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  • FIRST POST
    • Dudge09
    • By Dudge09 18th Nov 19, 11:32 PM
    • 3Posts
    • 2Thanks
    Dudge09
    Spending £15k.. best reward card?
    • #1
    • 18th Nov 19, 11:32 PM
    Spending £15k.. best reward card? 18th Nov 19 at 11:32 PM
    Booking flights and accommodation for a group holiday spending ~£15,000 from the one card.

    10 man road trip of California next Easter. Will be booking flights through skyscanner and accommodation through air bnb then renting a mini bus on arrival!

    Best rewards card for doing something like this?
    Head is spinning trying to choose between the 50 Amex variants!

    Any advice appreciated 😊
Page 1
    • jasdev
    • By jasdev 19th Nov 19, 7:18 AM
    • 85 Posts
    • 18 Thanks
    jasdev
    • #2
    • 19th Nov 19, 7:18 AM
    • #2
    • 19th Nov 19, 7:18 AM
    This was a lot more comprehensive than I intended it to be! Sorry for the word vomit but hopefully helpful in your, and others, decision-making.
    EDIT - oh, and whether or not you plan to spend the full £15,000 in one go, remember that your available credit limit may be much lower than this. Mine started as £6,000 and American Express offered to increase it at 3 month intervals thereafter, but if you need to spend the full amount early to secure your booking, it is worth telephoning the credit card issuer to explain why you need a temporary limit increase (and hopefully have a plan to pay off in full before interest hits you).
    American Express also offers double Member Rewards points on purchases made direct with the airlines, and triple on those made through it's own travel agency. The British Airways cards offer similar boosts with purchases made through British Airways' own travel agency.



    The Platinum charge card costs £575 annually, and nets you 30,000 Member Rewards points for spending £4,000 within the first three months, so £15,000 will net you 45,000 Member Rewards points (which can be worth anything from 0.45p to 1.5p depending on how you redeem them and with which partner you redeem them - but I'll say that they're worth 1p each for sake of the discussion). Therefore your 45,000 MR points are worth £450 so you're down £125. There are tons of perks with the card for your fee but they are listed on American Express's website so I'll avoid writing them down here.

    The Preferred Rewards Gold credit card is free in year 1, £140 in subsequent years, nets you 10,000 MR points for spending £3,000 in the first three months, so £15,000 will net you 25,000 MR points at no net cost = you're up £250.

    The British Airways Platinum Plus credit card costs £195 per year, and nets you 25,000 Avios if you spend £3,000 in the first three months, plus 1.5 Avios per £1, so £15,000 gets you 47,500 Avios (let's say these are worth 1p each) so you are up £280 I guess? And you've earned the 2-for-1 Companion Voucher with British Airways, which people say is the best rewards benefit available in the UK, lasts for 2 years with this card (1 year with the free variant of this card) and if used right, can save you a lot of money.

    Avios and Member Rewards points value really depends on how savvy you are in using them, though, so it pays to do your research before you spend them. (The Head for Points website I refer to below has bags of advice.)

    There's also the Cashback cards, one free, one costs £25 a year.
    The £25 card earns you 5% in the first three months (up to a max. of £125 cashback) and 1% if you spend less than £10,000 a year or 1.25% if you're able to spend more than £10,000 a year. Works out to 5% on £2,500 and 1.25% on £12,500, so £256.25 in cashback after the fee.

    The free card earns you 5% in the first three months (up to a max. of £100 cashback) and 0.5% if you spend under £5,000, or 1% if you spend over £5,000, per year. Works out to 5% on £2,000 and 1% on £13,000, so £230 in cashback.

    You can actually earn additional points if you sign up via a referral link such as mine (and I earn referee points if you are approved):
    http://amex.co.uk/refer/jASDESXxtZ?CPID=100338425

    It takes you to the page for my card but lets you sign up to any of their cards for the referral bonus.

    This guy blogs about points and rewards cards, https://www.headforpoints.com/ , and also has reviews of all the major rewards cards. His reviews also have his own referral links. A lot of my info. comes from reading Rob's website.
    Last edited by jasdev; 19-11-2019 at 7:43 AM. Reason: Forgot some obvious points.
    • Gary_Dexter
    • By Gary_Dexter 19th Nov 19, 7:39 AM
    • 6,983 Posts
    • 4,645 Thanks
    Gary_Dexter
    • #3
    • 19th Nov 19, 7:39 AM
    • #3
    • 19th Nov 19, 7:39 AM
    It depends what you want.

    Cashback, membership/reward points, Avios etc.

    And if you’ll even get a card with a £15k limit to begin with...
    • Duckyduck
    • By Duckyduck 19th Nov 19, 10:09 AM
    • 248 Posts
    • 307 Thanks
    Duckyduck
    • #4
    • 19th Nov 19, 10:09 AM
    • #4
    • 19th Nov 19, 10:09 AM
    Another couple of things to think about would be the currency you are paying in, might be better off getting a card with no fx fees as the fees could wipe out the value of rewards.

    Doesn’t sound like you necessarily need a £15k limit - obviously easier if you can book everything then pay off the statement balance, but if it’s a lower limit then you could just book say flights then pay off before booking accommodation and then pay that off, etc as it sounds like multiple smaller transactions.

    Also appreciate this isn’t the question you asked, but is it wise to leave the minibus rental until arrival? Maybe you’ve already researched and planned it but that seems a core element of a group trip to just assume you’ll be able to easily obtain on demand.
    Save £12k in 2019 #36
    • dresdendave
    • By dresdendave 19th Nov 19, 1:32 PM
    • 835 Posts
    • 1,049 Thanks
    dresdendave
    • #5
    • 19th Nov 19, 1:32 PM
    • #5
    • 19th Nov 19, 1:32 PM
    This is a side issue from your actual question, but if you are paying for nine other people you may have issues with an S75 claim if problems with flights etc occur. Wouldn't it be safer for group members (assuming they are adults) to pay for flights individually? Even using an intermediary such as Skyscanner could muddy the waters for S75 purposes.
    • Ben8282
    • By Ben8282 19th Nov 19, 3:37 PM
    • 4,284 Posts
    • 2,363 Thanks
    Ben8282
    • #6
    • 19th Nov 19, 3:37 PM
    • #6
    • 19th Nov 19, 3:37 PM
    WOW.
    A pretty complete description of Amex products complete with referral link written at 7AM this morning in response to this! Great advertising! Noticed from previous posts this poster is also a fan of skyscanner!

    Who exactly are these other 9 men who will be accompanying you on this road trip? Why are you paying for their flights on their behalf? Do they not have credit cards of their own? I assume that you realise that if you have advertised this trip and collected payment from these 9 men you require an ATOL licence in your own right to act as an air travel organiser in this way (i.e. to collect payment from them and hold their funds). Presumably they will be paying you before you book and pay for their tickets but by doing so they are putting themselves at risk of your absconding with the funds (or similar) hence the need for the ATOL.

    Perhaps some of these people may prefer to use their own 0% purchase cards or their own rewards cards to purchase their flights. The chance of you being given a credit card with a £15,000 credit limit is pretty remote. Your sole interest appears to be in what will be the best Amex rewards card without giving any thought to anything else. For example, you say that you will be renting a mini bus on arrival. You will therefore presumably be paying in USD. Has it not occurred to you that the foreign currency fee will be greater than any possible benefit of the rewards so a travel type card offering no foreign currency fee purchases would be better for this purpose.
    Head is spinning trying to choose between the 50 Amex variants!
    Originally posted by Dudge09
    50 Amex variants?
    Last edited by Ben8282; 19-11-2019 at 4:50 PM.
    • Dudge09
    • By Dudge09 19th Nov 19, 6:20 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    Dudge09
    • #7
    • 19th Nov 19, 6:20 PM
    • #7
    • 19th Nov 19, 6:20 PM
    Also appreciate this isnít the question you asked, but is it wise to leave the minibus rental until arrival?
    Originally posted by Duckyduck
    The main group purchases (flights, accommodation + transport) will all be made before arrival and that was what I was hoping to use the card for. I think I'd get ripped a new one if I left the minibus until arrival! Once we arrive there, we have something else sorted for purchases in America!

    This is a side issue from your actual question, but if you are paying for nine other people you may have issues with an S75 claim if problems with flights etc occur. Wouldn't it be safer for group members (assuming they are adults) to pay for flights individually? Even using an intermediary such as Skyscanner could muddy the waters for S75 purposes.
    Originally posted by dresdendave
    Hadn't even considered it to be honest - will need to look into that one. No reason why individuals can't pay for their own.. just wanted to see if it was worthwhile collecting the points from big spending in a short period of time.

    WOW.
    Originally posted by Ben8282
    Wasn't expecting the Spanish Inquisition, but thanks for the reply! The trip is with a group of friends and we wanted all payments centralised as it's easier to track. The money is sat in an account so I imagine it will be multiple purchases at a lower credit limit and then just clear the balance.
    The purpose of the post was to see if it's worthwhile getting a card for big purchases in a short space of time. I won't be asking for a 15k limit, don't expect to use it for all spending in America and don't plan on taking the money and running - but thanks for the heads up..
    • Ben8282
    • By Ben8282 19th Nov 19, 7:40 PM
    • 4,284 Posts
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    Ben8282
    • #8
    • 19th Nov 19, 7:40 PM
    • #8
    • 19th Nov 19, 7:40 PM
    TThe trip is with a group of friends and we wanted all payments centralised as it's easier to track. The money is sat in an account..
    Originally posted by Dudge09
    I very much hope that you have not collected the money in advance from your friends and have it sitting in your own bank account. This is a blatent breach of the ATOL regulations. You are organising a de-facto package holiday for a group of 10 individuals, have taken payment for the package holiday and put the money into your own account. The members of the group currently have no protection of any sort in the event that YOU fail to provide the air transportaton and other services that they have paid YOU for.
    • Ngozi
    • By Ngozi 19th Nov 19, 8:38 PM
    • 64 Posts
    • 34 Thanks
    Ngozi
    • #9
    • 19th Nov 19, 8:38 PM
    • #9
    • 19th Nov 19, 8:38 PM
    If BA, might be better booking directly through them, if you want to collect air miles for a future flight for yourself. Often run rewards for booking direct.
    Presuming you are flying with BA?

    If you're going cashback route, could book via Expedia for Airbnb (and flights etc...) which would get you their "reward points" and if you have a cashback card, use Expedia, booking via TopCashBack etc...
    Should get you Points with Expedia, Cashback via TCB and cashback on the card.

    Cashback route might give you more value than miles.
    • jasdev
    • By jasdev 19th Nov 19, 9:22 PM
    • 85 Posts
    • 18 Thanks
    jasdev
    WOW.
    A pretty complete description of Amex products complete with referral link written at 7AM this morning in response to this! Great advertising! Noticed from previous posts this poster is also a fan of skyscanner!

    Who exactly are these other 9 men who will be accompanying you on this road trip? Why are you paying for their flights on their behalf? Do they not have credit cards of their own? I assume that you realise that if you have advertised this trip and collected payment from these 9 men you require an ATOL licence in your own right to act as an air travel organiser in this way (i.e. to collect payment from them and hold their funds). Presumably they will be paying you before you book and pay for their tickets but by doing so they are putting themselves at risk of your absconding with the funds (or similar) hence the need for the ATOL.

    Perhaps some of these people may prefer to use their own 0% purchase cards or their own rewards cards to purchase their flights. The chance of you being given a credit card with a £15,000 credit limit is pretty remote. Your sole interest appears to be in what will be the best Amex rewards card without giving any thought to anything else. For example, you say that you will be renting a mini bus on arrival. You will therefore presumably be paying in USD. Has it not occurred to you that the foreign currency fee will be greater than any possible benefit of the rewards so a travel type card offering no foreign currency fee purchases would be better for this purpose.50 Amex variants?
    Originally posted by Ben8282




    Your 2nd paragraph is interesting, because what you describe is pretty much half the stag do's I've ever been on. What you say sounds correct, but as the OP later says, people tend to do this just to make things easier for everyone.


    Anyway, I knew someone here would take me to task for including the referral link. Oh well. It's not like I spent half an hour carefully researching and providing sources to what I'd written, guess my time is worth zilch eh? (and the OP is free not to use my referral link, but instead use those at Head for Points, which, as I said, also has referral links)
    Also I can't remember writing about Skyscanner but maybe many years ago. I also wrote about spiders, sub-landlords, cheap home heating solutions etc. but of course I'm advertising all of those things.



    I think Dresdendave and duckyduck make some valid points.
    • Ben8282
    • By Ben8282 19th Nov 19, 9:46 PM
    • 4,284 Posts
    • 2,363 Thanks
    Ben8282



    Your 2nd paragraph is interesting, because what you describe is pretty much half the stag do's I've ever been on. What you say sounds correct, but as the OP later says, people tend to do this just to make things easier for everyone.
    Originally posted by jasdev
    What I am saying is correct if there is an air transportation element involved and a payment is made to an individual (or even a travel agent for that matter) who does not IMMEDIATELY provide valid tickets (or electronic equivalent thereof) in return for the payment. An IATA travel agent who can issue scheduled airline tickets (or electronic equivalent thereof) on the spot does not need an ATOL as they are acting as agent for the airline and issuing a valid ticket there and then. The concept behind this is to provide protection to the consumer for funds handed over to a third party before a valid transportation contract is entered into with the company providing the air transportation.

    I can appreciate a situation of say two friends travelling together where for exampe one friend pays the other and the tickets are purchased at the same time on one credit card. But to collect funds from 9 other people in advance, especially as we appear to be talking about a total of £15,000 here, is creating an unacceptable risk. I am not talking only of the possibility of theft or dishonesty .. anything could happen to that money or the individual holding the money.

    A far as stag events are concerned, I seem to recall an incident in the news recently of a woman who took the money and sent the party to the airport with false travel documents Ö..
    Last edited by Ben8282; 19-11-2019 at 9:50 PM.
    • Dudge09
    • By Dudge09 20th Nov 19, 12:42 AM
    • 3 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    Dudge09
    guess my time is worth zilch eh? (and the OP is free not to use my referral link, but instead use those at Head for Points, which, as I said, also has referral links)
    Originally posted by jasdev
    I actually really appreciated the post and will use your link once I have decided on which to go for. Torn between premium cashback or the BA one.

    Also think I'll give the ATOL a miss.. these people know where I live so if the money does go missing im sure they'll let me know how they feel.
    • jasdev
    • By jasdev 20th Nov 19, 7:27 AM
    • 85 Posts
    • 18 Thanks
    jasdev
    I actually really appreciated the post and will use your link once I have decided on which to go for. Torn between premium cashback or the BA one.

    Also think I'll give the ATOL a miss.. these people know where I live so if the money does go missing im sure they'll let me know how they feel.
    Originally posted by Dudge09

    Cheers. See, I hate BA but when my 1st membership year with Amex runs out, I'll have to think about cancelling my Preferred Rewards Gold credit card (because the guy at HeadforPoints tells me it's not worth £140/year if you're not regularly spending over £15,000 annually - which earns the annual 10,000 points bonus) - and under Amex's terms & conditions, there's only the BA Premium Plus card I can upgrade to if I want another sign-up bonus.

    Plus, unlike in the past where I'd simply choose the cheapest airline I could flying wherever I want to go, now I probably could afford to stay within the BA, IAG, oneworld alliance network of airlines, and so earn Avios that I can eventually put towards seat upgrades. Not there yet sadly!
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