The ‘Credit Cards Update’ page at the top of blog has been updated for December. (Click here to see it if you are an email or RSS reader.)
There has been quite a lot of promotional activity recently, and the overall quality of deals is the highest for a while.
Here are the changes that occured in November, some of which were posted about at the time:
British Airways American Express – at some point, without anyone noticing, the minimum spend on the basic card crept up from £500 to £1,000. Still manageable, though. The 9,000 Avios bonus is still running. There is no fee on this card.
Starwood Preferred Guest Amex – the bonus remains doubled at 20,000 points, although this will end soon (not sure when). This is a great deal – £75 annual fee to receive 20,000 SPG points. These are worth 25,000 Avios or 25,000 miles in a lot of other airline programmes. (Or redeem them for a hotel stay – I got £370 of value for mine!)
Miles & More Visa and Amex – the 10,000 extra miles for getting the Lufthansa cards is still on but ends December 15th. Given that the usual bonus is just 1500 miles, getting 11,500 is pretty good. There is no fee on the cards either. However, small sums of M&M miles are not much use – European redemptions have huge taxes – so don’t bother unless you already have a stash of miles you want to grow.
Flybe MasterCard – the offer has changed back from two free flights to one free flight and two lounge passes
United Airlines Amex – the improved 15,000 miles sign-up bonus ended on 30th November, and they have gone back to a bonus of zero!
The improved 25,000 Avios points bonus on the British Airways Premium Plus Amex is still running as well.
See today’s other post for news of a 40,000 point link for the Priority Club Black Visa.
My top choices for December
As I write on the ‘Credit Cards Update’ page, these are my picks of the best current deals:
1. Starwood Preferred Guest American Express. The 20,000 point bonus (usually 10,000) gets you 25,000 airline miles in over 30 programmes, including Avios. There is a £75 fee but you get a pro-rata fee refund when you cancel.
2. British Airways American Express cards. 9,000 Avios for the free card and 25,000 Avios for the paid card is about as good as it gets. And the 2-4-1 voucher for use on Avios redemptions that comes with this card is the most valuable perk in the UK loyalty card sector, as I discuss here. If you have been thinking about the BA Amex, now is as good a time as any to jump in. Apply here and here.
3. American Express Preferred Rewards Gold. This is currently an outstanding deal. No fee for the first year and 20,000 Membership Rewards point (see here for what 20,000 MR points can get you – 20,000 Avios points for a start!) Apply here.
4. 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.
5. 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 fantastic. 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. Apply here.
As usual, the ‘Credit Cards Update’ page won’t change now until January, so keep an eye on the main blog for news of new promotions.