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There’s no quicker and easier way to earn a large amount of miles quickly than with a new credit card. And before the holidays is the perfect time to get one, because it’s even easier than the rest of the year to meet the minimum spending required to earn signup bonuses.
Every month I post what I find are the best signup bonus offers out there. Over the past several months we’ve seen several new cards and new offers. Right now there’s incredible competition to get your attention and encourage you to sign up for very rich offers. How can we say no?
Here are the cards I consider to have the very best initial bonus offers right now:
- 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.)
It 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. ‘5/24’ applies.
- 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.
With a $0 annual fee the first year, then $95, I suggest that as the number on card to get started with in miles and points. Get Sapphire Reserve later, perhaps product change to it after a year, this is the easier card to get approved for and it has a better annual fee.
Points transfer to United, Hyatt, Southwest, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Singapore Airlines, JetBlue, Air France KLM, Marriott Rewards, IHG Rewards Club, and Ritz-Carlton. Probably the best all-around credit card, certainly for getting started in the hobby, and with a great signup bonus.
The card earns two points on travel and dining at restaurants and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide. The card has an introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95.
Transfer Points and Redeem for Singapore Airlines
Since in general Chase doesn’t approve this card for folks who have signed up for 5 or more new card accounts in the past 24 months, it’s the first card you should apply for.
- CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®: 70,000 mile initial bonus after spending $4,000 within the first 4 months of account opening. This card has a $0 annual fee the first year (then $95). [Offer expired]
Cardmembers receive one free checked bag and preferred boarding on American Airlines flights and a companion ticket after $30,000 in spend each year. The 60,000 point offer is gone from both the Citi and Barclays personal AAdvantage cards so I’m surprised to see this Citi bumping up their bonus to a best-ever offer.
- British Airways Visa Signature® Card is offering a signup bonus of up to 100,000 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.
If you spend $30,000 in a calendar year to earn a Travel Together Ticket good for two years which can double the value of your Avios on a single redemption for 2 people.
Chase’s 5/24 reportedly does not apply. There are similar offers for the Aer Lingus and Iberia versions of this card.
British Airways First Class
- Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN offers 50,000 Membership Rewards points after $5,000 spend on purchases with the card within your first 3 months of cardmembership. (Offer expired)
American Express Points Transfer Directly to Etihad
- The World Of Hyatt Credit Card has a limited-time offer of up to 60,000 points with this card. You earn 40,000 points after $3000 in spend on purchases in the first 3 months from account open and an additional 20,000 points if you spend $6000 total within the first 6 months.
And 60,000 points is enough for 2 free nights at any Hyatt hotel except for all-inclusive Miraval. (Or 12 nights at category 1 properties.)
You receive a category 1-4 free night each year with your cardmember anniversary, and each year you spend $15,000 on the card you receive another category 1-4 free night. Most Hyatt properties fall into these categories.
I have and am spending on the card to earn credit towards my elite status. The card comes with 5 elite nights an every $5000 spend earns an additional two elite night credits.
Andaz Papagayo Costa Rica
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card has an offer to earn 60,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
You earn 6,000 bonus points after your cardmember anniversary, a nice incentive to keep this $99 annual fee card.
While you can no longer get two different personal Southwest cards, you may be approved for a personal and a small business card, the fasted way to a Southwest Companion Pass which is earned after 110,000 points in a year (credit card points including signup bonus points count).
- New! Ink Business Unlimited(SM) Credit Card is included here because while its initial bonus is $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, the value of the bonus shoots up if you have a Chase card whose points transfer to miles like Chase Sapphire Preferred.
Transfer these points to that other Chase card and then those points transfer to miles. And it’s a no annual fee card that earns unlimited 1.5 points per dollar for ongoing spend.
- Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express has an initial bonus of 100,000 points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of cardmembership. This is a limited-time offer that ends October 31, 2018. The card has a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95 (Offer expired)
A big new benefit is that the card comes with a Free Night Award every year after your Card account anniversary. The card comes with complimentary Silver Elite status and $35,000 spend on eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year earns an upgrade to Gold Elite status through the end of the next calendar year.
- IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card has an initial bonus offer of 80,000 points after $2000 spend within 3 months.
The card comes with Platinum status, a free night after each account anniversary year, and a free reward night on points stays of 4 or more nights. (That’s better than the ‘5th night free’ and amounts to a 25% discount on four night award stays.)
Cardmembers receive platinum status for as long as they remain a cardmember. There’s a Global Entry or TSA Precheck fee credit (up to $100 every 4 years) as well.
Think there’s a card that belongs on this list but isn’t here, leave a comment!