Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Hit your credit card sign-up bonus by buying fee-free American Express gift cards

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I have written before about the range of American Express gift cards. They were not, to be honest, fantastic value.

However, they are now looking VERY INTERESTING if you have a spending target to hit on a new credit card. And if you don’t have a card with a spend target to hit, this might be a good time to apply for one!

Here is the official site for Amex gift cards.

Amex Gift Card

American Express is currently offering gift cards with NO purchase fee and NO delivery fee. You can buy up to five cards per order which means a maximum of (5 x £100 gift cards) £500 you can spend at a time.

You need to use promotional code VAL1 to get the purchase fee and postage deducted.

The offer runs until 31st March.  You can find full details on the cardmemberoffers.co.uk website here.

Without the fees, you are effectively buying Amex gift cards for face value. The standard fee plus postage on a £100 gift card is £3.95 so this is a substantial saving.

Amex accepts Amex plus Visa and MasterCard for the purchase of these cards. The payment almost certainly goes through as a ‘purchase’ rather than a cash advance, because Amex would need to disclose it otherwise.

The most obvious use of this promotion is to bring forward spending in order to hit a time-limited sign-up bonus on a new credit card.  If you recently took out a new card to boost your Avios collection before the devaluation on April 28th, this is a good way of getting the points in your account faster.

The cards can be used for normal spending at almost everywhere in the UK that accepts Amex cards. If you end up with a small residual balance of a few pounds, the easy way to cash it out is to buy an Amazon gift certificate and add it to your Amazon account as a credit against future purchases.  Amex will also refund the balance of a gift card by cheque or bank transfer if you make a formal request.

Note that Amex gift cards can only be used in the UK. They can be used for physical and online transactions but you cannot use them to obtain cash from an ATM. You need to use up the balance on the card within 12 months otherwise a £1.50 monthly fee will kick in.


Want to earn more points from credit cards? – January 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 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 card

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.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 21st February 2023, the sign-up bonus on the British Airways Premium Plus American Express card is increased to 35,000 Avios from 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

35,000 Avios (ONLY to 21st February) 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:

SPECIAL OFFER: Capital On Tap has increased its sign-up bonus to points worth 30,000 Avios if you apply by 4th February. This is exclusive to Head for Points readers. Click here to apply.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up 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 30,000 points bonus, worth 30,000 Avios, until 4th February 2023 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

1% cashback (3% for 3 months if you apply by 31st March) and no annual fee Read our full review

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