The ‘Credit Cards Update’ page at the top of the blog has been updated for October to reflect changes over the past month. (Click here to see it if you are an e-mail or RSS reader.)
Here are the changes over the past month:
British Airways American Express – the sign-up bonus on the basic card dropped to 1,000 Avios or 6,000 Avios on the Premium Plus card. These offers are both, frankly, shockingly poor compared to earlier this year. Hold off applying, there are far better card offers currently available.
Flybe Mastercard – the deal has improved, with the offer of ‘two free flights’ coming back. You get the usual one free flight for signing up, plus a second free flight for spending £500. Note, though, that taxes etc must still be paid. With Flybe, these often represent 80%+ of the price of buying a cash ticket. (Their website admits that, during a sale period, the taxes on a ‘free’ ticket may be MORE than the equivalent reward seat!)
Lloyds TSB Duo Avios cards – no change, but the current (weak) offer expires on 18th October so we will see what comes after
Priority Club Rewards Visa – the cards now come with Priority Club Gold (free card) or Priority Club Platinum (£99 card) status, although this is not mentioned on the website yet. See this post for more details.
Tesco Clubcard MasterCard – the ‘refer a friend’ bonus of 1,000 Clubcard points has rolled over into 2013
American Express Platinum charge card – the bonus for a direct application is back (50,000 points). See my other post today for news on who qualifies for the bonus.
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold charge card – the bonus, after a dip to 10,000 points, is back at 20,000.
Finally, it is worth noting that the BMI Diamond Club cards continue to be available and will be, it seems, for a few months yet.
The 20,000 Avios bonus for getting the FREE bmi Diamond Club credit card remains the best deal currently available in UK loyalty cards. If you have one, get one for your partner. If they have one, get one for your parents and use the Family Account facility to move the miles to yourself. MBNA gives out cards to even very low earners, so do not miss out.
My top picks:
If I had to list my preferred choice this month, I would say:
The bmi Diamond Club cards. You get 20,000 Avios. It will disappear soon, has no fee, has a low £250 target to trigger the bonus and is available to people on very modest incomes or pensions. You cannot ask for more.
Hilton HHonors Platinum Visa. A free night in any Hilton Group property for spending £750. That could be worth £250 if spent wisely at a Conrad or Waldorf-Astoria branded property.
Virgin Atlantic Black – if you already collect Virgin miles, the 20,000 bonus miles under the current promotion are worth having, despite the £140 card fee. They would also convert into 40,000 Hilton Hhonors points.
American Express Platinum – if you meet the £40,000 household income requirement and have no other Amex-issued cards, including NO BA Amex then this is outstanding (but see my other post today for news on the qualification criteria). 50,000 Membership Rewards points (see here for what that gets you), and you can cancel for a pro-rata refund of your £450 as soon as you’ve hit the £3,000 spend target.
Don’t forget that you can see my detailed series of ‘Credit Card Reviews’ posts by clicking on ‘Credit Card Reviews’ under the ‘Categories’ menu on the right.