Applicable to UK residents only

Key Facts:

Annual Fee: £0 for first year, then £140.

Sign-up bonus: 20,000 points (!!) when you spend £2,000 in the first three months – this is an extremely generous offer from Amex, considering that the card is free for the first year. There is an increased bonus of 22,000 miles if you’re referred by a existing cardholder; email me at thatairlineguybusiness (at) for a link to this increased bonus.

Bear in mind that if you’ve had another American Express charge card in the past 6 months (i.e. Platinum, Gold or Green), you will not be eligible for the bonus.

If you don’t think your day-to-day spending rate will sum to £2,000 in three months, I would advise waiting til you are about to purchase an expensive item before signing up for the American Express Preferred Rewards Gold Card – it loses a lot of its value and usefulness if you don’t trigger the sign-up bonus. Remember, if you’re at £1,800 with a few days left, you can always buy a £200 gift card and use it at a later date to ease you over the limit.

The card also offers 10,000 bonus points if you spend £15,000 in a year. If this is something you could feasibly do, consider keeping the card til past the anniversary mark, and then cancelling it when the bonus comes through. Although you’ll have triggered the £140 sign-up bonus, Amex offers a monthly pro-rata refund if you cancel throughout the year. Therefore you will be refunded 11/12ths of the annual fee, meaning you’ve effectively bought 10,000 points for ~0.12p each. This is a bargain considering air-miles are generally worth about 1p if spent correctly.

Earning rates:

You earn 1 Amex Membership Reward Point (MRP) per pound spent virtually anywhere, and 2 MRPs per pound spent on airlines, foreign currency transactions and bookings at American Express Travel.

MRPs can be transferred 1-to-1 with the following frequent flyer programs:

  • Air France KLM Flying Blue
  • Alitalia MilleMiglia program
  • Asia Miles
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Delta SkyMiles®
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Etihad Guest
  • Finnair Plus
  • Iberia Plus
  • SAS EuroBonus
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

And the following hotel chains in the following ratios (MRP:Hotel Point):

  • Club Carlson (1:3)
  • Hilton HHonours (1:2)
  • Starwood Preferred Guest (2:1)
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This is a very comprehensive list, and spans all corners of the globe; you’ll have no trouble getting that dream redemption flight/stay.

Other benefits:

  • Two complimentary lounge visits (via Lounge Club) per year.
  • USD $75 hotel credit and a room upgrade where available at over 350 global hotels.
  • 10% off Hertz base car rental rates, car upgrade where available and free additional driver.

Final thoughts

This card is great for beginners looking to get started in the world of churning air-miles. I would struggle to justify the £140 fee for the card. The ongoing earning rate is average at best. However, the sign-up bonus is the most generous of any free card out there, and could easily be worth £200 if redeemed correctly, while the other perks are icing on the cake.