American Express Gold, vs an Airline card

Hi all,

New to this, so bare with me.
My job involves 5-6 long haul flights a year. I have become used to business class, and cannot contemplate flying economy long haul when going on holiday.

So given I travel a lot and will therefore spend a lot:

1. I can benefit from cards that offer higher rewards for foreign expenditure

2. I can forgo my company credit card and stick everything in my own card to rack up points

The thing is, I also like the free hotel upgrades that come with american express gold card.

So I am not sure whether to get the Amex Gold or one of the Amex cards allied with banks e.g. LLoyds TSB has a decent deal going on - one free upgrade a year on BA (though BA's business class is the worst, but beats economy).

I tried to find out but could not. Is there any scheme on amex that enables you to cash in your 'reward points' for an airline upgrade. If this is available, and competitive with teh avios system banks amex cards are using, then the gold is a no brainer for me. Anyone know if possible?



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