Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

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)

  • Jonny says:

    If the application goes to manual review (i.e. no instant approval), how long does it take typically for approval and then receipt of card? Thx.

    • Rob says:

      Another 48 hours in my experience, so about 7 days to get the card instead of 5.

    • aviosnewbie says:

      I applied on Wednesday morning when it went to manual review, and still haven’t heard back. Which is a bit strange as I’ve been an Amex customer for over 10 years (always holding at least 1 card with them at all times).

  • VK says:

    What happens if I pay the card of with a personal account? There was no details required of a business bank account at time of application

  • Will says:

    Wow, really quick from Amex. I applied for the Platinum Business on Thursday, was approved instantly and received it on Saturday in the post. Now time to spend £10k over the next few months. Many thanks for this article, Rob, it’s an astonishing amount of bonus points.

    • Rob says:

      Wow, they really do having to do down in Brighton 🙂

    • Jay says:

      +1 speed from approval to card delivery was 48 hours. 10000% better than a few years ago where it took 10 days for a card to be delivered. Amazing service,

    • Harry T says:

      I recently referred my other half for a card and the card and the referral points arrived the next day! I can see why they are offering enhanced bonuses.

  • Howard says:

    Does anyone know if children need to travel with the cardholder in order to get the travel insurance benefit, or can they get the benefit if they go on their own trip?

    • Rob says:

      You can download the document from the application page and check it. However, they are DEFINITELY covered, with their families, if you issue them with a free supplementary card.

  • Graeme says:

    Obviously we know that referring yourself for a personal card is unwise – I assume that referring yourself for a business card from a personal card is also a bad idea?

  • Bob Harper says:

    Interestingly I’ve just received an email this morning offering £75 cash back if I successfully apply for the American Express Gold card. Valid til the 9th April, and worth a look.

  • Tarmohamed says:

    Anyone got the business platinum card and having / not having the £10k spend tracker show on the app?

    • Colin MacKinnon says:

      Doesn’t show on mine – but then one MR per pound spent is a good indicator?

    • Will says:

      It doesn’t show on mine either – but I contacted Amex through live chat and they checked it & assured me that the spend target/welcome bonus is on my account. Although they didn’t say why it wasn’t showing.

  • Andy says:

    Can’t find the answer. Can I pay CT using Amex and what’s the fee if so?

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