Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

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UPDATE – JULY 2021:  This article is now out of date, but don’t worry.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

  • Jay says:

    Is the BAPP card offer likely to come up again later in the year? First time planning to get as new to the miles/points collecting game.

    I’ve hit points spend on Amex Plat and ready to cancel. I’ve just got the Lloyds card so thinking best to hold off on the BAPP card until the double Avios points ends (near end of year)…that a good strategy? Or would it be better to get the BAPP now and get the bonus points in 3 months and then use the Lloyds?

    • Genghis says:

      Only you can decide on the best strategy depending on what you want to achieve.
      The BAPP offer comes around very often but I would apply for it asap to get the sign up bonus and then cancel (if you don’t need the 241 at the moment) so as to reset the clock on another sign up bonus in 6 months’ time. Depending on how much you spend, the avios earned from the sign up bonus will be much more than the double avios (capped at £2.5k per statement month on the Lloyds card).

      • Jay says:

        Thanks Genghis. That answers it for me as with my work expenses that’ll go over that amount in a month. Much appreciated 🙂

    • Rob says:

      Last year BAPP spent more time on 25k than the ‘usual’ 18k so I wouldn’t worry.

  • Chris says:

    Random OT question: Some of the VISTA experiences offered to amex platinum members have caught my eye. It says that if purchased they must be paid for using the platinum card itself however. Does anyone know if they enforce that? I’ve already triggered my plat bonus and need to channel spend to some other cards. THanks.

    • Rob says:

      If it is online booking I doubt it matters. If it is call centre booking they might enforce it but if you wanted to channel spend to another UK Amex then they might let you off.

  • Anna says:

    Just about to activate the 2 4 1 on the BAPP and we get an offer of 7000 bonus avios on a further £7000 spend…not targeted or anything! It’s also interesting that this is the spend required to trigger the Lloyds upgrade voucher.

    I won’t be taking up the offer – a £7000 spend would in this case generate 17,500 avios – whereas £7000 would buy around 450,000 avios if we felt so inclined!

    • MarkH says:

      I don’t think you can compare it like that as the £7k spent as part of the offer is money spent on other things that you presumably would buy anyway.

      It would be valid to compare vs the £7k spend needed for the Lloyds upgrade voucher though

      • Genghis says:

        And i certainly wouldn’t buy avios at that price!

      • Anna says:

        The point is I would never spend £7000 on the card when I’ve already got the 2 4 1, just to get 7000 avios. You can buy 7000 avios for £127. I was using the example of buying to show how poor the offer is, not because I would buy them!

        • Genghis says:

          I disagree. It depends on how fast you would spend £7k.
          Spending £7k on the card would yield 10,500 avios and when add on the extra 7k avios, yields a total of 17,500 avios for £7k spend, valuing avios at 1p = £175. If you can spend that in say two months, that would be an additional (195/12)*2 in fees = £32.50 assuming you would not otherwise use the card and so get a net benefit of £142.50 or just over 2%. This is decent. For avios beaten by the Lloyds card in first 6 months at 2.5% (but only on up to £2.5k per statement month spend). But you also delay “resetting the clock” by two months.

          • Aliks says:

            But if you will be spending £7,000 in the next couple of months, you could trigger a welcome bonus on a different Amex card and get much more than 7,000 avios.

            If you and spouse are all maxed out on all other Amex cards then you are probably Avios rich anyway. . . .

          • Genghis says:

            Very true. Whether something is good depends on circumstances. We’re waiting to churn all 3 Amex currently but I wouldn’t describe myself as avios rich. At least not approaching Rob / TRH1 levels.

  • Another Phil says:

    OT – I am booked to fly WT+ EDI-LHR-KUL in the not-too-distant future. This was booked before CE was available on domestic flights. After the changes my booking class showed as Y and I was automatically given CE access for domestic leg. The booking class is now T for all legs but I’m still in CE. Is this likely to be an error?

    • Another Phil says:

      Oops it’s J for the domestics.

      • Another Phil says:

        Which I still find bizarre given that the BA website says that’s a class for business flexible…

        • Another Phil says:

          Maybe I’m mis-remembering something…

          • Nick says:

            You are missing something. J is ‘business flex’ when sold on its own, but as a connection on shorthaul to longhaul, it’s simply a way of forcing availability on the best timed connecting flight. Imagine if you had a restricted R class longhaul inbound and the first connection with R available was 22 hours later. Would you be happy? No and BA knows it. So they allow J where required but only when added to a longhaul business fare.

  • Mycity says:

    If I cancel my BA Premium card after renewal , do you get back a portion on the £195 already paid like the Amex Gold and Platinum?

  • Alan says:

    Just to confirm, that’s my £100 BAPP credit now posted – for some reason it is dated 2 days ago, but only showed up in account today. Was 5 days from original transaction purely on dates, or 7 days in respect of when it was actually visible on my account.

  • Mark LLL says:

    Would an experienced forum member please advise:

    Applied for Amex gold rewards charge card, Rob kindly supplied a referrers code.
    Used the code at sign-up and additional 2,000 MR bonus showed during application i.e. 22,000 MR (Achievable with spend conditions)

    However, on card activation only the standard 20,000 MR welcome offer is showing as available (if I spend GBP 2,000 in 90 days).
    Is this usual, or should I be seeing 22,000 instead of 20,000.
    I hope Rob got his referrer’s bonus, I’m thinking it was my HFP ‘subs’ for the year 🙂

    • Rob says:

      This is usual. Amex’s IT is not good enough to update that message for referred people. You’ll get the 22k.

    • Alan says:

      Totally normal 🙂

      • Mark LLL says:

        Thank you Rob and Alan, it is reassuring to know this is usual 🙂

        Leo, I’m sorry to hear you did not get the bonus.

        • Leo says:

          Thanks for clarifying the situation for others! I just chalked it up to experience.

  • Rts says:

    Anyone know if the gold to play upgrade offer has come back yet?

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