I receive compensation for many links on this blog. You don’t have to use these links, but I am grateful to you if you do. American Express, Citibank, Chase, and other banks are advertising partners of this site. Any opinions expressed in this post are my own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by my advertising partners. I do not write about all credit cards that are available -- instead focusing on miles, points, and cash back (and currencies that can be converted into the same).
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
- 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.
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card has a limited time offer: Earn 60,000 points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open — which is the biggest I’ve seen for the card.
I love that Southwest doesn’t charge change fees and doesn’t charge for checked bags. I’ve been flying them a lot more this year, and having a stash of Southwest points on hand is great for domestic positioning flights for awards when other airlines don’t have connecting availability especially since Rapid Rewards tickets are cancellable without a fee. And at the end of the day you can also redeem your points for gift cards and still get strong value.
And of course arguably the single best benefit in all of travel is the Southwest Companion Pass which is earned after 110,000 points in a year – and credit card points (including signup bonus points) count.
Note also that the lower annual fee Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card also has a 60,000 points offer after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
- Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express has a limited time offer for this card to let you earn 70,000 bonus miles (and 10,000 elite qualifying miles) after you spend $4,000 in purchases on your new Card within your first 4 months. The card comes with a $100 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase on the new card within your first 4 months. It will only be available through July 5, 2017.