Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Buy 1,000 Amex Membership Rewards points for £6 with Boris Bikes – even if you’re not in London

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

Transport for London really wants you to give its Santander Cycles / Boris Bikes a go!

1,000 American Express Membership Rewards points are on offer when you use the cycle network three times by 24th September 2020.

This appears to be a targetted offer. I had it on my American Express Rewards Card (reviewed here). Rob has it on his Platinum card. You will only find it on cards offering Membership Rewards points.

Santander Cycles TFL Boris bikes

This is an excellent offer, as it effectively allows you to buy 1,000 Membership Rewards points for 0.6p each. These can be turned into Avios, Virgin Flying Club miles and much more.

Here is how it works. To receive the 1,000 Membership Rewards points bonus you must make three transactions with Santander Cycles.

Here is the pricing information from the TfL website:

“Hiring a Santander Cycle costs £2 for unlimited journeys up to 30 minutes, within a 24 hour period. For journeys longer than 30 minutes, you pay £2 for each additional 30 minutes.

That means that you only need to spend £2 x three times to trigger the bonus, which means a total outlay of £6.

That’s 0.6p per Membership Reward point

This is a good offer even if you don’t plan to cycle at all! 0.6p per point is an exceptional price. The highest ever ‘Buy Avios’ offer in May, for example, still cost around 0.9p per Avios.

Even better is that you get to avoid public transport and enjoy pootling about London on a bike!

Don’t cycle or don’t live in London? No problem

If, on the other hand, you don’t want to cycle but still want to avail of the bonus points you can simply ‘book’ three 24 hour periods and never actually pick up a bike.

The easiest way to do this is via the Santander Cycles app, which lets you book and pay £2 for 24 hours of bike access online. You can also do this in person at a docking station.

Be aware that you can book for multiple people at the same time (generating multiple release codes) but that this is likely to hit your American Express statement as just one purchase.

Doing this three times in three separate 24 hour periods should be enough to trigger the offer.

There is no minimum spend or other requirements set out in the terms and conditions. The rules do say “Available at participating Santander Cycle docking stations.” but this only seems to rule out any stations which don’t take American Express for some reason.

We’ll give this a test via the app and report back on whether we received our 1,000 points in a few days.


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

If you are looking to apply for a new credit or charge card, here are our October 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 end soon:

  • 10,000 Avios on British Airways American Express (ends 2nd November)
  • 40,000 Avios on British Airways American Express Premium Plus (ends 2nd November)
  • 60,000 points on The Platinum Card from American Express (ends 2nd November)
  • 30,000 points on American Express Preferred Rewards Gold (ends 9th November)

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 – 30,000 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

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 (49)

  • Mike says:

    Not on any of my cards unfortunately!

  • old codger says:

    Great. Lets encourage ‘000s of people who don’t regularly ride bikes to go out and cause more mayhem on the roads. Sunday Cyclists who ride the pavement when they get too scared of the road, don’t know the Highway Code are just as bad as the lycra louts that jump red lights and use pedestrian crossings.

    And yes, these bikes were Ken Livingston’s creation, and in great Tory tradition, BoJo the Clown to credit for it. At least its more successful that the vanity bus he created. A sweltering torture chamber on wheels. The Bendy Bus was quick to board and got London moving. But BoJo wouldn’t understand what it’s like to use a bus. He only goes on one if there is a camera crew following him. Lets not talk about the bridge fiasco. Millions spend on something never built. Public funds to build something the public were going to be excluded from. Like feudal times all over again with this mob!!

    • Mark M says:

      “Millions spend on something never built. ”
      That was the fault of those who cancelled it!

  • cinereus says:

    For the love of god stop calling them Boris bikes.

    • Rob says:

      Headlines are too short for Santander Cycles!

    • TGLoyalty says:

      I’m not a Tory supporter but find it funny that a name is hated so much because Ken did something for them. Ken started talking about it in late ’07 and revealed plans in Feb ’08 a few months Boris took charge. The actual launch wasn’t for a couple years so in realty Boris probably spent more time looking at the plans and implementing than Ken.

      Also Boris Bikes just sounds better than Ken Bikes or Livingstone Bikes.

      • J says:

        ‘Livingstone Bikes’ fits perfectly, albeit named after the wrong man: “I am prepared to go anywhere, provided it be forward.”

      • Josh says:

        The power of alliteration…That’s the basics of journalism. Did these whingers not study GCSE English?

  • The Streets says:

    I was waiting to see what kind of reaction this article would provoke today… This was my project that I managed for TfL! Personally yes I hate that it is called Boris Bikes but Boris was/is such a character and like most politicians/mayors they quite happily take the glory when things go live during their time in charge

  • Robin says:

    STOP calling him Boris

  • James A. says:

    Any idea when you get charged for £2 is it instant or similar to the tfl whuch usually charge you the next day? I signed up and the account shows that I have one £2 pre paid 24hr access but nothing showing at Amex and would I need active the pre paid access. Too complicated for the 1000MR points.

    • Rob says:

      The £2 will show instantly as ‘pending’ on your Amex account. You need to leave 24 hours before buying another as each £2 pass lasts 24 hours.

  • Yorkieflyer says:

    Nowt on t cards for us oop north

  • Nik Rose says:

    Well I’ve spent my £6…appeared on statement..6 points..waiting for the bonus!!

    • Rob says:

      I’m assuming it actually appeared on your statement as 3 x £2 charges, otherwise you’re not getting anything!

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.