TOP UK CREDIT CARDS FOR FREE FLIGHTS AND HOTELS
We recently posted an article on credit card churning for beginners.
In the article we explained the basics of playing the credit card game and illustrated how easy it is to rack up free flights, hotels and other amazing perks with minimal risk by simply paying for your regular expenses on the right credit card.
Today we look at the best cards currently on offer in the UK. We’ve kept the article brief to highlight our top picks – the cards you would be mad not to apply for.
UK credit card providers are traditionally quite stingy compared to their US counterparts when it comes to rewards. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing on offer. Play the game right and you can easily rack up enough credits for a return flight to a top European destination, complete with a free night at any Hilton and complimentary airport lounge access.
Sound interesting? Read on to get started:
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold Card
Ask any credit card expert in the UK what the best rewards best card is and without doubt, they’ll point you in the direction of the Amex Preferred Rewards Gold card. It’s the undisputed champion of UK rewards cards. We’ve covered this card before in an exclusive article but to reiterate – all you need to do is take out the card, spend £2000 in three months – and Amex will credit you 20000 points.
What you do with these points is up to you. The card offers impressive flexibility – points can be a distributed to a variety of reward programs such as British Airways Executive Club, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club or Starwood Preferred Guest. 20000 points would be enough points for a return flight to Barcelona from London, or two return trips to Paris on the Eurostar.
You’ll also get complimentary membership to Lounge Club – the scaled down version of Priority Pass and two free lounge passes. This is a nice little benefit and means you can really start your trip in style – there’s no better way to start a holiday than kicking back for in a boss airport lounge with an open bar and the grey goose flowing.
The key to this card is the fact that the £140 annual fee is waived in the first year – so as long as you cancel the card after 11 months, you’ll receive all the perks with no extra outlay on top of your regular spending. One important point of note – this is a charge card, not a credit card. This means the card MUST be paid off in full every month so only apply for this card if you will be able to pay off your balance. Obviously, with a required spending amount of £2000 it helps to apply for this card just before you have some large spending on the horizon –ie. long haul flights, hotels, a new Macbook, furniture etc.
Hilton Hhonors BarclayCard
This card is another favourite amongst credit card experts, due to its simple nature and low spending criteria.
The reward on offer is a free night at any Hilton owned property in the world. All you need to do is spend £750 in three months.
They also throw in Hilton silver membership while you have the card – which entitles you to free wifi and late checkout on your Hilton stays – a nice little extra perk.
This card also has no annual fee, so it’s a risk free proposition.
Sign up for the card, spend the £750, enjoy a night at a boss Hilton hotel such as the Hilton Maldives below and then either keep the card if it suits your needs, or simply cancel the card and move on to the next deal. It couldn’t be any easier.
MBNA Airlines Cards
Lastly, we’re going to throw out an honourable mention to the range of airline credit cards that MBNA have released.
We won’t go into full details here as there are eight different airline cards available and the welcome bonuses continually change, however they are definitely worth looking at.
There are cards linked to Virgin Atlantic, Emirates, Etihad, American Airlines and United Airlines.
If you’ve followed our amazing shortcut to get American Airlines Platinum status with as little as one flight, then the MBNA American Airlines card is a handy way to top up your miles with your regular spending.
You’ll receive 5000 miles just for signing up for the card (you actually receive an Amex and a Visa) and then 1.5 miles per pound spent on the Amex card. So your regular spending could go a long way towards boosting your AAdvantage points balance. Stick all your expenses on this card and you’ll soon be racking enough points to upgrade that next flight to a first class seat!
The full range of MBNA cards is available here:
So there you have it – our 5 minute guide to UK rewards credit cards that will boss up your travel in no time. See you in the airport lounge.