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Two free BA return flights to the UK and lounge access – with American Express

To date, Malta has not been a good place for credit card sign up bonuses. In short, there have been none. That has all now changed, courtesy of an offer run by the American Express Platinum International Currency Card (ICC card).

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Before I start the slightly complex explanation of how to get yourself the two free flights, I should emphasise two things:

  1. MaltaPoints makes no commission whatsoever from anyone who signs up to this card. We are not an affiliate of or agent for American Express, and we write this post with full editorial independence. We are simply highlighting this offer because it is a good deal – there is no commercial incentive for us in doing so.
  2. You need an annual household income of €65,000 or over to qualify for the Amex Platinum card. If you don’t qualify on this basis, read below for the benefits of the Amex Green ICC card.

The American Express Platinum ICC card is currently offering a massive 60,000 Membership Reward point bonus for new sign ups (i.e. anyone who has not owned an Amex ICC card in the past six months) who make any spend on the card. 60,000 Membership Rewards points can be converted to 40,000 Avios (BA frequent flyer points), which is enough for two economy return flights between Malta and Gatwick (+£35 in capped fees and taxes per return), or one business class return flight (+£35 in capped fees and taxes).

The American Express Platinum ICC card also includes the following benefits:

  • VIP airport lounge access – Complimentary Priority Pass membership for the main cardmember, their Platinum Supplementary, plus one guest each at no extra cost (MLA’s La Valette lounge is included)
  • Comprehensive Worldwide Travel Insurance Benefits for the main cardmember and their family
  • Gold VIP Tier Starwood Preferred Guest programme, Club Carlson Gold Elite Status and Accor Platinum Status, alongside enrolment in Hertz #1 Club Gold and Avis Prestige.

What’s the catch?

Two key issues are as follows:

  1. As noted above, you need to have an annual household income of €65,000 to qualify for the card.
  2. The Platinum card costs €550 a year. However, this is not an issue in the slightest. You can simply take out the card, make a spend, get your 60,000 Membership Rewards points, convert them to 40,000 Avios, and then cancel the card for a pro-rata refund of the €550 fee. You will even retain the VIP airport lounge access and hotel VIP statuses for the full year.

How do I apply?

Simply apply through this link (not an affiliate link: as noted above, we receive nothing for you applying). As BOV are the issuer of Amex cards in Malta, it may be that you can also apply for the card by visiting a branch of BOV. However, if you apply through this route, be sure to confirm with them that you will receive the 60,000 Membership Reward point bonus.

How do I get the Avios points?

Once you receive your Amex Platinum card, you’ll need to phone Amex (Malta number: 2275 2639) to set up your Membership Rewards account.

You will of course need to open an Avios account with BA Executive Club (if you don’t already have one) to ensure you can convert the 60,000 Membership Reward points into 40,000 Avios (then book your flights).

When you have made your first spend, and the 60,000 points land in your Membership Reward account (for which you will have online access), you can then convert them to 40,000 Avios online.

How do I cancel the Platinum card?

Once you have received the 60,000 bonus Membership Rewards points, and have safely converted them to 40,000 Avios in your BA Executive Club account, simply phone Amex to cancel.

Regardless of the above, we strongly recommend that you do all your Malta spending on an Amex ICC card, as you earn 1 Membership Reward point (0.66 Avios) per €1 spent in Malta. As such, if you do not meet the eligibility criteria, or want to cancel the Platinum card to avoid paying the €550 annual fee, then we suggest you merely convert to an Amex Green card (which requires a €35,000 annual household income).

Crucially, there is no point in getting this card if you do not pay off your balance in full, on a monthly basis. The fees and interest you will pay will far outweigh the benefits received.

Anything else?

You should of course note that Amex’s Membership Rewards is a fully-fledged reward scheme, offering numerous points-spending options. You do not have to spend the 60,000 points on 40,000 Avios, although this is a good use of them if you’re Malta based. Similarly, if you do convert them to Avios, you don’t have to spend these on MLA-LGW flights, although again it is the obvious use for someone who is Malta-based.

If you have any questions on the above, feel free to put them in the comments section.

MaltaPoints is not a financial adviser and this post is not, and should not be construed as, financial advice. Our recommendations are based primarily on the ability to earn miles and points at minimal spend, and we do not therefore consider or compare such peripheral matters as interest rates, service levels or any impact on your credit history.


2 Comments

  1. Flyer says:

    is this open to US resident as well who make salary in USD ($)?

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