Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The HfP chat thread – Wednesday 24th November

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Comments (448)

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  • Justin says:

    Shop Small offer now showing on one of my cards (other two don’t have it yet):

    Spend £15 or more, get £5 back up to 5 times:
    Save to Card to get £5 back when you spend £15+ in a single in-store transaction at a participating Shop Small business between 4 December – 15 December 2021. Valid once per participating small business location, up to 5 times. Terms apply.

    • Andrew says:

      And the location map makes the claim that there’s more then twice as many places participating than last year which seems to be true. Of course many won’t take Amex, use a payment aggregator or generally not trigger the offer and Amex won’t enter into a discussion and tell you tough luck to all three situations so I’ll still be steering clear of this waste of time offer.

      • David says:

        Arguably your post was a waste of time too as you seem pretty convinced you’re not making use of the offer, and what that has to do with anyone else I can’t fathom.

        • Andrew says:

          It’s called expressing an opinion which is what the vast majority of posts on here are about – including yours!

        • VerdantBacon says:

          I’m sure he’ll still quietly save the offer on the off chance it’ll trigger through normal spending, probably just needs to loudly complain to anyone who will listen

        • Andrew says:

          David: different Andrew here. I appreciated Andrew’s post. I didn’t realise it was so unreliable, thinking about it I experienced all 3 of these issues during the last round but didn’t follow up.

          So although I’ll save it I won’t go out of my way to a small business to redeem it as I can’t be bothered with the faff of not receive the measly £5.

          Therefore the point of the offer completely undermined – I may or may not get some free money but it’s not changed my behaviour or increased spend at small businesses.

          • Andrew says:

            Thanks other Andrew. Seems Shop Small divides people between those who like us it doesn’t change our behaviour due to its unreliability and those who find it the highlight of their Advent, going around their local businesses with clutches of supp cards using it anywhere they can find and then regaling us on here with their “data points” of what they’ve saved. Both valid approaches and so I’m not sure why David was so aghast at my post – apologies for any distress caused.

          • AJA says:

            +1 That’s my attitude to Shop Small too. I will save it and use it if I happen to shop in a participating retailer but I won’t be going out of my way to do so and if no retailers accept the card or the £5 doesn’t trigger I won’t be losing any sleep over it.

          • David says:

            Oh, the ‘two Andrews’ trick again. Always entertaining.

        • Tariq says:

          Seems like your existence is a waste of time TBQFH

    • Rui N. says:

      Mine is only showing in 1 out of 5 cards! Never had this before.

      • Bill says:

        1 of 2

      • Hulk says:

        I’ve noticed similar such things with all offers on my AmEx cards. Most cards are not getting all the offers as they were previously. Something has definitely changed with the way the availability of offers.

        • Rui N. says:

          For other offers it was always common for them to not be across all cards. I’d even say that most are not.
          For shop small this is the first time that I’ve seen it not available in all cards.

    • stevenhp1987 says:

      Only on 2/3 cards.

      Not on my newest card…

  • Boi says:

    Evening (morning). I have a non travel question but I know there’s so much knowledge in here. I have a cousin who has a dialysis unit in a non EU country. He wants to buy consumables in UK but they can only sell to UK registered companies.

    So, can he set up a limited company in UK? Info online suggests he can but I cant find information on tax implications-he will not be earning anything in UK.

    • Save East Coast Rewards says:

      Setting up a company in the UK is relatively easy (certainly easier than setting up in Italy) but I don’t know if opening and then closing a company in a short period of time would attract suspicion. Someone here with a UK company might be willing to order it for you and pass it on.

    • ChrisC says:

      I assume your cousin would then want these items delivered to their current location?

      They would need to check on that countries rules on the importation of medical equipment.

      That’s if the supplier will even deliver them there or would he have them sent to someone in the UK who would then ship them over to him?

    • The Savage Squirrel says:

      There are very likely to be additional hoops to jump through other than just setting up a company, if you intend to buy medical devices for public-facing use – even if that usage is not itself in the UK – or for export. This is not official advice but off the top of my head, there are likely to be MHRA and even possibly CQC issues to jump through and failure to do so may expose him to criminal liability (yes I know that is ridiculous – welcome to the healthcare sector). Import/export of medical devices and particularly medicines across customs borders is non-trivial and would have to conform to the regulatory process of his local area (for obvious reasons there are stringent rules around importing random stuff from outside a country and using it medically within that country without further checks, just about everywhere).
      Is there a reason he can’t source from a local supplier even on backorder, or is it purely a cost issue (unlikely as the UK is not cheap for healthcare consumables), as with more details could think of alternative solutions?

      • Boi says:

        Thanks all for your advice ( and sorry for late response). He will have no problem importing it to his country- from that end coz he genuinely runs the only dialysis unit there. He has imported supplies before. He just wants to change markets to buy in U.K. I suppose the main issues will be U.K. end….

  • Save East Coast Rewards says:

    So my BA flights that were missing have now posted to by BA account as of yesterday. It took my blue friend to bronze so status updates are working too (he didn’t seem too bothered). I’m now 35 TP to gold renewal but as I’ve been extended it’s pointless for me. So on the way back I’ll have requalified and my friend will be very close to silver (which is something to get excited about if you’ve not got status)

  • Polly says:

    Free at last…great to be back in our hotel, finally. Tnx all for great support. Was very entertained by all the comments…

    A whole bunch of us waiting for taxis out.. all of us told we were false positives, a EU pilot amongst us, business folk, airline not best pleased when she was stuck in this place too. Had to fly out a replacement on BA..unreal, but what to do..everyone a traveller…VTLs may have to plan on spare crew perhaps…

    How is Singapore going to resolve this issue, 100s in and out on this 3 day conveyor belt..asymptomatic, hotel informed before l got back that it was a false alarm…holiday can start now, just so glad it’s over…

    • Louise K says:

      Enjoy your very well deserved holiday.

    • Sam G says:

      Glad you are out ! What a story for years to come. Hope you enjoy the rest of your holiday

    • AJA says:

      Fantastic news Polly! Enjoy the rest of your holiday!

    • Yuff says:

      My wife had a similar experience last month getting a fit to fly certificate for Dubai last month.
      My wife, myself and 14 year old daughter ( who had her jab earlier that day) travelled to east Mids 3 days before our flight.
      Got email results the next day, opened my wife’s first postive so assumed we would all be postive as a few of our daughters school friends had tested postive. Daughter and myself negative. Wife and daughter had both had unpleasant colds the previous 2 weeks but tested negative regularly.
      So I arranged a rapid pcr the next day at stansted which was negative and we all flew the following day.
      However no way were we flying etihad back as they require a negative pcr to board any flight, so cancelled the flights and flew back BA ( PE 😥)
      Personally I would avoid anywhere where testing is mandatory whilst abroad or to travel.
      Sorry you had to endure that Polly, sounds very annoying that 4 days wasted of your holiday.

      • Polly says:

        Gosh, that was a near one, luckily you were in the many people will be caught out one way or another with these fit to fly tests. Glad you had your nice holiday also.

        Yes, loving being free.fabulous food tonight, food l could eat!

    • Gary says:

      Polly is free! Enjoy the rest of your holiday.

    • Craig says:

      Great news Polly, not in the same league as you I know but it reminds me of the added complications we had in 2020. We went to Vietnam just before lockdown, plan was for 2 nights in Shanghai on the way and two in Singapore on the way back. About a week before we departed places we planned to visit in Shanghai were closing, we decided to bring the flight forward and just transit Shanghai for Hanoi. The day after we arrived in Vietnam they banned anyone who had been in China in the last 14 days! About a week before we were due to head for Singapore they too decided to ban anyone who had been in China as Vietnam had done, so once again we delayed our connecting flights and just transited Changi. Two extra nights at the IC Danang using points were hardly arduous especially as the hotel was missing its usual Chinese guests, our final night was one of the best upgrades we’d ever had. In the end, despite the complications we had a fabulous holiday.

      So go and do the same and have a great time.

      • Polly says:

        Wow, that was a good trip,beating the clock, like we did too, but without tour complications. Again, we have to be smart on our toes, changing direction, continent whatever, to make it home.

        Our dilemma was whether to stay in Bali or move onto Phuket for the last 2 weeks. Urged on here esp by @ BJ, (thank you) To get toHKT, better hospitals than Bali etc… we did, and really enjoyed it, made it back by 10 days before lockdown…but it does give us all something to talk about, and the challenge is fun too, except what Is going on these days. It’s almost too much, but, we still get on those planes, don’t we!

    • BJ says:

      Great to hear and enjoy what remains if your trip 🙂 Just curious, will you ever return to Singapore again after this?

      • Polly says:


        Had to answer this one. We would be very cautious about going to any country now who did test on arrival. We were so focused on the neg fit to fly, that we didn’t dream of this outcome. The government order had me detained til Dec 3rd! No joke. So was lucky to get out today…..

        We are ? in Sin for 2n end of Oct 22 off a cruise fm BCN. Planned to go to Bali or HKT before heading back to U.K. Now having to rethink this, and maybe cancel, see if l can wangle a refund after this experience. If not, we can see how it’s looking before we pay the balance, and then decide to go or not. Shame really. Don’t want this issue to overshadow future travel plans, but it has taken some of the joy out of it.

        Hate to say never, as you know it’s one of our favourite cities in the world, and such a shame this happened at all. We are prepared to give them the benefit of the doubt, but felt it could have been handled better.. ie l suggested to them that l went there, had my PCR, and serology, stay isolated in my hotel room, repeat PCR next day, and wait for results. Nothing was gained by taking me to the care facility. Results were back in hours. The fact is, they ignored the negative covid results from their own lab. That l cannot forgive.

        • Lady London says:

          So they kept you in quarantine hotel for three days when they’d already had the PCR re-test come back negative still on the first day?

          What a boost for the Singapore hotel industry! Or for Singapore Government Funds I’m not sure which.

          I take it Singapore doesn’t have a Freedom of Information Act so it can be openly scrutinised how many actual positives are eventually revealed by this testing and forced multiple-day paid hotel regime?

    • meta says:

      Finally! Hopefully you already had a dip in the pool. Enjoy the rest of your time there.

    • Andrew says:

      Gosh it sounds like it’s best to hold off any trips to Singapore for a couple of years then. Shame, as I would have liked to have gone back.

    • Anna says:

      Great news, Polly, enjoy the rest of your trip! This really needs highlighting in the media.

      • roberto says:

        Super news.. all the best for the rest of your trip.

        • Alan T says:

          Pleased to read that Prisoner Polly has had her pardon granted!

          • Polly says:

            Good behaviour you know, model obedient prisoner, not!

            @ Lady London.
            Kept me there, as they then wanted 2 new negative PCRs, and the serology done. That’s why they let me out today, couldn’t justify me just sitting around for a waste of 24 hrs!
            Asked repeatedly for copies of my results, esp the ones they queried. Told bluntly by raffles medical, result to pax, report to MOH. Nobody, and l stress not one of the many people l spoke to would send me a copy. Even asked them to photo it and WhatsApp it. Messages back and forth, actually it’s good to have those, come to think of it…so, no FOI, but will ask a friend.

            Lost in the thread, have had no reply from express test (fit to fly)either. Would love to scrutinise that result to see if there were any indicators which might have alarmed me. Stumped then. We will never know.

    • Cathy says:

      Great news. Enjoy the rest of your holiday.

    • Kevin says:

      Glad that it is all over and you can relax sbd enjoy your holiday properly.

    • Graham Walsh says:

      Great news. Would be very interesting to know your results. We’re they actually positive or is it just a scam. Wonder could you get a test privately somewhere out there to prove that you were negative and use that as proof?

      • Polly says:

        Couple of things to address..thx everyone for your encouragement, really helped.

        Graham, my medic coz commented today about elite athletes testing positive pre events. But when tested privately, were neg, and could compete. Recents sporting, events that was reported.

        Others commented about the cross over, following boosters, high antibody levels etc leading to a false positive result. Tracy eg.

        I didn’t get a chance to obtain a private one, but had no choice but to go to MOH facility. So effectively l have had 4 negative tests in a row. They did admit it was a false positive. The person could hardly look me in the eye apologising before l left. That is just no good. Actually asked them to discuss this major issue with the higher ups, as it needs sorting. Tourists would not risk visiting.

        Not a scam, felt like it tho this am when we were all leaving gen feeling was, total waste of time…..But definitely being over cautious and using highly sensitive testing protocols. Way higher than possibly U.K. etc. Why, we don’t know, but not playing fair l would say, changing the goalposts after we had complied and obtained our entry pass, 7 docs required. Plus our PCR at their MOH co airport lab. Would expect testing levels to be standardised to WHO requirements, if they even exist.

    • Michael C says:

      Polly, hope by now you’re propping up Raffles’ bar saying “Sshame again, pleeash”!!

    • Jody says:

      So glad you’re out Polly. Enjoy the rest of your holiday.

    • Sundar says:

      Great to hear Polly. Has been a night(and day) mare. Get a well-deserved rest.

    • Lyn says:

      Such good news Polly. Hope you and your OH can really enjoy your holiday now and make the best of your time in Singapore.

      It is a cautionary tale to be sure.

  • K says:

    The ongoing Creation saga:

    One of those who got THE Letter!

    Tried to pay my IC hotel bill last weekend using my Creation card to get the 5000 points bonus. Card declined. Paid with another card.

    Logged on today and they charged me the £99 renewal fee. They’re closing my account in 2 weeks and my card is blocked anyway. They really have no shame…

    • @mkcol says:

      Oh how bizarre.
      I’ve had THE LETTER too. Stayed at the Kimpton Fitzroy at the weekend & paid fine with the black IHG card for the same reason – and it’s processed fine.

      What I’m intrigued to see is if Creation will credit the charge (and an upcoming £3k ski holiday balance due on Saturday) as part of their closure – if they do then I don’t think I’ll be chasing for the outstanding points which they haven’t transferred to IHG since September.

    • Rui N. says:

      Creation cards are known for being not accepted and being blocked completely at random. Usually solved by a call to Creation to confirm the purchase. That’s one of the reasons that many people used them via Curve, as they always worked via Curve.
      Mine also failed to work last week in person, but online still works fine. (I also got the letter.)

    • Lady London says:

      Make sure the 5000 loss is included in your claim. On its own they might be able to claim some other reason, but with all the other mistakes Creation is making it’s worth a go as it’s all part of the same cumulative pattern of deliberate breach by them.

  • Joe says:

    Just picking up on the using paypal/amex to generate avios which for fairly obvious reasons is not a great idea at least in any quantity – does anyone have any idea what paypal/amex would regard as a ‘fair use’ of this per year?

    • Waddle says:

      Counts as Manufactured Spending and there have been reports both PayPal and Amex shutting people down pretty quickly after some repeated usage. Amounts unknown. Once or twice a year for reasons you could argue may slide but I’d avoid it entirely.

    • VerdantBacon says:

      Never tried to push this as losing Amex and PayPal isn’t worth it, have twice accidentally sent a colleague £300 and £50 via PayPal and forgot to change from Amex default and had no problems. Hardly seems worth it through.

      To work out what the limit of fair use is, you’d have to go over that limit first which isn’t worth it, even if someone told you what they’d pushed it to before, there’s no guarantee that won’t be different now. Just not worth doing at all.

    • Aston100 says:

      I’ve only seen one person ever report getting in trouble for this.
      One person.

      • John says:

        I’ve had about 5 PayPal accounts frozen… Breaking T&Cs is fine by me but I would have needed to buy fake passports, which I won’t do but I believe it would have worked up to around 2018 when PayPal seems to have got access to passport databases

    • AndyW says:

      Do AMEX not treat this as a cash advance anyway?

  • Yuff says:

    This may be helpful for people travelling and trying to find out current covid restrictions.
    Some might comment on how reliable the website is

  • Simon says:

    QQ re Vanguard deposits if I could?

    My Che/Solihull top-ups are now dead — I had a good run! Is there another points-earning but fee-free way of crediting Vanguard? I have Virgin, HH & MBNA Horizon cards, just to say.

    Any pointers gratefully received!

    • Harrier25 says:

      I can still top-up Che. Done one this morning!

      • Doog1000 says:

        With which card?!

      • Simon says:

        Harrier25 — many thanks for this. Which card are you using, if you don’t mind me asking?

        • Harrier25 says:

          I’ve now completed my final transfers this morning on both black and white cards.

      • SteveJ says:

        With Solihull? Still possible but largely pointless (literally) if they don’t provide the points.

        • Simon says:

          Thanks for this, Steve.

          Sadly, for me Che is no longer accepting Solihull (only as of yesterday). I just wondered if any other cards can be used to deposit into Vanguard, either with Che or Bendy?

          • Guernsey Globetrotter says:

            What amounts were you doing Simon? Several have found that on our cards these are limited to a one-off £1,800 once every four days. On one of my three cards I can also do £250 per day in between and not at all on the others. Still a decent churn per month and I have not been cancelled and am continuing to receive the points monthly…

          • Guernsey Globetrotter says:

            And this continues to work for me as recently as yesterday evening.

        • Anastasia Beaverhausen says:

          except for the opportunity to pay Creation with eg VS

        • Harrier25 says:

          Yes, Solihull and why is it pointless when, even if I fail to get the IHG points, I am still able to obtain other points when paying off both Solihull card statements?

          • SteveJ says:

            Good point Harrier 👍

          • Simon says:

            Guernsey G, many thanks for the above. Only seeing this a day later / my apologies. Top-up amounts had been as low as £50, but even those are being rejected now, unfortunately. No block on card as well — normal purchases going through ok.

    • Nigel W says:

      If you had one, Tesco Bank debit card also worked. Reminds me to do one final top-up before the account shuts.

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