I have just taken out the FREE American Express Preferred Rewards Gold credit card. In my humble opinion, this is the best card for luxury travellers right now. My reasoning is below.
The American Express Gold Card detailed below is free if you have an address in the UK.
If you are US based, the deal is even better; 25,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 in your first 3 months. Contact me if you would like me to refer you for the US Amex Gold Card via our Luxury Travel Concierge page. There is another free US card which we recommend here,which earns you enough miles to fly to Asia, Hawaii or Europe for free.
UK Gold Amex Sign-up Bonus
Amex Gold offers 22,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend £2,000 within 3 months. To get the full 22,000 points you must apply through a referral link (contact me if you would like me to refer you via our Luxury Travel Concierge page).
If you apply without a referral you only get 20,000 points.
Using Your Signup Bonus For Avios
22,000 points is the most generous free sign-up bonus on any free UK credit card.
You also receive 1 Membership Rewards point per £1 spent on the card. Foreign currency transactions and airline transactions earn 2 points per £1. Travel bookings made via the American Express Travel website, and paid for online, earn 3 points per £1.
There are many uses for the 22,000 Amex Membership Rewards, not least you can redeem them for an Amazon gift card, which will net you around 0.5p per point, so around £110 for the signup bonus.
For me, Avios has huge value. In fact, because I fly mainly within Europe, I get around £0.02 worth of value per Avios point (see my Avios valuation calculations).
22,0000 Amex Membership Rewards converts to 22,000 Avios which is worth £440 to me. The value you can achieve may well differ from mine, but even if you only value Avios at £0.01/Avios, you are still getting £220 worth of Avios FREE.
What Happens In Year 2?
In year two this card costs £140 per year, but you can cancel at any time and get a pro-rata refund of any fees. It is worth noting that you will receive 10,000 bonus Membership Rewards points each year when you renew your Amex Gold membership (which I value at £200), if you have spent £15,000 in the previous year.
You also receive two free airport lounge passes each membership year with your Amex Gold.
You will not get your sign-up bonus if you have held a Platinum, Gold or Green American Express charge card, or the Amex Rewards credit card, six months before you apply.
You will also receive the bonus if you are currently a supplementary cardholder on someone else’s Amex Gold or Platinum card.
You will get the sign-up bonus if you already have a BA Amex, SPG Amex, Platinum Cashback Amex or any Amex issued by Lloyds, MBNA or any other bank. This means that you may ALSO want to consider applying for the SPG Amex which will net you another 11,000 Avios (although there is a £75 Annual fee).
I also religiously use my Curve Card for non-amex purchases in the UK and at most high street retailers (largely the M&S food hall where I get 1.5-3% cashback). Get £5 free money for applying.
I also use my Curve Card for cash machine withdrawals outside the UK. Curve cash withdrawals are subject to a £2 fee plus 1% FX fee which is a great deal.
I have listed all the retail partners that you get a 1.5-3% cashback at on this review of the Curve Card.
If you want to pick up a travel bargain, you should read our 7 sensational secrets that ALL travellers should know (but probably don’t).
Disclosure: Our property, service and product reviews are sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own and are in no way influenced by the sponsor.