UPDATE – SEPTEMBER 2021: This article is now out of date, but don’t worry.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 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 and charge 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 October?
Lufthansa relaunches its Miles & More card with Diners Club
Yes, I know. It’s weird.
Lufthansa has succeeded where Emirates, Etihad, American and United have failed and managed to get a new card onto the market following the closure of their MBNA credit card.
They did this by jumping into bed with Diners Club, the card that time forgot. Luckily the card comes as a double-pack with a Mastercard. The structure is weird though – the Mastercard is actually a pre-paid Mastercard (which means you can’t use it for deposits at hotels or car hire depots) and when you buy something, Diners Club immediately tops up the Mastercard in the background because the retailer sucks the money out.
Our full article – which is a very long and detailed one – on the new card is here. The package is impressive for high spenders, and more importantly charging £1 to the card each month is enough to stop your Miles & More miles from expiring. This is what you get:
Annual fee of £79
Sign-up bonus of 10,000 miles if you apply before 31st December (5,000 miles afterwards)
A free voucher, valid for 6 months, to visit a Lufthansa airport lounge if you apply before 31st December
1.25 miles per £1 spent on either card
No supplementary cards allowed
2.99% foreign exchange fee
It is a charge card, not a credit card, so you MUST clear your full balance each month
If you were another ex-MBNA airline cardholder and are looking for:
Earn Virgin Flying Club miles with a Virgin Money savings account
Whilst not strictly credit card related, Virgin Money relaunched their Virgin Atlantic 1-Year Flying Club Savings Account last month.
The number of miles you earn has been increased and it now pays 1,600 miles for every £1,000 you save.
Curve prepares to relaunch with American Express functionality
Curve Card will be relaunching in November. They have been teasing some of the new features on social media, but to be honest I don’t know how much of what I know is still meant to be secret and how much isn’t!
To be safe, I have been saying nothing. However, the company has said publicly that American Express will return as a partner – allowing you to recharge Visa and Mastercard transactions onto a linked Amex card – so I feel happy repeating that.
There are going to be limits and restrictions which will be announced in due course. However you think it is going to work, you are probably going to be wrong! It is very interesting though, especially for readers of this site.
Flybe drops its UK credit card
With excellent timing, Flybe chose to close its UK credit card to new applications just 24 hours after we published our annual – and not very enthusiastic – review of it.
The card was issued by Creation. It had made no sense for a long time, because it was still giving credit in Spend&Fly points whilst the airline had switched to Avios a few years ago. My Flybe Mastercard review is here if you want to see what you missed.
Lloyds Avios Rewards accidentally gave out 2nd upgrade vouchers
A lot of Lloyds Avios Rewards credit card holders found that they had mysteriously been given another upgrade voucher in early October. We wrote about it here.
Avios has admitted this is mistake but said that if you got a 2nd voucher, you can keep it.
Tesco Bank brought back the bonus on the Tesco Clubcard Mastercard
I spotted by chance over the weekend that Tesco Bank has extended the sign-up bonus on its Tesco Clubcard Mastercard. The card is free and you will get 1,000 Clubcard points (2,400 Avios or 2,500 Virgin Flying Club miles) if you apply before 31st January.
The earning rate is not great but beats the Lloyds Avios Rewards Mastercard. You earn 1 Clubcard point for every £8 you spend, but rounded down to the nearest £8, so a £7.99 purchase earns nothing. Ignoring the impact of rounding down, this means you get 0.125 Clubcard points per £1 which converts to 0.3 Avios per £1. You can apply here. Our review, which will be updated this week, is here.
There is still no word on the relaunch of the Marriott Mastercard
Creation is meant to be running this, as they ran the old version which was closed to new cardholders two years ago. It was due to launch in August but nothing has happened.
EVERYTHING you need to know about the BA American Express 2-4-1 voucher
Finally, if you missed this article last month, newcomers should read my guide to ‘everything you ever wanted to know about the British Airways American Express 2-4-1 voucher’ which you can find here.
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 expire on 2nd November 2021:
- 10,000 Avios on British Airways American Express
- 40,000 Avios on British Airways American Express Premium Plus
- 60,000 points on The Platinum Card from American Express
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 – 20,000 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
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 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: