Best UK Credit Card For American Airlines With A Referral Bonus


There are two particularly good UK credit cards to earn American Airlines AAdvantage air miles and we have included referral links for both below. Although the best way to earn American Airlines AAdvantage air miles is probably by flying on American and their partner airlines, if you apply for and use credit cards and you are based in England or the rest of the UK, you can collect enough miles to fly for free in Coach, Premium Economy, Business and First on American Airlines.

American Airlines branded credit cards are not available in the UK, that includes England and Scotland. Fortunately, you can earn plenty of points by using other credit cards and transferring them to your AAdvantage account. If you play the game right, you can fly in American Airlines Business Class for free.

We have already detailed the best American Airlines credit card for AAdvantage miles but there are two that are worth taking advantage of and that you should apply for if you want to boost your Skywards balance.

Is There An American Airlines AAdvantage Branded Credit Card

No There isn’t. MBNA used to offer an American Airlines AAdvantage UK credit cards but they closed this card along with their Etihad Guest and Emirates cards. This is a shame as over the years there were some super generous sign-up bonuses to take advantage of but all is not lost. There are still two great cards to collect American Airlines AAdvantage air miles. They are just not branded as American Airlines but this makes no difference. You can still collect American Airlines AAdvantage air miles with your sign up bonus AND ongoing with your usual spend on groceries etc.

Sign up With American Airlines AAdvantage to Start Earning Miles

American Airlines AAdvantage is the frequent flyer program run by American Airlines. The first thing you must do is enrol in American Airlines AAdvantage for free and begin earning miles right away.

Take Out A Starwood Credit Card

Even if you have the Amex Gold card you can also apply for and get the bonus for the Marriot/Starwood points credit card. This card will soon earn you the rebranded Marriott Bonvoy™ points and these points can be converted into airline miles.

This credit card is the best American Airlines credit card for AAdvantage miles because you earn 1.25 Airmiles per 1GBP Spent. This is the best ongoing AA miles earning rate of any UK card at the time of writing this article.

If you want to apply for this card and drop me an email and I can supply you with a referral to get you 33,000 points if you spend 1,000GBP in the first 3 months of membership (you get 3,000 more points with my referral than just applying direct).

Get 1.25 Airmiles per 1GBP Spent

To earn 1.25 Airmiles per 1GBP Spent you need to transfer 60,000 points in bulk and you will get 25,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles which includes a 5,000 bonus. This values the FREE sign up bonus on this card, which is 33,000 points, at up to 275GBO of in air miles (There is a *1,000GBP min spend and your mile valuation may be different from mine).

This means that the ongoing earning rate is 1.25 American Airlines AAdvantage miles per 1 GBP spend if you transfer your miles in bulk.

Why Apply?

This credit card has some major benefits in addition to offering a nice load of Marriott Bonvoy™ points when you hit your spend target.

Key features

33,000 points if you spend 1,000GBP in the first 3 months. This is a GREAT signup bonus! You must drop me an email for a referral to get the 33,000 points. Order direct and you only get 30,000.
75GBP annual fee (can be cancelled at any time and you will get a pro-rata refund of the fees).
Earn 3 points per 1GBP spent. I value 3 points at $0.04 or 0.03GBP.

The other key features of this card are that you can earn 6 points for every 1GBP of eligible purchases charged to your card at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels. Valid until 31 December 2019.

You automatically get Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status that gives you 10% more points on every eligible hotel purchase, Priority Late Checkout, a dedicated phone line for Elite members and our Ultimate Reservation Guarantee.

You get an upgrade to Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status once you make 15,000GBP in eligible purchases on your Card in an anniversary year.

You get a Free Night Award when you spend 25,000GBP on your Card each anniversary year. The award can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 25,000 points) at a participating hotel. Certain hotels have resort fees.

The Cost Of The Card Is More Than Offset By The Bonus

The SPG card costs 75GBP per anum but the fee is easily offset by the 33,000 Bonvoy points. The annual fee is refundable pro-rata.

Take Out The FREE Amex Gold Credit Card

Apply for the FREE Amex Gold and convert the signup bonus into Alitalia MilleMiglia (1 Membership Rewards point = 1 MilleMiglia mile), Asia Miles Asia Miles
(1 Membership Rewards Point = 1 Asia Miles), British Airways Executive Club Avios (1 Membership Rewards point = 1 Avios), Delta SkyMiles (1000 Membership Rewards points = 1000 SkyMiles®), Emirates Emirates Skywards (1 Membership Rewards point = 1 Skywards mile), Etihad Airways Etihad Guest (1 Membership Rewards Point = 1 Etihad Guest mile), Finnair Finnair Plus (1 Membership Rewards point = 1 Finnair Plus point), Flying Blue (1 Membership Rewards point = 1 Flying Blue mile), Iberia Plus (1 Membership Rewards point = 1 Avios), SAS EuroBonus (1 Membership Rewards point = 1 EuroBonus Points), Singapore KrysFlyer (1 Membership Rewards point = 1 KrisFlyer mile) and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club (1 Membership Rewards point = 1 Flying Club mile).

As you can see, Amex points do not transfer to American Airlines. However, you can book American flights by transferring points to the British Airways Avios program, but you often have to call to book awards as not all awards show up on the BA website, which isn’t ideal

If you apply for the Amex Gold Card you get 22,000 bonus membership rewards when you apply and spend 2,000GBP in 3 months. Drop me an email to get the 22,000 rewards. Apply direct and you only get 20,000 rewards.

The Amex Gold costs you nothing in year 1 and so you can get hold of this bonus without paying any credit card fees whatsoever (you should always pay your credit card off in full). This bonus is worth 22,000 British Airways air miles.

If you have the American Express Gold Card you also earn 1 Membership Rewards point per 1GBP spent which converts to 1 Avios mile. As you can see, this card is a great FREE way to earn avios miles with the spend target bonus of 22,000, but it is not the best way to earn these miles ongoing as the Starwood card earns 1.5 Airlines AAdvantage mile per GBP spent.

Is There Another Way To Fly AA On Miles?

Yes! Collect Avios and book on AA via the British Airways website! Mileage rates can differ but in the UK, you have many more options for collecting Avios in the UK than you do AA miles. On the New York route, American Airlines Business Class currently costs 60,000 Avios Vs British Airways Business Class costing 50,000 Avios. They have the same taxes and fees. Find out whether you should book AA or BA with your Avios. Avios offer a good way to fly about within America too.

How To Collect Avios

Firstly, make sure all your purchases are made via the Avios estore to collect Avios on your day-to-day spend. There are loads of Avios to be earned from Apple products and Ralph Lauren to flower purchases.

You can read my American Airlines flight reviews in Business Class to judge whether it is worth splashing out your miles on upgrading:

American Airlines Business Class Reviews

American Airlines B777-300ER First Class Review New York to London

In "Transport"

I flew in a Boeing 777-300ER (B77W) of American Airlines (AA) transatlantic overnight from New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK) to London’s Heathrow Airport (LHR) in the First Class cabin. As a comparison, read my trip report of Business… Read More.

American Airlines Super Diamond Business Class Review

In "Transport"

In May 2016, American Airlines launched their new Super Diamond design for its long haul Business Class cabin. These new seats will be installed in the upcoming Boeing Dreamliners and the Airbus A350 that American has on order as well… Read More.

American Airlines B777-300ER Business Class Review

In "Transport"

This trip report is from the new American Airlines (AA) Boeing 777-300ER from Los Angeles (LAX) to London Heathrow (LHR) which I flew March 2015. The Boeing 777-300ER is AA’s largest wide-body plane and is currently being introduced in AA’s… Read More.

Flight Review: American Airlines Business Class On 787-9 Dreamliner

In "Transport"

In this report, I review my flight DFW-MAD on American Airlines in their Super Diamond Business Class seat and cabin on their new 787-9 Dreamliners. These seats are the main feature of their new long haul Business Class cabin and… Read More.

Please note that Luxury Travel Diary is not a financial advisory website. Readers should make their own decision on whether a card is appropriate for their circumstance.

Reviews within this content are solely the opinion of the author and have not been sponsored, influenced, or reviewed by American Express.