Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

The new earning rates on Amex Platinum Cashback start today – should you swap to the free BA Amex?

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Back in May, American Express announced a reduction in the cashback rate paid on its two cashback credit cards – Platinum Cashback and Platinum Cashback Everyday.

There was a three month grace period, but the new reduced rates kick in from today.

What are the new American Express cashback rates?

Here are the new cashback rates:

HFP Amex American Express Platinum Cashback card

Platinum Cashback (apply here, £25 annual fee)

  • PREVIOUS: 1% cashback on spending up to £10000 per year, 1.25% cashback beyond this
  • NEW: 0.75% cashback on spending up to £10000 per year, 1.25% cashback beyond this

Platinum Cashback Everyday (apply here, no annual fee)

  • PREVIOUS: 0.5% cashback on spending up to £5000 per year, 1% cashback beyond this
  • NEW: 0.5% cashback on spending up to £10000 per year, 1% cashback beyond this

The ‘break-even’ point remains at £10,000. If you spend more than £10,000 per year, you should pay the £25 annual fee for Platinum Cashback. If you spend less than £10,000 per year, it isn’t worth it. Stick with the free Platinum Cashback Everyday card.

Here are three examples:

  • £5,000 spend – Platinum Cashback earns £12.50 net of fee, Platinum Cashback Everyday earns £25
  • £10,000 spend – Platinum Cashback earns £50 net of fee, Platinum Cashback Everday earns £50
  • £20,000 spend – Platinum Cashback earns £175 net of fee, Platinum Cashback Everyday earns £150

Are these still good cards, despite the cut in the cashback rates?

Yes. Spend £10,000 on either card and you will receive exactly £50 (0.5%) back.

Spend more and you receive more. If you push your annual spending up to £20,000, your return increases to £175 (net of the £25 fee) on Platinum Cashback, which is 0.875%. On the free Platinum Cashback Everyday, £20,000 of spending gets you £150 (0.75%) cashback.

Low spenders have less to get excited about.

Spend £5,000 on the Platinum Cashback card and your return, netting off the £25 fee, is only £12.50 (0.25%). On the free Platinum Cashback Everyday card, you would have received £25 (0.5%).

Bizarrely, the free BA Amex often beats both of these as a pseudo-cashback card

You should, oddly, give serious thought to dumping both of the cards above if you want to earn cashback from an American Express card.

The free British Airways American Express is the best pseudo-cashback credit card in Britain, paying 0.8%. This assumes that you convert your Avios from the credit card to Nectar points and spend them in Sainsbury’s, Argos or eBay.

As a reminder, the conversion rate from Avios to Nectar points is 1 : 1.6 and a Nectar point is worth 0.5p in most cases.

These means:

From today, you would need to spend £17,000 before the £25 Platinum Cashback card outperforms the 0.8% pseudo-cashback that the free BA Amex pays.

With the free Platinum Cashback Everyday card, you would need to spend £25,000 per year before your cashback increased beyond 0.8%, which is what the free BA Amex offers. I doubt most cardholders of this card are spending that much.

American Express Platinum Cashback

Bonus: 5% cashback (to £125) for three months

Read our full reviewApply here

Other information:

  • Cashback paid in a lump sum after 12 months
  • Annual fee: £25

Representative 29.8% APR variable based on an assumed £1,200 credit limit and £25 annual fee. Interest rate on purchases 24.5% APR variable.

See if you qualify for the 5% cashback sign-up bonus +

You will receive 5% cashback on purchases on the American Express Platinum Cashback card within 90 days of signing up.  This is capped at £125.

To qualify for the bonus, you must NOT, currently or in the previous 24 months, have held any other personal American Express card.

You are OK if you had a supplementary card on someone else’s American Express account.

You are OK if, currently or in the previous 24 months, you have held a Business American Express card.

For clarity, you can still apply for the American Express Platinum Cashback card even if you do not qualify for the bonus.  You will receive the standard rate of cashback on your spending.

Learn more about the card benefits +

American Express Platinum Cashback is the most generous cashback credit card in the UK.

After the first three months, during which the special bonus rate applies:

  • Spend £0 to £10,000 and receive 0.75% cashback on purchases
  • Spend over £10,000 and receive 1.25% cashback on purchases

Cashback is paid in a lump sum at the end of each 12 month period.  If you close the card mid-year you will lose any accumulated cashback.

As our review shows, this card is better value if you will spend over £10,000 per year.  If you will spend under £10,000 per year, you should apply for the free American Express Platinum Cashback Everyday credit card instead.  The cashback rate is lower but this is offset by the lack of any annual fee.

American Express Platinum Cashback Everyday

Bonus: 5% cashback (to £100) for three months

Read our full reviewApply here

Other information:

  • Cashback paid in a lump sum after 12 months
  • Minimum spend of £3,000 per year required to receive cashback
  • Annual fee: Free

Representative 24.5% APR variable

See if you qualify for the 5% cashback sign-up bonus +

You will receive 5% cashback on purchases on the American Express Platinum Cashback Everyday card within 90 days of signing up.  This is capped at £100.

To qualify for the bonus, you must NOT, currently or in the previous 24 months, have held any other personal American Express card.

You are OK if you had a supplementary card on someone else’s American Express account.

You are OK if, currently or in the previous 24 months, you have held a Business American Express card.

For clarity, you can still apply for the American Express Platinum Cashback Everyday card even if you do not qualify for the bonus.  You will receive the standard rate of cashback on your spending.

Learn more about the card benefits +

American Express Platinum Cashback Everyday is the most generous free cashback credit card in the UK.

After the first three months, during which the special bonus rate applies:

  • Spend £0 to £10,000 and receive 0.5% cashback on purchases
  • Spend over £10,000 and receive 1% cashback on purchases

You must spend at least £3,000 per year to receive cashback.

Cashback is paid in a lump sum at the end of each 12 month period.  If you close the card mid-year you will lose any accumulated cashback.

As our review shows, this card is better value if you will spend less than £10,000 per year.  If you will spend over £10,000 per year, you should apply for the £25 American Express Platinum Cashback credit card instead.  The cashback rate is higher and you are better off even after paying the annual fee.

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

Bonus: 10,000 Avios
SPECIAL OFFER

Read our full reviewApply here

Other information:

  • Receive a companion voucher, letting you book two flights for the Avios of one, when you spend £12,000 in a card year
  • The companion voucher is only valid on Economy flights
  • Annual fee: Free

Representative 24.5% APR variable

See if you qualify for the 10,000 Avios sign-up bonus +

You will receive 10,000 Avios as a sign-up bonus on the free British Airways American Express card if you spend £1,000 within 90 days of signing up.

To qualify for the bonus, you must NOT, currently or in the previous 24 months, have held any other personal American Express card.

You are OK if you had a supplementary card on someone else’s British Airways American Express account.

You are OK if, currently or in the previous 24 months, you have held a Business American Express card.

For clarity, you can still apply for the British Airways American Express card even if you do not qualify for the bonus.  You would still benefit from the companion voucher and the other card benefits.

Learn more about the card benefits +

When you spend £12,000 on the British Airways American Express card, you receive a companion voucher entitling you to book two Avios redemption flights for the miles of one.  This voucher is valid for one year.  (Full taxes and charges need to be paid on both tickets.)

The voucher on the free British Airways American Express card can only be used on Economy flights.

You receive your voucher within a few days of reaching the spending target.  You need to fly the outbound leg of your 2-4-1 flight before the expiry date of the voucher.

If you want more flexibility, the voucher issued with the British Airways Premium Plus American Express card is valid for two years, only requires £10,000 of annual card spend and is valid in ALL cabins including Business and First.  The Premium Plus card also has a higher earning rate of 1.5 Avios per £1 on general spend and 3 Avios per £1 on spend with British Airways and BA Holidays.

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.


Want to earn more points from credit cards? – September 2021 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit or charge card, here are our September 2021 recommendations based on the current sign-up bonus

You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here.

The following offers will end soon:

  • 2,000 Virgin Points on Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard (ends 15th October)
  • 30,000 Virgin Points on Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard (ends 15th October)
  • 10,000 Avios on British Airways American Express (ends 2nd November)
  • 40,000 Avios on British Airways American Express Premium Plus (ends 2nd November)
  • 60,000 points on The Platinum Card from American Express (ends 2nd November)
  • 30,000 points on American Express Preferred Rewards Gold (ends 9th November)

Here are the top current deals:

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

10,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and an Economy 241 voucher for spending ….. Read our full review

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

40,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Rewards credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard

The UK’s most generous free Visa or Mastercard at 0.75 points / £1 Read our full review

Virgin Rewards Plus credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

30,000 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

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

American Express Business Gold

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

Amex Platinum Business American Express

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 card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

60,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios 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

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 Credit Card

1% cashback and no annual fee Read our full review

Comments (21)

  • JanM says:

    Haven’t had an Amex card in two years. Which would be the better option: the Gold card or the free BA card? (I don’t have a partner so don’t see the point of the premium one or the companion vouchers.)

    • Rob says:

      Gold is better than free BA for the first free year – you get the 2 airport lounge passes and your 1 point per £1 on Gold converts to 1 Avios (so same rate as the free BA Amex) BUT you can also transfer them to other things.

      Gold has a far bigger bonus.

      And, of course, if you have Gold, you still qualify for the BAPP bonus. If you have some heavy spending coming up, get BAPP, bank the bonus and then cancel quickly, returning to Gold.

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