UPDATE – SEPTEMBER 2021: This article is now out of date, but don’t worry.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 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?
The big story was the mainstream launch of the American Express Rewards Credit Card (ARCC).
ARCC is a standard Amex-branded credit card. It has no annual fee and no substantial benefits, except for the ability to collect Membership Rewards points at 1 point per £1 spent.
There are three versions of the card available:
The first two cards require a £500 (5,000 points version) or £1,000 (10,000 points version) spend within three months to trigger the bonus. You won’t get a bonus if you’ve had a Gold, Green or Platinum Amex in the last six months.
There are two reasons why you should consider getting an ARCC card:
As I wrote in this article, it is your solution if you are planning on cancelling a Gold or Platinum Amex to avoid the annual fee, but do not want to cash in your Membership Rewards points just yet. The free ARCC card keeps your Membership Rewards points alive.
As I wrote in this article, the ARCC card is BETTER than the free British Airways Amex card if you don’t plan on spending £20,000 to trigger the 2-4-1 voucher.
The usual ‘back to school / work’ rush of new offers failed to appear this year. It seems that MBNA is sitting on its hands – there are rumours that its Amex licence ends in February and of course it appears to be losing the Virgin cards to Virgin Money – and they are the main drivers of special offers.
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.
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: