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

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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.

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? – March 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.

SPECIAL OFFER: Successfully apply for either of the Barclaycard Avios credit cards by 2nd April 2023 and you will be entered into a free draw to win ONE MILLION AVIOS! Full details are on the application forms here (free) and here (paid). This competition is exclusive to Head for Points readers. T&C apply.

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.

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

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:

Until 30th March 2023, the sign up bonus on American Express Business Platinum is increased to 120,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. The bonus on American Express Business Gold is increased to 60,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. T&C apply, see the application forms for details.

American Express Business Platinum

Crazy 120,000 points bonus (to 30th March) and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

60,000 points sign-up bonus (to 30th March) 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 (49)

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

  • 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!

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

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