Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

What are the best credit card sign-up deals for July 2020? – plus your news round-up

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UPDATE – FEBRUARY 2024:  This article is now out of date, but don’t worry.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.

Virgin Money is offering double points on spending until 14th April (£5,000 cap) to new customers when you apply for the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard. Click here to learn more.

Keep up to date with the latest UK credit card bonuses by signing up for our free daily or weekly newsletters.

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.

UK Rewards credit and charge cards

What was new in June?

HfP EXCLUSIVE:  Get points worth 15,000 Avios when you get the Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

It is very rare that we get an EXCLUSIVE credit card sign-up offer for our readers, so are very pleased to be offering a great deal on the Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa card.

If you apply by 13th July, you will receive £150 or 15,000 Avios – your choice – when you spend £5,000 within 3 months.  Given that the annual fee is only £99, this is a no-brainer if you have a qualifying business.

As well as a big bonus, you will receive 1p cashback or 1 Avios per £1 spent going forward.  This is an unbeatable Avios rate for a Visa or Mastercard.

You ONLY receive the higher 15,000 Avios bonus if you use promo code headforpoints when you apply.  The application page is here.

I strongly recommend you read our main article on the Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa first, however.

Capital on Tap Business Rewards Visa

American Express Gold dropped its enhanced bonus of 20,000 Membership Rewards points

After offering 20,000 Membership Rewards points as a sign-up bonus for the last few months, American Express Preferred Rewards Gold dropped its bonus back to 10,000 points on Monday.  This is worth 10,000 Avios or other airline miles, or a varying amount of hotel or Club Eurostar points.

However ……

American Express continues to offer six months to earn sign-up bonuses

American Express has currently extended the time needed to trigger the sign-up bonus on new cards from three months to six months

It is not clear how long this offer will last.  With lockdown restrictions easing, it is arguably now a good time to apply as your spending will pick up and you have until the end of the year to hit your sign-up bonus target.

Here is the 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: 10,000 bonus Membership Rewards points (=10,000 Avios) when you spend £3,000 in six months

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 Platinum card UK retention offers

The two offers on The Platinum Card end in late July

American Express is running two ‘open to all’ offers for holders of The Platinum Card.

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.

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 directly from BA later on, when your personal financial situation is clearer.  In a sale you will usually pay around 1.1p per Avios so the different isn’t huge.

Qantas joins American Express Membership Rewards

In late June, Qantas joined the UK American Express Membership Rewards programme.

You can now transfer your points to Qantas Frequent Flyer at a rate of 1:1.  The minimum transfer is 500 points and transfers seem to be instant.

We wrote three articles discussing ways you could benefit from this new partnership.  See:

Three reasons why BA flyers may find the new Qantas / Amex Membership Rewards tie-up useful

Fly EL AL? It’s a new option now Qantas has joined Amex Membership Rewards

Qantas Frequent Flyer is now a UK American Express transfer partner!

American Express brought back ‘Shop Small’

American Express has launched a new ‘Shop Small’ initiative to support independent shops and give you up to £50 cashback on purchases.

Starting from 22nd June and running until 13th September, you will receive £5 cashback on the first 10 transactions you make for £10 or more at participating ‘Shop Small’ businesses.

There are very few rules apart from the fact that you can only get one £5 cashback per shop per card.  You can, of course, register multiple American Express cards if you have more than one.

As in 2019, cashback is capped at £50 per cardSupplementary cards are treated separately and have their own cap, so you could technically get more than £50 cashback.

Full details of American Express Shop Small 2020 are in our article here.

BA Premium Plus American Express card BAPP

Amex launched a special bonus Avios offer for BA Premium Plus cardholders

Holders of the British Airways Premium Plus American Express found a good ‘bonus Avios’ offer available.

To see if you have this, look at the ‘Offers’ tab on your online statement page.  You need to click ‘Save to Card’ to register.  This offer is only for Premium Plus cardholders.

Here is the deal:

You will receive 2 bonus Avios (so 3.5 Avios per £1 in total) on every £1 you spend at Tesco, Waitrose & Partners, Marks & Spencer, Deliveroo and Apple

Offer runs until 12th September

Offer is valid instore and online

One possibility is buying gift cards at Tesco for other retailers.  This would be especially useful for Amazon, Uber or iTunes where you can add a gift card to your online account and it is used up automatically on future orders.

Our full article on the Amex ‘bonus Avios’ promotion is here.

British Airways to give a six month extension on upcoming BA Amex 241 companion vouchers

As part of the current coronavirus compensation deal, all British Airways American Express 241 companion vouchers issued by 30th June 2020 were to be issued with an additional six months validity.

During June, it was announced that this has now been extended to 30th September.

This means that all newly issued 241 vouchers, triggered by 30th September 2020, will be valid for 2.5 years (or 1.5 years if generated on the free BA Amex card).

Anyone who triggers their next voucher in October, November or December 2020 or January / February 2021 will be worse off than someone who triggers their next voucher in late September 2020.  Here’s why:

A 2-4-1 voucher issued on 20th September 2020 will expire on 20th March 2023 (30 months)

A 2-4-1 voucher issued on 20th October 2020 will expire on 20th October 2022 (24 months)

There could be real benefits in triggering your voucher early to get the extra six months.  If you have kids and your card year ends in November, for example, triggering your voucher in September 2020 would cover you for Christmas 2022 and February half term 2023.  If you don’t trigger your voucher until October or November 2020 it won’t – it will expire in October 2022 or November 2022 respectively.

This article tells you more about the British Airways American Express 2-4-1 companion voucher extension.

American Express still has a 30,000 point bonus on the DOLLAR / EURO versions of the Platinum card

Amex is currently running a rare 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.

Further reading ….

We ran the following credit card articles during the last month:

Three reasons why BA flyers may find the new Qantas / Amex Membership Rewards tie-up useful

Fly EL AL? It’s a new option now Qantas has joined Amex Membership RewardsQantas Frequent Flyer is now a UK American Express transfer partner!

Get more £50 Shop Small credits – and bonus points – by adding American Express supplementary cards

Get £50 cashback as American Express Shop Small returns – and another £50 for each supplementary card you have!

EXCLUSIVE OFFER: Get 15,000 points (=15,000 Avios) sign-up bonus with Capital On Tap’s Visa SME credit card!

Earn bonus British Airways American Express Avios at Tesco and Waitrose

British Airways to give a six month extension on upcoming BA Amex 241 companion vouchers

How do British Airways American Express 2-4-1 companion vouchers work?

Which five loyalty credit cards are worth keeping for their benefits even if you never use them?

Want to earn more points from credit cards? – February 2024 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 card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £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.

Virgin Money is offering double points on spending until 14th April (£5,000 cap) to new customers when you apply for the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard. Click here to learn more.

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

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 bonus points 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:

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

American Express Business Platinum

Crazy 120,000 points bonus (to 9th April) and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

Huge 60,000 points sign-up bonus (until 9th April) and free for a year 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.

Barclaycard Select Cashback credit card

2% cashback on all your business spend for 3 months (1% thereafter) and no annual fee Read our full review

Comments (37)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Alan Jones says:

    I am looking for some advice on earning Avios using a Business Capital on Tap Credit Card linked to Curve Card which is treated as a debit card.
    This I understand would allow you to use the Curve card in places that do not accept Credit Cards (or Amex) for example such as HMRC.
    The cost are £99 per year for the Business Capital on Tap Credit Card and £150 per year for the Metal Curve Card.
    You get 1 Avios per £1 spent so can anyone advise on the advantages and disadvantages of this approach and also the maths of how much spending would be required to make this worthwhile.
    I understand that there a very few business credit cards out there (maybe 4) that offer benefits? and this is the only one that offers Avios as Visa/Mastercard.

    • rams1981 says:

      Need to know first if COT works with Curve and allows the payments through – can anyone advise?

      • RedEyeDonkey says:

        Water + Shiny Card –> Boris = worked fine a few weeks back. hopefully/assuming their change of processor after the whole WC situation doesn’t impact that.

      • The Urbanite says:

        CoT does work with Curve, but they block the usual MS MCCs and send you a nice text message asking you to contact them for information on why the transaction was blocked.

  • Robert says:

    Does anyone know which cards offer a 0% balance transfer, preferably with a low or zero fee?

  • Andreas says:

    This is a very timely article – I am currently trying to decide what I want to do with my Amex cards. I currently have a BA Premium Plus card that I am about to trigger the 2 for 1 voucher on. However, I am currently short on Avios to make the 2 for 1 worthwhile (90k at the moment, would IDEALLY like 200k+ for a First redemption to Tokyo, though 150k for Club World works too)

    As far as I know, my options are:
    – Keep the BA Premium Plus. As well as regular spend, try and boost Avios gain using referrals. I could work towards another companion voucher, though I don’t earn enough Avios per year to be able to effectively spent one voucher per year.
    – Drop the BA PP and get the Platinum card instead to get the 30k introductory offer (can boost to 35k by finding a referral). However, I am apprehensive about the £575 fee and I’m not sure I’d be using the other benefits of the card very well


    • Rob says:

      Separate the bonus from the long-term costs. If you can spend enough, quickly, to trigger the Platinum bonus (assuming you qualify) then just do that. If you can spend the money in 3 months, for example, you are paying £150 for 35,000 Avios if you immediately cancel at that point. You’d also keep the hotel statuses for a while, but not Priority Pass.

      You could also drop to the free BA card during this period to save £15/month on that to offset the Plat fee you’re paying.

      • Andreas says:

        I totally forgot that Amex refund pro rata. I’ve got some bigger spends planned for September – I could trigger the 3k spend in a few days if I time everything well. By the time September comes around, it could be that we are all more free to travel, so I could explore the benefits of the platinum card better

    • Anna says:

      Is there another destination you’d like to visit which requires less avios – east coast USA or middle east for example would cost a lot less, especially if you can travel off-peak?There have been a few mentions on here that F to Tokyo might be disappearing altogether, and I get the impression that even J award seats are quite difficult to come by.

      • Andreas says:

        I’ve got my heart set on Japan – I’ve been before and absolutely love it over there. It would suck if F to Tokyo disappeared 🙁

        • Alex says:

          If I go by the chats on flyertalk, it was still temporarily on one of the two daily flights in anticipation of the Olympics, but it looks like an A350 destination going forward, so without F.

        • Harry T says:

          F to Tokyo seems to have been axed.

        • Lady London says:

          OT what do you really love about Japan? I loved it on my one visit there but hard to put into words.

          • Andreas says:

            I know what you mean – it’s hard to describe. It’s almost alien over there compared to the west. I guess I loved the culture and how they are – the way everyone follows their social rules (do not talk on the phone on trains, always cross when the light is green even if the road is quiet etc.) It’s very clean and feels very safe too

          • BlueHorizonuk says:

            Absolutely love Japan too and yes hard to describe why….lol

            I had left my phone in a Taxi and through the kindness of strangers we were able to locate the driver who drove back across town to deliver the phone and would not take a tip in gratitude no matter how much I pled with him.

          • cinereus says:

            easy: food, food, food, food, mountains, food.

  • Alex says:

    I don’t have those offers mentioned for the BAPP, is anyone else experiencing this too?

    • eligold says:

      Same here.
      Has anyone managed to get the offer added?

      The offers really seem to be a mess at the moment

  • Marco says:

    Hi guys. I currently have BA free amex and Lloyds avoid MasterCard. I’m planning big spendings in next few months (apartment renovation) and I think this is the best moment to get new card as I can easily trigger bonus.
    What would you recommend as the best option for me? Biggest bonus and best earning for spending 10.000+ in few months time?
    Thank you

    • The Savage Squirrel says:

      As you obviously collect Avios: Upgrade to BAPP week before spend,. Spend 10k, earn voucher and some more Avios, downgrade again. Should only pay 1 month free and get a nice valuable 2-for-1 and some extra Avios on the spend too.

      • The Savage Squirrel says:

        1 month FEE!

      • Marco says:

        Thank you that sounds like a plan. Will I get sign-up bonus also when upgrade to BAPP?

    • Anna says:

      You may be eligible for Platinum as well, you could get the sign up bonus quickly if your spend extends to it on top of any BA Amex spend.

      • Marco says:

        Thank you. That was my first thought too. Just wondering if I can earn similar amount of points without signing up for the most expensive CC..

  • PaulC says:

    Just received an email from Virgin Atlantic Credit to say they are refunding £40 due to not being able to use the credit card much the last few months.

    • WaneM says:

      Me too… but it says ‘Just after you’ve paid your fee…’ does that mean I won’t see the refund until December if that’s when my fee is due?

      • PaulC says:

        Mine says
        “There’s nothing you need to do – just look out for your refund landing in your credit card account in the next few days.”

  • WaneM says:

    Anyone know if there’s a way to change my billing from annual to monthly on the platinum card.
    My £575 card fee is due in a few days, but I’d like some more time to see what travel is looking like before I decide what to do. So I want to know if I can change to a monthly bill rather than the full amount.
    Thanks guys.

  • Tom1 says:

    Is there any reason to keep the SPG card these days?

    Seems the Marriott version is here to stay, so can reapply again in future if there’s reason to.

    Putting spending elsewhere so cannot see any other reasons?

    • Harry T says:

      They give you 15 elite nights every year for holding the card. Means you can achieve status with Marriott more easily – 35 nights required for Platinum instead of 50, for example.

      • Tom1 says:

        Ok thanks Harry.
        Too many nights for me to reach without work – and that seems unlikely for a while.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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