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. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Please check out my advertiser policy for further details about our partners, including American Express, Chase, and Citi, and thanks for your support!
Update: Many of these offers are expired or outdated. Please check out the current list of the best 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 earlier this year, I’m making a post on the first Monday 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 the cards on the list remain the same, though there are a few changes to the specifics of the sign-up offers.
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: This remains the single best credit card sign-up bonus out there. 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 they offer 5x points at office supply stores, and on cell phones, internet, and cable TV, and double points on gas and hotels. 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 1.8 cents each, so to me these points are worth a whopping $900.
2. The Enhanced Business Gold Rewards Card® from American Express OPEN
Current offer: 50,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 within three months
Annual fee: $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $175
Why it’s a great offer: This is a promotional sign-up offer on a card that doesn’t ordinarily come with any sign-up bonus. While there’s a high annual fee it’s waived for the first year, and at the very least has some good short term potential for earning points given that it offers triple points on airfare, double points on gas, shipping, and advertising, and one point per dollar spent on everything. I value Membership Rewards points at 1.8 cents each, so to me the sign-up bonus is worth $900. Furthermore there are often transfer bonuses from Membership Rewards to their partner programs, potentially making these points even more valuable. For example, there’s a 35% bonus on transfers to British Airways Executive Club at the moment.
Last month we saw a sign-up bonus of 75,000 Membership Rewards points on the card with the same minimum spend, though it was available for less than 24 hours, and in retrospect seemed to be a mistake. The 50,000 point offer is still a very good one.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Current offer: 40,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 within three months, plus an additional 5,000 Ultimate Rewards points when you add an authorized user to the card that makes a purchase 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. I value the sign-up bonus on this card at $720. Given that you can get the Chase Ink Bold, Chase Ink Plus, and Chase Sapphire Preferred, that’s an easy 140,000 Ultimate Rewards points worth of sign-up bonuses alone, not factoring in the points you can earn for everyday spend.
4. Citi® Platinum Select® / AAdvantage® World MasterCard®
Current offer: 40,000 AAdvantage miles after spending $3,000 within three months
Annual fee: $95, waived the first year
Why it’s a great offer: After having “unofficial” 50,000 mile sign-up bonuses on the card for a long time now, the last “unofficial” link has finally been taken down, making the best sign-up bonus on this card 40,000 miles, which is still quite good. 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. I value American miles at 1.8 cents each, so this sign-up bonus is worth $720 to me.
5. British Airways Visa Signature® Card
Current offer: 50,000 Avios after spending $1,000 within three months
Annual fee: $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. I value British Airways Avios at 1.3 cents each, so to me the sign up bonus is worth ~$550 (factoring in the annual fee).
6. 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: In late March 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. Furthermore you get HHonors Gold status for as long as you have the card, which gets you free breakfast and internet. As far as I’m concerned those are the two most useful hotel elite benefits, and you get that all for the low annual fee on the card.
The Chase Hyatt Visa Card and Fairmont Visa Signature Card also offer similar sign-up bonuses of two free nights after completing the minimum spend, though I’d say the thing that gives the Citi Reserve Card the “edge” is that it gets you their mid-tier status as well, which is extremely valuable.
7. 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.
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 35,000 Dividend Miles given that you get the miles after the first purchase. I value US Airways miles at 1.6 cents each, so this sign-up bonus is worth ~$560.
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. The Lufthansa Premier Miles & More World MasterCard®
Current offer: 20,000 Miles & More miles after the first purchase, 30,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 within 90 days
Annual fee: $79
Why it’s a great offer: As discussed in this post, Miles & More miles are valuable both for domestic travel within the US and for travel in Lufthansa and Swiss first class. The sign-up bonus alone will get you enough miles for three one-way tickets within the US in United two cabin first class or three cabin business class.
10. Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®
Current offer: 40,000 miles after spending $3,000 within first 90 days
Annual fee: $89, waived the first year
Why it’s a great offer: Each point can be redeemed for one cent towards the cost of travel, and you get a 10% refund of redeemed miles, making each point worth 1.1 cents. This sign-up bonus is therefore worth $440, and you can earn a pretty great 2.2% cash back towards travel for every dollar spent on the card.
Anyway, those are my top 10 cards based on sign-up bonuses this month. As you can see, not a whole lot has changed compared to last 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 Hyatt Credit Card and Fairmont Visa Signature® 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.