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.
Our directory of the 13 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 October?
The big news in October came from American Express.
Many BA Amex companion vouchers extended by a further six months
All British Airways American Express 2-4-1 companion vouchers due to expire between 1st October 2020 and 31st March 2021 have been extended by a further six months.
In addition, all new companion vouchers issued between 1st October and 31st March 2021 will come with a six month extension. This means that vouchers on the free British American Express will be issued for 18 months and those on the British Airways Premium Plus for 30 months.
Full details are in our article here.
Amex doubled the sign-up bonus on American Express Preferred Rewards Gold to 20,000 points (=20,000 Avios)
It is about 18 months since Amex cut the sign-up bonus on Preferred Rewards Gold to 10,000 Membership Rewards points.
This doesn’t seem to have worked out too well, because the bonus is now back at 20,000 Membership Rewards points. These convert into 20,000 Avios, 20,000 Virgin Points and loads of other things.
A lot of HfP readers won’t qualify for the bonus. If you have had a personal Amex card (not a supplementary) in the past 24 months, you don’t qualify. However, does your partner? Your adult children? Your parents?
They could apply, issue a supplementary card to you and then you could focus on doing the required £3,000 of spending within 90 days to trigger the bonus.
Amex Platinum gives out £400 of Marriott credit and £100 of Harrods credit
If you have The Platinum Card, you may (or may not) have been targetted for two excellent offers.
The Marriott offer is worth £400 cashback when you spend £400 at selected hotels – see our article. This was restricted to the first 2,000 people to register. Many HfP readers signed up, although it is clearly now touch and go whether the credit can be used before it expires on 19th December.
The £100 Harrods offer was a bit of a mess. We STILL have not got a clear answer from Amex on whether this is for everyone or just those who were invited. The problem is that if you opted out of postal offers you won’t have had the letter, and if you opted out of email offers you won’t have had the email. It seems hit and miss as to whether it shows under ‘Saved’ on your offers page even if you were invited.
If you DO have it, remember that the store closes tonight and will not reopen until the offer has expired. You could order online but the selection is limited. Our main article on the £100 Amex Harrods offer is here.
Barclays Premier Rewards closing
Barclays wrote to its Premier customers to say that Premier Rewards is closing on 15th December.
It claimed that this was down to minimal take-up. Readers claimed that it was death by a thousand cuts and that there was nothing left worth bothering with.
The reason I mention this is that Barclays Premier has agreed a deal with Avios to offer points.
The official launch has been delayed to 2021, but it is possible – with Premier Rewards closing next month – that something will be offered earlier to existing customers.
You can find out more in this HfP article.
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.
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.
No more Avios from Tesco credit cards
We exclusively revealed in early October that Tesco and Avios are splitting up.
From mid January 2021, you can no longer convert Clubcard points, from Tesco shopping or from Tesco credit or debit card spend, into Avios.
Virgin Flying Club WILL remain as a Tesco Clubcard partner.
Amex still has a 30,000 point bonus on the Dollar / Euro versions of the Platinum 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 October:
What are the best travel credit card sign-up deals for November?
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
5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual and a companion voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review
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:
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 limited company 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.