I have updated the ‘Credit Cards Update’ page for February. As with January, it was one of the quicker jobs I’ve done on this page because there have been no major changes since the January list came out!
The only major amendment was removing the SPG Amex 20,000 point bonus, which was due to end yesterday. The bonus should drop back down to 10,000 points this morning.
(This may still change. Some SPG members have had targetted emails extending the deadline for the 20,000 points to February 14th. It is not clear if this applies to everyone – the offer has gone from the SPG website homepage.)
The Flybe card has also got worse – not that I recommended it in the first place! – with the free flight (but with taxes that represent the bulk of the cost of a paid flight!) replaced by two lounge passes.
Annoyingly, the current deal on the Lloyds Avios card – which requires you to book hotel nights via Avios in order to redeem your ‘free’ Avios – still has two months to run before something (hopefully) better turns up.
Given the lack of new deals, let me repeat my advice on the best cards currently available if you are thinking of ‘churning’ the contents of your wallet:
Again, there is an excellent offer at the moment which I believe will end VERY 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.
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 (see here for what 20,000 MR points can get you – 20,000 Avios points for a start!)
If you don’t have the Amex Preferred Rewards Gold card, or an Amex Green card, then this offer remains very impressive.
I wrote more about it here. Yes, there is a £450 annual fee but this is refunded pro-rata when you cancel. More importantly, the sign-up bonus is huge – 50,000 Membership Rewards points (= 50,000 Avios).
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.
If you are used to having Platinum status for your Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn Express, Indigo, InterContinental etc stays, you will probably have noticed by now that you are very unlikely to requalify in 2013. The incredibly harsh new regime – which means only base points and not bonuses count for status – will see 80%+ of Platinum cardholders drop away, I imagine.
The Priority Club Black Visa comes with Platinum status as a free (and not publicised) perk. There is an annual fee of £99 but if you do enough stays at Priority Club hotels then it is a decent deal. I also found a new link which gives you 40,000 points for signing up (worth 8,000 Avios or other airline miles, or 80% of an InterContinental free night) which more than covers your first year fee.
Full details, including links to the application forms, are on the ‘Credit Cards Update’ page.