What are the best credit card sign-up deals for May 2020? – plus your news round-up
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UPDATE – APRIL 2023: This article is now out of date, but don’t worry.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.
Let’s be honest …. if you’re sitting around at home with nothing to do, there are worse ways to pass the day than getting your credit card portfolio in order!
We have also included a round-up of all of the loyalty credit card news from the last month.
Our directory of the 15 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 the last four weeks?
American Express Platinum began to offer 20,000 point retention bonuses
As we covered yesterday, American Express has begun to offer 20,000 points as a retention bonus to holders of The Platinum Card who ring up to cancel. This only started in the last 4-5 days.
It isn’t being offered to everyone, but this may be because some agents (all of whom are working from home at the moment) do not know that it has been added to the system as an option. Calling outside UK 9-5 office hours also appears to be a problem because your call will be diverted overseas and the agent is unlikely to know about it. The latter reason may be why I was rejected. One reader who was rejected by a US agent asked to be transferred to a UK agent and was immediately offered the points.
Our article on American Express retention bonuses for Platinum cardholders is here. If you read the comments, some holders of Amex Gold have also had success.
Holders of The Platinum Card got two other good offers
American Express has launched two ‘open to all’ offers for holders of The Platinum Card which – unlike the 20,000 points offer above – do not require you to ring up their call centre and beg!
The first offer is double points on all American Express Platinum spending until 20th July – see here.
This immediately makes the card the most generous miles and points card in the UK. You would be earning 2 Avios per £1, 2 Virgin Flying Club miles per £1, 3 Marriott Bonvoy points per £1, 4 Hilton Honors points per £1 etc depending on how you converted them.
The second offer is being able to redeem Membership Rewards points for 0.9p of statement credit – see here. This is VERY attractive and something you should consider. Again, it runs until 20th July.
Think about it. During the year there are always opportunities to buy Avios for around 1.0p to 1.1p. In the current 75% ‘buy Avios’ bonus promotion (click here) you can buy Avios for as little as 0.92p for the next few days. If you are squeezed for money at the moment, there is no shame in redeeming your Membership Rewards points for 0.9p cash and potentially buying Avios later (at a similar rate, when a sale is on) when your personal situation is clearer.
American Express Gold is still running a special sign-up bonus
Until 29th June 2020, the sign-up bonus on Amex Gold is doubled to 20,000 points. You need to spend £3,000 in six months to receive it.
You can apply for the card here.
20,000 American Express Membership Rewards points would convert into:
- 20,000 Avios
- 20,000 Virgin Flying Club miles
- 40,000 Hilton Honors points
- 60,000 Radisson Rewards points
- 30,000 Marriott Bonvoy points
- 1,666 Club Eurostar points
…… amongst other things.
If you have never held a personal American Express card before, you will definitely get the bonus.
You WILL receive the 20,000 bonus points if you have not held a personal American Express card in the previous 24 months. Cards issued by MBNA or Lloyds Bank do not count. You WILL receive the sign-up bonus if you have a Corporate or Business American Express card via your job, even if you receive Membership Rewards points from it.
You WILL receive the bonus if you are only a supplementary cardholder on someone else’s American Express card. As far as Amex is concerned, the card belongs to the primarily cardholder and does not make you an ‘existing cardholder’.
If you do not qualify for the bonus, you can still apply. You still receive the other card benefits, including the two free airport lounge passes and ‘no fee in the first year’.
We wrote this article on the 20,000 points bonus on Amex Gold and all of the benefits of getting the card.
You can apply for American Express Preferred Rewards Gold here.
PS. The picture above is of the new METAL Amex Gold card which is slowly rolling out across Europe. It is NOT available in the UK yet, so if you apply now you will get the old-style version. There is no date yet for a UK launch that I am aware of.
American Express doubles the time frame to earn a sign-up bonus
American Express has extended the time needed to trigger the sign-up bonus on new cards from three months to six months.
This is backdated and includes anyone whose card was approved from 30th January 2020.
Here is full list of personal cards which are included:
The Platinum Card: 30,000 Membership Rewards points (=30,000 Avios) when you spend £4,000 in six months
Preferred Rewards Gold Credit Card: 20,000 bonus Membership Rewards points (=20,000 Avios) when you spend £3,000 in six months (the bonus on this card is doubled to 20,000 points until 29th June)
British Airways American Express Premium Plus Card: 25,000 Avios when you spend £3,000 in six months
British Airways American Express Credit Card: 5,000 Avios when you spend £1,000 in six months
Nectar Credit Card: 20,000 Nectar points (= £100) when you spend £2,000 in six months
Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card: 20,000 Marriott Bonvoy points (= 6,666 Avios) when you spend £3,000 in six months
The American Express Rewards Credit Card: 5,000 Membership Rewards points (=5,000 Avios) when you spend £2,000 in six months
Platinum Cashback Everyday Credit Card: 5% cashback on your purchases for six months (up to £100)
Platinum Cashback Credit Card: 5% cashback on your purchases for six months (up to £125)
Here are the small business cards included:
The Gold Business Card: 20,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend £3,000 in six months
The Platinum Business Card: 40,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend £6,000 in six months
British Airways American Express Accelerating Business Card: 2,200 On Business Points when you spend £3,000 in six months
There is also no sign of any leeway being given on the time needed to spend £10,000 on the British Airways American Express Premium Plus card to trigger the 2-4-1 voucher.
You can learn more in this article on the Amex six month bonus period.
My detailed article on ‘which American Express sign-up bonuses can I still get?‘ is 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 of the American Express International Currency Cards in this article.
Curve Card added a 1.5% fee for paying credit card bills and Government
Curve Card is an interesting way of paying for bills or puchases with a credit card WHEN THE RETAILER ONLY ACCEPTS DEBIT CARDS. This article explains how Curve Card works – it is free and you are paid £5 for trying it out via our referral code which is in that article.
In a new change, Curve has now categorised two types of payments which will incur a 1.5% fee. These are known as ‘Curve Fronted’ transactions.
The following payments are now charged at 1.5%:
- HMRC (this change was made a few months ago)
- National Savings & Investments, including Premium Bonds
- DVLA Vehicle Tax
- Student Loan Payments
- Paying credit card bills, loans or mortgages, where your Curve Card recharges to a credit card
- Purchasing financial services or products from banks, Credit Unions, Deposit Takers
- Purchasing foreign or non-fiat currency such as cryptocurrency, travelers cheques or money orders
- Purchasing store value cards such as prepaid cards
This article explains how ‘Curve Fronted’ works.
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 on how to save the £4.99 fee when you join Revolut via our special HFP reader offer. This offer ends on Monday – our article says it has already ended but I was just covering myself. You are actually OK for another 24 hours, as you will see on the landing page here.
If you have your own small business, we also reviewed Revolut for Business – click here for our Revolut for Business review. You can sign up here.
Further reading ….
We ran the following credit card articles during the last month:
UPDATED: Amex Platinum offering 20,000 points retention bonuses – but not to me!
Amex Gold now has a 20,000 point bonus and you have six months to earn it – should you apply?
Amex gives you SIX months to hit your qualifying bonus spend – is now a good time to apply?
How does the British Airways American Express companion voucher work?
Why you should get a FREE Curve Card to maximise your miles and points from credit cards
Curve Card adds 1.5% fee to credit card repayments and NS&I / Premium Bond purchases – no more ‘free’ points
American Express Platinum card giving DOUBLE points on all spending until 20th July!
American Express will pay you 0.9p CASH for your Membership Rewards points!
Having trouble with a refund? Here’s how to dispute a charge with Amex under Section 75.
Hilton sells $1 billion of Hilton Honors points to American Express to raise funds
Got the free BA Amex card? Learn how to reduce your £20k 2-4-1 target to £10k and why you should drop it entirely
Expecting a flight refund to your American Express card? Here’s how it impacts your next BA Amex 2-4-1 voucher or spend bonus.
Using American Express to pay your gas and electricity utility bills with Bulb
Want to earn more points from credit cards? – April 2023 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 Mastercard
25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review
Barclaycard Avios Mastercard
5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £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.
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
30,000 points and unbeatable travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review
Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard
15,000 points bonus 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 bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review
American Express Business Gold
20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review
British Airways Accelerating Business American Express
30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review
Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa
Get a 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.