Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

What Amex sign-up bonuses are you still eligible for?

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

This is our beginners guide to whether you qualify for an American Express sign-up bonus or not.

It runs through the checklist of which UK American Express bonuses you can get based on the cards you have. This way I have written it below is, I think, the simplest way of looking at it.  It’s still not THAT simple however ……

We have re-published this article today because of the changes to the rules on 1st September 2021 on who can get the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card.

Whilst this card is now slightly harder to get, it does come with a crazy 60,000 Avios bonus for the next few weeks. If you have any sort of small business, click here for our full article on this deal.

What Amex sign-up bonuses are you still eligible for?

Your American Express sign-up bonus decision tree

This is the decision tree you need to follow:

QUESTION:

Have you had ANY personal American Express card (excluding MBNA, Lloyds Bank, supplementary and small business Amex cards) in the previous 24 months?

If ‘no’:

You can apply for any personal American Express card and receive the full advertised bonus

This article outlines my recommended American Express application strategy to maximise your bonuses. A couple can earn 186,875 Avios relatively easily over the course of a year. At present the total is higher due to the 60,000 points bonus on The Platinum Card, as long as your application for that is submitted by 2nd November.

If ‘yes’:

You CANNOT get a sign-up bonus on the following cards:

  • Platinum Cashback
  • Platinum Cashback Everyday
  • British Airways American Express (free card)
  • Preferred Rewards Gold
  • Marriott Bonvoy
  • Nectar
  • American Express Rewards

You MAY still qualify for a bonus NOW on:

  • The Platinum Card (60,000 Membership Rewards points until 2nd November)
  • British Airways Premium Plus (40,000 Avios until 2nd November)
  • American Express Business Gold (20,000 Membership Rewards points)
  • American Express Business Platinum (40,000 Membership Rewards points)
  • British Airways American Express Accelerating Business (60,000 Avios until 2nd November)

Keep reading to see if you do actually qualify for the cards I just mentioned.

What sign-up bonuses can you get from American Express?

The 2021 Amex sign-up bonus rules by card type

I’m assuming here that you answered ‘Yes’ to the question above, and that you have had a personal American Express card in the previous 24 months.

We now need to drill down more closely into which cards you have or had. Basically,  “if you have THIS card, you MIGHT still qualify for a bonus on THAT card ……”

Remember that supplementary cards do NOT count as having ‘had’ a card.  If you are a supplementary on your partner’s Amex Gold, for example, you can still apply in your own name and get a sign-up bonus as long as you meet the other criteria.

What Amex sign-up bonuses are you still eligible for?

If you currently have the free British Airways or British Airways Premium Plus Amex credit card:

You would need to cancel and wait 24 months before you can get a bonus on Platinum Cashback, Platinum Cashback Everyday, British Airways, British Airways Premium Plus, Preferred Rewards Gold, Marriott Bonvoy, Nectar, American Express Rewards

You can get a bonus NOW on The Platinum Card IF you have not held a Preferred Rewards Gold, The Platinum Card, Green or American Express Rewards card in the previous 24 months

You can get a bonus NOW on American Express Business Gold or American Express Business Platinum IF you have not held a Preferred Rewards Gold, The Platinum Card, Green, American Express Rewards, American Express Business Gold or American Express Business Platinum card in the previous six months and meet the qualifying criteria for having a small business

You can get a bonus NOW on British Airways American Express Accelerating Business IF you have not held a American Express Business Gold, American Express Business Platinum card or British Airways American Express Accelerating Business card in the previous 12 months and meet the qualifying criteria for having a small business

Can I get a sign-up bonus on Amex Gold?

If you currently have Preferred Rewards Gold, The Platinum Card, Green or American Express Rewards credit card:

You would need to cancel and wait 24 months before you can get a bonus on Platinum Cashback, Platinum Cashback Everyday, British Airways American Express, Preferred Rewards Gold, The Platinum Card, Green, Marriott Bonvoy, Nectar, American Express Rewards

You can get a bonus NOW on British Airways Premium Plus IF you have not held a British Airways or British Airways Premium Plus card in the previous 24 months

You would need to cancel and wait six months before you can get a bonus on American Express Business Gold or American Express Business Platinum, assuming you meet the qualifying criteria for having a small business

You can get a bonus NOW on British Airways American Express Accelerating Business IF you have not held a American Express Business Gold, American Express Business Platinum card or British Airways American Express Accelerating Business card in the previous 12 months and meet the qualifying criteria for having a small business

Can I get the bonus on the American Express Nectar Card?

If you currently have a Nectar or Marriott Bonvoy American Express credit card:

You would need to cancel and wait 24 months before you can get a bonus on Platinum Cashback, Platinum Cashback Everyday, British Airways American Express (free version), Preferred Rewards Gold, Marriott Bonvoy, Nectar, American Express Rewards

You can get a bonus NOW on The Platinum Card IF you have not held a Preferred Rewards Gold, The Platinum Card, Green or American Express Rewards card in the previous 24 months

You can get a bonus NOW on British Airways Premium Plus IF you have not held a British Airways or British Airways Premium Plus card in the previous 24 months

You can get a bonus NOW on American Express Business Gold or American Express Business Platinum IF you have not held a Preferred Rewards Gold, The Platinum Card, Green, American Express Rewards, American Express Business Gold or American Express Business Platinum card in the previous six months and meet the qualifying criteria for having a small business

You can get a bonus NOW on British Airways American Express Accelerating Business IF you have not held a American Express Business Gold, American Express Business Platinum card or British Airways American Express Accelerating Business card in the previous 12 months and meet the qualifying criteria for having a small business

American Express Platinum Cashback card sign-up bonus rules

If you currently have a Platinum Cashback or Platinum Cashback Everyday Amex card:

You would need to cancel and wait 24 months before you can get a bonus on Platinum Cashback, Platinum Cashback Everyday, British Airways American Express, Preferred Rewards Gold, Green, Marriott Bonvoy, Nectar, American Express Rewards

You can get a bonus NOW on The Platinum Card IF you have not held a Preferred Rewards Gold, The Platinum Card, Green or American Express Rewards card in the previous 24 months

You can get a bonus NOW on British Airways Premium Plus IF you have not held a British Airways or British Airways Premium Plus card in the previous 24 months

You can get a bonus NOW on American Express Business Gold or American Express Business Platinum IF you have not held a Preferred Rewards Gold, The Platinum Card, Green, American Express Rewards, American Express Business Gold or American Express Business Platinum card in the previous six months and meet the qualifying criteria for having a small business

You can get a bonus NOW on British Airways American Express Accelerating Business IF you have not held a American Express Business Gold, American Express Business Platinum card or British Airways American Express Accelerating Business card in the previous 12 months and meet the qualifying criteria for having a small business

If you currently have a Business Platinum or Business Gold American Express card:

You would need to cancel and wait 6 months before you can get a bonus on American Express Business Platinum or American Express Business Gold

You would need to cancel and wait 12 months before you can get a bonus on British Airways Accelerating Business

You can get a bonus NOW on ANY personal American Express card IF you have not held a personal American Express card in the previous 24 months.

For clarity … the bonus rules on the personal Amex cards only look at what other personal Amex products you have had in the past 24 months.  Any small business Amex cards you have are not taken into account.

What Amex sign-up bonuses are you still eligible for?

And if you’re starting from scratch ….

If you have not had ANY personal American Express cards in the last 24 months, the best route to optimise the number of sign-up bonuses you can get is:

  • start with either a Marriott Bonvoy, Nectar or one of the (less generous) Amex cashback cards
  • follow up with either The Platinum Card or British Airways Premium Plus
  • follow up with either The Platinum Card or British Airways Premium Plus (depending on which one you didn’t get in stage two)

If you look at the rules above, you’ll see that you can still get three bonuses in a short space of time as long as you do it this way.

If you have any sort of small business, you can also run the Business Gold, Business Platinum or British Airways Accelerating Business alongside your personal cards.

And remember ….

The discussion in this article is only about sign-up bonuses.  Subject to credit etc, American Express is still happy to accept you for any of these cards at any time – you just won’t necessarily get a bonus.

This is particularly important in relation to Preferred Rewards Gold where repeat cardholders DO still get another ‘first year free’ and DO still get another set of two airport lounge passes.  You still get these, even if you don’t qualify for a sign-up bous.

NOTE:  If you hold, or have held in the past 24 months, a personal American Express card which is not discussed in this article, such as The Centurion Card or a card which is not currently available to new applicants, please do additional checks as to your eligibility for a new bonus.

Reference information

Here are links to our reviews on each of the cards, a link to the application website and the legally required interest rate information.  

Let me stress again – the bonus rules do NOT stop you applying for any of the cards.  They simply influence whether or not you will qualify for a sign-up bonus.

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

Bonus: 60,000 points
SPECIAL OFFER

Read our full reviewApply here

Other information:

  • Two Priority Pass cards, each allowing two people into 1,300 airport lounges
  • Elite status in four major hotel loyalty programmes
  • Comprehensive travel insurance
  • Annual fee: £575

This is a charge card, not a credit card. You must clear your balance in full each month.  Annual fee £575.

See if you qualify for the 60,000 points sign-up bonus +

You will receive 60,000 American Express Membership Rewards points as a sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card if you spend £6,000 within six months of signing up.

This is a special offer for anyone who applies by 2nd November 2021.

Membership Rewards points are hugely flexible.  You can transfer them into Avios, Virgin Flying Club or other airlines (at 1:1) or into various hotels schemes, into Club Eurostar or use them for shopping vouchers.

This is the ONLY personal American Express card where you still qualify for the bonus if you already hold a British Airways American Express card.

To qualify for the bonus, you must NOT, currently or in the previous 24 months, have held any other personal American Express card which earns Membership Rewards points.  This includes The Platinum Card and Preferred Rewards Gold.

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 any other American Express card, including the British Airways, Marriott and Nectar cards.

If you cancel The Platinum Card at any point, you will receive a pro-rata refund of your membership fee.  You will not lose your sign-up bonus.

For clarity, you can still apply for The Platinum Card even if you do not qualify for the bonus.  You would still benefit from the long list of other benefits.

Learn more about the card benefits +

The Platinum Card from American Express comes with an unrivalled list of benefits for the keen traveller.

Your personal travel patterns will determine which of these is the most valuable.  The key benefits are:

Full comprehensive travel insurance for you, your family and the family of up to five supplementary cardholders, subject to enrolment

Two Priority Pass cards, each of which allows the holder and a guest unlimited free access to 1,300 airport lounges

Elite status in four major hotel loyalty schemes: Marriott Bonvoy (Gold), Hilton Honors (Gold), Radisson Rewards (Gold), MeliaRewards (Gold)

Access to Eurostar lounges, irrespective of travel class

£10 per month of Addison Lee taxi credit

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Bonus: 30,000 points
SPECIAL OFFER

Read our full reviewApply here

Other information:

  • Amex Gold is our recommended ‘first card’ for a miles and points beginner
  • Get two free airport lounge passes when you sign up, and a further two each year
  • After your two free passes, you can visit further lounges for a small fee
  • You receive £120 of Deliveroo credit each year (24 x £5 credits)
  • Annual fee: Free for the first year, £140 from Year 2

Representative 59.9% APR variable.  Annual fee applies after the first year.

See if you qualify for the 30,000 points sign-up bonus +

You will receive 30,000 American Express Membership Rewards points as a sign-up bonus on the American Express Preferred Rewards Gold card if you spend £3,000 within 90 days of signing up.

This is a special offer which runs to 9th November 2021.  The bonus will drop to 20,000 points from that date.

Membership Rewards points are hugely flexible, which is why we recommend this as the best choice for your first miles and points card.  You can transfer them into Avios, Virgin Flying Club or other airlines (at 1:1) or into various hotels schemes, into Club Eurostar or use them for shopping vouchers.

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 Preferred Rewards Gold card even if you do not qualify for the bonus.  You would still benefit from the two free airport lounge passes and the ‘no fee in Year 1’ offer.

Learn more about the card benefits +

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold comes with two free airport lounge passes.  These allow either you and a friend, or yourself twice, to visit any lounge in the Priority Pass network.  You make additional lounge visits for £20 per person.  You receive an additional two free passes each year.

You earn double Membership Rewards points on all airline spend (made directly on an airline website) and all spend made outside the UK.

If you spend over £15,000 in a card year, you will receive an additional 10,000 Membership Rewards points when you renew.

Starting in May 2021, you receive £120 of Deliveroo credit each year.  Amex will repay you £5 for the first two Deliveroo orders charged to your Gold card each month.

Other benefits include a 10% discount on Hertz car rentals and special deals at 350 selected hotels worldwide, where Preferred Rewards Gold cardholders receive a $75 in-hotel credit per stay.

Amex Reward Credit Card ARCC

American Express Rewards

Bonus: 5,000 points

Read our full reviewApply here

Other information:

  • Your best choice if you want a ‘free for life’ card which earns Membership Rewards points
  • A good choice if you want to close a Gold or Platinum card but keep your points intact
  • Annual fee: Free

Representative 24.5% APR variable

See if you qualify for the 5,000 points sign-up bonus +

You will receive 5,000 American Express Membership Rewards points as a sign-up bonus on the American Express Rewards card if you spend £2,000 within 90 days of signing up.

Membership Rewards points are hugely flexible. You can transfer them into Avios, Virgin Flying Club or other airlines (at 1:1) or into various hotels schemes, into Club Eurostar or use them for shopping vouchers.

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 Rewards card even if you do not qualify for the bonus.  You may want to do this if you are thinking of swapping your Preferred Rewards Gold or Platinum card for a free alternative, and would prefer to keep your existing Membership Rewards points balance alive.

Learn more about the card benefits +

American Express Rewards is the only ‘free for life’ American Express card which lets you collect Membership Rewards points.

We do NOT recommend this card if you would also qualify for the sign-up bonus on American Express Preferred Rewards Gold.  The Gold card is free for the first year, comes with two free airport lounge passes and has a higher sign-up bonus of 10,000 points.

The best reason to get American Express Rewards is if you are coming to the end of your free first year with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold, or no longer want to pay the fee on The Platinum Card, but want to keep your Membership Rewards points intact.

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.

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

Bonus: 40,000 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 £10,000 in a card year
  • The voucher is valid for flights in any cabin
  • Annual fee: £250

Representative 101.1% APR variable based on an assumed £1,200 credit limit and £250 annual fee. Interest rate on purchases 24.5% APR variable.

See if you qualify for the 40,000 Avios sign-up bonus +

You will receive 40,000 Avios as a sign-up bonus on the British Airways American Express Premium Plus card if you spend £3,000 within 90 days of signing up.

This is a special offer if you apply by 2nd November 2021.  The bonus will drop to 25,000 Avios after that date.

To qualify for the bonus, you must not have held the British Airways Premium Plus or the free British Airways American Express cards in the previous 24 months.

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 any other American Express card.

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

Learn more about the card benefits +

When you spend £10,000 on the British Airways American Express Premium Plus card, you receive a companion voucher entitling you to book two Avios redemption flights for the miles of one.  This voucher is valid for two years.  (Full taxes and charges need to be paid on both tickets.)

This voucher is the most valuable perk available in the UK airline and hotel credit card sector in my view. It could save you 150,000 or more Avios when used for a long-haul redemption in a premium cabin.

The voucher with the Premium Plus card is far more powerful than the voucher given with the free British Airways American Express card.  You only need to spend £10,000, instead of £20,000, in a card year to receive it.  More importantly, the Premium Plus voucher is valid for two years and is valid in ALL cabins.  The voucher on the free British Airways American Express card is only valid for one year and can only be used for 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.

Nectar American Express

Bonus: 20,000 points

Read our full reviewApply here

Other information:

  • From January 2021, you can convert Nectar points into Avios (and vice versa)
  • Annual fee: Free for the first year, £25 from Year 2

Representative 29.8% APR variable.  Annual fee applies after the first year.

See if you qualify for the 20,000 points sign-up bonus +

You will receive 20,000 Nectar points as a sign-up bonus on the Nectar American Express credit card if you spend £2,000 within 90 days of signing up.

Nectar points are worth 0.5p each if spent in Sainsbury’s, Argos or eBay.  From January 2021 they can also be converted to Avios at the rate of 400 : 250.  1 Nectar point gets you 0.625 Avios.

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 Nectar American Express card even if you do not qualify for the bonus.  You would still benefit from the ‘no fee in Year 1’ offer.

Learn more about the card benefits +

The Nectar American Express credit card comes lets you earn 2 Nectar points for every £1 you spend.  This is on top of any Nectar points you would usually earn at Sainsbury’s and other Nectar partners.

Converted to Avios, you would be earning 1.25 Avios per £1.  This makes the card better value than the free British Airways American Express credit card for your first year, as the Nectar American Express is ‘fee free’ for the first 12 months.  There is a £25 annual fee from Year 2.

The sign-up bonus of 20,000 Nectar points is worth £100 to spend in Sainsbury’s, Argos or eBay.

20,000 Nectar points can also be converted into 12,500 Avios.

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.

American Express Marriott Bonvoy credit card

Marriott Bonvoy American Express

Bonus: 20,000 points

Read our full reviewApply here

Other information:

  • 15 elite night credits per year to help you towards higher status
  • Free night, up to 25,000 points, when you spend £25,000 per year.
  • Upgrade to Gold Elite status when you spend £15,000 in a card year
  • Annual fee: £75

Representative 41.6% APR variable based on an assumed £1,200 credit limit and £75 annual fee. Interest rate on purchases 24.5% APR variable.

See if you qualify for the 20,000 points sign-up bonus +

You will receive 20,000 points as a sign-up bonus on the Marriott Bonvoy American Express card if you spend £3,000 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 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 Marriott Bonvoy American Express card even if you do not qualify for the bonus.  You would still benefit from the 15 elite night credits per year, the free night (up to 25,000 points) for spending £25,000 and Gold Elite status for spending £15,000.

Learn more about the card benefits +

You will receive 15 elite night credits per year in Marriott Bonvoy.  The first batch will arrive within 60 days on applying and then in Spring in each subsequent year.

15 elite nights will automatically get you Silver Elite status in Marriott Bonvoy and put you nearer to Gold Elite and higher tiers.

If you spend £15,000 per card year, you will be upgraded to Gold Elite status in Marriott Bonvoy.

If you spend £25,000 per card year, you will receive a free night voucher, valid at any hotel where reward nights cost up to 25,000 points.

American Express Business Gold

Bonus: 20,000 Membership Rewards points

Read our full reviewApply here

Other information:

  • Annual fee: Free for the first year, £175 from Year 2
  • Points transfer at 1:1 into Avios, Virgin Points and other airline schemes

This is a charge card, not a credit card. You must clear your balance in full each month.  Annual fee £175 from Year 2, free in Year 1.

See if you qualify for the 20,000 points sign-up bonus +

You will receive 20,000 American Express Membership Rewards points as a sign-up bonus on the American Express Business Gold card if you spend £3,000 within 90 days.

Membership Rewards points are hugely flexible.  You can transfer them into Avios, Virgin Flying Club or other airlines (at 1:1) or into various hotels schemes, into Club Eurostar or use them for shopping vouchers.

To qualify for the bonus, you must NOT, currently or in the previous six months, have held any other American Express card which earns Membership Rewards points.  This includes Business or personal Gold, Business or personal Platinum and the personal American Express Rewards credit card.

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

You are OK if the only American Express card you have had in the previous six months was a British Airways, Marriott Bonvoy, Nectar, Platinum Cashback or Harrods American Express card.

For clarity, you can still apply for the American Express Business Gold card even if you do not qualify for the bonus.  You would still benefit from the ‘no fee in Year 1’ offer.

Learn more about the card benefits +

You receive £100 of Dell statement credit per calendar year.  This is made available in two parts.  You receive a £50 credit on Dell purchases made between January and June and a £50 credit on Dell purchases made between July and December.  There is no minimum spend requirement.

You can apply for supplementary Amex business cards for your employees at no extra cost.

You will receive one consolidated statement showing the spend on your card and all of the supplementary cards.  All of the Membership Rewards points earned on the supplementary cards will flow into your personal account.

Depending on when in your monthly cycle you make a payment, you will effectively receive up to 54 days free credit on your spending.

American Express statements provide more underlying transaction detail for flights and certain other transactions than Visa or Mastercard statements, making it easier to reconcile transactions.

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

Bonus: 40,000 Membership Rewards points

Read our full reviewApply here

Other information:

  • Two Priority Pass cards, each allowing two people into 1,300 airport lounges
  • Elite status in four major hotel loyalty programmes
  • Comprehensive travel insurance
  • Annual fee: £595

This is a charge card, not a credit card. You must clear your balance in full each month.  Annual fee £595.

See if you qualify for the 40,000 points sign-up bonus +

You will receive 40,000 American Express Membership Rewards points as a sign-up bonus on the American Express Business Platinum card if you spend £6,000 within 90 days.

Membership Rewards points are hugely flexible.  You can transfer them into Avios, Virgin Flying Club or other airlines (at 1:1) or into various hotels schemes, into Club Eurostar or use them for shopping vouchers.

To qualify for the bonus, you must NOT, currently or in the previous six months, have held any other American Express card which earns Membership Rewards points.  This includes Business or personal Gold, Business or personal Platinum and the personal American Express Rewards credit card.

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

You are OK if the only American Express card you have had in the previous six months was a British Airways, Marriott Bonvoy, Nectar, Platinum Cashback or Harrods American Express card.

For clarity, you can still apply for the American Express Business Platinum card even if you do not qualify for the bonus.  You would still benefit from all of the other card features.

Learn more about the card benefits +

American Express Business Platinum comes with an unrivalled list of benefits for the keen traveller.

Your personal travel patterns will determine which of these is the most valuable.  The key benefits are:

Full comprehensive travel insurance for you, your family and the family of up to five supplementary cardholders, subject to enrolment

Two Priority Pass cards, each of which allows the holder and a guest unlimited free access to 1,300 airport lounges

Elite status in four major hotel loyalty schemes: Marriott Bonvoy (Gold), Hilton Honors (Gold), Radisson Rewards (Gold), MeliaRewards (Gold)

£150 of Dell statement credit per year – you receive £75 credit on Dell purchases betweeen January and June and £75 credit on purchases between July and December

Digital subscription to The Times and The Sunday Times, worth over £300

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

Bonus: 60,000 Avios
SPECIAL OFFER

Read our full reviewApply here

Other information:

  • Get 1 bonus On Business point per £1 spent on BA flights
  • Annual fee: £250

Representative 96.7% APR variable based on an assumed £1,200 credit limit and £250 annual fee. Interest rate on purchases 22.2% APR variable.

See if you qualify for the 60,000 Avios sign-up bonus +

You will qualify for the bonus as long as you have not held an American Express Business card, including Accelerating Business, Business Gold and Business Platinum, in the previous 12 months.

You need to spend £5,000 in 90 days to earn the bonus.

60,000 Avios will be available until at least 2nd November 2021.  The card terms state that the offer can be removed without notice at any point after 2nd November.

Learn more about the card benefits +

The card comes with the typical American Express credit card benefits:

Up to 56 days to pay

Up to 99 FREE supplementary cards for your employees

Travel inconvenience cover (with higher payouts if you or your baggage is delayed on a British Airways flight)

Travel accident protection

Purchase protection

Refund protection

(Want to earn more miles and points from credit cards?  Click here to visit our dedicated airline and hotel travel credit cards page or use the ‘Credit Card Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

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.

Comments (31)

  • LGR says:

    Thanks for reposting this – always good to have a refresher!

    A quick question on strategy: I cancelled my Gold in February 2020. Took out the BAPP in October 2020 and have held since. My current thinking is to pay the £250 annual fee in October (maybe with a call beforehand to try and get some sort of retention bonus) and trigger a new-style companion voucher.

    Then in February next year (24 months after cancelling my Gold), taking out the Platinum for the usual 30k MR bonus (sadly missing out on the current sign-up bonus!) and downgrading to Gold after hitting the bonus.

    Are there any obvious flaws with this that I’m missing, or any better options? Thanks!

  • Sam Wardill says:

    How would someone “Do additional checks “? I was stung recently when I applied for the BA premium Amex then later found I did not qualify for the bonus. I thought I had cancelled the card >2 years ago but Amex said I did not. This time I tried to call Amex before applying for the platinum card but there was no way to speak to a person on the application telephone number.

    • Rui N. says:

      If you call the number on the back of a card you can (eventually!) talk to someone and they can tell you when you closed your last card. Don’t destroy your cards and save them for next time you need to do this.

      • Gareth says:

        And if you don’t have a card to hand the number is 08009178054

        • Tony says:

          For those that have got through to Amex to confirm the date they stopped becoming a customer, do these usually align with the date they credit your pro-rata membership fee refund or the date of your last statement?

  • Rafal says:

    Hi guys- question, i have the Bonvoy/Marriott Amex, and thinking of applying for both the Amex Platinum and Amex BA + cards. Would i qualify for both sign up bonuses assuming i meet the 24 month rule discussed in the article?

    It would seem so i think?

  • James says:

    What are the rules on referrals for these cards? I have the standard BA AMEX, do I only get a bonus if I refer someone for that card or does the referral link work for other Amex cards with varying bonuses accordingly?

    • Chas says:

      If someone uses your referral link, they can choose any card (although the default they will see is the one you are referring from), and they will get the SUB for the card that they choose. They may also get a small uptick (an extra c2-5k depending on card type) for being referred. You will get your referral bonus irrespective of which card they choose, and irrespective of whether they are eligible for a SUB or achieve it, so long as their application is accepted.

  • Paul says:

    Morning all,

    I had the Costco AMEX card until a year ago. Would that preclude me from any of these bonuses please (looking particularly at the platinum card). Thanks.

    • Rob says:

      Platinum Charge and BAPP will be fine. You are blocked from the other personal cards due to having had a personal Amex in the last two years. It is the same rules as if you’d had the Nectar or Marriott cards.

  • Charlie says:

    Hi – I have been referred for the BA Premium Plus. Will I receive both the referral and sign up bonus or just the referral?

    Thanks

    • Anna says:

      ? The person who referred you will receive the referral bonus, you’ll get the sign up bonus if eligible.

  • Jan de W says:

    I currently have the Amex Platinum card (15yrs+), with my wife as a Supplementary card holder . From Rob’s earlier article on the BAPP card earlier this week, I was under the impression that I could apply for the BAPP card (with a fee) with the aim of putting the majority of our spend onto that to trigger 2-4-1 vouchers etc. I had considered asking Rob for a referral to get the max sign up bonus. However, today’s piece would suggest that I am not eligible after all. Is that correct? Is the only solution to get my wife to apply for the BAPP and put me on her card as a supplementary cardholder?

    • Rob says:

      What line makes you think you are not? How much clearer could it be (serious question)?

      ‘If you currently have the free British Airways or British Airways Premium Plus Amex credit card:

      You can get a bonus NOW on The Platinum Card IF you have not held a Preferred Rewards Gold, The Platinum Card, Green or American Express Rewards card in the previous 24 months’

      • Jan de W says:

        Mine is the other way round, Rob. I already have the Platinum card and am after getting the BAPP card…

        • Stephan says:

          Why not have your wife apply for the card assuming she doesn’t have any other cards..

      • James Leslie says:

        I just was on the phone with AMEX who told me definitively I would not get a bonus if taking a platinum card as I hold a BA premium. They even went and double checked. They said that it was clearly confusing as the terms refer to Membership rewards but ANY personal card would exempt me.
        Anyone had similar experience?

    • Ryan says:

      If Rob has maxed out his referrals then I would be happy to send you over a referral link so you can get the max sign up bonus

  • Mark says:

    I’m actually leaving the UK for a year or two but have 200k+ MR. Currently only have an Amex Gold and Amex Rewards. So the only way for me to ‘re-set’ the 2 years clock is by transferring all my MR out to airlines/hotels etc and cancelling both cards?

    • AndrewM says:

      Seems to be correct. If you transfer to Avios, you at least have the option to transfer them to Nectar points if needed.

    • memesweeper says:

      you may be able to transfer them to an MR pot for your destination country if you use Amex in that territory… and if it is a Euro or Dollar based economy you could consider the ICC.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.