Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

What Amex bonuses are you still eligible for?

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This is our beginners guide to whether you qualify for an American Express sign-up bonus or not.

It runs through the checklist of which UK American Express cards you can get based on the cards you have.

This way I have written it below is, I think, the simplest way of looking at it.  It’s still not THAT simple however ……

This article was updated on 19th October 2020, and all of the information is correct as of that date. Ignore the original publication date shown.

What American Express sign-up bonuses can you still get?

The new Amex sign-up bonus decision tree

This is the decision tree you need to follow:

QUESTION:

Have you had ANY personal American Express card (excluding MBNA, Lloyds Bank, supplementary and small business Amex cards) in the previous 24 months?

If ‘no’:

You can apply for any personal American Express card and receive the full advertised bonusThis article outlines my recommended American Express application strategy to maximise your bonuses – a couple can earn 178,000 Avios relatively easy over the course of a year!

If ‘yes’:

You CANNOT get a sign-up bonus on the following cards:

  • Platinum Cashback
  • Platinum Cashback Everyday
  • British Airways American Express (free card)
  • Preferred Rewards Gold
  • Marriott Bonvoy
  • Nectar
  • American Express Rewards

You MAY still qualify for a bonus NOW on:

  • The Platinum Card (30,000 Membership Rewards points)
  • British Airways Premium Plus (25,000 Avios)
  • American Express Business Gold (20,000 Membership Rewards points)
  • American Express Business Platinum (40,000 Membership Rewards points)

You WILL qualify for a bonus NOW on:

  • British Airways American Express Accelerating Business (2,200 On Business points)

Keep reading to see if you do actually qualify for the cards I just mentioned.

What sign-up bonuses can you get from American Express?

The 2020 Amex sign-up bonus rules by card type

I’m assuming here that you answered ‘Yes’ to the question above, and that you have had a personal American Express card in the previous 24 months.

We now need to drill down more closely into which cards you have or had. Basically,  “if you have THIS card, you MIGHT still qualify for a bonus on THAT card ……”

Remember that supplementary cards do not count as having ‘had’ a card.  If you are a supplementary on your partner’s Amex Gold, for example, you can still apply in your own name and get a sign-up bonus as long as you meet the other criteria.

Can you get a British Airways American Express sign-up bonus?

If you currently have the free British Airways or British Airways Premium Plus Amex credit card:

You would need to cancel and wait 24 months before you can get a bonus on Platinum Cashback, Platinum Cashback Everyday, British Airways, British Airways Premium Plus, Preferred Rewards Gold, Marriott Bonvoy, Nectar, American Express Rewards

You can get a bonus NOW on The Platinum Card IF you have not held a Preferred Rewards Gold, The Platinum Card, Green or American Express Rewards card in the previous 24 months

You can get a bonus NOW on American Express Business Gold or American Express Business Platinum IF you have not held a Preferred Rewards Gold, The Platinum Card, Green, American Express Rewards, American Express Business Gold or American Express Business Platinum card in the previous six months and meet the qualifying criteria for having a small business

You can get a bonus NOW on British Airways American Express Accelerating Business IF you meet the qualifying criteria for having a small business

Can I get a sign-up bonus on Amex Gold?

If you currently have Preferred Rewards Gold, The Platinum Card, Green or American Express Rewards credit card:

You would need to cancel and wait 24 months before you can get a bonus on Platinum Cashback, Platinum Cashback Everyday, British Airways American Express, Preferred Rewards Gold, The Platinum Card, Green, Marriott Bonvoy, Nectar, American Express Rewards

You can get a bonus NOW on British Airways Premium Plus IF you have not held a British Airways or British Airways Premium Plus card in the previous 24 months

You would need to cancel and wait six months before you can get a bonus on American Express Business Gold or American Express Business Platinum, assuming you meet the qualifying criteria for having a small business

You can get a bonus NOW on British Airways American Express Accelerating Business IF you meet the qualifying criteria for having a small business

Can I get the bonus on the American Express Nectar Card?

If you currently have a Nectar or Marriott Bonvoy American Express credit card:

You would need to cancel and wait 24 months before you can get a bonus on Platinum Cashback, Platinum Cashback Everyday, British Airways American Express (free version), Preferred Rewards Gold, Marriott Bonvoy, Nectar, American Express Rewards

You can get a bonus NOW on The Platinum Card IF you have not held a Preferred Rewards Gold, The Platinum Card, Green or American Express Rewards card in the previous 24 months

You can get a bonus NOW on British Airways Premium Plus IF you have not held a British Airways or British Airways Premium Plus card in the previous 24 months

You can get a bonus NOW on American Express Business Gold or American Express Business Platinum IF you have not held a Preferred Rewards Gold, The Platinum Card, Green, American Express Rewards, American Express Business Gold or American Express Business Platinum card in the previous six months and meet the qualifying criteria for having a small business

You can get a bonus NOW on British Airways American Express Accelerating Business IF you meet the qualifying criteria for having a small business

American Express Platinum Cashback card sign-up bonus rules

If you currently have a Platinum Cashback or Platinum Cashback Everyday Amex card:

You would need to cancel and wait 24 months before you can get a bonus on Platinum Cashback, Platinum Cashback Everyday, British Airways American Express, Preferred Rewards Gold, Green, Marriott Bonvoy, Nectar, American Express Rewards

You can get a bonus NOW on The Platinum Card IF you have not held a Preferred Rewards Gold, The Platinum Card, Green or American Express Rewards card in the previous 24 months

You can get a bonus NOW on British Airways Premium Plus IF you have not held a British Airways or British Airways Premium Plus card in the previous 24 months

You can get a bonus NOW on American Express Business Gold or American Express Business Platinum IF you have not held a Preferred Rewards Gold, The Platinum Card, Green, American Express Rewards, American Express Business Gold or American Express Business Platinum card in the previous six months and meet the qualifying criteria for having a small business

You can get a bonus NOW on British Airways American Express Accelerating Business IF you meet the qualifying criteria for having a small business

If you currently have a Business Platinum or Business Gold American Express card:

You can get a bonus NOW on ANY personal American Express card IF you have not held a personal American Express card in the previous 24 months.

You can get a bonus NOW on British Airways American Express Accelerating Business IF you meet the qualifying criteria for having a small business

For clarity … the bonus rules on the personal Amex cards now only look at what other personal Amex products you have had in the past 24 months.  Any small business Amex cards you have are not taken into account.

American Express sign up bonus rules

And if you’re starting from scratch ….

If you have not had ANY personal American Express cards in the last 24 months, the best route to optimise the number of sign-up bonuses you can get is:

start with either a Marriott Bonvoy, Nectar or (the less generous) cashback cards

follow up with either The Platinum Card or British Airways Premium Plus

follow up with either The Platinum Card or British Airways Premium Plus (depending on which one you didn’t get in stage two)

If you look at the rules above, you’ll see that you can still get three bonuses in a short space of time as long as you do it this way.

And remember ….

The discussion in this article is only about sign-up bonuses.  Subject to credit etc, American Express is still happy to accept you for any of these cards at any time – you just won’t necessarily get a bonus.

This is particularly important in relation to Preferred Rewards Gold where repeat cardholders DO still get another ‘first year free’ and DO still get another set of two airport lounge passes.  You still get these, even if you don’t qualify for a sign-up bous.

NOTE:  If you hold, or have held in the past 24 months, a personal American Express card which is not discussed in this article, such as The Centurion Card or a card which is not currently available to new applicants, please do additional checks as to your eligibility for a new bonus.

UK American Express sign-up bonus rules

Reference information

Here are links to our reviews on each of the cards, a link to the application website and the legally required interest rate information.  Let me stress again – the bonus rules do NOT stop you applying for any of the cards.  They simply influence whether or not you will qualify for a sign-up bonus.

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

Read our full reviewApply here

Other information:

  • Two Priority Pass cards, each allowing two people into 1,300 airport lounges
  • Elite status in five major hotel loyalty programmes
  • Comprehensive travel insurance
  • Annual fee: £575

This is a charge card, not a credit card. You must clear your balance in full each month.  Annual fee £575.

See if you qualify for the 30,000 points sign-up bonus +

You will receive 30,000 American Express Membership Rewards points as a sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card if you spend £4,000 within 90 days of signing up.

Membership Rewards points are hugely flexible.  You can transfer them into Avios, Virgin Flying Club or other airlines (at 1:1) or into various hotels schemes, into Club Eurostar or use them for shopping vouchers.

To qualify for the bonus, you must NOT, currently or in the previous 24 months, have held any other personal American Express card which earns Membership Rewards points.  This includes The Platinum Card and Preferred Rewards Gold.

You are OK if you had a supplementary card on someone else’s American Express account.

You are OK if, currently or in the previous 24 months, you have held any other American Express card, including the British Airways, Marriott and Nectar cards.  Holding a British Airways American Express card does not disqualify from the Platinum bonus.

If you cancel The Platinum Card at any point, you will receive a pro-rata refund of your membership fee.  You will not lose your sign-up bonus.

For clarity, you can still apply for The Platinum Card even if you do not qualify for the bonus.  You would still benefit from the long list of other benefits.

Learn more about the card benefits +

The Platinum Card from American Express comes with an unrivalled list of benefits for the keen traveller.

Your personal travel patterns will determine which of these is the most valuable.  The key benefits are:

Full comprehensive travel insurance for you, your family and the family of up to five supplementary cardholders, subject to enrolment

Two Priority Pass cards, each of which allows the holder and a guest unlimited free access to 1,300 airport lounges

Elite status in five major hotel loyalty schemes: Marriott Bonvoy (Gold Elite), Hilton Honors (Gold), Radisson Rewards (Gold Elite), Shangri-La Golden Circle (Jade), MeliaRewards (Gold)

Access to Eurostar lounges, irrespective of travel class

£10 per month of Addison Lee taxi credit

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Read our full reviewApply here

Other information:

  • Amex Gold is our recommended ‘first card’ for a miles and points beginner
  • You receive two free airport lounge passes when you sign up, and a further two passes each year if you renew
  • After your two free passes, you can visit further lounges for a small fee
  • Annual fee: Free for the first year, £140 from Year 2

Representative 56.6% APR variable, from Year 2, based on a notional £1,200 credit limit and £140 annual fee. Interest rate on purchases and in Year 1 22.2% APR variable.

See if you qualify for the 20,000 points sign-up bonus +

You will receive 20,000 American Express Membership Rewards points as a sign-up bonus on the American Express Preferred Rewards Gold card if you spend £3,000 within 90 days of signing up.

Membership Rewards points are hugely flexible, which is why we recommend this as the best choice for your first miles and points card.  You can transfer them into Avios, Virgin Flying Club or other airlines (at 1:1) or into various hotels schemes, into Club Eurostar or use them for shopping vouchers.

To qualify for the bonus, you must NOT, currently or in the previous 24 months, have held any other personal American Express card.

You are OK if you had a supplementary card on someone else’s American Express account.

You are OK if, currently or in the previous 24 months, you have held a Business American Express card.

For clarity, you can still apply for the American Express Preferred Rewards Gold card even if you do not qualify for the bonus.  You would still benefit from the two free airport lounge passes and the ‘no fee in Year 1’ offer.

Learn more about the card benefits +

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold comes with two free airport lounge passes.  These allow either you and a friend, or yourself twice, to visit any lounge in the Lounge Pass network.  You make additional lounge visits for £20 per person.  You receive an additional two free passes each year.

You earn double Membership Rewards points on all airline spend (made directly on an airline website) and all spend made outside the UK.

If you spend over £15,000 in a card year, you will receive an additional 10,000 Membership Rewards points when you renew.

Other benefits include a 10% discount on Hertz car rentals and special deals at 350 selected hotels worldwide, where Preferred Rewards Gold cardholders receive a $75 in-hotel credit per stay.

Amex Reward Credit Card ARCC

American Express Rewards

Read our full reviewApply here

Other information:

  • Your best choice if you want a ‘free for life’ card which earns Membership Rewards points
  • A good choice if you want to close a Gold or Platinum card but keep your points intact
  • Annual fee: Free

Representative 22.2% APR variable

See if you qualify for the 10,000 points sign-up bonus +

You will receive 5,000 American Express Membership Rewards points as a sign-up bonus on the American Express Rewards card if you spend £2,000 within 90 days of signing up.

Membership Rewards points are hugely flexible. You can transfer them into Avios, Virgin Flying Club or other airlines (at 1:1) or into various hotels schemes, into Club Eurostar or use them for shopping vouchers.

To qualify for the bonus, you must NOT, currently or in the previous 24 months, have held any other personal American Express card.

You are OK if you had a supplementary card on someone else’s American Express account.

You are OK if, currently or in the previous 24 months, you have held a Business American Express card.

For clarity, you can still apply for the American Express Rewards card even if you do not qualify for the bonus.  You may want to do this if you are thinking of swapping your Preferred Rewards Gold or Platinum card for a free alternative, and would prefer to keep your existing Membership Rewards points balance alive.

Learn more about the card benefits +

American Express Rewards is the only ‘free for life’ American Express card which lets you collect Membership Rewards points.

We do NOT recommend this card if you would also qualify for the sign-up bonus on American Express Preferred Rewards Gold.  The Gold card is free for the first year, comes with two free airport lounge passes and has a higher sign-up bonus of 10,000 points.

The best reason to get American Express Rewards is if you are coming to the end of your free first year with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold, or no longer want to pay the fee on The Platinum Card, but want to keep your Membership Rewards points intact.

British Airways American Express card

British Airways American Express

Read our full reviewApply here

Other information:

  • Receive a companion voucher, letting you book two flights for the Avios of one, when you spend £20,000 in a card year
  • Annual fee: Free

Representative 22.2% APR variable

See if you qualify for the 5,000 Avios sign-up bonus +

You will receive 5,000 Avios as a sign-up bonus on the free British Airways American Express card if you spend £1,000 within 90 days of signing up.

To qualify for the bonus, you must NOT, currently or in the previous 24 months, have held any other personal American Express card.

You are OK if you had a supplementary card on someone else’s British Airways American Express account.

You are OK if, currently or in the previous 24 months, you have held a Business American Express card.

For clarity, you can still apply for the British Airways American Express card even if you do not qualify for the bonus.  You would still benefit from the companion voucher and the other card benefits.

Learn more about the card benefits +

When you spend £20,000 on the British Airways American Express card, you receive a companion voucher entitling you to book two Avios redemption flights for the miles of one.  This voucher is valid for one year.  (Full taxes and charges need to be paid on both tickets.)

This voucher is the most valuable perk available in the UK airline and hotel credit card sector in my view. It could save you 150,000 or more Avios when used for a long-haul redemption in a premium cabin.

You receive your voucher within a few days of reaching the spending target.  You need to fly the outbound leg of your 2-4-1 flight before the expiry date of the voucher.

If you want more flexibility, the voucher issued with the British Airways Premium Plus American Express card is valid for two years and only requires 10,000 of annual card spend.  The Premium Plus card also has a higher earning rate of 1.5 Avios per £1 on general spend and 3 Avios per £1 on spend with British Airways and BA Holidays.

BA Premium Plus American Express card BAPP

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

Read our full reviewApply here

Other information:

  • Receive a companion voucher, letting you book two flights for the Avios of one, when you spend £10,000 in a card year
  • Annual fee: £195

Representative 74.7% APR variable based on a notional £1,200 credit limit and £195 annual fee. Interest rate on purchases 22.2% APR variable.

See if you qualify for the 25,000 Avios sign-up bonus +

You will receive 25,000 Avios as a sign-up bonus on the British Airways American Express Premium Plus card if you spend £3,000 within 90 days of signing up.

To qualify for the bonus, you must not have held the British Airways Premium Plus or the free British Airways American Express cards in the previous 24 months.

You are OK if you had a supplementary card on someone else’s British Airways American Express account.

You are OK if, currently or in the previous 24 months, you have held any other American Express card.

For clarity, you can still apply for the British Airways Premium Plus card even if you do not qualify for the bonus.  You would still benefit from the companion voucher and all of the other card benefits.

Learn more about the card benefits +

When you spend £10,000 on the British Airways American Express Premium Plus card, you receive a companion voucher entitling you to book two Avios redemption flights for the miles of one.  This voucher is valid for two years.  (Full taxes and charges need to be paid on both tickets.)

This voucher is the most valuable perk available in the UK airline and hotel credit card sector in my view. It could save you 150,000 or more Avios when used for a long-haul redemption in a premium cabin.

The voucher with the Premium Plus card is far more powerful than the voucher given with the free British Airways American Express card.  You only need to spend £10,000, instead of £20,000, in a card year to receive it.  More importantly, the Premium Plus voucher is valid for two years.  The voucher on the free British Airways American Express card is only valid for one year.

You receive your voucher within a few days of reaching the spending target.  You need to fly the outbound leg of your 2-4-1 flight before the expiry date of the voucher.

Nectar American Express

Read our full reviewApply here

Other information:

  • Amex Gold is our recommended ‘first card’ for a miles and points beginner
  • You receive two free airport lounge passes when you sign up, and a further two passes each year if you renew
  • After your two free passes, you can visit further lounges for a small fee
  • Annual fee: Free for the first year, £140 from Year 2

Representative 27.3% APR variable, from Year 2, based on a notional £1,200 credit limit and £25 annual fee. Interest rate on purchases and in Year 1 22.2% APR variable.

See if you qualify for the 10,000 points sign-up bonus +

You will receive 10,000 American Express Membership Rewards points as a sign-up bonus on the American Express Preferred Rewards Gold card if you spend £3,000 within 90 days of signing up.

Membership Rewards points are hugely flexible, which is why we recommend this as the best choice for your first miles and points card.  You can transfer them into Avios, Virgin Flying Club or other airlines (at 1:1) or into various hotels schemes, into Club Eurostar or use them for shopping vouchers.

To qualify for the bonus, you must NOT, currently or in the previous 24 months, have held any other personal American Express card.

You are OK if you had a supplementary card on someone else’s American Express account.

You are OK if, currently or in the previous 24 months, you have held a Business American Express card.

For clarity, you can still apply for the American Express Preferred Rewards Gold card even if you do not qualify for the bonus.  You would still benefit from the two free airport lounge passes and the ‘no fee in Year 1’ offer.

Learn more about the card benefits +

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold comes with two free airport lounge passes.  These allow either you and a friend, or yourself twice, to visit any lounge in the Lounge Pass network.  You make additional lounge visits for £20 per person.  You receive an additional two free passes each year.

You earn double Membership Rewards points on all airline spend (made directly on an airline website) and all spend made outside the UK.

If you spend over £15,000 in a card year, you will receive an additional 10,000 Membership Rewards points when you renew.

Other benefits include a 10% discount on Hertz car rentals and special deals at 350 selected hotels worldwide, where Preferred Rewards Gold cardholders receive a $75 in-hotel credit per stay.

American Express Platinum Cashback

Read our full reviewApply here

Other information:

  • Cashback paid in a lump sum after 12 months
  • Annual fee: £25

Representative 27.3% APR variable based on a notional £1,200 credit limit and £25 annual fee. Interest rate on purchases 22.2% APR variable.

See if you qualify for the 5% cashback sign-up bonus +

You will receive 5% cashback on purchases on the American Express Platinum Cashback card within 90 days of signing up.  This is capped at £125.

To qualify for the bonus, you must NOT, currently or in the previous 24 months, have held any other personal American Express card.

You are OK if you had a supplementary card on someone else’s American Express account.

You are OK if, currently or in the previous 24 months, you have held a Business American Express card.

For clarity, you can still apply for the American Express Platinum Cashback card even if you do not qualify for the bonus.  You will receive the standard rate of cashback on your spending.

Learn more about the card benefits +

American Express Platinum Cashback is the most generous cashback credit card in the UK.

After the first three months, during which the special bonus rate applies:

  • Spend £0 to £10,000 and receive 1% cashback on purchases
  • Spend over £10,000 and receive 1.25% cashback on purchases

Cashback is paid in a lump sum at the end of each 12 month period.  If you close the card mid-year you will lose any accumulated cashback.

As our review shows, this card is better value if you will spend over £10,000 per year.  If you will spend under £10,000 per year, you should apply for the free American Express Platinum Cashback Everyday credit card instead.  The cashback rate is lower but this is offset by the lack of any annual fee.

American Express Platinum Cashback Everyday

Read our full reviewApply here

Other information:

  • Cashback paid in a lump sum after 12 months
  • Minimum spend of £3,000 per year required to receive cashback
  • Annual fee: Free

Representative 22.2% APR variable

See if you qualify for the 5% cashback sign-up bonus +

You will receive 5% cashback on purchases on the American Express Platinum Cashback Everyday card within 90 days of signing up.  This is capped at £100.

To qualify for the bonus, you must NOT, currently or in the previous 24 months, have held any other personal American Express card.

You are OK if you had a supplementary card on someone else’s American Express account.

You are OK if, currently or in the previous 24 months, you have held a Business American Express card.

For clarity, you can still apply for the American Express Platinum Cashback Everyday card even if you do not qualify for the bonus.  You will receive the standard rate of cashback on your spending.

Learn more about the card benefits +

American Express Platinum Cashback Everyday is the most generous free cashback credit card in the UK.

After the first three months, during which the special bonus rate applies:

  • Spend £0 to £5,000 and receive 0.5% cashback on purchases
  • Spend over £5,000 and receive 1% cashback on purchases

You must spend at least £3,000 per year to receive cashback.

Cashback is paid in a lump sum at the end of each 12 month period.  If you close the card mid-year you will lose any accumulated cashback.

As our review shows, this card is better value if you will spend less than £10,000 per year.  If you will spend over £10,000 per year, you should apply for the £25 American Express Platinum Cashback credit card instead.  The cashback rate is higher and you are better off even after paying the annual fee.

American Express Marriott Bonvoy credit card

Marriott Bonvoy American Express

Read our full reviewApply here

Other information:

  • 15 elite night credits per year which gets Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status
  • Free night, up to 25,000 points, when you spend £25,000 per year.
  • Upgrade to Gold Elite status when you spend £15,000 in a card year
  • Annual fee: £75

Representative 38.8% APR variable based on a notional £1,200 credit limit and £75 annual fee. Interest rate on purchases 22.2% APR variable.

See if you qualify for the 20,000 points sign-up bonus +

You will receive 20,000 points as a sign-up bonus on the Marriott Bonvoy American Express card if you spend £3,000 within 90 days of signing up.

To qualify for the bonus, you must NOT, currently or in the previous 24 months, have held any other personal American Express card.

You are OK if you had a supplementary card on someone else’s American Express account.

You are OK if, currently or in the previous 24 months, you have held a Business American Express card.

For clarity, you can still apply for the Marriott Bonvoy American Express card even if you do not qualify for the bonus.  You would still benefit from the 15 elite night credits per year, the free night (up to 25,000 points) for spending £25,000 and Gold Elite status for spending £15,000.

Learn more about the card benefits +

You will receive 15 elite night credits per year in Marriott Bonvoy.  The first batch will arrive within 60 days on applying and then in Spring in each subsequent year.

15 elite nights will automatically get you Silver Elite status in Marriott Bonvoy and put you nearer to Gold Elite and higher tiers.

If you spend £15,000 per card year, you will be upgraded to Gold Elite status in Marriott Bonvoy.

If you spend £25,000 per card year, you will receive a free night voucher, valid at any hotel where reward nights cost up to 25,000 points.

American Express Business Gold card

American Express Business Gold

Read our full reviewApply here

Other information:

  • Annual fee: Free for the first year, £125 from Year 2

This is a charge card, not a credit card. You must clear your balance in full each month.  Annual fee £125 from Year 2, free in Year 1.

See if you qualify for the 20,000 points sign-up bonus +

You will receive 20,000 American Express Membership Rewards points as a sign-up bonus on the American Express Business Gold card if you spend £3,000 within 90 days.

Membership Rewards points are hugely flexible.  You can transfer them into Avios, Virgin Flying Club or other airlines (at 1:1) or into various hotels schemes, into Club Eurostar or use them for shopping vouchers.

To qualify for the bonus, you must NOT, currently or in the previous 6 months, have held any other American Express card which earns Membership Rewards points.  This includes Business or personal Gold, Business or personal Platinum and the personal American Express Rewards credit card.

You are OK if you had a supplementary card on someone else’s American Express account.

For clarity, you can still apply for the American Express Business Gold card even if you do not qualify for the bonus.  You would still benefit from the ‘no fee in Year 1’ offer.

Learn more about the card benefits +

You can apply for supplementary Amex business cards for your employees at no extra cost.

You will receive one consolidated statement showing the spend on your card and all of the supplementary cards.  All of the Membership Rewards points earned on the supplementary cards will flow into your personal account.

Depending on when in your monthly cycle you make a payment, you will effectively receive up to 54 days free credit on your spending.

American Express statements provide more underlying transaction detail for flights and certain other transactions than Visa or Mastercard statements, making it easier to reconcile transactions.

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

Read our full reviewApply here

Other information:

  • Two Priority Pass cards, each allowing two people into 1,300 airport lounges
  • Elite status in five major hotel loyalty programmes
  • Comprehensive travel insurance
  • Annual fee: £595

This is a charge card, not a credit card. You must clear your balance in full each month.  Annual fee £595.

See if you qualify for the 40,000 points sign-up bonus +

You will receive 40,000 American Express Membership Rewards points as a sign-up bonus on the American Express Business Platinum card if you spend £6,000 within 90 days.

Membership Rewards points are hugely flexible.  You can transfer them into Avios, Virgin Flying Club or other airlines (at 1:1) or into various hotels schemes, into Club Eurostar or use them for shopping vouchers.

To qualify for the bonus, you must NOT, currently or in the previous 6 months, have held any other American Express card which earns Membership Rewards points.  This includes Business or personal Gold, Business or personal Platinum and the personal American Express Rewards credit card.

You are OK if you had a supplementary card on someone else’s American Express account.

For clarity, you can still apply for the American Express Business Platinum card even if you do not qualify for the bonus.  You would still benefit from all of the other card features.

Learn more about the card benefits +

American Express Business Platinum comes with an unrivalled list of benefits for the keen traveller.

Your personal travel patterns will determine which of these is the most valuable.  The key benefits are:

Full comprehensive travel insurance for you, your family and the family of up to five supplementary cardholders, subject to enrolment

Two Priority Pass cards, each of which allows the holder and a guest unlimited free access to 1,300 airport lounges

Elite status in five major hotel loyalty schemes: Marriott Bonvoy (Gold Elite), Hilton Honors (Gold), Radisson Rewards (Gold Elite), Shangri-La Golden Circle (Jade), MeliaRewards (Gold)

Digital subscription to The Times and The Sunday Times, worth over £300

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

Read our full reviewApply here

Other information:

  • Get 50% bonus On Business points on BA flights purchased with the card
  • Annual fee: £210

Representative 80.3% APR variable based on a notional £1,200 credit limit and £210 annual fee. Interest rate on purchases 22.2% APR variable.

See if you qualify for the 2,200 points sign-up bonus +

There are no restrictions on receiving the sign-up bonus on the British Airways Accelerating Business American Express credit card.

You will receive the bonus irrespective of what other business or personal American Express cards you hold.

Learn more about the card benefits +

The card comes with the typical American Express credit card benefits:

Up to 56 days to pay

Up to 99 FREE supplementary cards for your employees

Travel inconvenience cover (with higher payouts if you or your baggage is delayed on a British Airways flight)

Travel accident protection

Purchase protection

Refund protection

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 (80)

  • Anna says:

    For future reference, when does the Amex Platinum fee hit the account? Is it possible to hit the £4k spend, transfer the points and cancel before this is applied? I’ve been MR free for a year now and forgotten how it operates!

    • Andrew says:

      The fee will be applied to the first statement so no way of avoiding it. But it is refunded on a pro-rata basis, so you can just pay for one month, about £50 ish if you want to get the bonus and cancel.

      • Anna says:

        What if you pay off the outstanding balance and cancel before the statement is generated?

        • jamie says:

          That is really selfish and taking the pi55 and why the golden goose was killed for everyone.

          • Binks says:

            I did the upgrade from green to play last summer. Amex made a real hash of the whole points. It took 3/4 weeks before I received a working Plat card (after the 3rd cars being dispatched). Spent the £4K as soon as receive the card however took over 2.5/3 months before receiving the bonus after numerous phone calls to Amex. Kept on being told it takes up to 60 days for the points to be posted.

            End result – using my influencing skills I only paid 1 months fee (refunded the remainder) and also received many more points in compensation. So all round I was a very happy bunny.

          • Binks says:

            Plat *

          • bazza says:

            You said!
            They love to save a pound on no matter the consequences.

            Now Rob has to work a little bit harder for his bread too..

          • Anna says:

            Not at all, charging £575 for the card is what is taking it. Plenty of people, including me, have stuck with it at the lower fee but it’s become ridiculous. Not sure why you feel a massive business like Amex is somehow being exploited by individuals doing their weekly grocery shop and the like.

          • Shoestring says:

            whole-heartedly agree with @Anna! as long as you are keeping to the T&Cs & the law, any credit card provider is fair game for anybody who wants to try and get more out them than they earn out of you

            with Plat you can obvs make it work if you use to your advantage the lounge passes, MR points, travel insurance, welcome bonus/ referrals & hotel statuses plus a few nice-to-haves such as occasional offers/ Shop Small etc

            but my starting position would be to see paying the £575 as a trigger for working the math – ie what’s in it for me? and how can I exploit having Plat to be one of the winners & not a mug punter?

            once you understand Amex has no loyalty towards you whatsoever (you are just fee income), you can treat them just as dispassionately and ending your card membership whenever *you* feel like it is just a mathematical choice, even if that’s immediately the welcome bonus hits the bank and you’ve hammered Priority Pass a few times

        • Genghis says:

          It’s possible. It’s what I used to do.

  • Sundar says:

    Rob – Wish you and your family and all HfP readers and their families a Very Happy New year 2020.

  • Harry says:

    I just submitted a request to upgrade green to plat for the 4k spend bonus, are amex being tougher now with the bonus points and allowing upgrades? Bit worried now..

    The 20k points posted very quickly in the past after meeting spend requirement

    @Binks – what happened exactly?

    • MarkH says:

      I didn’t have any issues recently (dec). 20k MR posted as soon as the £4k was hit.

    • Binks says:

      I was use to points being posted in a matter of days in the past e.g. referrals, hitting sign up bonuses etc. After eventually refusing a card that worked there was still no counter to show the 20k bonus after £4l spend. They kept saying the pints will post automatically and the guidance is up to 60 days. In summary you will get your points but may have to wait longer than you expect.

      Part of my issue was I was refined mixed messages from different Amex call centre agents about when the points would be posted – some said a week or so and other kept to up to 60 days.

  • @mkcol says:

    OT (no Bits): While researching the Curve Metal card I thought I’d check their travel insurance, as that could be a huge benefit for me that I’d use.
    Quite surprised to read “No claim arising directly or indirectly from a pre-existing medical condition affecting you will be covered.” There’s not even an option to phone a medical screening helpline to pay an extra amount.

    • Freddy says:

      Same with the amex plat insurance

      • @mkcol says:

        In which case I’m definitely going to use Emerald Life (travel insurance).

    • Rob says:

      Amex Plat has the same …

    • the_real_a says:

      You also need to look at the clause – similar to AMEX plat – that bookings need to be made on curve to avail of some of transit protections. You would be insane to book travel without S75 protection.

      • Abigail says:

        Can you advise specifically which terms?

        • Genghis says:

          Only applies to some terms. Eg “ Rental vehicles hired on a daily or weekly basis from an authorised rental agency or hire car firm, must be paid for in full with your covered card.”

  • mr_london says:

    I have Gold Credit Card and the first ear ends on 10/01/2020 and in December 2019 I applied for BA Plus card and was offered the sign up bonus.

    I did contact Amex via online chat to confirm before i applied.

    • Genghis says:

      Which is correct. Nothing out of the ordinary, assuming you’ve not had a BAPP in the past 2 years.

  • Matthew says:

    I’m still having issues with referrals posting. Keep on being told wait full 10 weeks before raising complaint. They’ve never ever been this long in all the time I’ve done referrals so this is disappointing if this is standard process now. Especially annoying as I need the points to complete a redemption.

    • Rob says:

      Let’s see – it’s 1st Jan so lets see how quickly mine turn up.

    • MarkH says:

      Definitely got a lot slower recently.

      Took about 2 weeks for the last couple when previously used to be on the day they got the card

    • Oli says:

      Made 5 referrals around 18th December, cards arrived on the 20th and 23rd, all of the referral points for these just posted today

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Which now means it’s this years allowance and not last years?

        • Neil Donoghue says:

          Very good point! Made three referrals on the 18th of December, cards arrived on the 23rd and I still haven’t had any of the points!

    • Matthew says:

      Panic over…they have now posted! Now on to booking that redemption…. 🙂

      • Sam says:

        Looks like a deliberate move by Amex to limit people maxing out the 90k annual referral limit

  • Erwin Low says:

    Currently have the Amex gold.

    I’ve heard this works but just want to confirm: I get the free BA Amex, spend a little less than 10k, and then pay and upgrade to the paid version of the BA Amex. Once I cross 10k, cancel the card. But the 1-for-1 Virgin voucher will still stay in my account for 2 years? Any truth in this?

    • Genghis says:

      Once the BA (nothing to do with Virgin) companion voucher is in your acct it **should** be valid for 2 years even if you cancel the BAPP. Reports of IT processing recently indicate this doesn’t always happen so you might have to chase with Amex.

  • Mark says:

    Did the rules for the the BA to AMEX own brand (gold, green) change recently? I remember that they used to be unlinked (i.e. its 24 months from the last AMEX cancellation). If that is the case that does put me in a bit of a pickle. I’ve been using the the BA Blue for 1,5 years (and about to switch to the BAPP to trigger the 10k voucher) with the expectation of switching back to the Gold card in the summer, when the 24 months of cancellation for it has passed. With this new info, once I trigger the voucher, should I stay with the BAPP? Should I just cancel the BAPP then and switch to the Gold now, without waiting? Or should I stick to the plan and switch to from the BAPP in the summer after the original 24 month expiry?

    Thank you for your input guys and girls

    • stevenhp1987 says:

      As you currently have an Amex card, you will get no bonus on the Gold card unless you cancel and wait another 2 years.

      Once the 24 months are up from your last MR card you can get the Platinum bonus only, even if you have a BA card.

      • Mark says:

        Thank you, as unfortunate the AMEX shenanigans are, it’s pretty clear cut in this case. Still a bit lost which would provide more value in a scenario where I get no intro bonus, sticking with the BAPP (after getting the 2-4-1), the Gold or even just downgrading back to the BA Blue.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Get a family member (or Rob) to refer you for a gold, atleast someone gets some points. Get a year without fees and spend £15k.

        • stevenhp1987 says:

          That highly depends on how many Avois you are earning, how long until the next year starts on your BAPP etc.

          Do the math in terms of cost vs. expected spend (estimate based on previous and expected spend) to see which strategy which suit you best.

          Also remember the value of 2-4-1 voucher. If you have a high stash if Avios and a partner to travel with, the BAPP is a clear long-term winner.