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What are the best credit card sign-up deals for February? – plus news round-up

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UPDATE – JUNE 2021:  This article is now out of date, but don’t worry.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.

Even if you don’t read the rest of this article, please note that we hope to have exclusive details of a new Avios-earning credit card on HfP later this week.  Don’t get too excited, though, as only about 10% of our UK readers will be eligible.  Intrigued?

UK Rewards credit and charge cards

What was new in January?

You can get Virgin Atlantic’s relaunched higher bonus on its two credit cards

Until 28th February, you will receive enhanced sign-up bonuses on the two Virgin Atlantic credit cards.  You can get up to 25,000 miles.

You have two options:

The FREE Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard comes with a bonus of 10,000 miles.  The earning rate is an unbeatable, for a free card, 0.75 Flying Club miles per £1.   You will receive 5,000 Virgin Flying Club miles with your first purchase and a further 5,000 when you spend £1,000 within 90 days.  My full review is hereYou can apply here.

The ‘annual fee’ Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard comes with a bonus of 25,000 miles.  It is highest earning airline card on the market, giving you 1.5 Flying Club miles per £1.   You will receive 15,000 Virgin Flying Club miles with your first purchase and a further 10,000 when you spend £1,500 within 90 days.  My full review is hereYou can apply here.

This page of the Virgin Money website lets you compare both cards.

This is well worth a look, even if you do nothing more than pick up the free card for a quick 10,000 Virgin Flying Club miles hit.

https://www.headforpoints.com/hfp/virgin-atlantic-flying-club-rewards-plus-credit-card/

HSBC launched a sign-up bonus for its HSBC Premier Mastercard

HSBC is currently running a 10,000 point sign-up bonus for its free HSBC Premier credit card.

This is worth 5,000 Avios.  You could also credit it to Asia Miles, Singapore KrisFlyer or Etihad Guest.  The deal runs to 2nd March.

The snag is that you need to have a HSBC Premier current account to get the HSBC Premier credit card.  Full details of the tough eligibility criteria are in our article here.  The upside is that you have a free Mastercard earning 0.5 miles for every £1 you spend.

HSBC Premier credit card Avios sign-up bonus

Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status now given with the Starwood Preferred Guest American Express card

Whilst American Express does not mention this on its application site, Marriott Bonvoy – the new name for Marriott Rewards – will now give you Silver Elite status if you take out the Starwood Preferred Guest American Express card.

Silver Elite is not hugely valuable, if we’re honest, but better than nothing if you stay in Marriott properties on a regular basis.  More valuable is the 30,000 Marriott points that come with the SPG Amex which converts to 10,000 airline miles, including Avios, or will get you around £150 of free hotel rooms.

Marriott has confirmed that neither the SPG Amex or the (closed to new applicants) Marriott Rewards Mastercard will be rebranded in the short term, even though the new Marriott Bonvoy brand launches on 13th February.

Aer Lingus launched an Avios-earning credit card in Ireland

For our Irish readers, Aer Lingus is now offering a co-brand credit card in association with Bank of Ireland.

The reception has been muted, to be honest.  There is no sign-up bonus and the monthly fee is high.  You can find out more in this HfP article.

Bank of Ireland Avios credit card

American Express still has 30,000 point bonus on the DOLLAR / EURO versions of the Platinum card

For the first time in a while, Amex is running a sign-up bonus on its Dollar and Euro Platinum charge cards – 30,000 Membership Rewards points to be precise.

The good news is that you can get this bonus even if you already have a UK Platinum or Gold card.  The bad news is that this is a complicated product with poorer transfer rates to most airline schemes than the UK cards.  I wrote about the pros, cons and sweet spots in this article.

Online bank N26 launches a metal card with travel benefits

Whilst not strictly a credit card, we did a detailed article during January on the new online bank N26.  It is similar to Monzo, Starling, Revolut etc but also has a premium metal card with travel benefits.  You also get hot desking benefits at WeWork locations globally.

You can find out more in my N26 review hereThe N26 site is here.  Their basic account is free but the metal card has a £14.90 monthly fee.

N26 metal card

Finally, I also ran this article on “Which American Express sign-up bonuses can I get if I already have an American Express card?“.

You may also want to read our ‘Top 10’ series:

What are the top 10 reasons to get American Express Preferred Rewards Gold (Amex Gold)?

What are the top 10 reasons to get American Express Platinum (The Platinum Card)?

What are the top 10 reasons to get the American Express Rewards Credit Card?

What are the top 10 reasons to get the British Airways American Express (BA Amex)?

What are the top 10 reasons to get the British Airways American Express Premium Plus card?

What are the top 10 reasons to get the HSBC Premier Mastercard?

What are the top 10 reasons to get the HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard?

What are the top 10 reasons to get the free IHG Rewards Club credit card?

What are the top 10 reasons to get the Lufthansa Miles & More Diners Club and Mastercard?

What are the top 10 reasons to get the Marriott Bonvoy American Express credit card?

What are the top 10 reasons to get the Tesco Clubcard Mastercard credit card?

What are the top 10 reasons to get the Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard credit card?

What are the top 10 reasons to get the Virgin Atlantic Reward Plus Mastercard credit card?


Want to earn more points from credit cards? – June 2021 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit or charge card, here are our June 2021 recommendations based on the current sign-up bonus

You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the other top current deals:

British Airways American Express card

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

BA Premium Plus American Express card BAPP

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

Nectar American Express

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

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Rewards Plus credit card

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.

Amex American Express Business Gold card

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Amex Platinum Business American Express

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 card

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

Comments (85)

  • BJ says:

    Anybody know if we can churn Saibsbury Nectar credit cards? Only had one previously, about two years ago, so wondering if it is worth another go.

    • Alan says:

      Yes, six month gap as per other Amex. Combined with referral is a decent earner and can use points for fuel.

      • guesswho2000 says:

        Does OP not mean the Sainsbury’s one, not the Amex one?

        • Alan says:

          Oh possibly! Definitely worth a go when it’d been a couple of years since last having it.

  • BJ says:

    According to an article on LL US amex customers who received bonuses for referring credit cards have now been hit with a demand from the IRS to declare the value of the bonuses for tax purposes.

    • Peter K says:

      Not a worry for UK residents thankfully.

    • Alan says:

      Yep was on OMAAT too. Can’t see much read across here though, the US tax system appears to be even more byzantine than ours! (not to mention them not having double taxation arrangements so US citizens worldwide being liable for US federal taxes!)

    • guesswho2000 says:

      That’s alright isn’t it, don’t the points have a nominal value near to zero?

  • Freddy says:

    Flipping between amex gold and SPG..could probably squeeze another card in my churn rotation but is this gonna hammer my credit rating?

    • Peter K says:

      Nothing major. Unless you are going for a mortgage in the next few months. Churning 4 different AMEX cards every 6 months shouldn’t be too much bother. It will register, but paying off in full on time should make it fine.

    • Alan says:

      It’ll show up but difficult to know. I’m giving my file a rest for a while as had quite a few applications for various cards in a short space of time.

  • Dale says:

    I hit the £15k spend on my Amex Gold last year and have now received my 10,000 bonus points. I know the refund is pro rata but do I get to to keep the bonus points if I cancel, say in 2-3 months?

    • Jon says:

      If you have no other membership rewards earning cards, you’ll need to move those points out of your account within 30 days of closing the Gold card e.g. convert them to Hilton/avios etc. But you will get to keep them if you do this!

  • JohnG says:

    Does anyone know the answer to this – If I refer someone from my Amex Gold card and they want to apply for the Amex SPG card, what is the bonus that I would receive, if anything at all?

    • Alan says:

      You receive the same bonus regardless of what they opt for (9k for Gold card holders IIRC?)

      • Simon says:

        yep, I self refereed the freebie ba amex from gold charge and was pleasantly surprised to get 9k.

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