10 best credit card sign-up bonuses for August

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Update: Many of these offers are expired or outdated.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 travel credit cards.

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 that ask about which cards they should sign-up for, a question I get a daily basis.

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

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. Last month there was a promotional 60,000 point sign-up bonus on the card for Small Business Week, though this is otherwise as good as the bonus gets.

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.

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: This is the only “unofficial” link remaining for a 50,000 mile sign-up bonus, and while the bonus isn’t stated on the application, people that have applied through the above link have consistently received that bonus.

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 $900 to me.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. British Airways Visa Signature® Card

Current offer: 50,000 Avios after spending $2,000 within three months
Annual fee: $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95 thereafter

Why it’s a great offer: British Airways recently got rid of the first year annual fee on the card, which was previously $95. They have 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 ~$650.

7. Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card

Current offer: Two free weekend nights at most Hilton family properties after spending $2,500 within four months of account opening
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.

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: Regardless of whether or not the merger with American actually goes through, either American or US Airways miles are extremely valuable. 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. Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature Card

Current offer: 50,000 points after the first purchase, and an additional 35,000 points after spending $2,500 on the card within 90 days.
Annual fee: $75

Why it’s a great offer: As I’ve written about in this post, the Club Carlson card has a ton of value, including 85,000 points after completing the minimum spend, a 40,000 point anniversary bonus, Gold status for as long as you have the card, and most importantly, the second night of any award redemption is free, potentially doubling the value of your points.

You earn 5x points per dollar spent on the card, so once you’ve spent $3,000 on the card you’ll have 100,000 points. Club Carlson’s top category hotels cost 50,000 points per night, so that’s enough points for two sets of two nights at some of Club Carlson’s top properties.

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. 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.

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. with all these changes… if if already have AAdvantage Visa currently open, can I apply for it again or does it have to be MC or AE for me?
    thanks.

  2. Just got the Starwood Business AmEx using your link! (got the personal last year). Pending approval but when I called they said it was just a delay in their system today, should be approved soon. Thanks again for all the information you share, see you at FTU Tampa! 🙂

  3. Of the two Chase Ink cards, which one offers the easiest approval and if best for mileage accrual? Or is the difference simply due to one being a charge card and other a credit card?

    P.S. AMEX needs to bring 75-100K sign-up bonuses back 🙂

  4. I have a personal SPG card for 6 months now. Sould I cancel so ready for next years promotion. I don’t use it much amd hear need to have not had the card for a year to be eligible for next promotion.

  5. Lantean, looks like my follow up comment got deleted but see FT link in comment above you.

    bmvaughn, the better US offer is the 35K link which gets you 10K at anniversary for a total of 45K. Not sure why that isn’t highlighted but perhaps it makes the affiliate link look better :p

  6. @ bmvaughn — If you have a link for a 40K US Airways sign-up bonus by all means post it here please! The link I posted isn’t even my affiliate link and is the best available offer as far as I know.

  7. @ Ivan Y — The cards offer virtually the same benefits. The only difference really is that the Ink Bold is a charge card (meaning you have to pay your balance off in full each month), while the Ink Plus is a credit card (meaning you can — though shouldn’t — finance charges over time). So theoretically the Ink Bold should be a bit easier to get approved for since it’s a lower risk card for the bank, though I find the difference to be negligible.

  8. @ Crinbs — Totally up to you. You do have to wait 12 months between applications, so if you don’t value the benefits of the card it may make sense to cancel.

  9. @ HikerT — I don’t moderate comments. You were posting from a different IP it seems, so it had to be manually approved.

  10. Thank you, Lucky! Only have BA Chase (back from 100K bonus days) and SPG AMEX so trying to figure what to get next.

    On a tangential topic, while trying to figure out how valuable United miles would be for me, I found out today that SQ is now blocking even economy award space for partners (at least, UA) on flights from USA to non-Asian destinations (to DME and to FRA, I guess).

    Using UA site, couldn’t find anything on SQ61/62 (IAHDME) and finally called into to CSR and she very quickly informed me of SQ policy.

    Is that something new? Seems very strange they could get away with that 🙁

  11. @ Ivan Y — That is odd. Wish I had a good explanation, as it’s the first time I’ve seen them blocking coach space. They do that on most of their longhaul routes in first and business class, though now coach. Hmmm…

  12. @Lucky — it worked as of June 23 (there was a post on another blog with a screenshot). I think the only two routes to Europe are from Houston to Moscow and New York to Frankfurt. Former doesn’t work for sure and tried a few dates on latter with no luck.

    Not sure how many of your readers & customers would book SQ to Europe in economy but something to keep in mind (as you mentioned elsewhere, UA’s fees are much lower that SQ’s).

  13. @Carter
    I read thru most of the flyertalk thread and it doesn’t seem like it’s been tried… I just canceled my first card so I only have one left now… going to apply for another one today… I’ll let you know.

  14. @Carter
    so i was approved for yet another US Air card… strange considering i just closed #1 last week… but not i have two open… #2 and #3.
    😉

  15. @ваня @lucky
    wonder if the SQ redemption through UA is bi-directional. can DME-IAH or FRA-JKF/EWR be booked on SQ through UA?

  16. @Mr. Cool – Привет!

    Just re-checked every day in September for DME->IAH with no luck – still no SQ availability.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *