Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Tuesday 5th October

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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.

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Comments (602)

  • John says:

    Day 4, no closure letter from Creation regarding my IHG Card! No MS but a fair amount of curve usage over the years…

    • Harry T says:

      And what do you define as MS?

      • John says:

        No manufactured spending, just an occasional cash withdrawal using Curve linked to the IHG Card

        • Rui N. says:

          MS me? Of course not, dear sir.

        • Harry T says:

          This is an example of the kind of activity that Creation is kicking off about, though. Because normally you wouldn’t be able to withdraw cash on your credit card without fees.

          • Rui N. says:

            Being able to withdraw money from an ATM using a credit card for free is the quintessential form of MS.

          • John says:

            Fair point – it was never a huge amount and monthly at most. It still doesn’t fully explain why some customers are having their accounts closed others (including myself) have yet to receive a letter.

    • Craig says:

      Nothing for me or player 2 either.

    • Matthew says:

      I’ve checked my post box every day and haven’t received anything either for my Black IHG card. I’ve used it to pay off seagulls via bendy with the 700p/w cash-like transactions limit but otherwise just used it for Apple Pay through bendy occasionally. They only gave me a 1k limit with no luck on any credit increases over 2+ years so I couldn’t even do large amounts of regular spend or MS through it even if I wanted to.

    • Anna says:

      It’s possibly ernie that’s the issue, not Curve per se …

      • John says:

        I’ve never held an NS&I product so neither Curve nor IHG Card have been used in this way, so it’s entirely possible.

        • Harrier25 says:

          I’ve never done anything with NS&I but still got the dreaded letters!

          • Rui N. says:

            There was one person in one of the other posts that had just received their card and made 2 transactions on it and got closed nonetheless.

          • Roy says:

            I’m starting to wonder whether it’s rather more complicated than we are assuming. Perhaps, having used Curve doesn’t trigger a ban per se, but actually triggers a review of your account against their commercial lending criteria. But maybe with a rather more stringent threshold than they used in the past, so a fairly large proportion of reviewed accounts are failing the review.

            This would be smart, and much more likely to pass the FCA fairness test, than banning someone _solely_ for having made a single £5 Curve transaction three years ago.

    • John says:

      Mine arrives. Fairly sure I ticket the naughty list at some point over the past few years on the MS front. Especially when I went through a phase of checking if the cash transactions were triggered properly. But not recently.

      Main thing is the wife’s HMRC bill of £12k went through in July giving a surefire-free night. Wished I’d done it on the Hilton card now. Ho hum….

      • meta says:

        I think eventually everyone will get a letter. Remember how long it took Lloyds to inform everyone that their Avios cards are closing and some people never got the letter. I wouldn’t be surprised that everyone’s cards just stop working on 3rd Dec. It’s how bad Creation is!

        • Froggee says:

          As long as I get my 10,000 point bonus on taking out the white card first!

        • Roy says:

          > I wouldn’t be surprised that everyone’s cards just stop working on 3rd Dec. It’s how bad Creation is!


  • Luke says:

    Does anyone know if the amex plat car rental collision waiver insurance would cover car subscriptions, such as – which has a £1000 excess – i pay the bill with my amex 🙂

    • Rich says:

      I think, and hope, that it does, as the subscriptions are only a month long each. I may be testing it sooner rather than later as I had to replace a tyre this month!

      I know that several Onto users have claimed from I4CH without problems.

      One gotcha that I can see is that you probably don’t want to be having a claim on your Onto car for a hire that is concurrent with a claim on another hire car.

    • Jonathan says:

      Ring them up and ask, when you make the call, say to the automated voice ‘insurance’, and it’ll put you through to that department

    • Aston100 says:

      If it helps, I used the Amex Plat insurance to claim back for a tyre on my Onto vehicle hire.

    • Richie says:

      Is car hire or car leasing?

      • Rich says:

        Closest to car hire. It’s a monthly all-inclusive subscription for EVs.

        • CH says:

          Isn’t there a 30-60 day limit on rentals for Amex Plat? Doesn’t that run contrary to how the subscription services work? Not that some haven’t gotten coverage, of course.

  • Heather says:

    If I am buying 2 Day 2 tests from Randox – is it best to buy them as two separate purchases – I know some other test providers state you must do this – is it the case for Randox?

    • Harry T says:

      No, you’re fine to order more than one. They will email you multiple codes in the confirmation email.

    • Rob says:

      No, you can do all at once. Confirmation email gives multiple codes.

  • Jamie says:

    Trying to book a BA Holiday. Very standard NYC return flights and hotel. Getting “We are very sorry. There has been a problem confirming your booking. Please call…”

    Tried three times same error. Anyone had this before? Not sure I fancy an hour in the queue. Definitely isn’t payment related since my bank doesn’t notify me of anything attempted. Thanks

    • HH says:

      Once a few years ago – I phoned and it turned out to be an issue with the particular hotel inventory / pricing, so they couldn’t process it on the phone either.

  • Vasco says:

    Have a new work travel agent and just going to use for them hotel stays for the first time.

    Fares show up as booked by Expedia. Does this mean I ain’t getting any points, or does expedia have a corporate travel agent arm? I suspect it’s the former, but looking for data points

    • Blenz101 says:

      Is it Egencia? That is a corporate agent owned by Expedia. Recall reports on FT that you have to explicitly look for rates which include loyalty points.

      May well depend on what your work has agreed in terms of the itinerary made available?

      • Vasco says:

        KeyTravel is the front-end I deal with, though I have no idea what’s behind that.

        • Blair says:

          Expedia rates on work travel agents are points ineligible. Sabre is what you need to look for.

  • Oh! Matron! says:

    For all of you that availed themselves of the Telegraph offer….. I’d be mindful that the Telegraph left your data unencrypted for September. All 10TB of it:

  • Rio says:

    Can you buy Amazon giftcard with Amex to get the spend limit for bonuss?

    • Toaster says:

      Yes, buy from Amazon direct or another retailer who sell Amazon gift cards, e.g. Wilko, WH Smiths.

    • CarpalTravel says:

      Yes. As Toaster says, + Morrisons.

      • Jonathan says:

        If you’re lucky, an Amex promotion with Morrisons might come along soon !

    • Andrew says:

      And you might have an Amazon offer sitting in your account right now.

  • Peter Taysum says:

    I have a conference to attend at the ExCel centre in November. Am planning a “holiday” from NCL for double TPs so at least five nights and probably a week. 6th ti 13th December.

    I’m BA Gold, HH Gold (could do 2
    nights for Diamond).

    I’m wanting luxury, spa, ideally breakfast included via status. My geography of London is less than useless (and always commented on) I kinda like theatre so Soho makes sense… (and advice on tix for shows?)

    There is a budget, I’m just not sure what it is. I need pampering! (NHS worker near burnout).

    I’m likely to spend a lot of time in the spa, relaxing, reading. Shows, dinner etc and catch up with friends.

    So HfP do what you all do so well!

    I’m open to holiday with car for TP, and do hotel separately, and would move (then could use status). The “buy the free night thing”. Oh and pay on AMEX BAPP #obvs

    I need blissful pampering maxing Avios/TP, status etc! Luxury! 🤣

    • Peter Taysum says:

      November sorry! 🤦🏽‍♀️

    • Harry T says:

      What’s the budget? Not too many hotels with a spa in central London that are terrific for keeping your budget in check. Marriott Park Lane has a spa and swimming pool – they occasionally participate in healthcare rates via Marriott, or at least used to (otherwise expensive). My favourite hotel in Soho is the London EDITION but you won’t get free brekkie or a spa (it’s excellent, though and convenient for night life, restaurants, bars etc). I’ve heard good things about the Connaught but haven’t stayed. The Lanesborough also looks like it has a very decent spa. The blog “The Good, the Bad and the Luxurious” has reviewed most of the true luxury London hotels and that’s a good place to start.

      The Langley would be ideal for your spa aspirations but it’s quite far outside of London.

      Either way, I’d recommend booking any luxury hotel in London via Emyr to get extra benefits.

      • Peter Taysum says:

        I guess Max £2k

        • Yorkie Aid says:

          Would you be going to the Excel every day? Not a very pleasant commute from the West End.

          • Rob says:

            But the West End is a painful commute every night if you stay near Excel!

            InterCon O2 is a smart bet. Very close to Excel via the cable car (or Jubilee Line / DLR if you’re boring) and a direct Jubilee Line train from North Greenwich to Bond Street / Green Park going the other way. This hotel is usually good value for money too, albeit the odd location behind the O2 accounts for that.

    • Laura says:

      St Pancras Renaissance is taking part in the Marriott Health Care offer. Never been but the spa looks lovely and an easy walk/uber to Soho. I’m booked in (with my mum and her NHS discount!) in December

      • Harry T says:

        Hey Laura, do let me know how you find the Ren St Pancras. I’ve not been but the healthcare rate does make it attractive.

    • Richie says:

      Rob’s IC near the O2 is a very good idea, hope you find a good rate.

    • The Savage Squirrel says:

      How many HH points have you got? Biltmore would certainly fit the bill of luxury, spa plus free brekkie; 15 min walk to Soho as it’s in Mayfair. Hilton Bankside near South Bank theatres etc if that’s a little too much might be a decent compromise. For cash, The Dilly seems to fit your brief. Just had a big refurb so should all be high spec although no idea what it’s like.

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