Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

HfP ‘Credit Cards’ page updated for April 2017 – what are the best deals this month?

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UPDATE – SEPTEMBER 2022:  This article is now out of date, but don’t worry.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.

Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card from American Express. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus. You can apply here.

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 new readers.

UK Rewards credit and charge cards

What’s changed this month?

The increased bonus on two Virgin Atlantic cards ends tomorrow.  More details on those below.

British Airways has brought back an improved sign-up bonus on the two British Airways American Express cards, just a month after the last offer ended.

There is a slight tweak this time.  The Premium Plus card is back to 25,000 Avios for signing up.  The free BA Amex, however, is only up to 5,000 Avios from the usual 3,000 Avios – this is usually increased to 9,000 Avios.

I would guess that Amex is trying to encourage more people to take the Premium Plus card by widening the gap in the sign-up bonus.  Frankly, you shouldn’t get the free BA Amex if you are planning to earn the 2-4-1 Avios flight voucher – this article explains why.

That’s about it …. except that there is a targetted bonus for holders of the old Barclaycard IHG Rewards Club credit cards if they apply for the new Creation-run version.  We don’t yet know if the offers works for non-targetted people who use the relevant link – once I have some evidence I will let you know.  The offer runs until June so there is no rush.

Want to earn more points from credit cards? – September 2022 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.

EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 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 & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points, £200 travel credit and an unbeatable set of 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 sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits 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

50,000 points bonus until 2nd October – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company 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 and no annual fee Read our full review

Comments (75)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • 1967stuart says:

    I have recently seen lots of comments on upgrading from Amex Gold to Platinum to get a the sign up bonus on the Platinum which I never realised ?

    Can someone kindly help to explain how that works (I only hold the amex gold card which reaches its first year anniversary in May and I have spent over £15k on it – normally I would wait until the bonus points on the gold card post and then cancel it)


    • Jonny says:

      Send a message through the “contact us” link of the help section of the Amex website – essentially asking if they can offer you an incentive of MR points to upgrade your Gold card to Platinum.
      They didn’t offer me anything (only held card a few months) but offered my wife 15k (held card for a year and spent the £15k) so clearly depends on your spend. Should ask now, but may as well wait until the anniversary date before actually upgrading, to pocket the additional 10k points

    • Genghis says:

      @Jim posted an upgrade link the other day.
      20k MRs when spend £1k in three months.
      I’d probably wait until your 10k Gold MRs have posted and then upgrade.

      • Jonathan says:

        Is there any guess or indication how long this offer will last? We’ve got some spending coming up and it would nice to be able to get them aligned. I mentioned elsewhere a desire to pocket the hotel status upgrades for some upcoming leisure travel, then probably cancel the card outright after hitting the £1k spend.

    • Miguel says:

      Send the Amex team an email using the “Contact us” link. You’ll be able to get the 20k bonus points by applying for a new Platinum card (instead of upgrading) while holding on to your existing Gold card until you hit your anniversary on it and qualify for the 10k bonus points. And then you can decide what to do with both cards. At least that’s what I was offered – and it was honoured as soon as I emailed them back informing them that I’d been approved for the Platinum card, no need to spend £1k in the first three months.

  • mickey says:

    does anyone know whether the expiry date of the Hhonors free night voucher is the date I need to use it by (make a booking) or is it also the date I need to make a stay by?

  • Graham Walsh says:

    Does anyone hold the IHG White and Black cards? Looking to get the Black IHG Creation, already have the white free one. Do Creation have the 6 month rule so that I would have to cancel the card and wait. Couldn’t see anything in the T&Cs.

    • Alan says:

      Yes, I’ve got both – no issue having both of them (it’s more like MBNA where they treat them as two separate products)

      • Graham Walsh says:

        Great. Thanks for confirming. Shall be applying for it then.

        • Alan says:

          Cool. As others have mentioned they seem to be only posting half the increased sign-up bonus. I’ve messaged them to clarify timescale for the remainder, from what Liz said it was up to 90 days.

          • Graham Walsh says:

            Applied no issues. Took a screen shot the URL offer code. And of the landing page. Lets see.

          • Alan says:

            Excellent 🙂

          • Genghis says:

            I received a confirmation email from IHG and was also told within the offer period (so 90 days).

          • Alan says:

            Glad they’re being consistent, Genghis – thought it worth me just having my own confirmation too in case any problems down the line 🙂

            Mildly related (as charged to my IHG Black!) 3% Curve Rewards working nicely at M&S – got some food for dinner on the way out of work and instantly credited 🙂

  • Geoff Byford says:

    If you transfer Virgin points to IHG does it count towards your Spire Elite Status. I have the Creation IHG Black Card.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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