Introductory credit card bonus offers for November 2019

From a lump sum of points to an elevated cashback earn rate, compare rewards credit cards with sign-up incentives to find one that suits your needs.

Last updated:

There are some generous intro offers available with new credit cards at the moment, and it can be hard to pin down what’s actually a good deal. Some offers come with specific requirements in order to qualify, and some are offset by a card’s ongoing rewards, rates and fees, which can be less appetising.

If you don’t expect to clear your balance in full each month, then generally what you’ll end up paying in interest will outweigh the potential earnings. But if you expect to use your card a fair bit and to clear your balance in full each month (don’t forget you can set up a direct debit to do this), then this guide can help you to capitalise on reward points, cashback or air miles to make your money go a bit further.

Crucially, don’t forget that when it comes to credit cards, there’s a good chance that the best deal for you right now probably won’t be the best deal in a couple of years’ time.

Our top pick for earning cashback:

American Express Platinum Cashback Everyday Card

American Express Platinum Cashback Everyday Card
  • 5% cashback for 3 months
  • 0.5% ongoing cashback
  • No annual fee
Go to site
★★★★★
Potential costs:
4.5/5
Doing its job:
4.5/5
Extras:
3.5/5

Verdict: With no annual fee, provided you don't carry a balance from month to month, this card offers the chance to earn cashback at a respectable rate. If you do expect to carry a balance, you'll likely spend more on interest than you'll earn in cashback, however. For big-spenders, Amex also offers a second platinum cashback card with a better earn rate offset by a small annual fee.

Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 22.9% APR (variable).
Promoted

Comparison of intro bonuses and ongoing rewards

Table: sorted by representative APR, promoted deals first
In this table we’ve gathered up the “earn rates” of different cards. Earning 1p or 1 point per pound spent makes for a 1% earn rate, but it’s crucial to note that how much a point is worth will depend on the card issuer, programme and potentially even how you’re redeeming the points.

Updated November 18th, 2019
Name Product Max. intro bonus Earn-rate with brand Default earn-rate Annual/monthly fees Rep. APR Incentive Representative example
2,500 points
2 points per £1 spent
1 point per £5 spent
£0
19.9% p.a. (variable)
Double points on spend in M&S for first 12 months (2 points per £1). Then earn 1 point for every £1 spent at Marks and Spencer's and 1 point or every £5 spent elsewhere. 100 points = £1 reward voucher. Points will be converted into reward vouchers 4 times a year.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 19.9% APR (variable).
500 points
1 point per £1 spent
1 point per £5 spent
£0
19.9% p.a. (variable)
Earn 1 point for every £1 spent at Marks and Spencer's and 1 point for every £5 spent elsewhere. 100 points = £1 reward voucher. Points will be converted into reward vouchers 4 times a year.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 19.9% APR (variable).
5,000 points
1 point per £1 spent
1 point per £1 spent
£0
22.9% p.a. (variable)
Earn 5,000 bonus Membership Rewards points when you spend £2,000 in your first 3 months, and 1 point for virtually every £1 spent thereafter.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 22.9% APR (variable).
5,000 points
1 point per £1 spent
1 point per £1 spent
£0
22.9% p.a. (variable)
5,000 Avios when you spend £1,000 within 3 months of account opening. Earn 1 Avios for virtually every £1 spent. Spend £20K in 12 months and get 2 for 1 travel when redeeming Avios for a BA reward flight. Earn up to 90,000 bonus Avios points per calendar year, 4,000 points per friend/family member that successfully applies for an American Express card (Excl. Basic card) and uses the Referral Programme.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 22.9% APR (variable).
£100
1% cashback
1% cashback
£0
22.9% p.a. (variable)
5% after £1 of yearly spend for introductory period of 3 months. 0.5% on £1 to £5000 of yearly spend. 1% after £5001 of yearly spend. Cashback paid Anniversary into Card Account. 5% intro cashback in the first 3 months (max £100). Must spend £3K annually to earn cashback.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 22.9% APR (variable).
20,000 points
2 points per £1 spent
2 points per £1 spent
Year 1 - £0, Year 2 onwards - £25 per annum
28.2% p.a. (variable)
20,000 Nectar points when you spend £2K within 3 months of account opening. Earn 2 Nectar points for virtually every £1 spent at Nectar partners and elsewhere.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.9% (variable) p.a. with a fee of Year 1 - £0, Year 2 onwards - £25 per annum, your representative rate is 28.2% APR (variable).
£125
1.25% cashback
1.25% cashback
£25 per annum
28.2% p.a. (variable)
5% on £1 to £2500 of yearly spend for introductory period of 3 months. 1% on £1 to £10000 of yearly spend. 1.25% after £10001 of yearly spend. Cashback paid Anniversary into Card Account. 5% intro cashback (max £125).
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.9% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £25 per annum, your representative rate is 28.2% APR (variable).
30,000 points
6 points per £1 spent
3 points per £1 spent
£75 per annum
39.7% p.a. (variable)
Earn 30,000 points when you spend £1K within 3 months of account opening. Earn 3 points for virtually every £1 spent. Earn 6 points for every £1 of eligible purchases at participating SPG & Marriott Rewards hotels, until 31.12.2019.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.9% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £75 per annum, your representative rate is 39.7% APR (variable).
10,000 points
2 points per £1 spent
1 point per £1 spent
Year 1 - £0, Year 2 onwards - £140 per annum
57.6% p.a. (variable)
Earn 1 point for virtually every £1 spent. 2 points per £1 spent directly with airlines or in a foreign currency or 3 points for every £1 spent through American Express Travel. Earn 10,000 bonus points when you spend £3,000 in your first 3 months. Spend £15,000 or more during the year and earn 10,000 bonus points each year the card is renewed. Earn 6,000 points per friend/family member that successfully applies for the card or 12,000 points if they spend £3,000 in their first 3 months. Two complimentary lounge visits per year, available at over 500 airport lounges worldwide.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.9% (variable) p.a. with an annual fee of £140 (£0 in first year), your representative APR is 57.6% APR (variable).
25,000 points
3 points per £1 spent
1.5 points per £1 spent
£195 per annum
76% p.a. (variable)
25,000 Avios when you spend £3K within 3 months of account opening. Earn 3 Avios for virtually every £1 spent directly with BA, and 1.5 Avios for virtually every £1 spent everywhere else. Spend £10K in 12 months to redeem the Avios for a companion ticket on a BA flight. Earn up to 90,000 bonus Avios points per calendar year, 9,000 points per friends/family that uses Referral Programme and successfully apply for an American Express card (Excl. Basic card).
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.9% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £195 per annum, your representative rate is 76% APR (variable).

Compare up to 4 providers

How do credit card introductory offers work?

Most introductory offers are only available to new customers who apply and are approved for a specific credit card during the promotional period. These credit card deals usually offer extra value to you in the form of a lump sum of reward points or an elevated points/cashback/air miles earn rate for a limited period.

The biggest rewards usually come in return for an annual fee. This puts some people off straightaway, but it’s simply a question of doing the maths – if you’ll earn enough rewards to justify it, then the fee can be worth paying. Cards with an annual fee will often come with other perks too, like complimentary travel insurance or airport lounge access.

As you’d expect, the benefits of introductory offers only last for a limited time. You’re generally not tied-in to these deals, so there’s nothing stopping you from just using them while the going’s good. However, some card issuers will try to retain customers by offering anniversary bonuses or by negotiating with customers who request to cancel their card. American Express frequently offers an enhanced earn rate once your spending amount on the card has reached a specified threshold.

How can I get a promotional credit card offer?

You usually have to meet specific requirements to get your hands on an introductory offer on a credit card. These conditions vary but usually include the following:

  • New customers. These offers are designed to recruit new customers. As such, you’ll usually have to be a new customer – holding no other credit cards issued by the company (or even banking group) with which you are applying.
  • Credit card approval. You’ll need to apply and be approved for the credit card by a certain date in order to take advantage of the introductory offer. This will involve a credit check and affordability assessment. With many credit cards, the interest rate offered at this point can vary depending on the issuer’s assessment of the applicant’s situation. This is known as risk-based pricing and essentially means that the advertised APR may be reserved for those with excellent credit – check any offer you receive carefully before accepting.
  • Spend requirements. When a bonus points offer is available, often you’ll be required to meet a minimum spend requirement by a set date to receive the points.
  • Keeping up with repayments. Missing a repayment is a bad idea at the best of times (it’ll hurt your credit score and cost you in fees or additional interest), but many people don’t realise that doing so can invalidate any introductory offers.
  • Redemption terms. Getting a bunch of points is one thing, but redeeming them is another. Make sure you’re aware of any restrictions around redeeming your hard-earned points.

Before you apply for a card with an introductory offer, make sure you fully understand these terms and conditions to ensure you can get the full value from the offer.

What types of intro rewards deals are out there?

  • Lump sum of points/cashback. Get a lump sum either on sign-up or after a specified period. A minimum spend requirement will usually apply.
  • Enhanced earn rate. Earn points, air miles or cashback at a better rate for a limited period. A minimum spend requirement may apply.
  • Gift cards. Enjoy complimentary gift cards for an affiliated store or brand. You’ll rarely need to meet any minimum spend requirements in these cases.
  • Discounted purchases. Enjoy a discount on specific transactions. For example, a frequent flyer credit card could offer 10% off flight bookings made with the affiliated airline during the promotional period.
  • Waived or reduced fees. Enjoy a discount on account fees for a specified period. You’ll rarely need to meet any minimum spend requirements in these cases.

Some common mistakes to avoid with credit card offers

While credit card introductory offers can help you get more value from your card, there are some mistakes to avoid to ensure the card costs don’t outweigh the offer’s benefits. Here are some of the common mistakes cardholders make and how you can avoid them:

  • Ignoring the offer terms and conditions. Introductory offers have specific eligibility requirements you have to meet, so make sure you understand the fine print before you apply.
  • Wasting the promotional offer time period. With a balance transfer or purchase rate offer, the promotional period (such as 12 months) will begin as soon as your application is approved, rather than when you make the transfer or your first purchase.
  • Not looking at the card’s ongoing features. While introductory offers can give you short-term benefits, the standard features of a credit card determine its ongoing value. Always check these features before you apply for a credit card to decide if it’s worth it for you.
  • Not using the card enough. To get the most out of your card, you’ll usually need to spend big, but clear your balance monthly. Consider what regular payments you could put through the new card to maximise your rewards.
  • Carrying a balance from month to month. If you don’t clear your balance each month, you’ll probably pay more in interest than you earn in rewards.
  • Not using the card correctly after the introductory period. If you decide you don’t want the card you applied for after getting an introductory offer, you could end up paying more credit card fees and adding to your debt. Make sure you consider this before you apply, choose an appropriate card or cancel the account if you no longer want to use it.

The bottom line

Introductory offers have the potential to provide you with more value when you get a new credit card. While almost anyone can benefit from these deals, the value they provide really depends on your individual circumstances.

It’s also important to remember that this card’s benefits only last for a set amount of time before reverting to the standard features. So being aware of how credit card offers work and considering both the introductory offer and the ongoing card features means you can choose a card that offers you value now and in the future.

We show offers we can track - that's not every product on the market...yet. Unless we've said otherwise, products are in no particular order. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations of these) aren't ratings, though we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it. This is subject to our terms of use. When you make major financial decisions, consider getting independent financial advice. Always consider your own circumstances when you compare products so you get what's right for you.

Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes
Go to site