    For the quarantine plan is it enough to just say youll stay in a hotel or do you actually have to have a hotel booked or any proof?

    • Richie says:

      If you google ‘quarantine plans canada’ you’ll find examples that may assist.

  • TJ says:

    Accepted a retention offer on my BAPP the other day…10k points for £3k spend in 3 months (which would stack with the current 10k offer for spending £5k). However, I’ve spent zero so far and just noticed that the 10k points have already posted! I guess Amex won’t claw back if I don’t achieve the spend target?

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