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

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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 September?

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

Until 31st October, 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 7,000 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 2,000 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 7,000 Virgin Flying Club miles hit.

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

American Express launched a British Airways SME card

American Express added a third small business card, to add to Business Gold and Business Platinum, with the launch of the British Airways American Express Accelerating Business card.

We reviewed the BA Accelerating Business credit card here.

It looks funky (see below) but I am not totally sold on the package.  The annual fee at £210 is relatively high, whilst the sign-up bonus (2200 On Business points) and annual spend bonus (3000 On Business points) are underwhelming.

The day-to-day earnings rate IS good, at 1.5 Avios per £1.  You can have 99 free supplementary cards for your staff, which will definitely appeal to some people.

You can apply and find further details on the American Express website here

Interest rate information: representative APR 81.6% variable, including the £210 annual fee, based on an assumed credit limit of £1200.  The interest rate on purchases is 22.9%.

American Express BA Accelerating Business card

The Capital On Tap Avios-earning SME cards have delayed their switch to Visa

The Capital Club and On Tap Club cards, from Capital on Tap, aimed at small businesses and sole traders, are the first non-Amex payment for small businesses which let you earn Avios.  Whilst you may not have heard of Capital On Tap, it already has 50,000 customers for its existing ‘no rewards’ payment card.

I won’t discuss the cards in detail, because they are meant to be switching to Visa in the next few days and I haven’t seen confirmation of the new package.  Once we know what they will be offering going forward, we will be able to compare it to the new BA American Express SME card.

Earn Avios with Capital on Tap

You can receive a whopping 60,000 Membership Rewards points on Amex Business Platinum

If you have an SME, you are spoilt for choice at the moment.  As well as the new British Airways Accelerating Business card covered above, you can get 60,000 Membership Rewards points with the Business Platinum card.

This offer is ONLY available if you apply via a refer a friend link.  I can provide one if you need one – see here.  To get the bonus, you need to spend £6,000 in 90 days.

Remember that it is substantially easier to qualify for the sign-up bonus on the Platinum Business card than the personal Platinum card.

To get the 60,000 Membership Rewards points on signing up, you only need to have gone SIX MONTHS without any American Express card which earns Membership Rewards points.  The personal Platinum card now requires you to wait 24 months.

Full details are in this article.

American Express Business Platinum 60,000 points

Miles & More sign-up bonus of 10,000 miles guaranteed until 31st December

Back in July, the Lufthansa Miles & More payment cards doubled their sign-up bonus to 10,000 miles for the month.  At the end of July, nothing happened and the 10,000 miles kept on showing.

The website has now been clarified to confirm that the 10,000 miles sign-up deal will run until 31st December.

There is a £79 annual fee, which is not refunded pro-rata if you cancel, but this is still a good deal to get 10,000 Miles & More miles IF you are already an active collector.  It is less use for everyone else because there is little value in Miles & More outside of long haul Business and First Class redemptions.  These require far more miles than most people can get from card spend alone, even at 1.25 miles per £1.

Our full review of the Miles & More payments cards is here.

Miles and More payment card Diners Club Mastercard review

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

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.

Finally, whilst not directly related to miles and points, Head for Points is running an exclusive sign-up offer with Revolut.  Sign up via our link here and you do not have to pay the £4.99 delivery fee for the plastic card.  Read our full article first.

If you have your own small business, we also reviewed Revolut for Businessclick here for details.  You can sign up here.

Revolut Business card

Further reading ….

We also published the following credit card articles in September:

Good news if you lost Amex cashback because the merchant used a payment aggregator

Help us update our crowdsourced list of Amex Membership Rewards transfer times

Virgin has boosted its credit card sign-up bonuses – but which card is best for you?

NEW PROMO: Get 7,000 to 25,000 sign-up miles with the Virgin Atlantic credit cards!

What are the best UK airport lounges you can visit for free with Amex Gold’s Lounge Club passes?

50% bonus when you convert Amex Membership Rewards points to Hilton – worth it?

Excellent deal: 60,000 points sign-up bonus with American Express Platinum Business!

What are the best travel credit card sign-up deals for October?

If you are looking to apply for a new credit or charge card, here are my top recommendations based on the current sign-up bonus.  These deals are listed in no particular order and their position on the list is not a sign of how good or bad the offer is.

British Airways American Express

The bonus on this free card is 5,000 Avios.  My full review of the BA Amex credit card is here.  You can apply here.  Representative APR 22.9% variable.

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

The bonus on the annual fee BA Amex is an impressive 25,000 Avios.  I wrote a full review of the British Airways Premium Plus card here.  You can apply here.  Representative APR 76.0% variable including the £195 annual fee based on a notional £1200 credit limit.

American Express Platinum

American Express Platinum

The sign-up bonus on this card is 30,000 American Express Membership Rewards points.  You need to spend £4,000 in 90 days to trigger the bonus.

Your points can be transferred into various airline and hotel programmes.  You could get 30,000 Avios, 30,000 Virgin miles, 60,000 Hilton Honors points, 90,000 Radisson Rewards points, 2,000 Club Eurostar points etc etc.

You receive a pro-rata refund on the £575 fee when you cancel the card and you will retain most of the benefits – Marriott Bonvoy Gold, Radisson Rewards Gold, Hilton Honors Gold, Melia Rewards Gold and Shangri-La Jade – for the rest of the year even after you cancel. The Amex Platinum benefits package is extensive, though, and once you’ve got it you might find the numbers add up for you. I have had one for 15 years.

My full review of the Amex Platinum card is here. Amex’s own home page is here.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

This is currently a good deal for a beginner. You pay no fee for the first year and earn 10,000 Membership Rewards points (see here for what 10,000 MR points can get you – 10,000 Avios points for a start!).  You need to spend £3,000 in 90 days to trigger the bonus.

If you are new to this hobby, I would make this your first American Express card.  One benefit of earning American Express points is that you only need to transfer them to an airline or hotel scheme when you are ready to redeem – there is no risk of being caught out by devaluations!

My full review of Amex Gold is here. The Amex home page to apply is here.

Representative APR 57.6% variable including the annual fee (free in year 1) based on a notional £1,200 credit limit. Interest rate on purchases 22.9% APR variable.

Amex Gold

IHG Rewards Club Premium Mastercard

This is my preferred hotel Visa / Mastercard because of the strong overall package.  Whilst there is a £99 annual fee, this is offset in Year 1 by the 20,000 bonus IHG points you receive.  You get IHG Rewards Club Platinum status for as long as you hold the card.  You will also receive a voucher for a free night at any IHG Rewards Club property when you spend £10,000 per year.  Representative APR 41.5% variable including fee based on a notional £1200 credit limit.

Virgin Atlantic Reward and Reward+ Mastercard

The two new Virgin Flying Club credit cards are the most generous Mastercard or Visa cards for day to day spending.  The free Reward card (with a 7,000 miles sign-up bonus) earns 0.75 miles per £1 whilst the annual fee Reward+ card (with a whopping 25,000 mile sign-up bonus) earns 1.5 miles per £1.  The bonus triggers with your first purchase.

My review of the free Virgin Atlantic Reward credit card is here.  My review of the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ credit card is here.

Reward: representative APR 22.9% variable.  Reward+: representative APR 63.9% variable including £160 fee based on a notional £1200 credit limit Interest rate on purchases 22.9% variable.  The application page is here.

Capital On Tap Capital Club and On Tap Club Mastercards 

These cards are ONLY for small businesses.  We discuss the eligibility criteria in our Capital On Tap review here.  There are two cards – one has a sign-up bonus worth 5,000 Avios and you earn 0.5 Avios per £1 spent, whilst the other (with a higher fee) has a sign-up bonus worth 20,000 Avios and you earn 1 Avios per £1 spent.  HFP readers get a higher sign-up bonus of 250 or 500 Avios respectively if you use promo code ‘headforpoints’ when applying.

Earning miles and points from small business cards  

Head for Points focusses primarily on personal cards. However, if you are a sole trader or run a very small business, you may also want to check out the American Express Platinum Business Card (click here) and the American Express Gold Business Card (click here).  There is currently a 20,000 points (= 20,000 Avios) bonus on the Gold Business card and a 60,000 points (60,000 Avios) bonus on the Platinum Business card – the Platinum deal requires you to apply via a refer-a-friend link.

You should also take a look at the new British Airways American Express Accelerating Business card (apply here, review here).

I would hold off from applying for the Capital On Tap Avios-earning SME cards until the new Visa product is available later in October.

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.

Bits: Hilton launches a flash sale, 3000 bonus Radisson points with sale rates, Flybe extends Heathrow-Guernsey
Bits: win 75000 Lufthansa miles, something up at ART & LOUNGE in T4, American launching Boston to Heathrow
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Comments

  1. Slightly O/T – Got an email last night that if you use a Tesco credit card with curve it’s gonna charge you 3.99% for cash withdrawals via curve from end October time.

  2. Amex Nectar card: Anybody considering this at the moment may want to be patient for a month or two. Nectar have sometimes offered a substantial additional bonus for new applications around October/November. Given they have just ‘relaunched’ the scheme the chances may be good this year.

    • Harry T says:

      I guess most of us won’t be eligible for a Nectar Amex bonus though 🙁

      • Shoestring says:

        They offer sign up deals on Sainsburys Nectar cards as well

        • Currently done 9 out of 10 shops on my second such card in 18 months. I’ll report back if I get the bonus points again. It could be a while though as it is up to 3 months after promotion period ends for them to post. Hoping to have them before another possible LNER double up in winter.

        • Nate1309 says:

          The sainsburys cards are a great interest free loan to.

          • Talking of ‘interest’, I laugh every time Rob highlights card designs or metal cards. However, I must eat humble pie as I have had a coupled of people already commenting on my Sainsburys Nectar card and I must admit I find it both striking and pleasing myself 🙂

          • Benylin says:

            Sainsbury’s credit card took weeks to get, proof of income etc, but got it eventually, 21 or 28mths 0% with £8k odd limit.

      • I am very happy indeed that I did not cancel all my amex cards and just carried on as usual when the rules changed earlier this year 🙂

      • Charlieface says:

        Inclined to think the extra bonus, which is normally paid by Nectar directly, won’t come under the Amex rules. Plus Amex’s IT isn’t perfect to say the least…

        • Harry T says:

          Has anyone managed to get a bonus by spending 3k on the Gold credit card, even though they should be ineligible?

  3. Natalie says:

    Quick question: I have a business gold Amex at the moment. I would need to cancel it and apply for platinum in 6 months’ time to get the platinum bonus?

    • If you mean Business Platinum, yes (and the 60k offer ends soon anyway). If you mean Personal Platinum then no – you can apply now. The rules on personal cards ignore any Business cards you have.

  4. Hi all, this an O/T question.

    The missus and I have 2 euro traveller flights booked for this month and January. Usually we’d book club Europe in the sales but nothing spectacular turned up in the recent sales.

    For these two trips (and possibly a couple of more next year in euro traveller), what would be the cheapest way to get access to lounges on inbound and outbound flights.

    Fyi we are flying from Gatwick/Heathrow and lisbon and Seville for now.

    Thanks

    • Absolute cheapest route is usually a Dragonpass deal via a partner, which can be as low as £18. However that doesn’t guarantee you get in due to capacity constraints etc (would be OK in Lisbon and Seville I’m sure). For T3 at Heathrow I’d book direct with No 1 next time a discount deal comes along – at least you know you’ll get in.

      Plan B of course is to get an Amex Gold. Even if you don’t qualify for the bonus you’ll still get the lounge passes. Or get Amex Plat for a month for a Priority Pass (£50 pro rata fee) and sign up for all the other benefits on top ….

      • I wouldn’t bother with the lounge in Seville, its very basic and the airport isn’t very busy most of the time. Just find a cafe or a quiet corner in the terminal.

        BA use the ANA lounge at Lisbon, they were turning away all walk-ups when I was last there but not sure if that’s “normal”. It’s reasonable as third party lounges go.

      • AndyGWP says:

        Can you request a refund from DragonPass if you’ve been refused admission? (on the basis you may not have any future travel planned)

        • Shoestring says:

          no, without checking, they are 100% certain to have a similar clause to PP, ie that admission is not guaranteed & subject to capacity constraints and any other consideration the lounge operator might consider important

          • https://salaryextras.dragonpassuk.com/
            code not required, £18 per entry, no need to specify the lounge so if refused entry the certificate can be used elsewhere in the next 12 months

          • Shoestring says:

            Access to lounges is strictly subject to availability.
            Lounges have their own terms and conditions, they will also have dress requirements and will not allow access if drunk or likely to cause offence to other customers.

          • Shoestring says:

            cheers Pablo for link

  5. 1nfrequent says:

    Newbie question but can you hold the Preferred Rewards Gold card and the Amex Platinum at the same time?

    1F

  6. O/T for those who missed late comment yesterday: There is currently a £125 bonus available for switching banks to Club Lloyds account. Holding this account also has small benefits for those holding Lloyd’s Avios cards. First such offer from Lloyds so everybody who does not already have an account is presumably eligible.

  7. Benylin says:

    Anyone have a good email / contact for the Virgin Credit Cards? I have the free card now, I want the paid one for the better earning rate (maybe bonus too). Do I cancel and wait 6 months?

    Someone here had a positive experience of downgrading, wonder if it works on the upgrade route too?…

    • I would have thought you wont get the signup bonus on an upgrade and given the size of the signup bonus 25k points = nearly £17k spend even at the higher rate.So unless you are likely to spend more than £17k in the next 6 months then cancel and reapply seems the best bet.

    • AndyGWP says:

      I’d recommend phoning up and getting the info on this from the horses mouth 🙂

  8. Concerto says:

    Is there a spend threshold for the M&M UK credit card? Seems like a good deal to pick up 10,000 miles for £79.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Not that I recall

      • First purchase I think. Definitely worth £79 for 10k miles as long as you’re an active M&M member. Once you’ve got it, though, you might as well maximise your spend on it given 1.25 miles per £1.

  9. Voltron says:

    OT – Do Monzo or Tandem do a credit check when opening an account?

  10. Eastland Staveley says:

    £175 for switching to HSBC premier at present so an excellent time to do so for the premier mastercard & 5% savings account. I’ve been waiting for the switch offer to return specifically for this!

  11. I want to apply for the platinum card, I have been over 6 months without an MR card. I don’t want to wait 24 months. What details do I need to change to circumvent the new Amex churning rules? Just email?

    What do people find is the best use of curve for points? Cash withdrawls?

    • Shoestring says:

      new name, new address, new email address, different identity on the electoral roll should do it

      • That would do it I’m sure but there are people on here knocking them out a lot quicker than 6 months but how do they do it? They are churning like the old days.

        I need the points to get F to match for a 241

      • 🙂

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