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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.

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 (538)

  • Nick says:

    By tips on sending money to Russia? Ideally directly into a Russian bank account so the elderly recipient does not need to complete forms, visit bank in person etc to accept the funds.

    It would be a on monthly basis

    • Shaw West says:

      Is Russia still closed for British tourists? UK seems to e one of the few countries that doesn’t qualify for their E-Visa

      • John says:

        I don’t believe so, no. But you do need a visa – the visa centres in London and Manchester are open.

    • Alex M says:

      Swift should do but the cost may be prohibitive. If it’s gonna be on a monthly basis then why not send them starling/monzo card?

    • roberto says:

      Transfer Wise (now can transfer to Russia – easy peasy.

      • John says:

        Agreed – I have a scheduled/recurrent transfer setup with TWise that goes directly into the recipient’s Sber account – no hassle and they send you a reminder via email a couple of days beforehand so you can ensure you have the currency in place.
        Works in combination with the virtual ruble account, so you can transfer into that when the rate suits and hold it until the transfer date.
        Think a transfer to a rouble account from a ruble TWise balance is about 140 rubles or so.

    • MW says:

      Wise (formerly Transferwise) is good for most cross-border transfers

      • Nick says:

        How does azimo stack up with wise?

        • AL says:

          1000GBP as of ~5mins ago…

          Azimo: 99764.34 RUB, 1.99 fee (waived if one of your first two FX txns)
          Wise: 99018.33, 8.63 fee (99.8803 Fx rate)

          Obviously, all relative to value you send.

  • Aston100 says:

    Jacks Flight Club premium membership discounted by a tenner at present.

    • Rob says:

      It’s not hugely useful at present, that’s why!

    • Laura says:

      I signed up for the free emails and I’ve never received anything that’s tempted me to sign up.
      It always seems to be things I could find myself with a bit of time on SkyScanner or Secret Flying has already posted about!

  • C says:

    Has anyone trigger a BA 241 voucher after upgrading when the spend was above £10k but below £12k? How long did the voucher take to arrive?
    My voucher was triggered last week but has still not arrived in my BA account

  • Rich says:

    Scandal in the world of coffee loyalty.

    Costa have replaced their points system (5% rebate to spend on whatever you like) with a stamp card. Buy 8 drinks, get one free (double stamps if you BYO cup).

    Better earning on drinks, zero on food. A lot of unhappy people in the queue today.

    Please do post below telling me that Costa coffee is crap and I should be roasting my own beans.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      I make that 25% back if you BYOC

      • Rich says:

        Yep. Clearly a good deal if you BYO and don’t usually buy food.

        Even better if you buy cheap coffees, and spend your fully stamped card on a pricey one.

        Not so good if you typically spend more on food than coffee though.

      • Swiss Jim says:

        Isn’t it 20%? You get 5 coffees for the price of 4…

        • TGLoyalty says:

          You get spend £2 on 4 coffees and get 1 £2 coffee free. ie 25% back. Or if you’re smart you buy 4x espresso then redeem the free one for some fancy overly sweet coffee drink.

          Or you consider it 20% off which would be silly as it’s not a money off deal.

          • Swiss Jim says:

            We could debate this forever I’m sure. Probably not the best use of the forum. You only get the money back if you spend it on coffee at Costa. Compare to a BOGOF deal. You buy one, the next one is free. That’s not 100% off the first one, it’s 50% off. Likewise you don’t get 25% off each of the first 4 coffees, though they like you to think you do.

            I take your point re the espressos.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            I never said OFF I said back.

    • Aston100 says:

      BYOC puzzles me.
      Do people actually rock up to a coffee shop with an empty mug in their hands?

      • Sandgrounder says:

        They really do, and they can usually knit their own yoghurt as well.

      • Rich says:

        I was getting into the habit before Covid. More often at a drive-thru than a High Street. But I often see commuters who are clearly in a routine.

        Embarrassed by the number of unrecyclable cups,, in my case, rather than for extra points/ discount!

      • Benilyn says:

        Yeah people do. You walk back to office and wash it after you finish drinking it & repeat.

        • Ryan says:

          I rinsed them for the self referral hack spend £1 and get 200 & 300 points – did that 45 times
          Thankfully they rounded up the beans so I have a final 19 coffees across 14 accounts to use by end of March

          • Char Char says:


          • John says:

            Did you root your phone?

            I posted about this a while ago but it never worked when signing up again on the same phone, so I think they must be tracking the device ID somehow but I only rarely go to costa

      • Rui N. says:

        My company even supplies cups for people to take to the coffee shops – and presumably stop using the company-provided coffee in the office.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Yes but it’s more your own take away cup like keep cup etc. Better for keeping it warm when working etc

    • Will A says:

      I had £286 worth of Costa points (28600 points) mostly collected pre-pandemic when I was a regular. A bit disappointed by the conversion rate too (320 points = 1 free coffee) as I normally just get a small latte so I lose out and can’t spend on food… Anyway, in order to get out of the scheme, I spent £280 of those points on mugs shortly after the scheme was announced but before they converted them to beans and now selling them on eBay (for a markup as well). The manager at my Costa also gave me 2 free coffees for buying so many mugs lol.

      • Rich says:

        Wow. I was going to say that’s a salutary lesson in not holding on to loyalty balances, but it looks like you’ve done OK out of it!

        Were they discounted in the shop?

        • Will A says:

          That was my first thought when they announced the change! I think I was lucky that my local costa had a lot of stock of mugs tbh & that costa didn’t suddenly transfer everyone over to beans. So definitely going to think twice about holding on to a horde of points in future!

          The mugs were not discounted – but still managing to sell on eBay (albeit for only a tiny profit after accounting for postage costs).

    • Dave says:

      Costa definitely the worst of the chains by far.

      • Duncan says:

        Go on then… what’s your favourite of the chains?

        • BSI1978 says:

          Question wasn’t posed to me but I’d plump for ‘Black Sheep’ although query whether they have sufficient scale to be deemed a chain.

          Thankfully they have been present near to my last 2 gigs

          • aDifferentSimon says:

            but there was some strange shenanigans with Taylor St so I’m sticking with association or creators in my neck of the (working) woods

        • Rob says:

          If you exclude Pret, I would put Nero at the top and then Costa and Starbucks equal below that. Costa tends to have better coffee but the shops tend to be scruffier, so it balances out.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            In terms of decor costs is certainly the least premium but their coffee is fine

            Ofcourse most chains are awful.

          • Char Char says:

            I concur Nero is the best, even better with Nectar!

          • Yuff says:

            I’m a big Costa fan, and my 25% discount gc’s have only just run out from last November.
            Unfortunately not many Costas in Mallorca

          • Doug M says:

            Nero distinctly Italian so only for those that like that rather burnt taste.

          • David S says:

            Coffee No 1 is our favourite. Great Coffee and nice cafe’s and owned by Nero’s I believe. Several in the Reading area.

        • Degsy says:

          Definitely Nero (which also has a very strong loyalty scheme). Honourable mention for McDonalds as well, perhaps surprisingly, better than Costa & Starbucks (IMO).
          And here in Nottingham, 200 degrees is excellent (and expanding rapidly to a number of other cities). ☕️

  • Anuj says:

    Anyone got a neon reef referral link?

    • Anuj says:

      Actually wondering whether it’s a good idea to switch before price rises in October. (We were on PFP but they’ve gone bust). Although neon reef is cheapest and it’s a fixed tariff.

      • Rui N. says:

        I plan to shift myself to a fixed soon. If prices go down, you can just join a company that pays exit fees (like Bulb) and then switch again

    • Rich says:

      Definitely worth switching to a fix I reckon, if there are any available! Will protect you from the next price rise

  • DI says:

    I just found this, maybe someone should write a frequent flyer crime book. 😁😁😁

    “The Case of the Frequent Flyer Fraudster”

    It was a late summer evening at the home office of DCR Foods. Internal auditor Joe
    “Hawk” Doyle was completing the testing of expense reports submitted by employees of the
    International Sales Division. Since the internal audit department had not reviewed expense
    reports for several years, Gina Caywood, Director of Internal Audit, put her best auditor on the
    assignment. Hawk had a reputation for being a relentless and thorough investigator. With
    roughly twenty years of audit experience under his belt, ten of those years at DCR Foods, he was
    a seasoned veteran. Hawk had investigated several fraud cases in the past, including some that
    resulted in convictions of the perpetrators….

    TAM DUM DUM!!!!

    How will the story end?!

  • ash says:

    Bit surprised but 20k added for the gold card for not canceling. Might actually keep it for a while.

  • Red Flyer says:

    Just booked HGI Snowdon for next week – any benefits for a diamond member? Any recent reviews for HfP members or recommendations for good nearby evening meal as only plan to dine in on one of the 4 nights?

    • Aston100 says:

      Go down to Betwys and eat at Y Stablau.

    • SteveJ says:

      +1 for Stabelau (no reservations, queue to get in)

      Also enjoyed dinner at Tal-Y-Cafn and The Manor (suggest making reservations).

    • The Savage Squirrel says:

      Y Bedol north up the road one way (walkable),
      The Old Ship south down the road the other (not really walkable)
      will both do a very decent pub-food job for you.

      As a public service please try the Prince’s Arms a little south of there as we’re going back in a month or so and wonder what it’s like (looks quite old worldy but could be charming?)
      At the trashier end of the scale…
      Tir a Mor chippie in Llanrwst is excellent
      Johnny Dough’s pizza in Conwy is shite.

      • Aston100 says:

        How very dare you.
        We enjoyed Johnny Dough after our visit to the castle.

        What did you dislike?

        • The Savage Squirrel says:

          Service was abysmal; and I’m not expecting much service at all from a casual pizza joint, so annoying me took some effort!

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