Curve Metal | Full Review

This card review is going to be the first one that isn’t of an American Express card as if you have seen my newest YouTube video (coming tomorrow), you’ll know that AMEX and I haven’t been getting on all too well recently. In fact, I just cancelled my American Express Platinum card after only one month in favour of this gem: The Curve Metal Card.

Brief Review:

Card: The Curve Metal Card

Cost: £150 a year or £14.99 a month

Sign-up Bonus: N/A

Favourite Perk: MasterCard Lounge Key Lounge Access

Curve are a relatively new face in the UK as far as I’m aware but I have started to see them being used quite a lot and so decided to check them out for myself. After looking into the cards they offer, I realised they had three cards I could order. I will be reviewing both the blue card which is free and the top-tier metal card which costs £150 per year.

The metal card comes in three different colours which you can easily choose by signing up through their app. After you choose your colour, you simply enter your delivery details and pay – it really is that simple.

I opted for the rose gold card and when it arrived I was super impressed with how it looked and felt. The card weighs 18g and feel nice to hold in your hand.

Who are Curve?

Curve are different from all the other cards on the market such as Monzo, HSBC and even AMEX in that they know people don’t want to set up another bank account. With this in mind, they have created a card which links all of your cards together in one so that the only card you need to take out with you is your curve card. Curve have an amazing user-friendly app which allows you to manage your finances and sign up for a card and they offer A FREE £5 just for signing up. All you need to do is download the app from the App Store or Google Play, choose which card you want (free, £9.99 per month or £14.99 per month) and remember to use the code LSPTR for a free beer, coffee or anything else on me!

The Perks

The Curve Metal card comes with several built in perks which were the reason my head was turned from American Express.

1. Firstly, as a user of the Metal card, you are automatically covered by AXA insurance for travel and medical insurance, car hire insurance and finally gadget insurance. As far as I’m aware, none of the AMEX cards cover your gadgets so this was a real winner for me.

2. Secondly, the Metal card is phenomenal for using abroad. It allows up to £600 a month in ATM withdrawals for FREE! This is a huge perk of the card as it cuts out the foreign transaction fees so many banks stick on. If you use the card abroad, it will also charge your bank a £ payment so your bank won’t charge you a fee as it thinks you haven’t used it abroad.

3. Next up, the Metal card is part of MasterCard’s Lounge Key program which allows cardholders access to over 1,000 airport lounges just by showing their card. Entrance into the lounge will cost users £15 per visit but as you can see in the above video, I argue that this makes it more worth it than the Priority Pass.

4. Finally, the Metal card allows you to select 6 of your most visited stores such as Tesco, Waitrose or Apple and for each of these shops, you will receive a 1% cashback for every purchase. This works amazingly if you’re using the card every time you fill up your petrol tank or every time you do a food shop as over time this money will add up!

Conclusion 

Curve have stolen my heart after my recent fallout with the American Express platinum card. The perks of this card seriously outweigh the £150 per year membership fee and make it a keeper for my wallet.

If you travel a lot, this card makes complete sense because of the insurance and foreign transaction fee removal on overseas purchases and if you are bored of having a full wallet then this card makes complete sense too.

To sign up and claim a FREE £5 then download the Curve app, choose which card you want to use and enter the code LSPTR.

Curve Blue | Full Review

Curve are a relatively new face in the UK as far as I’m aware but I have started to see them being used quite a lot and so decided to check them out for myself. After looking into the cards they offer, I realised they had three cards I could order. I will be reviewing both the blue card which is free and the top-tier metal card which costs £150 per year.

Who are Curve?

Curve are different from all the other cards on the market such as Monzo, HSBC and even AMEX in that they know people don’t want to set up another bank account. With this in mind, they have created a card which links all of your cards together in one so that the only card you need to take out with you is your curve card. Curve have an amazing user-friendly app which allows you to manage your finances and sign up for a card and they have offered a FREE £5 just for signing up! All you need to do is download the app from the App Store or Google Play, choose which card you want (free, £9.99 per month or £14.99 per month) and remember to use the code LSPTR for a free beer, coffee or anything else on me!

Perks of the Blue Card:

1. Firstly, this card is excellent for use abroad. Most banks will charge you or withdrawing cash at a foreign ATM but by using the Curve Blue card, you can withdraw £200 completely FREE every month which I think is an awesome perk.

2. Secondly, you can use it to pay abroad for free and it will only charge your bank a transaction in pounds. Therefore, your bank won’t charge you either and finally, you can stop paying ludicrous foreign exchange fees!

3. If those two reasons didn’t sway you, Curve have an offer on which means that if you sign up using the code LSPTR you will automatically receive a FREE £5 to spend on whatever you want!

4. Finally, users of the Blue card will be able to select 3 retailers and every purchase at those shops will result in a 1% cashback!

Conclusion 

While this card doesn’t offer the same sort of insurance or lounge access perks as the Metal card, it is also free so won’t break your bank to use. I personally think this card is A MUST if you’re going abroad due to the elimination of foreign transaction fees so be sure to download the app, choose which card you would like to sign up for and enter the code LSPTR for that free £5.

American Express METAL Platinum Card | Full Review

On June 11th, American Express rolled out their first metal card for the UK market: The platinum card.

Although the platinum card was already on the market, changes to the card such as it becoming gold came into effect on June 11th. This article will review those new changes and assess whether you should get that card or not. Below is my new video titled ‘5 Reasons I Cancelled my AMEX Platinum – A Warning’. 


Brief Review:

Card: American Express Platinum Card

Cost: £575 a year (Worth it? Read on to find out)

Sign-up Bonus: 30,000 Membership Rewards points (35,000 if you use our link)

Favourite Perk: Priority Pass lounge access


The American Express card is the highest card in AMEX UK’s locker and you sure can see that in the price. £575 is a much higher charge than any other of AMEX’s cards and for that reason offers the best package of benefits to its card users. These include:

1. American Express users can give out benefits to five others by adding supplementary members to their account (one platinum card and four gold or green cards).

2. Both the main card holder and platinum supplementary card holder will receive Priority Pass lounge access. Priority Pass is the mot comprehensive lounge network and can get you into over 1,200 lounges worldwide. In fact, I think you would struggle to find an airport without a priority pass lounge.

3. You and all five of your supplementary card users will be given full travel insurance which covers your travel directly and things linked to your trips such as health.

4.  If you hire a car, you will be fully insured under AMEX’s car insurance programme.

5.  This perk is only beneficial if you live in London as far as I’m aware but platinum members will get £10 worth of credit per month to use on Addison Lee taxis.

6. Platinum users are automatically enrolled in a scheme called Fine Hotels and Resorts (FHR).  This scheme can be one of the biggest benefits of Platinum however I found it not to benefit me as I generally don’t stay in luxury hotels while travelling. FHR gives you midday check-in where available, guaranteed 4pm checkout which is a great perk especially on one night bookings, free in-room wifi, $100 food and drink credit per stay and finally you will receive a room upgrade where available.

These perks are for 600 luxury hotels worldwide and if you are somebody who is likely to use these perks, this card is probably for you.

7. Another perk that is only worth it if you stay at hotels a lot is that you will receive permanent status at the following hotel chains:

  • Gold in Melia Rewards
  • Gold in Hilton Honors
  • Gold in Radisson Rewards
  • Gold in Marriott Bonvoy
  • Jade in Shangri-La Golden Circle

8.  If you travel by train, you will receive Eurostar lounge access in London, Brussels and Paris

Finally, alongside the 30,000 (35,000) point sign up bonus, you will earn 1 membership reward point for every £1 you spend. Personally, I think it is a shame that they don’t offer 1.5 points to make it stand out from the gold card more.

Conclusion: Is it worth it?!

The American Express Platinum is a great card with a shed load of perks, there’s no two ways about it. I signed up for the platinum card because I thought the benefits would be worth the money for me but after using it for 2 weeks, I begun to realise that they weren’t (more on that in the above video).

The card still carries a 3% foreign transaction fee which means i had to look elsewhere for a card to use abroad and I was never going to use the hotel perks which meant I was relying on the lounge access to foot the bill.

Personally, if you’re in a similar position to me, I would advise signing up for the gold card  or Curve Metal card and using the Lounge Club or Lounge Key programs.

My Favourite Free Credit Card Choices for 2019

Now that the new year has begun and our wallets are starting to recover from the onslaught of Christmas, I have decided to write an article about a question I get almost every day: Which free credit card is the best?

All paid with miles and points. How? Read on.

Now, obviously this question has a lot of answers and depends on your spending habits, airline choices and so on but in this article I will explore your options for credit cards in 2019.

What do I use?

Personally, I have used all of American Express’ airline credit/charge cards out there apart from the top-of-the-range platinum card. As a university student, my biggest spends go on accommodation payments for my student halls which can luckily be paid using American Express cards. This is perfect for me as I am able to sign up for credit cards based on the timings of these payments to ensure that I hit the sign up bonuses most semesters. In my first semester I used my favourite charge card going at the moment which is the AMEX Gold Card. The payment of £1,600 enabled me to be only £400 off the sign up bonus. After three weeks I hit this bonus and was rewarded with a total of 22,000 Membership Rewards points which I recently transferred into Avios (British Airways Miles).

For my second semester I will be using the British Airways Premium Plus credit card to pay my rent. This will leave me £1,400 off the sign up bonus but seeing as I recently spent £1,000 on British Airways (netting me 3x points) I am only £400 away from the sign up bonus where I will rack up 26,000 Avios points.

That’s enough of my story but hopefully it shows you how easy it is to acquire large amounts of frequent flyer miles in a short space of time.

My Picks for 2019:

The Freebies

Being British, a love a bargain but there is one thing we all love more than a bargain and that is a freebie. There are currently two cards on the market that cater to this market and those are as follows.

1.  The American Express Preferred Rewards Gold Credit Card

The number one selling point of this card is that it is free. Not only will it not hurt your bank account but as mentioned above it will net you a wonderful 21,000 point sign up bonus (22,000 if you use my special link). For the full review of this card including how it can get you lounge access, hotel upgrades and more click here.

Photo: AMEX

2. The British Airways American Express Credit Card

The lesser of the two is also the more simple. Netting you only 5,000 avios (6,000 through my special link) it has the perk of being free forever unlike the gold card which will charge you £140 every year after your first year. This card has the simplicity of transferring your points to British Airways at the end of every month and is definitely a good start up card. What you could do is have the two running side-by-side to net yourself a 28,000 sign up bonus.

3. British Airways American Express Premium Plus Credit Card

While I suggest those two cards if you want a free card, another recommendation of mine is the premium BA card. This card carries a charge of £190 a year but what people don’t realise is that if you cancel your card after receiving your sign-up bonus, money will be returned to you based on how long you had the card for. This card carries a lovely 25,000 (26,000 using my link) sign-up bonus which again is directly moved over to British Airways. For more details and how you can use this card to travel 2-4-1 on British Airways click here.

Final Thought

The choices may not be perfect but in the UK that is all we get. My top choice for anyone out there is the Gold Card. I think the perks of this card are fantastic and being free makes it even more appealing. Good luck with your miles and points in 2018.

British Airways American Express Credit Card | Full Review

British Airways and American Express currently have two credit cards available. The ‘blue‘ and the ‘black‘ or more specifically, the British Airways American Express Premium Plus Card and the British Airways American Express Credit Card which I will be talking to you about today.


Brief Review:

Card: British Airways American Express Credit Card

Cost: £0

Sign-up Bonus: 5,000 Avios (+1,000 bonus Avios if you apply using our link)

Favourite Perk: It’s free


The American Express British Airways Credit Card is one of AMEX’s lower end cards and sister of the Premium Plus card. The card’s main selling point is that it is completely free so even if you’re undecided if it is worth signing up, you should just do it.

Seeing as the card is free, the perks are limited in comparison to its older sister which offers a 25,000 Avios sign-on bonus and a 2-4-1 voucher. It is important to note that this card also gives users the ability to earn a 2-4-1 ‘companion voucher’ but only after £20,000 of spend… If somebody spends that much in a year, why the heck do they have this card and not the Premium Plus?

With that said, this card is definitely not a bad one. The 6,000 Avios sign on bonus comes after only spending £1,000 in the first three months of membership and you earn 1 Avios point for every £1 spent. That means after spending £1,000 you will have accumulated 7,000 Avios points which is 1,500 points short of a return to Europe and more than enough for a one-way flight.

Where will you be going with these points? China?

From this article, I think you’ll see that while this card is no way near as good as its sister card it seems that because it is free, it is definitely worth applying for to start earning those Avios points.

To sign up and gain the bonus 1,000 Avios click here.

The only thing to hold back on and consider is timing. I will go into this more in an upcoming article where I compare these cards but in my opinion, this card should be applied for after the Premium Plus card.

The £195 fee is actually refunded on a pro-rata basis which means that if you only use the card for three months, get your sign-on bonus of 26,000 points then call them up and downgrade to the basic ‘blue’ card, you will be refunded £146. You won’t be entitled to a sign up bonus for the blue card but you will have 26,000 Avios in your account which will get you a lot further than 7,000 off this card.


Other Cards to Consider:

The American Express Gold Card (NOW FREE FOR ONE YEAR)

British Airways Premium Plus American Express Credit Card | Full Review

For all of you looking at building up your Avios which can be spent with British Airways then the American Express British Airways Premium Plus card which I want to talk to you about today should definitely be considered.


Brief Review:

Card: American Express British Airways Premium Plus

Cost: £195 per year (worth it, I would argue)

Sign-up Bonus: 25,000 Avios (bonus 1,000 if you use our link)

Favourite Perk: A 2-4-1 voucher on British Airways flights


The British Airways Premium Plus card is an American Express credit card aimed at higher-end spenders who fly British Airways. The card has a hefty annual fee of £195 which its sister card (the British Airways American Express Credit Card) does not have. In this article I will review the card and say exactly why I believe this card is worth that money.

Applying for this card is just like any other American Express card – very simple. It isn’t in the same category of cards as the ‘Membership Rewards’ cards which means you can have this card and receive the large sign-on bonus as well as holding my favourite AMEX card, the American Express Gold Credit Card, and receiving the sign-on bonus for that, too. The sign on bonus for this card is set at 25,000 Avios if you spend £3,000 in the first three months (see what I mean about high-end spenders). For those that fly a lot of British Airways, this target will probably be met.

That brings me on to another aspect I love which is that if you spend that money on BA.com, you’ll receive 3 Avios for every £1 spent instead of the usual 1.5 Avios (still very good). This means that you could rack up 35,000 Avios (9,000 + 26,000) just by booking one family trip! Be sure to check out the ‘LondonSpotter Tip’ below to see how you can get this and save £146 too!

The main thing that makes this card worth the £195, however, is the ability to earn a 2-4-1 ‘companion voucher’ to use on British Airways flights. The companion voucher is added to your BA account when you spend £10,000 in your first year of card membership. The voucher essentially lets you purchase one reward flight and receive a ticket in the same cabin for someone else. If you want to learn more about BA reward flights, click here for my recent guide.

As with all AMEX cards, a nice and easy way to generate points is by referring friends and family. That’s right, I taught my family all about using miles and points and they now have more credit cards than they ever have done before! In fact, my parents are going on a huge trip this September all thanks to these amazing miles credit cards.

So, what do I think? Personally I think the £195 is justified. If you generate enough Avios you could jet off in First Class and take someone with you for free. Alone, that is worth at least a couple of thousand pounds. If you can’t see yourself being that big of a spender then have a look at the free BA AMEX card (full review coming soon) and go for that one instead. Just remember that if you choose the free card then want to upgrade to the premium card, you will not be eligible for the sign-on bonus. 

Ready to sign up for this card? I suggest checking out ALL of the benefits here on American Express’s website before making your final decision. Be aware that if you sign up through links on LondonSpotter, you will earn a bonus 1,000 Avios welcome bonus.

To sign up and take full advantage of my bonus 1,000 Avios offer, click here

LondonSpotter’s Tip:

Something to consider is that the £195 is actually refunded on a pro-rata basis if you cancel before the year is up. This means that you can sign up for three months, get your huge sign on bonus, call up AMEX and downgrade to the blue card. They’ll refund you £146 and you’ll have 27,000 Avios to play with. This is definitely what you should do if you think you won’t spend enough to get the companion voucher.


Other Cards to Consider:

The American Express Gold Card (NOW FREE FOR ONE YEAR)

The British Airways American Express Credit Card (FREE)

AMEX Preferred Gold Credit Card | Full Review

Important: This article has been updated in June 2019 to reflect changes to the American Express Gold Card

In my eyes, the American Express Gold Card has always been the best card they offer and even with my recent fallout with AMEX using the Platinum card, I have stuck by them and now use the Gold Card along with the awesome Curve Metal card.


Brief Review:

Card: American Express Preferred Rewards Gold Credit Card

Cost: £0 (then £140 per year after the first year)

Sign-up Bonus: 10,000 membership rewards points (12,000 by using our link)

Favourite Perk: It’s free for the first year

I bet you’ve never pulled a gold credit card out before!

I’m going to make this article very brief and start explaining why you cannot say no to having this card in your wallet.

1.  As I mentioned above – THIS CARD IS FREE – now although this is only true for the first year of membership, American Express allows you to cancel your card at any time which means if you are clever, you won’t pay a single penny. Every year after this will cost you £140.

2. The second reason you have to get this card is flexibility, the miles you earn on this card are available to transfer to a whopping 17 airline partners and three hotel partners. This means that you can keep your points in your AMEX account and when you have decided who you want to fly with, you can transfer your miles to the necessary partner airline.

3. The third reason is the solid sign-up bonus. You will receive 12,000 miles if you spend £3,000 in the first 3 months of having the card. (10,000 if you don’t use our link)

4. Having this card will allow you FREE LOUNGE ACCESS at any Lounge Club partner lounges around the world 2 times a year and after you have used these two passes you’ll be able to enter these lounges for only £15.

5. If you’re staying in one of AMEX’s 500 hotel partner chains then you will receive $100 room credit to spend on food, drink and more as well as FREE UPGRADES where available at check in if you stay two consecutive nights.

6. Finally having this card will enable you to earn 1 American Express Membership point for every £1 you spend as well as 2 points for every £1 spent with airlines or in foreign currencies. Furthermore, you can earn yourself 3 points for every £1 spent on AMEX’s official travel agency site.

7. If you’re a big spender who will spend £15,000 in a year then it is worth holding on to your card as you’ll receive an extra 10,000 points as a bonus.

On top of all of these benefits you are also subject to lots of travel protection, be eligible for American Express Invites events and more.

Photo: AMEX

If you’re still hesitant then let me give you one more perk: If you sign up using the link below then you will receive a bonus 2,000 membership points on sign up meaning your bonus is 12,000 instead of the ordinary 10,000!

To sign up for the American Express Gold Preferred Credit Card then click here!

Happy Spending and Happy Flying!

featured image found on Luxury Travel Diary – source unknown.