Do you work remotely full-time? Are you a company director with your own Ltd for your freelance work? Then you should take advantage of this to treat yourself.
A good work credit card to enjoy travel perks
If you run a company, you are eligible to get a company credit card and expense the cost of it as a business expense. That’s what I do with the AMEX Platinum. The cost per year seems huge (£650 VAT included). However, it’s rewarding.
The new perk for business is £200 of travel credits per year
You need to book via https://travel.americanexpress.co.uk to use those and they appear before the payment (screengrab below). I just used those Amex travel credits to book my trip to Panama in early 2024 with KLM. You obviously won’t find low-cost flights with Ryanair, Wizz Air, or EasyJet on that platform. However, you will find all the Star Alliance and the SkyTeam Alliance companies.
Lounge access worldwide for you (and your +1)
Stopping at the lounge before flying or during a flight connection totally changes your travel experience. I don’t think I will ever want to stop using those. If it wasn’t via my corporate Amex, I would look at some other card to get lounge access. I had a crypto card that provided LoungeKey access. That’s a bit less great than Priority Pass as there is a small cost per use, and you can’t bring a guest for free.
Comprehensive worldwide travel insurance for you & your immediate family
Travel insurance can be very expensive, the Amex Business Platinum travel insurance covers you as a primary cardholder and your immediate family too (for trips of up to 120 days when travel is booked on your Card). All details at https://www.americanexpress.com/en-gb/benefits/insurance-and-protection/the-platinum-card/travel-insurance/
£150 Dell.co.uk credits per year
It’s £75 per 6 months, totalling £150 per year. Good for little gadgets (USB-A-C combo key, laptop riser, travel bag, speakers, etc.). Just do your order using your card and get it refunded as card credits later.
I recently mentioned how I did my first Business Class flight as a long haul from Peru using years of points. I combined some Avios and Membership Points to get a return reward flight to Peru. Don’t waste your points on flight discounts or Amazon shopping, they can be much more powerful as reward flights. Of course, it will take some time to accumulate those. Unless you spend a lot and like playing the points game.
Collect 3 Avios per £1/€1/$1 spent with Airbnb
By the way, you can earn Avios by staying with Airbnb. Also for Airbnb Experience – you can do an Airbnb Experience as a work party, (Christmas party, or summer event), for up to £150 per person per year + £150 for your partner (total £300) if you are a freelance.
What else is on the perks list?
I personally don’t use those:
- £300 Annual Indeed Statement Credit
- £150 statement credit when you book with onefinestay
- Hotel Benefits for upgrades (Hilton, Marriot Bonvoy™, Meliá Hotels International, Radisson Hotel Group)
- Complimentary annual digital subscription to The Times and The Sunday Times, worth £312 per year
- Dedicated concierge
- Purchase Protection: if you buy an eligible item on your Card and it’s stolen or damaged within 90 days, we’ll cover the cost to replace or repair it, or refund you up to £2,500 per eligible item
- Refund Protection: 90-day period, the Card’s Refund Protection means that even if the UK retailer won’t refund you, we’ll replace or refund you up to a maximum of £300
Why the Amex Business Platinum is worth it?
A business expense for your personal benefit. This is why I see it as a good expense:
£650 – VAT back = £541.67 is the real business cost
£541.67 – £200 travel credits = £341.67
£341.67 – £150 dell.co.uk products = £191.67
£191.67 – yearly travel insurance (a basic annual multi-trip travel insurance policy for a 30-year-old person travelling to Europe could cost around £150) = £41.67
How much per year would you spend on drinks and sandwiches at the airport? More than £40 total? Then the cost per year is worth it! Once again, it is a business cost, not from your own pocket.
Now, let’s imagine you do at least 3 return flights per year = 6 Lounge access = £20 to £35 x 6 = £120 to £210. Do you have a partner or travel companion to invite for food and drinks at the lounge? Then double that saving.
What do you say? You might think, “I don’t need the Dell credit”. That’s true, but you can buy and resell on eBay or wherever you wish.
If you are tempted, rack some bigger welcome bonus Membership Rewards® points with my Amex Business Refer a Friend invitation. Click the link and choose the Amex Business Platinum card to get started.
A good personal card to avoid bad currency
Revolut is my go-to personal card for travelling. They have a good app and exchange rate. It’s better than any bank rates (not amazing during weekends when the market closes). I have 2 of them, one is inactive, safe in my suitcase in case of an issue with the one in my wallet. I mean, if I lose it or someone steals it…
During my trip to Uruguay, I took cash out from the ATM inside a bank (Always take cash from ATM linked to banks, never the ones isolated in the streets). The machine gives the cash first and then the card (bad UX). I took my money and I left. My card stayed in the machine. It probably got swallowed automatically. I immediately froze it in one click in the app until I could go back to the bank and ask if there was a possibility to get it back. They weren’t helpful, so I blocked it and used the second one for the rest of my trip, no stress, panic aborted.
Happy travels in style ;-)