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.
October’s credit card & BNPL update video
I go into more detail on some of this month’s updates in this video.
October’s credit card & BNPL news
HUGE Up to 150,000 Avios points via Barclays & Barclaycard promotion
A new offer could net you 150,000 in Avios points, worth £1,200 in Nectar points – though there are fees that’ll reduce this and other restrictions that could rule you out. Here’s what you need to know.
The new deal is a 100,000 bonus Avios points on offer to customers who open both the Barclaycard Avios Plus credit card or the Barclays Premier current account with Avios Rewards.
If you have one of these already and apply successfully for the other, you’ll also get those points added. But if you already have both then you’re out of luck and won’t be able to claim the 100,000 bonus.
You need to keep both open for at least four months, starting from when you opened the second product. It can take up to eight weeks for the points to be sent once you hit the requirements. So, presumably, this means it could take up to six months. This offer ends 30 November 2022.
The additional 50,000 points come from existing offers worth 25,000 with each product. These are welcome offers so you’ll only get them if you’re new customers and meet the conditions.
The Barclaycard Avios Plus welcome bonus is triggered when you spend £3,000 in three months on your new card. Though that’s just for newbies, existing Barclaycard customers should check the “change your card” section of their app or online account to see if there’s a smaller bonus available to them. I’m eligible for a 5,000 Avios bonus via the same £5,000 spend in three months.
This card comes with a £20 a month fee, so if you keep it for just four months you’ll spend £80. I’ve written a review of this card, and the offer conditions, here, so so check that out.
The other 25,000 is earned if you switch your bank account to a Barclaycard Premier account and activate Avios Rewards within four months of joining Barclays. Existing Barclays customers will be ruled out.
You also can’t have had a switching offer from Barclays before or have Blue Rewards (currently offering 5.12% on savings of up to £5,000). For these existing customers the bonus is a smaller 2,500 Avios points.
What makes this part of the offer even more complicated is you’ll only be eligible for the account if you earn more than £75,000 a year or have £100,000 invested or saved with Barclays. It does look like you might be able to get the account for a £20 monthly fee instead, though that’s not guaranteed.
There’s also a monthly fee for Avios Rewards. It’ll cost £12 a month, though in return you’ll get 15,000 Avios points. Converted to Nectar points they’re worth £12, so it cancels out the fee, though of course you’ve got to use the Avios or Nectar points.
So loads of conditions… is it worth it? Well if you can get both accounts and all three bonuses, that 150,000 points, when converted to Nectar, is worth £1,200. To be safe, let’s assume you keep the credit card for six months, that’s £120 to deduct. And since you can’t have Blue Rewards, it’s also worth factoring in the loss of £123 which you’d earn in 6 months from the 5.12% interest there.
Which leaves you with a profit of £977 as Nectar points. That is very, very good. But you need to be happy with having so many Nectar points.
And if you want to keep them as Avios you’ll not just have 150,000 points, you’ll have potentially six months of the Avios Rewards points, totalling a massive 210,000.
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New boosted Amex Gold welcome bonus
Until 8 November 2022 new applicants for the American Express Preferred Rewards Gold credit card will earn 30,000 Amex points rather than the usual 20,000. That’s increased to 32,000 if you go via refer-a-friend link.
You do have to spend £3,000 in three months to trigger the bonus (and earn another point per £1 spent, so giving you another 3,000 points). And as with most other Amex card you can’t have had an Amex in your name in the last two years.
If you swap the points into Avios then Nectar, 33,000 is worth £264 and 35,000 is worth £280. There’s a £160 annual fee, though you don’t pay that in year one. More details in my Amex offer guide.
New Amex Gold bonus rules begin
As reported in July, the new annual fee of £160 and additional bonus levels began on 12 October. The table below shows the spending thresholds to trigger the extra points. Read the details in that month’s update.
|Spend||Bonus||Gift card value||Nectar points value (via Avios)|
American Express Platinum deals to end
It’s your last chance to get a boosted Amex Platinum welcome bonus as the deal ends on 23 October 2022. It’s open to both new and existing Amex cardholders, unless you’ve had the Platinum, Gold or Rewards card in the last 24 months
The offer, as I detailed in August, is a cracker: 60,000 Amex points and £200 travel credit. On top of that there’s £150 UK dining credit and £100 Harvey Nicks credit each year.
If you swap the points you earn (including the 4,000 points you’ll get for the £4,000 spend) into Avios and then into Nectar points, the bonuses are worth £352 and £192 respectively. Factor in £200 from the dining and Harvey Nicks deals either side of the new year, and that’s pretty decent.
But as I detailed in my Platinum review, there’s a huge £575 annual fee to take into account, though there are ways to reduce that.
Amex Platinum airport lounge issues
I’m not convinced it’s worth paying a card fee to get access to airport lounges (unless you’re a frequent flyer). However with many people taking advantage of the Amex Platinum welcome and dining credit offers, it’s worth sharing that I’ve seen numerous reports of lounges not allowing Priority Pass holders (which comes free with the Amex) entry.
If this happens to you it might be worth contacting Amex customer services and complaining to see if they’ll offer any compensation. I’ve seen a few people say they’ve succeeded, and others failed, so it’ll likely depend who you talk to.
John Lewis card open to new applications
It’s once again possible to apply for a John Lewis Partnership credit card. Though it’s now issued by Newday rather than HSBC, and has a new look, it’s still the same rate for earning points. You’ll get 5 points per £4 spent at John Lewis and Waitrose (worth 1.25%, and 1 point per £4 spend at other retailers (worth 0.25%).
However if you apply before 31 December 2022, you’ll get triple points (15 points for every £4) in John Lewis in Waitrose in the first 90 days. That’s 3.75% back. Apply here.
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.
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:
Andy’s Top Three Credit Cards (October 2022)
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