There are a few places online that compile the best credit card deals. But as you get from reading this blog, I have my own take on what actually is best. So I’ve compiled these offers in many ways as a repository for myself — these are the links I go back to when it’s time to sign up for a card myself or recommend a link to friends and family.
Some of these do offer referral credit to me, many do not, but in all cases I endeavor to provide links to the best offers available at any time.
If you find something I’ve missed, I’d greatly appreciate it if you would e-mail me.
This does not endeavor to be a complete and 100% exhaustive list of all of the credit cards that exist. Rather, these are the cards that I believe are actually worthwhile.
AIRLINE CREDIT CARDS
Alaska Airlines: 40,000 mile signup bonus: 25,000 miles on approval and then 15,000 more after $7500 in spend within 6 months of account open. $75 annual fee not waived the first year.
This card also comes with a $99+tax companion ticket which is valid for use on any paid coach fare. Sadly the companion tickets are no longer useful on paid first class fares.
American Airlines: Visa with 50,000 bonus points after $2500 spend within 4 months, no fee the first year.
The link is direct to the application page, if you prefer an offer with a landing page there’s still the 40,000 mile signup bonus offer as advertised on TV.
Southwest Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Card 50,000 points after $2000 spend within 3 months, $99 annual fee.
US Airways Mastercard 40,000 points after first purchase.
This is from Barclay’s Bank, so a breather from Chase, Citi, and Amex. It comes with Preferred check-in, zone 2 boarding, and an annual lounge pass. It also comes with a $99 companion ticket that can be used for two companions off of a single paid (minimum $250+) fare.
HOTEL CREDIT CARDS
Cardholders get free ‘Premier’ (first elite tier) status in Fairmont’s Presidents Club, which usually requires 5 stays or 10 nights. The card doesn’t, however, credit you with those stays/nights an thus doesn’t help towards Platinum status.
Premier earns 750 miles per stay instead of the standard 500, receives 1 room upgrade and 1 suite upgrade certificate each year, a $50 dining or spa certificate, and some other sundry benefits.
The card also comes with lounge access with two free visits, and no foreign currency transaction fees.
Citi Hilton Reserve Visa comes with Gold status (upgrades, breakfast, free internet) and 2 free weekend nights after $2500 spend. An amazing deal when Gold status stays as long as you keep the card.
After $10,000 in spend each year you get another free weekend night. And after $40,000 in spend you get top tier Diamond status. The card has no foreign currency transaction fees, and earns 10 points per dollar on Hilton spend.
The standard offer is
- Two free nights at any Hyatt in the world as a signup bonus
- Existing Gold Passport Diamond members get their free nights in a suite
- Existing Gold Passport Platinum members get two free nights plus two confirmed suite upgrades (valid on any paid rate up to 7 nights each, subject to availability)
- Platinum status as long as you hold the card
- Accelerated Diamond Status Based on Spending: $20,000 generates 2 stays and 5 nights of elite credit, and spending $40,000 in a year provides an additional 3 stays and 5 nights
- Annual free night at a Gold Passport category 4hotel or below
- Triple points on Hyatt spend, double points on airfare, dining, and rental cars
- No foreign currency conversion fees
- $75 annual fee
But you can get this offer with a $75 statement credit:
- Head to the Hyatt website and go through the process of making a reservation.
- After you search for a hotel on a given set of dates, and select your rate, you reach the screen where you would enter payment information.
- There’s an icon on the right hand side of the screen advertising the credit card offer with $75 statement credit.
Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express and Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express OPEN: Earn up to 25,000 Starpoints – 10,000 Starpoints after your first purchase, and another 15,000 bonus Starpoints when you spend $5,000 in 6 months. $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $65
The cards also come with 2 stays and 5 nights towards elite status, and $30,000 spend gets you Gold. Points transfer to the largest array of airline programs of any card, and when you transfer 20,000 miles at once you get 5000 bonus miles (so it’s like earning 1.25 miles per dollar on all spend).
BANK PROGRAM CREDIT CARDS
Chase Ultimate Rewards
Chase Sapphire Preferred® (or call 888-653-8898) 40,000 points after $3000 in spend within 3 months, no foreign currency conversion fees, double points on travel and dining, points transfers to United, Hyatt, Southwest, Amtrak, British Airways, Korean Airlines, Marriott Priority Club, and Ritz-Carlton. Probably the best all-around credit card, and with a great signup bonus.
Ink Bold® Business Card and Ink Plus® Business Card are small business cards that both offer 50,000 point signup bonuses after $5,000 spend within 3 months. Points transfer to United, British Airways, Korean Airlines, Southwest, Hyatt, Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, Priority Club, and Amtrak. They earn quintuple points on wireless/telecommunications services, cable and satellite TV and radio, and office supply stores and double points on hotels and gas stations up to 200,000 points per year.
Chase Freedom® Visa: 10,000 points after $500 in spend within 3 months, no annual fee. If you also have a Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Ink Bold charge card or Ink Plus credit card you can transfer these points into that other account and then from there over to airline miles or hotel points. The card earns 5 points per dollar on a rotating set of categories each quarter.
American Express Membership Rewards
Mercedes-Benz American Express Platinum card: 50,000 American Express Membership Rewards points after $1000 spend within 3 months, $475 annual fee. Comes with a $200 airline fee credit, will also reimburse the $100 fee for Global Entry. Lounge access with Delta and American when flying those airlines anytime. Lounge access with US Airways regardless of whom you are flying. And a Priority Pass Select membership for international lounges as well as Alaska Airlines lounges. Comes with Starwood Gold status, too.
The Platinum Card® from American Express lets you earn 25K Membership Rewards points after you spend $2,000 during your first three months of Card membership. Receive up to $200 annually in a statement credit with the airline of your choice to use towards baggage fees, flight-change fees, in-flight food and beverage purchases and more, they’ll also credit the $100 fee for Global Entry. Lounge access is a key benefit — from Delta and American when flying those airlines anytime, from US Airways regardless of whom you are flying, and a Priority Pass Select membership for international lounges as well as Alaska Airlines lounges. Comes with Starwood Gold status, too.
American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card: Earn 25,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $2,000 during your first three months of Card membership; earn 15,000 when you spend $30,000 within one calendar year; 3X points for flights booked with airlines, 2X points at US gas stations and US supermarkets, 1X points on other purchases; $0 annual fee the first year, then $175.
Citi Forward Card: No annual fee and 5 points per dollar on restaurant, books, and music (effectively 5% cash back on restaurants including fast food and Starbucks). 10,000 bonus points after $650 in purchases within 3 months.