Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Is this week your last chance to get the MBNA airline credit cards?

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The end appears to be coming sooner rather than later for the MBNA-issued airline credit cards which come as an American Express plus Visa or MasterCard double pack.

If you had been thinking about applying for any of these cards, I suggest you do it immediately.  That means today, not next week.

This is a very fluid situation at the moment, so what I am writing here may be out of date by the time you read it.  It was correct as of last night.

(EDIT: the Lufthansa card disappeared from their website last night. It is still on the MBNA site as of 8am.)

This is where we currently are:

Virgin Flying Club White and Black credit cards – partially dead

These cards are no longer available via the MBNA website 

They ARE still available via this page of the Virgin Atlantic website

The refer a friend scheme for these cards was closed three weeks ago, and the opportunity to sign up in the Heathrow Clubhouse lounge was also withdrawn  

Etihad Guest credit cards – partially dead

These cards are no longer available via the Etihad Guest website

They ARE still available via the MBNA website

United Airlines MileagePlus credit cards – DEAD

These cards are no longer available via the MBNA website 

These cards are no longer available via the United website 

Lufthansa Miles & More credit cards – partially dead

These cards are still available via the MBNA website 

These cards are no longer available via the Miles & More website 

Emirates Skywards credit cards – still alive

These cards are still available via the MBNA website 

These cards are still available via the Emirates Skywards website 

The American Airlines card is not affected by these changes as it has already been relaunched by MBNA as a pure Visa card with a £70 annual fee.

I will keep you updated on these changes as they develop.


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

If you are looking to apply for a new credit or charge card, here are our January 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.

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:

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 (118)

  • Claire Blake says:

    Virgin Black states that bonus miles will be received after making first purchase, so no 3k spend ?? I’ve taken a screen shot just in case that is an error.

    • mark2 says:

      Remember that it is per card not per account but MBNA supplementaries have same number so are no use for ShopSmall.
      There is probably still time to get supplementary cards for Lloyds,

      • Genghis says:

        …and extra supp for main card holders for Amex cards

        • Lumma says:

          How do you get an extra supp card for yourself? Do you just put your details in online and say that the relationship to yourself is “other” or do you have to call?

        • Genghis says:

          Online. Say “other”

        • mark2 says:

          Wow; another pearl from Genghis!

          • Alan says:

            Hehe that one was actually me many moons ago but it’s a handy one – both for ShopSmall and if you want to easily split bill for expenses reasons.

        • Lumma says:

          Thanks Genghis. I’ll give it a go now

      • Sussex Bantam says:

        A few days ago the Rob hinted during a discussion on adding supplementary cards to AMEX accounts that an offer may be along soon and to “hold fire”.

        Anyone have any update ?

        • Rob says:

          No I didn’t – or at least, if that is how you read something, I didn’t meant to write it like that!

        • Alex W says:

          I think the gist was that if you don’t need the supp now, you might as well wait in case an offer comes along.

          For me, waiting a few months for an offer of say 5000 MR points (for example) for taking out supps is better than faffing about with shop small, which I achieved a grand total of a tenner over the last 2 years.

  • Ian says:

    Thanks for the warning Rob. Just applied and been accepted for the Miles & More card.

  • Simon says:

    Thank so much for this article – I was planning on applying for the Virgin Black card next week so I did it today instead. I got accepted, and set up a Direct Debit – however I haven’t received a confirmation email or anything (this was a few hours ago now). Should I be worried?

  • barnyd says:

    I actually need to get my Virgin MBNA Amex replaced. Its damaged and wont work for any POS, swiped or contactless.
    The expiry for the card is June 2018. It will be interesting what the expiry on the new card will be – im pretty sure when ive lost cards or damaged them before and had them replaced all details have been the same but the expiry has been reset.

    • roberto says:

      I churned my Virgin Black a couple of weeks ago and thw new one has got a 2020 expiry date on it so i would not read anything into that TBH..

    • the_real_a says:

      The expiry date of the Diamond Club (BMi) card had no relation to them pulling the card BTW

    • RussellH says:

      I had my Hilton Barclaycard replaced last year because it kept failing contaclessly. The man on the phone told me that the replacement would have a new validity date and CVC, but in fact they were the same. Only change was the valid from date.

    • Mr Dee says:

      Yes it is like having a membership card to a club with a 5 year expiry date and then the club closes down a year later, the membership card would be no good

    • Alan says:

      I wouldn’t read anything into expiry date when it comes to how long MBNA will offer that card to existing customers.

  • Rob says:

    Best to wait for the BA competing offer.

  • Late Arrival says:

    Thanks very much for updating about MBNA. Wasn’t planning to jump on the Virgin Black just yet but if its to be withdrawn then its a good alternative (to HSBC MC elite) to pay the HMRC with.

  • Cate says:

    I’m not in any particular rush. Will wait for the dust to settle and take a view.