40,000 Avios From Amex Platinum (UK) – Limited Time Deal

a card with a silver card

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For the next three days (until 18 November) the UK version of the American Express Platinum Charge Card is offering an increased sign-up bonus of 40,000 American Express Membership Rewards points after you spend £2,000 in the first 90 days of having the card.

The regular sign-up bonus for this card is 30,000 points and this can be boosted to 35,000 points if another UK American Express cardholder refers you. Importantly, it would seem that this increased offer will not work alongside a referral so the maximum bonus is the advertised 40,000 points.

The UK American Express Platinum Charge Card comes with an annual fee of £450 – which doesn’t compare well to its US equivalent which costs $450 – but there’s not very much you can do about that!

Criteria & Rules For Application

To be eligible to apply for a UK American Express Platinum Charge Card you need an annual household income of at least £40,000 and, as two charge cards is the maximum Amex UK will allow you to have, you must not have more than one other Amex UK Charge Card in your wallet.

Having said that, if you want the 40,000 points bonus, you shouldn’t have any American Express Charge Cards in your wallet. To be eligible for the 40,000 MRP sign-up bonus you must not have held an Amex Platinum, Gold or Green Charge Card in the last 6 months – if you have Amex may well give you the card but they won’t cough up the bonus points.

Here’s the exact wording from Amex:

I understand I will not be eligible for any Welcome Bonus award if I hold or have held any Membership Rewards enrolled American Express Card in the past six months.


How To Apply

Here is the application page for the 40,000 points bonus offer. The limited-time offer appears to have been launched in conjunction with Conde Nast Traveller but there’s nothing in the terms & conditions (to do with CN Traveller) that would preclude anyone from applying.

What Are Membership Reward Points?

Membership Rewards Points (MRPs) are a multi-purpose currency that can be transferred into a number of different loyalty points systems – one of which is the British Airways Executive Club. The full list of UK Membership Rewards transfer partners is as follows:


  • Alitalia
  • Asia Miles (Cathay Pacific)
  • British Airways
  • Delta
  • Etihad
  • Emirates
  • Finnair
  • Flying Blue (Air France/KLM)
  • Iberia
  • SAS
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Virgin Atlantic

All MRP transfers to the above mentioned airlines occur at a ratio of 1:1.

Club Carlson logo


  • Club Carlson (1 MRP to 3 Club Carlson Points)
  • Hilton (1:2)
  • Starwood Preferred Guest (2:1)


  • Eurostar (15:1)

It’s important to note that the UK Membership Rewards system has different partners and different transfer rates to Membership Rewards programs in other countries. So, when you’re reading about Amex Platinum Cards on other blogs (they get mentioned a lot!), make sure you’re clear on which country’s charge/credit card they’re discussing.

As an example, US American Express Membership Rewards Points can be transferred to ANA and Air Canada but not to Club Carlson – so the differences are noticeable.

Earning Rate

The American Express Platinum Charge Card in the UK earns 1 MRP for every £1 charged to the card.

When you consider that MRPs transfer to various loyalty programs at a rate of 1:1 (in most cases) this is far from a good earning rate.

The British Airways Premium Plus American Express Card comes with an annual fee of £150 (£300 lower than the Amex Platinum Charge Card) and earns users 1.5 Avios per £1 spent – 50% more than the more expensive Platinum Card.

Even the regular British Airways American Express Card, which is free, matches the Amex Platinum earning rate of 1 Avios per £1 spend.



Just as the UK Membership Rewards system has different partners and different transfer rates to the Membership Rewards programs in other countries, it also has slightly different benefits. So, once again, be careful what info you read and where you read it – it may not be pertinent to the UK.

At this point you may be wondering why anyone would bother with a UK Amex Platinum Charge Card when the earning rates are so much better on other, cheaper cards. Well, the benefits associated with the card can be quite useful….to some.


  • Up to 5 supplementary cards with no extra annual fee (one Platinum Card and four Gold or Green Cards)
  • Priority Pass memberships for main cardholder and Platinum supplementary cardholder (each membership grants the member and one guest entry to Priority pass lounges for free). More on Priority Pass here.
  • Free access to the US Centurion Lounges for cardholder and two guests.
  • Elite status with:
    • Accor (Platinum)
    • Avis
    • Club Carlson (Gold)
    • Hertz
    • Starwood (Gold)
  • Travel insurance for cardholder and immediate family (< 70 years of age only)
  • Comprehensive rental car insurance
  • Eurostar lounge access (Brussels, London, Paris & Ebbsfleet)

My Thoughts

The UK American Express Platinum Charge Card is a card to be had for the benefits and not its points earning potential (and definitely not as wallet candy!). And the card is definitely not for everyone.

£450 is a hefty annual fee to have to pay so, before you apply, you need to be very sure that you’re going to get your money’s worth.

There is no kudos to be had by having an Amex Platinum card. I have one (a US one) and I’m about as un-special as they come J

The card comes with an often-lauded concierge service – I’ve not found it to be anything special at all.

If you’re not a frequent traveler you need to ask yourself a few questions before you apply:

Priority pass Card

  • Do you travel enough to make the travel insurance benefit worthwhile? The benefit is a nice one to have, especially as medical cover is included whether or not the trip is paid for with your Amex Platinum card, but you can buy single trip insurance for not a lot of money nowadays.
  • How often do you rent cars that don’t come with full car insurance?
  • Will you be able to make use of any of the hotel statuses that the Platinum Card bestows? It’s nice having hotel status but, if you don’t normally find yourself booking at Starwood, Carlson or Accor hotels it’s not going to be much use to you.

Admittedly not all infrequent travelers are the same.

Infrequent solo travelers and couples who don’t travel much are the least likely to make the most of these benefits. It would probably be cheaper to purchase the two biggest benefits (lounge access and travel insurance) separately rather than pay £450 for a Platinum Card.

An infrequent traveling family of 4 is more likely to get value out of the Platinum Card because:

  • The £450 card fee will see all 4 of them all get lounge access – you would need to buy a minimum of 2 Priority Pass memberships to match that.
  • Travel insurance for a family of 4 starts to add up so this is a very good benefit to have – but make sure you’re not covered by a work policy or by another credit card.
  • The rental car upgrades that you’ll get from having status could save a considerable amount of money (book a car one level under the size you need and you’ll almost always get the car you actually want).


Even frequent travelers aren’t guaranteed to get their moneys worth.

If you travel by yourself or as a couple you’ll probably need to make sure that you’ll get use out of more of the benefits than just the lounge access and travel insurance. I’m reasonably sure you can get Priority Pass membership and travel insurance (for both of you) for under £450 a year – so you’ll need to be getting value and use out of the other benefits if you’re to come out ahead.

If you fly mostly in premium cabins the lounge access has little value to you as you get that with the tickets you purchase – you’ll have to get value out of the other benefits the card offers.

If you’re part of a family that travels frequently and not in premium cabins then you’re almost certain to get value out of this card – In mu opinion you’d be hard pressed not to get your £450 back pretty quickly.

I know some people will play the churning game by applying for the card, earning the 40,000 miles and then cancelling the card for a pro-rata refund – and that’s ok if you know what you’re doing – but for everyone else, just make sure you’ve thought it through before you apply. £450 is a lot of money for a bit of plastic.