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

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

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.

Weekend staycation break? Two interesting IHG deals in York and Oxford
United to fly its new(ish) Polaris business class seat on all London - New York flights

Click here to join the 14,500 people on our email list and receive the latest Avios, miles and points news by 6am.

Amazon ad
About Head for Points

We help business and leisure travellers maximise their Avios, frequent flyer miles and hotel loyalty points. Visit every day for three new articles or sign up for our FREE emails via this page or the box to your right.

Comments

  1. it was all looking too impressive, until you couldn’t spell professional… 🙁

  2. Bluewave says:

    OT – Are Brighton transactions on Curve with Tesco as the underlying card going through as cash?

    Thanks

  3. rams1981 says:

    OT I was looking at flights to Colombo and surprised that random a travel agency work out also £200 cheaper on economy and £1.7k (!) cheaper on business fares if you go through skyscanner. If you go directly to website it doesn’t have the same cheap price. Has the travel agency cocked up?

    • It’s sad you realise now… Important to see everything first (fares). Then you pick the best option.

    • Its also worth checking Skyscanner from different countries. You’ll be surprised.

  4. Jonathan says:

    I was surprised to find I couldnt upgrade from gold card to plat as mine is a gold credit card and plat is charge card.

    Been told I can’t upgrade and would have to apply and there’s no way they’ll honour the upgrade points, etc.

    Had anyone had any luck getting plat with points in this circumstance?

    • Try referring yourself or OH for Green and then upgrading to Plat for 20,000 MR with £4,000 spend.

  5. gijacob says:

    What about the non-preferred-rewards gold credit card? I take that it is the same as the other cards? I can’t even refer others with it, very annoying.

    • It earns Membership Rewards points, so the same rules apply – you can’t get anything except for BA Premium Plus (and even that requires you not to have had a BA Amex in the last 2 years).

  6. I currently have platinum card since May 19 but had Gold in Sept 18 and SPG in Dec 18 (both cancelled). I also have free BA – Amex so seems like I am practically out of options :/ except for business card(s) I guess which I do not qualify being an employee and not a business owner.

Please click here to read our data protection policy before submitting your comment.