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.
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 June and early July?
The topic that dominated the credit card news last month was 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:
- From 1st September, new 2-4-1 vouchers earned with the free British Airways American Express credit card can ONLY be used for Economy flights. On the positive side, the amount of spending required is reduced to £12,000 from £20,000.
- The fee on the British Airways Premium Plus American Express credit card is increasing from £195 to £250
- 2-4-1 vouchers on the Premium Plus card issued after 1st September will have a VERY valuable new feature – they will book into I-class revenue seats as well as standard Avios seats. This makes it substantially more likely that you will be able to redeem Avios for Club World on the flight you want.
- You cannot combine a 2-4-1 companion voucher earned after 1st September 2021 with one earned before that date – this is problem for families of four who use two vouchers earned by the same person to do ‘1+3’ redemptions
- If you get a free or £30 British Airways Premium Plus Amex because of other American Express cards you have held in the past, the game is up – I have saved over £3,000 thanks to this deal
The sign-up bonus doubled on the Marriott Bonvoy Amex – and you get Gold Elite status
American Express and Marriott Bonvoy have launched the first special offer on the Marriott Bonvoy American Express card since it launched last year.
The bonus is doubled to 40,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. You will also receive Gold Elite status in Marriott Bonvoy until February 2023.
Not many HfP readers will qualify for the sign-up bonus due to having other American Express cards. However, you would still receive Gold Elite status.
You might consider it worth the £75 card fee purely to get Gold Elite status until February 2023.
American Express Business Gold got new features – and a higher fee
The American Express Business Gold card got a refresh in June.
The good news is that, whenever you spend £20,000 in a calendar quarter, you will receive 10,000 bonus Membership Rewards points. This makes the card very generous if you can hit the target, which I admit is a high one.
The bad news is that the card fee is increasing to £175 per year.
Still running: all Marriott Bonvoy American Express cardholders can earn 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. You have until 12th August to spend.
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.
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. A similar offer to holders of the free BA Amex card is still running for another two weeks:
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
Amazon Business added a £100 gift card to its credit card
Amazon Business is VERY keen to get people with any sort of business or extra income to sign up for the Amazon Business American Express card.
The package couldn’t get any better:
- the card is free for the first year
- you get a £100 Amazon gift voucher as soon as you are approved – no spending target to hit
- everyone qualifies for the bonus, irrespective of what other American Express cards they have, and it won’t impact your ability to get future Amex bonuses
You can find out more in this article on the Amazon Business credit card.
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:
What are the best travel credit card sign-up deals for July?
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.
The Marriott Bonvoy offer is a special deal which only runs to 31st August.
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
Marriott Bonvoy American Express
40,000 points sign-up bonus and Gold Elite status 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.
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
We also recommend the Barclaycard Select Cashback Cashback Credit Card for small businesses and sole traders. It is FREE for life and offers 1% cashback on your spending:
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.