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What are the best credit card sign-up deals for November? – 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 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 Business Platinum 60,000 points

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.

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

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.

Amex Rewards Credit Card

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.

Win 75000 Miles and More miles

Virgin Atlantic’s latest promotion ended

The two Virgin Atlantic credit cards have dropped back to their standard bonuses during October – 5,000 miles on free card (reviewed here) and 15,000 miles on the paid card (reviewed here).

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.

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

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.

Earn Avios with Capital on Tap

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 October:

What can you do with Amex Membership Rewards points?

A new Amex lounge for Platinum cardholders opens in Sydney

Why you should get a FREE Curve Card to maximise your miles and points from credit cards

Are the best cashback credit cards a good alternative to miles and points cards?

Should you dump your free BA Amex for the one remaining Amex Rewards Credit Card? Possibly.

What are the best Star Alliance credit cards for UK residents?

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.

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 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.

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 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.

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Comments

  1. The free night on the IHG mastercard is now restricted
    “Anniversary Night is valid at IHG® Hotels with a current point redemption level of 40,000 points or less, and must be redeemed, and stay must be completed, within 12 months from date of issue. Below is a list of hotels whose redemption threshold is higher than 40,000 points.”

    • Where do you read that?

      Those are the terms on the US card, yes. Not the UK card. There is a massive difference between the two because the US card gives you the free night for diddly squat and a $49 fee whilst the UK card requires £10k spend and a £99 fee.

      • Apologies Rob, I will need to make sure I am looking at UK site. It is my number one credit card until I have reached the £10,000 target then HSBC premium.

        • If you hover on the information marker next to the spend counter on your IHG account it still says that the free night can be “at any IHG hotel”.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Yep still any hotel for the UK card free night.

            Seems to be a reoccurring post on here these days.

          • Thanks

          • I think it’s because if you search for a guide to using IHG points and free night certificates most of the hits are US blogs which cite the 40,000 point rule and wouldn’t know (or think to mention) that this doesn’t apply to UK cardholders.

    • Datapoint – Recently booked and redeemed using the free night certificate in an Intercontinental where it was going at 55k points per night.

  2. Thomas O'Brien says:

    OT – Are there any cards that I can switch a balance to that I will earn points on transferring the balance?

    • Not sure there are – or there wasn’t when i looked at the beginning of the year
      Perhaps if you use a Curve card to make the payment, thus linking it back to the points card? but there’s issues around that, which if i’m honest, i dont fully understand

    • Lloyds Avios (if you already hold one).

  3. Colin MacKinnon says:

    Regards IHG card, the Spire Elite status with c 37,500 GBP spend (which also gets a lump of points too) seems to be based on calendar year spend, not card year spend.

    So if you are aiming for that, perhaps best to wait until the new year to get a card?

    • No issue with getting the card just now and any spend this year will count towards the £10k required within a year in order to generate the free night, but beware that any spend this/next month which appears on your November of December card statement will result in points into your IHG account in this calendar year – might help anyone who is close to achieving Spire via stays and without spend!
      If aiming for Spire solely through card spend you’d need £37.5k of spend after December statement generated (so late December) until just before same point next year. This is because IHG status is based on the calendar year.

  4. On topic, but from a different point of view.

    I live in the wilds of Wales, and getting to heathrow is great, but for shorter flights where possible, i’ll always fly out of Cardiff.

    If i was to start looking at collecting points to use in Wales (now BA has LONG since stopped flying from there) what would be a good card to look at?

    I’ve just sold my business, back on PAYE after 20 years, so that’ll make a difference.
    Drive c.30k miles per year

    Any suggestions welcomed

    • RedEyeDonkey says:

      It looks like KLM are your main option which could be great if the Virgin partnership all goes ahead as planned and you can redeem FC miles on KLM in which case the Virgin card at 1.5/per has the best earnings rate. Though you’ll be schlepping down to London mostly to use your upgrade voucher as it’s Virgin metal only. Failing that if you want more flexibility you just want either Bonvoys or Membership Rewards (SPG card or one of the MR AMEX cards respectively) which you can transfer wherever you’d like.

      With the high value of Bonvoy points to use on actual hotels and the occasional transfer bonuses it’s debatable which is better as a flexible currency – being able to earn 1.7 points per on the preferred rewards gold makes it close but I usually put my spend on that first then take my pick of the free IHG night, Virgin upgrade voucher or BA 241 in whichever order I think I’m most likely to need/use that coming year.

      • Ah – virgin partnership, that’ll be the key, i think. Was wondering if Qatar did anything as they have some great connection routes from Doha.

        i’ll investigate some more.

        I’ve generallly collected Hilton (Gold each year) but if Bonvoy can come up with a similar Tier (free upgrade, breakfast and wifi) then i’d be happy to switch

        Something to think about – thanks

    • Harry T says:

      Likewise, does anyone have suggestions for points collecting for someone who lives in Newcastle? The best airports for me are Newcastle and Edinburgh.

    • Spaghetti Town says:

      Flybe are about to re-brand as Virgin Connect so you’ll be able to use your Virgin FC on both them and KLM in the future. Qatar also gives you avios options out of Cardiff via BA Executive club.

    • the_real_a says:

      AMEX Cashback Card @ 1% and then use the proceeds to buy a priority pass for lounge access and cash fare on Ryanair for each flight you need.

      Flying Blue Taxes far outweigh the regular cash price on LoCo’s so its hardly worth using the points, except for marginal cases on long haul.

      No fun whatsoever – but worth considering the opportunity costs.

  5. Down the Back says:

    The company I work for has recently implemented a new expense system and as part of that we have all been issued with the green Amex card which has your name and the company name on it. Can you still collect MR points on this type of card or do the points go to the company ?

    Thanks

    DtB

    • Your company may have agreed a lower fee with Amex in return for points not being issued. You need to ask.

      • This is in the US but my girlfriend, who works for a big audit firm, had to pay something like $100 so that she could keep the points earned on her corporate green Amex, which they have to use for company expenses (I’m unsure if she paid her employer or Amex for this).

    • Yes, you can. Ring Amex to set up the MR account in your name, as long as your corporate policy does not prevent you from taking the points.

  6. OT but prompted by the “Million Miles” LH promo… Did we ever hear who won the 1million Avios from Monese? Was supposed to be announced on October 15th though haven’t seen anymore on any of the Monese partner sites / blogs.

    • Monese is not releasing the names. They are not legally obliged to give me the name. They ARE legally obliged to give you the name, if you entered, under UK competition law, should you wish to ask. You can then tell us.

      We have identified two of the six winners but neither of those two appear to be the HFP one.

  7. Whatever happened to the Monese competition for 1,000,000 Avios?

    Winner was due to be announced 15th October – Assume it wasn’t me 🙁

  8. AndyGWP says:

    Does anyone know who won the Monese competition?

    (… sorry, couldn’t resist) 😉 😀

  9. I just entered the competition for one of the 13 prizes of 75,000 Miles & More miles without enquiring about more information. Thanks for alerting me to this. That said I haven’t received an email confirming my entry which makes me wonder if I am actually entered or they are pretending to comply with UK competition entry rules.

  10. I have just triggered my BA 2-4-1 voucher for my current membership year which runs until next April on the BAPP card so was wondering which other card I could get. I have never had any other Amex card so like the idea of the American Express Preferred Rewards Gold but will I get the 10,000 MR bonus as I already have the BAPP card? I am guessing not. Likewise if I applied instead for the basic American Express Rewards Credit Card I wouldn’t get the 5,000 MR bonus?

  11. Bit of a newbie to this so doing some research into where to put my first lot of MR points and the next card to move onto.

    I must be missing something because all articles suggest an avios is very broadly equivalent in value to a virgin mile. However, searching online virgin redemptions seem to require far fewer miles. E.g. LHR-HKG return economy = 25,000 virgin miles or 50,000 avios.

    Where am I going wrong?

    • Economy redemptions are generally bad value regardless.

      Virgin pricing is often lower BUT you are trading off a far smaller route network. The BA Amex 241 also skews valuation. 1p is just a reminder that this is the minimum you should look for.

      • Charlieface says:

        Rob, I’ve redeemed the vast majority of my Avios (probably few 100000) in economy for myself and others, and it worked out usually at 0.8p – 1p on average. The reason is they were mostly one-way or last minute tickets, or flexibility was needed, all of which changes the maths considerably. You should look more closely at this.

        • Realistically few people do this though, and those who do know the value.

          • Charlieface says:

            More the point, a lot of people don’t realise more seats come available. I used to find Saturday night more seats come up for the following week. And more come up the night before.

          • Shoestring says:

            late reward seat availability in Europe is often excellent – when the cash price can often be sky high

            BA often dump another 4 or 8 reward seats spread across Economy & Business in the last 2-3 weeks

            obvs not when the plane is mostly full

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