10 best credit card sign-up bonuses for April

In the interest of full disclosure, One Mile At A Time earns a referral bonus for anyone that’s approved through some of the below links. These are the best publicly available offers that we have found for each card. Please check out our advertiser policy for further details about the partners we work with. Thanks for your support!

Update: Many of these offers are expired or outdated. Please check out the current list of the best current travel credit cards.

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).

Continuing with what I started doing last month, I’m making a post at the beginning of every month with what I consider to be the best credit card sign-up bonuses of the month. If you read my blog on a daily basis then by all means skip this post, but I know it’ll be a useful, “current” place for me to refer people that ask about which cards they should sign-up for, a question I get a daily basis. This month there are three changes to the list.

With that in mind, here are what I currently consider to be the 10 best credit card sign-up bonuses:

1. Ink Bold® Business Charge Card and Ink Plus® Business Credit Card

Current offer: 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $5,000 within three months
Annual fee: $95, waived the first year

Why it’s a great offer: Ultimate Rewards points are one of the most valuable points currencies given that they can be transferred at a 1:1 ratio to United, Hyatt, and many other programs. Best of all you can be approved for both the Ink Plus and Ink Bold, even if you already have the other card. The cards are also great for everyday spend given that they offer 5x points at office supply stores, and on cell phones, internet, and cable TV, and double points on gas and hotels.

2. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Current offer: 40,000 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 are one of the most valuable points currencies given that they can be transferred at a 1:1 ratio to United, Hyatt, and many other programs. The cards are also great for everyday spend given that it offers double points on dining and travel.

3. Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®

Current offer: 50,000 AAdvantage miles after spending $3,000 within three months
Annual fee: $95, waived the first year

Why it’s a great offer: American miles are extremely valuable for OneWorld travel, and offer some of the best premium cabin redemptions out there, like first class between the US and Asia on Cathay Pacific for 67,500 miles one-way.

4. Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card

Current offer: Two free weekend nights at most Hilton family properties after spending $2,500 within four months
Annual fee: $95

Why it’s a great offer: Last week Hilton substantially devalued their award chart, making some properties as expensive as 95,000 HHonors points per night. These free night certificates are redeemable all the way up to category 10 properties, potentially making this sign-up bonus worth the equivalent of 190,000 HHonors points. So in terms of buying power, the value of these certificates has hugely increased over the past week compared to the buying power of HHonors points.

5. Chase Hyatt Visa Card

Current offer: Two free nights at any Hyatt property after spending $1,000 within three months; for Platinum members two free nights and two suite upgrades; for Diamond members two free nights in a suite
Annual fee: $75

Why it’s a great offer: Hyatt’s top properties go for 22,000 points per night, or 33,000 points per night in a suite. So this sign-up bonus is potentially worth the equivalent of 44,000 Gold Passport points for base members, or 66,000 Gold Passport points for Diamond members.

It’s worth noting that if you go through the process of making a booking on hyatt.com you should be presented with an offer for the Hyatt card with a $100 statement credit as well, so be sure to try that.

6. Fairmont Visa Signature Credit Card

Current offer: Two free nights at any Fairmont property including breakfast after spending $1,000 within three months
Annual fee: $95

Why it’s a great offer: Fairmont has some great properties around the world, and the fact that the free nights include breakfast is the icing on the cake.

7. British Airways Visa Signature® Card

Current offer: 50,000 Avios after spending $2,000 within three months (offer is only available to applicants that haven’t had the card in the last 24 months)
Annual fee: $0 Intro Annual Fee The First Year, Then $95

Why it’s a great offer: British Airways has a distance based award chart which is extremely lucrative for shorthaul travel, as awards start at just 4,500 Avios one-way. Given that short flights are often disproportionately expensive when paying cash, I’ve found Avios to be invaluable. You can also earn the British Airways Travel Together Ticket by spending $30,000 on the card in a calendar year.

8. US Airways Barclays Mastercard

Current offer: 35,000 Dividend Miles after the first purchase
Annual fee: $85, waived the first year

Why it’s a great offer: Use it or lose it. Once the merger takes place it’s a near guarantee that Citi will be issuing American’s new co-branded credit card, so this card won’t be around much longer. It’s an easy 30,000 Dividend Miles given that you get the miles after the first purchase.

It’s worth noting that while the above link seems to work as of now, I can’t guarantee for how long it’ll continue to work. Last time I posted a similar link the application continued to work though people started getting automatically rejected since the offer wasn’t intended to be publicly available. The only offer on which I can guarantee the bonus is my affiliate link, which only offers 30,000 Dividend Miles after the first purchase and doesn’t have the first year annual fee waived.

9. Mercedes Benz Platinum Card from American Express

Current offer: 50,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $1,000 within three months
Annual fee: $475

Why it’s a great offer: While the annual fee is high the card comes with lots of benefits that help negate the annual fee the first year, including lounge access with Delta, Priority Pass, and others, as well as a $200 airline fee credit. The annual fee is based on a rolling 12 months while the airline fee credit is based on calendar years, meaning with the first year’s annual fee you can pick up two airline fee credits.

10. Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express and Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Card from American Express

Current offer: The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express offers 25,000 bonus Starpoints after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months, and the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express offers 10,000 Starpoints after the first purchase, and 15,000 additional Starpoints after spending $5,000 within six months.
Annual fee: $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $65

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. Terms apply.

Anyway, those are my top 10 cards based on sign-up bonuses this month. If you have any questions or other cards you think have great sign-up bonuses, let me know in the comments section!


Non-Affiliate Product Disclaimer: The information for the Fairmont Visa Signature Credit Card have been collected independently by One Mile At A Time. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Regarding Comments: The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Comments

  1. Hi Lucky,

    Any recent info whether Chase Sapphire Preferred Master Card is still an option for those already with CSP Visa?

    Also for Citi Hilton Reserve, are weekend nights Fri-Sun, or depends on hotel?

    Thanks.

  2. @ Bob — Thanks for the heads up, though I don’t think those work. Last time I posted those links, and while the applications went through, everyone got automatically denied being told they weren’t eligible for the offer. I’ll look into it more right now, but don’t want to post an offer that won’t work (and as you’ll see I’m posting the AA non-affiliate offer for the 50K bonus because it consistently works).

  3. Interested to hear the results, lucky. Thanks. I definitely have some churns of US Air cards to do soon to earn some more AA miles :). $35k no fee is much better as long as it’s consistent.

  4. Lucky,
    Can that 200$ Airline credit through Amex Platinum be used to count towards Economy Comfort upgrades on Delta??

  5. @ Bob @ Curtis — Thanks again for bringing this to my attention. As a bit of background, last time I posted one of the links in the post you reference a reader left the following comment:
    “@Lucky, that US Airways link I got declined on. They told me over the phone that it was only for US airways Elite members only and that I had been declined BEFORE a credit pull.

    Word of warning!”

    So I’m trying to be careful with the links I post, and it’s honestly not a function of whether I earn a referral on it or not, but a function of me being able to assure the offers are accurate.

    That being said I’ve looked into it and one of those links does still seem to be working, so I’ve updated the post with it.

    Thanks!

  6. @ Bob — For what it’s worth I believe the elite link started resulting in instant denials around early March.

  7. @ gomike — There are some other 45K links, though best I can tell that’s the only 50K link. The others seem to have been pulled, sadly.

  8. Your Hyatt offer is also not the best out there. You’re costing your readers $100. Do a mock-booking on the Hyatt website for a property in the US and an offer for a $100 statement credit shows up when you get to the total cost screen.
    If you’re not going to bother doing any research on these card offers, please don’t add a disclaimer saying they’re the best out there.

  9. @tim – He even mentioned that card in his post. You can’t link the $100 offer as it requires the Hyatt.com cookies to be in your browser for it to show up. If you’re not going to bother doing any research on how these card offers work, don’t post comments chiding him for not giving the best offer link.

  10. @ Lucky – Do you know when the Citi Hilton Reserve Card will be updated to clarify what hotel categories are covered for the 2 weekend nights? I would prefer to have the T&C’s not specific only 1-7, just in case I run into trouble.

  11. Tim’s right that the $100 statement credit offer shows up, but you’ll only get it if you apply for the card as part of making a reservation.

    “This bonus offer is for new cardmembers who respond to this instant credit offer on hyatt.com and first apply for the Hyatt Credit Card through hyatt.com as part of making a reservation. “

  12. @ Jason — That’s a great question. It has been officially confirmed that they’re valid for category 1-10 properties and while the certs haven’t been updated, I have called to try and make a “dummy” booking for a (now) category 10 property, and they would have proceeded with the booking.

  13. @ NPM — This is a “rogue” link, so unfortunately it doesn’t have the verbiage as to the sign-up bonus. People are still reporting success with the link, though I believe the best “official” offer is 30,000 miles. So I’d feel comfortable signing up for it.

  14. Lucky, I received a target offer for AA for 60k miles, annual fee not waived. I don’t think given my schedule that I will be redeeming AA miles until 2015. I also have about 6 credit applications this year. Any input as to whether I should apply?

  15. @ Steven — That’s a great sign-up bonus and I’d definitely go for it. American miles are valuable as of now and while they may lose some value in the next couple of years, they’ll still likely be one of the more valuable mileage currencies.

  16. @Steven if that invitation was in an email with a link to click on (and no need to enter an additional one-time use invite code) then please share the link!!

  17. Re Q22: Isn’t the question: will the AA miles expire before he is able to use them so he would have to continue to pay the annual fee just to keep the miles alive.

  18. got a 60K Citi AA offer in the mail yesterday, first year fee not waived. Any other reports of this?

  19. Sorry Gary, etc. it’s a personal offer and when I enter the code in it prepopulates my home address, etc.

  20. @Fishing4Deals, I can see how I could keep the miles active through magazines, etc, so that’s not the problem. The issue is whether it is worth it to get another credit pull, lower the avg age of my accounts, etc., for a depreciating value offer which can’t be redeemed for a while.

  21. Jason/Pete
    He added the blurb about the Hyatt $100 offer after my comment (I have the original in my RSS). And there is no real requirement to purchase the reservation. Ive done it twice for myself and a friend. That’s the sort of info that used to get relayed in posts like this.

  22. @Tim – you applied thru that link and did get the $100 credit without finishing a reservation?

  23. Thanks for the post, Lucky. Some useful info here. I can confirm that my sister was able to get Chase CS to add the Hyatt $100 credit offer to her initial signup offer. Also, I did the Hyatt offer in the past when it was only a $75 credit. You definitely don’t need to complete the reservation.

    No love for the Club Carlson Premier VISA? After $3K spend, you can essentially get 4 free nts. Useful for travel in the EU, and they easily match to mid-tier Gold status.

    I also think the semi-targeted Chase UA Explorer 50K offer is worthwhile for most people as well. I wish it was churnable. After cancelling this card to avoid the annual fee, the offer appeared again on my UA homepage.

  24. Ben, I hear that Hilton Amex surpass will lose the drugstore and supermarket 6x points. Do you think that the Citi is now a better option?

  25. @ jorge — While the AmEx Surpass has been useful for specific categories, I believe the Citi Reserve has been a better all around card since it was introduced. While it earns slightly fewer points in some categories there’s the free weekend night after spending $10K and also Gold status for as long as you have the card. So I’d say yes.

  26. @ David — Agree the United Explorer Card is a great deal, but since it’s (somewhat) targeted I don’t include it, since not everyone can get it.

    I think the Club Carlson card is one of the most compelling cards to keep long term, though purely in terms of the sign up bonus I don’t think it’s that great. But if there were a list of top 10 cards to keep long term, I’d say that’s right near the top.

  27. The Fairmont offer sounds like potentially great value (2 free nights at hotels that cost several hundred dollars a night or more). How tough is availability with Fairmont awards?

  28. Missing is ultimate rewards best deal on the street right now with the ChaseFreedom that gives 5x on restaurants with $1k minimum spending and NO ANNUAL FEE which means you can tuck in the drawer and use when you want and eventually run up the length of account number to improve your credit score……..with all the credit card churning I see promoted on the blogs it seems that anytime you see a no annual fee card that can be used for anything it is worth snapping up………and 5x Nordstrom’s in the winter months is also attractive if you don’t want to run back and forth to Staples…….

  29. @ RJ Brown — Agree it’s an awesome card to have and has great earning potential, but don’t think it’s really one of the best sign-up bonuses at just 10K points.

  30. @ UAPhil — Availability is excellent. In my experience if a standard room is available you can usually redeem a certificate for it.

  31. There is a 40k offer still for the US card, but no annual fee waiver. I think it’s pretty close to a wash given how often you can purchase US miles for under 2 cents per mile, but…

  32. @UAPhil The Fairmont night certificates are wide open, you can use them any where any time. They book into “Fairmont Room Category” so if the hotel is sold out, you won’t be able to use it.

    There are 2 exceptions.
    London (Savoy)
    New York (Plaza)
    These two are capacity controlled, and a stay is hard to come by unless you book 1 year out.

    You also get free upgrades to suites, gold floor access, and $100 in food credit with this card. Also 2 airport lounge visits every 12 months.

    I have personally used my certificates at for a Vancouver Pacific Rim Suite, a Night at The Plaza, and a Night in Monte Carlo. ($12k spend, earns you 1 night each year)

    Best Fairmonts include the above, Lake Louise, Beijing, Pittsburg, Santa Monica, Dubai, and Singapore.

  33. Not knocking the fairmont, but never thought I would see Pittsburgh in a list like this- which of these towns do not belong :).

    Best Fairmonts include the above, Lake Louise, Beijing, Pittsburg, Santa Monica, Dubai, and Singapore.

  34. @Nic Pittsburg, Pacific Rim, Beijing, Jaipur, and Manila , Dubai were all just opened. Brand new with Fairmont custom design. Pittsburg looks over the river into PNC (Ball stadium) http://bit.ly/YuKpJp

    The new fairmont’s have a modern look and chic feel surpassing W in my mind.

  35. @Lucky Indeed not the best sign up bonus but if you are looking for more than a one night (year) stand on your ff card then it rates in the top 10…………it’s more than a signup bonus…minimum spend……
    burn card………..
    But the Fairmont mention is definitely a score and the Hamburg property is a fantastic piece of luxury……….but Monte Carlo also sounds pretty good especially with the dearth of American hotel brands on the Riviera………….

  36. @Andrew Another nice credit card deal linked to a luxury chain is the Ink Plus deal with Relais and Chateau where you get the 4th night free using the Mastercard………you have to call the Relais and Chateau reservations line and then they have to email the property and see if they will grant the deal for your dates……..a bit archaic but the properties are all aspirational treats that are a great alternative to putting up with Hilton downgrades………

  37. @RJ this might be odd to say, but i never heard of R&C before, but have stayed at properties within their “fellowship” What kind of rates does the Ink card give you access to? I typically keep my business to Fairmont or Starwood, but this seems worth a look.

    (I also like GHA.com, but don’t rely on them very often)

  38. http://www.relaischateaux.com/spip.php?page=home&lang=en
    They are a loose confederation of owner operated properties concentrated in France but also worldwide. Places like Inn at Little Washington and the Jefferson in DC. Also stand alone restaurants like Gary Danko in SF. They have a %C loyalty program sounding similar to the Fairmont after 15 stays or dines………it essentially gets you an upgrade each time…..the Mastercard from Chase Bold gets you the 4th night free as I mentioned above……….I consider these all honeymoon and anniversary properties………Quiet elegance is the way to describe these properties…….old money………..

  39. Just a quick comment about the Chase Sapphire which I got on your recommendation years ago. Apparently, when your Credit card is involved in fraud, because the card is metal they send you a postage-free envelope to return it so they can destroy it for you. I had to laugh after hearing about another blogger’s attempt to destroy hers.

  40. I’m not trying to be a pest, I think you can write better stuff than this. More content would be a start.

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