Creation (IHG, Marriott) blocking all Curve transactions & closing accounts

I suspect most commonly it isn’t about picking the wrong card - its about forgetting which one you’ve got selected. I’ve used it for both financial engineering and having the wrong card selected.

Probably most often I’ve used it because I’ve paid in another currency without thinking. GBIT’ing to a card with a better exchange rates saves money.

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Creation have again messed up. My bill was due on Monday, which I paid in full on Monday on Creation’s web site using Curve with MBNA as the underlying card. Creation also sent me an e-mail confirmation, itemising the amount, payment reference and payment date, as well as stating “Your payment was processed successfully”.

Creation have today sent me an SMS saying that my payment is due, which is not true because I already paid it in full on Monday. When I log into my Creation account, I see that Creation charged me a “default sum fee” of £12 on Tuesday. Creation’s systems made the same error last December, which necessitated a call to Creation to get back the fee and interest, so it’s not caused by Creation’s blocking of Curve as a merchant.

This definitely happens - sometimes with the Curve app, you choose one card for a transaction from the cards list but the app selects another one instead…

I made a payment to my account on Monday too - it still hasn’t hit the account. They are absolute donuts.

This happened to me two years ago too. Creation lost my payment and it took over a week to find the payment.

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Well put. I will be glad to be rid of them. I already have two live complaints with them, and this could become a third one.

I’ve seen quite a few others reporting delays in Creation processing payments this week - a pain but should be resolved with a call to them. Frustrating though!

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Easier said than done. Phone calls to Creation can be very time-consuming. I’ve used the messaging function while logged into the Creation web site. Although my previous experience of this is slow response times, time is not of the essence.

I should also add that my payments of my Creation cards via Curve have been properly charged to my underlying MBNA card.

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I now see that Creation shows that I paid on Thursday 14th, even though I in fact paid on Monday 11th. The £12 “default sum fee” on Tuesday 12th remains, and I expect that interest will be added soon as well.

Just called Creation today as they’d sent me a letter closing my account. The agent said they will NOT be honouring my free night certificate which is showing as earned on the account. Nor will they refund the fee pro-rata for my IHG black card. Apparently it is a ‘business decision’ to do this.
So I lodged a formal complaint and told them that my ideal outcome would be either a fee refund and the certificate to be honoured, or compensation of £400, equal to the value of a typical free night plus the fee refund. I also said that I would go to the ombudsman if I didn’t get these. Let’s hope they make the business decision that it would be cheaper to give the compensation than to have it referred to the ombudsman and then (hopefully) be forced to give it anyway.

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Thanks for the update - I haven’t called them yet but will be following you in the same route if so!

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There is no way that their approach would be accepted by a court or by the Financial Ombudsman. Therefore you are right to threaten to go to the ombudsman, which would cost Creation a £750 case fee, irrespective of the outcome.

Don’t expect a quick response from the Ombudsman. I went to them last summer (2020) following an appalling experience with AXA vehicle breakdown and my case is yet to be reviewed by a caseworker. They have logged my complaint and obtained info from AXA, but I have been waiting for over a year for the case to be investigated.

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True. I have multiple current complaints with the FOS, and each one is taking more than 18 months. You can often expect a perverse decision by the initial investigator, followed sometimes by a more reasonable decision by an ombudsman.

Or (annoyingly) in my recent case a correct decision by the investigator and then the company just ignoring it and not paying out! Still chasing that one…

Schedule 17 paragraph 16 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 makes a decision by the FOS enforceable by a County Court “as if it were payable under an order of that court”. So send in the bailiffs!

Yep have seen that, unfortunately it’s the hassle of going through it (paper-based up here rather than online) but may end up having to do so. Also will need to check if I need a formal ombudsman sign-off rather than just the investigator. It’s PrePay Techonologies Ltd in this case so I may contact their senior team first and see if I can rattle some cages there before having to go down the court route.

I spoke to Creation, who told me, as others above have already discovered, that Creation will not be honouring the issuing of the free night voucher or giving a pro-rata refund of the £99 annual fee for accounts that it has unilaterally given notice to close. I asked for a reason, but the representative was unable to give me one, so I raised a complaint about both matters.

It’s useful to read Creation’s terms and conditions for this card:

4. Anniversary night voucher

On the anniversary of your account opening, so long as your account remains active, you will earn one anniversary night voucher anniversary night voucher to redeem at any IHG property, provided you make annual pPurchases totalling a minimum of £10,000. Annual purchases are calculated from your account opening date to the day before the first anniversary, and thereafter on an annual basis. This offer is subject to your IHG Rewards Club Premium Credit Card account remaining in good order.

Previously it stated:

  1. Free night voucher: On the anniversary of your account opening, so long as your account remains active, you will earn one free night voucher to redeem at any IHG property, provided you make annual Purchases totalling a minimum of £10,000. Annual purchases are calculated from your account opening date to the day before the first anniversary, and thereafter on an annual basis. This offer is subject to your IHG Rewards Club Premium Credit Card account remaining in good order.

It is likely that it was renamed from “Free night voucher” to “Anniversary night voucher” only because the former name is an unfair commercial practice according to Schedule 1 Paragraph 20 of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, and therefore nothing turns on the name change.

I am guessing that Creation is relying on the terms “so long as your account remains active” and “This offer is subject to your IHG Rewards Club Premium Credit Card account remaining in good order”. One could argue that Creation closed our accounts in order to avoid the cost of issuing this voucher and that by doing so, Creation is not treating customers fairly in breach of FCA rules, in particular PRIN 2.1, of which Principle 6 states “A firm must pay due regard to the interests of its customers and treat them fairly”. One could also argue that these two clauses, if applied to compliant accounts that Creation had unilaterally closed without good reason, are unfair terms and thereby unenforceable pursuant to Section 62(1) of the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

I don’t think that the Financial Ombudsman Service would find that Creation could dishonour the agreement to issue the voucher unless the account closure arose from the customer’s breach of contract, which is not the case here. A complainant could also argue that they would otherwise have used another credit card for this expenditure, perhaps another with a £10k threshold to earn a voucher (e.g. Amex BA).

5. Account fee

Your IHG Rewards Premium Credit Card carries an annual fee of £99, which is applied to your account in the first statement period, and annually thereafter. The annual fee is payable in full in the month it is applied to your account, and if not settled in full by the due date, will attract interest at your standard purchases rate.

There is nothing in this paragraph that allows Creation to refuse a pro-rata refund of the account fee if it decides unilaterally to close an account. It’s clearly referred to as an “annual fee”, which implies that it covers a 12-month period. Therefore if the customer doesn’t receive the service for 12 months, then the customer would be entitled to a pro-rata refund of any months in which the service was not provided.

First you need to raise a formal complaint with Creation. It has up to eight weeks to respond. If you are not satisfied with Creation’s response or if Creation does not respond within eight weeks, then you should complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service, which is always free to the consumer, but which will cost Creation a case fee of £750 irrespective of the outcome. It is therefore much cheaper for Creation to honour the voucher and to give a pro-rata refund of the annual fee in all cases.

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