Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

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

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

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).

British Airways American Express card

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!

(To see our complete list of all current credit card bonuses, click here to visit our ‘Credit Cards Update’ page or use the link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Comments (34)

  • 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?