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

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UPDATE – JULY 2021:  This article is now out of date, but don’t worry.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.

It is 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?

Not much – but the good news is that none of the decent deals have gone away.

Virgin Flying Club is still offering the increased bonus on its two Virgin Atlantic cards.  You will get 10,000 miles on the free card and 25,000 miles on the £140 Black card.  Virgin is even happy for you to apply for both cards!  More details on this below.  The offer runs until 28th June.

British Airways is still running an improved sign-up bonus on its two British Airways American Express cards.  No closing date has been given for this deal.

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.

The two Emirates deals continue.  Details are below.  These are both good deals in terms of the number of bonus miles you receive, but unless you are already collecting Emirates miles, or have a lot of Amex Membership Rewards points you could transfer, you are unlikely to get enough purely via card spend for a good redemption.


Want to earn more points from credit cards? – July 2021 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit or charge card, here are our July 2021 recommendations based on the current sign-up bonus

You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the other top current deals:

British Airways American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and a companion voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

BA Premium Plus American Express card BAPP

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review

Nectar American Express

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

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Rewards Plus credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 points bonus and the most generous non-Amex for day to day spending 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 Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

Earn both Avios and BA On Business points with your business spending Read our full review

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard 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 (78)

  • Simon Barlow says:

    Booked a2-4-1 flying in November. If I cancel my bapp will I still be able to get the benefit?
    And if I apply again after 6 months will I get the sign up bonus?
    Thanks

    • Genghis says:

      Get what benefit? If you cancel BAPP your 241 flight booking remains safe. You’ll then be eligible for another BA Amex sign up bonus in six months’ time.

      • Simon Barlow says:

        Cheers Genghis, working on virgin miles now but will switch back to bapp next year. Looking to cancel the card and save £195, get the sign up bonus next year but still have them honour the 2-4-1 I booked for November. Looks like a win around! Thanks again. S

        • Genghis says:

          If you have a partner and they’ve not had BAPP in last 6 months, refer them and get them to spend £3k. 9k + 26k + 4.5k = 39.5k avios for £3k spend and a few quid in card fees. That’s what we did earlier this year as no need for another 241.

          • Geoff says:

            I asked about this before – my partner has a secondary card on my BAPP card but she is not getting any of my referral emails to take out her own card. She did have a Nectar Amex once but that was cancelled more than a year ago.

          • Genghis says:

            Can you not just copy and paste the referral link from your Amex portal and then give that to your partner to apply?

          • Rob says:

            The Amex emails often fail to arrive – just copy and paste the URL from the referral page of the site when you are logged in.

          • Simon Barlow says:

            Thanks again Genghis

          • Anna says:

            I’ve found this with the emails, but it does say the email won’t arrive if the recipient has ever opted out of Amex mailing which could explain it. Using the link is fine though.

          • Geoff says:

            Yes, thanks everybody, i was just being dull and not noticing the link option!

    • AFC says:

      I’ve been told (several times now) by Am Ex that if I cancel my BAPP card I loose my 2-4-1, however if I downgrade to the standard card, i.e. still retain Am Ex, the voucher will be O/K. Don’t know if the fact that you’re already booked makes a difference.

      • Alan says:

        Based on reports to date on here and FT they’re 99.99% wrong in that advice re losing the voucher…

        • Rob says:

          No-one on here has ever reported losing a voucher. I even know people who have cancelled their Amex, kept the voucher, booked a 241, cancelled the 241 and got the voucher back.

          Amex and BA can change their rules at any point of course but this is just outright fibbing from Amex, in the same way that they tell you that you must have a BA Amex to pay the taxes when you use the 241, which is also untrue.

          • Alan says:

            Agree – I seem to recall one mention on FT though so thought I’d put in a 0.01% caveat 😉

          • Genghis says:

            Any thoughts as to the reason Amex give for saying the voucher will be lost? Because taper T&Cs, the taxes must be paid with THE BAPP?

  • Roger says:

    Amex Platinum – Priority Pass Airport Lounge
    Mrs. Roger is travelling with our two kids. She has PP card so can take one of our children.
    For other child, what is the best way to take a child (over free allowed age as per lounge T&C) for free?

    On a related note, can Mrs. Roger apply for her own Amex Platinum and select one of our child (10 Y old) as additional card holder and then can that child have own Priority Pass account?

    • Wally1976 says:

      I’m pretty sure under 18s are not allowed to hold supplementary cards. However, if Mrs Roger applied for her own Amex Plat she would be able to get up to four people in the lounge – two with the PP on her own Plat account and two with the PP as supplementary card holder on your Plat account I believe. Alternatively she could get an Amex Gold card and use one of the free Lounge Club passes (assuming the lounge in question is available in that scheme).

      • Polly says:

        Even then, the second card holder must be present to allow the guest in. She is travelling with the two kids on her own, it seems. She may have to pay the entry fee….

        • Wally1976 says:

          Ah, didn’t realise that. Sorry for giving incorrect information Roger.

        • Genghis says:

          @Roger. Ask Mrs Roger to do a therealharry1 and leave one of the kids outside with a Burger King while she heads inside and gets boozed up?

    • Polly says:

      Roger, we did that for our daughter recently, but she’s over 18. I think, Rob correct me if l am wrong, but you need to be over 18 even as a named card holder. It’s a stretch. Worth calling up to ask. But maybe just pay the entry fee instead if it’s a one off trip.

    • Alex says:

      If the PP card is not in her name she may not be able to use it to gain access. I tried to use my Wife’s at Manchester without her being present without success. I’d cancelled my own Amex card a few weeks earlier and thought my PP card would still be working but it wasn’t so I tried to use hers and got knocked back.

      • RIcatti says:

        You risk getting a bill from AMEX (statement charge) if using the related PP after closing the card.

  • Wally1976 says:

    OT – can anyone confirm if a current year ISA transfer into Virgin qualifies for the 8000 point bonus? Thanks

  • Allan says:

    What’s the bonus you would get if upgrading from a gold charge card to the platinum one?

    • Genghis says:

      The 20k upgrade link is now dead. You have to now contact Amex (try tel and secure message) and ask them to make you an offer.

  • Polly says:

    Rob or anyone, with my SPG card, l am short abround 3000k star points to get me to 20k Is it possible to transfer the 3k MRs from plat card to my star points ? Just so we can benefit from the bonus 5k star points when transferring to BAEC? Probably a no no, but thought it’s worth an ask….haven’t had SPG for a few years now….

    • Nick M says:

      MRs transfer to SPG at 2:1 so you’ll use 6000 Amex MR to get 8000 Avios

      • Polly says:

        Thanks nick, won’t be bothered doing that then….

        • Genghis says:

          If you want to convert your SPG points to avios because you need them then it’s worth doing. IMO, though, SPGs are too valuable to convert to avios.

  • Nick M says:

    Sorry, I’m fairly sure this has been asked before… with the Virgin cards you get an upgrade from Economy to Premium Economy after spending £5/10k on the Amex – do you pay the fees/taxes for Eco or PE?

    • pointsarb says:

      You pay the taxes for PE I’m afraid. Still a great perk though!

    • Rob says:

      In reality, what you are doing is booking a PE redemption for the miles of an Economy redemption – so it would be PE charges.

      • Nick M says:

        Thanks both… I guess it is best to treat it as a 15-25k miles bonus per £5k spend – on the assumption that I’m planning a PE redemption in 12-36 months time!

  • Ricky Child says:

    Rob,

    Just wondering if the Qatar competition winner has been chosen, and when will it be announced to us readers?

    • Rob says:

      It has been drawn, we are just waiting for Qatar Airways to confirm the paperwork for the winner. Seems they are a bit busy this week ….

      • Ricky Child says:

        Thanks, Yes, i imagine the paperwork is the least of their worries at the moment.

  • Another Phil says:

    I signed up for Marriot but no sign of the 1000 Avios yet. Presumably there’s a delay but given that it seemed too easy a way to get 1000 Avios I’m wondering if I’m missing something!

    • Genghis says:

      Aren’t the points applied at month end?

      • Another Phil says:

        Good question! If it wasn’t so easy I’d just have assumed it would take a while.

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