Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Forum Replies Created

  • The Urbanite

    I also went through Creation’s T&Cs at various points between 2016 and 2020 and there was nothing in there that forbids MS. They probably don’t like it because the penny finally dropped that they lose money on every transaction and Curve card holders have been segmented as sharp customers. Not only will they be paying little interest but they’re circumventing Creation’s FX revenue stream.

    in reply to: Best USD account, with Citi ditching the UK?
    The Urbanite

    You can get a fully functioning USD current account through HSBC Premier.

    The Urbanite

    The worst thing that happened to the points game was 3V packing up and banks ceasing to accept Royal Mint £5 coins for deposit.

    Curve is bigger numbers but those were richly, richly comic situations.

    Nearly did myself an injury carrying the backpack full of £5 coins to town to deposit.

    To be fair the points game continued beyond 3V!

    It was easy to generate £600 a quarter of Clubcard points by paying into NS&I. Amex spend, child’s play – could spend well into 5 figures in one fell swoop and have it back in your current account within 5 minutes. And no dealing with scarce gift cards or that dirty scratchcard coating either!

    The Royal Mint route was never lasting forever once it became public knowledge, I did enjoy reading the posts about it on FT though!

    I think the worst thing to happen to the game so far was the closure of the Swipe debit card. You could top it up with Visa, Mastercard or Amex. £16k a week per funding card. For free. And get 8% cashback on a few k a day spend when toddling down to the shopping mart and depositing into the savings account.

    Every time a completely unbelievable holy grail status route shuts down, something even more insane comes along. The volumes Curve permitted were crazy especially when they were paying cashback on a number of routes where it was easy to max out the daily spend limits.

    Periodically I sweep the market for new opportunities and every time, I find a ton of ways to generate points which I don’t see posted anywhere and piece things together to create new routes. That’s why there’s little point on dwelling on the low hanging fruit drying up, there’ll be other ways to earn points with a bit of imagination.

    The Urbanite

    It is what it is. Every value added activity has a shelf life. Curve wasn’t upsetting anyone in the beginning when it was issued as a business card with a credit card BIN – it was when the personal debit card was unleashed that it started. Barclaycard blocked the BIN for payments, Natwest and Tesco started stinging people for transacting through Curve and it became clear it wouldn’t be tolerated forever.

    Lo and behold Virgin put in several anti-MS measures, Creation clearly took someone on to stem the losses from their frankly comical operation of their cards and Lloyds BG / HSBC Premier / M&S / JL finally tightened up their cash advance logic. 4829 has become virtually useless as has 6012. Funnily enough Amex is one of very few issuers still paying out rewards at these merchants.

    I agree that the credit card issuers didn’t seem to care that much about MS before. Curve brought a lot of new people into the manufactured spend world – people who topped up Revolut then called up their card issuers asking for refunds on the cash advance fees when the MCC dancing started! When we saw pledges to refund the fees accrued by people doing cash like transactions, even though the card issuers hadn’t changed anything or do anything wrong it was clear the activity was attracting the wrong kind of attention, at a big enough scale to warrant such a policy being created.

    For a long time the card issuers turned much of a blind eye to it, it was more the emoney issuers who had a problem with MS. But Curve has changed that. It was plain as day to see and you could either take advantage and get your points while it was still possible, or take the moral high ground and be upset when the opportunities dried up!

    in reply to: Creation Financial Services bashing
    The Urbanite

    What did you ask for? I’ve had no response in over 6 months now, sent them a letter a couple of weeks ago asking for an update.

    I just wanted the points from the month they nuked my accounts (around 90k so worth chasing) and the free night I earned. I argued the closure was improper which the FOS have upheld.

    The talk of deadlines made me check and I received my final letter from Creation in May. I have kept up to date with this thread and it seems like nobody has had a final decision from the financial ombudsman yet?

    I will submit mine shortly. Is there a recommendation over level of detail/facts vs opinion required here vs say in a MCOL application?

    Thanks

    I had a final decision from the FOS in my favour, which Creation have contested. My case handler is on leave but I hope to hear back from them in a week or two.

    Did you actually get a final decision? A final decision by an Ombudsman cannot be contested and once you accept the outcome it is binding on Creation. From your description, it sounds as though you had a preliminary decision from your case handler which Creation has contested (and you could have contested if you didn’t like the decision or resolution) so the matter will now be escalated to an Ombudsman for a final decision.

    Right you are, it was the conclusion made by the case handler, it hasn’t been referred to an Ombudsman yet.

    in reply to: Creation Financial Services bashing
    The Urbanite

    The talk of deadlines made me check and I received my final letter from Creation in May. I have kept up to date with this thread and it seems like nobody has had a final decision from the financial ombudsman yet?

    I will submit mine shortly. Is there a recommendation over level of detail/facts vs opinion required here vs say in a MCOL application?

    Thanks

    I had a final decision from the FOS in my favour, which Creation have contested. My case handler is on leave but I hope to hear back from them in a week or two.

    in reply to: The HSBC Premier Mastercards thread
    The Urbanite

    The card is a new product really. The old HSBC Premier paid out points on everything, even buying GBP stablecoins fee free and topping up bank accounts without ever charging a fee and the interest easily avoided.

    This new product excludes at least MCCs 4829, 6012, 6051, 6211, 6540 and maybe 9399 from the Premier rewards programme and some if not all now attract cash advance fees!

    Apologies, the Report and Quote buttons are too close together for me on a phone screen…

    May I ask which GBP stablecoins they are and where to buy them fee free from, please?

    Thanks!

    You could buy £24k a week of TGBP from Crypto.Com for free using the Premier card. However that golden goose jumped on the boat a while ago!

    in reply to: The HSBC Premier Mastercards thread
    The Urbanite

    The card is a new product really. The old HSBC Premier paid out points on everything, even buying GBP stablecoins fee free and topping up bank accounts without ever charging a fee and the interest easily avoided.

    This new product excludes at least MCCs 4829, 6012, 6051, 6211, 6540 and maybe 9399 from the Premier rewards programme and some if not all now attract cash advance fees!

    in reply to: Chase bank ~ is it a good option ?
    The Urbanite

    I quite like Chase. They’re generous with the cashback and the customer service is pretty swish compared with some other banks!

    in reply to: The HSBC Premier Mastercards thread
    The Urbanite

    Has anyone had any joy finding out which MCCs are now exempt from rewards and are treated as cash advances? This isn’t information HSBC is freeing up, even though they would have somebody who codes them into the rewards logic!

    +1 for 40k and email.

    in reply to: Virgin Cash Advance fees about to be applied?
    The Urbanite

    Just paid £5000 of a VAT bill using Virgin via Curve Metal.

    There was (for the first time) a fee added to the £5000 (from, I assume, the underlying Virgin card).

    I immediately used the “Go Back in Time” function on Curve and put the payment through my Barclaycard Avios card instead. No fee added.

    Was that the 1.5% Curve fronted fee? This is added the the amount charged to the underlying credit card at the point of making the transaction if you’ve topped about £10k in fronted transactions for the month.

    in reply to: Using Curve to pay off Barclays card?
    The Urbanite

    A few years ago Barclaycard sent out a letter stating they would no longer accept Curve for account payments. Looks like the policy has remained in place.

    To get around this, why not just top up a different card account with Curve and use that to pay off Barclaycard using the card or bank transfer? Revolut is still accepting debit cards for loading right?

    Thanks! Only asked because I was wondering if Curve would let me use my Chase account with its 1% cashback to pay off the balance (and double dip the rewards). Cheeky but guess we’ll never know.

    I only have the free Curve version, but it’s getting pretty pointless when you’re only allowed two cards.

    Chase have got all the mainstream MS routes sussed, the list of merchant types excluded from the rewards scheme is extensive and does include prepaid card loads!

    in reply to: Using Curve to pay off Barclays card?
    The Urbanite

    A few years ago Barclaycard sent out a letter stating they would no longer accept Curve for account payments. Looks like the policy has remained in place.

    To get around this, why not just top up a different card account with Curve and use that to pay off Barclaycard using the card or bank transfer? Revolut is still accepting debit cards for loading right?

    in reply to: The British Airways Prepaid Mastercard thread
    The Urbanite

    My 1500 bonus points arrived today – activated card at end of May and reached target on 1st July.

    in reply to: Benefits of the (closed) Hilton credit card
    The Urbanite

    6) You can do “things” with HH that you can do with very few other cards…

    Part of the fun of the game is to find the unique enchanting qualities of each issuers cards!

    Remember when the Hilton and IHG cards paid directly into NS&I…

    in reply to: The HSBC Premier Mastercards thread
    The Urbanite

    Yes, they’ve been silently excluding MCCs for the rewards programme. No hints as to which ones unlike other card issuers.

    One is definitely 6051. So no more buying GBP stablecoins to generate millions of points for free!

    in reply to: Benefits of the (closed) Hilton credit card
    The Urbanite

    There’s nothing to lose by keeping it. Hotel points are difficult to earn and as cards go it’s a good one.

    There are three cards on my Barclaycard account plus I had the Avios card so they do allow more than one card to be held.

    in reply to: Hilton credit card delay in points posting
    The Urbanite

    does anyone know how the barclaycard and hilton accounts are linked together? I have been trying for about a year to get to the bottom of this. Had about 300k spend on barclaycard over past year. No points ever appeared anywhere. Nobody can help. No one at barclaycard or hilton know the process.

    Someone at Barclaycard does know but getting through to them is not an easy process.

    Have you raised a formal complaint and escalated to the FOS?

    in reply to: Curve Fronted limit
    The Urbanite

    The value of Curve fronted really is diminishing. Seems an increasing number of card issuers are treating MCC 6012 as a cash advance or simply not paying out rewards and 9399 doesn’t seem to be that far behind. Almost all rewards cards I know exclude both from their schemes, Barclaycard is becoming the exception rather than the rule.

    It’s barely worth paying the Metal sub for this feature any more, let alone a 1.5% surcharge.

    in reply to: The HSBC Premier Mastercards thread
    The Urbanite

    Now not receiving points for curve transactions to finincial or HMRC using WE.

    Including Seagulls?

    Yes for all curve transactions including purchase of https://esim.me/ through curve.
    All curve transactions on WE had no points on my statement. All were curve transactions in my present statement.

    That’s weird if you’ve had non-financial transactions. Some months the points calculation goes haywire, the only constant I’ve noticed is that I had a refund of some sort in those statement periods.

    in reply to: Creation Financial Services bashing
    The Urbanite

    @Pete M as I suggested, complaining is a waste of time. The FOS is a creature of statute so it operates within that framework (and is totally different to an arbitrator like CEDR) and no time limits are specified in the legislation. While the open timescales are rather unsatisfactory, there are several reasons, the main one being that any decision by an Ombudsman is final and could only really be overturned via Judicial Review, a costly and difficult route. Therefore they rightly do not wish to give ‘default’ decisions. MCOL will give default judgments, but then there is a right to apply for a set aside which is quick and easy.

    It may not always be a complete waste of time. One complaint email and they might offer you £100 for the delay which is a good return on the time it takes to do it. At least this was my experience. But agreed it’s not likely to speed things up.

    in reply to: New Curve Card grief
    The Urbanite

    Most people just put £9k per day on Ernie.

    That’s alright if you have a big enough bankroll to do this with the 8 days its takes to get the deposit back!

    Some of the Creation friendly routes had a much shorter cycle, i.e. using it to make an instant deposit to current account or debit card.

    in reply to: New Curve Card grief
    The Urbanite

    Creation lasted many years after MCC codes started being passed through.

    Yes, but a lot of the easy routes were through MCC 6012 merchants, which Creation put very low spend limits on. When Wirecard collapsed and passthrough switched off, it became easier to spend on it and Capital on Tap too.

    Don’t get me wrong, it was child’s play to MS Creation through MCC 4829 and other routes – was going on for years without any issues until Curve came and presumably facilitated volumes that forced the issuers hand in putting a stop to it. One easy route was topping up MoneyMailMe. Easy points until one day their MCC changed to 7372 which was bizarrely revealed to be a cash advance MCC in Creation’s logic! Fortunately it changed to 6012 not long after.

    in reply to: New Curve Card grief
    The Urbanite

    Wow, lots of Curve hate. What did they do to y’all?

    stop supporting amex within hours – after days or even weeks of shilling it customers and the world wide web
    claim they will or have taken amex to court and that it will come back – oh the audacity
    beef up customer user stats to get mega funding – who doesnt these days?
    poor customer service – days or even weeks of ignoring
    MS game is pretty much over

    there are some pros as opposed to cons left though

    As well as

    – Allow two cards on one account with their own set of limits, totalling £300k a month/£3.2m pa
    – Turn a blind eye to deposits to NS&I and Kent Reliance savings accounts and HMRC payments for years
    – Turn off MCC passthrough which meant the Creation IHG and Marriott cards could be maxed out to full spending capacity and points could be earned on cash withdrawals
    – Facilitated the paying off of credit cards that had been used for MS in order to double dip
    – Paid out Curve Cash at retailers where unlimited volume MS routes were available

    To be honest, as a company they created easy opportunities to generate serious amounts of points which were never going to last forever, but lasted way longer than expected.

    Generating points on Amex has been entirely possible without Curve – for example the Swipe cashback debit card accepted Amex topups up to £16k a week per funding card for free. And Amex could be used to top up prepaid cards at the Post Office self service machines. Curve probably did a lot of people a favour no longer taking Amex as if you get flagged MSing during a credit review (aka financial review in the US), your accounts would be gone.

    Curve is still a good product for people prepared to adapt to the current market conditions, which are decided anti-MS where the low hanging fruit routes are concerned!

    in reply to: New Curve Card grief
    The Urbanite

    You can do at least £122.4k of MS per year. Dead indeed.

    Yes but that will cost an ‘outrageous’ 150 quid a year for Metal.

    I’m a new customer so I never had the Amex woes, but the travel insurance has better scuba cover than most policies outside of DAN and the car insurance is plenty good enough for what I am renting this holiday. I will pay my tax bill and my wife’s tax bill starting in a couple of months. If it all falls apart after that or my Barclays card gets cancelled then so be it.

    This stuff never lasts for ever. Remember all those interest free rates where you could endlessly get free money for ever? I recall I was making a couple of grand a year for a bit doing that. But it ended as these things do.

    I’d quite happily pay £150 to get £1.2k worth of rewards or cashback.

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