UPDATE – DECEMBER 2022: This article is now out of date, but don’t worry.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.
A couple of weeks, American Express relaunched The Platinum Charge as a credit card.
To coincide with this it launched the best ever sign-up bonus – 60,000 Membership Rewards points (worth 60,000 Avios or, in the worse case scenario, £480 of Nectar points) and a £200 credit to spend at Amex Travel. Our full article is here and you can apply here.
As I suspected would happen, a generous upgrade offer has now appeared for holders of the Preferred Rewards Gold credit card.
If you don’t qualify for the standard 60,000 points Platinum card bonus, you could get 40,000 points by applying for Amex Gold – if you don’t have one already – and then upgrading.
EDIT: Some people have received a mailshot in the post about this offer which quotes a closing date of 11th October.
Take a look at this page of the American Express website. It doesn’t appear to be targetted looking at the very lengthy terms and conditions at the bottom, but of course you are upgrading at your own risk. Some people are finding that they cannot process an upgrade.
According to the offer page, you will receive 40,000 Membership Rewards points if you upgrade your Preferred Rewards Gold credit card via the link and spend £4,000 within three months.
This isn’t as good as 60,000 points and a £200 travel credit from a fresh application for Platinum, of course, but you wouldn’t qualify for a ‘new member’ bonus unless you cancelled Preferred Rewards Gold and waited for 24 months. An upgrade bonus of 40,000 points is also higher than the standard bonus on The Platinum Card for new applicants, which is usually just 30,000 points.
If you don’t qualify for the 60,000 points bonus, this may be an alternative
If you currently have – or have, in the last 24 months, had – an American Express card which earns Membership Rewards points, you don’t qualify for the ‘60,000 points + £200 sign-up bonus’ on The Platinum Card.
This would apply to you if you have, or recently had, a Green, Gold, Platinum, Centurion or Amex Rewards Credit Card.
What you may want to consider is applying for the Gold credit card – click here. It is free for the first year.
You won’t get the sign-up bonus on the Gold credit card. However, once it has arrived, you may be able to upgrade it to The Platinum Card and pick up 40,000 points.
(There is a risk that American Express will not accept your wish to upgrade. You are not guaranteed the ability to successfully upgrade from Gold credit to Platinum credit.)
Already got Amex Gold? You may want to wait
If you have spent over £5,000 on your Preferred Rewards Gold card in your current membership year, you will be receiving an extra bonus on 12th October.
At present, Gold cardholders receive 10,000 points at the end of each membership year if they have spent £15,000. This is changing, and from 12th October you will receive:
- 2,500 points when you hit £5,000 of annual spend
- 2,500 points when you hit £10,000 of annual spend (5,000 points cumulative)
- 2,500 points when you hit £15,000 of annual spend (7,500 points cumulative)
- 2,500 points when you hit £20,000 of annual spend (10,000 points cumulative)
- 2,500 points when you hit £25,000 of annual spend (12,500 points cumulative)
Importantly, the bonus will be paid as soon as you hit each tier threshold. You do not have to wait until the end of your card year.
The launch plan for this new benefit is what whatever you are due to date in your current membership year will be awarded in a lump sum on 12th October.
If you consider it likely that American Express will keep the 40,000 Membership Rewards points upgrade offer running beyond 12th October, you may want to wait until you’ve pocketed the bonus you are due and then upgrade.
If you are going to upgrade, you should do it before 31st December. This is because the £300 of annual restaurant credit (£150 to spend at 150+ UK restaurants and £150 to spend at 1,400+ international restaurants) refreshes on 1st January. The ‘£50 per half year’ of Harvey Nichols credit also refreshes on 1st January.
In a perfect world, consider upgrading after 12th October – assuming you want to wait for whatever annual spend bonus you are due on your Gold card – but with enough time to use the 2022 dining and Harvey Nichols credits.
Do you still have the Preferred Rewards Gold CHARGE card?
Some readers, including my wife, will still have the older version of Prefered Rewards Gold which was issued as a charge card.
Intriguingly, American Express is still letting you upgrade this card to Platinum. Take a look here.
The upgrade is smaller at just 20,000 points. This requires you to spend £4,000 in three months.
What is interesting is that you will be issued with a Platinum charge card – not the new credit card. This makes no difference in terms of card benefits, and means that there won’t be any sort of credit check on the upgrade.
If you’ve got the time and the patience, you could potentially get 40,000 points instead. Apply for the Preferred Rewards Gold credit card version (you are allowed to have both the credit and charge card versions) and you may be able to upgrade your new Gold credit card via the 40,000 points link above.
Don’t forget ….
- American Express is not obliged to accept your request to upgrade your Gold credit card
- Despite the lack of restrictions in the terms and conditions, Amex may try to insist that this offer is restricted to people who opted in to marketing emails and who were contacted about it
- To upgrade your Gold credit card to the Platinum credit card, and earn 40,000 bonus points, click here.
- To upgrade your Gold charge card to the Platinum charge card, and earn 20,000 bonus points, click here.
- To apply for the Gold credit card, with a view to attempting to upgrade later to the Platinum credit card and earning 40,000 bonus points, click here. This is the best option if you are disqualified from getting the 60,000 points Platinum bonus because you have had a Green, Gold, Platinum or Amex Rewards Credit Card in the past 24 months.
- To apply for the Platinum credit card directly, and earn 60,000 bonus points and a £200 Amex Travel credit, click here. You can only do this if you haven’t had a Green, Gold, Platinum or Amex Rewards Credit Card in the past 24 months.
Interest rate information
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold has a representative APR of 61.8% variable based on an assumed £1,200 credit limit and £140 annual fee (free in the first year). Interest rate on purchases 26.0% APR variable.
The Platinum Card has a representative APR of 439.9% variable based on an assumed £1,200 credit limit and £575 annual fee. Interest rate on purchases 26.0% APR variable.
These rates are effective from 24th August 2022.
Want to earn more points from credit cards? – December 2022 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:
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 UK’s most valuable card perk – the 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
30,000 points and unbeatable travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review
Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard
15,000 points bonus 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:
American Express Business Platinum
40,000 points sign-up bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review
American Express Business Gold
20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review
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
Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa
10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa 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.