‘Credit Card Offers’ updated for September 2014 – summary of top deals
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UPDATE – APRIL 2023: This article is now out of date, but don’t worry.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.
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I have updated the ‘Credit Card Offers‘ page at the top of the page for September.
There is a sense of deja vu in the market (again) with the current special offers being focussed on the British Airways and Virgin Atlantic cards. American Express Preferred Rewards Gold remains, in my view, the best all-round offer on the market.
Three cards are (still) unavailable:
The IHG Rewards Club / IHG Rewards Club Black cards were meant to relaunch in June – and have done for existing cardholders – but the cards are still not available to new cardholders. This is disappointing as the Black card offers instant Platinum status in IHG Rewards Club and has a decent sign-up bonus. They do not seem totally dead as Barclays just wrote to me saying that the Black card is getting a change of name ‘in a few months’.
The Ryanair credit card has disappeared from the website although, as it is still referenced, this may be just a temporary halt
What are the best deals at the moment?
If you are looking to apply for a new card today, here are my top recommendations based on the sign-up bonus. The BA and Virgin cards are special deals whilst Amex Gold, Amex Platinum and Hilton cards are consistently strong offers.
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold
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).
My full review of the card is here. The Amex home page is here.
British Airways American Express
The sign-up bonus on this free card is increased from 3,000 Avios to 9,000 Avios until 30th September. Full details are in my review here. The Amex home page for the card is here.
Representative APR 15.9% variable.
American Express Platinum
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. The Amex Platinum benefits package is extensive, though, and once you’ve got it you might find the numbers add up for you. I have had one for 15 years.
My full review of the card is here. Amex’s own home page is here.
British Airways Premium Plus American Express
The sign-up bonus on this card is increased from 18,000 Avios to 25,000 Avios until 30th September. Full details are in my review here. The Amex home page for the card is here.
Hilton HHonors Platinum Visa
You receive a free night in any Hilton Group property for spending £750 on this card. That could be worth £250 if spent wisely at a Conrad or Waldorf-Astoria branded property. My full review of the card is here.
This remains my favourite promotion for someone new to this hobby. The card is free, you only need to spend a modest amount to trigger the bonus, and you can enjoy a free night in a luxury hotel afterwards (if you pick a decent one). It will whet your appetite for what miles and points can bring you.
Representative APR 18.9% variable.
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club White and Black cards
Virgin Atlantic has started to match promotional activity on the British Airways credit cards. Last week they increased the bonus on the free White cards to 10,000 miles and on the £140 fee Black cards to 25,000 miles.
You can find full details on the Virgin credit cards bonus and links to the application forms in this article from earlier in the week.
The representative APR on the White card is 17.9% variable. The representative APR on the Black card is 52.0% variable including the annual fee.
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.
Want to earn more points from credit cards? – April 2023 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 Mastercard
25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review
Barclaycard Avios Mastercard
5,000 Avios for signing up 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.
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
30,000 points and unbeatable travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review
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:
American Express Business Platinum
40,000 points bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year 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
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
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.