Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

LAST CHANCE: What is the best use of your 60,000 points Amex Platinum sign-up bonus?

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UPDATE – DECEMBER 2022:  This article is now out of date, but don’t worry.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.

American Express is currently running a ‘best ever’ bonus of 60,000 Membership Rewards points plus a £200 Amex Travel credit when you take out The Platinum Card and spend £6,000 in your first six months.

This would convert into 60,000 Avios or lots of other great travel rewards.

The offer ends at midnight tomorrow, Tuesday 25th October.

To help you decide if you want to apply, I thought I would update this article on how you could use your 60,000 bonus Membership Rewards points.

You can apply for The Platinum Card here.

American Express Platinum bonus

We also ran the following articles earlier in the campaign which are still worth a read if you are interested in applying:

This article is about how to make the best use of your Amex Membership Rewards points.  It does NOT cover every Membership Rewards redemption but it does cover the bulk of the pseudo-cash, cash and travel options. If we haven’t covered an option, you should assume that it offers poor value.

Membership Rewards sensibly chose to discontinue ‘physical’ redemptions in 2019.  You can no longer redeem your points for a toaster.  This is good news because the toaster was, unsurprisingly, poor value for your points.  If you still want a free toaster, redeem your points for an Amazon gift card.

The Amex Membership Rewards website is here if you want to look for yourself at what is available.

How can you earn Membership Rewards points?

This article is based around the current 60,000 points bonus on American Express Platinum. However, you can also earn Membership Rewards points from other American Express cards. These include:

  • American Express Business Platinum Card (review) – 60,000 points bonus (limited time special offer) and a host of benefits including airport lounge access for four people, four mid-tier hotel elite statuses, digital subscription to The Times, £150 of annual Dell credit, £200 of annual Amex Travel credit and more, apply here
American Express Platinum bonus

What are your 60,000 points from American Express Platinum worth?

0.75p – 1.5p per point, £450 – £900 (my target value)

Airline milesMy last piece on valuing Avios points is here and Amex points transfer into Avios at 1:1.  This is why the sign-up bonuses are so valuable.

It is impossible to tie down a tighter range because of the number of different airline partners and the various ways (upgrade, long-haul, short-haul, economy, premium) you can redeem.  Membership Rewards points convert at 1:1 to Avios, Virgin Atlantic, Emirates, Etihad, Cathay Pacific, Delta, Finnair, Flying Blue, Qantas and SAS. The transfer rate to Singapore Airlines is 3:2.

My personal spreadsheet of the last 8.5 million Avios I have redeemed shows that I got an average value of 1.2p.  This is based on what I would personally have been prepared to pay for the flights I took, however, which may be far different from what you would have been prepared to pay.  My best redemptions far exceeded this.

0.8p per point, £480 (guaranteed value)

In early 2021, the supermarket loyalty scheme Nectar become a partner with British Airways Avios points. You can convert 50,000 Avios per month to Nectar, at a rate of 250 : 400.

Because a Nectar point has a fixed value of 0.5p when spent at Sainsbury’s, eBay or Argos, it means that 1 Avios can be turned into 1.6 Nectar points worth 0.8p.

As long as you shop at Sainsbury’s, eBay or Argos, you can get 0.8p per Membership Rewards point, guaranteed.

To do this, you convert your American Express points to Avios and then transfer them to Nectar.

0.8p per point, £480 (my target value)

Club Eurostar points.  I value a Club Eurostar point at 12p as our article explains.  The 15:1 transfer rate into Club Eurostar means you are getting 0.8p per point.  Club Eurostar offers guaranteed availability – if there is a seat for cash, you can book it for points – which means that you are more likely to be redeeming onto peak trains which are peak priced for cash.

Before I go on ….

You are guaranteed 0.8p per Membership Rewards point if you convert American Express points to Avios to Nectar.

All of the options below earn you less than 0.8p per point. You need to have a good reason to use any of the options below instead of Nectar. That said, if you know how to maximise the value of hotel points then Marriott and Hilton can still be decent options.

American Express Platinum bonus

0.75p per point, £450 (my target value)

Marriott Bonvoy hotel transfers.  Amex points convert at 2:3 into the Marriott Bonvoy programme.  It is fairly easy to get 0.5p per Marriott Bonvoy point as I explain here.

0.5p per Marriott Bonvoy point means, at a 2:3 exchange rate from Membership Rewards, you should be getting 0.75p per Membership Rewards point.  You now have a whopping 30 hotel brands to redeem at, including Le Meridien, Sheraton, Westin, W, Marriott, Autograph, Design Hotels, The Luxury Collection, The Ritz Carlton, St Regis etc etc.

I had some exceptionally good returns pre-covid which have got me far more than 0.5p per Bonvoy point.  At Christmas 2020 I got 1.2p per point in Ras Al Khaimah as I explained here.

I did three stays this Summer (one at St Regis New York and two at the University Arms in Cambridge) where I got outsized value, which is unsurprising given current cash rates. Next week we are at the acclaimed Al Maha desert resort in Dubai where we are getting 1.5p per Bonvoy point based on the cash rate.

0.66p per point, £400 (my target value)

Hilton Honors hotel transfers.  Hilton has moved closer to a revenue-based redemption model in recent years, although you can get still outsized value at times.  Over time I have come to believe that 0.33p per point is a fair valuation for a Hilton Honors point.  The conversion rate is 1:2 to Hilton which is how I get to 0.66p per Amex point.  Hilton brands include Conrad, Waldorf Astoria and Hampton.

0.6p per point, £360 (my target value)

Radisson Rewards hotel transfersRadisson Rewards used to be an exceptional American Express redemption until the value of the points were slashed overnight earlier this month.

Radisson Rewards in the UK covers Radisson Blu, Radisson RED, Radisson Edwardian, Park Inn and Park Plaza.

We have now reduced our valuation of a Radisson Rewards point to 0.2p, which is what you get when redeeming them for a discount on a hotel room. There is no longer a reward chart – all you can do is discount cash bookings. The conversion rate is 1 Amex point to 3 Radisson Rewards points so you’re getting 0.6p of hotel discount, give or take, for every Amex point you convert.

0.5p per point, £300 (guaranteed)

Retailer gift cards – Starbucks, M&S, Harrods etc.

0.5p per point, £300 (guaranteed)

The value of a Nectar point, given that you can redeem Amex points for Nectar points at a 1:1 ratio.  It is stupid to do this, however, given that you get 60% more value by transferring American Express to Avios to Nectar as I explained above.

0.45p per point, £270 (guaranteed)

Redeeming for American Express statement credit at 0.45p per Membership Rewards point you cash in.

Conclusion

There is real value, potentially over £600-worth, in the 60,000 American Express Membership Rewards points you would receive as a sign-up bonus on American Express Platinum.

You will also, of course, pick up a £200 Amex Travel credit as well during this current special offer which runs to Tuesday 25th October.

This assumes that you qualify for the bonus and meet the target of spending £6,000 in six months. Remember that you can cancel the card at any point for a pro-rata refund of the annual fee.

You can apply for American Express Platinum here.


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:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

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.

Barclaycard Select Cashback credit card

1% cashback and no annual fee Read our full review

Comments (3)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • eli says:

    Is there any news/update regarding the platinum upgrade from Gold to Platinum?
    The link appears to still work for a bonus of 20000. was it 40000 originally?

    • Rob says:

      It was 40k but clearly that wasn’t going to last, given that the Plat card itself drops from 60k to 30k on Wednesday morning.

  • Amit says:

    HOW TO MAKE USE OF YOUR £150 DINING CREDIT ABROAD, EVEN IF YOU CAN’T GO!!!!! Hi all readers and especially @Rob.

    I was thinking to myself this morning that I won’t be able to get away till early next year and therefore my Amex Platinum dining credit will go to waste and I suspect there will be a lot of readers in the same position. This is very unfortunate, but every cloud has a silver lining. Read on…

    Wouldn’t it be nice if at this time of giving (Christmas), we could come together as a group and contact homeless charities/soup kitchens in the cities where we can spend our unused dining credit and pay for takeaways for these people in need?

    What would be even nicer is if these restaurants got behind this and did a special menu which wasn’t so ostentatious but still provided a decent meal, thereby serving more people.

    Even better would be if Amex saw what I intend to be a “viral” campaign and promoted it themselves.

    In the current climate, where we see costs of living rising, the ability for people to give will undoubtedly be affected. I feel that an act like this will go a little way in reducing this shortfall.

    I will be contacting restaurants with this message and other forums to get more traction behind this. Hope you and other readers can join in my efforts.

    I have had an idea for setting up a particular charity based on the notion of forgoing, say a meal to then cook at home, and then donating the difference to a good cause. Then life got busy, but this situation has prompted me to do something.

    I have just bought the web domain WIDI.UK where widi stands for WHAT I DID INSTEAD. I have also registered an instagram handle: widi.whatididinstaed where readers can initially follow me so that we can progress this “mission” further.

    They are in early development, which I hope readers can excuse me for.

    Thanks for reading!

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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