UPDATE – SEPTEMBER 2021: This article is now out of date, but don’t worry.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 Card Offers’ menu above. Thank you.
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 November?
Is HSBC Premier launching a 25% conversion bonus to Avios?
We may be about to see a new transfer bonus between HSBC Premier credit cards and British Airways Executive Club.
A HFP reader, ZW, found a PDF on the HSBC website. It shows a 25% bonus on transfers made between 1st December and 31st December. No readers reported seeing this on the HSBC website so far, however, so hold your horses until we are sure it is live.
American Express launched a new co-brand cashback card with health and life insurer Vitality
This was definitely the surprise of the month, since I had assumed that the EU interchange fee caps made new American Express co-brand cards unprofitable. Amex is in discussions about how they should be regulated – given that Amex does not have ‘interchange’ due to its vertical integration – but there is no breakthrough so far.
And yet …. here we are. Amex and Vitality have launched a new co-brand card. The package is the same as the existing American Express cashback card BUT you will receive extra cashback on top from Vitality. If you are a Vitality member then this card is very attractive.
Curve Card to add a 1.5% fee to HMRC payments from 24th January
The big news last month, at least for HFP readers, was the decision by Curve Card to add a 1.5% fee for HMRC payments from 24th January.
(It has not been a good month for Curve, with this announcement being bungled and some very critical press comment appearing.)
Curve Card still has value if you make very large HMRC payments, however. There will be no fees to Curve Metal cardholders, and the £150 annual fee is a small price to pay if you use your entire £50,000 Curve Card annual limit – which is what most people get – to make HMRC payments. You can recharge this to a miles and points Visa or Mastercard, generating for example 75,000 free Virgin Flying Club miles via the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard.
You can read more about the Curve Card changes here.
Amex Business Platinum dropped its temporary 60,000 points refer-a-friend sign-up bonus
This was the most generous credit card sign-up bonus of the year – and, to be fair, it still is given that the standard bonus is 45,000 Membership Rewards points if you are referred. You were paying a £595 annual fee, however, albeit with a pro-rata refund.
It is substantially easier to qualify for the sign-up bonus on the Platinum Business card than the personal Platinum card. To get the bonus 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 of the card are in our Amex Business Platinum review here, although the bonus is now back at 45,000 points for a referral.
Free Avios if you live in Ireland
If you live in Ireland, you can earn 250 free Avios by linking any Visa card to your SuperValu Real Rewards account.
You will also earn double Avios on all future SuperValu shopping. Full details are in this article.
Capital On Tap Avios-earning SME cards switched to Visa – and secretly improved
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.
The switch to a Visa credit card format has now happened. All new applicants are receiving a Visa card. Existing cardholders will receive one over the next few weeks.
There are two bits of Capital On Tap news I haven’t covered yet but will expand on in a few days:
The cards definitely work with Curve Card. This means that you can link your Capital On Tap Visa card to Curve Card (read about Curve Card here) and use it to pay HMRC. HMRC payments are free until 24th January for existing Curve Card holders.
Capital On Tap is combining its two card variants into one, with the best benefits of both. The fee will be £99 and the cards will earn 1 Avios per £1. This change has already happened but the company has not updated its website yet. As soon as this happens, we will do a full article.
Capital on Tap has a special higher sign-up bonus for HFP readers which you can read about here. I would delay your application until the new website is live however. At the moment it advertises two Avios cards but you will receive the new hydrid which is better than both of the current offerings.
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.
The Lufthansa payment 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 1 million Miles & More miles.
To be more precise, it is giving away 14 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.
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 ….
During November, we updated our full series of UK credit and charge card reviews. Click the links below to read each review:
- American Express Green review – no bonus
- American Express Preferred Rewards Gold (Amex Gold) review – 10,000 points bonus
- American Express Platinum review – 30,000 points bonus
- American Express Rewards review – 5,000 points bonus
- British Airways American Express (BA Amex) review – 5,000 Avios bonus
- British Airways Premium Plus American Express review – 25,000 Avios bonus
- HSBC Premier Mastercard review – no bonus at present
- HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard review – 40,000 points bonus
- IHG Rewards Club Mastercard review – 10,000 points bonus
- IHG Rewards Club Premium Mastercard review – 20,000 points bonus
- Miles & More Global Traveller cards review – 10,000 miles bonus
- Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG Amex) review – 30,000 Marriott points bonus
- Tesco Clubcard Mastercard review – no bonus
- Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard review – 5,000 miles bonus
- Virgin Atlantic Reward Plus Mastercard review – 15,000 miles bonus
You may also want to read our ‘Top 10’ series:
Want to earn more points from credit cards? – September 2021 update
If you are looking to apply for a new credit or charge card, here are our September 2021 recommendations based on the current sign-up bonus.
The following offers will end soon:
- 2,000 Virgin Points on Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard (ends 15th October)
- 30,000 Virgin Points on Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard (ends 15th October)
- 10,000 Avios on British Airways American Express (ends 2nd November)
- 40,000 Avios on British Airways American Express Premium Plus (ends 2nd November)
- 60,000 points on The Platinum Card from American Express (ends 2nd November)
- 30,000 points on American Express Preferred Rewards Gold (ends 9th November)
Here are the top current deals:
British Airways American Express
10,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and an Economy 241 voucher for spending ….. Read our full review
British Airways American Express Premium Plus
40,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold
Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review
The Platinum Card from American Express
60,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review
Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard
The UK’s most generous free Visa or Mastercard at 0.75 points / £1 Read our full review
Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard
30,000 points bonus and the most generous non-Amex for day to day spending 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 Gold
20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review
American Express Business Platinum
40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review
British Airways Accelerating Business American Express
60,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review
Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa
The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company 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: