Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

American Express currently giving new applicants SIX months to hit their sign-up bonus spend

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Since the start of May, American Express has been giving new applicants six months – rather than the usual three months – to hit the spending target required to earn the sign-up bonus on a new card.

It is now a lot easier to earn an American Express sign-up bonus

A six month period to hit your bonus spend changes the game massively.  Cards which you might have thought were out of reach, because you could never hit the target spending, might now be easily within your grasp.

Taking the free British Airways American Express as an example, you currently have 26 weeks to spend £1,000.  This is just £38.50 per week.

At the top end, with The Platinum Card, you now have 26 weeks to spend £4,000.  This is £154 per week.  Even if you are not currently spending at this level, you will have until February – if you apply today – to hit the spending target, which would take in Christmas and any travel you may be planning for later in the year.

Amex gives you SIX months to hit your qualifying bonus spend

What are the American Express sign-up bonuses?

For personal cards:

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 (=20,000 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) 

IMPORTANT:  interest rate and fee information is at the bottom of this article, along with links to our detailed reviews of each card.

Amex gives you SIX months to hit your qualifying bonus spend

Which bonuses can I still get?

Probably not many!

If you have had ANY card on the list in the last 24 months as a primary cardholder (not a supplementary) then the only personal bonuses you MIGHT be able to get are British Airways Premium Plus and The Platinum Card.  You are blocked from the bonus on all the others.

You could get the bonus on British Airways Premium Plus if you’ve not had either of the British Airways cards in the last 24 months.

You could get the bonus on The Platinum Card if you’ve not had any personal Membership Rewards cards (Gold, Platinum, Centurion, Green, Amex Rewards Credit Card) in the last 24 months.

If you’ve only had Business Gold or Business Platinum in the last 24 months, you are free to get the bonus on ANY of the cards above, as Amex ignores any Business cards you’ve had when applying for personal cards.

Does your partner qualify for a bonus, if you don’t?

Whilst you may be disqualified from a bonus, would your partner, adult children etc qualify?  It doesn’t matter if they have previously had supplementary cards on your account as long as they haven’t had cards of their own.

They can issue you a supplementary card, allowing you to do the bulk of the spending if required.

Amex gives you SIX months to hit your qualifying bonus spend

How about the Business cards?

This offer also applies to the Business cards:

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

Again, links to our reviews of these cards and the important interest rate information are at the bottom of this article.

The bonus rules here are a lot more flexible.

You can have the Business Gold or Business Platinum bonus as long as you haven’t had a Membership Rewards card (personal or business) in the previous SIX (not 24) months.

There are NO RESTRICTIONS AT ALL on getting the bonus on the British Airways Accelerating Business card, as long as your business qualifies.


Given that six months takes you to early February, when you should hopefully be back to something close to your normal spending as long as your job is secure, there are some good opportunities here.

It is very possible that people who have not previously applied for Amex cards due to concerns over hitting the bonus spending target can now jump in.

Want to earn more points from credit cards? – January 2021 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit or charge card, here are our January 2021 recommendations based on the current sign-up bonus

You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here.

British Airways American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and a companion voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

BA Premium Plus American Express card BAPP

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Rewards Plus credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 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:

American Express Business Gold card

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Amex Platinum Business American Express

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 card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

Earn both Avios and BA On Business points with your business spending 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

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.

Comments (43)

  • Boi says:

    Any retention MR on the platinum for recent (post May applicants)?

  • Boi says:

    So hubby has plat/priority pass as a supp. He also has his own gold with lounge key. Can 3 people (including himself) get in a lounge for free if the lounge accepts both lounge key and priority pass?

    • Spk says:

      Some lounges are very strict – he’ll have to use the plat PP to bring in one guest and the two passes using gold card to bring in the other guest.
      That said I was once allowed to bring a guest in using my PP (no guest allowed) while I was allowed through my business class ticket.

  • Harry T says:

    Btw this also applies to upgrades to Platinum from the Green Card, and the ICC euro card (last I checked).

  • Cwyfan says:

    It is a pity that they are not as considerate as to the warning of a BA 241 voucher in these non flight no spend times

  • Vit says:

    Just received my first ever Plat card. It does feel good to hold a metal card and actually feel that the fees is not that bad considering the benefit you get from it but don’t think I will hold it for long with the limited travelling at the meantime and near future. 🙁

  • Harry T says:

    I don’t bother with the eligibility checker anymore. I have several cards, and I pay my bills. Amex seem to like me and always approve me. I think they put the most weight on their record with you.

    • Ada says:

      I might give it a whirl next month. How many months inbetween did you apply?

  • William Avery says:

    Just clarifying – if I hold a BA CC I can qualify for the business Amex? BA not a Amex Membership Rewards card.