Applicable to UK residents only
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) gmail.com 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.
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)
This is a very comprehensive list, and spans all corners of the globe; you’ll have no trouble getting that dream redemption flight/stay.
- 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.
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.