Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

What are the best credit card sign-up deals for June 2021? – plus your news round-up

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UPDATE – APRIL 2024:  This article is now out of date, but don’t worry.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 Cards’ menu above.  Thank you.

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With travel, at least domestically, and life in general hopefully getting back to some level of normality, we are bringing back the regular HfP features which were suspended last year.

Today 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.

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, 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 May and early June?

One topic has been dominating the travel rewards credit card news in the last week – the substantial changes to the British Airways American Express cards.

What are the changes to the British Airways American Express credit cards?

I don’t want to go into the details again, but there are the five articles you should read if you missed them last week:

British Airways American Express changes

Amex launches a hugely generous targetted offer on the BA Accelerating Business credit card

If you received an email from American Express encouraging your small business to sign up for the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card, don’t delete it.

It is a hugely generous deal, with an additional bonus of 50,000 Avios for signing up.

Importantly, you qualify for the bonus irrespective of whatever other American Express cards you hold.

Full details are in this article. Our review of the BA Accelerating Business credit card – the standard package, not this special one – is here.

The Lloyds Avios Rewards credit card finally died

31st May was the last day to use your Lloyds Avios Rewards Mastercard.

With no sign of a pure-play Avios replacement Visa or Mastercard yet, this article looks at the best replacements for the Lloyds Avios Rewards credit card.

For most people, one of the two Virgin Atlantic Reward credit cards will be the most valuable alternative.

All Marriott Bonvoy American Express cardholders were offered 1,500 bonus points

It is, by far, not the most exciting credit card deal of the year, but if you have the Marriott Bonvoy American Express card in a drawer you may want to dig it out.

You will receive 500 bonus Bonvoy point each time you cumulatively spend £500, up to a total of 1,500 bonus points.

This takes you to 3 Bonvoy points per £1 for your £1,500 of spending. This was, of course, the standard earning rate on the card before it was cut in the 2020 card relaunch.

This article explains more, as well as highlighting the impressive 41 airline partners which Bonvoy has. For many of those 41 airlines, this credit card is the only way of earning miles from plastic in the UK.

Our full review of the Marriott Bonvoy American Express is here and you can apply here. The real benefit is the 15 elite night credits you receive each year.

Mariott Bonvoy American Express credit card

B&Q will now accept American Express cards

The last major national retailer which did not accept American Express cards, B&Q, has folded.

Amex cards are now accepted in all stores – I don’t think they are valid online yet.

Full details about B&Q’s American Express move are in this article.

B&Q accepts american express

The Amex bonus for free BA American Express cardholders continues

In April 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

You can find out more about the British Airways American Express bonus points offer in this article.

We ran an updated series on Barclays Avios Rewards

During May we updated most of our articles on Barclays Avios Rewards, for those interesting in signing up – and you can get 43,000 Avios in your first year.

Have a look here:

Get 43,000 Avios and an upgrade voucher with Barclays Avios Rewards

How does the BA upgrade voucher from Barclays Avios Rewards work?

Why Barclays Avios Rewards is great for the solo traveller

You can apply here.

Barclays Avios Rewards

Nectar launched in-store points earnings with Nectar Connect

Nectar has launched its own card-based in-store points earning scheme, called Nectar Connect.

Other people, notably British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, have tried their own versions of this but it hasn’t take off with retailers. Nectar is launching with a fairly wide selection so lets see if this is more successful.

All you do is link your credit and debit cards to a Nectar Connect account. Each time you use that payment card in a participating store, you will earn Nectar points. Simple.

Full details on Nectar Connect are in this HfP article.

Nectar Connect logo

Amex still has a 30,000 point bonus on the Dollar / Euro versions of the Platinum card

Finally, a reminder that Amex is still running a 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 over the last month:

New Harvey Nichols American Express cashback offer launched

Arsenal football tickets bookable again with Emirates Skywards miles or Amex points

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

New American Express and Hilton £50 cashback offer launched

Why the free BA Amex credit card is now the best cashback card in Britain

Why should you add an Additional Card to your British Airways American Express Card Account?

Why the £120 Deliveroo credit makes the Amex Gold your best first card

B&Q will now accept American Express cards

American Express fined for sending unsolicited emails

Earn 1,500 bonus points on your Marriott Bonvoy Amex – and a reminder of its 41 (!) airline partners

What will replace your Lloyds Avios Rewards credit card in 8 days?

Good Amex offers with B&Q, Rimowa and top UK independent hotels

Introducing Currensea – a new low-fee way to spend abroad

Save £100 on a £300 spend at Small Luxury Hotels – and earn Hyatt points

NEW: Earn Nectar points on in-store spending with Nectar Connect

Good Amex hotel promo for FHR and The Hotel Collection – but is there a catch?

Should you drop your free BA American Express for the Amex Rewards Credit Card?

I should also remind you that Amex Shop Small is now live, getting you £5 back on £15 purchases at participating retailers.

Want to earn more points from credit cards? – April 2024 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit card, here are our top recommendations based on the current sign-up bonuses.

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the best of the other deals currently available.

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 bonus points and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review

Earning miles and points from small business cards

If you are a sole trader or run a small company, you may also want to check out these offers:

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and FREE for a year Read our full review

Capital on Tap Business Rewards Visa

Huge 30,000 points bonus until 12th May 2024 Read our full review

For a non-American Express option, we also recommend the Barclaycard Select Cashback card for sole traders and small businesses. It is FREE and you receive 1% cashback on your spending.

Barclaycard Select Cashback Business Credit Card

1% cashback uncapped* on all your business spending (T&C apply) Read our full review

Comments (16)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • SJ says:

    As like Super Secret Stuff above, I’ve got a similar targeted offer. If anyone’s looking to sign up for Amex platinum, Rob has my link for a 70K sign up bonus. Let him know and I’m sure he’ll send it your way!

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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