Posts in the “Credit Cards” category...

American Express Sign Up Offers November 2013

by Continental Club on November 7, 2013  |  Leave a comment • Tagged as: , , ,

American ExpressHere’s this month’s overview of American Express current new cardmember deals, covering ‘house-branded’ and ‘co-branded cards’. House-branded cards offer frequent travellers the flexibility of being able to earn Membership Rewards, which can then be converted into a wide range of hotel and airline loyalty scheme currencies. Co-branded cards earn points or miles directly into the co-brand’s scheme.

Card Card Type Loyalty Currency Sign-Up Bonus
The Platinum Card Charge Membership Rewards 30,000
The Preferred Rewards Gold Card Charge Membership Rewards 20,000
British Airways American Express Prem Plus Card Credit Avios 25,000 New!
British Airways American Express Credit Card Credit Avios 9,000 New!
The Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card Credit Starpoints 20,000 New!
The Nectar Credit Card Credit Nectar Points 20,000
The Platinum Business Card Charge Membership Rewards 60,000
The Gold Business Card Charge Membership Rewards 20,000
The Nectar Business Credit Card Credit Nectar Points n/a
The American Express Corporate Card Charge Membership Rewards n/a

 

All of the above offers are currently loaded, with the notable change this month being the increase in bonuses for targeted spend on British Airways American Express cards, and the doubling of the bonus on the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card.

Remember that these bonuses are generally available only to new customers of American Express, or those who have an existing credit card account but successfully apply for a new charge card account.

Read more

Share

American Express Sign Up Offers September 2013

by Continental Club on September 1, 2013  |  Leave a comment • Tagged as: , , ,

American ExpressHere’s this month’s overview of American Express current new cardmember deals, covering ‘house-branded’ and ‘co-branded cards’. House-branded cards offer frequent travellers the flexibility of being able to earn Membership Rewards, which can then be converted into a wide range of hotel and airline loyalty scheme currencies. Co-branded cards earn points or miles directly into the co-brand’s scheme.

Card Card Type Loyalty Currency Sign-Up Bonus
The Platinum Card Charge Membership Rewards 30,000
The Preferred Rewards Gold Card Charge Membership Rewards 20,000
British Airways American Express Prem Plus Card Credit Avios 18,000
British Airways American Express Credit Card Credit Avios 3,000
The Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card Credit Starpoints 10,000
The Nectar Credit Card Credit Nectar Points 20,000 New!
The Platinum Business Card Charge Membership Rewards 60,000 New!
The Gold Business Card Charge Membership Rewards 20,000 New!
The Nectar Business Credit Card Credit Nectar Points n/a
The American Express Corporate Card Charge Membership Rewards n/a

 

All of the above offers are currently loaded, with the notable change this month being the increase in bonuses for targeted spend on new Gold & Platinum Business Cards, and a doubling of the potential Nectar Credit Card bonus (the existing 10,000 points for £1,000 spend in 3 months is now joined by a 20,000 points for £2,000 spend).

Remember that these bonuses are generally available only to new customers of American Express, or those who have an existing credit card account but successfully apply for a new charge card account.

Read more

Share

American Express Sign Up Offers August 2013

by Continental Club on August 1, 2013  |  Leave a comment • Tagged as: , , ,

American ExpressHere’s this month’s overview of American Express current new cardmember deals, covering ‘house-branded’ and ‘co-branded cards’. House-branded cards offer frequent travellers the flexibility of being able to earn Membership Rewards, which can then be converted into a wide range of hotel and airline loyalty scheme currencies. Co-branded cards earn points or miles directly into the co-brand’s scheme.

Card Card Type Loyalty Currency Sign-Up Bonus
The Platinum Card Charge Membership Rewards 30,000
The Preferred Rewards Gold Card Charge Membership Rewards 20,000
British Airways American Express Prem Plus Card Credit Avios 18,000
British Airways American Express Credit Card Credit Avios 3,000
The Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card Credit Starpoints 10,000
The Nectar Credit Card Credit Nectar Points 10,000
The Platinum Business Card Charge Membership Rewards n/a
The Gold Business Card Charge Membership Rewards 40,000 New!
The Nectar Business Credit Card Credit Nectar Points n/a
The American Express Corporate Card Charge Membership Rewards n/a

 

All of the above offers are currently loaded, with the notable change this month being the decrease in bonuses for the British Airways-branded cards, and the new Gold Business Card bonus. Remember that these bonuses are generally available only to new customers of American Express, or those who have an existing credit card account but successfully apply for a new charge card account.

Read more

Share

American Express Sign Up Offers July 2013

by Continental Club on July 6, 2013  |  Leave a comment • Tagged as: , , ,

Here’s this month’s overview of American Express current new cardmember deals, covering ‘house-branded’ and ‘co-branded cards’. House-branded cards offer frequent travellers the flexibility of being able to earn Membership Rewards, which can then be converted into a wide range of hotel and airline loyalty scheme currencies. Co-branded cards earn points or miles directly into the co-brand’s scheme.

Card Card Type Loyalty Currency Sign-Up Bonus
The Platinum Card Charge Membership Rewards 30,000
The Preferred Rewards Gold Card Charge Membership Rewards 20,000
British Airways American Express Prem Plus Card Credit Avios 25,000 New!
British Airways American Express Credit Card Credit Avios 9,000 New!
The Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card Credit Starpoints 20,000
The Nectar Credit Card Credit Nectar Points 10,000
The Platinum Business Card Charge Membership Rewards n/a
The Gold Business Card Charge Membership Rewards n/a
The Nectar Business Credit Card Credit Nectar Points n/a
The American Express Corporate Card Charge Membership Rewards n/a

 

All of the above offers are currently scheduled to last until the end of July at least, with the notable change this month being the increase in bonuses for the British Airways-branded cards. Remember that these bonuses are generally available only to new customers of American Express, or those who have an existing credit card account but successfully apply for a new charge card account.

As always, the relative value and attractiveness of the sign-up bonuses to a new cardholder depend on more than a few factors. Things to take into account include:

  • Do you plan to pay off the balance each month?
  • Do you need a fee-free card, or are the benefits of a paid-for card of sufficient value?
  • Do you already collect loyalty currency in a scheme that you wish to add to?
  • Are you clear on the value and availability of the rewards that you ultimately seek?

The nature of personal finance is such that almost everyone’s circumstances are unique, so it’s obviously important to look into all the features of a card before signing-up. This is particularly relevant since card issuers (like American Express) will often disqualify existing (or recently-lapsed) members from new card bonuses, even if a different product is being applied for. Pick the wrong card first, and it could be sometime before you qualify again for a bonus on taking out the right card!

Co-branded cards are also described as ‘affinity’ cards, and many of them are marketed to appeal to customers who feel ‘an affinity’ with the co-brand that they carry. Again, if you’re aiming to maximise your points-earning and, more importantly, your options for redeeming rewards, it’s critical to prioritise the practicalities of earning and redemption. More often than not, that will mean adding to your existing earning activities and accelerating your current redemption plans – rather than embarking on some new strategy.

So, if you’re based in the UK and you travel with British Airways (or at least the oneworld alliance, and earn points from alliance airlines into a BA account) most often, then one of the British Airways co-branded cards should almost certainly top your list to consider. Alternatively, if most of your travel is with Etihad, and in the absence of an Etihad credit or charge card in the UK, then a Membership Rewards-earning card from American Express could help bolster your existing earnings from flying with the Abu Dhabi airline.

The full list of carriers with which American Express offer points conversion from Membership Rewards is:

  • Alitalia
  • British Airways
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Delta
  • Etihad
  • Finnair
  • KLM
  • Iberia
  • SAS
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Virgin Atlantic

The British Airways conversion from Membership Rewards is a useful additional option instead of earning Avios directly with a BA co-branded card. If you’re a frequent (or even exclusive) BA traveller though, then the ‘2for1′ companion vouchers and potentially higher earning rates of the BA cards will probably swing the balance towards the Avios-earning cards.

One other point to note when converting points to airline miles is that, whilst American Express Membership Rewards don’t expire as long as card membership is continued, some airlines’ currencies do expire – for example KLM Flying Blue ‘award miles’ are removed when a member does not earn miles from a qualifying flight for a period of 20 months. So, it can make sense to leave earned Membership Rewards in the American Express account until they’re actually needed; that way flexibility and longevity is maximised.

Please note that the above information is correct at time of original publication (July 2013) but is subject to change at any time. For the most up-to-date detail, check the American Express website.

Share

American Express Sign Up Offers May 2013

by Continental Club on May 9, 2013  |  Leave a comment • Tagged as: , , , ,

Please note that the following information was correct at time of original publication (May 2013) but is subject to change at any time. For the most up-to-date detail, check the American Express website.

Here’s this month’s overview of American Express current new cardmember deals, covering ‘house-branded’ and ‘co-branded cards’. House-branded cards offer frequent travellers the flexibility of being able to earn Membership Rewards, which can then be converted into a wide range of hotel and airline loyalty scheme currencies. Co-branded cards earn points or miles directly into the co-brand’s scheme.

Card Card Type Loyalty Currency Sign-Up Bonus
The Platinum Card Charge Membership Rewards 30,000
The Preferred Rewards Gold Card Charge Membership Rewards 20,000
British Airways American Express Prem Plus Card Credit Avios 18,000
British Airways American Express Credit Card Credit Avios 3,000
The Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card Credit Starpoints 20,000 New!
The Nectar Credit Card Credit Nectar Points 10,000
The Platinum Business Card Charge Membership Rewards 60,000
The Gold Business Card Charge Membership Rewards 40,000
The Nectar Business Credit Card Credit Nectar Points n/a
The American Express Corporate Card Charge Membership Rewards n/a

 

All of the above offers are currently scheduled to last until the end of May at least, with the notable change from April being the doubling of the welcome bonus applicable to eligible new Starwood cardholders.

As always, the relative value and attractiveness of the sign-up bonuses to a new cardholder depend on more than a few factors. Things to take into account include:

  • Do you plan to pay off the balance each month?
  • Do you need a fee-free card, or are the benefits of a paid-for card of sufficient value?
  • Do you already collect loyalty currency in a scheme that you wish to add to?
  • Are you clear on the value and availability of the rewards that you ultimately seek?

The nature of personal finance is such that almost everyone’s circumstances are unique, so it’s obviously important to look into all the features of a card before signing-up. This is particularly relevant since card issuers (like American Express) will often disqualify existing (or recently-lapsed) members from new card bonuses, even if a different product is being applied for. Pick the wrong card first, and it could be sometime before you qualify again for a bonus on taking out the right card!

Co-branded cards are also described as ‘affinity’ cards, and many of them are marketed to appeal to customers who feel ‘an affinity’ with the co-brand that they carry. Again, if you’re aiming to maximise your points-earning and, more importantly, your options for redeeming rewards, it’s critical to prioritise the practicalities of earning and redemption. More often than not, that will mean adding to your existing earning activities and accelerating your current redemption plans – rather than embarking on some new strategy.

So, if you’re based in the UK and you travel with British Airways (or at least the oneworld alliance, and earn points from alliance airlines into a BA account) most often, then one of the British Airways co-branded cards should almost certainly top your list to consider. Alternatively, if most of your travel is with Etihad, and in the absence of an Etihad credit or charge card in the UK, then a Membership Rewards-earning card from American Express could help bolster your existing earnings from flying with the Abu Dhabi airline.

The full list of carriers with which American Express offer points conversion from Membership Rewards is:

  • Alitalia
  • British Airways
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Delta
  • Etihad
  • Finnair
  • KLM
  • Iberia
  • SAS
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Virgin Atlantic

The British Airways conversion from Membership Rewards is a useful additional option instead of earning Avios directly with a BA co-branded card. If you’re a frequent (or even exclusive) BA traveller though, then the ‘2for1′ companion vouchers and potentially higher earning rates of the BA cards will probably swing the balance towards the Avios-earning cards.

One other point to note when converting points to airline miles is that, whilst American Express Membership Rewards don’t expire as long as card membership is continued, some airlines’ currencies do expire – for example KLM Flying Blue ‘award miles’ are removed when a member does not earn miles from a qualifying flight for a period of 20 months. So, it can make sense to leave earned Membership Rewards in the American Express account until they’re actually needed; that way flexibility and longevity is maximised.

Share

American Express Sign Up Offers April 2013

by Continental Club on April 15, 2013  |  Leave a comment • Tagged as: , , , ,

American ExpressHere’s this month’s overview of American Express current new cardmember deals, covering ‘house-branded’ and ‘co-branded cards’. House-branded cards offer frequent travellers the flexibility of being able to earn Membership Rewards, which can then be converted into a wide range of hotel and airline loyalty scheme currencies. Co-branded cards earn points or miles directly into the co-brand’s scheme.

Card Card Type Loyalty Currency Sign-Up Bonus
The Platinum Card Charge Membership Rewards 30,000
The Preferred Rewards Gold Card Charge Membership Rewards 20,000
British Airways American Express Prem Plus Card Credit Avios 18,000
British Airways American Express Credit Card Credit Avios 3,000
The Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card Credit Starpoints 10,000
The Nectar Credit Card Credit Nectar Points 10,000 New!*
The Platinum Business Card Charge Membership Rewards 60,000
The Gold Business Card Charge Membership Rewards 40,000
The Nectar Business Credit Card Credit Nectar Points n/a
The American Express Corporate Card Charge Membership Rewards n/a

 

All of the above offers are currently scheduled to last until the end of April at least, with none of the bonus offers having changed from those running at the end of March. *The Nectar bonus is valid for applications made from April 16th 2013.

Read more

Share

Avios Credit Card – Earn Up To 20,000 Bonus Avios

by Continental Club on April 5, 2013  |  Leave a comment • Tagged as: , , ,

AviosIf you’re UK based and you want to boost your Avios balance through credit card spend, then your headline choice is between a British Airways American Express card product, or a Lloyds TSB Avios Duo product. When it comes to join-and-spend bonuses, there’s not much of a contest usually – the British Airways-branded cards tend to be significantly more generous to new cardholders.

Lloyds TSB Avios Duo Cards

That situation has just changed however, with the announcement that new Lloyds TSB Avios Duo cardholders will be in line for a 15,000 Avios bonus when they spend a minimum of £500 in each of the first three months of membership. New holders of the £50pa fee Premier Duo card could increase that bonus to 20,000 Avios. And, if you apply through consumer cashback site Quidco, then a successful application should also yield an additional £20 of cashback.

The LTSB cards are branded ‘Duo’ to reflect their twin-card status. Successful applicants will receive two cards which hang off the same account  – a MasterCard and an American Express card. The MasterCard provides an extra level of spending flexibility for when a merchant doesn’t accept AmEx, but the MasterCard earning rates (more about which later) are a little grim.

Back to the bonus Avios though, and it’s some time since Lloyds TSB has been so generous; until the end of March their joining bonus was a slightly-confusing Avios ‘voucher’ which didn’t in itself add to existing balances, had an expiry date and had to be used in full for a booking which included a flight and hotel stay.

No such restrictions from now until the advertised 15th September deadline though – the Avios on offer here are just like any others and can be used, combined and moved in exactly the same way as those earned from other sources.

LTSB haven’t completely found their heads though and there are a couple of headline Ts&Cs which should be borne in mind:

1. The £500 monthly spend must be made on the Duo American Express card. spend on the Duo MasterCard won’t qualify for bonus Avios.

2. Anyone who has ever held a Lloyds TSB Airmiles or Avios card is excluded from the bonus opportunity.

In the longer term, the earning rate on the Duo MasterCard renders it less attractive than other options at 0.2 Avios per £ spend. The Premier card offers a 25% uplift, but still isn’t startling. So, it’s the joining bonus that’s definitely the prize at the moment.

To apply for the card, don’t forget to first register with or log in to Quidco for the £20 cashback offer.

Share