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What American Express bonuses can you get, based on the cards you have?

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The wave of changes to the UK American Express card portfolio this year now seems to have settled down, although I am still waiting for the Starwood Preferred Guest card to relaunch under the Marriott Bonvoy brand.

As it is fairly quiet during August, I thought I would dedicate an article again to running through the checklist of which UK American Express cards you can get based on the cards you have.

This is, frankly, painfully complicated.  Amex pointed out an error in one of my own articles last week, and to be honest if I am still getting it wrong occasionally – and knowing this stuff is basically my job – then I’m not sure there is much hope for anyone else!

This way I have written it below is, I think, the simplest way of looking at it.  It’s still not THAT simple however ……

In general, for anyone who currently has, or in the past 24 months has had, a personal American Express card, excluding supplementary cards and Lloyds / MBNA cards:

you may be able to get a bonus on are The Platinum Card and British Airways Premium Plus, because Amex only considers a few other cards when deciding if you qualify or not

you cannot get a bonus on Preferred Rewards Gold, Nectar, Starwood Preferred Guest, Amex Rewards Credit Card, British Airways (free) and the cashback cards

anyone who has any sort of small business has it far easier due to the lighter rules covering the two American Express Business cards

Do I qualify for an Amex Platinum sign up bonus?

The 2019 Amex sign-up bonus rules by card type

Basically,  “if you have THIS card, you MIGHT still qualify for a bonus on THAT card ……”

Remember that supplementary cards do not count as having ‘had’ a card.  If you are a supplementary on your partner’s Amex Gold, for example, you can still apply in your own name and get a sign-up bonus as long as you meet the other criteria.

If you currently have the free British Airways or British Airways Premium Plus credit card:

You would need to cancel and wait 24 months before you can get a bonus on Platinum Cashback, Platinum Cashback Everyday, British Airways, British Airways Premium Plus, Preferred Rewards Gold, Starwood Preferred Guest, Nectar, American Express Rewards

You can get a bonus NOW on The Platinum Card IF you have not held a Preferred Rewards Gold, The Platinum Card, Green or American Express Rewards card in the previous 24 months

You can get a bonus NOW on American Express Gold Business or American Express Platinum Business IF you have not held a Preferred Rewards Gold, The Platinum Card, Green, American Express Rewards, American Express Gold Business or American Express Platinum Business card in the previous six months and meet the qualifying criteria for having a small business

If you currently have Preferred Rewards Gold, The Platinum Card, Green or American Express Rewards credit card:

You would need to cancel and wait 24 months before you can get a bonus on Platinum Cashback, Platinum Cashback Everyday, British Airways American Express, Preferred Rewards Gold, The Platinum Card, Green, Starwood Preferred Guest, Nectar, American Express Rewards

You can get a bonus NOW on British Airways Premium Plus IF you have not held a British Airways or British Airways Premium Plus card in the previous 24 months

You would need to cancel and wait six months before you can get a bonus on American Express Gold Business or American Express Platinum Business, assuming you meet the qualifying criteria for having a small business

If you currently have a Nectar or Starwood Preferred Guest credit card:

You would need to cancel and wait 24 months before you can get a bonus on Platinum Cashback, Platinum Cashback Everyday, British Airways American Express (free version), Preferred Rewards Gold, Starwood Preferred Guest, Nectar, American Express Rewards

You can get a bonus NOW on The Platinum Card IF you have not held a Preferred Rewards Gold, The Platinum Card, Green or American Express Rewards card in the previous 24 months

You can get a bonus NOW on British Airways Premium Plus IF you have not held a British Airways or British Airways Premium Plus card in the previous 24 months

You can get a bonus NOW on American Express Gold Business or American Express Platinum Business IF you have not held a Preferred Rewards Gold, The Platinum Card, Green, American Express Rewards, American Express Gold Business or American Express Platinum Business card in the previous six months and meet the qualifying criteria for having a small business

If you currently have a Platinum Cashback or Platinum Cashback Everyday card:

You would need to cancel and wait 24 months before you can get a bonus on Platinum Cashback, Platinum Cashback Everyday, British Airways American Express, Preferred Rewards Gold, Green, Starwood Preferred Guest, Nectar, American Express Rewards

You can get a bonus NOW on The Platinum Card IF you have not held a Preferred Rewards Gold, The Platinum Card, Green or American Express Rewards card in the previous 24 months

You can get a bonus NOW on British Airways Premium Plus IF you have not held a British Airways or British Airways Premium Plus card in the previous 24 months

You can get a bonus NOW on American Express Gold Business or American Express Platinum Business IF you have not held a Preferred Rewards Gold, The Platinum Card, Green, American Express Rewards, American Express Gold Business or American Express Platinum Business card in the previous six months and meet the qualifying criteria for having a small business

If you currently have a Platinum Business or Gold Business card:

You can get a bonus NOW on ANY personal American Express card IF you have not held a personal American Express card in the previous 24 months.

For clarity … the bonus rules on the personal Amex cards now only look at what other personal Amex products you have had in the past 24 months.  Any small business Amex cards you have are not taken into account.

And if you’re starting from scratch ….

If you have not had ANY personal American Express cards in the last 24 months, the best route to optimise the number of sign-up bonuses you can get is:

start with either a Starwood Preferred Guest, Nectar or (the less generous) cashback cards

follow up with either The Platinum Card or British Airways Premium Plus

follow up with either The Platinum Card or British Airways Premium Plus (depending on which one you didn’t get in stage two)

If you look at the rules above, you’ll see that you can still get three bonuses in a short space of time as long as you do it this way.

And remember ….

The discussion in this article is only about sign-up bonuses.  Subject to credit etc, American Express is still happy to accept you for any of these cards at any time – you just won’t necessarily get a bonus.

This is particularly important in relation to Preferred Rewards Gold where repeat cardholders DO still get another ‘first year free’ and DO still get another set of two airport lounge passes.  You still get these, even if you don’t qualify for a sign-up bous.

NOTE:  If you hold, or have held in the past 24 months, a personal American Express card which is not discussed in this article, such as The Centurion Card or a card which is not currently available to new applicants, please do additional checks as to your eligibility for a new bonus.

Do i qualify for the bonus on the british airways premium plus amex

Reference information

Here are links to our reviews on each of the cards, a link to the application website and the legally required interest rate information.  Let me stress again – these new rules do NOT stop you applying for any of the cards.  They simply influence whether or not you will qualify for a sign-up bonus.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold – bonus of 10,000 Membership Rewards points – apply here  – our review is here – representative APR 57.6% variable including the annual fee (free in year 1) based on a notional £1,200 credit limit

American Express Rewards – bonus of up to 5,000 Membership Rewards points based on card variant – apply hereour Amex Rewards review interest rate varies depending on which card variant you choose

British Airways American Express – bonus of 5,000 Aviosapply hereour BA Amex review – representative APR 22.9% variable

British Airways American Express Premium Plus – bonus of 25,000 Avios apply hereour BA Premium Plus Amex review – representative APR 76.0% variable including £195 fee based on a notional £1200 credit limit, interest rate on purchases 22.9% variable

Nectar – bonus of 20,000 Nectar pointsapply hereour Nectar Amex reviewrepresentative APR of 28.2%, including £25 fee, based on a notional credit limit of £1,200

The Platinum Card – bonus of 30,000 Membership Rewards points apply hereour Amex Platinum review

Platinum Cashback – 5% cashback bonus (max £125) for three months – apply hereour Amex Platinum Cashback review – representative APR of 28.2%, including £25 fee, based on a notional credit limit of £1,200

Platinum Cashback Everyday – 5% cashback bonus (max £100) for three months – apply hereour Amex Platinum Cashback Everyday review – representative APR 22.9% variable

Starwood Preferred Guest American Express – bonus of 30,000 Marriott Bonvoy pointsapply hereour Starwood Amex review –  representative APR 39.7% variable including fee based on a notional £1200 credit limit

American Express Gold Business – bonus of 20,000 Membership Rewards pointsapply hereour Amex Gold Business review

American Express Platinum Business – bonus of 40,000 Membership Rewards pointsapply hereour Amex Platinum Business 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.

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Comments

  1. Tesco 40% Bonus received.

    • New Card says:

      Nothing for me (speculative transfer – was not eligible as hadn’t used Shell before) so targetted.

      • Still not got mine and I received the email/transferred shell.
        My posting date was 14th so will leave it till 14th before chasing

      • No email for me – transferred 2.50 a few weeks ago and 40% bonus showing. Now to back andd fill my boots.

  2. OT – BA LGW-LAS as low as £866

  3. Neil Donoghue says:

    Question for the pro’s here – I have held a business Amex now for the past 6 months. Does this mean I am excluded from any personal signup bonuses on the Amex plat? I have not had a personal card in over 30 months? Thanks

    • Peter K says:

      From the article:
      If you currently have a Platinum Business or Gold Business card:

      You can get a bonus NOW on ANY personal American Express card IF you have not held a personal American Express card in the previous 24 months.

      For clarity … the bonus rules on the personal Amex cards now only look at what other personal Amex products you have had in the past 24 months. Any small business Amex cards you have are not taken into account.

  4. Peter K says:

    OT.
    Anyone else having problems with combine my avios. I have tried on all three platforms (BA.com, avios.com, Iberia.com) with chrome and none will allow it.
    I tried am incognito tab but no joy.

    On Iberia and avios I get the following message:
    Your session has timed out, please log in again.
    On BA it just says it is unavailable.

    I tried ringing BA, went through the options and then got a message saying the phone lines are not available and I was cut off.

    Any suggestions are welcome please. Thank you in advance.

  5. Shoestring says:

    O/T – did anybody else have a go with my hobby investment tip, Wealthify?

    currently up 1% with my ‘Cautious’ £400 investment, the £40 bonus makes that up over 11% – or more like +25% pa equiv as I only need to keep it going something like 6 months

    no signs of Virgin ISA giving us something good at the mo

    • Charlieface says:

      No but doing the Natwest offer for £50. £50 outlay now + £200 in November and withdraw soon after.

      • Shoestring says:

        unfortunately that was a special offer for Reward current account customers & is now expired

        so is mine (expired)

  6. Shoestring says:

    A pair of Club World return flights from £2019
    https://www.britishairways.com/en-gb/offers/sale

    New Orleans, Las Vegas, New York, Dubai and others

    • Yeah, surprised Rob hasn’t covered this. For the couple travellers this is bargain assuming you can travel before the end of September.

      • It’s out there on several sites. Maybe rob didn’t see his email. Must be. Lots of cancellations suddenly, if so much space available.

        • Shoestring says:

          unfortunately it points to the UK being in recession, many other indications

          should have given the 16-18YOs the vote and also told the students to get off their lazy sleeping @rses & vote

        • Or I might be on holiday, whilst Rhys is on a review flight to Rio ….

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Just bagged some seats for NYC. Sale just at the right time (though the fx drop is just at the wrong time)

  7. Shoestring says:

    TO THOSE who reside outside Norfolk it is a city perhaps best known as the stamping ground of Alan Partridge, the fictional radio DJ, and the birthplace of Colman’s mustard. But Norwich’s profile could be set to reach new heights after a Vietnamese airline hailed it as an “irresistible destination” for tourists. Duong Tri Thành, chief executive of Vietnam Airlines, described the East Anglian city as “serene” as he urged his passengers to “not miss the opportunity to experience” it when weighing up where to take their next holidays…a specially commissioned travel feature to highlight Norwich’s credentials as a leading “international destination”.
    “If you are a fan of tranquillity, Norwich is a good place to start. Its charm lies in its quietness and classical beauty. The cathedral is surrounded by gravel paths namely those leading to Timber Hill, Tombland and Elm Hill, voted as one of the United Kingdom’s finest roads lined with mostly intact and colourful buildings dating from the Tudor period.
    “The scenery is as beautiful as a picture. If you want a taste of local cuisine, don’t forget to book a table at the city’s famed Grosvenor Fish Bar which serves one of England’s most famous dishes: Fish and Chips.

  8. OT

    My friends have just had a BA flight to FRA cancelled due to “weather” though Lufthansa and Ryanair are flying and at similar times.

    They have been rebooked on tomorrow’s flight, and given accommodation (Arora hotel /Holiday Inn Express) in LHR and 2 x £5 meal vouchers by an unhelpful staff member which is quite frankly an insult. Two questions:

    1) I’ve got screengrabs of FRA arrivals showing the Lufthansa flight arriving at a similar time – I will urge them to file a claim for compensation, and maybe use this as evidence. Likelihood of a successful EU 261 claim?

    2) £5 won’t even cover the cost of half a meal. Are they limited/restricted to these vouchers only, or can they incur (reasonable) expenses for dinner and then claim these back? I’m assuming £20 for dinner each would be more likely. Can BA screw them over by saying acceptance of the £5 voucher means forfeitting right to more?

    Any input appreciated – thanks!

    H

    • Shoestring says:

      1. get somebody to look up the flight on expertflyer, it gives the real reason for delay/ cancellation – you need to post the flight details & time, maybe Stu can oblige otherwise ask nicely here
      https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/british-airways-executive-club/1948451-2019-ba-compensation-thread-your-guide-regulation-ec261-2004-a-49.html
      don’t hang around, you have 48hrs to get an answer

      2. nope they can use reasonable expenses, just keep receipts – the £5 voucher is *in addition* to any other expenses they might incur. Np booze but they can pay for that themselves. I heard of BA refunding £50 per person for dinner expenses. Also they get communications costs which these days means wifi.

      • Thank you so much for your prompt response! This site is usually my go to and I’m always amazed by how helpful everyone is. Follow-ups to you responses:

        1) Flight is BA0916 LHR- FRA, scheduled for 19:50 12/08/19 and cancelled a couple of hours earlier. Hopefully Stu is reading this (would be very grateful for any input!) but I’ll also post on the flyertalk forum.

        2) £5 just seemed ludicrous. Their flight is tomorrow at 13:45 so I’m assuming breakfast (as long as reasonable and with receipts) should also be covered. I imagine the claim is done through the BA website?

        Thanks again for your help.

        H

        • Shoestring says:

          duty of care regs mean that all reasonable hotel, food, drink, comms & taxi to / from hotel are met, with receipts, no booze

          they don’t even have to accept the hotel offered and can choose a better one if they like, £200 per person per night is the acceptable budget

          • Shoestring says:

            I’d be asking the hotel to put any wine down on the bill as something else 🙂

          • I got stuck in Paris for a few days in the bad winter of 2010, Edinburgh was closed due to snow. I submitted a fairly sizeable claim to Easyjet for subsistence expenses and to their credit, they paid out on almost everything.

            They struck out a €5 carafe of Beaujolais but there was a load of other wine on there – whoever reviewed the receipt must have known what Beaujolais was but had no idea about the rest.

            🙂

        • Lady London says:

          You might want to check if the flight serves lunch. I’ve got a feeling that a flight taking off at 13.45, on British Airways, does not serve any lunch.

          therefore you should eat in the terminal instead, as without the flight delay you wouldn’t have still been stuck at lunchtime as well. Keep all receipts and no alcohol.

          • Lady London says:

            * looks like dinner, breakfast and lunch then.

            Do not hesitate to claim decent meals for all of the above and anything else you may be entitled to. I would wager that weather will turn out not to be the cause of the flight being cancelled, at all. Note also that if weather caused a delay on the incoming flight that caused yours to be cancelled, this is not an excuse the airline can get away with to bar you from compensation part of EU261, especially at a major hub like LHR.

            I would suspect that British Airways made a commercial decision cancelling this flight, so they will already have taken into account the reasonable expenses of all passengers that they would have to reimburse.

        • Just spotted this. ExpertFlyer.com lists it as weather-related – reason code “WEAN” – suggests not eligible for comp under EU261.

          Heathrow may have cut their arrival rate due to weather conditions (thunderstorms I think) and given the very tight capacity, some services will have had to be chopped. Have a look at the EU261 thread over on flyertalk BAEC board for specific guidance around compensation in this situation – duty of care applies regardless but I think you’d have an uphill battle for compo.

          The expertflyer info is below, the tabulation is messed up but the reason code is in there which is what you need.

          “DOBA916/12AUG
          * OPERATIONAL FLIGHT INFO * BA 916 0 MO 12AUG19
          CITY INFO HOUR (LOCAL)

          FLIGHT CANCELLED 1111
          WEAN
          *1A PLANNED FLIGHT INFO* BA 916 0 MO 12AUG19
          APT ARR DY DEP DY CLASS/MEAL EQP GRND EFT TTL
          LHR 1950 MO JCDRI/M YB/G 320 1:40
          HKMLVNOQSG/G
          FRA 2230 MO 1:40”

        • Rooster says:

          Arora hotel – /Holiday Inn Express has free breakfast and is actually a really well run hotel!

      • Lady London says:

        Plus cost of transport to and from the hotel. with luggage etc., and taking account of any infirmities and disabilities I presume.

        Keep all receipts. Meals cost reimbursed apparently doesn’t include alcohol (but I think Shoestring normally mentions this).

        Frankfurt is a business destination not a leisure destination. And it’s August now. Does it really look as though British Airways, alone amongst the airlines flying the route at pretty much the same time, was the only one to experience weather that stopped the flight? if it’s true, I’ll eat my hat ! 🙂

        I wish compensation had a scale of % increase for porkies told to passengers – 10% for a mild one like it was “weather” when it wasn’t, 30% when told the journey doesn;t qualify when it does, 50% surcharge on compensation if the airline says there was an Act of God that stopped the flights, when there wasn’t…. !!!!

        Good luck and don’t let this one go. Please feed back on what you find out and what you get?

        • Shoestring says:

          £5 voucher – that’ll sort you out

          vs the proper EC261 duty of care arrangement = £300/ day

          • Lady London says:

            I’d have been round the Sofitel in case a reasonable rate for ‘distressed passenger’ was on offer.

    • The 5 pound voucher is the first thing BA hands out to everyone when there is a delay. They probably wouldn’t even know who had accepted or used it .

      Is there any chance BA has made dinner arrangements directly with the hotel? Airlines sometimes do this, e.g. Iberia in Madrid.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Even if they did arrange dinner you don’t have to accept it, they can’t force you to eat their grub or stay in their lodgings.

        £200/per person per night seems interesting ill have to bear that in mind in the future.

  9. Good to know. I’ll have some of that!

  10. illuminatus says:

    OT – What are ‘Iberia flights booked with Avios’ cancellation terms vs BA?

    • Lady London says:

      you should be able to cancel with the usual terms.
      Iberia even allows you to cancel or change BA flights, whereas they don’t allow that for pretty much anyone else. So, for sure, BA will work the same way especially with IB flights booked on Avios.

      • Lady London says:

        note that if you have even one, say, AA flight within a series of flgihts within a ticket, then that makes the whole itinerary non changeable if you used Iberia avios to book it. Not the case if you used BA avios to book it. Very, very few airlines’ flights other than BA and IB flights, can be changed once booked using Iberia avios.

        Note also that altough using Iberia avios to book a flight can save you loads of taxes and miles compared to booking out of other avios schemes, the restrictions are draconian in terms of most things not being changeable. Dealing with Iberia call centre can be great – I’ve had some OK competent agents especially on a Saturday morning for some unknown reason – but IME 11/12ths of the time Iberia call centre is totally awful and you can’t get anything done with them. Bad enough to avoid using avios out of the iberia scheme unless there is a very strong incentive TBH.

        Others may disagree.

        • Any advice on a SIN-LHR flight? Left and arrived into LHR over 7 hours late.

          Flying Singapore Air / SQ didn’t get a £5 voucher just a neck pillow at the END of the journey.

          Obviously Singapore Air non Euro Airline so not sure where to take this one.

    • Same.

  11. OT – I am about to book a USA Open Jaw flight using 241 Voucher. I seem to recall there is some anomaly where if you book the flights on line without the voucher and then call to get them joined together into a return you pay different tax, but I can’t remember whether for the USA you pay more or less. The real question I suppose is should I just ring and do it all on the phone (the flights I want are all available at the moment!)

    • I’d phone and book. The ex-US surcharges are more than ex-UK so you won’t get any benefit from merging two singles.

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