Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

What are the best credit card sign-up deals for October 2019? – plus your news round-up

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UPDATE – MAY 2024:  This article is now out of date, but don’t worry.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 Cards’ menu above.  Thank you.

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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.

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.

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.

Revolut Business card

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.

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!

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? – May 2024 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit card, here are our top recommendations based on the current sign-up bonuses.

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the best of the other deals currently available.

Marriott Bonvoy American Express

HUGE 60,000 POINTS BONUS UNTIL 3rd JULY and 15 elite night credits each year Read our full review

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

18,000 bonus points and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend 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:

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

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

Capital on Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,000 points bonus – plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review

For a non-American Express option, we also recommend the Barclaycard Select Cashback card for sole traders and small businesses. It is FREE and you receive 1% cashback on your spending.

Barclaycard Select Cashback Business Credit Card

1% cashback uncapped* on all your business spending (T&C apply) Read our full review

Comments (49)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Nick says:

    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.

  • BJ says:

    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

        • BJ says:

          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.

          • BJ says:

            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.

      • BJ says:

        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 🙂

        • Harry T says:

          Why’s that, BJ? I’m thinking of cancelling most of mine soon to reset the clock…

          • BJ says:

            See comment by Charlieface, I’ve been churning away and recommending quite happily as unusual.

          • Rob says:

            Amex’s IT is not as good as they think it is ….

      • 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?

  • 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?

    • Rob says:

      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.

  • Urty says:

    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.


    • Rob says:

      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 ….

      • Stu_N says:

        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

          • pablo says:

            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

  • 1nfrequent says:

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


    • Grant says:

      Yes, I do

    • BJ says:

      Note too that the gold card is now a credit card if you are a new applicant while the platinum card is still a charge card. If you currently hold an old gold charge card and apply for platinum I believe this will be treated as an upgrade and you will lose your gold charge card but await confirmation from others on this.

  • BJ says:

    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.

    • RM84 says:

      This is very interesting – the first offer that’s tempted me to switch in quite a while. Thanks for posting!

    • Lee says:

      Switched yesterday, first time see an offer without transfer DD

  • 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?…

    • jimA says:

      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 🙂

  • 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

      • Rob says:

        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.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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