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The HfP chat thread – Wednesday 22nd 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 (644)

  • Super Secret Stuff says:

    Please can someone forward the email to curve customer service with the below and post the reply!

    “I’m deeply offended you think I’d put my notes or cards in the recycling bin.

    I shred them thank you very much.”

    • Rui N. says:

      Another possibility: “what do you mean? I have hotels.com gold status”

      • Super Secret Stuff says:

        Hahaha I have no idea why people keep referring to hotels.com status but its hillaroous 🤣

        • Cabal of rabid baboons says:

          £19 K a month for me for the last couple of years, I’ve told Curve that I won’t be darkening their door again.
          Card destroyed and App deleted.

          • Andrew H says:

            They won’t be sorry to see you go though you seem to think they will?

          • Degsy says:

            What about overseas usage and the atm withdrawals? Admittedly cash withdrawals are insignificant compared to the scale of some NSI operations being described on here…..

        • Sandgrounder says:

          Crazy Ex-Girlfriend soundtrack song ‘His Status Is… Preferred’ really cracked me up, not just because of the pretentious attitude of the frequent traveller, but because, as any seasoned loyalty fan knows, that was only the base level for SPG.

  • Colin says:

    Can I status match from Expedia Gold ?

    • Sloth says:

      To Trivago diamond? Yeah….

    • BP says:

      Just read that Expedia are starting a new loyalty programme across all of their brands.

      • Rob says:

        Article tomorrow, or read it now on our LinkedIn page.

        • Andrew H says:

          Didn’t realise you were on there. You have follower number 400.

          • stevenhp1987 says:

            +1

            Also it’s a waste to spend money advertising the avis status match if your own loyalty brand will disappear… Left hand not talking to the right!

            Should we be redeeming our hotels.com nights?

  • Paul says:

    Rob, I’m confused by the economics of loyalty credit card issuers. You suggest eg Creation making a loss in the Curve/NS&I setup. But that being the case surely the same is true of any purchases made on the card. In which case why do card operators seek to incentivise spend eg with rewards for meeting certain spend thresholds? Surely they’d be best off going big with signup bonus and eg status perks and then hoping you won’t actually use the card, rather than actively incentivising the opposite. What am I missing?

    • Rob says:

      Your £99 fee offsets the loss per £1 for the average spender. If they lose 0.5p per £1 then your £99 covers them up to £20k of annual expenditure. There are your 3% FX fees when you travel and, once in a while, your direct debit will bounce and you will pay interest, or you will end up withdrawing cash on your card because you need some at short notice.

      • Paul says:

        Thanks. That all makes sense but I still don’t see why they put the spend targets in place to incentivise spend. Wouldn’t they be better off with us making fewer transactions and keeping a bigger bit of the card fee?

        • Andrew H says:

          They make money from the merchant. Visa and MC typically charge merchant 1.5% to 2.9%. Amex 2.5% to 3.5%. They want you to spend.

          • Axel says:

            It the payment aggregators who charge the merchants such as Payment Sense, Barclays, HSBC, Stripe.

            Fees for credit cards are more like 0.6%-1.8% these days. Debit cards may have a flat rate of say 8p-12p.

            The merchants e.g shops would not be silly enough to consider paying 3.5% for card transactions.

            Curve as a Commercial Credit card would be about 1.8%

        • Yorkie Aid says:

          Absolutely. I made this same point yesterday on the article about the IHG free nights. Creation offered an extra 0.5% CB over July and August (in addition to the points) and this month they are waiving the FX fees. Why would they encourage even more spending if they are already losing money on every Pound spent?

    • Peter K says:

      That’s no doubt why Virgin don’t let you earn points above your credit limit and are typically stingy with the levels they give out.

  • Tony says:

    Quick one – I need to pay for a purchase of £2,500 via PayPal. If I fund this using my Amex BAPP, will it go through as a regular merchant transaction? i.e. not a cash advance or something daft?

  • Greg says:

    Finally its obvious why AMEX didn’t get into bed with Curve.

    • Harrier25 says:

      I think thats been obvious for a long while.

    • Genghis says:

      Well – they did but it was just a one night stand.

    • BuildBackBetter says:

      Less to do with what’s happening now and more to do with keeping visibility to customer spend pattern and merchants.

      If what’s happening now was the only issue for Amex, they could’ve simply blocked certain MCC while allowing curve.

  • Craig says:

    Well, glad I caught up on today’s chat after a busy day at work! Third jab done, sore arm and headache, wondering if a nightcap will help?

    • Degsy says:

      Rude not to, surely?

    • Tracey says:

      We generally advise paracetamol rather than a night cap. Way back in the early days of the vaccine there were suggestions that alcohol in the first day or two after the jab reduced its effectiveness, not sure if any further studies were done on that.

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