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UK miles and points earning credit cards

There are a number of credit cards available that enable you to earn miles and points, which you can redeem for, often among many other things, hotel stays and flights. While the principal earners here are UK American Express cards, there are a few other options.

We set out below the major offers, what they provide and how to make the most of them.

 

UK American Express Membership Rewards cards

american express uk sign up bonus

 

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold OUR TOP RECOMMENDATION

american express uk sign up bonus

Bonus points available: 22,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend £2000 in the first three months- an excellent American Express UK sign up bonus, given the card is free.

What that can get you: Among many other things, 22,000 Avios – so a return flight from London to Moscow, for example (20,000 Avios). In total, you can transfer your points to 15 major frequent flyer and hotel programmes.

Ongoing points earning rate: 1 point per £1 spent. Double points on supermarket and petrol spend for your first year. Double points on all travel and foreign spend for life. 7,500 bonus Membership Rewards points each year your card fee is paid if you have spent £15,000 in the previous year.

Key additional perks: two free airport lounge passes each year.

Fee: No fee for the first year (£125 a year thereafter)

How do I get the bonus points?: Apply via this link, or alternatively send an email to theeuflyer@gmail.com, and we will send you a referral link. The bonus if you are not referred is lower, at 20,000 points.

 

American Express Platinum

american express uk sign up bonus

Bonus points available: 35,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend £2000 in the first three months.

What that can get you: Among many other things, 35,000 Avios – so a return flight to Moscow with one way in Business Class. In total, you can transfer your points to 15 major frequent flyer and hotel programmes.

Ongoing points earning rate: 1 point per £1

Key additional perks: Elite tier membership with Starwood Preferred Guest (Gold), Club Carlson (Gold Elite), Le Club Accorhotels (Platinum), Hertz #1 Club and Avis Preferred. Two Priority Pass cards for free airport lounge access, Eurostar lounge access, Comprehensive worldwide travel insurance for you, your family, your Supplementary Cardmembers and their family

Spend required: £2000 in the first three months

Fee: £425 a year

How do I get the bonus points?: Apply via this link, or alternatively send an email to theeuflyer@gmail.com, and we will send you a referral link. The bonus if you are not referred is lower, at 30,000 points.

Note that Membership Rewards bonuses are only available to customers who have not held a Platinum, Gold or Green Amex charge card in the last six months. It is not an issue if you have a BA, SPG, Nectar or similar Amex.

 

UK Avios-earning credit cards

american express uk sign up bonus

 

British Airways American Express credit card

american express uk sign up bonus

Bonus points available: 9,000 Avios points when you spend £500 within 3 months.

What that can get you: Amongst many other destinations, a return ticket to Berlin, Prague or Marseille (9000 Avios).

Ongoing points earning rate: 1 Avios per £1.

Key perks: Free companion voucher for an Avios redemption when you spend £20,000 each year.

Fee: Free.

How do I get the bonus points?: Apply via this link, or alternatively send an email to theeuflyer@gmail.com, and we will send you a referral link. The bonus if you are not referred is lower, at 3,000 Avios.

 

British Airways American Express Premium Plus credit card

american express uk sign up bonus

Bonus points available: 25,000 Avios points when you spend £3000 within 3 months.

What that can get you: Amongst many other destinations, a return flight from London to Moscow, for example (20,000 Avios)

Ongoing points earning rate: 1.5 Avios per £1, or 3 Avios per £1 you spend direct with British Airways or BA Holidays.

Key perks: Free companion voucher for an Avios redemption when you spend £10,000 each year.

Fee: £150 per year.

How do I get the bonus points?: Apply via this link, or alternatively send an email to theeuflyer@gmail.com, and we will send you a referral link. The bonus if you are not referred is lower, at 18,000 Avios.

 

Emirates Skywards credit cards

free-emirates-points

 

Emirates Skywards Elite Credit Card Account (Visa and Amex card provided)

emirates elite credit card

Bonus points available: 20,000 Emirates Skywards miles when you spend £2000 within 90 days (if you apply by 12 April 2015: otherwise 10,000 miles).

What that can get you: Part way to a saver return flight to Dubai (45,000 miles), or three European returns with easyJet (from 7,500 miles each way). You could also get a VIP football ticket.

Ongoing points earning rate: 2 miles per £1/4 miles per £1 with Emirates on the Amex card, earning rate halved on the Visa card.

Key perks:

  • Free Companion Reward ticket each year (giving you a second ticket free when you purchase an Emirates Skywards Flex Fare in Business Class or Economy Class), provided that you spend £15,000 on card purchases within a year.
  • £150 discount on the price of a First/Business Class ticket.
  • Business Class check-in for economy travellers travelling from the UK (if the ticket was bought with the Emirates card).
  • 25% discount on purchase of Skywards Miles, up to 25,000 miles a year

Fee: £150 per year.

How do I get the bonus points? Apply for the card here.

 

Emirates Skywards Credit Card Account (Visa and Amex card provided)

emirates credit card

Bonus points available: 10,000 Emirates Skywards miles when you spend £1000 within 90 days (if you apply by 12 April 2015: otherwise 10,000 miles).

What that can get you: A European one way ticket with easyJet (from 7,500 miles).

Ongoing points earning rate: 1 mile per £1/2 miles per £1 with Emirates on the Amex card, earning rate halved on the Visa card.

Key perks: 25% discount on purchase of Skywards Miles, up to 25,000 miles a year

Fee: Free.

How do I get the bonus points? Apply for the card here.
UK Hotel-branded credit cards 

american express uk sign up bonus

 

Starwood Preferred Guest American Express credit card

american express uk sign up bonus

Bonus points available: 11,000 SPG Starpoints when you spend £1000 within 3 months.

What that can get you: Amongst many other things, 11,000 Avios – so a return flight from London to Berlin, Prague or Marseille (9000 Avios). Alternatively, 3 weekend nights in a Starwood Category 2 hotel (9000 SPG Starpoints).

Ongoing points earning rate: 1 SPG Starpoint per £1.

Key perks: Spend £25,000 in a year, and you will receive a voucher for a free weekend night (Friday, Saturday or Sunday) in an SPG Category 1-4 hotel. Free upgrade to SPG Preferred Guest Plus. Upgrade to SPG Gold when you spend £15,000 in a year.

Fee: £75 per year

How do I get the bonus points?: Simply send an email to theeuflyer@gmail.com, and we will send you a referral link. The bonus if you are not referred is lower, at 10,000 SPG Starpoints.

All American Express cards offer a pro rata refund of the annual fee if you cancel the card.

 

IHG Rewards Club Visa

american express uk sign up bonus

Bonus points available: 30,000 bonus IHG Rewards Club points when you make your first purchase. However, note that the 30,000 points is a special bonus, running until 31 March 2015. The standard bonus is 10,000 points.

What that can get you: 6,000 Avios, or various other airline miles. However, your best value option is almost certainly to spend these points at IHG hotels. IHG hotel redemption options start at just 10,000 points per night, and you can also take advantage of the regular PointBreaks promotions, where 150 hotels are reduced to 5,000 points per night. As such, the sign-up bonus could get you a remarkable 6 nights in a hotel.

Ongoing points earning rate: 1 point per £1 (2 points per £1 for spending in IHG hotels).

Key perks: Free IHG Rewards Club Gold status for the life of your card.

Fee: Free.

How do I get the bonus points?: You will need to sign up before 31 March 2015 to get the 30,000 (rather than 10,000) bonus points, and it is essential that you sign up through this link. If you do not, you will only receive the 10,000 bonus points.

 

IHG Rewards Club Premium Visa

american express uk sign up bonus

Bonus points available: 60,000 bonus IHG Rewards Club points when you make your first purchase. However, note that the 60,000 points is a special bonus, running until 31 March 2015. The standard bonus is 20,000 points.

What that can get you: 12,000 Avios, or various other airline miles. However, your best value option is almost certainly to spend these points at IHG hotels. IHG hotel redemption options start at just 10,000 points per night, and you can also take advantage of the regular PointBreaks promotions, where 150 hotels are reduced to 5,000 points per night. As such, the sign-up bonus could get you a fairly astonishing 12 nights in a hotel.

Ongoing points earning rate: 4 IHG Rewards Club points for every £1 you spend at any IHG hotel worldwide, and 2 IHG Rewards Club points for every £1 you spend everywhere else.

Key perks: Free night voucher when you spend £10,000 annually, redeemable at any IHG hotel, plus free Platinum Elite status guaranteed for the life of your card.

Fee: £99 per year

How do I get the bonus points?: You will need to sign up before 31 March 2015 to get the 60,000 (rather than 20,000) bonus points, and it is essential that you sign up through this link. If you do not, you will only receive the 20,000 bonus points.

 

Hilton HHonors Platinum Visa – OUR TOP NON-AMEX RECOMMENDATION

american express uk sign up bonus

Bonus points available: No bonus points as such, but you will get a free weekend (Fri/Sat/Sun) night at any Hilton Worldwide property (i.e. including Waldorf Astoria, Conrad etc) when you spend £750 on the card in the first 90 days.

What that can get you: The free night obviously gets you a free night! But remember this is at any Hilton property, no matter how expensive.

Ongoing points earning rate: 2 Hilton HHonors points per £1 (3 points per £1 at Hilton Worldwide hotels).

Key perks: Hilton HHonors Silver status while you hold the card, and an upgrade to Gold status when you spend £10,000 on the card in a year. Plus 2,500 bonus Hilton HHonors points for each of your first four stay, provided that they are in the 12 months after after receiving the card.

Fee: Free, plus £26.25 cashback if you sign up for the card through the excellent (and free) Topcashback.

How do I get the bonus hotel stay?: You will receive an email from Hilton when you have reached the qualifying spend for the free night, and you need to telephone Hilton to redeem it.

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