Here are the Very Best Credit Card Signup Offers Out Right Now

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Information related to the IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card was neither provided nor reviewed by Chase. I do not have my own direct referral link to this product, and gathered information on its offerings independently.

There are a bunch of new – and very big – credit card signup bonus offers out there, and some limited-time bonuses that are ending soon.

So far in 2016 we’ve gotten best-ever (or tied for best-ever) offers from several hotel programs. We’re also now seeing a bit of aggressiveness from the co-brand cards for all four of the largest US airlines. So despite banks’ apparent attempts to no longer wanting to hand out bonuses willy nilly, we’ve seeing a window of real generosity.

Here are the 9 personal cards I consider to have the very best signup bonus offers right now:

  1. 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. That’s $625 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards® — but don’t do that because points transfers are better.

    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 2002 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.

  2. Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card is offering 3 complimentary nights at any participating Tier 1-4 Ritz-Carlton hotel after $5,000 spend on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.

    You also get 10,000 bonus poitns when you add the first authorized user to your new account and make a purchase within the same first 3 months from account opening.

    The card comes with automatic Gold Elite status for your first account year. And Ritz-Carlton Rewards Gold is honored as Marriott Rewards Gold at Marriott hotel properties.

    This is a $450 annual fee card which comes with a $300 airline fee credit (which is based on calendar year, so use it twice during your first annual fee year), a $100 Global Entry fee credit, and the opportunity to save $100 each time you book domestic airfare for more than one passenger. It comes with a Priority Pass Select (unlimited visits) and 3 Ritz-Carlton club lounges upgrades per year.

    Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel, Credit: Ritz-Carlton

  3. Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card is back offering 50,000 points after $2000 in spending on purchases within 3 months of account opening. 50,000 points are worth $500 in gift cards, or can be worth over $700 in Southwest travel.

    The program has no change or redeposit fees on awards and offers a ‘companion pass’ — someone can travel with you for free whenever you travel whether you are traveling on paid tickets or on awards — after earning 110,000 points in a year and credit card spend and signup bonuses count towards this.

  4. Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® has an offer of 60,000 AAdvantage miles after spending $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening — just increased from 50,000. The card gets you an Admirals Club membership, and no additional fee authorized cardmembers get club access. I have this card. (offer expired)

    American Airlines Business Class Boeing 777-200 Zodiac Seat

  5. Citi Prestige Card offers 40,000 points after $4,000 spend within 3 months of account opening. (Offer expired)

  6. Virgin Atlantic World Elite MasterCard® from Bank of America will give you up to 90,000 bonus miles based on spend and adding authorized users, although the full bonus requires $25,000 in spend and waiting a year. Since the card earns 1.5 miles per dollar spent, you’d net 127,500 miles if you max out the offer.

    However Virgin Atlantic miles are among the most challenging. Their partner awards require roundtrip travel, cannot be booked online, and incur fuel surcharges — and in my experience most agents are virtually unfamiliar with actually booking them. Their award chart is reasonable but fuel surcharges mitigate that benefit. And partners cannot be combined on a single ticket. This is a $90 annual fee card. Here’s my full analysis of the offer.

  7. Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card has no annual fee and a limited-time offer of 75,000 points after spending $2,000 in the first three months. (offer expired)

    The card comes with Silver status and a ‘fast track’ to Gold status (“four stays within your first 90 days of account opening or when you make $20,000 or more in purchases each calendar year”) and 10,000 bonus points at the end of each calendar year in which you spend $1,000 or more on stays within the Hilton Portfolio.

    The Base Level Room at the Conrad Koh Samui is a Standalone Ocean Villa With Private Pool

  8. IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card lets you earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. The bonus is enough for 2 nights at most IHG hotel properties (e.g. Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn) and as many as 12 nights for PointBreaks hotels.

    It also gives you a complimentary night each year of card membership at over 4,900 hotels worldwide. The card comes with automatic platinum elite status and a 10% rebate on your redemptions and has a $0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $49.

    Intercontinental Kuala Lumpur

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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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.


  1. Gary, to be honest, you are doing your readers a huge disservice by encouraging them to apply for a chase card (or really any card) right before the Sapphire Reserve comes out. There’s a strong likelihood that it will be the best sign up offer we have seen since the 100K Amex Platinum offers that were broadly offered 5 years ago.

    Not trying to troll, not trying hate. Just saying, I think your readers deserve as much.

  2. ihg 80k offer is out there…

    bowtie man would tell his peeps about it even if no commission

  3. For those in the NYC area Hawaiian Airlines card is a winner. Very open non-stops from JFK to HNL for 40K roundtrip plus $11 coach. (from west coast not such a hot deal).

    The card is from Barclays (!) and you can get an invite to 50K miles after $1K spend with $79 annual fee. Just book a trip all the way until payment and the offer pops up.

    I churn through Barclays’ Jet Blues, Choice, Wyndham and Hawaiian regularly. (The Wyndham in one offer gives 3 nights after $1K spend…they have some expensive hotels, including NYC and the Shelborne in South Beach).

    Cards with $3K or $5K spend are harder and Chase and AmEx aren’t churnable (and Citi’s going that way).

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