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 Cards Update‘ page.