UPDATE – JANUARY 2021: This article is now out of date, but don’t worry. We produce a monthly directory of the top UK travel credit card offers – please click HERE or use the ‘Credit Card Offers’ menu above. Thank you.
The ‘Credit Cards Update‘ page at the top of the blog has been updated to reflect the latest changes in sign-up bonuses.
This is what has changed during August, none of it for the better! :
American Express Platinum – the sign-up bonus has been cut from 50,000 Membership Rewards points (worth 50,000 Avios, Virgin miles etc) to nothing!
Flybe Mastercard – the recent offer of 2 free flights has been replaced with 1 free flight and 2 lounge passes
Frankly, the current crop of sign-up bonuses is poor. If we look at what is currently available versus the best deal I have seen in the last 12 months:
- American Airlines Amex and Visa – 5,000 miles vs 10,000 miles
- Amex Gold (direct application) – 10,000 points vs 20,000 points
- Amex Platinum (direct application) – nothing vs 50,000 MR points
- British Airways Amex – 3,000 Avios vs 9,000 Avios
- British Airways Premium Plus Amex – 18,000 Avios vs 40,000 Avios
- Flybe Mastercard – 1 free flight vs 2 free flights
- Lufthansa Miles & More Amex and Visa – 1,500 miles vs 11,500 miles
- Starwood Amex – 10,000 points vs 20,000 points
- United Airlines Amex – nothing vs 15,000 miles
It is not clear if this marks a general trend of the card companies cutting back on bonuses. What I would say is that I would think carefully before applying for any of the cards listed above, because you might regret it if their previous best offer is repeated.
If you are looking for a new card, the no-brainer choice remains the BMI Amex and Visa combo. 20,000 Diamond Club miles (= 20,000 Avios when you transfer them), only £250 minimum spend, no household income threshold and no fee! It really can’t get any better. However, this card can’t survive much longer as BA continues to integrate BMI so jump in whilst you can.
The Hilton card, with its free night voucher for spending £750, is also worth a look. That free night could be worth well over £200 if you redeem it somewhere suitably expensive.
The Amex Gold deal is also worth a look as it is still fee-free for the first year. You get 10,000 Membership Rewards points for signing up. You do not qualify if you have held a Platinum, Gold or Green Amex card during the last 6 months, but any other Amex card is OK.
The current (relatively poor) offers for the BA Amex cards are due to finish on 12th September, so let’s see if anything exciting replaces those.
In our household, the only ‘action’ during the month was to get the Priority Club Black Visa card for my wife. However, she was targetted with a generous offer (40,000 points and no fee for the first year) which has now closed. The best publicly available deal for this card (30,000 points and £99 fee) is OK but there are better deals available.
Further details on all of these cards, plus links to the application websites, can be found on the ‘‘Credit Card Offers‘ page.
Want to earn more points from credit cards? – January 2021 update
If you are looking to apply for a new credit or charge card, here are our January 2021 recommendations based on the current sign-up bonus.
British Airways American Express
5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and a companion voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review
British Airways American Express Premium Plus
25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold
Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review
The Platinum Card from American Express
30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review
Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard
15,000 points bonus and the most generous non-Amex for day to day spending Read our full review
Earning miles and points from small business cards
If you are a sole trader or run a small company, you may also want to check out these:
American Express Business Gold
20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review
American Express Business Platinum
40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review
British Airways Accelerating Business American Express
Earn both Avios and BA On Business points with your business spending Read our full review
Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa
The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company Read our full review
Disclaimer: Head for Points is a journalistic website. Nothing here should be construed as financial advice, and it is your own responsibility to ensure that any product is right for your circumstances. Recommendations are based primarily on the ability to earn miles and points and do not consider interest rates, service levels or any impact on your credit history. By recommending credit cards on this site, I am – technically – acting as a credit broker. Robert Burgess, trading as Head for Points, is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a credit broker.