UPDATE – JANUARY 2021: This article is now out of date, but don’t worry.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 regular round up of what is coming and what is going in the world of UK airline and hotel credit card sign-up deals.
To be honest, there is more ‘going’ than ‘coming’ at the moment …..
Our directory of the 14 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 took a couple more blows during the last month:
The Hilton Honors Platinum Visa was closed to new applicants. This was my key recommendation to newcomers to miles and points, since the sign-up bonus (a free night at any Hilton Group property for spending £750 on the card) was ludicrously good. You could get a successful redemption under your belt quickly and see the real value that is out there. My article on the closure is here. Hilton is working on a new card, with a totally revised benefits package, but I doubt we will see it before 2019.
The Lloyds Avios Rewards cards were closed to new ONLINE applicants. For a limited period, you CAN still apply by telephone or in-branch – although I should warn you that one in-branch applicant was forced to sit through two Lloyds Bank videos before they agreed to process the form! As I explain in this article these cards are particularly good for foreign spend (0% fee and you earn Avios) and for solo travellers who value the upgrade voucher higher than the BA Amex 2-4-1.
If you are interested in the Lloyds Avios Rewards card you should move quickly. It is very unlikely that in-person and phone applications will continue indefinitely when online applications have been stopped.
We have covered two major bits of credit card news in the last month:
‘Challenger bank’ Tandem launched its first real product – a Mastercard offering 0.5% cashback and with NO foreign exchange fees. The Tandem press office got grumpy when we suggested in our article here that they couldn’t make any money on this, but I doubt they can. That’s not your problem though!
The Curve Card added a new rewards scheme, paying you 1% cashback for your first three months at three retailers of your choice (from a selection). Curve Card is a debit card that recharges 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.
What else is going on?
There is still no public word on the new Virgin Atlantic credit card. Virgin Money will be the issuer and the 2017 Virgin Money accounts confirm a H1 2018 launch date.
HSBC Premier is giving away a free hotel night if you move your current account over to them before 25th March. 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? – 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.
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
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
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
The Platinum Card from American Express
30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review
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
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
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.