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 October?
ENDS TODAY (?) – You can receive a whopping 60,000 Membership Rewards points on Amex Business Platinum
American Express has been offering 60,000 Membership Rewards points as a sign-up bonus on the Platinum Business card for the last few weeks. This offer is meant to end today, 6th November, but that is not written down anywhere.
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 launched a new British Airways SME card
American Express has 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.
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 closed two variants of the Amex Rewards Credit Card
ARCC is a standard Amex-branded credit card. It has no annual fee and no substantial benefits, except for the ability to collect Membership Rewards points at 1 point per £1 spent.
There WERE three versions of the card available: a low interest rate version, a ‘0% interest on purchases’ version, and a ‘standard’ version with the usual 22.9% interest rate and without a 0% offer on purchases.
You can probably guess which two versions have been closed down. Yes …. the one with the 9.9% interest rate and the one which offered 0% interest on purchases.
The one version which remains is the ‘standard’ one with a 5,000 Membership Rewards points bonus and a representative APR of 22.9% variable (click here). You need to spend £2,000 within three months to receive the bonus.
It is unlikely that many (any?!) Head for Points readers will qualify for the bonus because you cannot have held any personal American Express card in the previous 24 months. Don’t worry about that. You may still want to get this card even though you won’t get a bonus.
If you currently have an Amex Gold or Platinum card and want to cancel it but do not want to cash in your Membership Rewards points, this card is your answer.
Apply for the one remaining variant of the American Express Rewards Credit Card. Once it is active, you can cancel your Gold charge or credit card or Platinum charge card safe in the knowledge that your Membership Rewards balance is safe.
The only ‘snag’ is that you will not have reset the 24 month clock on being able to reapply for any other personal American Express card (with the exception of British Airways Premium Plus) and receive another sign-up bonus. In order to do that you need to close down your Membership Rewards account entirely.
For a lot of people, though, being able to keep your existing Membership Rewards balance alive will be more important. You can apply for the remaining version of the American Express Rewards credit card here.
The Lufthansa credit card is giving away 1 million Miles & More miles
To promote the Lufthansa Miles & More payment cards (which I rate highly – you get 10,000 miles as a sign-up bonus until 31st December and 1.25 miles per £1 spent, see my review here), Affiniture is giving away almost 1 million Miles & More miles.
To be more precise, it is giving away 13 prizes of 75,000 Miles & More miles, which I’d value at £750+. Lufthansa’s fabled First Class could be within your grasp ….. at least one-way!
Everyone who applies for the Miles & More payment cards before 31st December will be entered into the competition. However, to comply with UK law, you can also enter without applying for the card.
Visit this page of the cards website and enter. You must be an existing Miles & More member and you must be a UK resident. The competition closes on 31st December. Good luck.
Virgin Atlantic’s latest promotion ended
I have no idea what, if anything, is coming down the pipe in terms of future promotions so I can’t give you a steer on whether it is worth applying now or whether you should wait for a deal. The application site is here.
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.
These cards were meant to be switching to Visa in September. And then in October. Existing cardholders were meant to be switched on 31st October.
All of these deadlines have been missed. I’m not sure at present what is going on, but they are still intending to switch over to a Visa credit card format soon.
For now, you can continue using the Mastercard debit version to pay your HMRC VAT and corporation tax bills and earn 1 Avios per £1 spent! If you apply now, you will receive the Mastercard and then be switched later.
There is a special higher sign-up bonus for HFP readers which you can read about here.
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.
Further reading ….
We also published the following credit card articles in October:
You may also want to read our ‘Top 10’ series:
What are the best travel credit card sign-up deals for November?
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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 5,000 miles sign-up bonus) earns 0.75 miles per £1 whilst the annual fee Reward+ card (with a 15,000 mile sign-up bonus) earns 1.5 miles per £1. The bonus triggers with your first purchase.
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.
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 by 6th November.
You should also take a look at the new British Airways American Express Accelerating Business card (apply here, review here).
There is also the Capital On Tap cards which we mentioned above, with their exclusive HFP bonus.
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.