Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

‘Credit Card Offers’ updated for January 2013

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UPDATE – AUGUST 2022:  This article is now out of date, but don’t worry.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 Cards’ menu above.  Thank you.

Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus. You can apply here.

I have updated the ‘Credit Card Offers’ page for January. It was not a difficult job, for once, because there have been no major changes since the December list came out! 

The only amendment was removing the Miles & More 10,000 mile bonus which ended on 10th December.

To be honest, I expect this situation to be temporary with a few offers launched later this month.

Given the lack of new deals, let me repeat my advice on the best cards currently available if you are thinking of a New Year ‘churn’:

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  and you get a pro-rata fee refund when you cancel. This offer runs until 1st February, so if you are interested then I would apply sooner rather than later.

SPG Amex

2. British Airways American Express cards

Again, there is an excellent offer at the moment which I believe will end soon. 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 (free) and here (paid).

3. American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

This is currently an outstanding deal, which is showing no signs of going away. No fee for the first year and 20,000 Membership Rewards points if you are referred (see here for what 20,000 MR points can get you – 20,000 Avios points for a start!) The bonus if you are not referred is lower, at 20,000 points.  Apply here.

4. Hilton HHonors Platinum Visa

Finally, if you’re looking for a Visa or Mastercard, this card remains a great deal purely for the sign-up deal. You get 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.

Full details, including links to the application forms, are on the ‘Credit Card Offers’ page.

You will note that I haven’t included Amex Platinum in this list. I want to cover this again in a separate post in a few days.

Want to earn more points from credit cards? – August 2022 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit card, here are our top recommendations based on the current sign-up bonuses.

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the best of the other deals currently available.

EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

American Express Amex Gold

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

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points, £200 travel credit and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Rewards Plus credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 points bonus and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend 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 offers:

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company Read our full review

For a non-American Express option, we also recommend the Barclaycard Select Cashback card for sole traders and small businesses. It is FREE and you receive 1% cashback on your spending.

Barclaycard Select Cashback credit card

1% cashback (3% on business travel for four months) and no annual fee Read our full review

Comments (25)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • David says:

    Think it is safe to cancel the SPG while leaving the points as SPG, or would you move them on before hand?

    Can’t see any reason or need to move them on yet.

    • Raffles says:

      No risk here at all, your points are safe in SPG

      • David says:

        I know, it’s just the ‘churning’ factor seem too cheeky for me! It feels like I’m being abusive.

        Mind you, if the people in America are playing the Chase game, why should we missout on some fun…

  • Jason Thorpe says:

    With the SPG card, how long should one expect to wait before the 20,000 points are posted – once the requisite £1,000 has been spent?

    • Andrew says:

      Mine posted instantly as part of the transaction which pushed me over £1000

      • David says:

        Same here. Got card. Confirmed working with a couple of low vals. Put through a £1k+ transaction, SPG account credited with 21,… in a single posting.

        Sadly had to do a tiny part refund on my £1k txn, which took it just under £1k, so banged through a few more low value ones just in case the system wanted to reverse the 20k at that time.

  • James says:

    Does anyone know if this is the same for the AmEx Gold card? Just passed the £2k mark (in 6 weeks – eek!) so will the 20K bonus MR post soon? Thanks

  • Rich Spencer says:

    I don’t think there is a set limit.
    I’ve had 4 with Amex direct at one point.

  • Ugraag says:

    Sorry if this has been answered elsewhere – applying for the SPG card, I get a message on the AMEX application screen saying:

    I will not be eligible for any Welcome Bonus award if I currently hold or have held any Avios enrolled American Express Card in the past six months

    I have the BA AMEX card already, so does that rule me out of getting the welcome bonus?

    If memory serves, there was a similar clause when applying for the AMEX Gold membership programme card, but I still got the welcome bonus (which in answer to your question James, was credited as soon as I spent over the £2k threshold…)

    • Jason Thorpe says:

      Shouldn’t be a problem as the SPG AMEX isn’t avios enrolled since you have to convert your points into avios. Still, I’d be interesting in knowing what exactly constitutes ‘avios enrolled’.

      • Raffles says:

        I read that to mean a BA Amex. But this doesn’t make sense in the discussion of the SPG card, and part of me thinks it is a mistake. Both me and my wife got the SPG Amex and the bonus whilst already holding a BA Amex.

        • Jason Thorpe says:

          Makes sense. I suppose it could refer to all Amex-cards generating avios directly, but in that case the restriction would include MBNA-cards as well, which doesn’t appear to be the case.

  • Andy S says:

    The amex gold charge card, I got one and charged my annual train season ticket on it. As this is travel spend I got double points plus the 20000 bonus points.

  • Jason Thorpe says:

    I received the BA Amex offer (again) in the mail today and it says the application link expires on Feb 8 – so I’m guessing the offer will be around at least until then.

  • Arther says:

    Ruffles, i currently hold AMEX gold card and second year started in Dec for which i’ve been charged after getting a discount off the first year fee. AMEX also offered me plat card credit card( not charge card) where i can collect MR free. this is not currently offered on their website. do you think its worth it to keep tohe gold card?

    • Raffles says:

      It is probably not worth keeping your Gold. Cancel and get a fee refund. Unless you spend a heck of a lot, or use the lounge passes, you won’t justify the fee through the extra points on travel and FX spend. Only exception would be if you had spent the £15,000 needed to get the 7,500 bonus points on renewal.

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