Credit Cards With Bigger Than Usual Sign-Up Bonuses

Credit Cards With Bigger Than Usual Sign-Up Bonuses

Credit card sign-up bonuses are the fastest way to accumulate tons of points and miles. Most major credit card issuers have anti-churning rules that limit the ability to get new cards or sign up bonuses, so it’s important to be strategic to maximize opportunities. The best way to do that is to jump on offers when they are elevated above the standard sign-up bonus, especially when they are at or near all-time highs.

There are currently several cards with increased sign-up bonuses. Here is a list of them  along with a description of the sign-up bonus and key benefits of each card.

There are increased sign-up bonuses available on both the personal and business versions of the Delta Gold and Platinum cards until 7/5/17. If you can’t get these offers to show up, try searching in incognito/private mode.

1. Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card

  • Sign-up bonus: 70K miles plus 10K MQMs after spending $4K in the first four months. Also receive a $100 statement credit after making a Delta purchase within the first three months.
  • Offer Expiration: 7/5/17
  • Annual Fee: $195

This bonus is the highest known offer ever made publicly available for this card. The standard offer is 35K miles and 5k MQMs, so this is doubling of what is typically available. If your home airport has a decent number of Delta operated flights, we highly recommend jumping on this offer. While award flight costs for Delta can be quite volatile, 70K miles is enough for approximately 3 round-trip domestic economy awards, or 1 long haul international economy award. Also, the statement credit effectively reduces the first year annual fee to $95.

This card can also help you achieve elite status. You receive 10K Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQMs) as part of the sign-up bonus. The card also offers one of the best annual spending bonuses of any travel rewards card. You can earn 10K miles and 10K MQMs if you spend $25K in a calendar year plus an additional 10k of each if you hit $50k spend in a year. The 30k MQMs that can be earned with this card are 5K more than required for Silver status, and 60% of the way to Gold status.

Each year upon account renewal, you receive a domestic economy companion certificate. If you can make use of this benefit, you should be able to recoup enough value to more than make up for the annual fee each year. Other benefits include first checked bag free, priority boarding, and Medallion Qualification Dollar waiver if you spend $25K in a calendar year.

Platinum Delta SkyMiles card 70.000 miles sign-up bonus
The Platinum Delta SkyMiles card can help you achieve elite status

2. Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card

The sign-up bonus and key benefits of the business version are identical to those detailed above for the personal version. However, since these are considered separate products by Amex, this card does present an additional opportunity to earn a sign-up bonus. The spending requirement is a bit higher at $5k in the first four months.

3. Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card

  • Sign-up bonus: 60K miles after spending $3K in the first four months. Also receive a $50 statement credit after making a Delta purchase within the first three months.
  • Offer Expiration: 7/5/17
  • Annual Fee: $0 for the first year, then $95

The benefits of the Gold SkyMiles card aren’t as good as those of the Platinum card, but it also comes with a lower annual fee. This card is good for those who are primarily interested in collecting SkyMiles and don’t have use for a companion pass or elite status. Also, the annual fee is waived for the first year, so this card could be a cheap way to rack up some miles. The 60K mile sign-up bonus should be enough to get two round-trip domestic economy tickets. It also comes with some of the lower-end benefits such as first checked bag free and priority boarding.

4. Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card

As with the Platinum card, the Gold card has a business version that has the same sign-up bonus and benefits, which represents another opportunity to earn a bonus. The spending requirement is slightly higher at $4K in the first four months.

5. AAdvantage Aviator Red Card from Barclaycard

  • Sign-up Bonus: 50K AAdvantage miles after your first purchase
  • Offer Expiration: Date not announced
  • Annual Fee: $95

This is the first time Barclaycard has had an increased sign-up bonus since it made the Aviator Red card available to new applicants. The standard sign-up bonus has been 40K miles. This card also comes first free checked bag, 10% rebate of redeemed miles, and preferred boarding. It’s a good alternative for American Airlines fliers who are not currently eligible for sign-up bonuses on Citi’s AA cards.

AAdvantage Aviator Red card 50,000 miles sign-up bonus
The AAdvantage Aviator Red is a good alternative for American Airlines fliers

6. Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

  • Sign-up Bonus: 60K points after spending $2K in the first three months
  • Offer Expiration: Date not announced
  • Annual Fee: $69

The best part about the sign-up bonus on Southwest cards is that the points count toward qualification for the companion pass, one of the most coveted benefits in the travel industry. This requires earning 110K points in a calendar year, so by signing up for two Southwest credit cards and earnings the sign-up bonuses, you would already have earned the companion pass, entitling you to unlimited buy one, get one free pass for the year. Unfortunately,the cards are subject to Chase’s 5/24 rule and therefore not everyone will be able to sign-up for these cards.

7. Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

  • Sign-up Bonus: 60K points after spending $2K in the first three months
  • Offer Expiration: Date not announced
  • Annual Fee: $99

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier credit card offers 60,000 points
The Premier card also offers 6,000 anniversary points

This is a slightly more premium version of the Plus card. The Premier card carries a higher annual fee in exchange for a higher anniversary bonus of 6K points. The most important thing is that with multiple Southwest cards offering increased sign-up bonuses at the same time, the companion pass is within reach.

8. Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card

  • Sign-up Bonus: 60K points after spending $2K in the first three months
  • Offer Expiration: Date not announced
  • Annual Fee: $99

This card is essentially identical to the personal version of the Premier card, but offers another sign-up bonus opportunity.

Conclusion

If you have been thinking about getting any of the cards on this list, now is a good time to go for it since none of these offers will likely last more than a couple of months.

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