Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Which of the SEVEN special credit card sign-up bonuses currently available should you get?

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In the 10 years we’ve been running this site, I don’t think we’ve ever seen so many credit and charge cards running ‘special’ sign-up bonuses at the same time.

Whilst this is great news for you, it is also easy to get confused about what is available. I thought I’d do a quick summary today of what is available and until when.

For more information on how each card works and the benefits it brings, click through to our full review. This article purely looks at the sign-up bonuses.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold 30,000 points bonus

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

What’s the deal? The sign-up bonus is increased to 30,000 Membership Rewards points from 20,000 Membership Rewards points. These convert to Avios at 1:1 and to many other airline and hotel schemes.

What do I need to spend? £3,000 in 90 days

When does the deal end?  9th November

What is the card fee? Free in the first year, £140 thereafter

Do I qualify for the bonus? You cannot have had any personal American Express cards, including the BA, Nectar or Marriott cards, in the past 24 months. Business cards and supplementary cards are OK.

What’s the legal stuff on interest rates? Representative 24.5% APR variable for the first year, 59.9% APR variable for subsequent years based on a notional £1200 limit and £140 annual fee.

Our full Amex Gold review is here.

You can apply here.

American Express Platinum 60,000 points bonus

The Platinum Card from American Express

What’s the deal? The sign-up bonus is increased to 60,000 Membership Rewards points from 30,000 Membership Rewards points. These convert to Avios at 1:1 and to many other airline and hotel schemes.

What do I need to spend? £6,000 in six months

When does the deal end? 2nd November

What is the card fee? £575, refundable pro-rata if you cancel

Do I qualify for the bonus? You cannot have had a personal Gold or Platinum American Express card in the past 24 months, or any other niche personal Amex card which also gives Membership Rewards points. Business cards are OK. BA, Nectar and Marriott cards are OK.

What’s the legal stuff on interest rates? None, this is a charge card. You must clear your balance each month.

Our full Amex Platinum review is here.

You can apply here.

British Airways BA Amex American Express 10,000 Avios bonus

British Airways American Express

What’s the deal? The sign-up bonus is increased to 10,000 Avios from 5,000 Avios

What do I need to spend? £1,000 in 90 days

When does the deal end? 2nd November

What is the card fee? Free

Do I qualify for the bonus? You cannot have had any personal American Express cards, including the Gold, Platinum, Nectar or Marriott cards, in the past 24 months. Business cards and supplementary cards are OK.

What’s the legal stuff on interest rates? Representative 24.5% APR variable

Our full British Airways American Express review is here.

You can apply here.

British Airways BA Amex Premium Plus American Express 40,000 Avios bonus

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

What’s the deal? The sign-up bonus is increased to 40,000 Avios from 25,000 Avios

What do I need to spend? £3,000 in 90 days

When does the deal end? 2nd November

What is the card fee? £250 per year, refundable pro-rata if you cancel

Do I qualify for the bonus? You cannot have had either British Airways American Express card in the past 24 months

What’s the legal stuff on interest rates? Representative 101.1% APR variable based on a notional £1200 limit and £250 annual fee

Our full British Airways American Express Premium Plus review is here.

You can apply here.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express 60,000 Avios bonus

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

What’s the deal? The sign-up bonus on this card is 60,000 Avios – this is a relaunch offer which is expected to drop at some point but we do not know what it will become

What do I need to spend? £5,000 in 90 days

When does the deal end? No end date is published – the terms say that it will run until at least 2nd November

What is the card fee? £250 per year, refundable pro-rata if you cancel

Do I qualify for the bonus? You cannot have had an American Express small business card (Business Gold, Business Platinum etc, Accelerating Business) in the previous 12 months. You also need to have some sort of self employment or small business income to apply.

What’s the legal stuff on interest rates? Representative 96.7% APR variable based on a notional £1200 limit and £250 annual fee

Our full British Airways Accelerating Business American Express review is here.

You can apply here.

Virgin Atlantic Rewards credit card 2,000 Virgin Points bonus

Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard

What’s the deal? The sign-up bonus is increased to 2,000 Virgin Points from nothing

What do I need to spend? £500 in 90 days

When does the deal end? 15th October

What is the card fee? Free

Do I qualify for the bonus? You cannot have had a Virgin Money-issued credit card in the previous six months

What’s the legal stuff on interest rates? Representative 22.9% APR variable

Our full Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard review is here.

You can apply here.

Virgin Atlantic Rewards Plus Credit Card 30,000 Virgin Points bonus

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

What’s the deal? The sign-up bonus is increased to 30,000 Virgin Points from 15,000 Virgin Points

What do I need to spend? You receive 15,000 Virgin Points with your first purchase and a further 15,000 Virgin Points when you spend £3,000 in 90 days

When does the deal end? 15th October

What is the card fee? £160 – this is a sunk cost which is not partially refunded if you cancel

Do I qualify for the bonus? You cannot have had a Virgin Money-issued credit card in the previous six months

What’s the legal stuff on interest rates? Representative 63.9% APR variable based on a notional £1200 limit and £160 annual fee

Our full Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard review is here.

You can apply here.

Conclusion

There is a lot of choice here, which doesn’t always make things easy.

Study the rules carefully to see what you can get.

  • If you have only had BA American Express cards, you should qualify for 60,000 points on The Platinum Card.
  • If you have only had Gold or Platinum American Express cards, you should qualify for 40,000 Avios on British Airways Premium Plus.
  • Got some sort of self employment or small business income? You should qualify for 60,000 Avios on BA Accelerating Business if you’ve not had business Amex recently.
  • If you are totally maxed on the American Express bonuses you can get, take a look at Virgin Atlantic Reward+. As a Mastercard, this is a good partner card to use alongside your American Express.

Comments (28)

  • mhuk01 says:

    With the Amex BA Business card, can I do the £5,000 spend to trigger the bonus, get the Avios and then cancel the card? Will I get a prorata refund?

  • M says:

    For the Companion Reward Ticket or the Upgrade Voucher on the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ card, is it linked to the account holder or can be used with someone else – like a family member?

    • M says:

      *by not with

    • CarpalTravel says:

      From the T&C’s :

      “ Companion Reward Ticket. Take one person with you in a reward seat:”

      That strongly suggests you do. One possible option is if your family member has a supplementary card and they are one of the ones flying. Ultimately (as is the case with a lot of the Virgin Atlantic reward flights stuffs….) it is not entirely clear. You are best off calling them and using your charm with the CS person.

  • Tim says:

    I’ve just been charged the £250 fee on my first statement for the BA Accelerating business card; the terms and conditions state –
    15.3 BA Accelerating Business Card: a £250 annual Card fee will automatically be charged to your account on or after the anniversary of your account opening date.
    So, should the fee not be charged on the anniversary, ie next year?
    I’m currently on Amex chat and they are currently refusing to remove it – stating

    “Thanks a lot for your patience. If you take a look at pointer 15.2, for teh Gold card, it states that the first year’s Cardmembership is complimentary and from year two of your membership, a £175 annual Card fee will automatically be charged to your Account on or after the anniversary of your Account opening date.”
    While it is not the same for Ba card. As far as the sentence framing is concerned, I assure you that I have noted your feedback and will be sure to forward it to the concerned team. However, we will be unable to remove the annual fee as it is correctly charged.”
    Has anybody else been charged?

    • Jay H says:

      Yes the first year has never been free on the BA Biz Card

      • Tim says:

        I’m not suggesting it’s free, but the terms and conditions state it will be deducted on the anniversary, not immediately.

        • CarpalTravel says:

          That’s referring to the renewal. Amex fees on a new card are always charged in month 1, when applicable.

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