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The HfP chat thread – Friday 22nd 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 (444)

  • RogerC says:

    OK. Help please. Trying to fly to Portugal. BA want me to complete the Portuguese PLF before allowing me to check in. But the form contains a field for seat number (you can see the logic of that), which of course I don’t yet have…

    Any suggestions?

    • Pete M says:

      Make it up.

    • TMac says:

      When I flew out in June, BA had implemented a workaround for this. The website will allow you to select a seat for free 2-3 days before your flight. You can then use that seat number to fill out the PLF.

    • Thywillbedone says:

      Check your BA app and you will see they have pre-assigned you a seat. I’ve see a story that if you put in a random seat number, that BA will pick it up and then assign you the new one (exit row anyone?), but no idea if this works.

  • nick says:

    Can you use a contactless credit card for thameslink from West Hampstead to Gatwick? Going Sat morning.

    Is there any extra transfers then needed to get to the North Terminal?

    • Pete M says:

      Yes, you can now use contactless all the way to Gatwick, although you may not get the best fare (e.g. no Railcard discount). The railway station is at the South Terminal, so you need a c5min shuttle transfer, which is free and seamless.

      • Nick says:

        Thanks Pete
        Just saw TFL ticket site stating that oyster/contactless price off peak is £8.70

        • John says:

          If you want to save £1.60 you can get off at East Croydon, leave the station and then reenter, the fare becomes £3.7 + £3.4

  • Backpacker says:

    Creation Card forced closure. Has anyone managed to get creation to change their mind on any of their cards yet?
    I have toyed with the idea of calling, but not heard any positive responses from anyone else, so don’t want to waste time on a long call if pointless?

    • Andrew says:

      I’m just surprised that nobody’s booked themselves an appointment with the MD to discuss.

      Surely someone must live close to Solihull?

    • K says:

      Me and partner have our own IHG Premium cards. I also have the White one. Both Premium cards will be closed, but my White one stays open (why???)

      I once (2 years ago) used the Black one to get NSI for £100. Partner has never. So, make of that what you will.

      We both have written to their Legal Dept (if they have one) asking for them to review their decision. Received letter this morning:

      “A business decision has been made to close your account following a review. As per clause 14 in your T&C, we hold the right to close any account without disclosing a specific reason. As part of this decision, we will not be reversing the annual charge of £99 or be rewarding the free night’s stay for the period covered if outstanding.

      If your annual fee is due to be charged within the period leading up too your accounts closure, this will be debited from your account”

      There you go. Copy/Paste letter. Soudns to me that they’re using this excuse to close the Premium cards…

      • Anna says:

        That just says they don’t have to give a reason, it doesn’t say they can withhold the associated benefits’

        • JDB says:

          It’s the rewards terms that apply re the Anniversary night, not the credit card terms under the Consumer Credit Act 1974.

          • Froggee says:

            Anniversary night voucher

            On the anniversary of your account opening, so long as your account remains active, you will earn one anniversary night voucher anniversary night voucher to redeem at any IHG property, provided you make annual pPurchases totalling a minimum of £10,000. Annual purchases are calculated from your account opening date to the day before the first anniversary, and thereafter on an annual basis. This offer is subject to your IHG Rewards Club Premium Credit Card account remaining in good order.”

            I don’t believe Creation have defined “good order” anywhere but by giving 60 days notice of closure for a business decision, I cannot see how the accounts are not in good order?

          • JDB says:

            @Froggee, yes that’s why I mentioned that it looks as though people whose anniversaries are in the two month cancellation period may be in a better position (save that you need to pay £99 to play!). If your anniversary is after 3 Dec, much less chance as previous decisions have said that its doesn’t matter whether cardholder or firm cancel the card.

          • Froggee says:

            Thanks @JDB – that indeed is the position I am in with my free night voucher due to appear any time now. Weirdly though, last year they credited the free night on 23rd of October but the annual fee didn’t hit my account until the 21st of November. It seems like £99 is a fair price to play particularly given that I had >£10,000 spend on the card that was neither Che or Ernie. I have not used the card since my cancellation letter (unlike some people!) and was optimistic that as in previous years I would be able to cancel after getting the free night but before the £99 is charged. Here’s hoping.

      • Andrew says:

        “As per clause 14 in your T&C, we hold the right to close any account without disclosing a specific reason.”

        Terms and Conditions cannot possibly override a subject access request. If there was data involved in the decison making process, then they need to disclose it.

        I’d do a formal subject access request requesting full details of the account, email correspondence concerning your letter, the data used to analyse your account for closure and any algorithms used.

        • JDB says:

          I’m not sure how a DSAR would particularly help anyone (apart from just being an irritant) even if it elicited the reason for cancellation and there are quite a number of exemptions in the credit area anyway so you might just get a lot of nothing!

      • Rui N. says:

        It’s quite something that they have the nerve to put in writing that they’ll close the account but will debit the fee nonetheless in the meantime.

        • Aston100 says:

          They really must be confident.

          • BP says:

            Or they know that many people will do absolutely nothing and 200 people on HFP will take them to FOS which is within their risk appetite.

          • JDB says:

            @BP there won’t be 200 investigated cases. If it gets to the FOS, they will just look at a sample, as the principles are all the same, except I think the people whose anniversaries have fallen during the two month notice period are potentially in a different position than those whose anniversaries fall after the closure date. The delays at the FOS are pretty bad at the moment, having just put in two cases for other people – 4 to 7 months (depends on type of complaint) to get the case allocated to a handler and then 90 days for a preliminary decision. If either side isn’t happy at that stage so it goes to an Ombudsman, that’s maybe another 90 days.

          • Memesweeper says:

            From the perspective of winning at FOS, perhaps. Or at least confident enough that most people won’t bother and on average they’ll be quids in.

            I’m equally confident they’ll loose at MCOL — every case. I’m not sure they’ve factored the ease with which they can be sued, and the standard their T&Cs will be held to. And there’s no “sample of cases” at MCOL. Each one will cost money to defend. If one or two winners report back here or MSE the floodgates might open regardless of a win for Creation at FOS. I think they’ve miscalculated – in fact nothing about their behaviour looks to be carefully calculated at all.

        • JDB says:

          People do have the option of cancelling their accounts to avoid the next fee, but as it is they are choosing to roll the dice, paying the fee in the hope of getting the voucher and a few more points prior to 3 Dec. Faites vos jeux.

      • endfire says:

        Well, I don’t hold any of the Creation cards, so it might be a bit rich of me to express an alternate opinion. But, as shady as Creation’s decision is, how is it any different from when people sign up for a card, receive the promotional bonus within a month, and then cancel immediately? Or the numerous cases reported of people getting retention deals for Amex cards, and then called again to cancel next day?

        It’s bad form, does nothing for their credibility and reputation, but it seems to be within the T&C that they can receive your annual fee and cancel your card without providing a reason. Yes, it sucks but the game does not always play out in one’s favour.

        So I’m not sure there’s legal ground to claim back anything, other than forcing them into a goodwill gesture to protect their reputation from bad PR. This would have great effect if they were a household name with a brand to protect and their customers poorly pensioners, but neither of those points is applicable.

        Good luck anyone going this route, but for the money involved I would save myself the aggravation, really.

        • Lady London says:

          Unfair Contract Terms legislation (I forget what the new statute covering that is called) and Treating Customers Fairly requirement in financial services industry (presumably addressable to FOS and FCA?) would seem to override card contract terms if that is what Creation is relying on to deny payment of benefits accrued based on the promise of which people took out Creation’s IHG cards and spent money Creation earned from, on the card to fulfil cardholder’s side of the contract to earn the benefits

        • Char Char says:

          The difference is Creation is a business that offers services and has to operate within the laws of the country, the card companies make money with their promotions and account for people taking advantage of their offers otherwise they wouldn’t offer them.

          Imagine signing up for a 1 year gym membership that comes with a free spa day after 12 months and then after 3 months you get a notice they are cancelling your membership and no refund or spa day, you of course are going to be annoyed, its exactly the same thing. Regardless of their terms and conditions no judge can say this is reasonable.

      • Lady London says:

        Yes. Looks like Creation are just doing this whole thing to try to get out of providing promised benefits.

        It seems really, really naive of Creation and I hope we hear from someone soon who’s put a (legal or FOS or both) rocket up them. They really, really deserve to get sorted out on this asap.

    • BuildBackBetter says:

      We should start a petition and force a discussion in the parliament!

      • Anna says:

        Lol, it would have to be debated in code of course!

      • ChrisC says:

        100k signatures gets it considered for a debate.

        10k generates a formal response from the Government.

        Might do well if it was framed in terms of unreasonable credit card terms rather than complaints about stopping you earning some airline points and a free night on a hotel through MS.

        • ben says:

          I don’t see any point in this. The decision is made – the risk is that Creation takes the huff & gets IHG / Marriott to start suspending accounts etc. The music has stopped – fun while it lasted but time to get off the dancefloor & move on.

          • JDB says:

            Wise words; the over excited may get more enemy fire than anticipated.

          • Sprout says:

            Just wondering what people think about closing the account a day or two before the forced closure? Is there any downside to credit rating etc in having your account closed rather than you doing it voluntarily?
            (Obviously I get the point that you would lose any right to the free night)

          • BP says:

            I’ll take that risk. I don’t think IHG will care tbh. My genuine spend on the card is enough to get the free night.

            I’m taking this all the way to FOS and then possibly MCOL. I want a pro-rata refund and my free night.

          • ChrisC says:

            Which is why you would frame it in terms of general unfair conditions for all credit cards.

            it’s not just about free hotel nights and airline points.

            In the scheme of things most people have no idea about those things but do have concerns about credit card companies interpreting their T&Cs in a way that’s un favourable to customers including shutting down accounts with no alternative arrangements made just because they can and how charges for services bear no relation to the actual cost and just generate profit.

            I don’t have any cards like these involved I do share the concerns of those that do that they are being treated badly.

          • Lady London says:

            So you’re frightened, ben?

  • Mikeact says:

    I will need to start looking for back to back Business Class tickets, UK to Aus, not fussed on arrival point, next year, valid 12 months and peak period. Any particular One World or SkyTeam carriers with amazing prices come to mind ? Thanks.

    • Harry T says:

      Probably best to wait until international tourism in Australia becomes a real entity again. Presently there is a large amount of demand for a smaller amount of seats. We need the country to open up properly so that supply and demand can be adjusted to something approaching normality. There might even be a price war when the gates are opened.

  • YFP says:


  • YFP says:

    Trying everywhere, so might as well try here! Got club level tickets for the arsenal villa game (following Robs post here about Travelzoo deals), but can’t make it tonight! Got it for £85, but will do a good deal if anyone’s keen! Let me know
    P.S Rob & Team: Not sure if this is allowed, so apologies if it’s not. Please delete if not appropriate

    • Triath5 says:

      Hey! How many tickets do you have? I might be interested – drop me a note on tri87hfp AT protonmail DOT com

    • Fazzy Bear says:

      Also interested

      • YFP says:

        hey, I’ve got one ticket, are you interested?

        • Fazzy Bear says:

          Thanks for your swift response but I was looking for a pair.

          • YFP says:

            no worries, thanks. think I’ll stop on here before I get in trouble with Rob! There’s a Facebook group where someone has a pair of clubs though, but it’s private so not sure you can access it this late

  • JDB says:

    Does anyone have direct experience of whether you earn BA tier points on EI operated flights LHR-DUB if it has a BA codeshare flight number and it is booked with BA? Thank you.

    • AJA says:

      If it is BA flight number on Aer Lingus Metal I believe you do earn both TP and Avios per BA rules. If it’s on Aer Lingus flight number and Aer Lingus metal then you only earn Avios.

      • JDB says:

        Thanks @AJA – son planning a tier run this weekend, rebooking old cancelled cheap BA flights into a higher fare bucket as few seats left.

        • ChrisC says:

          Please report back if he does get the TPs.

          I’d like to try EI longhaul but not at the risk of not getting 140 TATL TPs!

          • AJA says:

            @ChrisC I’m not sure the TATL on Aer Lingus is bookable as a BA flight ie on BA ticket stock. I also think that’s specifically excluded because of the AA/IB/BA/Finnair revenue sharing and because EI is not part of Oneworld. Have you tried a dummy booking?

  • Andrew E says:

    Hi there,

    Question about the annual fee for the preferred rewards amex card.

    On this page;

    It says;

    ”American Express is still happy to accept you for any of these cards at any time – you just won’t necessarily get a bonus. This is particularly important in relation to Preferred Rewards Gold where repeat cardholders DO still get another ‘first year free’ and DO still get another set of two airport lounge passes. You still get these, even if you don’t qualify for a sign-up bous.”

    Does this mean, after 11 months in my first year free with this card, I can cancel it, resign up for another card, and have another year of not paying the annual account fee of £140 (as the first year is free). (I understand I wouldn’t be eligible for the membership points bonus) What is stopping me from doing this over and over again and never paying the second year fee?

    • Rob says:

      Nothing, if Amex is happy to accept you.

    • JDB says:

      Nothing, until they get bored of it and don’t give you a new card and you also miss the 10k bonus MR for spending £15k if that is relevant.

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