UPDATE – JANUARY 2021: This article is now out of date, but don’t worry.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 Card Offers’ menu above. Thank you.
I have updated the ‘Credit Cards Update‘ page, linked in the menu bar at the top, for June.
The news this month is quite varied, to be put it mildly!
Missing in action:
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
Deals that died:
The British Airways Amex sign-up bonuses dropped back to 18,000 and 3,000 Avios compared to 25,000 and 9,000 Avios
The Lufthansa Miles & More bonus dropped back to 1,500 miles from 11,500 miles
Deals that got extended:
The Virgin Atlantic sign-up bonuses of 30,000 and 10,000 miles have been extended to 14th July
The United Airlines sign-up bonus of 15,000 miles has been extended to 15th July
The American Airlines sign-up bonus of 15,000 miles has been extended to 30th June
There was only two new deals launched during May and early June:
United Airlines launched a 15,000 miles sign-up deal. I reviewed it here, although the closing date is now 15th July. If you already have some United miles it is well worth getting (remember that the cards are free) although if you don’t have any then this is not enough to bother starting. 15,000 doesn’t get you far.
Etihad Guest has just launched a 12,000 miles deal on its free credit card. Even if you don’t already have any Etihad miles, this may be worth a look – Etihad lets you turn miles into cash at any point (0.41p per mile) and you can top up your balance with American Express Membership Rewards points. I will write more about this card tomorrow.
What are the best loyalty credit cards currently available?
Here is my personal pick of the best special deals currently available.
1. Virgin Atlantic Flying Club (ends 15th July)
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.
2. 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 letting 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 the card 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.)
This is currently an outstanding deal which is showing no signs of going away. You pay no fee for the first year and earn 20,000 Membership Rewards points (see here for what 20,000 MR points can get you – 20,000 Avios points for a start!).
The card 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 – for the rest of the year even after you cancel!
5. American Airlines (ends 30th June)
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.
6. United MileagePlus (ends 15th July)
The sign-up bonus on the free United credit cards is also currently 15,000 miles. This is a substantial improvement on the usual NOTHING! Full details can be found in this post.
7. Etihad Guest (ends 15th July)
The current bonus of 12,000 miles is an improvement on the usual 5,000. The ability to top-up an Etihad account via Amex Membership Rewards means that even someone with no existing Etihad account may be able to get something from this. I will be reviewing it in full tomorrow. Further details can be found on the Etihad website here.
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.)