Debenhams and Fenwick join the Amex and Foursquare Offer (£25 refund on £50 spend)

DebenhamsDebenhams and Fenwick have today joined the American Express and Foursquare offer I wrote about earlier this week. In both cases, you get a £25 for spending £50 in each store. As explained in my previous post, you can create and sync each American Express (and supplementary card) to its own Foursquare account (creating new ones as required) and you’ll get a £25 statement credit for each £50 spend on each card.

If theFenwickre is nothing specific you want to buy in store, the recommendation is to get a gift-card and top it up with £50 with each of your Amex cards – you can then buy whatever you want beyond the end date of the offer (March) and effectively get a 50% discount on all purchases up to the value of the gift cards you buy or top-up.

If you do not already have an American Express card, now would be a good time to apply for one, to maximise your benefits in this offer, and to use in the many regular offers that arrive with theses cards.

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31,000 Avios with BA American Express Credit Card

British AirwaysUpdate: BA have changed this offer and the bonus is now 19,000 Avios.

Amex and BA have significantly increased the bonus Avios you receive for being referred for the British Airways Premium Plus Credit Card. This offer used to provide 19,000 Avios, but was recently reduced to 7,000 Avios.

However, Amex has today increased the bonus to a whopping 31,000 Avios!

To apply for the card, simply follow this link or visit this page for more details.

Amex Platinum Charge Card – New Benefits Announced (UK)

Amex Platinum Card

American Express has started sending out the letters announcing the new benefits Platinum charge cardholder get for the increased annual fee of £450.

Some of the benefits are pretty good, such as Cathay Pacific Gold status, access to Cathay Pacific and OneWorld business lounges, allowing guests into Priority Pass lounges and automatic elite tier status with various hotel and car rental programs.

So, the card does still provide some great benefits, despite the increase in the annual fee, and the bonus 42,000 Membership Reward points for applying for the card still make that fee worthwhile, even if you later cancel the card and receive a pro-rata annual fee refund. However, whether the card is worth keeping once you have the 42,000 points bonus will have to be each individuals own decision based on their circumstances.

We are still digesting the full content of the letter, an example of which is below:

Amex Platinum Charge Card Fee Increase (UK)

Amex Platinum Card

As we reported last week, Amex has increased the annual fee on its Platinum Charge card by 50% to an eye-watering £450 per year!

There are apparently a whole swathe of new benefits coming with the card, rumoured to be things like a free round of golf or 6 guest Priority Pass vouchers, but Amex will have to do better than that to make this increase worthwhile to most people, particularly since the changes to the insurance benefits at the end of last year.

We still believe it is worth new cardholders applying for the card to earn the 42,000 Membership Reward points, and once they have the points in their account, cancel the card to receive a pro-rata refund on the annual fee, but people should think long and hard as to whether this card is one they want to keep year-on-year.

Amex Increasing UK Platinum Charge Card Fee?

Amex Platinum CardUpdate: This increase in the annual fee has been confirmed. More information here.

We’ve been long-time advocates of the Amex Platinum Charge card and the 42,000 Membership Rewards it gives for its £300 annual fee. The Membership rewards can then be converted into 42,000 British Airways Avios or BMI miles and the card gives a host of other benefits such as top-tier travel insurance, lounge access (via free Priority Pass), Cathay Pacific Gold Tier status and hotel tier benefits, amongst others.

However, according to the UK Amex website, the fee for this card is to increase by a huge 50% to £450 – almost unbelievable.

However, the referral link, still says that the annual fee is £300, so if still deciding on whether to sign up, you might want to make your mind up soon. If you do, you’d also be recommended to take some screenshots of the process.

An alternative idea is to take out the card and then once you have received the Membership Rewards points, transfer them to your airline scheme and then cancel the card for a pro-rata refund of the annual fee. eg, after 6 months, you’d get £150 back, based on the £300 fee.

Free Avios Opportunity (UK) – BA Parent Company Buys BMI

Diamond Club

On Friday, the European Commission gave approval for IAG, British Airways’ parent company, to purchase BMI (British Midland Internation) from the Lufthansa Group. While BMI is expected to fly its existing routes through this summer, it has been reported that integration will happen relatively quickly and BA has already stated that it intends to integrate the BMI flights into the BA brand.

The one thing that has not been clarified yet is what is going to happen to the Diamond Club, the BMI Frequent Flyer program, but there is a very good chance that the scheme will be merged into the BA Executive Club.

So, for those willing to take a little bit of a gamble, this gives us an opportunity. Similar to the BA branded Amex Credit Card, BMI has its own credit cards and you can get bonus miles for applying and being accepted. You get 20,000 BMI miles for taking out the free card, or 24,000 miles for taking out the one with the £85 annual fee.

If you’ve got an OK credit rating, and are not concerned about another search on your record, it really is a bit of a no-brainer to apply for the free card, and there’s a very good chance that the BMI miles will be converted into Avios, hopefully on a 1-to-1 basis.

You can see more information on the cards, and apply for one, here:

http://www.flybmi.com/bmi/en-gb/loyalty-programmes/credit-card/credit-card.aspx

If you’re looking for other ways to increase your mile balance, also check out this post.

(Almost) Free 42,000 Membership Reward Points (UK)

Amex Platinum Card

Update (August 2013): The bonus for the American Express Platinum card is now 35,000 points, still a great deal.

Update (February 2013): American Express have increased the bonus for taking out this card to a whopping 52,000 Membership Rewards points. 

Update (2012): American Express have now increase the annual fee on this card to an eye-watering £450 per year. They are also adding new benefits but it is still worth getting the card just for the 42,000 Membership Reward points sign-up bonus. More details here.

American Express have a fantastic offer of 42,000 bonus Membership Reward points for taking out their Platinum Charge Card, when you are referred by an existing cardholder.

I am a UK Platinum Cardholder and I would be very happy to refer anyone who  would like to take out the Platinum card. You don’t even have to provide any information to anyone else, but simply follow this link, where you can see the 42,000 offer:

https://www.americanexpress.com/uk/platinum

Once you have the 42,000 Membership reward points, its a simple online process to convert them, on a 1:1 basis, into Avios or BMI miles, or into one of the many other airline frequent flyer programs.

You can also cancel the card after you have received Membership Rewards points and have transferred them to your favourite airline scheme. You then get a pro-rata refund of the annual fee. eg, after 6 months, you’d get £150 back, based on the £300 fee.

The American Express Platinum Card

I have held the Platinum card for over two years now and travel several times a year and can honestly say it is a brilliant card to have and an absolute must if you travel regularly. It is not a credit card, but a charge card which gives you around 30 days interest-free. You simply have to pay off the balance each month and therefore incur no interest charges.

For the £300 annual fee you also get a free Priority Pass card, which gives you free access to hundreds of airport lounges around the world. This alone is worth nearly £260.

Another great benefit is the top level travel insurance which removes the need for any other annual policy and also covers anyone travelling with  with you. This policy also covers anywho who has a supplementary cardholder on your account, so you can, for example, give a supplementary card to your parents and they are covered under the same policy!

You can also get Hilton Gold Status, the equivalent with Raddison, Starwood, Hertz and others and a 24-7 concierge free of charge. I have used this to arrange gifts for  business clients, booking tickets to sold our concerts and to get tables at restaurants with several month waiting lists.

You also have access to the Amex Fine Hotels of the World Programme,  benefits such as complimentary room upgrades and guaranteed early check in and 4pm checkout, as well as perks like fast track airport security at some airport just for showing your Platinum card.

Finally, for those without Elite status with a OneWorld airline, the card allows you to get free Cathay Pacific Gold status, which is equivalent to BA Silver or OneWorld Sapphire. This status tier brings all sorts of benefits such as free lounge access to OneWorld lounges and the ability to select seats for free on certain airlines in advance of those without status.

Amex  also regularly run offers  where you can exchange your Membership Rewards points for airline frequent flyer points, such as BA’s Avios, with 30%, 40%, 50% or even 100% bonuses!

I honestly could not recommend this card highly enough.

If you’d like the bonus 42,000 miles and are UK based, please follow this link:

https://www.americanexpress.com/uk/platinum

More information about the card can be found here.