Five Bonus Offers Not to Miss This Month

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.

  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.)

    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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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, 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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  1. Can you remind us whether there are approval criteria that make the Ink Card Preferred more difficult to get than the standard Business Card? Also, is it subject to 5/24

    Aslo, while I can quibble with some of the others, the Hilton card is truly a lemon. 100K points is worth about $400, far less value than the Marriott card at 80K points.

  2. “100K [HH] points is worth about $400” — Except that 95K would get you a room that costs up $1,000/night at, say, Conrad Koh Samui.

    One should avoid pontificating on matters that one is so obviously clueless about…

  3. That’s great. And on day 2 I can move down the beach to the motel 6. If I was okay paying $1,000 a night I wouldn’t be worried about churning one of the most worthless cards in hotel universe.

  4. @DCS, right now the Conrad Koh Samui is available at US$561 per night, or 119,000 points. So no, the bonus on the card won’t pay for a night; and the cost avoided if it did is only half the $1000 you suggest.

  5. @Randy Hudson — And your point is what exactly? You seem to be a short-term planner, which few who play the miles/points game can afford to be. Few earn points and then spend them immediately. Rather, most would accumulate points and then redeem them when they would get a “good value.” That you found rates at Koh Samiu that were higher than 95K/night simply meant that only so-called “premium” awards were available. That would be equivalent to finding no award availability in other programs. Therefore, I have no idea what point you believe you made by coming with a situation under which no one who plays the game with a “full deck” would ever consider redeeming their points…

  6. @Johnny — My preceding post is for you as well, but I have the sense that you have no business playing the game because you are clueless.

  7. BTW, @ Johnny, you came up with the monetary value of 100K HH points as being about $400, by simply multiplying 100K by the AVERAGE redemption value of 0.4 cpp. However, a couple of years ago I achieved a redemption value of 1.3 cpp on a 5-night award stay at Conrad Koh Samui. Therefore, 100K points can be worth as much as

    100,000 points * $0.013/points = $1,300.

    Why is my calculation of the monetary value of 100K HH points, using an actual redemption value, less valid than yours in which you used an AVERAGE redemption value?

    Think, man, think!

  8. Does the Citi / AA card give you an additional 5,000 or 10,000 miles for a second card holder?

    I know I got that extra bonus miles on my UA card when I got a second for my wife.

  9. @DCS how can such an expert as yourself use an example of a redemption from 2 years ago for current value? A few years back I could have used my cat1-5 certs for Marriott properties in Hawaii. Not anymore.

    Using the most common value that you can get is the value of your card, not the highest.

    You also use the value it brings in actual real savings of what you have paid. Say in Hawaii I might be willing to pay $375 for a room in a resort. I check in and I get a $1000 suite. My 25,000 did not save me the equivalent of 4 cents per dollar. It’s still the 1.5 that I was willing to spend.

  10. Well, it’s “Mike”! You have nothing to say that I am interested in — too sophomoric to waste my time with. Find your answers in any of my many prior posts on these topics.

    G’day and GOODBYE, “Mike.”

  11. BTW, the top award rate at Conrad Koh Samui remains 95K/night, dropping down to 72K/night for a 5-night award stay, just like two years ago. Availability also remains spotty as before, meaning that one needs to be patient to get dates with favorable rates…

    Q.E.D. re: “sophomoric”.


  12. The funny part is that DCS thinks he just attacked me, but ended up going after someone else who happens to have the same name — especially after he said he would never address me again.

    But again, this is just more predictable behavior from someone who seriously needs professional help.

  13. @DCS, you are correct that when the point cost is not tied to the cash price, it is common to find redemptions where the using points saves substantially more than their average value.

    What you might have missed, though, is that Hilton changed the program a few months ago. The change lowered the average value of points only slightly, from about 0.5 to 0.4 cpp. But the good redemptions, such as your Conrad Koh Samui stay, apparently went away entirely. When you mentioned that stay, I went to check, thinking you were referring to a recent stay and that they had overlooked a property in their sweep. But I found the cash prices lower, and the Honors point prices higher, than your experience had been. So I posted that here.

    I do agree with your experience that the 5th Night Free perq for rooms paid with points is key to the best redemptions, both before the recent changes, and since them. Combined with choosing the property wisely, that still allows redemptions of 0.6 cpp, and occasionally more (particularly at properties that used to be in Categories 1 through 3).

  14. @Randy Hudson — I am well aware of the programmatic changes that Hilton Honors begin implementing on March 1, and even wrote blog-like posts about some of them. The notion that “good redemptions, such as your Conrad Koh Samui stay, apparently went away entirely” is bizarre because I just searched today and they are still there, complete with the 5th night free. Search for a range of dates and not for individual dates, scrolling forward or backwards to find dates with STANDARD AWARDS if only “premium” awards come up initially.

    Furthermore, I am not sure what this means: “The change lowered the average value of points only slightly, from about 0.5 to 0.4 cpp.” Do you realize that such AVERAGE redemption values are not only imprecise, but are largely meaningless at the individual level, so that to claim to be able to differentiate between 0.4 and 0.5cpp is just silly. Importantly, I am sure you do not know what an average redemption value of 0.5cpp means other than it sounds like a low value compared to, say, redemptions in starpoints. However, the reality is that a redemption value 0.5 cent per HH point is equivalent of a redemption value of about 3 cents/STARPOINT. If you are confused by than they you should not get hung up on the value of points.


  15. Goodbye “Mike”. Noticed the quotation marks? It means that it does not matter which “Mike” it is. Just get lost.

  16. I can’t speak for others, but I can hardly wait to read your blog. You are clearly a higher order thinker. Might I even suggest a name: View from a Condescending Troll

  17. @DCS: “Goodbye “Mike”. Noticed the quotation marks? It means that it does not matter which “Mike” it is. Just get lost.”

    Oh, and just because you says it means that, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s what it really means.

  18. “Mike” — Part of what I do for living, with significant NIH funding, is the study of neuropsychiatric disorders using advanced brain imaging (MRI) as a biomedical imaging physicist and full professor, with dual appointments at the medical schools of two Ivy League universities in Manhattan (it should be evident what they since there are only two institutions that fit the description). Therefore, to link to an article at the Mayo Clinic (where I have colleagues) on NPD and purport that the diagnosis somehow applies to me is just stupid, even for you. You are simply not sufficiently equipped “upstairs” to carry on with this charade.

    Just give it up and get lost.

  19. @Johnny — You must be new here because I frequently link to my many blog-like posts, as the need arises, so stick around….


  20. @DCS: And had you bothered reading the article, you would have seen this quote:

    “When you have narcissistic personality disorder, you may not want to think that anything could be wrong — doing so wouldn’t fit with your self-image of power and perfection.”

    Translated: everyone sees it except for the person who actually has it, which is evident in your response.

  21. @Mike — I do not need to read about NPD. I study NPD, which should tell you that you are way in over your head, and should just shut the hell up because you have got no clue.

    You are clueless. How about that for being blind to something that is obvious to all but to you?…

  22. @DCS: Just because you study NPD doesn’t mean anything. Waving your proverbial academic dick around about how important you are and what you do for a living doesn’t mean anything.

    What means something here is how you act, and how you treat people.

    It matters that you can’t admit when you are wrong.

    It matters when you belittle people that you don’t agree with.

    It matters when you insult people who agree with you, but who say something you don’t agree with.

    All of those things point to one thing – there is a problem, and it lies wholly with you. And the fact that everyone sees this except for you is your problem, and no one else’s.

    Honestly, at this point, DCS, the only thing that I feel anymore regarding you is pity, because no matter all of your accomplishments, you somehow feel that it is appropriate and acceptable to sit here and insult people, no matter what. I’d hate to live my life like that, and I honestly feel sorry for you that you do.

  23. @”Mike” — There is no longer any doubt in my mind that YOU need a shrink. The psychopathology is unmistakable and it is O.C.D. You are obsessed, and guess the object or subject of that obsession… You got it! 😉

    I dare you to just walk away if you do not have OCD …

  24. @Randy Hudson said on May 13, 2017 at 11:29 am: “But the good redemptions, such as your Conrad Koh Samui stay, apparently went away entirely.”

    Here’s a real example that dispels that notion. It’s a REAL example because I just booked it FOR REAL as part of my 2017 Year-end Asian Escapade(tm), since the value of the redemption is so good, considering that despite having loads of HH points I had to pay cash last year (long before the new rules went into effect) to stay at this property around the same time of the year (over the New Year festivities) because there was NO award (even “premium”) AVAILABILITY:

    Hilton Pattaya City, 5-night award stay (5th night free):
    — Standard Room Reward, 40K/night (i.e., 50K/night with 1 night free or 20% off) x 5
    = 200,000 points.

    — Total cash value of the same booking: US$1,840

    Redemption Value of the Reward Star: $1,840/200,000HH = $0.009/HH or 0.9cent/HH.

    Therefore, the 100K-point offer would be worth, RIGHT NOW: 100,000HH x $0.009/HH = $900


  25. On the contrary, the more you post your delusional fantasies of importance, DCS, the more you prove my point.

  26. @JR — It is very easy to launch insults, especially anonymously, when there is a big void in one’s head where there’s supposed to be dense gray matter. So, prove me wrong. Show us that there is more between your ears than a black hole. If “DCS is such a fraud. Fake, lying, fraud”, then you should enjoy making a coherent case for it (if that is even possible), and let everyone judge it. Then based on your “thesis”, I will show who is the real fraud and liar.

  27. I have never met a full professor who conducted his online comportment in this manner, and therefore doubt much in the rantings here. It would be rather interesting to discuss these online rantings with a friend who is a bona-fide and tenured Professor at “an Ivy League university in Manhattan” to see if the picture becomes a little clearer. People who behave online in this fashion are relatively unlikely to be unknown by their colleagues.

  28. @DCS: “It is very easy to launch insults, especially anonymously, when there is a big void in one’s head where there’s supposed to be dense gray matter.”

    And how do you explain, then, why it’s so easy for you to do it (since that’s essentially all you do here)?

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