Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Thursday 14th October

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

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.

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 (454)

  • JW says:

    Switching from HSBC Premier to Barclays Premier for the Avios Rewards bonus.

    Besides the big upside of the avios benefits, seems like the features of premier banks between them are otherwise pretty similar, anything I’ve forgotten that I should expect to miss when I’ve left HSBC?

    • Harry T says:

      Why bother switching? Just open a Barclays account in addition. The HSBC account offers a really good credit card.

    • Benilyn says:

      Open both.

    • ExperiencedRunner says:

      HSBC Premier offers great credit cards, free worldwide travel insurance which is much better than the Amex Platinum one (it covers nearly all pre-existing health conditions for a start), ability to seamlessly open Premier accounts in other countries (you are automatically eligible for Premier accounts in other countries where HSBC operate as long as you meet any legal requirements of opening an account in those countries) and transfer money globally between HSBC accounts fee free. Also it has some further additional perks like 12 months expedia gold membership, preferential terms on mortgages and savings and so on (not to mention all the perks of the CCs which you become automatically eligible for). Barclays Premier is just not worth it. Open it as a new account if anything but don’t switch from HSBC.

    • Doug M says:

      Travel Insurance is a paid add-on with Barclays, and free with HSBC. I’d open an additional account rather than switch.

    • Youllnever says:

      You’d lose the worldwide travel insurance in addition to the Premier cards.

    • Doug M says:

      As a general bit of advice it’s worth having a current account or two you don’t care about, simply for the switching benefits.

    • Red Flyer says:

      Agree with others in that you should have both – I have both and salary drops into Barclays on 28th and into HSBC via standing order on 30th. Recently had to claim for a last minute holiday cancellation on health grounds and HSBC paid out no quibble.

      • Sina says:

        Agree with others, there’s no benefit in having a Barclays premier account, other than a one-time 25K Avios, if you join their Avios rewards.

      • JW says:

        Thanks for the tip everyone + especially Red Flyer — salary requirement is exactly the reason I was thinking about switching. So I think I’ll just open an empty account, switch that, and set up a standing order

  • Crafty says:

    Spanish PLF says one should not enter Spain having tested positive for Covid in the last 14 days. First I’ve heard of it. Is this the law, or advisory? Nothing on FCO that I can see.

    Wording is “DO NOT TRAVEL…if you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 within the last 14 days, or if you have had close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 within the last two weeks.”

    • Harry T says:

      Why would you be trying to enter Spain when you have had covid in the last 14 days? The FCDO isn’t the relevant source here – the Spanish PLF supersedes any UK information.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      FCO advices on what they interrupt the Spanish laws/guidance to be it is NOT the definitive answer.

      All seems pretty sensible since in the UK you need to isolate for 10 days after being diagnosed/suspected diagnosis of COVID19 still.

    • Anna says:

      Won’t your kids have to have a test anyway before travelling to Spain? If there’s a chance they will still test positive that’s going to scupper any plans.

    • Andrew H says:

      You shouldn’t be out and about in the UK for at least 10 of those 14 days, so not sure what your complaint is?

      • Crafty says:

        It’s not a complaint at all, just wasn’t familiar with the rule. We are working on how long after my daughter’s recovery we might be able to reinstate our cancelled holiday.

        • Crafty says:

          Also, it’s not true that you have to isolate for 10 days after diagnosis; you have to isolate for 10 days after symptoms began. In our case, diagnosis was on day 5, so isolation is almost complete. The guidance on the PLF however would imply no travel until day 19, whereas we could theoretically have been travelling freely within the UK for 9 days at that point. That is why I’m trying to clarify.

  • Don says:

    I’m also going to contact the Financial Ombudsman Service about the Creation Card. In addition to the sudden cancellation, I have not seen my cashback from the summer (August) when they had 5% running on spend I believe.

    • TGLoyalty says:


    • Anna says:

      I’m waiting to see what happens with the free night/£99 fee before I make a move. I’m assuming if I don’t receive a response from Creation within a reasonable amount of time I can just move on to the FOS? I emailed them nearly 2 weeks ago to ask what would be happening with the free night and not even had an acknowledgement.

      • JDB says:

        You need to wait eight weeks from the date they received your complaint before going to the FOS or for their final decision if that is earlier. Is the email you sent clearly a complaint (and sent to the contact email/form they state for complaints) rather than a request, as others have reported receiving the standard complaints protocol email/letter? Even for them, i would be surprised if they don’t carefully follow the procedure.

        • Dave says:

          My wife sent an email asking if she would be getting the free night voucher this month and whether they would be taking the annual fee.

          She just got sent the generic “you have raised a complaint, here is your reference number, we will be in touch within 8 weeks”

          So she never got clarification either way

        • Anna says:

          How do I know if they’ve received my complaint if they don’t even reply?!

      • stevenhp1987 says:

        +1 Same. Emailed without any acknowledgement.

        However, mine was a query, not a complaint. You need to actually complain to start the 8 week window. I won’t be complaining until they inform me of their intentions.

        I also emailed them Monday last week with a DSAR request which has gone unanswered too.

      • Lady London says:

        You need to log it as a complaint. Then exhaust their complaints process, get “final answer” not resolving it to your satisfaction, or wait 8 weeks after date of your complaint with no resolution then you can reasonably FOS, MCOL etc. A polite request is not counted as a complaint – or at least it’s much harder.

        Creation really, really deserve the ton of bricks that’s going to fall on them if they keep up this attitude – for stupidity if no other reason.

        This kind of mean deaf behaviour might be got away with in France by large businesses – but in the UK – unless everyone’s been breaching card conditions – it’s gonnq cost them.

      • Allan Boswell says:

        Same here. Two black accounts: one renews November, the other July. November account hit spend target in March. That’s clear cut shenanigans if the award night is not received in November. July card: will push 4k on by November 22nd to make the 10k. For reference: both cards had Curve attached but nothing silly. 30k total IHG and Curve used mainly for FX only and typically £50 cash withdrawal per month. NS and I use: £1,000 on each card this summer and still there. No silly games played here. Will see if the £99 fee gets put onto the November card and then chase £750 on each card in lieu of points if award night not awarded, plus the November fee if not refunded.

    • NC says:

      Due date for the 0.5% cashback is 29th Oct, so let’s wait and see.
      However the Marriott card holders never got their bonus points so I’m not expecting Creation to pay this on time!

    • Sprout says:

      I think you might be jumping the gun a little – cashback terms were within 60 days from 29th August.

      • Harley says:

        Agreed. I have warned them that i am expecting the cashback by the end of the month as per their terms but if this does not happen a complaint will be started. They reassured me that the offer will be honoured but i have very little confidence

  • Chrism20 says:

    Airtime promo “SOCIAL” £1 back on £5 before Saturday

    • Shaw West says:

      Does airtime work with Lebara? I have moved to their 99p a month plan 🙂

    • Reney says:


      A while back someone made a comment saying it took ages to earn enough on Airtime. My advice is if you time purchases with promo codes (which comes quite often), they do make a difference!)

  • AngryOctopus says:

    bonus for first supp on gold credit card hasn’t posted and its been 2 weeks since card received…..hmmm

    reluctant to do any referrals given all the chat about delay in points posting….any recent data points pls

  • Simon says:

    Anyone interested in a last minute points trip to Majorca, maybe this will drop back into points inventory. I’m just cancelling 4 CE LHR to PMI out on 17th back on 25th. + Junior Suite Marriot Arabella 17th – 22nd. Slight issues with Kids passports not arriving back in time..

  • Dave says:

    Anyone know if the Creation IHG card is still foreign-fee free? I now there was a promo this summer but can’t see when/if it ended.


  • cinereus says:

    Is there any way to get into the T3 Virgin Clubhouse if using Virgin miles to fly an ANA F flight?

    • ChrisC says:

      No since they use different terminals.

      Check the ANA website for which lounges you will have access to.

    • WMorrison99 says:

      Flying ANA F will get you access to the Lufthansa, Singapore, Air Canada and United lounges at Heathrow.

      Worth knowing only the first two are currently open, but that will probably change soon as North America opens up in the next few weeks/ months

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please click here to read our data protection policy before submitting your comment

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.