Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

It seems BA Amex holders CAN get the 50,000 points Amex Platinum bonus

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The American Express Platinum charge card has an astounding sign-up bonus at present – 50,000 Membership Rewards points.  These are worth 50,000 Avios, or a whole heap of other things.

Yes, there is a £450 annual fee, but this is refunded pro-rata when you cancel.  If you acheived the £2,000 spend to trigger the bonus inside 3 months and cancelled, you would get over £300 back and still have your 50,000 Avios!

Amex has made a terrible, terrible mess of explaining on their website who qualifies for this bonus.

Sometimes it says that the only people who cannot apply are those who have, or have had in the last six months, Amex Gold or Amex Green:

– eg, in large print on the main Amex Platinum page on the Amex website (scroll to bottom)

Sometimes it says that anyone with ANY Amex-issued card (BA Amex, SPG, Nectar, Gold etc) cannot apply:

– eg, in the small print on the ‘refer a friend’ website

– eg, in the small print in the ‘View Important Information’ box on the Amex Platinum web page

Up to today, I have taken the cautious approach and have used the more restrictive terms when advising people and on the ‘Credit Cards Update’ page.

I am now changing my mind and believe that the wording on the main Amex website – that only recent Amex Gold and Amex Green cardholders are blocked – is the correct version.

Why do I say this?

Well, as Keynes said, ‘when the evidence changes, I change my mind‘.  And what has caused me to change my mind is:

a) I have referred two people to Amex Platinum who already had a British Airways American Express card, and both received the 52,000 point bonus

b) a reader tweeted Amex to get clarification on this issue and was told that the main website is the correct version and that only people who have had a charge card like Gold in the last 6 months are blocked

I wouldn’t normally trust a corporate twitter person, but combined with a) I am tempted to believe it.

So, if you do not have an Amex Gold (and have not cancelled one in the last six months) and have £40,000 household income then you should consider applying for Amex Platinum.  I no longer believe that having a BA Amex is an issue.

I won’t go into the benefits of Amex Platinum, since I assume most readers would cancel it quickly after getting the bonus.  However, if you do keep it, the Starwood Gold, Accor (Sofitel, Novotel etc) Gold, Club Carlson Gold, two Priority Pass cards and the Hertz and Avis status cards have value.

The travel insurance is also comprehensive as long as you are under 70, have no pre-existing conditions and are happy to pay for your flight and hotel on an Amex card.  You can also issue supplementary cards to up to four family members or friends, who immediately get the full travel insurance as well.

If you have no BA status, you also get at least one year of Cathay Pacific Gold status, which gets you into British Airways lounges and gets you free BA seat selection.

You can apply here for Amex Platinum.

I have changed the text on the ‘Credit Card Offers’ page to reflect my revised position on qualification.  I will keep an eye out for any attempts by Amex to change their wording again!

Want to earn more points from credit cards? – April 2024 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

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

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £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.

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 bonus points 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:

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

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

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

Capital on Tap Business Rewards Visa

Huge 30,000 points bonus until 12th May 2024 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 Business Credit Card

1% cashback uncapped* on all your business spending (T&C apply) Read our full review

Comments (23)

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

  • Sam Wardill says:

    Where is it documented that there is a pro rata fee refund? Although I have taken advantage of it in the past, I don’t want to enter into a £450 contract without written proof of the pro rata refund.

    Incidentally I had a gold charge card that I cancelled in November but Amex email customer service said that I could still qualify for the offer. They don’t seem to realise I had the card even tho it was registered to the online account from which I sent the mail below.

    Me: “I am interested in applying for the Platinum Card. The terms at state that “All introductory offers … are not available to existing American Express customers”. I have read on a forum that the offer (of 50,000 MR points for £2000 spend) is open to some existing American Express customer. Can you confirm whether I would be eligible for this offer if my application for an American Express Platinum Card were accepted?”

    Amex: “I can confirm because you haven’t had an existing charge card with American Express you will get the welcome bonus offer and all benefits.”

    • John says:

      Uhh. I would clarify that with Amex again informing them you had the gold card until Nov before relying on that message.

    • Raffles says:

      It is the terms and conditions of the card. Go to the Amex website Plat page, click View Important Information at the bottom and a box appears. There are links in that box to the full T&C’s. The refund info is tucked away in one of those docs.

      • Premier01 says:

        What if you purchase refundable flight tickets for £2000…wait a month…then cancel?

        Would the Avios be transferred and would they be retracted….or perhaps banned from applying for Amex cards again?

        Probably some catch to it but can’t find anything about this so option perhaps.

        • Raffles says:

          Works fine, but to be certain you should transfer the points across to Avios before doing the refund.

  • Paul says:

    I got the Platinum sign on bonus after being referred by Raffles. I hold (and did so at the time of applying) a BAPP card.

    The points initially posted as 42k after I hit the 3k spend. After following up via the messaging system, they posted another 13k as a good will guesture. If the points don’t post correctly, I would recommend sending them a message via the website. The team that respond to those messages are quick to resolve the issue.

  • Raffles says:

    There are no ramifications now, it seems. It seems that the wording on the main Amex Platinum webpage is the correct wording, and that having a BA Amex does not stop you getting the bonus on the Platinum card.

    You can hold 2 charge and 2 credit cards from Amex at the same time, so no problem having the BA Amex and Amex Plat together.

    Only having had a Gold or Green Amex in the last 6 months would stop you getting the Plat bonus, because these are charge cards and the rules say that existing or recent charge card customers cannot apply.

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

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