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Forums Payment cards American Express Strategy check – getting back to points collecting

  • davekes 6 posts

    I’ve held a BA Amex (free one) since 2014, used heavily for the first couple of years due to being able to claim a lot of work expenses which resulted in nearly 500k avios plus companion vouchers which we used for a nice family trip in Club to the USA. After changing jobs in 2016 my spending dropped off and I have just been spending circa £18k/year through the card and allowing my avios to auto-covert to nectar points which have been used to good effect.
    Now with the eldest child leaving home and the youngest likely moving out in 3 years time I want to start building the points for my wife and I to use for a big trip in a few years time (as opposed to family hols).

    So I’m starting from scratch and my options seem to be limited to the Platinum card for a welcome bonus, as I won’t qualify for any others due to my current BA Amex card.

    My strategy is as follows:
    – Open platinum card for the bonus. (60k with referral + 5k for supplementary card holder).
    – Close BA card to start the 24 month wait before I can apply for another bonus.
    – After 12 months, close the Platinum and downgrade to the Gold card (better for spending but won’t get a welcome bonus).
    – Run the Gold for 1 year then apply for a BA PP avios card.
    – Use the Avios card to collect for the companion voucher.

    I estimate with some adjustments and focus I can run £25k/year costs through the card.
    So after 2 years I should have around 120k points, then build from there using a BA card until we achieve enough for a business class trip somewhere.

    On the one hand, the £650 fee for platinum is a bit steep, but I’ll force myself to use the perks.
    Travel insurance plus Lounge access – 4 trips planned this year, plus eldest heading to the USA for a couple of months so I can factor this into the card fee.
    Car Hire – probably 3 rentals planned this year.
    Other benefits I can take/leave.

    Conversely the Gold card deliveroo credit is useless to me, I live out in the countryside.

    The only reason I am considering the Platinum is to get a head start on points building again. As if I just went direct to Gold it would take me around 2 years to get to the points level that the platinum welcome bonus offers.

    Thoughts on the plan please? Is this the quickest way to build my points stash again?
    Thanks

    BBbetter 773 posts

    Watch out for any bonuses on Barclays avios cards.
    The platinum card fee could still be refundable prorata if Amex decide to keep it that way for some more time. It’s not clear yet.
    From Amex gold, you also get an option to upgrade to platinum, but this route is less reliable and bonus may not be great.
    Transfer nectar to avios if you still shop at sainsburys.

    No Longer Entitled 122 posts

    Don’t forgot your wife can earn too. If you are running £25k through credit cards per annum split this between a number of cards to get the sign up bonuses. I tend to rotate Platinum, BA Amex, and Barclaycard Avios between player A and B.

    davekes 6 posts

    Thanks for your thoughts and tips. Went ahead with the platinum this morning. Will run that until I’ve hit the bonus then see what the options are.

    memesweeper 1,297 posts

    A trip for your eldest for a couple of months may not be covered on the insurance — check the small print.

    davekes 6 posts

    90 day trips are covered which will suffice. Thanks though.

    chungcyk 21 posts

    This might not be a route down for you based on your needs, but there is an extra bonus you can get upgrading from Gold to Plat.

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