These are the 12 Most Lucrative Credit Card Signup Bonus Offers in the New Year

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There are a bunch of new – and very big – credit card signup bonus offers out there, and some limited-time bonuses. In fact this list is nearly two-thirds new over the past 4 months.

Over the last year we’ve gotten best-ever (or tied for best-ever) offers from several hotel programs. And we’ve got the single best card offer we’ve come across in a long time.

Here are the 12 personal cards I consider to have the very best signup bonus offers right now:

  1. Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card has an 80,000 point signup bonus after $5000 spend within 3 months. That can even be enough for a roundtrip business class award ticket between the US and Europe. (Chase points are super valuable because they transfer directly to a variety of airlines and hotels.)

    It earns 3 points per dollar on travel — that’s airlines, hotels, rental cars, tolls, even Uber — and 3 points per dollar on shipping and advertising on social media and search engines, so great for anyone who advertises on Facebook or Twitter, or who spends money advertising with Google. It also comes with $600 protection against theft or damage when you use it to buy your cell phone.

  2. Chase Sapphire Preferred Card lets you earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

    With a $0 annual fee the first year, then $95, I suggest that as the number on card to get started with in miles and points. Get Sapphire Reserve later, perhaps, the card’s annual fee makes this the one to get first.

    Like Sapphire Reserve, points transfer to United, Hyatt, Southwest, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Singapore Airlines, Korean Air, Air France KLM, Marriott Rewards, IHG Rewards Club, and Ritz-Carlton. Probably the best all-around credit card, and with a great signup bonus.

    In the first quarter of 2012 Chase dropped the card from 50,000 points to 40,000 points. Now it’s back at 50 — but really 55,000 with the no fee addition of an authorized user. That’s huge for one of the best all-around cards, earning one of the best all-around points currencies, and that earns those points quickly.

    You can earn another 5,000 bonus points when you add your first authorized user to the account and make a purchase in the same 3 months from account opening.

    The card earns 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide. The card has an introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95. Here are 10 things I love about the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. I carry this card in my wallet.

    best credit card bonus offers
    Transfer Points and Redeem for Singapore Airlines A380 Suites

    Since in general they don’t appear to be approving folks who have signed up for several cards recently, it’s the first card you should apply for. Here are the 8 best uses of the points you’ll earn.

  3. Chase Sapphire Reserve Card 50,000 point signup bonus after $4000 spend within 3 months; triple points on travel and dining; Priority Pass Select membership with free guests; $300 travel credit make this new Visa Infinite card from Chase with a $450 annual fee the most exciting new entrant of the year. It’s not my link, I don’t have a direct link to the card, the content doesn’t come from Chase and they don’t review it. Reportedly it’s still available inside Chase branches with a 100,000 point bonus offer.

  4. Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN offers 50,000 Membership Rewards points after $5,000 spend on purchases with the card within your first 3 months of cardmembership.

  5. United MileagePlus Explorer Card has a special limited-time offer of 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. This is often available targeted, logged into your account, but not for everyone — right now it’s publicly available.

    The card comes with first checked bag free when you use your card to purchase your ticket; priority boarding (which is super important if you book a Basic Economy fare, because it avoids the prohibition on full-sized carry on bags), and 2 one-time United Club passes each year for your card anniversary.

  6. Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ MasterCard® has an offer for a limited time to earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after making $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. (Offer expired)

    There’s a $0 annual fee the first year, then $95. Cardmembers receive one free checked bag and group 1 boarding.


    American AAdvantage Miles Can Be Redeemed on Etihad

  7. The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN has a limited-time offer of up to 75,000 Membership Rewards points: 50,000 points after $10,000 spend within 3 months and an additional 25,000 points after you spend an additional $10,000 within those first 3 months.

    The $450 card comes with a $200 airline fee credit. It gets you lounge access — Priority Pass, Delta lounges when flying Delta same-day, and their own Centurion lounges. And it gets you elite status — Hilton Gold and Starwood Gold which matches to Marriott Gold.


    American Express Centurion Lounge Houston

  8. Citi Prestige Card offers 40,000 points after $4,000 spend within 3 months of account opening. There are fantastic points transfer options, from Singapore Airlines to Air France to Etihad Guest. The card comes with a Priority Pass Select that allows unlimited visits and 2 free guests each time.

    I’ve been building up points with this card to diversify my balances since I have plenty of Chase and American Express points already.

  9. Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card has a signup bonus right now of 50,000 points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. You also receive 3,000 points after your cardmember anniversary every year. Usually it’s the more expensive ‘Premier’ card that offers this bonus.

    Points count towards the Southwest Companion Pass. And if you prefer not to use them for travel you can redeem them at a penny apiece for gift cards as well.

  10. Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® offers 50,000 miles after $5000 spend within the first 3 months of cardmembership. This card comes with American Airlines Club membership and no annual fee authorized users get access to the club as well. The card’s annual fee is $450.


    New American Airlines B/E Aerospace Super Diamond Business Class

  11. Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card is offering its biggest signup offer ever at 80,000 points after spending $3000 within the first 3 months of cardmembership and an additional 7500 bonus points when you add your first authorized user to the account and make a purchase in that same timeframe. Now that Marriott points transfer to Starwood, it’s the biggest current public signup offer for Starwood points as well.

    It’s worth two nights in a category 8 hotel or 4 nights in a category 4 or 8 nights in a category 2 hotel.


    Starwood’s Al Maha Desert Resort – Base Room is a Standalone Villa With Private Pool

  12. Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard has a $0 annual fee the first year and crucially there’s a limited-time offer of 50,000 points after $3,000 spend on purchases in the first 90 days. That’s worth $500 as a travel credit then you get 5% back, or $25, to redeem again.

    It’s a great way to pay for travel expenses that don’t get covered by award tickets and free hotel nights.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community Milepoint.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Editorial note: any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Comments made in response to this post are not provided or commissioned nor have they been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of any advertiser to ensure that questions are answered, either. Terms and limitations apply to all offers.

Comments

  1. Thanks for the informative list Gary… I’d like to offer one piece of advice that I see on some other blogs. When you’re reviewing or recommending chase cards it’s useful to inform the readers if that particular card is subject to 5/24 or not… Other than that keep up the great work…

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