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CHANGED: You now only have three months to trigger American Express sign-up bonuses

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

This offer has now ended.

As of today, you will need to hit your spend target within three months. 

This returns the rule to how it was before the start of the coronavirus lockdown.  With consumer spending almost back to normal – Barclaycard data for July 2020 shows card spending was just 2.9% lower than July 2019 – American Express presumably feels that it no longer needs to make concessions.

American Express three month sign-up bonus rule

Existing Amex cardholders are not impacted

If you have applied for an American Express card recently, you will still have six months to trigger your sign-up bonus.

The three month rule will only apply to new applications from today.

What are the American Express sign-up bonuses?

As a reminder, here are bonuses available on American Express personal cards:

The Platinum Card: 30,000 Membership Rewards points (=30,000 Avios) when you spend £4,000 in three months

Preferred Rewards Gold Credit Card: 10,000 bonus Membership Rewards points (=10,000 Avios) when you spend £3,000 in three months 

British Airways American Express Premium Plus Credit Card: 25,000 Avios when you spend £3,000 in three months

British Airways American Express Credit Card: 5,000 Avios when you spend £1,000 in three months

Nectar Credit Card: 20,000 Nectar points (= £100) when you spend £2,000 in three months 

Marriott Bonvoy American Express Credit Card: 20,000 Marriott Bonvoy points (= 6,666 Avios) when you spend £3,000 in three months

The American Express Rewards Credit Card: 5,000 Membership Rewards points (=5,000 Avios) when you spend £2,000 in three months

Platinum Cashback Everyday Credit Card: 5% cashback on your purchases for three months (up to £100) 

Platinum Cashback Credit Card: 5% cashback on your purchases for three months (up to £125) 

American Express three months to earn sign-up bonus

On the Business cards:

The Gold Business Card: 20,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend £3,000 in three months

The Platinum Business Card: 40,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend £6,000 in three months

British Airways American Express Accelerating Business Credit Card: 2,200 On Business Points when you spend £3,000 in three months

We wrote a detailed article on ‘Which American Express sign-up bonuses do I qualify for?’ which you can find here.

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

If you are looking to apply for a new credit or charge card, here are our September 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.

The following offers will expire on 2nd November 2021:

  • 10,000 Avios on British Airways American Express
  • 40,000 Avios on British Airways American Express Premium Plus
  • 60,000 points on The Platinum Card from American Express

Here are the top current deals:

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

10,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and an Economy 241 voucher for spending ….. Read our full review

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

40,000 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

60,000 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 offers.

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

60,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios 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

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 and no annual fee Read our full review

Comments (39)

  • BJ says:

    Sort of interesting that the best amex card in terms only of sign-up bonus/£1000 spend target when factoring in bonus + spend target earning – 3 months card fee is the nectar card, provided we assume that we can get 1p per nectar point and not 0.5p, and that avios and MR points are worth 1p each. Ignores other benefits though such as platinum insurance and Bonvoy nights. Where this becomes useful is in determining whether the Nectar or Bonvoy card best meets your needs as your starting point for the amex cards sign-up strategy that Rob has written about and which is often discussed here in the comments.

    • Alex W says:

      I agree Nectar is undervalued. However if Christmas double up is limited to 10,000 points again then I am earning more than I can spend for the next several years!

      • BJ says:

        So far I have been fortunate to get almost all of mine converted to LNER at 1p. Given the current circumstances I hope any double up offer will be available online this year.

      • WillPS says:


  • Alex W says:

    Damn, annoyed I missed out. Should have taken Saturdays article as a hint!

  • Andrew says:

    Once we have the second peak in October, consumer spending will fall again until March, so the offer will be back.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Or not.

      With widespread testing and more understanding there shouldn’t be a second spike as large as the first in the UK, the number of cases were significantly higher than reported as people weren’t being tested. Also expect more local measures than nationwide.

      • Alex W says:

        Agreed. It’s difficult to see how the government could possibly mess it up as badly as the 1st wave.

      • BJ says:

        I also find it promising that even those who are seriously affected and require hospital treatment seem to be recovering in greater numbers. Seems like much has been learned on treatment.

  • William Avery says:

    Platinum Business @ 07:31
    “1. If you are approved and spend £6,000 on purchases on the Account within the first six months of Cardmembership, 40,000 bonus Membership Rewards points will be awarded shortly after the end of the six months. Business Gold or Business Platinum Cardmembers who are enrolled or have been enrolled in the Membership Rewards programme in the last six months, are not eligible for the bonus. All introductory offers are subject to change and can be withdrawn at any time.“

    • Rob says:

      It will flip during the day.

      • William Avery says:

        Any chance of getting in before it flips or will they just say it’s the new terms?

        • Lady London says:

          scrernshot it and apply. it’s not Rob’s fault he respected an embargo if they have a route on the website that has it

  • Liz says:

    Bummer – i was going to refer hubby at the end of this week for his next BAPP!

  • J says:

    Pretty sure I remember this being the case when I previously had the card – but is it right that there is no sign up bonus spend accumulation bar on your account page for the business cards?

    • Wally1976 says:

      Don’t know if it’s always the case but I got no progress bar for business gold card but points posted no problem a few days ago.

  • Anna says:

    Slightly OT – BAPP bonus. I’m about to cancel mine and thinking I will wait 2 years for the next one as we’re not going to have enough avios by the end of next year to be able to use more than the 1 companion voucher my OH will earn in 2021. I might apply for a Platinum Amex next March when my 2 years for MR cards is up – am I right in thinking that wouldn’t affect me getting a BAPP the following year?

    • Doug M says:

      Yes, if you mean sign-up bonus. BAPP separate from MR cards.

      • Anna says:

        Apologies, yes. Will have been 2 years without an MR card when I apply for Plat and 2 years without an avios card if I apply for BAPP the following year.
        Fortunately I’ve (re)booked most of our travel for 2021, and 2022 will be mostly cash stays for reasons I won’t mention lol. After that it’s a case of seeing how the points-earning world emerges from the current situation.

        • Doug M says:

          Cash bookings tend to earn a decent amount of points, often forgotten if you primarily fly on Avios and 241. I know you mention OH so wouldn’t you be better off with cross referrals and Green to Plat 20K upgrades rather than the 2 year waits. I guess some people prefer not to churn, I’m happy to.

          • Anna says:

            Yes indeed and you can get Bronze from one long haul return if you have domestic connections!
            I can’t get my head round the Green to Plat thing – thought I’d read it doesn’t always work and I don’t want to inadvertently re-set our clocks!

          • Anna says:

            Though I’ve just googled to see if I can find an article on it and I’ve found an Amex page which says that you can upgrade from gold to Platinum and get 20k MR points if you spend £4k in 6 months. Is this right?

          • Doug M says:

            I think Rob says it’s not a guaranteed thing, so he can’t mention it officially, but plenty of evidence it works, I think it was Harry T that said he’d done it twice in the last year. I think the gold to plat was for the older gold charge card, not the current credit card.

          • Optimus Prime says:

            @Anna – yes, you can if you have the old gold charge card. Today you would have to get the Amex green charge card and then upgrade.

          • Optimus Prime says:

            I’ve just done it 2 months ago. My account shows the spend tracker to get the bonus, etc.

          • Doug M says:

            Depending on your reasoning you could try quite quickly after downgrading a Plat to Green or Gold, so not risking many months in regard of 2 year reset if it failed and you needed the full reset.
            I downgraded my Plat to Green as no travelling at present. My Gold credit had just gone into 2nd year so paid fee to get the 10K MR bonus and was cancelling that meaning Green was best option at that point to keep MR points and have 20K route back to Plat when ready. I don’t want a break as trying to maintain MR account for flexibility, rather than dumping MR into something else on spec.

          • Vit says:

            @Anna, links to upgrade from from Green to Plat. You have to apply for Green first though. I am on my last leg of churning now. Hopefully home and dry with the 20k MR (not to mention other referrals and supp. card bonus).

          • Vit says:

            @Doug, very fair point! Depending on personal preference. I am resetting the clock after this. Dumping all the point into BAEC. Not that I am banking on Club Suite / F to anywhere nice anytime soon but if that fails, would be able to keep and use avios booking with OW partners (JAL, CX, MH) across the region quite comfortably and with good values as we have families over there and generally spending holiday within the region. It really is depending on your circumstance and personal preference.

  • Jonny says:

    Has anyone experienced a delay when upgrading from Amex Green to Plat?
    Applied on Friday morning and still no upgrade according to my account. Am sure previously it updated overnight online.
    Presume just a case of waiting a few more days…

    • Vit says:

      In my case, it took a few working day. Applied Friday evening. Online account card changed on Wednesday the week after. Plat card arrived Friday.

    • Wally1976 says:

      I did this upgrade last Saturday (8th) and it took until Thursday for it to show on the account. Card arrived on Friday.

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