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The HfP chat thread – Thursday 23rd 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 (529)

  • DI says:

    I’ve decided to proactively contact our friends at Curve quoting their own materials with regards to NS&I.

    I wonder what they respond with (if anything)…

    • Andrew H says:

      Has anyone bought PBs since the email through Fronted and not been immediately banned? I would like to actually use the card how Curve invisaged it and actually buy some more Premium Bonds to keep.

      However a few people – if their boasts are really true – may have killed the opportunity to get a few points/rewards for the rest of us. Thanks.

      (P.S. Can’t actually find anything now about NS&I and Curve now – seems to be limited to Fronted being used for HMRC)

    • Aston100 says:

      Hi Ali

    • Paul says:

      Ive decided I’m going to show them all the statements they are asking for. I pay in every day and withdraw once a month ish. That is prob not what they are talking about in terms of recycling. Or at least they will be able to tell me a minimum period in which funds have to stay deposited. I reckon I could push to one withdrawal every 3 months but any more and I wouldn’t get the return I need on the cash.

      • Anna says:

        How do they even know if you are withdrawing the money, unless ernie has told them, which would be a massive breach of customer confidentiality/! Curve can’t tell you how long to keep money deposited with another institution!

        • Paul says:

          I wondered that too.

          The problem we all have is that curve support is so slow we will have to wait weeks for it to get processed.

          Has anyone successfully continued depositing into nsi? Worked for me Monday and then Tuesday but then account was frozen weds morning.

        • Michael Scarn says:

          I think it’ll just be an assmption on Curve’s part.

          That said, from the comments yesterday the majority of commenters were VERY low level or had only bought PBs once – certainly nothing notable. My partner received the e-mail but has done substantially less recycling then me, and I didn’t get it at all.

          • Michael Scarn says:

            I take it back – I DID get the e-mail – I forgot which e-mail account Curve was linked to.

        • JDB says:

          Curve will know now, because they are requiring to see NS&I statements to check if you are recycling/round tripping. It should be fairly self evident what is normal activity and what looks like a laundering type business. I think people may find that HMRC will get interested as well at this scale. Also Curve will be funny now if you use the commercial card at NS&I which is essentially for personal customers only.

          • Genghis says:

            Why would HMRC care?

          • Andrew H says:

            It’s Curve who are liable for the majority of costs of the transaction – they are taking credit card payments, so that’s 1% to 1.5% of every transaction (hence the 1.5% charge for non metal subscribers). They will be getting something back from handling a debit card transaction, but these are much lower; these costs would be born by NS&I or HMRC for any debit card payment, so I doubt HMRC will be as concerned for a one off payment through Curve or any other debit card; the cost to them is the same. Money going round and round through NS&I is different

          • JDB says:

            @Genghis I’m sure you know the answer really and I can assure you my comment was made advisedly…

          • Genghis says:

            @JDB yes, they may see large sums going through accounts and get excited but providing evidence that you’ve got is a closed loop is easy. Then there’s no trading income – rewards from cards are outside the scope of tax.

          • Anna says:

            No way can Curve see statements from other institutions – they would need a court order which they wouldn’t even have grounds for.

    • stevenhp1987 says:

      What “own materials” are you quoting.

      Looks like they now only promote HMRC & paying off another credit card using Curve Fronted?

      Not sure when they removed the NS&I information but I assume it was recently!

      • Rui N. says:

        It was there yesterday (after the emails were sent out). I’ve copied some of the text to yesterday’s thread.

    • xcalx says:

      I have been waiting for my phone number to be updated for 37 days now.

  • Super Secret Stuff says:

    Do Melia do a status match at all? Eyeing up a stay or redemption at one of there properties, so could be great value if I can get a discount voucher that they offer Golds.

    Don’t think I want Amex Plat right now as going to switch to BAPP soon

  • Gerard says:

    Hi folks, question i am landing in London from Germany on Friday 15th October and then flying out Sunday 17th October to Greece, will I still be required to take a day 2 test ?

    • Richie says:

      What does Greece require in the context of the previous country you visited?

    • Tracey says:

      My understanding is that you are required to buy a test as you are staying for longer than anything that will be considered a transit. As you are leaving before the end of day 2, you don’t actually have to take the test. I don’t know what Greece require for entry.

  • Freddy says:

    Anyone know the transfer times for points to land from bonvoy to BA executive club?

  • Andrew H says:

    Just seen this on the Curve forums – their answer to someone buying NS&I to keep…

    “We have systems in place to identify any unusual activity including cash recycling. The scenario you are describing here: making a payment into your savings account for long-term investment does not fall under the Fair Use Policy’s definition of cash recycling as it’s currently described”

    Er, Ok, so why did I get the effing email?

    • LS says:

      They’ve clearly sent it to everyone who has used it for NS&I. If you continue, you will be suspended, but when you provide proof you are using it for long-term investing it sounds like from the above you will be re-instated.

    • ChasP says:

      Bought £32k of PBs this year and £10k of savings a previous year ( before they slashed rates) using Virgin via Curve

      Still have the PBs and have had one £25 prize – no e mail from Curve

      • Andrew H says:

        One £25 prize for £32k holdings is a poor return – ignoring the big prizes you should still get £265 a year.

        My single £100 PB purchase was within the last month, which may have been what triggered it

    • Doug M says:

      How long is long-term?

    • JDB says:

      They can’t see the other side of the NS&I transactions, so they have sent it very widely. Also, bear in mind that Curve’s T&Cs require you to comply with the underlying card’s T&Cs which in many cases do not allow cash type transactions.

      • Genghis says:

        Equally, in the documentation for fronted usage, Curve used to promote NSI and still does promote paying off credit cards, both unlikely to be OK per underlying card terms. Curve can’t have it both ways. They’ve always been a rogue player in the card space.

  • Glenn says:

    Hi. Any tips on earning Avios or miles & more on a £50k HMRC tax payment?

    • Rich says:

      There’s a discussion on page 2. In short: not without paying. Not worth paying unless you’re trying to hit a target, and then probably not £50k

    • Peter K says:

      Capital on Tap card via Curve, if you have your own business to get the CoT card. You get 1% backcash or 1Avios per £1 spent on CoT.

      Rob would be able to give a referral code for this card.

      • Peter K says:

        You’d need to go for the £99 a year option to be able to gain Avios.

      • Andrew H says:

        CoT wouldn’t approve me recently and my business is perfectly sound – says they aren’t taking many right now, but that may change.

        VA+ card would probably work – great sign up bonus now, but not Avios, and their credit limits are stingy

    • Fazzy Bear says:

      A suggestion made to me earlier for a similar amount is as follows. A bit niche but may apply.

      If you are business and can increase a batch of payments upto £100k then you can use Amex FX Premium (so in your instance potentially 50k of payments is corporation tax then add a few big supplier payments) – you can pay a 1% fee so £1000 for transferring £100k and also get 100k of Amex MR points. Above 10k and Below 100k the rate is 1.15%.

      As it’s a business expense you should shave of 19% corporation tax so net cost will be £810. There’s more caveats to it for it to be worthwhile such as working out net cost for yourself. To extract that £1000 in usual methods will depend on your tax rate so corporation tax plus dividend rate.

      For me I view it as a 1% cost for the business to have potentially lots of personal MR points.

  • AL says:

    Is the BAPP fee refundable pro-rata? I see the 40,000 Avios SUB for £3k in 3mo, which I can easily meet. I currently only hold a personal Gold chargecard. Any gotchas to watch out for etc., things I reduce my qualification on etc. if I apply and cancel after the 40k SUB?

  • Karl says:

    Curve-related – Is anyone in the know aware of any potential implications to personal finance records if you got blacklisted by Curve?

    • JDB says:

      You are ultimately at risk of being reported by one or all of Curve, NS&I and the underlying card. As previously stated by many it is currently a very ‘live’ issue.

      • Rui N. says:

        I see you continue your fearmongering to try and get people to not do MS. I also wish I was the only one doing it so that the methods didn’t get shut down, but there is no need to try to scare people.

    • Rich says:

      If you get blacklisted for being commercially unviable/ abusing T&Cs: nothing.

      If they genuinely think you’re engaged in dodgy money laundering: CIFAS marker? Bad news.

      • Genghis says:

        Exactly. MS isn’t illegal. If asked to provide documentation, I always provide it.

        • Karl says:

          While MS is perfectly legal, it obviously isn’t desirable for most businesses to have you as a customer. If you become a persona non-grata with one company then presumably they shouldn’t be sharing this info with other credit card/banking/mortgage institutions?

          • JDB says:

            In many circumstances, the firm is obliged to report activity that caused them to close an account.

          • Genghis says:

            If there’s no evidence for a CIFAS marker, then no. Like I say, if you’re asked to provide evidence, provide it.

        • JDB says:

          It may not be illegal, but it looks odd so is generating SARs.

          • Genghis says:

            “ In many circumstances, the firm is obliged to report activity that caused them to close an account.”
            No. They just close the account.

            “ It may not be illegal, but it looks odd so is generating SARs.”
            Only after doing some actual investigating. Obvs there’s no tipping off. Even if you have a SAR generated, like I said, there’s nothing illegal.

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