Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Forum Replies Created

  • in reply to: Tesco want to cancel my Mastercard

    If you want to keep just do a small transaction on it. Not really worth a thread.

    I’m not sure threads are a precious resource that we need to aim to keep down, are they?

    Since acquiring an Avios Barclaycard last year, all of my non-Amex spend has switched from the Tesco Mastercard to that card.

    I have now received a letter from Tesco Bank stating that if I don’t use their card within the next month it will be cancelled.

    Should I allow this to happen would my credit score be impacted, and are there benefits to keeping the Tesco card alive?

    You don’t have a credit score, the ‘score’ (or scores) you see are made up numbers which lenders will never see. Your credit record will show that your account has closed, as it would if you closed it yourself. I cannot tell you definitively whether or not lenders will view this as a negative thing, but I close accounts all the time and it certainly hasn’t stopped me getting the credit products I desire.

    One caveat – if Tesco is your longest held card, you may want to consider keeping it alive as there is a school of thought that it’s good to keep your longest held account open.

    in reply to: Mattress Run UK

    I’m staying at the DoubleTree MK next Friday for £60 but not aiming for Diamond any more (though I will of course avail of a ‘one night chase’ if they offer me one in the new year).


    You took the mickey and you deserve every bit of inconvenience you suffer as a result. Just a pity the Co-op are too hapless to ban you.


    High level mickey taking like this will be what kills the Co-op workaround for good at some point.

    What is this Co-op workaround?

    PayPoint settlement, charged to an Amex. Useful if used moderately.


    High level mickey taking like this will be what kills the Co-op workaround for good at some point.


    Once a CASS has been accepted the outcome is the same regardless of the type of source account.

    The only difference with soles and joints is that joints can’t be switched to soles – but this is just something that’s checked at the very start of the application (when the receiving organisation contacts the losing organisation).


    I just discovered that Amex UK hasn’t entirely ditched charge cards for credit cards – the Basic Card is still a charge card.
    I’d prefer to have a Platinum Charge rather than Credit Card (yes, am aware of the various drawbacks such as loss of consumer protections legislation), mainly since the charge card offers an additional card for the main cardholder (e.g. to separate expenses) as well as multiple complimentary supplementary cardholders.

    Is there a route of getting a Basic (charge) Card and upgrade it to a Platinum Charge card? Or are Platinum Charge cards legacy and only kept for existing Platinum charge cardholders?

    AIUI only cards which are the same type (Credit/Charge) and earn the same currency (MR/Avios/Cashback) can be changed to one another.

    This means you can change from BA free to BAPP (if they let you), but you can’t change from BAPP to Cashback or Nectar to Marriott.

    I don’t entirely know if ‘earns nothing’ counts as ‘any’ or a non-earning currency of its own, but I suspect the latter.

    in reply to: Ulster Bank hard credit checked me

    There are far away if you don’t live in NI !

    That would just be silly though.

    Ulster, RBS, and NatWest are all brands of NatWest Group and all have the identical switching offer. So you’d just choose whichever brand was most convenient for the UK region where they live.

    If they didn’t live in NI, by starting the application process with Ulster they’d know they’d risk forfeiting the offer at NatWest or RBS too as it’s only available once across the group.

    In theory, yes. In reality you can have one bonus per brand.

    You can also service Ulster, RBS and Natwest accounts at all 3 branch networks. When I opened an Ulster account I got a nice call from a lady in Belfast offering me to set up a branch meeting at Natwest in Nottingham for one of their ‘health checks’.

    in reply to: Barclays Premier Banking vs NatWest Premier

    Would suggest opening a normal reward account first and then upgrading in the future. Will be a much more seamless experience… and yes as mentioned the NatWest premier account is far superior to the Barclays one

    Isn’t NatWest Premier only superior if you pay £31/month? Barclays Premier only costs a net £7 and you don’t need to pay that if you don’t want Avios. The accounts may have the same ‘Premier’ moniker but don’t pretend to do the same things or have the same price tag so any comparison makes little sense and even less just looking just at those two banks –

    in the wider market, HSBC Premier gives you a good family travel insurance for nothing and Nationwide gives you family travel cover, AA cover and a few other bits and pieces for only £13/month and there’s no income requirement plus you can buy out existing health conditions or the age limit. Other banks probably have some good deals.

    No. Natwest Premier Reward has the same £2 fee as its non-Premier sibling but gives back £10 in Rewards rather than £5.

    It might take them weeks before they touch it. HSBC (and Premier) are not as good as they used to be. And I say that as an existing customer

    …they’ve always taken absolutely forever to do anything haven’t they? I think it took over a month to get my HSBC and M&S Bank accounts open and over 2 months for First Direct (wanted to see payslips, ISTR). This was 5+ years ago.

    in reply to: Barclays Premier Banking vs NatWest Premier

    Super strict on application. They check payslips apparently unless there’s a history of eligible salary payments going in to the account already.

    Never heard of anybody being downgraded tho.

    Unlike Barclays Premier you actually get substantial additional benefits.

    in reply to: Declined Applications – Does an appeal work?

    It’s also definitely worth getting children a supplementary Amex as soon as they are 18 – while it doesn’t say anything re their creditworthiness, Amex draws comfort from the connection in assessing applications, even if initially on minimum wage where other providers aren’t interested. Amex Gold is a very common first credit card for this reason.

    This is true. My fiancee was able to get a decent limit credit card (more than mine actually) after a few years as a supp on mine, despite only having a basic part time job herself. She did have some other credit history tho (not a credit card).

    in reply to: Declined Applications – Does an appeal work?

    Sounds sketchy including parental income as household income. He is a financially independent adult right?

    Either way Amex products aren’t designed to be ‘first’ credit cards and it’s highly likely he was turned down for this reason. Get another credit card – you can use eligibility checkers like Compare the Market or MSE to get a rough guide as to what he might be accepted for (expect to see 0s for Amex). Also check directly with whoever he has the best banking relationship with as they’ll be able to use internal records.

    Use it and pay in full each month. Do this for 6 months and run the eligibility check again.

    If nothing will have him due to lack of credit history look to build one – get a contract (not prepaid) SIM card in his name for starters, check electoral roll etc. 6 months, eligibility check.

    Rinse and repeat.

    in reply to: Barclaycard Rewards Visa

    It’s a good card, I agree. The reason we never wrote about (despite many readers telling us to) was that we knew about 18 months in advance that the Avios cards were coming and that anyone who took out a Rewards Visa would be disqualified!

    Would you be disqualified from the Avios cards if you had the Forward/Purchase/Balance Transfer cards? Or is it only the rewards card?

    You can only a new personal Barclaycard if you do not hold a Barclaycard and haven’t in the last 6 months.

    Barclays have got better about making clear which other options are available and allowing you to make the change via the app however. I converted a (legacy) cashback Credit Card to an Avios Plus last November and then I downgraded to the free version last month. Both times I was offered Platinum and Reward Visas as well as the (other) Avios products.

    Given Forward is a ‘poor credit score’ offer I doubt they’ll offer that as a product change, but holders of Forward are often offered other products.

    in reply to: Hampton Blackpool – new rooms review

    Sad to hear that Hampton seem to have got rid of the waffle irons – I assume that if they have gone from Blackpool they will have gone from everywhere else too. It was one of a number of little things that made Hampton so much better than HIE

    I think this is something to do with the extension. There was often a queue for it on busy days before, and they’ve not created any extra serving space now they’ve added 75% more rooms. Frankly I wouldn’t bother with breakfast at peak times at all any longer.

    Not all Hamptons did them to start with either, Liverpool didn’t when I visited (although that could have been some Covid silliness).

    in reply to: Standard Avios Amex

    Nothing wrong with your idea, it will mean a new hard search (and another when you want the BA PP again) – perhaps the same applies to the BA blue card now too though?

    Consider whether it might be a better punt to ‘go fallow’ and use a different card completely for a couple of years, enabling you to get a Nectar/Marriott, BA PP and Platinum SUB again.

    I think these ‘markers’ are due to some enhanced level of metadata Barclaycard provide Paypal. It’s not always correct though, for example one of the things it adds is a ‘earn 1.5 avios per £’ if you add an Avios Plus card and view your cards while making a payment – all good until you downgrade your account, but still wait for the new card.

    in reply to: 13 June: last call for x3 Tesco to

    Cashed out. Got enough for one last very nice redemption and another average/shorter redemption. Plus some change to use at PizzaExpress.

    Feel quite sad about it; maximising Clubcard points has been a hobby for so long, but just not enough potential value in it any more. Will still collect bits and bobs but I doubt it’ll add up to more than a meal out every so often now.

    On the plus side, I am appreciating the better quality from Sainsburys currently. Might even give Waitrose delivery a try once my Nectar balance is depleted.

    in reply to: Declined for Platinum Amex?

    How long you have been with your bank is a standard question which tests your financial probity. Someone who has banked with the same bank for 20 years simply looks more reliable than someone who has only been with their current bank for 6 months.

    It is also, potentially, a way of flagging up potential churners at an early stage. People who move their current account every year for a new bonus are almost certainly going to do the same with a credit card.

    You don’t say if you earn £50k or not.

    I agree it is common but I’ve always thought it’s a bit of a weird question to ask the customer though, since they will get a definitive answer on that from the CRA surely?

    I’ve booked stays for other people (had to email the hotel to clear it with them though).
    Could that work for you?

    And in regards to value, free breakfast and (where available) lounge access for 2 people could easily be worth more than £180 over the next couple of years I would have thought.

    I don’t think I follow ‘booking the stays for other people’ angle. I need 3 nights on my account – are you saying I could book someone on my account (Gold, and possibly availing myself of a preferential Corporate Rate) and have someone else other than me checking into the hotel (once cleared with the hotel) and this would also count?

    You book the room. Add one of the guests actually staying as second guest. Advise in notes that second guest will check in first.

    Make sure it’s someone you trust so you don’t end up with a huge tab to pay off, obviously.

    in reply to: JAJA credit card – closing my account

    A successful S75 probably didn’t help, but in any case it appears anecdotally that the only clients they kept hold of were those who paid interest. Sign of the times really – bought the book for a song and then find it’s a better option to bin most of it off.

    in reply to: 7000 Avios – not received

    7000 Avios not received on 2nd day of the next month, as promised. Despite picking the reward on May 30th they’re not showing as applied on my account until June 1st.

    They are now showing in ‘pending Avios’ tho, so I imagine they will be paid next month. I just hope the downgrade on Wednesday to the free/blue card doesn’t wipe them off somehow…

    in reply to: Upgrading to Plus card after downgrading

    There are benefits to having the account on its own. Higher ATM withdrawal limits, enhanced customer service… what you mean is ‘no benefit to me’.

    I know a fair few people who have had Premier accounts and either have Blue Rewards (from the days it would earn a few quid a month) or no incentive package.

    Lol, “enhanced customer service”?
    Are we talking about the same company here? Do you even read what others are saying on these very forums here? The consensus seems to me that their customer service is non existent and no different to customer banging their heads on a brick wall.

    Again, you’re reading something different to what’s written.

    Enhanced means better than you’d otherwise get (without a Premier account). It doesn’t mean objectively great.

    in reply to: 7000 Avios – not received

    That’s interesting (though maybe not surprisingly given Barclays flakiness). The blurb that came out said you had to choose beforehand and if you didn’t you’d automatically get the voucher. Is there anything to indicate how long you have to make the decision?

    Yes I thought so too. Annoyingly the Barclays Android app doesn’t allow screenshots, but there was nothing to suggest a time limit that I recall.

    in reply to: 7000 Avios – not received

    I’ve just hit my £10k bonus on my Plus card. I’d changed my chosen to reward to 7k Avios as soon as the option became available. I presumed (as discussed on here) that this had to be set in advance and would apply immediately.

    Turns out that’s not correct. In the same section of the app I now have a ‘Redeem’ button, where I am once again given the choice of 7k Avios or an upgrade voucher. Selecting the 7k Avios option I got a confirmation that the points would be applied on the second working day of next month.

    Account now downgraded to the blue card (effective date June 7th so above should all still apply).

    Will confirm it happens correctly or not as and when.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.