Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

‘Credit Card Offers’, updated for July 2013

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UPDATE – JUNE 2022:  This article is now out of date, but don’t worry.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 18th July 2022 there is an astonishing special offer on the two Barclaycard Avios Mastercard credit cards. You get 50,000 Avios on the Avios Plus Mastercard and 10,000 Avios on the free Avios Mastercard. You can apply here. We strongly recommend getting the Avios Plus card whilst this offer is running.

I have updated the ‘Credit Card Offers‘ page at the top of the site for July.

It has been a relatively quiet month, although a number of excellent promotions are still running. You shouldn’t underestimate how good some of the current deals are – you really should be thinking of taking advantage of as many of the current sign-up deals as you realistically can.

The big ‘new news’ in June was the launch of the Emirates credit cards by MBNA. The sign-up bonus is not great, but I expect some better promotions to be launched in the current months.

UK Rewards credit and charge cards

Last call for the Starwood 20,000 point bonus!

The biggest deal that will be going away (on 29th July to be precise) is the 20,000 points sign-up bonus for the Starwood Preferred Guest Amex card. This is worth 25,000 Avios, 25,000 miles in 28 other airline schemes or some free hotel nights. My full review of this card is hereThe Amex home page for the card is here.

There are no restrictions on who can apply for the SPG Amex, apart from a £30,000 household income rule. It doesn’t matter what other American Express cards you hold.

You can also freely transfer SPG points between two people living at the same address. This means that your partner could get the card, transfer her SPG points to you and then you could send them off to your airline account.

Last call for the current British Airways American Express bonuses

It is also worth noting that the current offers on the British Airways American Express cards end on 31st July. The free card currently offers 9,000 Avios for signing up – this will presumably fall back to 3,000 Avios in August. The Premium Plus card currently offers 25,000 Avios for signing up – this should fall back to 18,000 points in August.

Here is my advice on the best cards currently available if you are thinking of ‘churning’ the contents of your wallet:

What are the best loyalty credit cards currently available?

1. 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 (see here for what 20,000 MR points can get you – 20,000 Avios points for a start!)  My full review of the card is hereThe Amex home page is here.

2. Starwood Preferred Guest American Express card

Until 29th July, the sign-up bonus on this card is doubled to 20,000 Starwood points when you spend £1,000. These are worth 25,000 Avios or miles in 29 other airline programmes, as well hotel nights. You can learn more about this deal here and my review of the card is hereThe Amex home page is here.

3. Lloyds TSB Premier Duo and Duo Avios cards

This is good deal and is much improved on the previous promotion. The free (‘Duo’) cards give you 15,000 Avios points for signing-up. The £50 fee ‘Premier Duo’ cards give you 20,000 Avios. You need to spend £500 per month for the first three months on the American Express card to receive the bonus, which may require careful tracking of your spending.

4. American Express Platinum

The card now offers 30,000 Membership Rewards points, worth 30,000 Avios amongst other things.

You receive a pro-rata refund on the £450 fee when you cancel the card and you will retain most of the benefits – Starwood Gold, Carlson Gold, Accor Platinum, Cathay Pacific Gold (= BA Silver) for the rest of the year even after you cancel!

You can learn more about this offer in this post here. My full review of the card is hereAmex’s own home page is here.

5. Hilton HHonors Platinum Visa

You receive 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. My full review of the card is hereThe home page is here.

6. Priority Club Black Visa

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 perk. There is an annual fee of £99 but if you do enough stays at Priority Club hotels then it is a decent deal.

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

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

If you are looking to apply for a new credit or charge 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.

Until 18th July 2022 there is an astonishing special offer on these cards. You get 50,000 Avios on the Avios Plus Mastercard and 10,000 Avios on the free Avios Mastercard. You can apply here. We strongly recommend getting the Avios Plus card whilst this offer is running.

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

50,000 Avios for signing up (A CRAZY SPECIAL OFFER!) and an upgrade voucher for spending ….. Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

10,000 Avios for signing up (SPECIAL OFFER) 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.

SPECIAL OFFER: The sign-up bonus on Amex Gold is increased from 20,000 Membership Rewards points to 30,000 Membership Rewards points until 19th July 2022. This card is free for the first year.

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 – 30,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points 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 (29)

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

  • Paul says:

    Unfortunately I’d already applied so will have to wait and hope, was just wondering if there was anything I could do in the meantime ie screenshots in case the bonus ends up going through at 18k, don’t know if they accept screenshots as evidence as it’s difficult to prove it was taken when I applied. Have just tried your suggestion and the application page is showing 25k again, so maybe it was just a blip.

    • Rob says:

      Amex does not usually run different offers via different links, apart from refer a friend. You shouldn’t have much trouble convincing them the offer was 25k on 5th July and it is a mistake.

  • Clive J says:

    That’s great Raffles, thank you, I have e-mailed a referral request. This has also made me think that I need to check for other old cards and make sure they are cancelled.

  • Paul says:

    That’s great, thanks.

  • Andy says:

    Applied successfully for this card and referred my wife who also got the card – so there has been a lot of Amex spending in our household recently, especially as we did the same trick with the SPG cards – my wife is clearly very tolerant of this kind of thing.

    Anyway, as soon as I hit the £2k spend, my bonus points were added on the Gold card. My wife hit the £2k limit about a week ago and the bonus points haven’t come on. I contacted the Amex customer services and they claim they will be added in September – which seems a very long wait.

    Any thoughts/experiences on this? Was hoping to cancel the card before September and reclaim some of the fees…!

    • Rob says:

      Gut feeling is that some applications are not process correctly by Amex and they do a manual check-back on them after 3-4 months to check the bonuses were applied. Can’t think of any other reason why a hard core of probably 25% seem to struggle to get their bonus posted automatically.

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

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