UPDATE – JANUARY 2021: This article is now out of date, but don’t worry.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 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 (equivalent to 6000 Avios).
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? – 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.