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What are the best credit card sign-up deals for October? – plus your news round-up

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It is time for our regular round up of what is coming and what is going in the world of UK airline and hotel credit card sign-up deals.

We have also included a round-up of all of the loyalty credit card news from the last month.

Best UK credit card sign up bonuses

Our directory of the 15 main UK travel credit and charge cards can be found by clicking the ‘Credit Card Offers’ tab at the top of the site or – for email, Flipboard, Apple News or mobile readers – by clicking here. We have also introduced a separate directory for small business credit cards which is here.

What was new in September?

It was a quiet month. The biggest story is one which we will cover in a few days, once we’ve done a proper analysis – the launch of two Amazon Business Rewards American Express credit cards. These provide a new option for our small business readers.

In the meantime ….

Amex launched another £100 giveaway for holders of The Platinum Card

American Express launched another £100 giveaway in late September for holders of The Platinum Card.

You will receive £100 statement credit when you spend £100 at a combination of Waitrose, John Lewis, Selfridges, Harvey Nichols and Deliveroo.

Based on how the offer worked last time, you don’t need to spend the full £100 to get the credit. If you spend £25 in Waitrose tomorrow, you will immediately get a £25 credit. This continues until you hit the £100 cashback cap.

The offer is only available on primary cards, not supplementary cards.

Both online and in-store purchases count. You have until 22nd December to spend your £100.

You can find out all about the deal in this article.

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

You can no longer access No1 Lounges if you have an Amex Platinum or Amex Gold card

No1 Lounges, the leading UK independent airport lounge chain, has been dropped by Priority Pass and Lounge Club, the two airport lounge club networks.

This is due to a dispute over money and pre-booking, which No1 had wanted to make compulsory.

Priority Pass holders (which means all American Express Platinum cardholders) and Lounge Club cardholders (which means all American Express Preferred Rewards Gold cardholders) will now have to use alternative lounges.

Our full story is here.

No1 Lounges dropped by Priority Pass and Lounge Club

Virgin Atlantic offering special flight deals for holders of its Reward and Reward+ credit cards

Virgin Atlantic launched two deals to encourage its credit card holders to book flights with the airline.

The first part is for all Virgin Atlantic Reward and Reward+ credit card holders.

All cardholders will receive double miles when bookings flights or Virgin Atlantic Holidays before 31st October. Bookings must be made directly with the airline or via the Holidays website to qualify.

The second part is even more interesting.

Holders of the Reward+ card (the one with the £160 annual fee) will also receive a free Virgin Atlantic upgrade voucher.

There is a minimum spend of £500 required at either Virgin Atlantic or Virign Atlantic Holidays.

The upgrade voucher is valid for 24 months and allows the cardholder to upgrade either one return flight or (if two are travelling) one leg each of a return flight.

You can upgrade from either Economy to Premium or Premium to Upper Class. There must be reward seats available in the higher class and additional taxes and charges may be due.

This is a very attractive offer for Reward+ cardholders, especially as the upgrade could be worth more than the £500 minimum spend required to earn it. The two year validity period is also very useful.

You can find out more in this HfP article.

Virgin Rewards credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard

The UK’s most generous free Visa or Mastercard at 0.75 points / £1 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

American Express is letting Business cardholders sell their Membership Rewards points for 0.9p

American Express is, until 18th November, letting Business Gold and Business Platinum cardholders sell their Membership Rewards points for 0.9p each.

This is a very generous deal, and better than the majority of miles and points redemption options.

You ‘sell’ your points by using them to part-pay for items on your card statement. The usual rate is a poor £4.50 per 1,000 points redeemed, but it is currently doubled to an excellent £9 per 1,000 points redeemed.

Our full article on redeeming American Express Business Membership Rewards points for 0.9p is here.

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

Amex extended the offer for Preferred Rewards Gold cardholders to sell their points

A similar offer is running for Preferred Rewards Gold cardholders. This was due to end on until 1st October but is now extended to 21st November.

The rate is not as impressive. You only receive £6.75 per 1,000 points.

This is NOT a no-brainer and you should think carefully because you can get better value for your points. It isn’t a terrible deal, however, and if your job is currently looking uncertain you may prefer the certainty of cash.

Details of the Amex Gold Membership Rewards redemption offer are here.

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

Amex still has a 30,000 point bonus on the Dollar / Euro versions of the Platnium card

Finally, a reminder that Amex is currently running a rare sign-up bonus on its Dollar and Euro Platinum charge cards – 30,000 Membership Rewards points to be precise.

The good news is that you can get this bonus even if you already have a UK Platinum or Gold card.  The bad news is that this is a complicated product with poorer transfer rates to most airline schemes than the UK cards.  I wrote about the pros, cons and sweet spots of the American Express International Currency Cards in this article.

Further reading ….

We ran the following credit card articles during September:

Five reasons why you should keep your Amex Gold card after the free first year

Another FREE £100 for Amex Platinum cardholders!

EXTENDED: American Express will pay you 0.675p CASH for your Membership Rewards points

Get up to £100 Amex cashback with Hilton, IHG and Leading Hotels of the World

Why you shouldn’t spend £20,000 on the free BA Amex credit card

Why Amex Platinum Fine Hotels & Resorts is a great choice for one night stays

How to get free hotel elite status from UK credit cards

Virgin offering extra bonuses to Reward and Reward+ cardholders when booking flights

Get airport lounge access with the Santander World Elite Mastercard credit card

Should you trigger your next British Airways American Express 2-4-1 voucher early?

Save with generous new Amex cashback deals at Marriott and Hyatt

How does the Hertz and Amex Platinum ‘4 hour grace period’ work?

Got a free BA Amex? Earn 1,000 bonus Avios over the next seven weeks

You need ZERO Virgin points for upgrades or 2-4-1 flights with the new credit card vouchers

How to access some Lufthansa airport lounges with American Express Platinum

visa mastercard credit card best bonus

What are the best travel credit card sign-up deals for October?

If you are looking to apply for a new credit or charge card, here are my top recommendations based on the current sign-up bonus.  These deals are listed in no particular order and their position on the list is not a sign of how good or bad the offer is.

British Airways American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual 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

Head for Points focusses primarily on personal cards. However, 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 small business 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 (12)

  • BJ says:

    Given the news on the new Amazon Business amex, is it possible that we might see the regular Amazon card switch to amex too?

    • Rob says:

      Business cards do not have capped interchange fees ….

      • RussellH says:

        What on earth is the logic behind this?
        But even long before the interchange fee cap, business credit cards were a rip-off. The cardholder would be charged an annual fee when an otherwise identical consumer card had no fee, and the merchant was stung with a 45% uplift in fees for accepting the card, with no way of telling in advance whether the card was going to turn a low-margin transaction from profit into a loss.

  • Andrew says:

    It’s a shame Amex haven’t brought back 0.9 burn rate for personal Platinum or at least matched the Gold rate. It seems the Platinum card is the least attractive (and most expensive) card at the moment – and the £100 credit just covers 2 months of fee.

    • Doug M says:

      I cancelled mine earlier in the year because of a lack of travel, and being offered nothing as a retention. But since then the various offers I’ve read about here suggest it’s not been bad once Amex got into gear on it.

      • Brighton Belle says:

        Cancelled here too and now that Gatwick No1 has dropped out of Priority Pass there isn’t much incentive to get it again when flying returns to a new normal. The Aspire lounges are Ok but will be busy.

      • Justin says:

        When did you cancel?

        I got a very small retention offer for my Gold in June (wasn’t going to cancel this particular card anyways) and a retention offer of 50k for my Platinum in September. I was highly surprised as the UK retention offers tend to pale in comparison to the US and was expecting something closer to 20k – 30k at the most…. needless to say i took the Platinum retention offer!

    • Justin says:

      I’m in total agreement and am really hoping they’ll bring this offer back soon! Like you said, it’s a shame that they don’t match the Gold offer at the very least!

  • Nick says:

    Regarding the Virgin upgrade offer, I already have a ticket with them in Premium cabin, charged on my Amex Gold.
    Can I apply for the VA Reward+ card to book a holiday somewhere worth £500, and use the voucher to upgrade my exiting flights, or can the voucher be only used for the tickets booked on the VA Reward+ card?

    Can someone please help. Thanks.

  • cinereus says:

    Still don’t get why 0.9p is attracting when Amex already offer 1.25p with no cap.

    • Rob says:

      Because you aren’t comparing like with like. People already have the points, so the only question is where you can redeem them most profitably and whether 0.9p is a decent rate.

      It’s like saying ‘why redeem Avios to Dubai when Miles & More miles are better value?’. It’s a pointless comment if you’re sitting on 100,000 Avios and zero Lufthansa miles.

      Also worth noting – which you haven’t spotted – that this is BUSINESS Gold. If the same person was using a cashback card for business purposes, the cashback would be taxable by the business.