'Credit Cards Update' updated for May – summary of top deals

I have updated the ‘Credit Cards Update‘ page at the top of the screen for May.

A few new deals were launched during April – I will summarise the current special offers and their closing dates below.  Of most relevance to HFP readers, the sign-up bonuses on the British Airways American Express cards are due to drop on May 21st.

Four cards are currently unavailable:

The IHG Rewards Club / IHG Rewards Club Black cards will be relaunched at the end of June once they have been migrated to the Barclaycard platform

The Hilton card is in the same boat and will relaunch on July 1st

The Ryanair credit card has also disappeared from the website although, as it is still referenced, this may again be just a temporary halt

Here is the full list of the special deals currently available:

1.  American Airlines (ends 31st May)

The sign-up bonus on the free AA credit cards is currently 15,000 miles.  This is a substantial improvement on the usual 5,000 miles.  Full details can be found in this post.  The home page for the card is here.

2. British Airways (ends 21st May)

The sign-up bonus on this free card is increased from 3,000 Avios to 9,000 Avios until 21st May.  Full details are in my review here. The Amex home page for the card is here.

BA Amex cropped

3. British Airways Premium Plus (ends 21st May)

The sign-up bonus on this card is increased from 18,000 Avios to 25,000 Avios until 21st May.  Full details are in my review here. The Amex home page for the card is here.

BA Premium Plus Amex

4. Virgin Atlantic Flying Club (ends 30th June)

It is rare that you see an offer on the Virgin cards.   We went all 2013 without anything, and then Virgin launched a 25,000 mile deal.  It then immediately topped it with the best offer ever seen on these cards – 30,000 Virgin miles with the £140 ‘Black’ card and 10,000 Virgin miles with the free ‘White’ card.

Note that you CANNOT cancel the £140 paid card and receive a refund of your annual fee.  You can find full details on the Virgin credit cards bonus and links to the application forms in this post.

Virgin White

5.  Lufthansa Miles & More (ends 30th May)

Lufthansa is currently offering an additional 10,000 Miles & More miles when you apply for their cards.  This is a major improvement on the standard 1,500 miles!  My post on the deal is here.

6.  Tesco Clubcard (ends 8th June)

This card usually has no sign-up bonus, although you have been able to claim 1,000 bonus points by letter me refer you.  Until June 8th, Tesco is offering 1,000 points if you apply via this link.

You may still be able to claim the additional 1,000 ‘refer a friend’ points as well.  Full details are in my review of this offer here.   (If you have  applied for the Tesco card during 2014, you can also retrospectively claim the 1,000 ‘refer a friend’ points – email me at raffles [at] headforpoints.co.uk for the referral form.)

7.  United MileagePlus (ends 30th June)

This deal just broke yesterday and I haven’t had time to write a full post yet.  Keep an eye out for it in the next couple of days.  Until June 30th, the sign-up bonus is increased from NOTHING (!) to 15,000 miles.  (Thanks to Simon)

Bonus on small business cards

Head for Points focusses primarily on personal cards. However, if you are a sole trader or run a very small business, you may also want to check out the American Express Platinum Business Card and the American Express Gold Business Card. There is currently a 20,000 points (= 20,000 Avios) bonus on the Gold Business card and a 40,000 points (40,000 Avios) bonus on the Platinum Business card.

In my experience people still receive the sign-up bonus on the small business cards even if they already have a personal Gold or Platinum card.  This is technically not what the rules say, however, and you should bear this in mind.

(Disclaimer: Head for Points is a journalistic website. Nothing here should be construed as financial advice, and it is your own responsibility to ensure that any product is right for your circumstances. Recommendations are based primarily on the ability to earn miles and points and do not consider interest rates, service levels or any impact on your credit history.)

20% bonus when you buy Hyatt Gold Passport points
airberlin completes the roll-out of its fully flat business class seats
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  1. The advise I would give to anyone taking out any cards is that make sure all cards are cleared before you apply. I had 6k roughly on a BA Amex and I got turned down. I never have such a high balance usually ,but as I had 2xlots of hotels , (£4k was waiting to be refunded) ,and because of the unusual high balance and then wanting more credit they turned me down. I learnt this through taking out experian credit check- which mine is exemplary , 3 months after the wiring period , and with hardly any balance on my cards I got excepted.
    So just because you have a great credit rating you can still get turned down for spending money!

    • I assume that the last sentence was intended to read something along the lines of “even though you have a great credit rating, you can still be turned down” rather than “you can be turned down because you have a great credit rating”.

      Anyway, credit ratings do not exist in the UK, as each credit provider makes its own assessment of applicants’ credit ratings at the time they apply for credit. Even if a single credit score did exist (like it does in the US), not being accepted for credit would be a sign that one’s credit rating is NOT exemplary! It is of course perfectly possible for an individual’s repayment history to be perfect, and this is the only thing that Experian et al. are useful for – to confirm that financial institutions are reporting your accounts and payments correctly.

      Furthermore, you will not be turned down for spending money; you will be turned down for spending money that you do not have (or are assumed to not have, since savings and in-credit current account balances are not reported). Now, if you had a £6,000 balance, but you declared your income to be £100,000, and your existing credit limits were £50,000, I suspect most providers would still accept you.

      The main point is of course still valid, in that it is best to apply for credit cards with 0 credit searches in the prior 6 months, less than 50% debt utilisation, and a credit-limit-to-income ratio of less than 100%, though none of these are reasons for refusal.

  2. Hi Raffles,

    When do you think the next amex bonus avios conversion will be? I’m coming up to renewal on the gold charge card and would ideally like to convert at a bonus rate before cancelling!

    • Sadly they don’t tell me! However I doubt it would be more than 25 per cent so not necessarily worth paying £10 per month for Gold to keep your option open.

  3. cmcbugg says:

    I’ve just noticed that in the last week the number of miles needed for a Virgin Upper class reward to South Africa has been REDUCED. It now matches what BA ask. Previously it was 60,000 for one way. Now down to 50,000 – which certainly helps.

  4. That’s pretty good, must be the ‘special of the week’.

    Yes, it converts just fine to Tesco.

  5. louie-m says:


  6. Yes

  7. Indeed so, as other have said – although remember your Hilton earnings don’t count towards the £50 limit 🙂

  8. flood says:

    Are there any cash back or referral benefits for any of the MBNA card applications?

    • Nope, except for the Virgin – but the refer a friend deal on that does not (in theory) combine with the current bonus. It might work but I am not taking the risk as the landing page still gives the old lower bonus.

      Not sure if Compare The Market is still giving away cuddly meerkats (which go for a fortune on ebay) if you apply for a card via their site.

  9. AndyGWP says:

    Argh, just went to sign up for the Hilton HHonors card and its been pulled!!!

    No new applications till 1st July 🙁 🙁 🙁

    • AndyGWP says:

      and I’ve just left this comment on the wrong post… ah well, the one I meant to leave it on is closed to comments now anyways lol – sorry if the HHonors no longer being available has been mentioned elsewhere 🙂