Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

What are the best credit card deals for February 2018? – plus a news round-up

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UPDATE – DECEMBER 2023:  This article is now out of date, but don’t worry.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 Cards’ menu above.  Thank you.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive 30,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 30,000 Avios) with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold. You receive 25,000 points if you spend £3,000 in three months and a further 5,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive a huge 100,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 100,000 Avios) with The Platinum Card. You receive 75,000 points if you spend £10,000 in six months and a further 25,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.

Keep up to date with the latest UK credit card bonuses by signing up for our free daily or weekly newsletters.

It is time for our regular round up of what is coming and what is going in the world of UK airline and hotel credit card sign-up deals.

Our directory of the 15 main 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.

What is new?

The market continues to be very static since MBNA culled its line up in October.

We have covered two major bits of credit card news in the last month:

There are rumours coming from the Brighton call centre in comments to callers – but denied by the Amex press office – that aggressive changes are on the way to American Express sign-up bonus rules.  Whether you will in future have to wait one year, two years or until the planet is engulfed by an exploding sun before you can get the bonus again on the same card is not clear.  The little we know is in this article.

The Curve Card launched its public version (it was theoretically only available to self-employed people before).  This turned out, surprisingly, to be a debit card that recharged all your purchases to a Visa or Mastercard credit card.  This has huge potential for earning points when paying HMRC, council tax etc.  Curve is free and, even better, they will pay you £5 for trying it out if you use a referral code.  Full details, and a referral code, are in this article.

American Express Rewards Credit Card

What else is going on?

Not a huge amount:

There is still no word on the new Virgin Atlantic credit card.  We expect them to be back in the market with a new non-Amex product within the next few weeks.  Virgin Money will be the issuer.

HSBC Premier is giving away a free hotel night if you move your current account over to them.  This would allow you to take out the HSBC Premier World Elite credit card which is the most generous Avios Mastercard or Visa product.  Details are in this HfP article.


Want to earn more points from credit cards? – December 2023 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit card, here are our top recommendations based on the current sign-up bonuses.

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the best of the other deals currently available.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive 30,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 30,000 Avios) with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold. You receive 25,000 points if you spend £3,000 in three months and a further 5,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive a huge 100,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 100,000 Avios) with The Platinum Card. You receive 75,000 points if you spend £10,000 in six months and a further 25,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

Crazy 100,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY) and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 bonus points and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend 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:

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers 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 (95)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Alan says:

    Has sadly been like this for years (in fact the earnings rate on Gold use to be even higher!) – with the lack of competition cf the USA and the low interchange fee environment I can’t see it changing much anytime soon.

  • JohnW says:

    With regards to the 10k bonus for spending £15k on the Gold card… do you only receive this bonus as and when you renew after 12 months? Or do you receive the bonus straight away?

  • David says:

    Do Amex PRG supplementary cardholders also get two free lounge passes? The website is unclear, but I think the phrase ‘share the benefits’ implies that they won’t get additional passes.

  • MrZee says:

    Above info is brilliant thanks all. I got the companion credit card links from above but I cant find Marks comments from yesterday re amex strategy. Can someone please send a link/copy and paste?

    • Genghis says:

      Do you get credit checked from Amex for each application? Not sure if a credit check on the Gold/Plat credit cards is worth 5k MRs. I normally look for at least £100 of benefits for each credit check.

      • Jeff says:

        Why so high?

        • Genghis says:

          Because of the options available. I receive MSE’s emails saying “free £30 with M&S card” etc but ignore. What are other people’s minimums?

      • mark2 says:

        I have no idea. Being old I am extremely unlikely to borrow money again except credit cards. We seem to get accepted despite having very little income.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        From what I can tell I haven’t been credit checked for a while by AMEX despite applying/cancelling various cards

        Might well change now I’ve posted this though lol

    • MrZee says:

      thanks!!!

  • Alex W says:

    I currently hold the Plat card. Have heard about getting bonus MRs for applying for supplementary cards. Is this targeted or general? Is there a special link?

    • mark2 says:

      You usually get 5,000 MR for Platinum supplementaries, although it is not advertised (had it last week). Remember that 2nd and subsequent supps cost £170 so best not to order them on initial application.

      • Polly says:

        Would we get to for the green supp? Even if its free…was not aware…

        • Polly says:

          Meant 5k!

        • mark2 says:

          not for Gold, so not for green

        • Alan says:

          Has the 3000 MR points for Gold supplementary cards ended then?
          By Gold and supplementary I am meaning a second card (for spouse etc) on the Gold Charge card.

          Thought I should clarify as I’ve been confused by the accompanying Gold credit card recently!

  • Go says:

    If you do the gold to platinum upgrade to secure the bonus points can you subsequently downgrade to gold again? If so will you be bearded as in the first year of gold and hence no £140 fee or will the full fee kick in from day one

  • Harry says:

    Not sure what the position was with the self employed curve, but is the new consumer curve debit card of any use as a deposit/guarantee card when trying to rent a car?

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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