Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

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

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UPDATE – NOVEMBER 2020:  This article is now out of date, but don’t worry.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.

What’s changed this month?

There’s a lot going on at the moment, and it gives you a sign of how the industry is changing.

The big development is that, overnight, MBNA scrapped its existing American Airlines cards (free, a dual Amex / Visa package) and replaced them with something completely different.

The American Express card has gone.  You now have a package which looks like this:

  • £70 annual fee
  • 15,000 American Airlines miles for signing up by 22nd August
  • an excellent 1.25 miles per £1 spent
  • Visa only

Full details, and my view on whether to apply, are in this article here.

MBNA American Airlines credit card

In other news:

Virgin Flying Club dropped the increased bonus on its two Virgin Atlantic cards as scheduled.  The bonus is now back down to 3,000 miles on the free card and 18,500 miles on the £140 Black card.

The special deal on the two Emirates credit cards has also ended.  The bonus is back to 5,000 miles on the free card and 10,000 miles on the Elite card.

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.

Tesco is offering a £50 Tesco gift card if you sign for the Tesco Premium Credit Card before the end of August.  My review of the card is here.  If you convert your Clubcard points from purchases into Avios it works out at 0.6 Avios per £1 which is very good for a Visa or MasterCard.  My full article on the deal is here.

best travel credit cards


Want to earn more points from credit cards? – November 2020 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit or charge card, here are my November 2020 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.

British Airways American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual 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:

American Express Business Gold card

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

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.

Comments (101)

  • Louise says:

    OT – If I apply to upgrade my free BA to the PP card do my amex offers remain on card? I have a 2.9% purchase interest offer which runs to next April that I am currently making use of. Reason I want to upgrade is I have spent 9K so want to trigger 2 for 1 voucher.

    • Polly says:

      You can always ring them up and ask. Some folks here have got offers added before. Good planning. Probably better to reverse it next time, and get the referral points, plus bonus spend pts, drop to bacc once the 241 is banked…just a thought.

      • Grimz says:

        Hi Polly, Genghis told me you are the one to ask on the BAPPC!
        My Partner downgraded the BAPP card to the free one when she triggered the 241 voucher, there was minus points on the card so we never cancelled. She is away to refer me for the BAPP card so as I can hit the 25k bonus and then I will cancel as we are a family of three. What I need to know is when do I upgrade again so as she can work on year 2 241 voucher? Is it right that I can keep the free card going and start spending on that for year 2 and then upgrade when I am close to 10k? Be great to hear your strategy on this one! Regards Grimz

      • Louise says:

        Reporting back ; I upgraded to the BAPP (Just applied online – no instant decision) next day i logged in and confirmed card upgraded to BAPP. Logged in today and My free BA card offers still showing in account 🙂

  • Rob says:

    I have the HSBC World Elite Mastercard, am I able to get the standard HSBC Premier Card and therefore hold both at the same time?

  • Pri says:

    I have had VIRGIN white cards for well over a year now. Thought of signing up to Amex Gold to get the bonus. My credit score is excellent and even my pre-application check revealed I would have a 9.5/10 chance of being successful! Went through the whole process, only to be told they cannot decide my application right away, and I would receive an email/letter within 10 days. Anybody had the same issue?

    • roberto says:

      Its not uncommon. Happens to me mostly on amex (not on visa/MC) and always comes back with a yes..