HFP ‘Credit Cards’ page updated for January – what are the best deals this month?

It’s time for our monthly round up of what is coming and what is going in the world of UK airline and hotel credit card sign-up deals.

Our updated directory of all 23 UK travel credit cards can be found by clicking the ‘Credit Cards’ tab at the top of the site or – for email, Flipboard, Apple News or mobile readers – by clicking here.  This article is a summary of the recent changes, and will hopefully be a useful starting point for the surge of new readers we get every January.

What’s new?

December was a quieter month, following November’s overnight closure of the two TSB Avios credit cards with no warning story here.  The special offers on the Etihad and Lufthansa cards were extended by a few weeks but finally ended during the month.

The current higher bonuses on the British Airways cards continue until February.

I was told yesterday that the 2,500 Clubcard points (6,000 Avios) on the Tesco Premium credit card – which was due to end today – is actually being pulled at 7am so it will have gone by the time you read this.  I will take a look at the replacement package and report back!

You can also still get 1,000 Clubcard points (2,400 Avios or 2,500 Virgin miles) via this link for the FREE Tesco Clubcard credit card.  This offer is not available via the Tesco Bank website.  This card comes with 0% interest for 17 months on new purchases which could be useful if you have some major spending planned.

Credit cards

What are the best travel credit card sign-up deals this month?

If you are looking to apply for a new credit or charge card, here are my top recommendations based on the current sign-up bonus. The BA and Tesco offers are special deals whilst the Amex and Hilton cards are consistently strong offers.

These deals are listed in no particular order and their position on the list is not a sign of how good or bad the offer is.

Tesco Clubcard MasterCard

This card is free.  If you apply via this special link, you will receive 1,000 Clubcard points when you make your first purchase.  These convert into 2,400 Avios or 2,500 Virgin Flying Club miles.  You will also pay 0% interest on purchases for the first 17 months.

Whilst this isn’t saying much, the Tesco Clubcard MasterCard is the highest paying Visa / MasterCard on the market if you want to earn Avios unless you meet the stringent requirements for HSBC Premier or are willing to pay the £150 fee for Tesco Premium.  Representative APR 18.9% variable.  My review of the Tesco Clubcard credit card is here.  You can apply here.

Tesco Mastercard credit card

British Airways American Express

Until 8th February, the bonus on this free card increased from 3,000 Avios to 9,000 Avios.  My full review of the card is here.  You can apply here.  Representative APR 22.9% variable.

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

Until 8th February, the bonus is increased from 18,000 Avios to 25,000 Avios.  Note that the annual fee recently increased from £150 to £195.  I wrote a full review of the British Airways Premium Plus card here.  You can apply here.  Representative APR 76.0% variable including £195 fee based on a notional £1200 credit limit.

American Express Platinum

The sign-up bonus on this card is 30,000 American Express Membership Rewards points.  You need to spend £2,000 in 90 days to trigger the bonus.

Your points can be transferred into various airline and hotel programmes.  You could get 30,000 Avios, 30,000 Virgin miles, 60,000 Hilton points, 90,000 Carlson points, 2,000 Eurostar Frequent Traveller points etc etc.

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, Hilton Gold, Melia Gold and Shangri-La Jade – 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 Amex Platinum card is here – this also includes details of the additional refer a friend bonus. Amex’s own home page is here.

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!).  You need to spend £2,000 in 90 days to trigger the bonus.

If you are new to this hobby, I would make this your first American Express card.  One benefit of earning American Express points is that you only need to transfer them to an airline or hotel scheme when you are ready to redeem – there is no risk of being caught out by devaluations!

My full review of Amex Gold is here. The Amex home page to apply 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 UK Hilton credit card is here. The home page for applications 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. The representative APR is 18.9% variable.

Note that Barclays is now only allowing you to earn the free night once, even if you reapply for the card in the future.  Use your voucher wisely!  Remember too that it is only valid for six months.

Hilton Visa

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.

(Want to earn more miles and points from credit cards?  Click here to visit our dedicated airline and hotel travel credit cards page or use the ‘Credit Cards Update’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

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.  By recommending credit cards on this site, I am – technically – acting as a credit broker.  Robert Burgess, trading as Head for Points, is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a credit broker.

Bits: Tesco Premium credit card changes, BA drops City to Madrid and Alicante, Railcard discount
Bits: (Huge?) Qatar Airways sale starts Monday, register for triple Avios now, Hilton / American Airlines promo
About Head for Points

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Comments

  1. James67 says:

    Could somebody please confirm that the qualifying period for the Lloyd’s avios voucher is the anniversary year and not the calendar year? I know the latter wouldn’t make much sense but since little does at Lloyd’s I thought I would check anyway. Thanks

    • Genghis says:

      It’s anniversary year. One of the T&Cs (on either Lloyds or Avios website) is incorrect

      • Agreed, very poorly written T&Cs but 100% anniversary year.

      • James67 says:

        Thanks, I just hope they don’t wreck mbna.. Seems a stupid rule as there is little incentive to use the card after getting the voucher but at least it leaves scope as to when you want to trigger the voucher. I got lucky though in that the double avios continue after the first six months. Unfortunately the amex card developed a problem and is being reissue so my double avios probaby gone now, a pity as it was great in light of closure of DC.

        • Wow that’s be fantastic you’ve been getting double Avios! In my case I’m trying to delay the voucher being issued (as I don’t have an immediate need for it), thus I’ve been spreading my spend out over the year. On the other hand with the Creation IHG card I’ve been putting as much as I want on it because I know the voucher won’t arrive until the end of the year.

        • Genghis says:

          I actually quite like the IHG Creation card. Not had any problems (thus far). I hit the £10k very quickly and wife now well on way to the £10k. Will revert back to me once hit (even though I won’t be able to accrue another voucher until Aug) to accrue points for this year’s Spire Elite target.

        • Agree, I’ve had no issues either, including double points on foreign spend (although waiting to see if works for IHG spend too!). Really like the simplicity of their website, quick to login, shows pending transactions straight away.

        • James67 says:

          Got the card in February and it was still paying double until it failed before Xmas. Hopefully it is account related and still on my reissued card. Ironically though I didn’t use it much after triggering my voucher as I also had spend targets to hit on plat upgrade, nectar SPG and virgin cards

      • 1nfrequent says:

        Is this absolutely the case? Reason I ask is that I hit my upgrade voucher 3 months earlier than anticipated and when I tracked back on my spend, it looks like Lloyds started the count 3 months before my anniversary date.

        1F

        • Genghis says:

          Hmm. And is 3 months before your anniversary date January?

        • I agree that’s odd. My vouchers have always triggered according to spend since card anniversary. Have you remembered that Mastercard spend also counts towards this voucher?

        • James just paid my first Lloyds bill online through my bank account. You can set up an online bill payment using the sort code and account number supplied by Lloyds and then enter your card no in the reference bit. Will double check it has gone through in a couple of days. I did this previously when we had the card over a year ago.

        • 1nfrequent says:

          No – my anniversary year runs August to July. Hit the threshold in late November but the only way that was possible if you counted the spend from May. Hence the confusion! I’m not sure when to start spending on it again now.

          1F

        • James67 says:

          I just tried calling them on it but the agent was clueless. Despite my protests he repeatedly insisted it was an avios issue and transfered me to avios even as I was telling him not to do that.

        • Wayne Phillips says:

          Is there a tracker for spend, or do you have to keep track manually? I’ve got an account but haven’t been able to find one. Cheers!

        • James67 says:

          @Wayne, doubt it otherwise we wouldn’t even be discussing it here. You cannot even pay the card online unless you have a Lloyds bank account, and as far as I can see it has a secure message centre but I cannot see any way to send them a message. It is something of a miracle that such a poor apology for a company has become the biggest bank in the UK.

        • Genghis says:

          To clarify, you cannot even pay the card online unless you have a LBG bank account. I have paid it from Halifax.

        • I successfully pay the bill via my first direct bank account in the manner Liz describes

        • That sadly happens all the time with Lloyds and this card!

    • the_real_a says:

      I actually made a formal complaint on this and got compensation from LLyods. I can 100% confirm its the anniversary year.

      2 years ago there was a conflict in the T&C`s which caused me to make some large purchases on the card to trigger the voucher. There was a promise to ensure the T&C`s were clearly updated, i suppose with LLyods this did not happen.

      • the_real_a says:

        Voucher is triggered on the statement date as soon as you hit the spend target

      • James67 says:

        Thanks for this.

        Apologies to Liz & Genghis, I xhould have been more explicit and stated you cannit pay it from Lloyds online banking unless you have an accountbwith them. I pay mine from Santander but would prefer a payment option to be available when viewing my card online.

  2. Stalybridge Sweets says:

    re the Hilton HHonors Platinum Visa: I had this card back in 2011, and earned and used a free night in early 2012. Does that mean I can’t nowearn another night from taking this card out again? Will the IT ‘remember’ me from that long ago? Has anyone had any success getting this for a second time since the conditions changed?

    • James67 says:

      In theory yes but in practice no in my own experience. No harm in applying, if you get it you get it, if not you know why.

    • Dominic says:

      I’ve recently taken this card out. Any ideas from others who have had it previously whether any Hilton Spend will trigger the four 2500 bonus points in the first year?

      For example, paying for the room with an amex but then buying drinks at the bar with the Barclaycard?

      • I did this recently and even just staying at the hotel got me the bonus 2500.

      • James67 says:

        On a previous period of holdng the card I had no troble with it triggering all 4×2500 points, even points and cash stays did it. This time it is a different story, it’s not working at all and Barclays and Hilton are blaming each other. First time Barclays eventually credited the payment and paid substantial compensation. Now after my second stay the whole drama with their respective CS is repeating itself and currently ongoing. I just want the points and peace, the compensation is welcome but I’d rather not have the hassle in the first place. The problem is US HHCS and most of Barclays own staff are clueless about the card.

        • Dominic says:

          Mine worked fine on my last visit. The Barclays points posted before the points from Hilton.

          I have a stay coming up in two weeks that was prepayed with an amex. I’ll just use the HHonors card for dinner/drinks and see if I get the second 2500. Hoping I triple points for the spend too.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Plus 5000 as its a visa, make sure you are registered

      • Richmond says:

        I never used Hilton card in Hilton and got 5 x 2500 during first year. I assume last bonus was system error.

  3. Do you get the BAPP amex bonus if you had the card in the past and it has been more than one year sinvce then?

    • James67 says:

      You get bonuses again with amex provided you wait at least 6 months after cancelling your card to apply again. People take advantage of this regularly to maximise points and miles, it is what you will see us refer to as churning

  4. I currently have both the Amex Gold Card and the free BA card and have triggered the spend bonus points for both. I also have the Hilton Visa arriving soon which I will be using to pay £750 of my tax bill to instantly trigger the free night, which will be cancelled once redeemed.

    I’m currently thinking that I am best to cancel the BA card (& reapply for it in July and hit any bonus points available, even the £1-1avios would work from me to tide me over) & keep the Amex Gold as I am due to book return flights to the US (so get bonus points for booking direct with the airline & overseas spending) car hire upgrade and lounge access. Then cancel and churn again later in the year for another sign up bonus.

    At the moment I don’t think I can quite make the BAPP card work this year; so is my plan the best bet to maximise cc points/miles?

    Thanks for the site, Rob! Incredibly helpful for maximising the points available to earn!

    • To get full value from the BAPP you must be triggering the 241 and, of course, have enough Avios to get full value from it. It that means sticking with other cards to build up Avios then that is fine.

      • Or if the 241 if of no interest then do a smash and grab and aim to hit the spending target as quickly as possible for 25k Avios then cancel to minimise fee paid 😉

        • Wayne Phillips says:

          That’s what I did this time around. ~8 weeks to spend £3k and earn the points then cancel for ~£150 refund

      • Thanks Rob. Was my thought there but wanted to check!

    • Bonus points on Amex Gold foreign spending are not worth it unless someone else is paying

    • If you have a partner it works much better if you refer them before cancelling your card, you get extra points for referring and they get extra for being referred. Then repeat in the opposite direction in 6 months.

  5. Do you still get a higher sign-up bonus if referred to the Amex Gold? I am ready to apply for it again, having earned the voucher on my Lloyds. If so, can someone refer me please?

  6. Regarding transferring points from SPG to BAEC, is there a minimum number of point you must accumulate prior to moving them over?

    • Genghis says:

      “There is no minimum Starpoint transfer requirement for Platinum Preferred Guests, except where transfer ratios are not 1:1. Gold Preferred Guests have a minimum transfer requirement of 1,500 Starpoints, and Preferred Guests have a minimum transfer requirement of 2,500 Starpoints.”

      • Wayne Phillips says:

        Best to wait until you have 20,000 SPG points, so get the bonus when transferring to the airline programme

        • You may already have a heap of Avios and need these to make a redemption, but do not forget spgflights.com where you can book flights on almost any airline on any flight.

  7. I have the BAPP card and Mrs T has a supplementary card. Can I refer her for her own card and me as supplementary and will she get the spend bonus?

  8. My one year anniversary is due for my VA black Amex in a few days time. I have already spent over 10k to get my two economy to premium eco upgrades. However I want to cancel my card to avoid the fee (as my other half has taken the card out and we will focus the spend on her card instead). Can anyone confirm that the upgrade vouchers should still tip across at the end to the year? I can’t think of any reason it shouldn’t but I will call flying club to confirm anyway before I cancel. Thanks

    • They posted mine a couple of days before my renewal date. Either way, as long as you spend nothing on the card after the renewal date, you would get a refund of the annual fee

    • Charlie says:

      I recommend you to stop using the card but don’t cancel it.

      Check your Virgin Flying Club every morning to find out when the vouchers have actually posted, you’ll see an entry like:

      “VAA Credit Card Rwd: Upgrade Econ.to Prem.Econ.o/w”

      Once the vouchers have posted then call MBNA to cancel the card.

      I once had the vouchers post before the annual fee was applied.

      If the annual fee has already been charged to your card, then ask them to refund it as you have not used the card. If they refuse then call again to try someone else!

      BTW, regarding the £10K spend, it is AMEX only spend, hopefully you know this already.

    • I don’t have personal experience of it, but I think I recall someone cancelling their card on the anniversary date so that they got the upgrade vouchers and didn’t trigger the renewal fee.

  9. Mikeact says:

    I’ve just received my ‘free’ Tesco Clubcard cc, with an introductory 17 months 0% on purchases. This seems to be the card to link to Supercard for my 3 month trip ‘down under’. I just need to work out whether to use my LloydsAmex overseas or this latest card.

    • It depends whether you need the loan. The Lloyds card will save you 2.99% FX charge and give you Avios.

      • Mikeact says:

        Loan ? It’s on everyday expenditure, which with Supercard compares very favourably with LloydsAmex for Avios overseas payments.

        • the real harry says:

          Loan – because you don’t pay any interest on the spend/ money you’ve borrowed for 17 months

          I got the 28 month Tesco Purchases card as IMV 28 is better than 17 regardless of any other benefits

        • So which non-Amex card have you got that gives you 1.25 Avios per £?
          Please refer me!

        • Genghis says:

          I think Mikeact means that he is happy to get interest free purchases (including overseas purchases) for 17 months (arguably saving a few percentage points re cost of capital – use mortgage interest rate as a proxy) than get 1.25 avios = 1.25%.

  10. (Very OT)

    I’m off to Cape Town in March – need a hotel for 4 nights there. I’ve got Amex Platinum so all of the statuses that go with it. The Amex “Fine Hotels” for CT are £450 per room per night, which is out of our budget.

    Does anybody have any recommendations for CT hotels generally and, ideally, for status benefit. Happy to spend £250 per night-ish.

    Thanks!

    • If you have SPG Gold and MR points I would look at Kimpton Hotels which are bookable with MR points. Some exceptional value. Not sure what benefits you would receive as an MR Gold at Kimpton though.

    • There is a Westin (Starwood) very close to the V&A Waterfront which could be done on points – albeit it is a 2 minute walk to the Waterfront and you are technically outside the ‘secure’ area for those 2 minutes, should you be paranoid about crime (I’m not).

      Marriott points are the best way to see Cape Town cheaply I think – see https://www.headforpoints.com/2016/10/19/protea-hotels-spg-and-marriott-points/

      • ambient says:

        Did a lovely stay at the Commodore on Portswood Road right near the Waterfront back in 2011, rooms, service, facilities and breakfast all great. Obviously can’t speak for if it has changed. I believe it’s Legacy hotels so it doesn’t exactly fit with major loyalty schemes.

        A few days ago I just completed a 5 day stay over new year at the Protea Waterfront Junction, which is Marriott. Whilst the stay overall was okay, I can’t wholeheartedly recommend it. The room was small, the bathroom sink kept blocking up, the shower facilities not brilliant and there was generally a degree of disorganisation about the place. On the plus side they run free shuttles to/from the Waterfront at 7, 8:30 and 10pm. Hope that helps.

      • Mikeact says:

        We walk quite happily between Camps Bay and the Waterfront….well lit, plenty of people around, and even more so, my wife is comfortable, else we would think twice. I wouldn’t believe everything you might read and hear about SA, but of course we don’t go looking for trouble. I would rate the Cape safer than many parts of Miami. Try a trip up to Prince Albert, our wonderful guest house didn’t ever bother to lock the front door..amazing. We would of course, be a little wary of some of the townships even though we met some incredibly friendly people, who basically didn’t have two pence to rub together. Most definitely our favourite hot spot over the years.

    • Mikeact says:

      The Mount ‘Nelly’ for their famous afternoon tea, before the evening flight home is definitely recommended. (Ask my wife !)

  11. Do you still get the Amex gold 20000 avios welcome bonus if you already have another Amex? in my case I already have the BA premium.
    Thanks

  12. I am currently a BA Amex Premium holder and am looking at my best options for referring my other half who has never held an Amex card. My first thought was to refer her for the BA Premium, generating 39,500 points between us when accounting for my referral (9,000), her sign up bonus (26,000) and the points generated from her £3,000 spend to trigger the bonus (4,500). This would come at a cost of £195.

    I am now reconsidering though, and instead looking at the feasibility of getting a Gold card myself and then referring her (seeing as I can’t refer her for a Gold card as a BA cardholder). I held a Gold card over one year ago, so in theory I would expect to receive the sign up bonus (20,000) and generate additional points (2,000) from the £2,000 spend to trigger the bonus. I could then refer my other half generating the referral points for me (9,000) and the sign up bonus from the referral for her (22,000) plus the additional points (2,000) from the £2,000 spend to trigger her bonus. This equates to 55,000 points between us at a cost of £0 (we would both cancel within the year) compared with the 39,500 points at a cost of £195 for the BA premium referral. Following both cards triggering bonus points, they would be cancelled and I would continue spending with my BA premium card. There is of course the offsetting loss of the 1.5x (BA) relative to the 1x (Gold) during this process, though that would not be significant.

    Comments welcome. Thanks.

    • the real harry says:

      The 2 Gold cards (held in your own names) idea is perfectly feasible, with the referrals etc. Depending on how quickly you spend money, you can both cancel, rinse & repeat quite easily within 12 months for 4x bonus points, 3x referrals + spend MR points.

    • Genghis says:

      @Pete. You’re assuming the 39,500 points for the £3k spend would take the full year. If it takes 2 months, you can cancel the card and then get a 10/12 * 195 refund so the net cost is say just over 30 quid.

      The Amex Gold is also a good option if you don’t want to pay anything out. Also consider the Amex Platinum for 92k MR points in the cycle but that comes with a £450 fee, but with prorata refunds.

      Essentially it all depends how much and how quickly you spend and whether you want to spend any money on getting your points. Perhaps you could do both BAPP and the Amex Golds.

      To take my example, we did the Amex Platinum churn recently for 92k MR but it perhaps cost us around £100 in card fees (I’m happy to pay that for an extra 37k MR over the Amex Gold and to extend the hotel status). I’ll be hitting the £10k spend soon on the BAPP and will then refer wife (just before the current offer expires) but will then do what you described with the BAPP and just spend £3k. We do the same with the SPG card.

      • Platinum does look a good option actually. Presumably hotel status is lost if you cancel the card?

        • Genghis says:

          No. You keep the hotel statuses until they expire (so you keep them for a year / 18 months until you do your next churn)

        • i am in the genghis camp on this one, pete, definitely churn the platinum, not the gold.

          lots of discussion on hfp over the years over which is best to churn, but if you can spend the 2k quickly (bring forward some spending, I just buy 2k of Sainsbury vouchers immediately as that’s where I shop anyway), you are effectively buying 35k MR points for 75 pounds (2x 37.5).

          a no-brainer in my view, although I know there are those that disagree.

        • actually rob,

          not sure you have ever waded into this debate, but if you were (I know you don’t) churning either the gold or the platinum which would you go for?

        • Probably best to mix, because whilst you have Platinum you can sign up for the hotel status cards which last for a year or so. Whilst those are still valid Gold is easier.

          If you value an Avios at 1p the difference is marginal between 22k for £0 on Gold and 35k for £115 (3 months fee) on Plat.

        • Genghis says:

          If you’re not doing “his and hers” cards and just getting the Plat for yourself, I’d argue that you’re effectively buying 13k MRs (35k Plat – 22k Gold (which is free in first year) for the £75 (if it takes you two months to hit). Still decent though.

    • Pete, def keep the gold churn going, every 8/12 or so…but also do the BAPP referral annually. But as soon as you get the bonus avios banked, apply on line to drop down to the free BACC. You will get a pro rata refund then. Hold the BACC as long as you need. If you Want the 241, and have spent 10k by month 11, then apply again online to upgrade back to the BAPP. The 241 will be granted almost immediately, as long as you are within 12 months from the original BAPP start date! Once the 241 is banked In your baec, refer your OH. Not for the faint hearted, and timing is important. Dairy it in bright RED marker! Good luck. At the most you might pay 3/12 of fees.

      • Genghis says:

        Do Amex not mind all this downgrading and upgrading?
        With this method you do lose 3,500 avios ((10k-3k)*0.5 delta) but depending on what time period over could be worth this downgrade and upgrade method. It’s not for us I don’t think.

        • It’s only once a year actually. Mostly we would have already spent the 10k in those first 3 mths, so then we downgrade. Also we are referring the OH for a new card and a further 10k spend, so Amex definitely benefit. It’s tricky, but only if you don’t want to pay the high fee all year. We only refer each other once a year for 2 cards, others seem to do a lot more, which l would find tough to keep going. Still worth the effort, methinks…

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Would the route to go not be for you to refer your wife for a BAPP (26k for her and 9k for you) for £195 *6 months and you cancel yours and have your wife refer you in 6 months for possibly another 37k between you – 74k Avios (plus 9k for spending £6k) and possibly 2 x 2-4-1 + 21k in a year for £195 between you.

      Get Rob to refer you for a Gold (22k MR for £0) you hold this card for 6 months then refer your wife for a gold in 6 months for 22k+9k (option 1) or a platinum (option 2), so you can both get priority pass and status upgrades for 6 months, for 35k+9K (18k not so long ago but somethings changed @ AMEX, bizarre if you ask me as less incentive to choose Platinum) and then churn gold again or Option 3 start a Platinum churn 35k+18k every 6 months each.

      Option 1 – 53k points+4k spend in year 1 and 62k+4k spend in year 2+ for £0 per year for foreseeable
      Option 2 – 66k+5k spend points year 1 plus status upgrades, insurance, priority pass for 6 months of the year – £225 and 62k+4k spend in year 2+ for £0 per year unless you need platinum status’ again
      Option 3 – 66k+5k points year 1, 106k+6k spend for year 2+ for £450 a year and have all the platinum benefits for both of you all year round

      Doing both of these to the max means having to charge 26k between you a year to your cards but in year 2 you end up with £104k Avios and 2 x 2-4-1 for £195 and 112k MR and all the associated Platinum benefits for £450.

      Of course £645 is a lot to spend on fees a year but you end up with potentially 216k Avios and 2 x 2-4-1 every 12 months plus always holding 4 cards (with supps) for offers and small shop.

  13. Sorry for the OT question. Does anyone know whether upgrading from the free BA Amex to the paid one resets the anniversary/collection year?

    When I downgraded last year after hitting the 10k on the paid card, I noticed that the counter said I needed to spend another 10k to hit the 20k target on the free card and was wondering if I could do the same the other way around and spend 9~k on the free card then upgrade and cross the 10k mark on the paid card?

  14. Yes Mark, no reason why not, think the reason why people do the BAPP first, is the higher bonus available. No the anniversary is wig the original card year. So worth exploring. That way you get the 2 yr 241 voucher.

  15. James67 says:

    Oh 🙁 just had £95 waiting to transfer.

  16. Genghis says:

    Oh – I have loads at confirmed (just not yet payable). Annoying. I’ll revert back to cash I think…

    • Blimey-I was lucky today then. Had £90 become payable and must have only cashed it in at about 11am!

  17. rams1981 says:

    OT IHG card by Barclays and the 10k spend per year to trigger free night. How do you know when the spend starts accumulating towards the next voucher?

  18. OT new American Express offers, helpfully a new offer for Cafe Nero as my son has taking a liking to it (which appears to stack with the Avios Offer at Cafe Nero)

  19. I had a phone call from Lloyds today (they are sorting out my 4,500 bonus avios for the referral which didn’t appear automatically – got the card in September). Said there were issues getting it to go through as the refer a friend has finished as of 31st Dec. They are honouring it though. Just wondered if you were aware the referral bonuis no longer.

  20. Mark1980 says:

    Is there still an upgrade offer from Gold to Plat?

    • Wally1976 says:

      Don’t think there’s an ‘official’ offer but phone up/send a message to ask and you may get lucky. I’m planning to try this before referring my wife for Plat so any feedback on how it goes would be good.

    • I tried 2 weeks ago (both by phone and secure message) but was told “this offer is no longer available”, shame as this was an easy way to get more free/cheap Avios.

  21. I read about people paying their tax bills using credit cards as an ‘easy’ way to get points. i didn’t think HMRC accepts credit card payments?

    • Visa and MasterCard accepted with a 0.4% fee. Search ‘tax weekend’ and you will get my last article (cannot copy and paste at the moment).

  22. Sam Wardill says:

    Is anyone else finding that the fraud security policies on Lloyds Avios are extremely restrictive? I struggled to buy my wife’s Xmas present (and £750 camera from Currys) on my card. In the end it went through on the Mastercard but not the AmEx. I just struggled to buy some suits for £300 from House of Fraser. In the end they went through on the primary cardholder’s Mastercard but not the AmEx nor the secondary cardholder cards. Calling up Lloyds customer service didn’t help. They couldn’t see the declined AmEx transactions.

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