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The HfP chat thread – Monday 25th October

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Comments (570)

  • Si says:

    The annual spend tracker on my IHG black card has reset to Zero this morning following my card’s anniversary on 8th October.

    Now to see if a Free Night Cert lands in my IHG account with the points this afternoon.

    I haven’t been charged a fee for this year [yet?].

    • Crafty says:

      I’m sure my tracker used to say underneath it “You have earned the free night”, but now it just shows the complete tracker with no text. Anyone else remember the same?

      • Anna says:

        Yes – both ours disappeared a few months ago. Today statements have been generated but points still showing on both accounts (I thought they used to reset to zero at this point). It’s also my year end so we’ll see if the free night materialises.

        • Crafty says:

          Same position as you, Anna. I noticed the same thing about the points, let’s keep an eye on our accounts. I also noticed they’ve merrily charged the next annual fee.

          • Andy says:

            I just spoke to Creation and they said points won’t be transferring across as my card is being cancelled on December 3rd. This is only one datapoint so doesn’t mean it’s necessarily true 🤞

          • EwanG says:

            I’ve an £18 ‘interest on purchase’ fee this month because they didn’t apply my statement balance payment on time. The default fee (only £12) has ready been reversed because I contacted them about that delay!
            Will need to contact them again! This is going to be a long 6 weeks!

          • Anna says:

            They are unbelievable! Which bit of their Ts and Cs allows this, exactly? I’ve taken screenshots anyway in case the points disappear.

          • Anna says:

            If they aren’t transferred to IHG I’ll be adding them to my FOS claim at 1p per point as this is the value of my preferred redemption.

          • Alex says:

            Creation have actually said they won’t be transferring points for the October / November statements? I wasn’t planning on doing a FOS claim until now, but this is getting ridiculous..

          • Rui N. says:

            @Alex, they also put in writing to someone here that they would charge the £99 for the annual fee between the closing letter and December (if the membership period ended during that period) and would keep the money, so don’t underestimate their stupidity.

          • Alex says:

            @Rui N.

            I am not sure people would be able to claim via FOS for the free night voucher given past precedent on the matter, but not offering pro-rata refunds or points for the 2 month cancelation notice period is sure to get them in hot water.

          • JDB says:

            @Alex – the strange thing for those whose anniversaries fall in the cancellation notice period is that people are knowingly paying a new fee, presumably hoping that will trigger the voucher. In principle, what you say makes sense, but they will argue that people could have cancelled and avoided the fee and that annual card fees are non refundable. As the FOS has said the ‘next’ fee is one of the three voucher triggers it could make it more complicated to get the voucher and a refund. I’m setting out the facts, not giving a view!

          • Toddy says:

            I don’t mean to be rude but can people stop referring to “precedent” when talking about the FOS. I’ve dealt with the Ombudsman for >15 years, held many meetings with their staff at their offices, so have a solid idea of how they work. They proudly state that each case is dealt with “case by case”.
            In fact, the website homepage actually confirms “Our case studies and decisions are not precedents”.

          • Lady London says:

            JDB even if that were the case, it could not start being the case until 60 days notice had elapsed.

          • Lady London says:

            The FOS has also been known to make some perverse decisions where later in court in the same case the different, correct judgment was awarded.

            I wouldn’t limit my complaints to FOS I would probably be MCOLing Creation at the same time for breach of contract and whatever I could dig up related to unfair contracts

          • Rui N. says:

            @JDB, that’s quite an assumption to think that everyone that got charged the fee during this period is knowingly pursuing the voucher and knows they won’t get a pro-rata refund. If I had the black card I certainly wouldn’t think that I would get charged a full year after they’ve told me that the account will be closed in a coupple of months. I don’t think that everyone (including the regulators) in their right mind would think that is fair to the consumer to tell that their account will be closed in 2 months with and then after that charge for 12 months. That’s completely unheard of. Quite the money companies could start doing on those premises! Creation seems to be preparing itself for in a couple of years this getting looked at with attention by someone and having to pay compensation to everyone that got their cards cancelled for the way they treated their customers during this period.

          • JDB says:

            @Toddy perhaps ‘precedent’ is the wrong word but I too work extensively with the FOS and they do look at previous decisions when considering new cases covering the same issues. They may not be binding but where they make a decision on the same set of facts they do wish to show some consistency which is why they publish their thinking. It also matters, because the firm will point to the decisions and the customer is well advised at least to be aware of them so they can be addressed. In the instant case, there have been a great many unhelpful decisions so stronger reasons than I have seen are needed. Perhaps you could help with some ideas? We will anyway need to see what Creation’s reasoning is when they provide their formal complaint responses.

          • JDB says:

            @Rui N – I very specifically said my post wasn’t my own view; I am merely setting out the argument for those planning to fight them. Some have already said they have called to cancel rather than pay the £99 to stay in the game. I am perfectly aware that it seems ‘unfair’ in a normal sense but it has happened before and the firms have won their cases. It may not be a precedent but it is a guide. There must be a prospect of them caving, but if not, the reality is that it is far from a slam dunk and MCOL quite tricky.

          • Toddy says:

            @JDB Yes, absolutely will be sure to share my thoughts at the appropriate time.
            Before we do anything, we need to wait for the Final Response to the complaint from Creation. Be interesting to see exactly how they frame the response/what answers they give. Depending on the number of similar complaints received, Creation may change their stance (?!).

            In my experience, the only thing consistent about the FOS is the sheer inconsistency of their decisions. At times, it can be bewildering! That said, they have certainly improved over the past few years.

          • Anna says:

            @JDB, are you sure you have an actual job? Does it entail spending this much time on HFP lol?! Since I retired it amazes me how much time the supposedly gainfully employed spend online 🤣

          • Alan says:

            I’ve been charged £53 “interest on payments” this month. Don’t really understand that unless its for previous NS&I payments?

      • QFFlyer says:

        Mine says “Spend -£82,890.71 this year to earn the free night voucher”. Points from my statement on 14/10 transferred and appeared on 22/10, butOH’s statement has only been produced today.

        There’s now two counters, points earned this month and points earned in total, which appears to have only started counting up from this statement. So not sure what the point of that is.

        • Rachel Robinson says:

          Yes my tracker has a negative target too. And no points transferred today. The transfer date varies though so I was going to wait a couple of days and see what happened.

    • Chas says:

      Thanks – you’ve just prompted me to check, and my tracker has re-set now too. Let’s see what happens…

      • Anna says:

        When I log on to Creation I get the message “We’re always looking to make things better for you”. False advertising?!

        • Chas says:

          I think that’s going to be the least of their concerns given the complaints they’re going to get about fees not being refunded, free night vouchers not being awarded, and (if a comment above is to be believed) this months not posting….

          • stevenhp1987 says:

            If my points don’t post I’ll be using ~1p valuation for compensation as that’s generally what IHG sell them for!

            Will cost them more in the long-run…

            My points usually post around 3pm today but still have not posted…

    • Kevin says:

      I yet received any letter about closure of my free or black IHG cards and wondering how would they be end up. Should i call or pretended doesn’t know anything about it.

      • Aston100 says:

        My points usually move across on 23rd or 24th.
        They haven’t moved across yet.

        • Harrier25 says:

          Mine neither. I have emailed Creation asking if there is a delay posting this month’s credit card spend points to my IHG account, but to be honest, I do fear the worst.

          • Aston100 says:

            Right, but they can’t withhold them can they?

          • David says:

            People have said they can’t do a lot of things, but they have.
            I’m wondering whether they are reviewing transactions prior to releasing points to see what they have been earnt on and denying those they don’t like the look of. Having said that, doubtful they have the resources to do so, so also fearing the worst. Put quite a lot of none MS spend through it last month to make the most of it before it goes, so will be a PITA it they deny.

          • Harrier25 says:

            I will report back if and when I receive a response.

    • BrianS says:

      Just looked at my October statement.

      It says points earned 1,167, points transferred 0

      So looks as though they are withholding points, to rub salt into the wounds they have also just taken my account fee.

      Daylight robbery this.

      • r* says:

        Yeah, previous statements say points earned and then points transferred with a corresponding amount.. this month says points earned and points transferred 0.

        What legal basis would they have for that?

  • Gtellez says:

    Good morning everybody, I am 4 nights short to renew Titanium and I don’t have any other travel plans this year. Instead of doing a mattress run, I was thinking about applying for the Amex Bonvoy card; if I do it soon, would I receive the 15 nights before year end? Would I receive them next year too? In the latest case, would it be deposited at the beginning or the year or after my first year anniversary? Thanks!

    • paulm says:

      Yes you get within first month (usually quicker) of getting the card and then every January ongoing.

      • patrick C says:

        That is correct. If you are into maintaining marriott status, the card is a no brainer (helps a lot for lifetime status as well if that is your aspiration)

    • John Gallagher says:

      How many nights are currently needed for each Marriott level?

      • TGLoyalty says:

        There’s no reduction. But elites were given 50% of the nights required for the tier they held last year.

        So still 50 for Plat, 75 for Titanium and 100 for Ambassador (plus reduced 14k USD spend target)

        • John Gallagher says:

          I’m on 32 nights so far this year.
          Best get the CC for 15 nights and plan a further 3 nights before the end of December

    • Harry T says:

      Don’t forget you can also choose 5 elite nights as your gift for attaining Platinum status.

  • Amy says:

    Whats the cheapest fit to fly pcr test around at the moment? Thanks

  • a270 says:

    Thank you Mera and Steve who replied to my post re PCR test for Abu Dhabi last night. I spoke to Etihad and they said they are accepting at home PCR tests as long as it says a negative PCR on the certificate. The .gov guidelines and Etihad’s website also just says covid PCR although they have recommended Randox etc labs. Anyway, thought I’d put it here and ask if anyone was not allowed to board because they did a home PCR test.

    Is there a difference in the results certificate from Randox for Day 2 and pre departure PCR? I know its my mistake but I thought a PCR was a PCR and have used an unused Day 2 PCR test from a previous trip as a pre departure one for Abu Dhabi. DD will be back at home just few hours before the flight so even if the rest of us go for same day test, I can’t find any overnight 1-3 hours urgent tests. Last appointment at Heathrow is 6:20pm and she won’t return till 8:30pm with our flight in the morning. However, if there is no difference in the certificate I’m hoping it would be fine. I know it’s risky so that’s why am asking for people who have used Randox to see what difference there is in certificates. For Day 2, does it say Day 2? Is a Fit to Fly only provided for pre departure PCRs?

    Apologies for the long post. I have looked at Randox’s website and will call them today too but I have no idea what their customer service is like.

    • a270 says:

      Sorry, that was ‘to Meta and Steve.’

    • Blenz101 says:

      I’ve not seen a single report here of anybody being denied boarding because they took an at home test.

      There are obvious reasons why the UAE doesn’t want at home tests and hence not all PCR tests being the same – impossible to know who actually took the test, don’t know when the sample was collected and don’t know if it was collected correctly.

      That said check in staff will just be looking for a valid date and a negative result. You will be tested again at AUH so nobody on arrival will care.

      If the at home tests came with a big disclaimer or warning about them being “at home” we would surely have heard by now.

      • Amy says:

        All a day 2 pcr does is say your name dob and negative and gives a reference number

        Fit to fly pcrs include more personal details plus have a mention at the bottom saying taken at home

  • Duncan Stevenson-Price says:

    Creation IHG credit card… if you pay off mid-statement to allow more spent, do you still earn reward points on the full amount, or are you capped at the credit limit per statement period?

    Given some folks history of using the card for MS I have to assume there’s no cap, but I vaguely remember that being a limitation of SOMETHING…

    • gareth says:

      No cap

    • VerdantBacon says:

      Limitation of the Virgin card not IHG

    • Mark says:

      Wouldn’t risk it.

      The IHG card makes up the rules as it goes along, and will offer no support when you lose out.

      • Crafty says:

        I do it weekly as my limit is minuscule. Never had a problem so far getting the points, but for these final months who knows.

    • Duncan Stevenson-Price says:

      Thanks all. I’m close to Spire for this year but a larger transaction didn’t finalise and make it onto my statement that generated today and my credit limit is quite small on this card. I’ll give it a go!

    • QFFlyer says:

      Absolutely fine, have been cycling the limit weekly for years.

  • Yorkshire Rich says:

    Quite a few new offers on my premium BA card this morning. One of the noticeable ones were £50 off £200 spend on Paul Smith.

    • Andrew says:

      Lovers of mid-market striped clothing rejoice indeed!

      • Yorkshire Rich says:

        Don’t worry, we still have 12% off sweaty Beaty for a couple more days.

    • barnaby100 says:

      Thanks- I have been waiting for their usual 20% off to buy a pair of trousers- so perfect.

    • barnaby100 says:

      They had 30% off for black friday last year starting on 12/11 and so if they do the same may be combinable. And by 26/12 when it expires their online sale has usually kicked in.

  • Crafty says:

    I think I’d like to buy (my first) cryptocurrency as my total non-exposure is increasingly an outlier among my contacts. I can do this easily through Revolut, but the fees appear to be 2.5%, which without any context, feels high. I’m unfamiliar with some of the other exchanges and don’t really want to touch anything (even) more dodgy than Revolut! What would more experienced users suggest?

    • mradey says:

      I dipped my toe in the water with Paypal, who have four cryptos in their ‘exchange’. For my tiny buy, the fee was 2.3%.

      I, too, would like a ‘non-dodgy’ exchange. I’m sure plenty are fine but all seem to have poor reviews (which may say more about the reviewer…).

    • Super Secret Stuff says:

      Personally I would go with the likes of Coinbase instead of revolution simply because I don’t trust revolt. Remember timing is key…

      • Chrisasaurus says:

        I’d second Coinbase – appear to be well run and have used them without issue for a few years

    • Amy says:

      2.5% isnt bad when binance are 1.8% and are the cheapest

    • Yorkie Aid says:

      Ah the joys of peer pressure FOMO

    • Jim says:

      Depending on your planned crypto trading frequency, it may be worth considering upgrading your Revolut to Premium or Metal as the crypto trading fee reduces from 2.5% to 1.5%.

    • Red Flyer says:

      Crypto ETFs offering a basket might be a more cost effective trade and also allow you to hedge your bet too?

    • J says:

      Luno or Coinbase.

      If you just want to have a bit of fun speculating/gambling, then Revolut makes it nice and easy. But if you’re after a long-term investment and/or hedge against inflation / currency debasement / collapse of the entire financial system / end of the world yada yada 😉 then please for goodness sake take a few weeks to properly research Bitcoin, blockchain, and cryptocurrencies in general before you commit any money, and in particular learn about wallets and self-custody. Most of what is reported in the media is complete rubbish, just as the vast majority of cryptocurrencies are vapourware, if not outright scams. The short version though (and the conclusion your research will likely lead you to 😉 is buy as much Bitcoin as you can (directly, not ETFs etc) and hold it forever (weekly pound-cost-averaging is probably a good approach, given current volatility – Luno lets you automate that, not sure about others). Possibly also consider Ethereum as a second long-term holding (very different function / use-case). Probably ignore the rest. YMMV of course. Just keep in mind that there’s a ridiculous amount of hype, garbage, and shilling out there, but underneath all that, there is some potentially-world-changing stuff going on. But expect massive short-term price volatility 😉

      • Mr. AC says:

        Hard disagree re: self-custody. Advice outdated by 5 years for most people. Long gone are the days of exchanges failing left and right on the regular. Something like Coinbase or Bitstamp is safer for 99% of people – your main risk is losing / getting your coins stolen if you self-custody.
        Also: most people don’t have 2 weeks time nor the inclination to dive deep, nor is there any real need. Smart to be at least a bit exposed to a new type of asset class once it has proven already to be here to stay (albeit not clear at what valuation). Not so smart to try and understand much about it, since most likely the knowledge you’ll gain from research on your own will be shallow.
        Mostly agree about the rest (i.e. Bitcoin + Ethereum a good combo).
        tl;dr If in the UK, just use Coinbase.

    • Mick S says: is a good platform. Offers free Spotify and Netflix depending how much you want to “stake”. (Don’t have to stake if you dont want to). Fees for the first 30 days are zero, then it becomes 2.99% to trade. The app is super slick and it easy to get going with.

      There is also a sign-up bonus of $25 which i can refer you for 🙂

    • Paul Pogba says:

      If you don’t know what you’re doing use Coinbase or Gemini, both take debit cards. If you’re a little more confident use Kraken or Binance, you can top up Kraken fairly easily by FPS/BACS which avoids the 2.5% card fees.

      • Anuj says:

        Absolutely DO NOT use Binance. Many banks have now blocked them so you cannot withdraw and even sending money to them can get your bank account closed. They are completely unregulated.

    • The Savage Squirrel says:

      If you want a contrary view…

      Nobody NEEDS to use a bitcoin by law (unlike a $ or £ or whatever).
      Therefore its value is only what someone else will pay for it
      It is a technological disruptor.
      Eventually another disruptor will come along and BTC will be redundant; like all technology, this is inevitable.
      Unlike a company (Apple being the best high-profile example) it cannot adapt, pivot or change strategy to stay relevant as tech advances. You are investing in a fixed inanimate thing.
      Therefore its value will, inevitably, fall to zero in the end.

      Of course WHEN that will be, nobody knows; certainly not me – may be years, decades even. Of course it may go higher – indeed multiples or even order of magnitudes higher than present, as it has already.
      But eventually it WILL end up worthless.
      Theefore buy and hold forever cannot be the strategy you want here.

      • Andy says:

        Bitcoin’s a bit like the floatation of loss-making ‘startups’ by Venture Capitalists

        Early investors put some money in, convince everyone the company is worth a fortune even though it’s never turned a profits, then they float it so they can extract their funds (with profit) leaving everyone else holding ‘the loss’

        • JDB says:

          Yes, generally better to invest at the startup stage rather than something tarted up for flotation. (S)EIS or VCT can be very interesting with the various tax breaks as an added bonus.

      • JDB says:

        Yes, it feels like tulip bulbs! Blockchain is a very interesting idea but I’m very happy to let someone else make their fortune in crypto. There have been some comments today about “if you don’t know what your f doing”, do x but in crypto I don’t think anyone really knows what they are doing which is what worries me. For me, experience and knowledge are key in investment and even with start ups, there is a plan, a product and people to back and others can help me validate the tech or science if necessary. In crypto, there is no data to assess/analyse, plus the concept of buying a product that governments, central banks and regulators hate seems quite rash.

      • Mr. AC says:

        >cannot adapt, pivot or change strategy to stay relevant as tech advances
        Misconception. Bitcoin of 10 years ago is nothing like Bitcoin 5 years ago, which is nothing like Bitcoin today (except some backward-compatibility, like programs built for Windows 98 running on Windows 10 today). E.g. take a look at a visualization of activity in the Bitcoin repository:
        It doesn’t guarantee Bitcoin won’t die, but the reason it’s growing is because it’s technical complexity is evolving. 5 years ago it could barely support 7 transactions a second with 1-20£ fees, these days it’s practically unlimited costing a tenth of a penny.

    • Anuj says:

      Use a reputable UK based company. Bitstamp, Gemini or Coinfloor (soon to be coincorner). Gemini active trader has the lowest fees, otherwise bitstamp is 0.5%

  • Charlotte says:

    Just had BA flights to Singapore over Christmas cancelled by BA. Booked on Avios- is this classic BA trying to resell at higher prices?

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