Upgrade your American Express Gold card – and receive 20,000 bonus points

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We have regularly sung the praises of the American Express Gold Card. In addition to being free for the first year, it offers one of the most competitive sign-up bonuses out there, with the points readily convertible into a range of air miles (and more).

american express gold card uk

American Express have just made the position for Amex Gold holders a touch more interesting, with the launch of a promo offering them 20,000 Membership Rewards points if they upgrade to Platinum and spend £1,000 on the card in the first three months of holding it.

Now there is a catch, but a workaround, but then a catch to this. Bear with us…

american express gold card uk

The American Express Platinum Card comes with a hefty £450 annual fee. While the benefits of card membership are substantial (including free lounge access), that understandably puts many people off, particularly given the relative cost of the Gold card (free for year 1, £140 p.a. thereafter).

The obvious workaround to this is to upgrade to the Platinum Card, bag the 20k bonus, then downgrade to the Gold card again. You will receive a pro rata refund of the £450 fee when you downgrade, but – and here’s the catch – whether you were in the first year of your Gold card or not, it appears you will then be charged the £140 annual fee for the Gold card. 

As such, if you are well within the first year of your American Express Gold card membership, you should probably treat this with caution. However, if you are coming to the end of that year, or are already paying £140 annually for the card, then you should give this offer some serious thought. £1,000 in spending in three months is a reasonably relaxed target (relatively speaking), and crucially you can return to the £140 a year card as soon as you have done that and the points have arrived.

So not one for everyone, but potentially for many. You can read why we like the Gold card so much here


  1. Aleks says

    John – Question: I’ve got the Gold card with 35,000 MR in it and have just hit my reward on the BAPP giving me another bonus 25,000 AVIOS and I’m aiming for the 2-4-1 BA voucher.

    I’m thinking of hitting the Platinum bonus and then downgrading but want to avoid the fee for the card. To keep my MR points should I refer my wife to take up a card and convert my card to a free green card to reset the 6 month wait cycle as well as keep my MR points on the green card? How do I then reconcile the MR points I have along with my wife? This is the bit I don’t quite understand as we’d have two separate MR accounts. Would we just transfer them at the time we needed them to our shared BA household account or does that prevent us using other OneWorld partners? Your help would be gratefully received and appreciated!


    • Tom Sumner says

      Hi Aleks –

      You can definitely use Avios from a household account on all BA partners (even the likes of Aer Lingus etc that aren’t even Oneworld). That said, you can only use your Companion (2-4-1) Voucher on BA flights.

      So – if you’re aiming for the 2-4-1 we recommend you:

      – Refer your wife to Gold.
      – Transfer your MRs to BA then cancel the Plat card once that’s done. I’m not quite clear on how getting a Green card helps as you are best advised to transfer the points.

      The summary of the ongoing process would therefore be: refer wife to gold, upgrade own to plat, transfer all own points to BA, cancel plat. Then have wife refer you and upgrade her Gold to plat in 6 months. Rinse, repeat.

      In any event, regardless of whose airline/hotel account MR points are transferred to, you can almost always then use those miles/avios/points to make bookings for other people – so as long as one of you or your wife has some MR points at any given time (which you likely would) you’re not even really losing out on flexibility either, despite transferring a chunk to BA.

      I hope that helps, but feel free to comment further, email us ([email protected]) or even ask on the forums if any further questions.


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