Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Forum Replies Created

  • in reply to: Amex suspended my account
    QFFlyer 165 posts

    It seems that Amex may have overstretched themselves, less places are accepting the card as the charges for the merchant are too high. I’ve had too many problems with Amex, I was a Gold and a platinum member, needless to say they all of a sudden demanded I pay the balance in full, which of course I did. I only owed £3200 and i paid my accounts every month in full. It seems like they are in financial difficulties themselves as they are seeking to get every penny back they can, ironically I was just about to pay for my new care at &40,000 (just a run about is all I needed) then pay them in full in the next billing period. I never defaulted once and I provided all documents they required and I was with American Express for over 3 years and paid my balance in full every month. I think they (from what I’ve heard from my brother whom works in finance) are in big trouble themselves financially. “It’s no skin off of my nose.) as I literally get good rates with any card and we all only use them for points to redeem against flights or cash back and I think that is what is hurting them, that and increasingly nobody will take the card locally (for me at least this is the case.) good luck to them, my many friends that thought about taking a card out with them are going elsewhere. It reeks of desperation and hard times financially for Amex to me!

    LOL…I really don’t think Amex have much to worry about financially.

    in reply to: Amex suspended my account
    QFFlyer 165 posts

    Just come across this, but last month I got the exact same, woke up to a heap of emails saying my cards were disabled in Apple Pay, then logging in I had a suspended banner – I’ve been with Amex UK continuously for the last decade, the current only remaining card since 2007. I called them a week or so later, because I kept forgetting, but the lady on the phone was really good, told me exactly what they needed and where to send it. My siutation is also a bit odd, as I have dual addresses and am paid by an overseas company in a different currency, so I explained that and sent payslips/statements showing my other address, as well as statements with my Amex UK address. A couple of days later I got an email saying all good, and everything was back to normal.

    I figured it was just a random check (which the lady I spoke to actually proactively said it was when I called), but I suspect some high CC balances reflected in the CRA feed for a few months (stoozing) may have spooked them (as my Amex balance was zero at the time, and I won’t risk my Amex relationship with heaps of MS/PayPal F&F/etc.).

    in reply to: Best credit card for spend abroad
    QFFlyer 165 posts

    Harrier25 wrote:
    but personally it would be Curve Black Legacy backed with the Hilton Barclaycard at the moment.

    2 cards that no one can get then? Really useful *facepalm*

    Ah if we are going back to legacy cards, then the MBNA Horizon deserves a mention! 😅 fx free and 0.5% cb

    Yes, this is by far the best UK card for those who have it. I used them extensively until they closed my accounts, I guess I found the limit to how much cashback they were willing to bear the cost of…

    in reply to: Best credit card for spend abroad
    QFFlyer 165 posts

    @tw@@ty, you mean DCC for selecting GBP? Why would they charge for paying in CHF? Unless you mean merchants can charge markup like Australia does?

    Not everywhere in Australia charges extra for paying by CC – remember we’re capped at 0.8% swipe fees now, not as devastating as Europe, but it did impact reward card earnings. Hotels are the killers for surcharges, seems to be universal (not just Aussie though, all of the South Pacific do it). Probably a few others too, but in general it’s not too bad.

    in reply to: Should I renew InterContinental Ambassador?
    QFFlyer 165 posts

    I didn’t renew mine last month. I’ve no IC stays planned until spring 2025 so not worth it. I think to make it realistically worth it in the long term they’ll need to tweak it to include Regent and Kimpton and maybe not restrict the free night to weekends.

    The extension is supposed to be one time only, but if you ask nicely they will sometimes bend the rules!

    It’s a weird part of the T&Cs, there’s actually two extensions, one for two months and one for six months, if I remember correctly. You can use each once, theoretically. I used the six month extension during covid.

    Although it doesn’t extend Diamond any more, there’s still a few benefits. Some hotels don’t take the Weekend FNC from your account, so you can re-use it; 15k renewal offsets almost half the price anyway, so using the FNC anywhere is likely to break even at best.

    The F&B credit not being applied correctly has happened a few times, but each time I’ve emailed the hotel and they’ve refunded the relevant amount, so no real complaints there either (my last stay I had Club IC and the F&B could be used on minibar, so I just took $25 worth of minibar products to feed/water me for the day I checked out, but it varies by hotel as to what they allow the F&B to be used on – I sometimes don’t bother if the lounge is good enough and it can’t be used on minibar).

    In my view, I’d only hit Diamond now if I directed all my stays to IHG, which I doubt is even possible. But, 40 nights is, so Platinum with a lounge pass is a happy medium for me (but it depends if you stay in hotels with lounges, I suppose – not that AMB gives you lounge access, but I think I’ll keep it anyway, because at worst I break even). Removal of the 10% redemption rebate was an unwelcome enhancement a couple of years ago, though.

    in reply to: Amex has cancelled all my cards!
    QFFlyer 165 posts

    Sorry to jump into this conversation but what is a middle class family in the UK? The current middle income is about £35k I believe. Would that be enough to have multiple lines of credit?

    Easily – if a bank is willing to lend, it’s willing to lend. Depends on what one’s outgoings are too – 35k income with no home loan or rent payment is still a comfortable disposable income; as for with home loan/rent, it depends on how stretched one is.

    in reply to: MBNA cashback after closing account
    QFFlyer 165 posts

    Ok so update for anyone who cares – cashback is credited within a day of closure. Now it’s all done and dusted, for full disclosure, I was given 65 days notice of my accounts being closed, so jumped before being pushed – with one immediately, and the second a week or so ago.

    Not sure if it was the level of spend or the fact I’m holding a very high level of unsecured debt at the moment (I was offered a lot of 0% no fee deals, totalling close to six figures, at the end of last year, and it’s all earning >5%).

    QFFlyer 165 posts

    I mean, if such an MS route existed, we’d abuse it in such a way that HL would shut it down in two days, and then we’d open up a thread here and create 86 pages of a discussion!

    😂😂😂😂😂

    in reply to: Buy points 80% Bonus
    QFFlyer 165 posts

    They did 100% twice last year I’m pretty sure. I wouldn’t buy them at less than 100% bonus/50% discount.

    QFFlyer 165 posts

    35k, no spend requirement. Makes it worth keeping for me, since it was an upgrade from ARCC during the 100k offer (the last 25k of the offer requires keeping it in year 2, this is 60k total points, which swings it for me, without considering anything else, whereas before it was marginal).

    in reply to: Non-resident
    QFFlyer 165 posts

    Are you sure it’s not just the communication address that’s being changed and not the permanent address?
    If you are travelling for long periods, Amex is happy to change the communication address temporarily to send you cards or statements. But this ‘temporarily’ becomes permanent for some customers and they just ignore it and Amex also ignores it until there’s an enquiry in the future.

    Certain, it even reflected it in my online account as residential address – I had a mixture at one time, some Amex UK cards were Australia, some UK.

    Recently (sometime last year, so not that recently) I got a change in T&Cs about a card I held saying the residential address needs to be in the UK as of some time in the future, I think around Oct 2023 (so it appears they have changed that policy, at least on paper) – I didn’t action it, nothing happened. I did finally move it back in December, I maintain residence in both, so it makes no difference to me really (and they will mail a card out to a different address without actually changing your address, so I could get a replacement while away if required).

    The ICC cards that used to be available are a good example – they issue them from the UK to a list of countries – now a vastly reduced list; again, sometime last year I got a notification saying that from X-date only UK applicants would be allowed to apply, including supplementary cardholders, but overseas residents could continue to until said date. That date has long passed, but they made it clear that existing cardholders in a shorter list of countries (including Aus, but not NZ, which I found odd) could keep them.

    in reply to: Non-resident
    QFFlyer 165 posts

    Banks are different to credit cards. A UK bank can open an account for resident of another country and will exchange information with local tax/regulatory authorities, but Amex is not licensed or authorised to sell the BAPP to residents of Australia and contractually not allowed to do so owing to its agreement with Qantas.

    I appreciate that, but even Amex I would assume can (could, if it so chose) open a UK based account for a non-resident – I would agree the Contract between BA and Amex probably specifically prohibit them doing so for that card, and vice versa for Amex Australia and the QF/VA cards (with Amex AU not being permitted to issue BA cards and Amex UK not being allowed to issue Qantas/Velocity cards). It makes sense that in many countries only Green, Gold and Platinum are available.

    in reply to: Non-resident
    QFFlyer 165 posts



    @QFFlyer
    – nobody has said otherwise, but Amex is rather two faced in this regard. If they decide to close someone’s card it’s conceivable but unlikely they might close it for reasons of residency (most likely under pressure from a regulator in one of the jurisdictions). However, if they decide to close an account for more flaky commercial or credit reasons, they have a cast iron reason to provide confidentially to the FOS if someone is technically ineligible to hold the card.

    Fair enough, but (without bothering to read them right now), don’t the terms usually say something like you need to be a resident to apply, not necessarily to continue holding the card?
    I know some banks in Australia have the reverse (i.e. they clarify that if you no longer live in Australia you must close your account), and MBNA UK used to have a FAQ on keeping your account when moving overseas.

    in reply to: Non-resident
    QFFlyer 165 posts

    @PB2 – the issue is that on application you warrant that you are a UK resident, have a permanent UK home address and will notify them of any change. To an extent, this is a box ticking exercise because Amex isn’t authorised to sell the BAPP product in other jurisdictions, warrants to partners that it will not do so and in the event of default it wants a UK service address and to be able to pursue you in the English courts. If they discovered you were resident elsewhere, or suspected you were, they would have little choice but to act so as to protect their position. In reality a lot of people do this and a real UK address where post doesn’t get returned and the other UK links you reference should protect you.

    Even in this scenario, and even outside the UK, Amex can and do let you update your address on file to an overseas address and keep the account open.



    @QFFlyer
    – nobody has said otherwise, but Amex is rather two faced in this regard. If they decide to close someone’s card it’s conceivable but unlikely they might close it for reasons of residency (most likely under pressure from a regulator in one of the jurisdictions). However, if they decide to close an account for more flaky commercial or credit reasons, they have a cast iron reason to provide confidentially to the FOS if someone is technically ineligible to hold the card.

    Fair enough, but (without bothering to read them right now), don’t the terms usually say something like you need to be a resident to apply, not necessarily to continue holding the card?
    I know some banks in Australia have the reverse (i.e. they clarify that if you no longer live in Australia you must close your account), and MBNA UK used to have a FAQ on keeping your account when moving overseas.

    in reply to: Non-resident
    QFFlyer 165 posts

    Not being on the voter’s roll at the account holder’s registered address will be red-flagged sooner rather than later.

    Finance companies are cross-referencing the data far more often than they used to. I have to go into Nationwide around once a year to explain why I’m not on the voter’s roll for the joint account I have with my mother. (Nationwide systems can’t do multiple addresses on a single account).

    I’m registered to vote but not on the electoral roll for the address I have in the UK (I’m registered as an overseas voter, I also want my postal votes sent overseas). Nationwide send my new cards to my overseas address, as do some other banks. Some are still registered in the UK, at my UK address, and haven’t had any issues with opening new accounts either.

    in reply to: Non-resident
    QFFlyer 165 posts

    @PB2 – the issue is that on application you warrant that you are a UK resident, have a permanent UK home address and will notify them of any change. To an extent, this is a box ticking exercise because Amex isn’t authorised to sell the BAPP product in other jurisdictions, warrants to partners that it will not do so and in the event of default it wants a UK service address and to be able to pursue you in the English courts. If they discovered you were resident elsewhere, or suspected you were, they would have little choice but to act so as to protect their position. In reality a lot of people do this and a real UK address where post doesn’t get returned and the other UK links you reference should protect you.

    Even in this scenario, and even outside the UK, Amex can and do let you update your address on file to an overseas address and keep the account open.

    in reply to: MBNA cashback after closing account
    QFFlyer 165 posts

    I see both of your points! They’re both Horizon Visas with 0.5% back and no fees on anything. But I have two of exactly the same card, both with £15k limits. I’ve also got a lot of forex free cards, my income is in AUD so using a forex free AUD card is usually a priority (followed by a USD card, purely because of the points multipliers on spend on those specific cards, for e.g. on travel, transit, restaurant spend).

    As for the Everyday Offers/Smart Cashback or whatever it is, I’ve never once had anything of interest pop up unfortunately (that’s not limited to this card though!).

    Unrelated, but I had the Aqua years ago when it paid 3% cashback, the limit was awful but it was golden for that reason! Don’t remember cancelling it, but I must have!

    in reply to: MBNA cashback after closing account
    QFFlyer 165 posts

    It was my understanding that the cashback was forfeited, but that was from the t&cs when I first received the card and considered closing it.
    I’m glad I didn’t as I use it most when away, and maybe the terms changed, and yes I would expect in Jan.
    You could message them in the app to check when it’s paid.

    Thanks for the reply, I had a look at the terms for my card, and even in the app “Cashback FAQs”, which state “If you close your account, any cashback you’ve earned before it’s closed will be credited to your credit card account”, which seems pretty clear cut, but I was wondering if anyone had any anecdotal experience.

    I suppose I’m just skeptical, they *should* do what they say they will, but after the Creation debacle, we know this isn’t always as clear as we think.

    Agree with you that normally forfeit would be my assumption, unless specifically noted otherwise, though.

    QFFlyer 165 posts

    CX availability in general has been very tight recently, other than some intra-Asia routes. Not impossible to get long haul, but a lot harder than it has been, they’re releasing very little. I’ve been searching using BAEC and QFF, and getting hardly anything.

    Some cash fares have been ok though, I paid ~$2k for J NRT-HKG-MEL-HKG-NRT, which I’m happy with. Didn’t need to go to Japan, had actually planned to spend all my time in HK, but a few days in Osaka and then Tokyo made a nice change, plus I get to go back in six months as the return half (I’m currently on my six month “layover” in Australia 😂).

    in reply to: Qatar Airways risk of aircraft type swap?
    QFFlyer 165 posts

    So I’ve booked Mel-doh-lhr using avios on BA travelling business class on QR in sep

    Currently the flights are on the q suite all the way

    I know QR are very bad with equipment changes and they do have a number of aircraft with the horrible 2-2-2 dinosaur seats

    Do QR ever use the rubbish business seats on the MEl-DOH flights or is it a safe bet I’ll be safe and will get the Q suite ? Not bother about the london flight as only 7 hours

    The flights ex-Australia have been quite consistent (touch wood) over the last couple of years in my experience. Can’t guarantee it won’t happen, but I also have another booking coming up so am hoping.

    They use 777-300ER’s on most of the routes ex MEL/ADL, not sure if the others have the range for MEL-DOH, which is a blessing in disguise (I might be wrong). A380s were only flying to PER and SYD, but this was a while back I last checked.

    in reply to: Combinations of ALL paid programs
    QFFlyer 165 posts

    Signature is like buying hotel points at around about face value (slightly more than face value, I think) with status thrown in on top, so I figure I can’t really lose with that



    @QFFlyer
    it’s even better than that – I calculate you get a c.15% discount on the face value of the points purchased on the annual ‘Absolute’ Signature subscription. That in itself may be worth tying up c.£1,060 in points if your annual spend with Accor is at least this much. The status is the icing on the cake!

    Fair point! Either way I’m in, it’s like a hotel savings account for me, for now! I easily spend that, so having to only earn 2,000 points organically and being able to use the points on some of the more exxy hotels lessens the blow somewhat!

    in reply to: Combinations of ALL paid programs
    QFFlyer 165 posts

    Don’t get Accor plus. Apparently that doesn’t combine with the other paid programs.

    Accor Plus and Signature combine. But Accor Plus is targeted towards Asia-Pacific, not sure if the free night certificate can be used elsewhere?

    If you do join, pick your country of residence wisely (and also note that your ALL account gets transferred to and is managed by Accor Plus in that region – this hasn’t been a problem for me, the country my ALL account is managed by has my correct home address and always has, and I’ve never had any issues with customer service, in fact issues have been resolved remarkably quickly).

    Signature is like buying hotel points at around about face value (slightly more than face value, I think) with status thrown in on top, so I figure I can’t really lose with that – I hit Platinum through stays and points during Covid when they doubled the earn rate, but won’t do it organically, not with the bulk of my stays being Hilton/IHG focused (but I use ALL enough that having Platinum swings it, especially in Australia, where there’s quite a heavy footprint from Accor, not so much from the others).

    QFFlyer 165 posts

    What time of day did you try upgrading?

    I was told by CS that it can only be done during working hours. Indeed, after two unsuccessful attempts to upgrade during the night, it was approved the third time which was early afternoon.

    Yes I figured their call center moves depending on the time of day, the first time I called was in the evening but I called yesterday at around 10 and still couldn’t get the upgrade.

    Peculiarly I was never able to upgrade my Gold to Plat, but it did let me use the same link to upgrade ARCC to Platinum, and awarded the same 100k offer.

    When the Gold was on a separate online login, it wouldn’t work, when I combined them, it wouldn’t let me pick the Gold, so I upgraded the ARCC and cancelled the Gold.

    in reply to: Dodgy AmEx at it, again
    QFFlyer 165 posts

    Do you mean the FOS, Rob?!
    The Creation bashing thread is full of posts about people being awarded withheld points as a result of involving the FOS, including mine.

    Exactly right, same here OH & I ultimately both got our wrongly withheld IHG points and FN certificates after involving FOS. Not looking at a fundamental part of the offer would be/is a ridiculous approach to take.

    in reply to: AwardWallet BA issue
    QFFlyer 165 posts

    It generally takes 4-5 manual goes, but eventually it works. It does seem to update in the background OK, though.

    Thanks, I’ll persist – haven’t had the issue before, so it caught me by surprise.

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