The 7 best UK card sign-up bonuses

Mar 9, 2021

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We love miles and points and the near-endless travel opportunities they can open up. That dream trip you’ve been thinking of can be closer within reach thanks to points and miles.

One of the best ways to give your mileage balance a big boost is with a sign-up or welcome bonus from a credit card. Many credit cards offer a one-time bonus in order to incentivise people to apply for their products. Generally, they vary from issuer to issuer and product to product, but for the most sought-after cards in the U.K., you can expect to haul in several thousand points.

Based on our monthly valuation of the points you can receive from obtaining the bonus, here are the best bonuses for individuals or small businesses available right now.

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In This Post

1. The Platinum Card from American Express

Welcome bonus: Earn 30,000 Membership Rewards points after spending £4,000 in the first three months. Based on TPG U.K.’s most recent valuations, the 30,000 Membership Rewards points are worth £420.

Earning rate: 1 Membership Reward point per £1 spent on all purchases; 2 Membership Rewards points per £1 spent with American Express Travel.

Other key benefits: The benefits are incredibly comprehensive and include complimentary Priority Pass membership, Centurion Lounge access, access to the Amex Fine Hotels and Resorts programme, purchase protection, worldwide annual travel insurance, concierge services, Addison Lee credits, elite status at a number of hotel chains including Hilton, Marriott and Radisson, elite status at Avis and Hertz for car hire and a supplementary cardholder for free gets all the benefits, too. It’s worth noting that some of the insurance benefits require enrollment.

Representative example and annual fee: This card is a charge card, rather than a credit card, so it has no spending limit or APR, but you must pay off the balance in full each month. There is an annual fee of £575.

You can apply for this card here.

Further reading:

(Photo by Josh Gribben/The Points Guy)

2. Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard Credit Card

Sign-up bonus: Earn 15,000 Virgin Points after making your first purchase within 90 days of account opening. Based on TPG’s most recent valuations, 15,000 Virgin Points are worth £180.

Earning rate: 1.5 Virgin Atlantic Virgin Points per £1 spent on everyday purchases; 3 Virgin Points per £1 spent with Virgin Atlantic or Virgin Holidays.

Other key benefits: You’ll unlock a Virgin Atlantic reward after spending £10,000 annually. Options vary, depending on the level of status you have with Flying Club. The value of the Virgin Atlantic reward is highest if you’re a Flying Club Gold member, where you can effectively get a companion voucher on any redemption flight in any cabin of service.

Representative example and annual fee: This card has a representative APR of 63.9% variable, and a purchase rate of 22.9% variable with an assumed credit limit of £1,200. There is an annual fee of £160.

You can apply for this card here.

Further reading:

(Photo by Josh Gribben/The Points Guy)

3. British Airways American Express Premium Plus Credit Card

Welcome bonus: 25,000 British Airways Avios after spending £3,000 in the first three months. Based on our most recent valuations, those 25,000 Avios are worth £275.

Earning rate: 1.5 Avios per £1 spent on all purchases; 3 Avios per £1 spent directly with British Airways or BA Holidays.

Other key benefits: 2-for-1 Companion Voucher earned after £10,000 in annual spend on the card. The Companion Voucher is the most valuable credit card benefit out there, allowing you to take a companion with you on the same flight and in the same cabin when you redeem Avios for a BA reward flight. Of course, taxes, fees and other carrier charges still apply to the companion. When earned with this card, the Voucher is valid for two years.

Representative example and annual fee: This card has an APR of 74.7% variable and a purchase rate of 22.2% variable with an assumed credit limit of £1,200. There is an annual fee of £195.

You can apply for this card here.

Further Reading:

(Photo by Josh Gribben/The Points Guy)

4. Premier World Elite Mastercard From HSBC UK

Welcome bonus: 40,000 HSBC points after spending £2,000 in the first 90 days. These can be converted to Avios, Etihad, Asia Miles Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles at a rate of 2:1. Based on our valuations, the 40,000 points are worth £240.

Earning rate: 2 HSBC Rewards points per £1 spent on all purchases in GBP; 4 HSBC points per £1 spent in foreign currencies.

Other key benefits: The card comes with a premium LoungeKey membership, which is similar to the Priority Pass programme, with complimentary membership to more than 750 airport lounges worldwide. It also comes with iPass, which grants cardholders access to millions of Wi-Fi networks in more than 120 countries.

Representative example and annual fee: 59.3% APR variable and a purchase rate of 18.9% per annum variable with an assumed credit limit of £1,200. There is an annual fee of £195.

You can apply for this card here.

Further Reading:

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

5. The Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card

Welcome bonus: 20,000 Marriott Bonvoy points after spending £3,000 in the first three months. Based on our valuations, those are worth £140.

Earning rate: 2 Bonvoy points per £1 spent on all purchases; 10 Bonvoy points per £1 spent at Marriott Group properties (through 31 March 2021, and 6 points per £1 thereafter).

Other key benefits: You will receive 15 Elite Night Credits upon approval. You will also automatically receive Gold elite status when spending £15,000 on this card each year. There are also travel inconvenience, accident and purchase and refund protections included.

Representative example and annual fee: This card has an APR of 38.8% variable and a purchase rate of 22.2% variable with an assumed credit limit of £1,200. There is an annual fee of £75.

You can apply for this card now.

Further Reading:

6. American Express Preferred Rewards Gold Credit Card

Welcome bonus: Earn 20,000 Membership Rewards points after spending £3,000 in the first three months. Based on our valuations, those are worth £280.

Earning rate: 1 Membership Rewards point per £1 spent on all purchases; 2 Membership Rewards points per £1 on airline purchases; 3 Membership Rewards points per £1 spent with American Express Travel.

Other key benefits: You’ll get two passes to visit airline lounges in the Priority Pass network each year. Each year that you spend at least £15,000 on the card, you’ll get 10,000 bonus Membership Rewards points — worth £140.

Representative example and annual fee: This card has an APR of 56.6% variable and a purchase rate of 22.2% variable with an assumed credit limit of £1,200. There is an annual fee of £140, though it is waived for the first year.

You can apply for this card now.

Further Reading:

(Photo by Liam Spencer/The Points Guy)

7. The American Express Business Platinum Card

Welcome bonus: Earn 40,000 Membership Reward-point welcome bonus after spending £6,000 in the first three months. Based on TPG U.K.’s most recent valuations, the 40,000 Membership Rewards points are worth £560.

Earning rate: 1 Membership Reward point per £1 spent on all purchases; 2 Membership Rewards points per £1 spent with American Express Travel.

Other key benefits: The benefits are incredibly comprehensive and include complimentary Priority Pass membership, Centurion Lounge access, access to the Amex Fine Hotels and Resorts programme, purchase protection, worldwide annual travel insurance, concierge services, a complimentary annual digital subscription to The Times and The Sunday Times, which is worth £312 per year, elite status at a number of hotel chains including Hilton, Marriott and Radisson, elite status at Avis and Hertz for car hire and a supplementary cardholder for free gets all the benefits, too.

Representative example and annual fee: This card is a charge card, rather than a credit card, so it has no spending limit or APR, but you must pay off the balance in full each month. There is an annual fee of £595.

You can apply for this card here.

Further reading:

(Featured image by Josh Gribben/The Points Guy)

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.