The latest news to help you get the most from your credit card.
Here’s my monthly update sharing changes for leading UK credit cards, as well as some of the relevant articles you might have missed on the blog.
July’s credit card update video
I go into more detail on some of this month’s updates in this video.
July credit card news
American Express revamps the Gold card
There are going to be some small but important changes to the American Express Preferred Rewards Gold credit card from 12 October 2022.
First, the annual fee (after year one, which remains free) will increase from £140 to £160. I’ve never been convinced this is worth it for most people, and at a higher price that remains the case unless you really take advantage of the extras.
Next, the annual bonus is changing. This is based on spending each year, which starts from when you opened the card. At the moment it’s 10,000 Amex Reward points if you spend £15,000 (worth £50 as a gift voucher or £80 as Nectar via Avios).
The new rule will stagger the bonus so you get 2,500 bonus points for each £5,000 you spend. Here’s how that’ll work:
|Spend||Bonus||Gift card value||Nectar points value (via Avios)|
This means lower spenders will now get something rather than nothing, but higher spenders will lose out, unless they spend £25,000 or more in the year in which case they’ll get more bonus points. The bonus points will be added to your account as soon as you reach the spending threshold.
Other changes is an increase of free Priority Pass lounge visits per year from two to four. I’m not sure this is worth paying for in year two, but you might see value there.
The other key Gold card feature unique to this card (£10 Deliveroo credit each month) stays the same.
There’s a boosted welcome offer that runs until 19 July 2022, offering 30,000 points rather than 20,000, or 35,000 if you use a refer-a-friend link. Here’s my review of the Preferred Rewards Gold Amex.
Barclaycard Avios+ card boost
Until 18 July 2022, new Barclaycard customers who apply for a Barclaycard Avios credit card (here’s my review) will be eligible for a boosted welcome offer.
|Card||Requirement||Normal bonus||Boosted bous||Value as Nectar points|
|Barclaycard Avios||Spend £1,000 in first three months||5,000||10,000||£80|
|Barclaycard Avios Plus||Spend £3,000 in first three months||25,000||50,000||£400|
If we assume you’ll swap the Avios earned for Nectar points (here’s how), the bonuses are worth either £80 on the free card or £400 on the Plus card. That’s on top of the points you’ll earn for the initial spending (worth £8 and £36 respectively).
However, the Plus version of the card does have a £20 monthly fee. Assuming you cancel the card once you’ve hit the bonus, and assuming that takes three months, this gives you a maximum profit of £376 from the bonus and spending points. It could obviously be less if you keep the card longer.
BA Amex Companion Vouchers change
I’m still to be convinced it’s worth paying the £250 annual fee and putting all your spending (£10,000 required) on the British Airways Premium Plus credit card in order to earn a 2-4-1 Companion Voucher.
Whenever I’ve looked at the points required to redeem one of these, there are some hefty extra tax and charges to pay on top, which I think makes it better to earn cashback elsewhere and have the freedom to pick and choose which airline you use.
But there’s a big change from 1 September 2022 worth sharing. You’ll be able to use newly issued vouchers for a single traveller. Instead of 2-4-1 seats on a flight, you’ll get 50% off the Avios part of your ticket. However you’ll still pay the full amount for taxes.
Barclaycard adds new Apple offer
If you have a Barclaycard (but not the Avios cards) then check your email and post to see if you’ve been invited to earn £10 cashback by adding your card to Apple Pay and using it for a spend of at least £1. I’ve written more about the deal here.
Meanwhile the offer of up to five months free Apple TV, Music and more for new cardholders has been extended to 24 September 2022.
Santander offers 1% cashback on overseas spending – but there’s a catch
If you have a Santander credit card and spend £500 or more in a foreign currency this summer, you’ll earn 1% cashback up to £100. There’s a massive problem with this offer.
Most Santander credit cards will charge a fee each time you use it abroad of around 2.95% (eg the Everyday card) or a monthly £3 fee (the All-in-One card). So even with the cashback you’re still losing out.
There are decent cards out there that don’t charge fees which work out better than this offer, including some which will earn you cashback on top of fee-free spending. The best ones can be seen in my travel spending guide here.
It’s possible you have an older Santander card that doesn’t charge fees, but for most this is a dud deal.
This month’s best credit cards
As always when talking about credit cards the best credit card for you will depend on your credit report and why you need one.
Make sure you read my rules for having and applying for a credit card. You’ll also find my list of the latest offers in the same article.
But assuming you’ve got a great credit report, don’t need one to clear existing debts and will clear the balance completely each month, these are my top picks:
Listen to Cash Chats, Andy’s twice-weekly podcast. Episodes every Tuesday and Friday.