With the recent changes to the Amex bonus sign-up offers it got us thinking… what now is the best way to maximise points as an amex newbie? Before it was relatively simple, if you don’t hold a card or haven’t in the 6 months previous earning the same reward currency you could be eligible for a new sign-up bonus… but what now?
This is my experience using the points system and is not a recommendation of any financial product. There are other credit cards which can earn you travel points including IHG credit card, Tesco Credit Cards (by exchanging Clubcard points for avios, hotel stays and more) & Virgin Atlantic credit card. If you email for a referral to an American Express card upon you being accepted I will receive points, this varies between 9,000 – 18,000 depending on the card I refer you from. I will inform you of the correct amount when you get in contact for a link.
What are the new rules?
NOW If you have held or hold a personal card from American Express in the past 24 months you aren’t eligible for a sign-up bonus from an American Express card. There are two major exceptions to this:
1) British Airways American Express Premium Plus Card
You cannot of held or currently hold an Avios earning card in the last 24 months to be eligible for a sign up bonus. You can hold another personal American Express card and still be eligible for the sign-up bonus.
2) The Platinum Card
You cannot of held or currently hold a Membership Reward points earning card in the last 24 months to be eligible for a sign up bonus. You can hold another personal American Express card and still be eligible for the sign-up bonus.
What if I already hold an Amex?
Unfortunately your options are quite limited. See our article on the new rules here. If you aren’t a high spender you may find it’s better to cancel all your cards and sign up every 24 months using this method to maximise your spend. If you have a partner you may find alternating between who holds the Amex cards will work for you. Also, as mentioned above you may wish to use a different card in the periods you don’t hold an Amex to earn other loyalty benefits.
So How To Maximise Points As An Amex Newbie?
With all the restrictions on sign-up bonuses there is now only one way to quickly maximise your points, as long as you haven’t held an Amex card in the last 24 months. All these cards have an annual fee which is currently pro rate refunded when you cancel:
Remember you will need to meet the relevant spend target to get your bonus points.
This is the method that earns the most points via sign-up bonuses.
Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) American Express Card (30,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points, 33,000 if referred – £1000 in 3 months) or the Nectar American Express Card (20,000 Nectar Points, 21,000 if referred – £2000 in 3 months) Personally I would choose the SPG card due to the wide range of uses you can use Marriott Bonvoy Points on including experiences, hotels (of course) and other travel partners.
American Express Platinum Card (30,000 Membership Reward Points, 35,000 if referred – £2000 in 3 months)
British Airways American Express Premium Plus Card (25,000 avios points, 26,000 if referred – £3000 in 3 months)
So what points would I have?
If you converted all your points to Avios it would leave you with 65,000 Avios or if you converted to Marriott Bonvoy it would leave you with 75,000 points and 25,000 Avios.
Remember if you have a partner who hasn’t had an Amex in the past 24 months you can follow these exact same steps with them. You’ll also get an additional 12,000 if you refer from your platinum card!
What route will you be taking with the new Amex sign-up bonus changes? Keep your cards or still churning? Let us know in the comments below!
We aren't financial experts, we write from a journalistic perspective, so please don't take anything we say as gospel. Seek independent advice as we can't accept liability if our tips/information aren't suitable for yourself.
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