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The biggest UK card sign-up bonus EVER is here, worth 100,000 points

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American Express has launched the biggest sign-up bonus ever seen in the UK for a payment card.

It doesn’t just set a new record, it smashes them. The highest bonus I have ever seen in the last 20 years was a short-lived 50,000 points offer on American Express Platinum. This deal, on the Business cards, is up to twice as generous. If you only sign up for one mileage promotion all year, this should be it.

The number of points involved is huge. If you don’t qualify to apply yourself, you should think seriously about any family members who could sign up and let you benefit from the points – or do your friends a favour and tell them about it.

The bonuses are on the two American Express Business cards:

American Express Business Platinum now has a sign-up bonus of 100,000 Membership Rewards points.

American Express Business Gold – which is free for a year – now has a sign-up bonus of 50,000 Membership Rewards points.

These are, clearly, huge sums.

The offer is valid for applications received by 9th April.

Is there a catch?

The only ‘catch’ is that American Express has raised the qualifying spend at the same time as raising the bonus.

  • You need to spend £10,000 in three months to receive the 100,000 points on Business Platinum
  • You need to spend £5,000 in three months to receive the 50,000 points on Business Gold

If you don’t feel that you can hit these targets, I recommend that you do not apply until after 9th April. At that point, the usual offers – 20,000 points on Business Gold for spending £3,000 in three months, and 40,000 points on Business Platinum for spending £6,000 in three months – will presumably return.

What can I do with the bonus points?

I ran this article on how you can use Membership Rewards points.

For HfP readers, the key one is that they convert at 1:1 into Avios and Virgin Points.

You can pick up 100,000 Avios if you convert the sign-up bonus on Business Platinum.

100,000 Membership Rewards points would also get you:

  • 300,000 Radisson Rewards points
  • 200,000 Hilton Honors points
  • 150,000 Marriott Bonvoy points
  • 100,000 airline miles in various other schemes including Emirates, Etihad, Air France KLM and Singapore Airlines

What are the annual fees?

American Express Business Platinum has an annual fee of £595. Business Gold has an annual fee of £125, but the first year is free.

The annual fees are, of course, tax deductible as a business expense.

The way to maximise your points but minimise your fees is to apply for American Express Business Platinum and then, once you have spent £10,000, downgrade to Business Gold. You will receive a pro-rata refund of your Business Platinum fee.

Of course, if spending £10,000 in three months is going to be difficult, you should simply apply for Business Gold in the first place. £5,000 is easier, although I accept that this will still count some people out.

How are the cards structured?

Both Business Platinum and Business Gold are charge cards, not credit cards.

You MUST pay your entire balance at the end of each month. There is no option to pay interest and roll over the amount you owe.

We will cover the full benefits package in detailed card reviews later this week.

Who qualifies for the bonus?

You qualify for the bonus as long as you have not had an American Express card earning Membership Rewards points in the last SIX MONTHS.

Note that the rule on the Business cards is six months and NOT the 24 months that applies to the personal cards.

For clarity …. the ‘no Membership Rewards cards’ rule applies across personal and Business cards. If you have had a personal Gold, Platinum etc card in the past six months then you will NOT receive the bonus on Business Gold or Business Platinum.

On the upside, getting Business Gold or Business Platinum has no impact on your ability to get a future bonus on a personal Amex card. Confusingly, the bonus rules on the personal cards ignore any Business cards you may hold. The Business cards, on the other hand, look across your Business and personal card portfolio.

For absolute clarity ….. the following cards have no impact on your ability to get the bonus:

  • British Airways American Express
  • Nectar American Express
  • Marriott Bonvoy American Express
  • Harrods American Express
  • Platinum Cashback

…… because none of the cards are ‘Membership Rewards’ cards. They offer something different (Avios, Nectar points, Marriott points etc) as a reward. If the only Amex card you have had in the past six months is one on the list above, you definitely qualify for the 100k / 50k bonus.

HFP Amex American Express Business Gold Card

What are the rules for being accepted for Business Gold or Business Platinum?

You can be a sole trader, partnership or Limited Company. You must meet the following criteria, which are cut and pasted from the Amex website:

  • The business has a current UK Bank or Building Society account
  • You/The business have/has no County Court Judgements for non-payment of debt
  • You are aged 18 or over
  • You have a permanent UK home address

Your business does not necessarily need to be trading. I know readers who have been accepted when they were still in the process of setting up their company. You will need a business bank account.

Full card reviews will follow

This is obviously a very exciting offer if you meet the qualification criteria.

Even if you use your Membership Rewards points in the worst possible way – converting them to Avios and then on to Nectar – you would get 0.8p per Amex point as Sainsbury’s, Argos or eBay credit. This means that the Business Platinum bonus is worth a guaranteed minimum of £800 and the Business Gold bonus is worth a guaranteed minimum of £400.

Our in-depth review of American Express Business Platinum is here.

Our review of American Express Business Gold is here.

These two reviews will help you decide which card is best for you. We use Business Platinum at Head for Points and find that it works well.

How do I apply?

You can apply for American Express Business Platinum, with the 100,000 points bonus, here.

You can apply for American Express Business Gold, with the 50,000 points bonus and no fee for the first year, here.

Comments (240)

  • Ranga says:

    Got any billhop discount codes Rob? I’m debating doing this to put the 5k through billhop hmrc

  • MilesOnPoint says:

    For anyone interested in the personal Amex Platinum (eg. If you are not eligible for Biz card), I have a referral link offer which provides an increased sign up bonus of 50,000 MR points when you spend £4k in first 3 months.

    The usual sign up bonus when referred is 35,000 for the personal Amex Platinum.

    If you would like to use my link, please get in touch with Rob via email

  • Waddle says:

    Sole proprietors and freelancers who have a biz amex, how does your name appear on the card if you don’t have a separate company name? The application asks for a company name so if I put my name there as well, does my name appear twice on the card?!

    • Rob says:

      My wife’s supp just came with her name on. Mine says ‘Robert Burgess Head for Points’, so I think it is down to how you set it up on the application.

    • DJ says:

      I set the business name appear on the card as “-“. As I’m a sole trader too.

  • VK says:

    @Rob/Rhys – is Virgin planning on an increased bonus to attract ppl to their card? I am planning on applying for the paid virgin card to trigger toe 241 given my newfound VS gold status match. Would be good to know before applying. I am obviously going to leave it till the very last min in case any offers pop up, but would be good to know if you have heard anything along these lines. It seems like the ‘card offers season’ is just getting started.

    • Rob says:

      If you read Virgin Money’s accounts, they are deliberately trying not to recruit new credit customers (inc loans and mortgages) because they have enough problems dealing with the bunch of dodgy people already on their books who are refusing to pay what they owe (to paraphrase).

      • Harry T says:

        I wish Virgin Money would let me past their eligibility checker because I would definitely pay my bills!

        • Rob says:

          Can’t you avoid that? The eligibility checker for the Virgin credit cards is screwed anyway – you should still be OK even if rejects you.

  • josh says:

    @Rob,

    Any idea if it spossible to use billhop to top up an investment account i.e. t212/freetrsde etc by wire transfer ?

    • josh says:

      Using the amex platinum biz of course*

    • Rob says:

      Very likely to go against their agreement with Amex. Billhop is already blocked from paying individuals (eg piano tuition) on Amex, although Visa / MC is OK. Amex can only be used for bills paid to companies and Government bodies.

  • Dan says:

    Assuming you can cancel the plat for a pro rata refund once the £10k is done?

  • Shaun Ferguson says:

    If my partner has an Amex Platinum supplementary card from me and he signed up for the Business Platinum, would he be considered to have a card and not get the sign up bonus?

  • Steven says:

    I seem to recall you posting previously about using an AMEX business card to do a bank transfer for paying bills at a cheaper rate than billhop. Could this be used to pay £10,000 to HMRC for income tax to trigger the bonus? TIA

    • Rob says:

      No, because that scheme doesn’t (oddly) involve your card. Amex takes the money from your bank account directly and pays your supplier, giving your MR points in return.

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