Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

How a couple can earn 186,875 Avios if they are new to Amex

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

There are complex rules around American Express sign-up bonuses.  Getting some cards blocks you from getting a bonus on some other cards, but not all cards block you from all other cards!

There are still some great opportunities out there, however.

Avios has recently announced a new partnership with Nectar. It means that my strategy for maximising your Avios from credit card sign-ups needed to change.

How to earn the most Avios from American Express cards

It has changed for the better. My old strategy earned a couple 178,000 Avios.

Now, if you approach it in the right order, a couple can earn 186,875 Avios from American Express sign-up bonuses as long as neither of you has had an American Express card in the past 24 months.

This article was updated on 1st March 2021, and all of the information is correct as of that date. Ignore the original publication date shown.

IMPORTANT: Until 9th April 2021, the stand-out UK card offer is with American Express Business Platinum (100,000 points, apply here, review here). American Express Business Gold, which is FREE for your first year, is offering 50,000 points. You can apply here and our review is here. If you qualify, you should take these offers very seriously.

How can you maximise your American Express sign-up bonuses?

Let’s run through the numbers.  In order for this strategy to work, you would need to be starting from scratch with no personal American Express cards. 

Corporate Amex cards don’t count.  Neither do any supplementary cards you may have on someone else’s Amex account.  You can also ignore any Amex cards you have had which were issued by Lloyds Bank or MBNA.

If you are currently a personal American Express cardholder, you couldn’t follow this strategy for another 24 months.  You need to close ALL of your existing personal American Express cards now in order to start the two year clock.

Here is the optimum Avios-earning strategy at the moment for a couple who have not had any Amex cards in the past two years.

The key to this is that the British Airways American Express Premium Plus card and The Platinum Card have different bonus rules from the other cards.  You are only blocked from a bonus if you have held another card in the same ‘reward family’ over the previous two years.

How can you maximise your American Express sign up bonuses?

What is the optimum Amex application strategy for a couple?

Both you and your partner will be getting three different American Express cards.  How far you spread out the applications should depends on how quickly you can hit the spend target on each card to trigger the sign-up bonus.  You have up to 90 days on each card to hit the target.

To start off:

Person A applies for the Nectar American Express card (apply here)

  • Sign-up bonus for Person A: 20,000 Nectar points which converts to 12,500 Avios, £2000 spend in three months required
  • Rule: You cannot have held a personal American Express card in the previous 24 months

Person A refers Person B for the Nectar American Express card

  • Referral bonus for Person A: 5,000 Nectar points which converts to 3,125 Avios

Person B applies for the Nectar American Express card 

  • Sign-up bonus when referred for Person B: 21,000 Nectar points which converts to 13,125 Avios, £2000 spend in three months required
  • Rule: You cannot have held a personal American Express card in the previous 24 months
HFP Amex American Express Nectar Card

Person B refers Person A for The Platinum Card

  • Referral bonus for Person B: 5,000 Nectar points which converts to 3,125 Avios

Person A applies for The Platinum Card

  • Sign-up bonus when referred for Person A: 35,000 Membership Rewards points which converts to 35,000 Avios, £4000 spend in three months required
  • Rule: You cannot have held a personal American Express card which earns Membership Rewards points in the previous 24 months

Person A refers Person B for The Platinum Card

  • Referral bonus for Person A: 12,000 Membership Rewards points which converts to 12,000 Avios

Person B applies for The Platinum Card

  • Sign-up bonus when referred for Person B: 35,000 Membership Rewards points which converts to 35,000 Avios, £4000 spend in three months required
  • Rule: You cannot have held a personal American Express card which earns Membership Rewards points in the previous 24 months

Person B refers Person A for the British Airways American Express Premium Plus card

  • Referral bonus for Person B: 12,000 Membership Rewards points which converts to 12,000 Avios

Person A applies for the British Airways American Express Premium Plus card

  • Sign-up bonus when referred for Person A: 26,000 Avios, £3000 spend in three months required
  • Rule: You cannot have held a personal British Airways American Express card in the previous 24 months

Person A refers Person B for the British Airways American Express Premium Plus card

  • Referral bonus for Person A: 9,000 Avios (or 12,000 Membership Rewards points, which converts to 12,000 Avios, if they still hold The Platinum Card at this point and make the referral from that)

Person B applies for the British Airways American Express Premium Plus card

  • Sign-up bonus when referred for Person B: 26,000 Avios, £3000 spend in three months required
  • Rule: You cannot have held a personal British Airways American Express card in the previous 24 months

Person A or Person B spends £10,000 on their British Airways American Express Premium Plus card in order to trigger the 2-4-1 voucher and so maximise how far your 186,875 Avios can take you!

You will actually have more than 186,875 Avios because of the points from your daily spend.

There are also opportunities to add supplementary cards to each card as you go along, for additional bonuses of up to 3,000 points each.

Obviously this is an extreme scenario …..

If you’ve never had an Amex card before (or in the last two years):

If you do not have any American Express cards at the moment, you can try the strategy above with little personal risk.

Whilst all of the cards above carry annual fees, they are refundable pro-rata when you cancel.  The quicker you trigger the sign-up bonus, the more money you will get back.

If you were thinking of cancelling your existing cards to follow this plan:

There is substantially more risk if you were thinking of cancelling all your existing Amex cards and following this strategy in two years:

  • there is no guarantee that sign-up or referral bonuses will remain unchanged
  • importantly, you need to go two years without a British Airways American Express Premium Plus card – and that means two years without being able to generate a 2-4-1 voucher
  • you need an American Express card, although you could use one from a friend, to pay the taxes when you redeem your existing British Airways American Express Premium Plus vouchers
  • you would miss out on American Express cashback deals, such as Shop Small, for the next two years
  • you would need to find other cards to use for your day-to-day spending for two years

Let me repeat – I am not recommending that you follow the strategy above.  It is an extreme example of what is possible.

However, it does show you that there is still some merit in continuing to pick up American Express sign-up bonuses, even if you need to wait two years to earn another.  Perhaps you can amend the strategy for your own purposes – perhaps you keep your British Airways card open but cancel your Membership Rewards cards in order to get The Platinum Card in two years?

Remember that there is also further upside which we have not covered here.  You can earn additional sign-up bonuses by referring other friends and family for cards.

If you have a small business, there is also the opportunity to take out the Business Gold and Business Platinum cards.  These have bonuses of 20,000 and 40,000 Membership Rewards points respectively. More importantly, the only criteria for earning the bonus is that you haven’t held a Membership Rewards card, business or personal, in the past SIX months.

Further credit card information

Here is the legally required interest rate information on the cards mentioned above, together with links to our reviews:

BA Premium Plus American Express card BAPP

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

Read our full reviewApply here

Other information:

  • Receive a companion voucher, letting you book two flights for the Avios of one, when you spend £10,000 in a card year
  • Annual fee: £195

Representative 74.7% APR variable based on an assumed £1,200 credit limit and £195 annual fee. Interest rate on purchases 22.2% APR variable.

See if you qualify for the 25,000 Avios sign-up bonus +

You will receive 25,000 Avios as a sign-up bonus on the British Airways American Express Premium Plus card if you spend £3,000 within 90 days of signing up.

To qualify for the bonus, you must not have held the British Airways Premium Plus or the free British Airways American Express cards in the previous 24 months.

You are OK if you had a supplementary card on someone else’s British Airways American Express account.

You are OK if, currently or in the previous 24 months, you have held any other American Express card.

For clarity, you can still apply for the British Airways Premium Plus card even if you do not qualify for the bonus.  You would still benefit from the companion voucher and all of the other card benefits.

Learn more about the card benefits +

When you spend £10,000 on the British Airways American Express Premium Plus card, you receive a companion voucher entitling you to book two Avios redemption flights for the miles of one.  This voucher is valid for two years.  (Full taxes and charges need to be paid on both tickets.)

This voucher is the most valuable perk available in the UK airline and hotel credit card sector in my view. It could save you 150,000 or more Avios when used for a long-haul redemption in a premium cabin.

The voucher with the Premium Plus card is far more powerful than the voucher given with the free British Airways American Express card.  You only need to spend £10,000, instead of £20,000, in a card year to receive it.  More importantly, the Premium Plus voucher is valid for two years.  The voucher on the free British Airways American Express card is only valid for one year.

You receive your voucher within a few days of reaching the spending target.  You need to fly the outbound leg of your 2-4-1 flight before the expiry date of the voucher.

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

Read our full reviewApply here

Other information:

  • Two Priority Pass cards, each allowing two people into 1,300 airport lounges
  • Elite status in five major hotel loyalty programmes
  • Comprehensive travel insurance
  • Annual fee: £575

This is a charge card, not a credit card. You must clear your balance in full each month.  Annual fee £575.

See if you qualify for the 30,000 points sign-up bonus +

You will receive 30,000 American Express Membership Rewards points as a sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card if you spend £4,000 within 90 days of signing up.

Membership Rewards points are hugely flexible.  You can transfer them into Avios, Virgin Flying Club or other airlines (at 1:1) or into various hotels schemes, into Club Eurostar or use them for shopping vouchers.

To qualify for the bonus, you must NOT, currently or in the previous 24 months, have held any other personal American Express card which earns Membership Rewards points.  This includes The Platinum Card and Preferred Rewards Gold.

You are OK if you had a supplementary card on someone else’s American Express account.

You are OK if, currently or in the previous 24 months, you have held any other American Express card, including the British Airways, Marriott and Nectar cards.  Holding a British Airways American Express card does not disqualify from the Platinum bonus.

If you cancel The Platinum Card at any point, you will receive a pro-rata refund of your membership fee.  You will not lose your sign-up bonus.

For clarity, you can still apply for The Platinum Card even if you do not qualify for the bonus.  You would still benefit from the long list of other benefits.

Learn more about the card benefits +

The Platinum Card from American Express comes with an unrivalled list of benefits for the keen traveller.

Your personal travel patterns will determine which of these is the most valuable.  The key benefits are:

Full comprehensive travel insurance for you, your family and the family of up to five supplementary cardholders, subject to enrolment

Two Priority Pass cards, each of which allows the holder and a guest unlimited free access to 1,300 airport lounges

Elite status in four major hotel loyalty schemes: Marriott Bonvoy (Gold), Hilton Honors (Gold), Radisson Rewards (Gold), MeliaRewards (Gold)

Access to Eurostar lounges, irrespective of travel class

£10 per month of Addison Lee taxi credit

Nectar American Express

Read our full reviewApply here

Other information:

  • From January 2021, you can convert Nectar points into Avios (and vice versa)
  • Annual fee: Free for the first year, £25 from Year 2

Representative 27.3% APR variable, from Year 2, based on a notional £1,200 credit limit and £25 annual fee. Interest rate on purchases and in Year 1 22.2% APR variable.

See if you qualify for the 20,000 points sign-up bonus +

You will receive 20,000 Nectar points as a sign-up bonus on the Nectar American Express credit card if you spend £2,000 within 90 days of signing up.

Nectar points are worth 0.5p each if spent in Sainsbury’s, Argos or eBay.  From January 2021 they can also be converted to Avios at the rate of 400 : 250.  1 Nectar point gets you 0.625 Avios.

To qualify for the bonus, you must NOT, currently or in the previous 24 months, have held any other personal American Express card.

You are OK if you had a supplementary card on someone else’s American Express account.

You are OK if, currently or in the previous 24 months, you have held a Business American Express card.

For clarity, you can still apply for the Nectar American Express card even if you do not qualify for the bonus.  You would still benefit from the ‘no fee in Year 1’ offer.

Learn more about the card benefits +

The Nectar American Express credit card comes lets you earn 2 Nectar points for every £1 you spend.  This is on top of any Nectar points you would usually earn at Sainsbury’s and other Nectar partners.

Converted to Avios, you would be earning 1.25 Avios per £1.  This makes the card better value than the free British Airways American Express credit card for your first year, as the Nectar American Express is ‘fee free’ for the first 12 months.  There is a £25 annual fee from Year 2.

The sign-up bonus of 20,000 Nectar points is worth £100 to spend in Sainsbury’s, Argos or eBay.

20,000 Nectar points can also be converted into 12,500 Avios.

Amex American Express Business Gold card

American Express Business Gold

Read our full reviewApply here

Other information:

  • Annual fee: Free for the first year, £125 from Year 2

This is a charge card, not a credit card. You must clear your balance in full each month.  Annual fee £125 from Year 2, free in Year 1.

See if you qualify for the 50,000 points sign-up bonus +

You will receive 50,000 American Express Membership Rewards points as a sign-up bonus on the American Express Business Gold card if you spend £5,000 within 90 days.

This is a special offer which ends on 9th April 2021.  The standard bonus is just 20,000 points.

Membership Rewards points are hugely flexible.  You can transfer them into Avios, Virgin Flying Club or other airlines (at 1:1) or into various hotels schemes, into Club Eurostar or use them for shopping vouchers.

To qualify for the bonus, you must NOT, currently or in the previous six months, have held any other American Express card which earns Membership Rewards points.  This includes Business or personal Gold, Business or personal Platinum and the personal American Express Rewards credit card.

You are OK if you had a supplementary card on someone else’s American Express account.

You are OK if the only American Express card you have had in the previous six months was a British Airways, Marriott Bonvoy, Nectar, Platinum Cashback or Harrods American Express card.

For clarity, you can still apply for the American Express Business Gold card even if you do not qualify for the bonus.  You would still benefit from the ‘no fee in Year 1’ offer.

Learn more about the card benefits +

You receive £100 of Dell statement credit per calendar year.  This is made available in two parts.  You receive a £50 credit on Dell purchases made between January and June and a £50 credit on Dell purchases made between July and December.  There is no minimum spend requirement.

You can apply for supplementary Amex business cards for your employees at no extra cost.

You will receive one consolidated statement showing the spend on your card and all of the supplementary cards.  All of the Membership Rewards points earned on the supplementary cards will flow into your personal account.

Depending on when in your monthly cycle you make a payment, you will effectively receive up to 54 days free credit on your spending.

American Express statements provide more underlying transaction detail for flights and certain other transactions than Visa or Mastercard statements, making it easier to reconcile transactions.

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

Read our full reviewApply here

Other information:

  • Two Priority Pass cards, each allowing two people into 1,300 airport lounges
  • Elite status in four major hotel loyalty programmes
  • Comprehensive travel insurance
  • Annual fee: £595

This is a charge card, not a credit card. You must clear your balance in full each month.  Annual fee £595.

See if you qualify for the 100,000 points sign-up bonus +

You will receive 100,000 American Express Membership Rewards points as a sign-up bonus on the American Express Business Platinum card if you spend £10,000 within 90 days.

Membership Rewards points are hugely flexible.  You can transfer them into Avios, Virgin Flying Club or other airlines (at 1:1) or into various hotels schemes, into Club Eurostar or use them for shopping vouchers.

To qualify for the bonus, you must NOT, currently or in the previous six months, have held any other American Express card which earns Membership Rewards points.  This includes Business or personal Gold, Business or personal Platinum and the personal American Express Rewards credit card.

You are OK if you had a supplementary card on someone else’s American Express account.

You are OK if the only American Express card you have had in the previous six months was a British Airways, Marriott Bonvoy, Nectar, Platinum Cashback or Harrods American Express card.

For clarity, you can still apply for the American Express Business Platinum card even if you do not qualify for the bonus.  You would still benefit from all of the other card features.

Learn more about the card benefits +

American Express Business Platinum comes with an unrivalled list of benefits for the keen traveller.

Your personal travel patterns will determine which of these is the most valuable.  The key benefits are:

Full comprehensive travel insurance for you, your family and the family of up to five supplementary cardholders, subject to enrolment

Two Priority Pass cards, each of which allows the holder and a guest unlimited free access to 1,300 airport lounges

Elite status in four major hotel loyalty schemes: Marriott Bonvoy (Gold), Hilton Honors (Gold), Radisson Rewards (Gold), MeliaRewards (Gold)

£150 of Dell statement credit per year – you receive £75 credit on Dell purchases betweeen January and June and £75 credit on purchases between July and December

Digital subscription to The Times and The Sunday Times, worth over £300

(Want to earn more miles and points from credit cards?  Click here to visit our dedicated airline and hotel travel credit cards page or use the ‘Credit Card Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

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 (135)

  • Dance-Ace-Base says:

    Can the International Currency Card be used as a home for your MR points?
    Does holding the ICC affect eligibility for sign up bonuses?

    • BuildBackBetter says:

      That’s my biggest qn as well – where to house the MR points?
      ICC card – unless you get the green one, aren’t you paying a lot to keep the points there?

    • Rob says:

      No.

      You can only do 1 transfer per 365 days to an ICC card though.

    • C says:

      ICC sign up bonuses are separate.

      I believe that Rob has done an article on using the ICC as a home. In short it does work, though may not work for all. In particular, the MR transfer partner list is somewhat different, and many of the rates for transferring out of ICC MR are disadvantageous. However, if the ones you need are ok (eg, KrisFlyer), and you generally can make use of an ICC product, it can work. Transferring points from UK MR to ICC MR is somewhat niche (ie, not all agents know it without checking), and iirc it can only be done once per year.

      • BuildBackBetter says:

        Once a year isnt a problem, as its primarily going to be used to house the MRs while cancelling the personal cards. The problem is paying the annual fee for the cheapest card.

    • Chas says:

      Bear in mind that the points don’t transfer 1:1, but are adjusted by the exchange rate (either dollar or euro depending on which card you get). You might win depending on which way the rate moves between transferring them in and then moving them out again, but you might also lose…

      • BuildBackBetter says:

        anything more than 1:1 is better? the alternative is transferring to bonvoy and lose 33%.

      • Rob says:

        Correct. I transferred at $1.60 so I was immediately better off (Avios is 1.5 to 1 but a $1.60 exchange rate beat 1:1 from the UK scheme).

        At present, at $1.35, you are worse off transferring to Avios from ICC at 1.5 to 1 vs from the UK at 1:1. You are laughing of course if you transfer to one of the 1:1 ICC partners like KrisFlyer.

        I could also crystalise a nice gain now by moving my remaining ICC points back to the UK at $1.35! With all the value sucked out of Jumeirah One now I don’t have a lot of use for them except potentially Kris.

        • Chas says:

          You’re right of course Rob, but I wasn’t talking about about transferring from ICC MR to other schemes. I was thinking along the lines of transfer to your ICC MR scheme to close down your UK account but keep your MR points alive (without committing to a different scheme), and then you can transfer them back to a UK MR account after your 2 year hiatus. Even if you make no other transfers, the amount you transfer back into the UK scheme will be different from the amount you transferred out due to FX movements.

  • Wayne says:

    I cancelled my Amex gold rewards, waited 2 years til Sept 20, was going to apply for the Platinum but as I would not be making use of the travel perks during Covid decided to go for the rewards Gold again as free and still 20,000 point sign up.
    What I hadn’t realised is the rules had changed and I wasn’t to receive the sign up bonus as I have a BAPP! I vaguely remember reading in the past that if you upgrade from Gold tp Platinum there was a bonus, is this the case or am I mistaken?

    • Dan says:

      Only from a Gold charge card which I don’t think yours will be as you’ve just applied for it – sorry.

    • Mr(s) Entitled says:

      There was talk on the comments yesterday that the T&C’s have changed and the upgrade bonus from Gold to Platinum is now a once in a lifetime bonus.

      Hopefully this is worth a standalone article if accurate because a lot of people factor this into their strategy.

      • Rob says:

        We never wrote about this because it was always meant to be targetted as per the small print.

    • BuildBackBetter says:

      It pays to keep reading the articles and comments atleast once in a while.
      In miles world, you are either all in or not.

  • Roger Jones says:

    Good to see HFP isn’t wasting its time on this Planet.

  • Chris Heyes says:

    I/We amended the scenario (well 3 of us actually) i had BA Premium spent enough for 241 then Gold got the sign up bonus before (stopped) upgraded to Platinum with the BONUS as well (around end April/May) referred Family & friends but only got 90k points, complained was given 15k (told was retention gift ?)
    Partner was referred to Platinum did spend got bonus rung up to cancel after only having it a month (April)
    Was actually asked what she wanted to keep it Hmm the mind boggles lol
    She said it was a mistake she would have applied for Gold if she had known about 20k bonus (June)
    She was told she can have gold with all benefits including Bonus if she hits targets
    I’m sure she was only offered that due to Covid and lack of opportunity’s ?
    Now £1k short of £15k spend by June so cut down spend, will cancel July when 10k hits, and apply for BA Premium hopefully with bonus !
    Partner did referrals as well.
    Partners Brother went from Platinum to Gold similar scenario last June again, up to now he wants to keep Gold after June, he managed referrals as well as Platinum
    So my advice would be work out what you are happy with and “Go For It”
    We didn’t do it right but are happy how it worked for us
    Also Brighton are “very” Helpful in our opinion don’t be afraid to ask !

    • Chris Heyes says:

      I should add it was due to family & friends allowing us to buy quite a lot of large item’s that they needed at that time, then reimbursing us.
      That enabled us to hit the targets quickly

  • cinereus says:

    Problem is, when you consider taxes, there aren’t avios redemptions that are better than ebay money.

    • memesweeper says:

      I’ve just (re-)booked £ 9,750 worth of tickets for 156,000 Avios and £ 2,500. That’s significantly better than cashing out at ebay/Sainsburys.

      • Harry T says:

        Care to elaborate, Memesweeper? Do you mean you cancelled cash bookings?

        • Anna says:

          I would guess 2 or 3 x J or F seats using a 241 on a route with high cash prices.

    • BuildBackBetter says:

      Redemptions are better where BA has a monopoly on the route or very little direct competition.
      If you are comparing with routes like New York, then yes, redemptions are poor value.

  • Lumma says:

    Does opening a basic Amex Card (the free charge card with no rewards at all) prevent you from getting sign-up bonuses? What about holding on to a legacy card? I’ve got a project (red) Amex which I’ve held since 2006 and I tend to get some really good offers on it (some of the Platinum and Gold exclusives mentioned on here appear occasionally)

  • Mikeact says:

    While waiting patiently for my two year Amex clock to wind down, I’ve just been approved for the free regular Nectar/Sainsbury’s card, to get the show on the road. Not too bad an introductory offer, spend £400 in two months for 10k Nectar, that’ll do for starters. I did have some old Nectar points which have since disappeared from my account….seems like no activity in 12 months, points are scrubbed.

  • Peter says:

    For some who doesn’t want to pay fee, is it still worth applying for platinum/BAPP????

    Platinum is 30k MR which is 48k nectar points (1:1.6), worth £240 cash, annual fee £575, if I can spend the £4k, the day I get the card, how soon does the bonus points arrive in your account? I guess transfer to avois and nectar would be quite quick.

    BAPP is 25k = £200 nectar cash , annual fee £195

    • Anna says:

      The points can arrive any time from 24 hours after you complete the spend IME, usually within a week anyway but Amex will tell you it can be 60 days or something similar. EVen if you were charged the fee, it’s refunded pro-rate when you cancel.

    • Genghis says:

      In my proper churning days I’d have a Pat for only about a week with everything set:
      – Apply for Plat in main card name only.
      – Receive Plat. Apply for supp card. Set up transfer partners. Refer for next card. Do spend (bonus points post with the cleared transaction so a few days later), transfer all points out out
      – Close card then day after settle remaining balance.
      In some cases I’d not be charged anything (as fee was only applied with the first statement) but towards the end I was charged the fee usually on day 1 (all refunded prorata so may have cost a few quid).

      • Peter says:

        Interesting, does the prorata base on full month or number of days?

        Why apply for supplement card?

        • Genghis says:

          – de facto number of days, despite Amex CS verbally noting months. I don’t think it’s actually documented anywhere
          – extra 5k. Can also get a Gold on a plat if already have one Plat supp and want to avoid the fee.

      • Harry T says:

        @Genghis
        What’s your current Amex strategy? Still doing a Gold card switcheroo each year?

        • Genghis says:

          We’ve just been doing a Gold “switcheroo” for the past two years.
          Coming up to two years now since last had BAPPs so will be doing a quick churn there.
          After yesterday’s news, I think next we’ll be doing Amex Nectar switcheroo – yes, referral bonus is less than Gold, general earn at 1.25 avios / £ is good (though no double points on flights or FX which I’d use with work if / when get back to travel – may not be needed anytime soon) but then get to also do an MR card churn in a couple of years’ time.
          Will need to run some numbers.

          Question for anyone though:
          – what are the Amex offers like on the Nectar card? Comparable to Gold?

          • Genghis says:

            By MR card, I meant Plat

          • BuildBackBetter says:

            Amex nectar – 1.25 per £ – Is that including the regular nectar points you get?

          • Rob says:

            No. You get 2 Nectar points on general spend so 1.25 Avios. This ignores the base points you earn in Sainsburys.

          • Genghis says:

            Nectar points for spending in Sainburys? No. I’m on about general earn.
            Amex Nectar earns 2 nectar points / £ spend x 250/400 = 1.25 avios.

            I like to think of different streams as separate buckets and don’t like to lump together:
            – credit card earn
            – any portal usage
            – any specific shop points.

          • Harry T says:

            Thanks. I reckon Gold is still better than Nectar Amex, if you also desire the option for hotel points, rather than Nectar/Avios. Especially as Bonvoy points are very hard to earn.

            Just referred my girlfriend for the Nectar to net some Platinum referral points (which now looks timely) so will let you know about offers on that.

          • Genghis says:

            Thanks Harry – please let me know how the Amex nectar offers pan out.

            Yes, Marriott points for me anyway are generally hard to earn. But is the Gold route worth the loss? I.e.

            Spending on Gold / £ = 1 MR / £ = 1.5 Marriotts = 0.75p return, with option to go to avios for 1 MR = 1 avios = 0.8p in Sainsburys / Argos

            Spending on Nectar = 2 nectar = 1.25 avios = 1p in Sainsburys.

            So I’d need to be getting at least 0.66p for each of the Marriotts I get for the Gold->Marriott route to be worthwhile. In one of the recent offers I could buy for 0.61p (https://www.headforpoints.com/2020/11/25/buy-marriott-bonvoy-points-bonus/). So better to use the points in Sainburys / Argos and then pay cash.

            I”m ignoring the 10k MRs annual bonus since we didn’t hit the £15k spend this year (more profitable cards) – and anyway, this is miles outshone by a Plat churn his n hers.

            Decisions decisions. My head hurts after all that thinking.

          • Harry T says:

            @Genghis
            Good points, thanks for outlining your thinking.

            I generally don’t redeem Bonvoy for anything less than 0.8-1p per point, so I find the maths a little more favourable for me. I also find them easier and more convenient to spend than Avios due to living in the North East, away from London Airways hubs.

            I hit the 15k spend on the Gold card too, so that tilts the balance towards Gold for me. Going to adopt your his and hers switcheroo strategy from now on, I reckon. I will have to refer my girlfriend from Plat for a Gold (12k); then she will refer me for an ARCC to keep my MR alive after I cancel Plat (6k + 3k for adding me as a supp on her Gold). But we have options with her Nectar. I also keep the Bonvoy card due to the 15 nights helping me hit Titanium. I think we will churn the BAPPs every two years but waiting for Platinum bonuses doesn’t work for us due to wanting to keep MR balances alive and flexible (still hoping for another Bonvoy transfer bonus).

            Just goes to show, you have to do the maths for your own scenario to determine the best value strategy! I’d be far more interested in Avios if I lived in London, for example.

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.