- 10,000 points sign-up bonus.
- 24,000 points for everyday spend.
There is no time like the present to be in the points and miles game as sign-up bonuses have been topping the charts lately. There have been some as high as 100,000 points. Recently, American Express and Chase have both offered sign-up bonuses like that. These offers can go fast and sometimes be fleeting, so if you come across one, jump on it. Many banks are starting to institute policies which will limit bonuses or make them more difficult to get. If you have good credit, you should ride the wave before they waive the bonuses.
Although it is possible to get bonus offers at almost any credit level, the best credit card sign-up bonuses will only be afforded to those with the best credit. Banks are competing for your business, and if you have excellent or good credit you can easily rake in some quick cash or book a luxury vacation with nothing more than a couple of sign-up bonuses. One sign-up bonus alone can easily get you a round-trip flight or several nights at a hotel.
With a sign-up bonus of 50,000 miles and the ongoing earning power of two miles for every dollar spent, there’s a good case for owning the Venture card. The $95 annual fee is waived the first year and you’ll have $460 to spend on travel once you’ve made the required $3,000 in purchases within the first three months. That makes this card a solid contender for your everyday spending. However, if you’re not going to be able to spend a minimum of $3,000 a year on the card, you would be better off selecting a card that has no annual fee.
Complimentary 4th night stay at any hotel of your choice after a minimum 4-consecutive night booking through ThankYou.com
If you’re looking for a premium travel rewards card that offers a decent sign-up bonus, flexible rewards and the ability to transfer to travel partners, then Citi Prestige makes for a good option.
Although the card’s annual fee of $450 is not waived for the first year, you can enjoy all the benefits, such as free lounge access and concierge service, essentially for free because the value of card’s 0-point bonus more than offsets the cost. In fact, you’ll easily be making money once you factor in the annual $250 air travel credit, the 4th Night Free benefit and the Global Entry enrollment fee credit.
If you fly American Airlines, the AA credit card can be a great value for the money. The sign-up bonus in conjunction with the waived annual fee for the first year makes it a risk-free proposition. And 60,000 AAdvantage miles can take you on a round-trip journey to any destination in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean or Central America.
Then there are the perks and benefits you’ll enjoy at no additional cost, such as free checked bags, a 10 percent mile refund and reduced mileage awards. Even double miles for American Airlines purchases is a worthy benefit, considering how hard it is to earn AAdvantage miles since the cheapest seats now earn only half the standard miles.
You can get excellent value out of ThankYou points, particularly if you transfer them to airlines and redeem for expensive premium cabin tickets. If you are a traveler that often books the cheapest economy class ticket, then there can also be strong value in redeeming points through the ThankYou program’s travel portal thanks to the 25 percent discount offered by this card.
If you are interested in domestic award travel or simple award redemptions, this card may prove to be too complex. Instead, consider cards with more domestic transfer partners. You may not get quite the same value for your points, but there will be more availability and easier redemptions.
The JetBlue Plus card is great for frequent JetBlue travelers. The annual anniversary bonus makes this card relatively cheap to have. For anyone that flies at least 2 to 3 times a year on JetBlue, the free checked bag benefit alone can pay for the card.
More than that, this card has significantly better earning power than most co-branded airline cards. With 2x points at both restaurants and grocery stores, plus an impressive 6x points for JetBlue purchases, there are a ton of opportunities to rack up the points and earn your next free flight quickly.
The short answer is absolutely. Depending on your travel and spending habits, this card may or not make sense for you after the first year when you start paying the annual fee, but earning 40,000 miles after meeting the minimum spend and earning 2X miles on all purchases are tremendous benefits. Not only that, but if this becomes your go-to card, miles will rack up fast, and with the 5 percent redemption bonus, that’s like earning 2.1 percent back on every purchase, every day. This card is just as good as any other cashback card currently on the market.
If you live in an American Airlines’ hub city, such as Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Washington, and fly with the airline often, then the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard could be a good option for you. If you’re looking for airline perks, the card has got you covered with free checked bags, priority boarding and complimentary lounge access.
The downside for many travelers is the card’s high annual fee and weak rewards earning structure. Unless you pay for airfare often, it might take a while to accumulate enough miles for an award ticket. However, frequent flyers can easily justify the $450 fee by using Admirals Club lounges every time they travel.
The Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card makes the most sense for people who often fly on Delta, but don’t have elite status. Cardholders get a free checked bag, priority boarding and discounted lounge access. Those are some nice perks that are typically reserved for elite status holders. The annual anniversary bonus makes this card relatively cheap to have. For anyone that flies at least 2 to 3 times a year on JetBlue, the free checked bag benefit alone can pay for the card.
The free checked bag benefit can be particularly valuable. You and anyone on your itinerary get one free checked bag each. That’ll save you $25 per bag for each flight, so it’s easy to quickly recoup the $95 annual fee.
Although British Airways Avios aren’t hard to come by, this credit card is a great way to earn even more with the extremely generous sign-up bonus. And because British Airways Executive Club offers some great redemption opportunities on its own metal and with oneworld carriers, you don’t need to be a frequent British Airways customer to get a lot of value out of the card.
With only a 95 annual fee, the sign-up bonus more than outweighs the cost of the card. Plus, if you spend $30,000 or more each year, the Travel Together Ticket carries some serious value that completely offsets the annual fee.
For a card that charges no annual fees, the Hilton Honors Amex offers excellent earning potential due to its generous bonus categories. Because the card also comes with elite status, it’s best used to pay for stays at domestic properties within the Hilton portfolio.
Getting the card poses zero risk because it charges no annual fees, even after the introductory year. As mentioned earlier, holding a no-fee card long-term helps increase the average age of accounts, and having more available credit helps decrease utilization ratio—two factors that contribute to a higher credit score.
Compare all credit cards by RE® Value, which is an estimate of how much you will earn during first year of credit card use minus annual fees.
Banks are essentially giving away money to get people to sign-up for their credit cards. Almost every type of card offers welcome bonuses, from travel cards to store cards to everyday cards and more. With the recent tightening of restrictions within many banks these opportunities may not last forever. These tips will help you get the cards you want and the fat bonuses that go with them.
You will always need to be approved and activate the card. You may receive a bonus just for completing an initial transaction, but for most of the best bonus offers you will need to spend a certain amount of money within a specific timeframe. Be aware that balance transfers, cash advances and card fees, including the annual fee, will not count toward your spending goal. You may also need to sign up for an online account or add an authorized user. Just ask to be sure.
Most cards that come with a welcome bonus require you to spend a specific amount of money in a certain amount of time. Approvals can be quick, and some can even be instant. Trying to meet two minimum spends simultaneously might cause you to put more on your cards than you can easily pay off. However, if you do attempt to get two bonuses at once, try buying gift cards that can be used for future necessities, such as gas, food and other bills. That might make more sense than spending frivolously.
Although there are some no-fee credit cards that offer decent sign-up bonuses, the best welcome bonuses are typically offered by cards that do charge an annual fee. Consider that many of them will waive the fee for the first year. Also, you should think about what you are getting in return for this fee. Many cards come with perks in addition to bonuses that offset the fee, especially when it comes to travel credit cards.
If you carry a balance on your card, you’ll probably have to pay interest which can quickly negate the value of the bonus. However, not carrying a balance does not mean that you should not use your card. You should use it often to continue to reap additional rewards on purchases. Just make sure you pay your balance in full each month. Many cards have a grace period which is an allotted time period (usually 2 or 3 weeks) from the billing date in which you must get them the full balance to avoid paying interest.
More cards can increase your credit score. Lenders like to see that other banks have trusted you and that you continually meet your obligations. The number of open accounts is a factor in calculating your credit score, and having several in good standing can give it a boost. Also, having available unused credit it will improve your debt to credit ratio, which will also have a positive impact on your score.
This strategy is only for the financially conscious. If you carry a balance, interest payments will easily take away from the value of your bonus and the rewards you earn.
Having excellent credit does not necessarily make you a shoo-in for every card. There can be many reasons to be denied for a card besides your credit score. Several card issuers have instituted policies to cut down on people repeatedly applying for credit cards just to get the bonuses (also known as churning). For instance, Chase may deny applications of those who have opened five accounts within the past 24 months. This is also known as the 5/24 rule, and it applies to all credit card accounts, not just those with Chase. Amex gives one bonus per card per lifetime, and Citi cards have a 24-month open/close rule. However, this does not mean you can’t get multiple bonuses from Citi. And there are many cards that are still liberal with the disbursement of bonuses, like the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature.
This may trigger a red flag for a bank which could result in a denial. It may seem to the bank like you have a lack of funds or are desperate for additional credit. There is no set rule about this, but we all know it won’t look good to creditors.
They do reconsider and sometimes change their mind. Be sure to find out why you were denied. In many cases, there may be something you can do to rectify the situation, like closing an existing account or requesting a lower spending limit. This call will not hurt your chances, so it is worth a shot. Although a hard inquiry can cost your credit score a couple of points, the denial itself will not impact your credit score.