UPDATE – SEPTEMBER 2021: This article is now out of date, but don’t worry.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 November?
Flybe announced the final closure date for its cards
Last Friday, holders of the Flybe credit card received an email from issuer Creation saying that the cards will close for good on 11th March 2019.
You will have until 20th September to spend your remaining Spend&Fly points. Depending on how customers used their account, they are being offered a card with either 0.5% cashback or a ‘no rewards’ card as a replacement.
The Flybe credit card was closed to new applicants a few weeks ago. I’m not sure why it lasted so long – Flybe switched its core loyalty scheme to Avios a few years ago, so keeping open a credit card which earned a different loyalty currency, Spend&Fly, made little sense.
I don’t think Flybe has any plans to replace the card at present, although obviously that could change if the airline does change ownership as a result of the current informal auction process.
The Tesco Premium credit card restructured – and got better
The Tesco Premium credit card has announced a big shake-up of its benefits. With Tesco Direct and Tesco Wine now closed, it seems that the old benefits package threshold – which required £5000 of Tesco spending annually to maximise your returns – was seen as too high.
Tesco Premium is reducing its annual fee from £150 to £36, but dropping the travel insurance benefits. You will now only need to spend £2500 per year in Tesco to earn the annual bonus, which is reduced to 2500 Clubcard points.
It isn’t yet clear if the card will be reopened to new applicants. If it is, it won’t be until at least February when the new benefits package kicks in.
Curve relaunched with American Express functionality
Curve Card has now launched its Beta programme with American Express. This is only open to selected Curve members.
It is a slightly fiddly system which we outline in this article here. It will be an exciting prospect when the bugs are ironed out and it is open to all, allowing you to recharge Visa and Mastercard debit and credit transactions onto a linked Amex card.
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.
Don’t ask me about any replacement Hilton Honors UK credit card either ……
Virgin Atlantic launches sharply increased credit card bonuses – which end on Friday
Full details are below, but don’t forget that you only have six days to apply for the new Virgin Atlantic credit cards with the higher sign-up bonus. Full details are on their website here.
The free card earns you 10,000 miles (usually 5,000 miles) whilst the paid card comes with 25,000 miles (usually 15,000 miles)
American Express relaunched Shop Small for 2018
Until 16th December, you can earn £5 cashback each time you spend £10 at a participating ‘Shop Small’ retailer. You need to opt-in via the Offers tab on your Amex statement page.
Ignore the Amex map of participating outlets. In reality, most independent shops and restaurants which take Amex will trigger the deal – it worked for us at restaurants twice in the last week. Full details are in our article 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 end soon:
- 2,000 Virgin Points on Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard (ends 15th October)
- 30,000 Virgin Points on Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard (ends 15th October)
- 10,000 Avios on British Airways American Express (ends 2nd November)
- 40,000 Avios on British Airways American Express Premium Plus (ends 2nd November)
- 60,000 points on The Platinum Card from American Express (ends 2nd November)
- 30,000 points on American Express Preferred Rewards Gold (ends 9th November)
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 – 30,000 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
The UK’s most generous free Visa or Mastercard at 0.75 points / £1 Read our full review
Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard
30,000 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: