Credit card bonuses boost your balances quickly, in some cases a single credit card can get you more than one flight or a premium cabin flight. Get one yourself, get one for your travel companion, and you’re booking award travel in no time.
One way to think about which cards to sign up for is to look at the travel you want to do, and consider the cards:
- with the biggest or much better than usual signup bonuses
- where it’s not expected the bonuses will stay around long
Here are 5 cards you should consider getting now, because the offers are fantastic and in some cases they’re on the way out.
- 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.)
I mention this card first because it’s my favorite big card bonus right now and because it’s a business card — and a new one at that — so it’s not one most people have had already.
The card 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.
- British Airways Visa Signature® Card was the first US credit card I’m aware of to ever offer a 100,000 point bonus in 2009.
Their big bonus is back, and it’s structured as follows: 50,000 after $3,000 spend on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening; 25,000 after $10,000 total spend on purchases within your first year of account opening — for a total of 75,000 bonus Avios ($7000 additional spend on top of the first $3000 for 50,000 Avios.); an additional 25,000 after a total of $20,000 spend within your first year from account opening — for a total of 100,000 bonus Avios.
You can even earn a ‘travel together’ ticket with $30,000 spend on the card in a year, which lets you book two passengers for the same number of miles as one.
And best of all Chase’s 5/24 reportedly does not apply.
British Airways First Class
- Hilton HonorsTM Surpass® Card from American Express is offering 100,000 Hilton Honors points after $3000 in eligible purchases on the card in your first 3 months of cardmembership for a limited time.
The card also earns a free weekend night on its approval anniversary date (does not include resort or service charges at some properties) as part of its signup bonus.
Cardmembers get complimentary Gold status in the Honors program, and $40,000 on eligible purchases each calendar year earns Diamond status through the end of the next calendar year.
This best-ever offer for the card expires at the end of this month.
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ MasterCard® has an offer for a limited time to earn 60,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after making $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. This is the biggest public offer ever for this card, usually limited-time offers are for just 50,000 miles.
There’s a $0 annual fee the first year, then $95. Cardmembers receive one free checked bag and preferred boarding. I like this card for the signup bonus and to keep for the preferred boarding (you can bring a full sized carry on bag onboard even on a basic economy fare, and either way avoid having to gate check your bag) and free checked bags.
- Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Credit Card requires $1000 in purchases within 90 day of account opening to receive 30,000 bonus miles, $100 statement credit, and a $0 + tax companion ticket.
30,000 bonus miles is up from the previous normal of 25,000 [this is a push related to acquiring Virgin America’s customers as cardmembers], the statement credit was sometimes available during the ticket purchase path, and the companion ticket usually runs $99+tax but is a real value because it books into revenue inventory without significant restrictions. Bank of America card, $75 fee applies first year.