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Update: Many of these offers are expired or outdated.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.
A bit more has changed this month than usual, given that it’s not just some of the card offers themselves that have changed, but also the value of the points they accrue due to the slew of devaluations we’ve seen recently.
With that in mind, here are what I consider to be the 10 best credit card sign-up bonuses right now:
1. 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. I value American miles at 1.8 cents each, so this sign-up bonus is worth $900 to me. American miles haven’t been devalued yet either, unlike Delta and United miles.
The “catch” is that as of a few months ago you typically won’t get approved for a second card if you already have another version of the card. In other words, in the past it was possible to earn the sign-up bonuses on both the Visa and the MasterCard, though at the moment that doesn’t seem to be possible.
2. Ink Plus® Business Credit Card and Ink Bold® Business Charge 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: There’s no doubt the value of Ultimate Rewards points has gone down a bit recently due to the devaluation of Hyatt, Southwest, and United points. That being said, there’s still a lot of value to be had from cards that accrue Ultimate Rewards points due to the big sign-up bonus and generous category bonuses, including 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 1.5 cents each, so to me these points are worth $750.
3. Southwest Airlines® Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card
Current offer: 50,000 Rapid Rewards points after spending $2,000 within three months
Annual fee: $99
Why it’s a great offer: While this is not the card for everyone, I do think this is a great option for domestic travel, given that you earn two free roundtrips with the sign-up bonus. Rapid Rewards points can be redeemed for ~1.43 cents each towards the cost of “Wanna Get Away” fares. So that’s about $714 towards the cost of airfare.
Also keep in mind that if you rack up 110,000 points in a year you’ll earn Companion Pass with Southwest, which allows someone else to travel with you for the entire year. For domestic travel that’s a value that’s tough to beat. I value Southwest Rapid Rewards points at roughly 1.4 cents each (taking into account the upcoming devaluation), so to me these points are worth $700.
4. 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. I value British Airways Avios at 1.3 cents each, so to me the “basic” 50,000 point sign up bonus is worth ~$650.
5. 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 can be transferred at a 1:1 ratio to Korean Air, United, Hyatt, and many other programs. The card is 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 $600.
6. 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: Now that the merger with American is official, it’s only a matter of time before this card is discontinued. 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.
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. 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.
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. 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.
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® 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.