UPDATE – SEPTEMBER 2021: This article is now out of date, but don’t worry.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 22 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?
The main development last month did not involve a new bonus. It was American Express losing the first round of its legal challenge to stop the British Airways American Express having its fees to retailers capped at 0.3%. This would have long term repercussions on the benefits that Amex could afford to give cardholders. My very long article discussing this is here if you’ve got a cup of coffee handy.
We lost another credit card last month. Lloyds Bank pulled its Choice Rewards cards, which came as an Amex and MasterCard double-pack. This card offered Avios points alongside various other reward options, but it was not ‘best in class’ by any means and won’t be missed. I doubt many readers had one.
These are the most interesting special offers currently running:
In June, MBNA scrapped its existing American Airlines cards (free, a dual Amex / Visa package) and replaced them with something completely different, together with a bonus which ends soon.
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 (likely to drop to 5,000 miles)
- an excellent 1.25 miles per £1 spent
- Visa only
In other news:
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.
Finally, the additional bonus points on the HSBC Premier credit cards end on 31st August. The £195 World Elite MasterCard is currently at 90,000 points (45,000 Avios or other miles) although 20,000 Avios of this is only paid after a year and only if you have spent £12,000. The free HSBC Premier card does not usually have a bonus but currently offers 10,000 points (5,000 Avios when converted). The snag is that qualifying for HSBC Premier is very difficult – see my full article here.
Want to earn more points from credit cards? – September 2021 update
If you are looking to apply for a new credit or charge card, here are our September 2021 recommendations based on the current sign-up bonus.
The following offers will end soon:
- 2,000 Virgin Points on Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard (ends 15th October)
- 30,000 Virgin Points on Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard (ends 15th October)
- 10,000 Avios on British Airways American Express (ends 2nd November)
- 40,000 Avios on British Airways American Express Premium Plus (ends 2nd November)
- 60,000 points on The Platinum Card from American Express (ends 2nd November)
- 30,000 points on American Express Preferred Rewards Gold (ends 9th November)
Here are the top current deals:
British Airways American Express
10,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and an Economy 241 voucher for spending ….. Read our full review
British Airways American Express Premium Plus
40,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold
Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review
The Platinum Card from American Express
60,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review
Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard
The UK’s most generous free Visa or Mastercard at 0.75 points / £1 Read our full review
Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard
30,000 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
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
60,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios 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: