Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Is gearing up to launch a UK reward credit card?

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We have mentioned before that appears to be planning a UK credit card.

Plans seem to be progressing, with a job ad currently running for a Senior Marketing Manager to drive the project.  See here.

There is no clue about how the card may work.  I am not very enthusiastic because I struggle to see how you can integrate Rewards (a free night for every 10 nights you stay, based on the average price paid) and credit card spending. launching a UK credit card

It may end up as something very bland – perhaps 0.5% of total spend returned as credit, with a higher level of 2% or so for spending at itself.  That said, if the company felt it could offer something higher than 0.5% back – which is the current benchmark for rewards on free cashback and shopping voucher credit cards – I would get interested.

The job ad also says that the card “leverages a world-class rewards program” so perhaps there will be a way to earn free night credits from your spending.  Let’s see.

PS.  You may find this April 2020 article on proposed changes to Rewards worth a read

Want to earn more points from credit cards? – November 2020 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit or charge card, here are my November 2020 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.

British Airways American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual 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:

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

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.

Comments (101)

  • Alex Sm says:

    My partner and I are off to plane-spotting near Heathrow tomorrow. Perhaps, we’ll see some of the repaired aircraft landing or taking off

  • Jtz says:

    OT how long do Amex spg points take to move over, also should I pay the balance first for the points to move and then cancel or wait for them to move, call to cancel and pay balance?

    • Mark2 says:

      I always wait for the points to move, then cancel after first making sure that I owe more than the annual charge to be refunded.

      • Alex W says:

        I thought you had to have a zero balance before you could cancel. I’ve always had to go on chat and ask for a refund of the fee balance. Would be easier if you don’t need to do that!

        • Mark2 says:

          I have just paid c.£1750 balance on an account I closed a month ago.
          The balance of the account is irrelevant when you close it.

        • Mark2 says:

          I also change statement to post as they are no longer accessible when the account is closed.

        • BJ says:

          Thank Mark, I too was unaware this was possible. Good tips 🙂

        • Genghis says:

          @Mark2 even if an Amex account is closed, statements can be accessed on the app (not website).

        • Charlieface says:

          Under Consumer Credit Act I think you have to be able to cancel the card and still pay off the balance in the normal fashion. Useful if you carry a balance long-term on a low-rate card and they put up the interest rate.

      • Jtz says:

        When do the points move?
        I don’t really mind paying the balance now or later just whatever is quicker in getting the refund and points posted lol

        • BJ says:

          I’ve been churning for years but I think it is a bad idea to cancel cards soon after hitting a bonus target to maximise fee refund. The impression I get is that the most important factor for amex on approving a new card is personal history with them, and such behaviour likely reflects badly. For this reason I always give them 3-6 months with a card depending on my churn cycle, even when I have hit the target in the first month. Besides, there are other advantages such as supps, referrals and sometimes excellent amex offers.

        • Genghis says:

          They move about 4 days before your statement date

    • The Original Nick says:

      They will send you a cheque or transfer the refund to another of your Amex cards.

    • Mr Dee says:

      Leave at least £75 for the refund of the card fee on the account, cancel and a few days later the total will adjust that you can pay online.

      The points are going to transfer over regardless as they are not holding them for any reason.

      • Peter 64K says:

        It is best to let the points hit your BA/SPG etc account first before you cancel. Some horror stories here about not doing that and having to chase or never getting.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          With BA the link is broken but found SPG transferred over when I had a few left the last time I cancelled

          Ofcourse things could have changed with Marriott

  • AndyR says:

    OT looking to cancel my Amex Platinum but not sure where to transfer the MR’s yet. Can anyone please can confirm that if you get the Amex Rewards Credit Card it will ‘keep alive’ the Membership Rewards points after I cancel the Platinum card? Thanks.

    • KBuffett says:

      I think this is possible but it means that you can’t get a new card bonus in 6 months if you decide to get Platinum again

    • N says:

      But you will not “reset” your 6 months for a bonus

    • Olly says:

      The wife chose to get an Amazon gift card which arrived very promptly and the 6 month clock got reset.

  • Alex W says:

    OT has anyone managed to upgrade from Amex Green to Plat and got the 20k bonus yet? There must be someone on here who has tried it now!!

    • Mr Dee says:

      AFAIK there is no such offer

      • Shoestring says:

        Somebody here was able to use the Plat upgrade invitation page to upgrade Green—>Plat but so far has not confirmed they got the 20K bonus points for initial spend

        • BJ says:

          Don’t you think the silence maybe speaks for itself?

        • Grant says:

          Possibly, yes. But given that it comes up fairly regularly in discussion, it’d be nice if those that had reported they were trying it came back to confirm success or otherwise!

  • Si says:

    O/T Marriot Double Points Promotion

    I’m trying to register for the above promotion but every time i do it crashes. Rob said before a crash was likely but the the offer being applied appeared in the promotion section of his account. Mine – nothing.

    Any tips on how to successfully register?

    • Jtz says:

      Wait a couple days and try, worked for me

    • RussellH says:

      Have you checked the promaotions page to see if you are, in fact, registered, despite the crash?

      This is what happened to me, and IIRC, to Rob and others as well.

    • Si says:

      I’ve worked out the issue. My profile was set to earn airline miles rather than Marriot Points (making me ineligible to register).

      Swapped it, and now all registered for double points

  • Zoe says:

    OT we are planning to pay off a Morgage Works (the BTL part of Nationwide’s montage business) shortly it amounts to about 160k. I am not keen to do it without some mileage benefits any suggestions? It doesn’t all need to be paid at once – we are not selling the property. Thanks in advance

    • Zoe says:

      Fat fingers this morning! Mortgage!

    • Mr Dee says:

      If you mean the actual mortgage itself, I have no idea unless you already have a method for small amounts, but associated fees maybe possible. This is not considering the likes of Bill hop.

    • Dave says:

      You can pay a lump sum to some mortgages using a credit card. Not sure about Mortgage Works. Just call up and ask. You will get told about the risks of paying debt with debt.

      • The Savage Squirrel says:

        Payment on CC seems very likely to attract a hefty cash advance fee?

        However if they allow debit cards, would the Tesco one work well here?

    • ChrisC says:

      Some cards don’t give you points on a financial transaction such as this even if they allow the payment.

      So check the T&Cs of your card provider.

    • Chas says:

      If you can pay using a debit card, then Curve is the obvious card which springs to mind. With a Virgin Atlantic Rewards Plus card sitting behind it you’d earn 1.5 miles for every £ you pay off. I tend to find that Virgin give you double the credit limit than Amex do, so should be possible to put a decent chunk on there each month. You’ll be limited by Curve’s 30 day rolling limit which from friends and my own experience is £20k. If your partner gets a Curve card backed by Virgin + too, then you should be able to clear the whole lot in a bit over 4 months, maybe more depending on your credit limit on your Virgin cards.

      • Chas says:

        I should also have said that you might want to check it with a small test transaction first, just to double check that Virgin treat it as a purchase.

  • Peter 64K says:

    Maybe the card will be a reward night on the card anniversary to the value of 0.5% of spend.

    • Mr Dee says:

      As its not cash and its credit towards their business with built in margins they can do better than that IMO

    • Genghis says:

      That wouldn’t appeal. I already find it hard to match the value of my free nights to the nights I need so as to minimise wastage.

      • Doug M says:

        That’s always a decision. I still find I like them more than the one group options.

  • Mr Dee says:

    The thing is it doesn’t have to be only 0.5% back as credit because offers so many deals and promotions that they are probably able to offer a much better rate without it costing them that much.

    If they offered even 1% back as credit I would start to considering using it and to them an adjustment of 1% off their prices isn’t going to be anything of concern.

    • Rui N. says:

      Yeah, if they offer like 1% in credit and don’t require a ludicrous amount of spending until you can use that credit (like £5k) I would be very interested in such a card.