There’s hardly a better way to amass a pile of miles or points quickly than signing up for a new credit card and meeting the minimum spend threshold. Credit card issuers are currently competing for customers and offering better and better deals all the time—although they typically don’t last, so it’s best to jump on an offer if it appeals to you.
Here’s our selection of the top ten credit card bonuses right now:
1. IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card
Pros: IHG just unveiled their best-ever offer: 125,000 points after $3,000 minimum spend in the first three months. On top of that, you get 25 points per dollar at IHG properties for the first year, plus 4 points per dollar on all other categories. The card comes with Platinum status, a free night on your account anniversary at eligible hotels, a $100 rebate on TSA PreCheck or Global Entry every four years, and a free reward night on point stays of four nights or more. It has an annual fee of $89.
Cons: This card is subject to Chase’s 5/24 rule: if you’ve opened five or more personal credit cards in the past two years, you’re not eligible.
2. Citi Premier Credit Card
Pros: Citi has increased the welcome offer to 60,000 ThankYou points for spending $4,000 within the first three months of account opening. The everyday earning structure is also strong, with three points per dollar on travel and two points on dining out and entertainment. You can transfer your points to 15 airline partners, and the annual fee is $95.
Cons: The spending requirement may be too high for the average person. In addition, Citi is discontinuing some card benefits (car rental insurance; trip cancellation and interruption protection; trip delay, baggage delay and lost baggage protection) in September.
3. Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card
Pros: One of Chase’s most popular travel cards, the Sapphire Preferred gives you 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first three months—and Chase Ultimate Reward points are one of the most valuable travel currencies. This bonus is actually better than the current offer for the Sapphire Preferred, their high-end travel card. Points transfer to 10 airlines and three hotel programs (Hyatt, Marriott and IHG). The annual fee is $95.
Cons: Once again, the spending requirement is high, and this card is also subject to the Chase 5/24 rule.
4. Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card
Pros: Previously known as the Ascend card, the Surpass is offering 130,000 Hilton Honors points and a free weekend night for signups through August 28, after meeting the $4,000 spending threshold in the first three months. In addition, the card gives you 12 points per dollar spent at Hilton hotels and resorts, six points per dollar at U.S. restaurants, supermarkets and gas stations, and three points per dollar elsewhere. The annual fee is $95.
Cons: Hilton Honors points are inflated, and there’s no fixed redemption schedule—point levels vary according to location and time of year. Still, 130,000 points will get you some free nights, and the additional weekend free night is definitely a plus.
5. Barclay AAdvantage Business World Elite Mastercard
Pros: Earn 75,000 AA miles (65,000 after only $1,000 in purchases within three months, and another 10,000 for making a purchase with an employee card)—the best offer to date for this card. The annual fee is $95.
Cons: AA miles have been notoriously difficult to redeem in recent years. This is a business card, so not everyone will be eligible.
6. Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Pros: Within the past year, Capital One has vaulted into the top tier of travel rewards cards. This one offers a host of benefits: 50,000 miles for $3,000 in spending within three months; double miles on every purchase; one dozen airline transfer partners. Even better, the $95 annual fee is waived the first year.
Cons: Miles transfer to airline partners at a 2: 1.5 ratio, rather than 1: 1.
7. Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card
Pros: If you’re gunning for the coveted Southwest Companion Pass, this card is for you. You get 80,000 Rapid Rewards points for spending $5,000 within three months (the Companion Pass requires earning 110,000 points per year, and it provides gives you free travel for your companion even if you book reward flights). The card also provides free wifi on Southwest and covers the cost of four A1-A15 boardings per year. The annual fee is $99.
Cons: $5,000 is a hefty spending threshold. This is a business card, which means that not everyone will qualify (but which also means it is exempt from the Chase 5/24 rule).
8. Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard
Pros: This limited-time offer gives you 60,000 miles for spending $2,000 within 90 days and rebates the $95 fee for the first year. You also receive a one-time, 50% companion discount for roundtrip coach travel on Hawaiian Airline between Hawaii and North America, and a $100 annual companion discount for travel on the same route.
Cons: While Hawaii is a lovely destination, the airline’s reach is restricted; the number of airline partners is also low.
9. World of Hyatt Credit Card
Pros: The current offer gives new cardmembers up to 50,000 points: 25,000 for spending $3,000 within three months, and another 25,000 after spending a total of $6,000 in your first six months. You also receive a free night on your anniversary at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort. The card rewards ongoing spending as well, adding a free night for every $15,000 in purchases during the year. The annual fee is $95, and it comes with Hyatt Discoverist status.
Cons: Hyatt only has about 700 hotels in their portfolio, compared with over 5,000 for Hilton and 7,000 for Marriott.
10. The Platinum Card from American Express
Pros: If you’re serious about lounge access, this is your card. It provides access to the American Express Centurion lounges, as well as a Priority Pass membership and entry to Delta and Lufthansa lounges when flying on the airlines that day. The other benefits are also impressive: Gold status with Hilton and Marriott, a $200 airline credit, a $200 Uber credit and much more. The current offer is 65,000 Membership Rewards points for spending $5,000 in your first three months.
Cons: The annual fee is a hefty $550, so you have to determine that you can make the best use of the benefits before pulling the trigger.
Source: frugal travel guy