Update: These offers for the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® , the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card, the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express, the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express, The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express, the Hilton Honors Surpass card and the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card have expired. Learn more about the current offers here.
Every month I make a post with what I consider to be the best credit card sign-up bonuses of the month.
While there are several excellent long standing credit card offers, the specifics of the best offers are constantly changing (be it the annual fee, minimum spend requirement, or even amount of the sign-up bonus).
If you read my blog on a daily basis then by all means skip this post, but for me it’s a useful, “current” place to refer people who ask about which cards they should sign-up for, a question I get on a daily basis.
We’ve seen some great sign-up bonuses over the past few months, including new offers being added, and others being discontinued.
With that in mind, below are what I consider to be the 10 best right now:
Current offer: 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $5,000 within three months from account opening
Annual fee: $95
Why it’s a great offer: The Ink cards have extremely generous category bonuses which help sole proprietorships and small businesses maximize points on everyday credit card spend. This card was only introduced last year, and offers 3x points on the first $150,000 spent annually in combined purchases on travel, shipping, internet, cable and phone services, advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines each account anniversary year.
So this is a card that’s good for both for the sign-up bonus and for everyday spend. I value Ultimate Rewards points at ~1.7 cents each, so to me the sign-up bonus is worth ~$1,265 after subtracting the annual fee.
Redeem Ultimate Rewards points for travel in Korean Air business class
Current offer: 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 within three months
Annual fee: $95, waived the first year
Why it’s a great offer: Ultimate Rewards points can be transferred at a 1:1 ratio to Korean Air, United, Hyatt, and many other programs. The card is also great for everyday spend given that it offers double points on dining and travel. I value the sign-up bonus on this card at ~$935.
Redeem Ultimate Rewards points for the Park Hyatt Vienna
3. The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN
Sign-up bonus: Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 within the first three months
Annual fee: $175, waived the first year
Why you should consider applying: This is one of the best small business cards out there in terms of the bonus points it offers, given that you earn bonus points in the following five categories:
- Airfare purchased directly from airlines
- U.S. purchases for advertising in select media
- U.S. purchases at gas stations
- U.S. purchases for shipping
- U.S. computer hardware, software, and cloud computing purchases made directly from select providers
You can pick in which category you want to earn 3x points, and then in the other four categories you earn 2x points.
On top of that, this is a fantastic sign-up bonus for a card that doesn’t have an annual fee the first year. I value Membership Rewards points at ~1.7 cents each, so to me the sign-up bonus is worth ~$850.
Redeem Amex points for travel in ANA first class
Sign-up bonus: Earn 75,000 American AAdvantage miles points after spending $7,500 within the first three months
Annual fee: $450
Why you should consider applying: This is the biggest sign-up bonus we’ve seen on the card in years, and this is also the best card for getting Admirals Club access nowadays. Not only does the primary cardmember get an Admirals Club membership, but you can add up to 10 authorized users at no additional cost, and each of them gets Admirals Club access. This is great for anyone who values lounge access with American.
Current offer: 60,000 Rapid Rewards points after spending $2,000 within three months
Annual fee: $99 (Premier) & $69 (Plus)
Why it’s a great offer: We’ve never seen bigger sign-up bonuses on these cards, which will get you a lot of travel on Southwest (Rapid Rewards points can be redeemed for up to ~1.6 cents each towards the cost of an airfare purchase). These cards also offer bonus points on your cardmember anniversary — the Plus offers 3,000 points annually, while the Premier offers 6,000 points annually. Furthermore, these cards are great in helping you earn points towards Companion Pass, which is one of the most valuable perks in domestic travel.
Sign-up bonus: Earn 100,000 Hilton Honors bonus points after spending $3,000 within the first three months, plus a free weekend night valid at any Hilton Honors hotel on your first cardmember anniversary. Offer Ends 10/04/17.
Annual fee: $75
Why you should consider applying: We’ve never seen a higher offer on this card, and it’s expiring soon. Ordinarily 100,000 points is as good as the sign-up bonus on this card gets, though now you can also get a free weekend night on your card’s first anniversary. This can be redeemed at virtually any Hilton property, including one that would retail for up to 95,000 points per night.
Furthermore, this card offers Gold status for as long as you have the card, plus Diamond status when you spend $40,000 on the card in a calendar year. I’d seriously consider this sign-up bonus, especially since it’s the biggest bonus we’ve ever seen on the card.
Current offer: Earn 80,000 bonus IHG Rewards Club points after spending $1,000 within three months, plus an additional 5,000 IHG Rewards Club points when you add an authorized user to the card that makes a purchase within three months
Annual fee: $49, waived the first year
Why it’s a great offer: This is one of the most well rounded hotel credit cards out there, as it offers an annual free night certificate valid at virtually any IHG property in the world, 10% off points redemptions (for a refund of up to 100,000 points per year), and IHG Rewards Club Platinum status for as long as you have the card. The card also isn’t subjected to the Chase 5/24 rule.
Current offer: Earn 50,000 bonus Avios after spending $3,000 within three months, plus an additional 25,000 Avios after spending $10,000 within the first year, plus an additional 25,000 Avios after spending $20,000 within the first year
Annual fee: $95
Why it’s a great offer: This sign-up bonus is great, regardless of whether you’re looking to just earn the entry level bonus of 50,000 Avios, or want to spend $20,000 on the card within the first year to earn a total of 100,000 Avios. On top of that, keep in mind that if you spend $30,000 on the card in a year you’ll earn a companion certificate, which means that a companion can fly with you for just the cost of taxes and fees on British Airways. This card also isn’t subjected to the 5/24 rule. This offer may also be pulled on September 30, 2017.
9. Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express and Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Card from American Express
Current offer: Personal — 25,000 bonus Starpoints after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months; Business — 25,000 bonus Starpoints after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first three months
Annual fee: $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95
Why it’s a great offer: Starpoints remain the most valuable points currency out there to me, and are a great value for both hotel redemptions and airline mileage transfers. I value Starpoints at 2.2 cents each, so this sign-up bonus is worth $550 to me.
Redeem Starpoints at the Le Meridien Paro
Current offer: 50,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 within three months
Annual fee: $95
Why it’s a great offer: This is a new premium card from Bank of America that is reasonably rewarding, as it offers a $100 airline incidental credit every year, 2x points per dollar spent on dining and travel, and 1.5x points per dollar spent on other purchases. Each point can be redeemed for one cent, meaning the sign-up bonus is potentially worth $500. The real way to maximize the value you get out of this card is by belonging to Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards program, where you can earn a return that’s up to 75% better. See my previous post for more details on that.
If you have any questions or other cards you think have great sign-up bonuses, let me know in the comments section!