Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Thursday 14th October

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We are running this daily chat thread on Head for Points during the coronavirus outbreak.

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Comments (454)

  • Jonathan says:

    Anyone got an retention offers on Amex Gold recently?

  • David says:

    Any Amex Plat retention offers recently?

  • Anna says:

    Recently contacted IHG about the situation with Creation free night given the impending card closures and just got this response (though no response from Creation as yet!):

    “We already have an update from our respective team that your 2021 Free Night was posted into your account on 23 Jul 2021. For 2021-2022 Free Night, it will be posted next year on the Anniversary of your credit card by July 2022.”

    I’m not sure how much leverage this will have over Creation, but I will certainly be citing it in any correspondence with the FOS!

  • Craig says:

    Just had a chat with NCP after trying to book Heathrow for next year, I was told that when the car parks reopen they won’t be NCP run anymore.

    • Rob says:

      Possible. NCP has a lot of financial problems (guaranteed rental payments, no income for a year) and they have defaulted on their contract or given it up due to the cost.

  • Dave says:

    Not sure if it’s been mentioned before but Transavia will launch a new route from Glasgow to Paris next April. Could be useful to earn/spend flying blue points.

    • dundj says:

      Transavia is not a terribly good one to earn with. Plus, the lowest fares require a €5 payment to earn your 250 points per segment. Also, earning XP is only available on the Plus and Max fares.

  • Simon says:

    Is car hire insurance an added ‘perk’ if I pay using my Hsbc world elite card? It’s UK issued. I found some info on north American issued cards but not uk.

    • Anna says:

      UK cards don’t generally include it, but Americans ones seem to quite widely, why is why insurance is so often separate if you hire a car in the US or Caribbean.

  • Leigh says:

    Be wary on crediting KL/AF flights to Virgin (esp as the fare class is not usually printed anywhere – although it is eligible). Their IT seems more Mickey Mouse than the old BMI (and not in a favourable way)! With these games they can’t expect anyone to take them seriously compared to BA/OneWorld for FF schemes…

    “May I request you to contact the partner airline and obtain letter from them stating the fare class of your flights taken with them. In this letter it should be stated that XXX has travelled on the following flights in so and so class and also points are not credited to any other alternative reward programme.

    Upon receipt of this letter please forward this to us in PDF format so that we can process your claim.

    If fare class is mentioned on your boarding pass please send it scan copy of this to us in PDF format by replying to this email”

    • Lady London says:

      You’d almost think this level of admin required was intended to put barriers in the way of people accruing promised benefits.

    • Munch says:

      Leigh – what class/miles did you fly and what tier points are you expecting to be posted to Virgin?

      • Leigh says:

        Both segments were in U class, one credited automatically and the other has gone missing. Should be 300 points and 10 TPs each way. You’d think these data problems would be long gone by now, but Virgin seemingly having no access to KLM to verify tickets and fares makes the whole thing feel like it’s held together with stickytape

  • James says:

    Chase is coming to the UK! 1% cashback debit card (for 12 months) and 5% interest:

    https://www.chase.co.uk/gb/en/

    • Rob says:

      Been available for a few weeks. You clearly haven’t read the small print of the two benefits you highlight or you wouldn’t be so keen.

      • James says:

        Oh dear, I hadn’t delved that deep, was just surprised by the two, on a debit card. Hoping these accounts might be the stepping stone for something closer to the Sapphire Reserve, just something to keep Amex on their toes with the Plat! Definitely would only get it as a backup card though, Amex points are still better 🙂

        • JDB says:

          The 5% interest is only on the balance of ‘round up’ transactions, i.e. not a lot. The 1% seems to exclude most useful categories save those where you get a better return from a rewards card.

          • stevenhp1987 says:

            What’s to stop me (other than the sheer time involved which wouldn’t be worth the hassle), say, topping up my gas bill 1p several times over to benefit from the 5% interest…?

      • Rum says:

        For those that have opened an account and are keen on monitoring their credit files, did you get a hard or soft credit report search when opening an account?

        • paulm says:

          Just an ID search. No credit check as they don’t offer any credit at the moment

          • Rum says:

            Thanks, Paul!

          • Genghis says:

            Albeit a debit card linked to a current account is actually a credit product due to the exposure of offline transactions. It’s why most banks hard credit search even if you don’t get an overdraft. Why Chase chose not to, no idea.

    • Mark says:

      Very happy user here. 1% Cashback is rolling in at a decent rate and no FX fees (including weekends)

      I’m sure if HfP got paid for referrals or advertising it’d be the product of the year.

      • Rhys says:

        It’s not open to the general public yet. There’s a waiting list!

        • QFFlyer says:

          Can’t be a very long one, I registered my interest and had an account open a few days later!

      • Owen Rudge says:

        Yep, have moved most of my last month’s spending using Curve onto Chase, and accrued some nice cashback. Obviously not going to be much use for HMRC etc but I’m not trying to game the system, just get a better return for my day-to-day spending. If I do find anything doesn’t earn cashback, I can just use Curve to switch it back to my normal card.

      • Rob says:

        1% cashback is far weaker than 1.5 BA or Virgin Points on their premium credit cards, and you’re not giving up Section 75. This is before you start factoring in the value from the 241 or upgrade vouchers.

        Plenty of credit cards will give you 0% FX without needing to open another current account. I also assume Chase isn’t using the interbank rate so you are actually paying a hidden 0.5% FX fee.

        More importantly though, cashback is boring!

      • Genghis says:

        I’ve been trying it out for basic spend for a week or so to see what it’d be like in a post Creation world and I’m quite happy with it.

        Currently on a fallow period at Amex (Plat and BAPP) but have the Nectar Amex.

        1p return cash with Chase is better than 1p of Nectar points and also benefit from the round ups. So far round ups are working out at about 10% of what I spend – but just on small daily spend, which at 2.5% blended average return over the year gets an extra 0.25%. I guess I could discount the alternative interest rate but now we’re talking basis points difference in return.

        Chase also beats HSBC Premier WE for me in my book for ongoing spend. I’m currently transferring avios to Nectar to spend at Sainsburys. Therefore, 2 HSBC points are worth 0.8p to me. Even with a HSBC-avios bonus, likely not as good as 1p cash.

        Different strokes for different folks.

        • Sprout says:

          Thanks Genghis, that confirms my thoughts..
          For Amex transfer avios to nectar
          Non amex go for cashback.
          I have felt for a while that I have undervalued the flexibility of cash in the pursuit of points. I think there is a lot to be said for being able to take advantage of cheap cash fares/hotels without being tied to the whims of certain programs.

        • Sandgrounder says:

          As I’ve said more than once, I like the free access to Chase ATMs in the US. I’m holding out for a switching bonus though, these are generally very good in the States and may be offered once the account is fully functional (still no DDs).

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