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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. There’s now even a public 200,000 mile offer which I’ve never seen before.
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.
- 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 $99). This is the best offer I’ve ever seen for the card.
Cardmembers receive one free checked bag and preferred boarding on American Airlines flights and a companion ticket after $30,000 in spend each year.
- UnitedSM Explorer Card has the biggest public offer I’ve ever seen — to earn 65,000 miles as an initial bonus. You’ll earn 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus earn an additional 25,000 bonus miles after you spend $10,000 total on purchases in the first 6 months your account is open. (Earning the full bonus requires just an average of $1667 per month in spend.)
The card’s annual fee is $0 the first year ($95 thereafter). Here are 13 things I love about this card.
- Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business introduced an initial bonus offer: 50,000 miles after $5,000 spend in the first 3 months and 150,000 more miles when you spend $50,000 in the first 6 months from opening your account. This card has a $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $95 after that. This is a limited-time offer.
This week we learned that Capital One will offer points transfers to miles from several of their cards. Points transfer at 2-to-1.5 to:
- Star Alliance: Aeroplan, Avianca, EVA Air
- SkyTeam: Aeromexico, Alitalia, Air France KLM Flying Blue
- oneworld: Cathay Pacific, Finanir, Qantas, Qatar Airways
- Non-alliance: Etihad, Hainan Airlines
That means your 200,000 miles would be worth $2000 — or could be transferred to your choice of 150,000 miles with any of these 12 airlines (starting next month).
- Star Alliance: Aeroplan, Avianca, EVA Air
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card will let you earn 40,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months — and an additional 20,000 points after spending a total of $12,000 in the first 12 months. That’s just $1000 a month in spend to aern 60,000 points that should cover over $850 in airfare.
In fact all four Southwest cards are offering an inital bonus to earn 60,000 Rapid Rewards points. The offers for the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card and Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card are the same as for the a href=”http://vftw-links.com/swplus60nov” target=_blank>Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card but this last one has the lowest annual fee.
The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card‘s 60,000 point offer requires less total spend — $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Though for regular Southwest flyers the Priority version offers great value.
- 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.
There are similar offers for the Aer Lingus and Iberia versions of this card.
British Airways First Class
- 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
- 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.
- Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® has a best-ever offer of 70,000 miles after $5000 spend on purchases within 90 days of cardmembership. When you redeem points at a penny apiece towards travel you get 5% of your points back, and you can redeem those at a penny apiece towards travel, and get 5% of your… I view this as $735.
There’s no annual fee the first year, which is also fairly new. It hasn’t always been the case that the card’s $89 fee has been $0 the first year. So first year you’ve got that initial bonus without deduction.
- 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!