Recommended Credit Card Offers

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. 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).

There are a few places online that compile the best credit card deals. But as you get from reading this blog, I have my own take on what actually is best. So I’ve compiled these offers in many ways as a repository for myself — these are the links I go back to when it’s time to sign up for a card myself or recommend a link to friends and family.

If you find something I’ve missed, I’d greatly appreciate it if you would e-mail me.

American Express, Chase, Citibank, US Bank, and Barclaycard are advertising partners of this blog.

This does not endeavor to be a complete and 100% exhaustive list of all of the credit cards that exist. Rather, these are the cards that I believe are actually worthwhile.

AIRLINE CREDIT CARDS

Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan: 30,000 mile signup bonus: $75 annual fee not waived the first year.

This card also comes with a $99+tax companion ticket which is valid for use on any paid coach fare. Sadly the companion tickets are no longer useful on paid first class fares.

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 it offers authorized user cards at no additional annual fee. Authorized users get access to American Airlines clubs as well. $40,000 spend on purchases that post to your account during a calendar year earns 10,000 elite qualifying miles. The card’s annual fee is $450.

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®

Earn 60,000 American Airlines miles after $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. (Limited-time offer.)

Benefits include first checked bag free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for the cardholder and up to 4 companions traveling on the same reservation; preferred boarding on American Airlines flights; no foreign transaction fees; 25% savings on in-flight food and beverage purchases when you use your card on American Airlines flights.

You get 10% rebated on redemptions up to 10,000 miles per year.

CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®

Earn 60,000 American Airlines miles after $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. (Limited-time offer.)

Benefits include first checked bag free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for the cardholder and up to 4 companions traveling on the same reservation; preferred boarding on American Airlines flights; no foreign transaction fees; 25% savings on in-flight food and beverage purchases when you use your card on American Airlines flights.

Earning is 2 miles per dollar on American Airlines purchases, telecommunications, car rental merchants, and at gas stations (1 mile per dollar on other purchases).

British Airways Visa Signature® Card

It’s Back: Earn a total of 100,000 British Airways Avios!

    Earn 50,000 bonus Avios after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.

    Earn an additional 25,000 bonus Avios after you spend $10,000 total on purchases within your first year of account opening for a total of 75,000 bonus Avios.

    Earn a further 25,000 bonus Avios after you spend $20,000 total on purchases within your first year from account opening for a total of 100,000 bonus Avios.

And once you’re putting $20,000 spend on the card, it makes sense to go for $30,000 because each calendar year you make $30,000 in purchases on the card you earn a Travel Together Ticket good for two years essentially doubling the usefulness of your miles for two passengers flying on the same eligible itinerary.

The card will let you earn 3 Avios for every $1 spent on British Airways purchases and 1 Avios for every $1 spent on all other purchases. There are no foreign transaction fees with this card.

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card

American Express has a limited time offer for this card to let you earn 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within your first 4 months. The card comes with a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase on the new card within your first 4 months. Offer expires on 7/5/2017.

The card earns 2 Miles per dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta and 1 mile on every eligible dollar spent on purchases.

The card has a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95. With this card you’ll receive first checked bag free on Delta flights and priority boarding.

There are no foreign transaction fees. Terms apply. See rates and fees.

Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

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. Offer expires on 7/5/2017.

The card earns 2 Miles per dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta and 1 mile on every eligible dollar spent on purchases.

With this $195 annual fee card you’ll receive first checked bag free on Delta flights and priority boarding.

Terms Apply, see rates and fees.

JetBlue Plus Card

  • Earn 30,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 90 days
  • Earn 6 points per $1 on JetBlue purchases, 2 points per $1 at restaurants and grocery stores and 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
  • No blackout dates on JetBlue-operated flights & redeem for any seat, any time on JetBlue-operated flights. Points required for an Award Flight will vary based on the published base fare at the time of booking
  • Points awarded in your TrueBlue account don’t expire.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points every year after your account anniversary
  • 50% savings on eligible inflight purchases like cocktails and food & the primary cardmember’s first checked bag is free on JetBlue-operated flights
  • Enjoy TrueBlue Mosaic benefits for one year after you spend $50,000 or more on purchases each calendar year with your card
  • Enjoy a $100 statement credit after purchasing a JetBlue Vacations package of $100 or more with your JetBlue Plus Card

JetBlue Card

  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on JetBlue purchases, 2 points per $1 at restaurants and grocery stores and 1 point per $1 on all other purchases.
  • No blackout dates on JetBlue-operated flights & redeem for any seat, any time on JetBlue-operated flights. Points required for an Award Flight will vary based on the published base fare at the time of booking.
  • Points awarded in your TrueBlue account don’t expire.
  • Earn and share points together with Family Pooling.
  • 50% savings on eligible inflight purchases like cocktails and food on JetBlue-operated flights
  • No foreign transaction fees

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

Chase 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. Ongoing earn for your spending is 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® and Rapid Rewards® purchases and participating Hotel and Car Rental partners. 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

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.

You’ll receive 6,000 bonus points after your Cardmember anniversary and the card has no foreign transaction fees.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

Chase 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. You’ll receive 3,000 bonus points after your Cardmember anniversary as well.

Ongoing earn for your spending is 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® and Rapid Rewards® purchases and participating Hotel and Car Rental partners. 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

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.

HOTEL CREDIT CARDS

The Hyatt Credit Card

The signup offer for this card lets you earn 2 free nights at any Hyatt hotel or resort worldwide after you make $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening. You’ll also get 5000 bonus points for adding an authorized user to your account and making a purchase with the card in your first 3 months as a cardmember.

The card’s $75 annual fee is certainly worthwhile since you receive a free night award every year after your cardmember anniversary at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort.

Earning is 3 points for every $1 spent at Hyatt hotels and resorts; 2 points for every $1 spent at restaurants, on airlines tickets purchased directly from the airlines and at car rental agencies; 1 point per $1 spent elsewhere.

Cardmembers receive Discoverist status good for late checkout among other benefits (and which matches to MGM M life Rewards Pearl status. Each year you spend $50,000 on the card you’ll earn Explorist status through the following year, including 4 club lounge upgrades per year and matching to MGM M life Rewards Gold status.

Points in your account don’t expire as long as your Hyatt Credit Card account is open.

Marriott

Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card

The signup bonus for this card lets you earn 80,000 Bonus Points after spending $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. You can also earn 7,500 bonus points for adding an authorized user to the account and making a purchase within the same 3 month period.

On an ongoing basis spend with this card will earn 5 points for every $1 spent at over 5,700 participating Marriott Rewards and SPG hotels; 2 points for every $1 spent on airline tickets purchased directly with the airlines; at car rental agencies & restaurants and 1 point everywhere else.

The card gives you a Category 1-5 hotel free night stay every year after your account anniversary date, and 15 elite night credits just for having the product.

Starwood

Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express.

American Express is offering up to 25,000 bonus Starpoints® as a signup bonus after $3,000 in purchases on the new card within the first 3 months.

The card has a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.

Points transfer to the largest array of airline programs of any card, and when you transfer points to 20,000 miles at once you get 5000 bonus miles.

Terms apply. See rates and fees.

Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express

American Express is offering 25,000 bonus Starpoints® as a signup bonus after you use your new card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.

$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95

Points transfer to the largest array of airline programs of any card, and when you transfer points to 20,000 miles at once you get 5000 bonus miles.

Terms apply. See rates and fees.

Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express

American Express will let you earn 75,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your card within the first 3 months of account opening.

This premium Hilton card earns 12 Hilton Honors bonus points per dollar on eligible purchases at participating Hilton properties, 6 points at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations, and 3x on all other eligible purchases.

Just being a cardmember gets you Hilton Honors Gold status, $40,000 eligible spend in a calendar year gets you Diamond through the end of the next calendar year. Terms apply, see rates and fees.

BANK PROGRAM CREDIT CARDS

Chase Ultimate Rewards

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards® Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95

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.

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.

Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

This new card lets you earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Your spending will earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases on travel, shipping purchases, Internet, cable and phone services, advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines each account anniversary year. (Of course you earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases—with no limit to the amount you can earn.)

Employee cards come at no additional cost and there’s a $95 annual fee.

Chase Sapphire Reserve Card earns triple points on travel and dining. Note that this is not my referral link for the card, and information about the product was neither provided nor reviewed by its issuer.

American Express Membership Rewards

Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express

You’ll earn 25,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you use your new Card to make $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. Terms Apply.

In addition, your spending earns 3X points for flights booked directly with airlines. 2X points at US restaurants, US gas stations, and US supermarkets. 1X points on other purchases. Terms Apply.

There are no foreign transaction fees with this card. It also provides a $100 airline fee credit — up to $100 per year in incidental fees credited to your statement with the eligible airline you choose.

In addition you can get a $75 hotel credit on qualifying charges, plus a room upgrade upon arrival, if available with The Hotel Collection. Terms apply.

There’s a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $195. See rates and fees.

The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN

Welcome Offer: Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 in purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership

The card earns 3x points on your choice of 1 category out of 5 selections, with the other 4 earning double points. Those categories are airfare purchased directly from airlines; US purchases for advertising in select media; shipping; at US gas stations, and and purchases made directly from select computer hardware, software, and cloud computing providers. (3X and 2X apply to the first $100,000 in purchases in each of the 5 categories per year, 1X point per dollar thereafter)

There’s a $0 annual fee the first year, then $175. Terms and limitations apply. See rates and fees.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

American Express will let you earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.

This card gets complimentary access to American Express Centurion airport lounges. It also provides individual cardmember access to Delta lounges when flying Delta same-day, and a Priority Pass Select membership for cardmember access to lounges that are a part of the Priority Pass network (which includes Alaska Airlines lounges and many international lounges).

The card provides up to $200 a year in statement credits for airline incidental fees like checked bags fees, flight change fees, and onboard snack purchases. (You must select one eligible airline for the year with which to use this benefit, terms apply.)

There’s no foreign currency transaction fees. There are also additional travel benefits like Gold status in the Starwood Preferred Guest program, Hilton HHonors and Executive status in the National Car Rental program.

I love the new 5X Membership Rewards® points-earning on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.

The card’s annual fee is $550, and it has a new benefit of up to $200 Uber Savings annually. See rates and fees.

The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN

You can earn 75,000 Membership Rewards points as a signup bonus: 50,000 after you spend $10,000 and 25,000 more points after you spend an additional $10,000 all on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership.

You earn 1.5 points per dollar on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more up to 1 million additional points per year.

The card has recently added a benefit of earning 5 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on the card on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com. This is valuable in my view for flights, where you don’t give up benefits booking through a third party site. However the card gives you Hilton Honors Gold status and Starwood Gold status (which matches to Marriott status), and you give up status benefits on hotel stays booked through AmexTravel.com.

The card gets you access to American Express Centurion lounges, Delta lounges when flying Delta same day, and a Priority Pass Select card for lounge membership as well.

Terms Apply, see rates and fees.

Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express

This is arguably the single best no fee rewards card in the market — because it’s the only no fee card I know that earns points which transfer one-to-one into a variety of frequent flyer currencies. It’s a full Membership Rewards-earning card.

The signup bonus is 10,000 Membership Reward points after $1,000 in purchases on the card within the first 3 months.

If you make 20 or more purchases on it during a billing period you get a 20% bonus on points earned from your net spend during that period.

Even though it’s a no fee card earning valuable points, it has a spend category bonus: double points at US supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year in purchases).

Terms apply. See rates and fees.

CITI THANKYOU REWARDS

Citi ThankYou® Premier Card

Citibank is offering 30,000 bonus points after $3000 in purchases within 3 months of account opening. The card’s $95 annual fee is waived for the first 12 months. It earns triple points on travel including gas and double points on dining and entertainment.

Citi Prestige Card

Citibank is offer 40,000 bonus points after $4000 in purchases within 3 months of account opening. The card’s $450 annual fee is worth it in my view since it comes with an annual $250 airline credit (just buy a ticket, no need to mess with gift cards) and a Priority Pass for lounge access as well as 4th night free on hotel stays. It earns triple points on air and hotels and double points on dining and entertainment.

CAPITAL ONE CARDS

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Capital One’s points let you buy any flight without worrying about restricted award availability. This is most useful for people who use their rewards for domestic economy flights, and can be especially valuable over peak travel dates.

Current Offer: Enjoy a one-time bonus of 40,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $400 in travel.
Earning: Earn unlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase, every day.
Foreign Transaction Fee: None
Annual Fee: $0 intro for first year; $59 after that

Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card

Capital One’s points let you buy any flight without worrying about restricted award availability. This is most useful for people who use their rewards for domestic economy flights, and can be especially valuable over peak travel dates.

Current Offer: Enjoy a one-time bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel.
Earning: Earn unlimited 1.25 miles per dollar on every purchase, every day and pay no annual fee. Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime. Travel when you want with no blackout dates. Miles don’t expire and there’s no limit to how many you can earn.
Foreign Transaction Fee: None
Annual Fee: $0

Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business

Capital One’s points let you buy any flight without worrying about restricted award availability. This is most useful for people who use their rewards for domestic economy flights, and can be especially valuable over peak travel dates.

Current Offer: Enjoy a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $4,500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.
Earning: Earn 2 miles per $1 on every purchase, every day. Miles don’t expire, and there are no categories to limit where or what you buy. There’s no limit to the amount of miles you can earn and miles don’t expire. Redeem miles for travel, cash back, gift cards and more. No foreign transaction fees and fly on any airline, anytime, with no blackout dates or seat restrictions. Annual Fee: $0 intro for first year; $59 after that
Foreign Transaction Fee: None

Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business

Cash back is a better strategy than airline miles for people who use their credit card spending for domestic economy flights, plus of course cash isn’t limited to travel and potentially earns a rate of return when invested!

Current Offer: Enjoy a one-time $500 cash bonus once you spend $4,500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.
Earning: Earning unlimited 2% cash back could mean thousands of dollars each year going back into your business. Rewards won’t expire for the life of the account, and you can redeem your cash back for any amount, anytime
Annual Fee: $0 intro for first year; $59 after that
Foreign Transaction Fee: None

Capital One® Premier Dining Rewards Credit Card

Cash back is a better strategy than airline miles for people who use their credit card spending for domestic economy flights, plus of course cash isn’t limited to travel and potentially earns a rate of return when invested!

Current Offer: One-time $100 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
Earning: Earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining, 2% on groceries and 1% on all other purchases. No rotating categories or sign ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back doesn’t expire and there’s no limit to how much you can earn.
Annual Fee: $0
Foreign transaction fees: None

CASH BACK CARDS

Citi Double Cash is in my view the best cash back card — it’s a no annual fee card that offers 1% back when you make a purchase and another 1% back when you pay off the purchase.

SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express

American Express is offering up to $400 cash back as a signup bonus — a $200 statement credit after you spend $5,000 in qualifying purchases within the first 6 months of cardmembership and an additional $200 statement credit after you spend an additional $10,000 or more in qualifying purchases on your Card within the first year of cardmembership.

This is a no annual fee card that gives you 5% cash back on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. office supply stores; 3% back on purchases in your chosen category (from a list of 8); and 1% cash back on other purchases. 3% and 5% earning applies to the first $50,000 in purchases per calendar year, amounts above that revert to 1%.

Terms and limitations apply. See rates and fees.

Fidelity Investment Rewards Visa Signature Card earns 2% back deposited into a Fidelity account and has no annual fee.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

This card lets you earn a $150 statement credit when you spend $1000 in purchases on it within the first 3 months. Ongoing earn is 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%); 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores; 1% back on other purchases. Terms Apply.

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

This card lets you earn a $100 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months. It has no annual fee (see rates and fees).

Ongoing earn is 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%); 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores; 1% back on other purchases. Terms Apply.

The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express

The card earns 2x Membership Rewards points on your first $50,000 in purchases per year (1 point per dollar thereafter). That makes this the best most rewarding card for otherwise-unbonused spend.

There’s no annual fee. Terms apply. See rates and fees.

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.