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.

BA Premium Plus American Express card BAPP

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? – February 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 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 card

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.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 21st February 2023, the sign-up bonus on the British Airways Premium Plus American Express card is increased to 35,000 Avios from 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

35,000 Avios (ONLY to 21st February) 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 sign-up 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.

Barclaycard Select Cashback credit card

1% cashback (3% for 3 months if you apply by 31st March) and no annual fee Read our full review

Comments (43)

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

  • Paul says:

    Just a pity they have done nothing for their existing and now long suffering customers. Even virgin refunded a chunk of the card fee without asking.
    Amex in other countries has showered points or offers on customers but here we got some double points offer for a short period and money off if you spent in some unknown ( to those of us out side the m25) London Eatery.
    At one stage I had just 4 pointless offers on my platinum card and zero on my BAPP.

    • Jonathan says:

      That’s a bit harsh, I received 20k points. Double points earned for 6 months. £150 card fee back and then offers like £150 off at Dell and £200 back at curry’s. The Platinum card has made me money to the tune of £200 or so this year. Admittedly the other card offerings have been light but Platinum certainly hasn’t.

      • Chris says:

        YOU received 20k points. When I phoned (on 3 separate occasions) I was offered nothing.
        No point defending Amex on the basis of personalised offers.

        • Paul says:

          That is exactly my experience. I have been a member since 2006 and they could not have cared less if I left or not.
          My spend is entirely personal.

        • Jonathan says:

          I got 20k 6 weeks ago & another 30k yesterday. YMMV but they’re obviously keen to keep me & they’re just about managing it at the moment.

    • Dac1234 says:

      They offer a 15k retention bonus if you threaten to leave. I did this last week

      • Rui N. says:

        Again, personalised. I said that I wanted to leave, they said: “yes, I’ll close your account right away!”

        • Peter K says:

          Did you ring or do live chat? That seems to be the difference in what was offered with ringing being the best.

    • Andrew says:

      It does feel Amex need to come back with something else to retain Platinum members – the double points double value is over, the £100 Waitrose/M&S is a distant memory. Especially given that Gold now have an enhanced MR value when converting to cash, if feels Platinum isn’t really value for money this year. And remember that “retention bonus” many of us got wasn’t a retention tool at all – there was no obligation to stay, we could take the points, convert and then leave.

  • Zoe says:

    Just checking, my husband has just hit the one year fee on gold Amex. Plan is convert all points, cancel. Then am I okay to refer him for gold again, new card & lounge passes for him and a few points for me?

    • Spursdebs says:

      Yes but no sign up bonus for him.

    • Lady London says:

      Yes and unlike every other type of Priority Pass you can get, his lounge pass on his card will admit you as well as it admits 2.

      if you’re a family of 4 then his card, plus a supp for you on his card, would admit all 4 of you as each supp also gets a Priority Pass that admits 2 for unlimited visits while you keep the Amex

  • Lynsey says:

    Just to confirm, in September it will have been 2 years since I cancelled my Gold Rewards card. I still have and use my free BA card though, but I would still get the welcome bonus on a Platinum card?

    • Jonathan says:

      That’s my understanding, yes.

    • Lady London says:

      Rob has an earlier article, from about 1 year give or take 3 months ago, that gives a very precise order to apply for the Amex cards in, to maximise bonuses.

      If you’re coming up to the 24 months when you’ve been “clean” not having had a personal MR-points-earning card in that time, it would be a shame to waste any oportunities and Rob gives the best application sequence in great detail.

  • Jonty says:

    10,000MR on the gold won’t get you 20,000 avios.

  • James says:

    OT, anyone know the latest referral bonus for the platinum business card? Can’t seem to find this on the website

    • Jonathan says:

      18k – did it during the week and points posted within 2 days. Seems the delay on business card referral points posting is fixed.

    • Lady London says:

      bonus awarded based on the referrer’s own card not whichever of the referral-bonus-earning cards the person referred chooses. Last time I looked it was 9,000 to a Plat holder who referred.

  • The Original Nick says:

    @Mark2 or anyone else who can help out. I’ve just received my Amex Green Card. How can I upgrade to the Platinum card to receive 20000 MR point. I cancelled my Platinum card in May so I need the special link please. I also hold the Amex rewards CC and the BA Blue CC.

  • AJA says:

    Does Amex still give bonus Avios on the BAPP for issuing a supplementary card? My OH has just earned the 2-4-1 voucher valid until Feb 2023 (an additional 6 months) so we want to divert all spending on to my card. Is there a special link I need to use?

    • Anna says:

      I think you sometimes get 3000 Avios but it’s not guaranteed. You won’t get anything else for diverting spend to a supplementary card, though, it’s classed as the same account. You’d be better off closing his and getting one of your own if you want to earn another 241 this year.

      • AJA says:

        Hi thanks for the reply. You misunderstand. I want to issue a supplementary card on my Amex BAPP that I already have. Plan is to stop spending on the OH’s card. But thanks for the confirmation that there is a potential 3000 Avios.

  • Spk says:

    Rob, any chance you know when this will be changed to 3 months?
    Thinking of waiting until I get my remortgage approved before I apply.

    • Rob says:

      Such information would be covered under my confidentiality agreements with Amex unfortunately.

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

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