Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

What are the best credit card sign-up deals for December 2020? – plus your news round-up

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UPDATE – OCTOBER 2021:  This article is now out of date, but don’t worry.  We produce a monthly directory of the top UK travel credit card offers – please click HERE or use the ‘Credit Card Offers’ menu above.  Thank you.

A few days later than usual (I am aware it is 15th December!), 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.

Note that TODAY, Tuesday 15th, is the last day to transfer American Express Membership Rewards points to Hilton Honors for the 25% bonus.

Best UK credit card sign up bonuses

Our directory of the 12 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 November?

The big news in November came from Lufthansa, of all places.

The Miles & More credit card was closed to new applications, with plans to relaunch in mid 2021

We had suspected that changes were afoot with the Miles & More Global Traveller Card, and we were correct – see here.

The card, currently an odd double pack of a Diners Club card and a prepaid debit Mastercard, has been closed to new applicants.

It will relaunch in Summer 2021 as a Visa product. It reads as if it will remain a prepaid debit product, operating as a charge card.

The card has proved a revelation for me. The earning rate is huge – 1.25 miles per £1 – and because the Mastercard element is a debit card it is accepted by places such as HMRC with no fees.

You can learn more here. We will let you know when we learn more about the replacement product.

HFP Lufthansa Miles & More credit card

Amex launches a Membership Rewards transfer bonus to Hilton Honors – ENDS TODAY

Today, Tuesday 15th, is your last day to take advantage of the American Express Membership Rewards transfer bonus to Hilton Honors.

The standard transfer rate from Membership Rewards to Hilton Honors is 1:2. Under this promotion, it is 2:5 (ie 1 to 2.5) as you can see here. This means that you are getting 25% more Hilton Honors points than you would usually get.

Here is the small print from the Membership Rewards website:

“Minimum transfer is 200 Membership Rewards points and maximum transfer of 499,950 points. Points need to be transferred in increments of 50 points. Redeem for this exclusive offer from 04:00am GMT on 17 November 2020 to 11:59pm on 15 December 2020. Please note that your points will be transferred to your Hilton Honors account within five working days. Please allow up to two weeks for the additional Hilton Honors Bonus Points to be awarded. Hilton Honors Bonus Points do not count towards elite tier qualification.”

In general, with any bonus, 25% should not be a game changer for you. 50%, probably. 100%, definitely. However, 25% shouldn’t be enough to persuade you to do something that you wouldn’t otherwise have done.

This is because your estimate of the value you will get from the points is always going to be an educated guess, and you could easily be 25% off. I tend to value a Hilton point at 0.33p which means that you are getting 0.82p of Hilton points per Amex point. You can do better than that with other partners such as Avios.

You can find out more in this HfP article.

Collect Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles?

There is also a 15% transfer bonus on Membership Rewards points to Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles.

The offer ends on 27th December. You can read more here.

Hilton Amex Membership Rewards transfer bonus

Amex Gold in Spain switches to Priority Pass – UK to follow?

American Express Gold cardholders in Spain have been told that the Lounge Club card, which gives two free airport lounge visits each year, is turning into a Priority Pass. The ‘two free visits’ rule will still apply.

If this happens to the UK Amex Gold card too, it would be an improvement. Despite the fact that both Lounge Club and Priority Pass are owned by the same group, Lounge Club has a smaller reach. I have always assumed that it paid less to lounges.

This would be a sensible tidying up of the lounge card portfolios. One upside for the owners is that you can buy a stand-alone Priority Pass (here’s their Black Friday deal which is still running) but you cannot buy a standalone Lounge Club card.

You can be sure that a percentage of people who cancel Amex Gold will choose to buy a Priority Pass to retain that benefit. At present, anyone who tries to buy a Lounge Club membership will be disappointed.

Amex Platinum extended the £400 of free Marriott hotel credit to 31st December

This will now be a moot point for many, since London has dropped into Tier 3 covid restrictions, but American Express extended the £400 Marriott credit offered to many Platinum cardholders to 31st December.

Even if you live in London, it was arguably worth booking a stay and having a few drinks or a meal to get to exactly £400 purely to earn the Marriott Bonvoy points.

A base level member would earn (£400 – 5% VAT x $1.32 x 10 points per $1) 5,000 Marriott Bonvoy points, whilst an elite member would receive a status bonus on top.

It is unlikely that London will drop out of Tier 3 by 31st December, however, which means that anyone who was yet to use their credit will lose it.

You can read more in our article here.

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

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

American Express is 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. It has now been extended to 31st December from the original closing date of 18th November.

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

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 doubled the sign-up bonus on American Express Preferred Rewards Gold to 20,000 points (=20,000 Avios)

This change actually happened in October but I want to flag it again in case you missed it. 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.

You can find out all about the deal in this article and you can apply here.

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

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 November:

Five ways for existing British Airways American Express Cardmembers to earn extra Avios with their card

How to boost your Amex spend by using PayPal for online purchases (like BA First Class crockery!)

How your SME can earn Membership Rewards points paying bills with American Express Premium Rewards

Nine good reasons to get the British Airways American Express Premium Plus Card

Nine good reasons to get the no annual fee British Airways American Express Credit Card

Amex Platinum £400 Marriott credit extended to 31st December

How your SME can earn Membership Rewards points with American Express FX International Payments

There’s more to the new Amazon Business Credit Cards than just rewards

American Express launches a Hilton Honors transfer bonus from Membership Rewards

How much can you earn in Amazon Rewards with their new Amex SME Credit Cards?

Get a 15% bonus on American Express and HSBC Premier transfers to Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer

You can no longer get the Lufthansa payment card – bad news for those paying HMRC

EXTENDED: Amex Business cardholders can sell their Membership Rewards points for 0.9p!

Got a small business? Amazon launches two generous SME Credit Cards

SME? Get points worth 10,500 Avios with Capital On Tap’s Visa card

What is the best Star Alliance credit card?

How American Express Membership Rewards members can buy frequent flyer miles at a discount

visa mastercard credit card best bonus

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

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 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

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

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

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 (13)

  • TGLoyalty says:

    Curve + Virgin?

    • FH says:

      How would that work? I did have a Curve card but didn’t really use it and no longer have one.

  • Small Shop says:

    Why repay it? The interest rate is lower than inflation. Invest your money somewhere else.

  • Nate1309 says:

    Bill Hop?

  • K says:

    O/T: Have HSBC launched their double points transfer from the Premier card to Avios?

    • DJ says:

      I wasn’t aware that they had double points offer, it has been 25% extra as far as I remember.

      Anyways, to answer your question, I’ve not had any bonus points for my last points transfer to Avios.

    • Jimbob says:

      There’s not been any bonus for transfers to avios this year from HSBC ☹️

  • Dave says:

    Annoying, looks like they’ve already pulled the Hilton bonus offer

    • Harrier25 says:

      I have just spoken to a nice lady in Brighton and apparently the Hilton Honors points offer ended at 7am this morning so I certainly won’t be taking Rob’s information as gospel in future. ☹️

      • Rob says:

        Eh?! I cut and pasted the exact wording, including the 11.59pm end time, from the Amex website!

    • Dave says:

      I had a look this morning (11am ish) and it was still there. It also had the wording about it ending at 11.59pm today. Should’ve just gone for it then but was waiting for some more points to credit this afternoon. Don’t think Rob’s at fault for Amex moving the goal posts!

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