UPDATE – JUNE 2021: This article is now out of date, but don’t worry.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.
With travel and life in general hopefully getting back to some level of normality this month, we are bringing back the regular HfP features which were suspended last year.
Today it is time to welcome back 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 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, RSS 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 April and early May?
American Express has been dominating the travel rewards credit card news in the last few weeks:
ENDS 12th MAY – Get up to 74,000 points between you by referring a friend to American Express
For a limited period, from 7th April to 12th May 2021, American Express has SUBSTANTIALLY increased the bonuses on their ‘invite a friend’ referral programme.
Not only will your friends receive an increased bonus if they’re approved by 12th May 2021, but you will receive an even bigger bonus for inviting them.
You and a friend could share up to 74,000 Membership Rewards points or 42,000 Avios between you from just ONE successful referral.
74,000 points would require a Platinum cardholder to refer someone for the same card. 42,000 Avios would require a British Airways Premium Plus cardholder to refer someone for the same card.
If you are looking to apply for a Gold, Platinum or BA Amex to benefit from the higher bonus and don’t have a friend to refer you, email [email protected] and we will sort you out with a referral link.
Your friend must be approved by 12th May, so I recommend applying no later than 10th May.
Get 29,900 points worth 29,900 Avios with Capital On Tap’s Business Rewards Visa card
If you have a Limited Company then this exclusive Head for Points offer is for you.
We are covering it again this weekend so I won’t go into all the details here. Basically, a £99 annual fee gets you a sign-up bonus worth 29,900 Avios and you will earn 1 Avios for every £1 you spend.
Full details of our Capital On Tap offer are here. You must own or run a Limited Company or Partnership to take part.
Amex Gold adds £120 per year of Deliveroo credit
American Express has been working to add non-travel benefits to its proprietary cards in recent months. It is an attempt to reduce the number of cancellations from people who feel the non-travel benefits no longer justify the fee.
The new Amex Gold / Deliveroo partnership announced this week is easily the most significant. Giving out 2 x £5 monthly credits (no minimum spend required) on a card which is free for the first year is a big step.
Throw in the sign-up bonus of 20,000 Membership Rewards points, which converts via Avios into £160 of Nectar points, and you are looking at a first year package worth at least £280 plus two airport lounge passes – and the card is free for the first year.
If this goes well for Amex it could open up Gold to a whole new market. Full details of the Deliveroo / American Express Gold partnership are in this article.
Amex reduces the cashback on its Platinum Cashback and Vitality credit cards
Oddly, the day before adding £120 of Deliveroo credit to Amex Gold, American Express cut the cashback rate on the two Platinum Cashback cards and the Vitality card.
Because the cashback rate was so strong, the Platinum Cashback cards are still massively more rewarding than any Visa or Mastercard cashback card.
However, oddly, they are now less rewarding than the free British Airways American Express card, assuming you convert the Avios to Nectar and treat it as pseudo-cash.
You can learn more about the changes to Platinum Cashback in this article.
Amazon Business adds a sweetener to its American Express card
For a limited period, one of the two Amazon Business credit cards, the Amazon Business American Express Card is waiving its annual fee. This saves you £50.
In addition to the first year free, you receive a £25 Amazon Gift Card upon approval.
Day to day, you will earn 1.5% back in Amazon Rewards for purchases at Amazon, and 0.5% back elsewhere.
This card is well worth considering if your business or SME makes regular Amazon purchases. It’s worth noting that there isn’t a minimum spend required to trigger the £25 Amazon Gift Card.
You can find out more about the Amazon Business American Express offer in this article.
Curve Card adds cashback rewards
If your Curve Card has been languishing in a drawer recently, you may want to dig it out.
Curve has launched a series of cashback rewards, similar to those offered by American Express. What is odd is that Curve is generally paying you 5% whilst identical offers on other cards are paying 10%-15%. Is Curve pocketing the difference?
I won’t complain, however, as there is a 5% Selfridges cashback deal on mine which I don’t have on any other card. You can find out more about Curve’s new cashback rewards here.
Amex launched a bonus for free BA American Express cardholders
Last month, American Express launched an Avios bonus offer on the British Airways Premium Plus card. It has now rolled out a similar offer to holders of the free BA Amex card:
This is how it works:
- You receive 1 bonus Avios for every £2 you spend
- This is on top of the usual earning rate of Avios per £1
- The bonus is capped at 1,500 Avios, representing £3,000 of spending
- The promotion ends on 19th July
- Spending by supplementary cardholders does not count
The Lloyds Avios Rewards cards are closing on 31st May
Lloyds Bank has announced that the Lloyds Avios Rewards credit cards are finally closing for good.
Anyone who still has one of these cards will be switched to a cashback credit card on 1st June. It isn’t a very good cashback card, so I recommend looking for something else.
This article discusses the best credit card replacements for the Lloyds Avios Rewards credit card.
Singapore Airlines is offering Star Alliance status if you transfer American Express points
This is one of the more intriguing offers we’ve seen in recent months. Singapore Airlines is giving out status points to people who transfer points from partners, including HSBC and American Express in the UK.
This means that if you move enough points across, Star Alliance Gold status could be yours. You can find out more about getting Singapore Airlines status from points transfers in this article.
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 April and early May:
What are the best travel credit card sign-up deals for May?
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 fee and a companion voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review
British Airways American Express Premium Plus
25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold
Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review
The Platinum Card from American Express
30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee 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.
Don’t miss our exclusive HfP reader offer on the Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa card until 20th May! Click here.
American Express Business Gold
20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review
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
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.