It’s been more than two months since I updated a top 10 list of best current credit card signup offers.
Here’s what I consider the current 10 best credit card signup bonuses currently available:
- Ink Bold charge card and Ink Plus credit card are small business cards that both offer 50,000 point signup bonuses after $5,000 spend within 3 months. They have a $0 fee the first year, $95 thereafter.
Points transfer to United, British Airways, Korean Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Southwest, Hyatt, Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, Priority Club, and Amtrak.
If you’re wondering whether a small business card makes sense for you, read Why You Should Add a Small Business Card to Your Wallet.
- Chase Sapphire Preferred offers a $0 fee the first year ($95 thereafter); 40,000 points after $3000 in spend within 3 months, 5000 additional bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening; 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.
This is the card I recommend most to beginners in the hobby for getting started, but it’s one that beginners and experts alike can benefit from.
(The better offer some folks wound up getting at the Chase site no longer seems to be available; the 40,000 point bonus is the best I’m aware of otherwise since March 2012.)
- Citi American Airlines Visa : 50,000 bonus points after $3000 spend within 3 months, no fee the first year.
- British Airways Visa Signature® Card: Up to 100,000 points: 50k points after $2000 in purchases within 3 months, 25k more points after $10k spend within first year, and 25k more when you hit $20k spend within the first year.
If you spend $30,000 on the card in a calendar year you earn a companion certificate so you can redeem miles and a second passenger travels on the award for no additional miles (but does pay the taxes and fuel surcharges). Here’s my full discussion of this offer.
British Airways offers family accounts so you can pool your miles. One person could get the card, spend $30,000 on it this year and earn 87,500 points (signup bonus plus 1.25 points per dollar for spending). A second person gets the card, and spends only enough for the 50,000 point bonus. Together they then have 140,000 points that can effectively be used twice for 280,000 points worth of travel as long as they fly together and exclusively on British Airways.
- Alaska Airlines Visa Signature: 50,000 points — 25,000 on approval, 25,000 after $1,000 in purchases within the first 90 days of the account open date. The $75 annual fee is not waived the first year.
- Mercedes-Benz American Express Platinum card: 50,000 American Express Membership Rewards points after $3000 spend within 3 months, $475 annual fee (which also gets you a $200 airline fee credit, $100 credit if you are signing up for Global Entry, and lounge access with American, US Airways (both ending March 22) and Delta — plus a Priority Pass Select card for Alaska Airlines and many international lounges). Here’s a roundup of the various offers for different American Express Platinum cards.
- United Explorer Card: There’s a 50,000 mile signup bonus with additional miles possible, it is targeted but many have been able to get the card. I love that the card comes with primary collision damage waiver benefits for rental cars. If the offer was generally available to everyone it would be higher up on my list. There’s also a small business version of the card — log into your MileagePlus account and click on the Explorer card for business. Some people click around to other cards and back and see the 50,000 point card offered to them.
- Southwest Airlines® Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card: 50,000 points after $2,000 within 3 months, that’s ~ $714 worth of airfare, and it’s even incrementally better than that because you only pay the segment (security) taxes and not the excise taxes you’d be out of pocket for on a paid ticket. Up through the end of March the points are actually worth $833, so if you get the card now and redeem for travel by then you do even better.
When you earn 110,000 points in a year in the Southwest program (e.g. this 50,000 point signup bonus, and also getting a business card linked ont he same page, plus transferring in some points from Chase Ultimate Rewards to Hyatt to Southwest or a little bit of spending on the cards) you can earn a pass that allows someone to travel with you for free whenever you travel.
- US Airways Mastercard 35,000 points after first purchase and fee waived the first year. It’s not the best offer I’ve seen, there have been 40,000 mile offers in the past, but it’s the best current offer I’m aware of.
- A quartet of free hotel night credit card offers:
- The Citi Hilton Reserve Visa comes with Gold status (upgrades, breakfast, free internet) and 2 free weekend nights after $2500 spend at nearly every Hilton family property. There’s a $95 annual fee. An amazing deal when Gold status stays as long as you keep the card.
- The Hyatt Visa offers two nights at any Hyatt in the world after $1000 in spend.
- The Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature® Card give you an 85,000 point signup bonus — 50,000 after first purchase and 35,000 more after $2500 spend within 90 days plus Gold status in the program and your last night on every award redemption free. The annual fee is $75. You get Gold status with the chain, and you get a free night every time you book an award stay of two nights or longer!
- The Fairmont Visa offers 2 free nights at any Fairmont, including breakfast.
Reasonable people can disagree on the ordering — how you will value points depends on how many you already have and what awards you’re after.
(A little over a third of the card links in the list above offer referral credit to me if you are approved after applying through the links in this post.)
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