Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

New year, new credit card – various sign-up bonuses disappearing soon

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If one of your New Year resolutions was to churn your credit card collection in order to pick up a generous sign-up bonus, there are a number of offers which are ending soon and are well worth considering.

All of these deals are with American Express, because they are the only issuer which currently has time-limited sign-up bonuses on offer.  That said, I expect to see some interesting deals from MBNA and potentially Lloyds in the next few weeks.

Note that there is no longer any rush to apply for the Amex Platinum card to receive the Cathay Pacific Gold card (=BA Silver).  In the last couple of days, Amex updated their website.  This now says that the deadline for applying for the Cathay card has been moved back to 31st March from 15th February.

Deal 1 – expires 30th January – Starwood Preferred Guest American Express credit card

The Starwood / SPG Amex offers you 20,000 Starwood points in their hotel programme for signing up.  If you transfer the 20,000 points to Avios, you will receive 25,000 miles!

As well as Avios, Starwood partners with another 20+ airline programmes, so this is also a good opportunity to top-off any other airline account you have.

You pay a £75 annual fee, but this is refundable pro-rata when you cancel.

You can get this card even if you already have a BA Amex, Amex Gold, Amex Platinum or indeed any other Amex card.  My full review of the card is here and my initial post on the 20,000 points promotion is here.  The official Amex page for the SPG card is here.

SPG Amex

Deal 2 – expires 12th February – British Airways American Express credit card

The sign-up bonus on the free British Airways credit card is increased from 3,000 Avios to 9,000 Avios until 12th February.

Full details are in my review here.  The Amex home page for the card is here.

You will receive the sign-up bonus on this card even if you already have an Amex Gold, Platinum or SPG Amex (or indeed any MBNA or Lloyds Amex).

Deal 3 – expires 12th February – British Airways Premium Plus American Express credit card

The sign-up bonus on the British Airways fee-carrying card is increased from 18,000 Avios to 25,000 Avios until 12th February.

Full details are in my review here.  The Amex home page for the card is here.

BA Premium Plus American Express card BAPP

Deal 4 – apply by early March – American Express Platinum charge card

The American Express Platinum charge 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!

The key benefit of this card – the Cathay Pacific Gold card, which gets you the same benefits as a BA Silver card, including BA lounge access, is going away on March 31st.  (This old post explains a little more about it, albeit it references the old closing date of 15th February.)  You need to have received your Platinum card by that date, which means you really need to be applying by early March.

(Note that Amex has just changed the end date for this promotion from 15 February to 31 March. I will do a separate post on this in a day or so.)

My full review of the card is here. Amex’s own home page is here.

If you are interested in applying for any of these cards, it makes sense to move sooner rather than later.  Don’t forget to think about whether you can sign up your partner as well …. or even your parents if they agree.

Want to earn more points from credit cards? – February 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.

Virgin Money is offering double points on spending until 14th April (£5,000 cap) to new customers when you apply for the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard. Click here to learn more.

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

Crazy 120,000 points bonus (to 9th April) and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

Huge 60,000 points sign-up bonus (until 9th April) and free for a year Read our full review

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers 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

2% cashback on all your business spend for 3 months (1% thereafter) and no annual fee Read our full review

Comments (33)

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

  • thesaver79 says:

    Slightly OT. I applied for the upgrade from Gold to Platinum on Thursday, and still they haven’t made a decision. They say the application is processing… and they still haven’t called me to verify my identity, as I have a CIFAS registration in my credit report.

    Am I being too impatient or do I have a reason to be annoyed? I understand they say it can take up to 10 working days, but they could make a bit of an effort, especially for a Platinum application.

    The main reason why this is urgent is that I would like to buy a ticket with the new card for travel insurance purposes and also have the Priority Pass in my hands by 15 Jan.

    • Dan says:

      My priority pass arrived about a day after the upgrade was approved. That said, the approval was instant in my case. So assuming they approve soon-ish you should get the PP quickly.

      Still haven’t had my actual platinum card itself yet though. I added my wife as the free second cardholder and she has had hers but still waiting for mine!

      • thesaver79 says:

        Still haven’t been approved yet… they have never taken so long for any of the cards I applied for.

        • Empers says:

          I applied shortly before Christmas for the Amex Platinum chargecard. No instant decision which I was surprised at as I have an excellent credit rating and thought I met the criteria well. Then I remembered I had added a password to my credit records following a CIFAS fraud attempt. It must have taken 5 working days for them to call me, verify security details and then verify my credit password. Following that conversation they must have approved me as I got the Priority Pass about 3 days later and then the large Amex Platinum box a day later.

  • David Jacobs says:

    Off topic but has anyone seen the 1,000 MR points from the Venmo registration offer back in October? They were supposed to take 8 weeks to post but maybe I need to chase them?

    • pazza2000 says:

      Not received here, and had forgot about it. Cancelled my MR card a couple of weeks ago, likely too late to chase it up now!

    • Rob says:

      Some people have had it. I haven’t, albeit I wasn’t actually targeted for it.

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

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