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The HfP chat thread – Saturday 23rd 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 (327)

  • Ros says:

    Planning trip to Thailand, they require proof of travel insurance covering Covid-19 up to $50k, is this covered with Amex platinum travel insurance, I can’t actually find it anywhere in their policy specifying Covid!

  • Swiss Jim says:

    Paid Amex off x2 cards using Revolut last night. Debited Revolut but not showing against either Amex balance. Previously always been instant. Anyone else had this ?

    • John says:


    • Chrisasaurus says:

      Yes albeit not from Revolut – Friday evening through Monday it isn’t instant but will reflect the date it was sent when it does finally apply

    • Sandgrounder says:

      I paid one of my cards last night, not showing but available balance adjusted. Must be a glitch.

    • Swiss Jim says:

      All sorted. Just chatted online with Amex and they’ve confirmed payments in process. Normally real time but up to 48 hours. Revolut’s always been real time for me before. Assuming a glitch not something more sinister (as apparently time can depend on how payments sent through from paying bank…). Thanks for all the replies.

    • Rob says:

      This is an Amex bug. Happens with my HSBC account too, not a Revolut thing.

      Earlier this week Amex also told me ‘payment declined’ but it never is – money went and balance zero’d.

      • CarpalTravel says:

        I get that payment declined message virtually every time I clear my balance with my FD debit card. Likewise, it always does work.

  • Jessica says:

    prepare to get your account banned

    • Swiss Jim says:

      Why? Revolut is a bank account. What else do people use to pay of credit cards? Except credit cards for some on the site (not me…)

      • JDB says:

        Revolut is not a bank, it is an “Authorised Electronic Money Institution” which is a very different proposition.

        • Harrier25 says:

          Maybe so JDB, but it comes with a debit card containing an account number and, unlike Curve, a sort code. Also unlike Curve, you can set up regular direct debits, so although it may not be a bank yet, it’s the closest financial product that you’ll find that acts like a regular bank account.

          • Sandgrounder says:

            +1 Revolut is a fully functioning current account. Many people use nothing else.

          • JDB says:

            Indeed @Harrier25, which is why the ‘legacy’ companies are slowly fighting back. It took hotels, cities and tax authorities a long time to box in the likes of Airbnb and the banks and regulators are slowly catching up with these fintechs. We have probably seen more activity on this front in six months by LBG, Virgin, HSBC, Creation, Curve and the Chase account terms than in the last three years and that is not a coincidence. It is also fairly obvious that it is ongoing in various ways, so my only point is people might be well advised to tread with some caution, notably with accounts they want to keep long term.

          • JDB says:

            @Sandgrounder – if people really use Rev as their only account, I wouldn’t fancy their chances on a mortgage application. You also have no FSCS protection and it would appear that they can block your account for weeks. As these firms get ever more pressurised to clean up they will, like Curve, get more trigger happy. While the land grab for customers has been a focus, the threat of regulatory action (like Monzo) is now the bigger threat.

          • Harrier25 says:

            What absolute nonsense, JBD. Having Revolut account, has no bearing on a mortgage application, as long as the account is run in a responsible way. They have already applied for UK banking licence which will sort out the FSCS issue when approved. I think that will also see the end of them accepting credit card deposits.

    • Andrew says:

      A general threat? Which account? Who?

      • Rui N. says:

        Your HfP account. And Rob won’t return the annual fee!

        • Rui N. says:

          @Sandgroundersays, my younger colleagues at work all have Revolut and their single current account. I’ve never heard of any of them being banned from paying credit cards with it.

          • Rui N. says:

            Or not being able to get a mortgage for that matter (they all seem to be on a buying spree, god knows with whose money).

          • Anna says:

            You can pay credit cards with it! In fact I think that’s one of their preferred uses as don’t they get a tiny profit from it?
            JDB, you should take it easy at weekends, you’re going to burn out 🤣

          • JDB says:

            @Rui N – I trust you will educate them that they should build up a relationship with an actual bank. I have no idea how all this will play out, but some/many of these firms are built on sand and won’t survive. Investors are currently ploughing in millions on fairly fanciful valuations but when the music stops…

          • JDB says:

            @Anna – thank you for your concern! Rev may like it, others don’t. I know nobody in this echo chamber believes a word, but I have been in the financial world and regulation for 40+ years; I am very close to the current situation, plus I have seen the film before, so know the ending.

          • John says:

            Probably because they use revolut “normally” rather than topping up huge amounts with a CC and then paying off a CC.

            Yes there is a risk because revolut is not a bank, but as we have seen Lloyds and NatWest and HSBC and Barclays freeze and close accounts for any of the same reasons as revolut. The main difference is that you can’t go into a branch or call a call centre.

            Using revolut as your only “bank account” has not been a hindrance to getting a mortgage in the cases I’ve seen.

          • JDB says:

            @Rui N – out of interest, do you know why any of your colleagues chose Revolut as their sole account? I understand why one might not want an account with a dinosaur bank, but why not choose a firm that actually is a bank like Starling, N26, Atom etc? To a dinosaur like me, it seems odd to put all your eggs in the one basket that isn’t a bank and isn’t financed, structured or PRA regulated like a bank nor offers any protection for deposits.

          • Harrier25 says:

            Here we go again JDB, spouting incorrect facts….Funds in Revolut do have financial protection. Any savings held in its savings vaults carry FSCS protection because the funds there are managed by a 3rd party. It is sensible at this time to keep minimum funds on the current account side, while keeping everything else in the savings vaults to earn a bit of interest and FSCS protection.

        • The Savage Squirrel says:

          “I understand why one might not want an account with a dinosaur bank, but why not choose a firm that actually is a bank like Starling, N26, Atom etc?”
          “I have been in the financial world and regulation for 40+ years; I am very close to the current situation”

          You’re incredibly close to the situation and well informed yet you didn’t notice that N26 left the UK a year ago? Hmmm…. 😀 😀

          • Harrier25 says:

            I read plenty of comments on here from JDB and I can assure you, although he has more knowledge on T&C’s than most, he’s not as clued up as you may think, but my God, he is extremely articulate with it.

          • Lady London says:

            Let’s not be mean to JDB. TBH I had pegged him as a Compliance Officer in an institution in the City of London that quite a lot of people would avoid inviting to their meetings. But that probably reflected more negatively on the non-inviters.

    • Genghis says:


  • Swiss Jim says:

    Urg, too early… too many typos

  • Doog1000 says:

    Another question re Bendy – apologies to those bored by these:)
    I got a warning email last month re using bendy for Ernie (had been doing some but not extravagant recycling).
    However subsequent to that I receive another email saying Ernie will now officially be part of Fronted and that Fronted will have an official free limit of 10k per month from Dec 1.
    Does that mean from now on will be ok to start using Bendy with Ernie subject to the new limits or are people receiving the original warning email still going to get shut down despite the later clarification – I still have the Hilton card which would work here.
    Any experience from other gratefully received.

    • JDB says:

      The new fronted policy/terms still require you to comply with all the terms of your underlying credit card and does not permit anything Curve assesses to be cash recycling, i.e. it isn’t a free pass.

    • Ian M says:

      I’ve no idea I’m afraid. I still have no idea how on earth you’re meant to tell what transactions are ‘fronted’ transactions. The app doesn’t tell me, how are you meant to know? Is there an official list somewhere?

      • Rui N. says:

        If it is fronted and you don’t have “fronted on” in your app, the transaction won’t go through.

    • John says:

      Just surprised it took so long. Making NS&I fronted 12 months ago would have stopped a lot of the activity, and introducing a 10k limit for metal would have limited it to perhaps “more acceptable” levels. HMTlRC could have been exempted from the limit maybe.

      Can only conclude that curve is either willfully stupid or wanted as much Ernie as possible going through

    • Mjshort says:

      My curve metal already shows 10k limit for hmrc and credit card payments.

    • Lady London says:

      If I were you I would not risk the Hilton card. It’s too valuable. Ditto the HSBC WE.

  • Duncan Stevenson-Price says:

    Unexpected (to me) data point in IHG 2x/3x promo. Stay 9th October. Primary points posted 16th October. Bonus posted 22nd October. Curious about the number of points though…

    Stay cost: $213.69.
    Qualified spend: $178.08.
    Base points: 1781
    2x points: 2137

    Looks like the bonus was awarded on the VAT-inclusive amount for some reason? 🤔

    • Super Secret Stuff says:

      Do you have status? To me it looks like you’re gold and got a 10% bonus plus a welcome gift of points

      • Duncan Stevenson-Price says:

        I got a separate 600 point welcome bonus (posted separately before anything else) as Platinum. The 2137 points were just listed as “2x points”. 🤷🏼‍♂️ Not complaining.

  • Ron says:

    T5 is surprisingly normal this morning, checkin, bag drop, through security in about 30mins.

  • NG says:

    Morning all
    Quick q – Do BA holidays count as third party hotel bookings?
    Eg will I receive my Diamond Hilton benefits if I book package through BA?


    • Anna says:

      They count as 3rd party but some hotels still offer partial benefits, e.g. you might get breakfast but not an upgrade. Worth contacting the hotel to check if it’s important to you.

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