UPDATE – JANUARY 2021: This article is now out of date, but don’t worry.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.
Our directory of the 16 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 was new in the last month?
Being August, there wasn’t a lot of travel credit cards news but there were a couple of stories of interest that we covered.
The dog that didn’t bark – the new Marriott Mastercard
The new Creation-issued Marriott Rewards Mastercard was due to launch in August. Nothing has happened and my approaches to people I know at Marriott and Creation have got nowhere.
However, if they simply reopen the old Marriott card – which I still have – to new applicants once again, this is what you will get:
- a Mastercard issued by Creation
- no annual fee
- 1 ‘new scheme’ point per £1 spent
- 10,000 ‘new scheme’ points, worth around £50, as a sign-up bonus
- 2,000 free ‘new scheme’ points annually on your card anniversary
- 10 elite night credits each year
Keep an eye on HFP for news on the launch, but don’t hold your breath.
Lloyds announced its plans for the Lloyds Avios, Lloyds Duo and Lloyds Choice cards
Lloyds Bank has finally announced what is going to happen to its legacy rewards cards. Basically:
Holders of Lloyds Duo Avios cards or Lloyds Choice Rewards cards are being moved to Lloyds Avios Rewards
Holders of Lloyds Avios Rewards cards will see their package change substantially – the Amex part is going (it will be Mastercard-only), the upgrade voucher is going, the 0% FX fees benefit is going and the Avios earning rate is improving
This is going to be a very slow process. Letters will be staggered between now and April 2019. It isn’t clear if this is due to Lloyds looking to avoid a squeeze on their infrastructure or if they are hoping to tie it in with your annual renewal date.
The Avios earning rate on the new Mastercard will be:
0.4 Avios per £1 you spend in the UK
0.8 Avios per £1 you spend outside the UK (but with a 3% FX fee)
0.4 Avios per £1 transferred on a balance transfer (this is a new benefit – Lloyds Duo Avios cardholders used to get Avios on balance transfers but Lloyds Avios Rewards cardholders did not)
….. plus a 25% Avios bonus for Club Lloyds current account holders.
One thing I don’t know is whether this new Lloyds Avios Rewards Mastercard will be reopened to new cardholders or whether it will remain exclusively for legacy cardholders.
Lloyds Bank has set up a special website on the changes and you can find more details here.
MBNA’s Horizon cards finally arrived
Well, my Horizon card turned up – I don’t know about yours! The timing was good and it was used heavily in Italy last month. This is a surprisingly impressive card to use when travelling as I explained in this review of the Horizon Visa credit card.
Even if you haven’t been sent your replacement Horizon Visa card yet, your existing card is now operating as Horizon with cashback benefits.
All of the MBNA airline cards are now finally dead. If you are looking for:
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.