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Update: Many of these offers are expired or outdated.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 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. For reference, here is my list of the best credit card sign up bonuses for March.

With that in mind, here are what I consider to be the 10 best credit card sign-up bonuses for this month (and for the first time since I’ve started this series, the best offers haven’t changed compared to last month):

1. Citi Executive AAdvantage World Elite MasterCard

Current offer: 100,000 AAdvantage miles after spending $10,000 within three months, plus $200 statement credit
Annual fee: $450

Why it’s a great offer: This is the first 100,000 mile sign-up bonus I’ve ever seen on a card accruing AAdvantage miles, and I’m amazed how long it has lasted.

While the minimum spend is high and annual fee is hefty, you do get a $200 statement credit, which basically brings down the annual fee to $250. Furthermore, the card comes with Admirals Club access, which is useful since as of March 22, 2014, American Express Platinum cardmembers no longer have access to Admirals Clubs. It’s also worth nothing that some have had luck earning the sign-up bonus on this card multiple times.

At least until last week I valued American miles at ~1.8 cents each (I’ll share my new valuation in another post shortly), so this sign-up bonus is worth $1,550 to me ($1,800, minus the $250 annual fee after you factor in the $200 statement credit).

Citi-Executive-Bonus

2. 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. Using a valuation of 1.8 cents per mile, this sign-up bonus is worth $900.

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.

3. 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: Both cards accrue Ultimate Rewards points, which I find incredibly valuable due to their extensive transfer partners. The Ink cards have a competitive sign-up bonus, and generous category bonuses which help sole proprietorships and small businesses maximize points on everyday credit card spend, 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.

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 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 $675. This is probably the most-used card in my wallet

5. 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 incredibly useful. You can also earn a British Airways Travel Together ticket for spending $30,000 on the card in a calendar year.

I value British Airways Avios at 1.3 cents each, so to me the sign up bonus is worth ~$650.

6. The US Airways® Premier World MasterCard®

Current offer: 40,000 Dividend Miles after the first purchase
Annual fee: $89

Why it’s a great offer: Now that the merger with American is underway, chances are that this card will be discontinued at some point. US Airways is keeping their award chart for the immediate future though, and there are some great award redemptions in the meantime. It’s an easy 40,000 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 ~$550.

For what it’s worth they offered a 35,000 mile sign-up bonus with no annual fee the first year for a long time, though unfortunately that offer is now dead. I’d say this one is pretty comparable, though.

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. 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 previously, 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 award redemptions are 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. Many of Club Carlson’s best hotels cost just 50,000 points per night, so that’s enough points for two sets of two nights at some of Club Carlson’s top properties. You can also redeem points for premium rooms and suites, which really increases the value of these points.

9. 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: 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 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.

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 is also a great card to use in conjunction with award tickets on airlines that levy fuel surcharges, so can be a huge cost-saver. 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 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. I’m sorry, but #9 it’s not the best offer out there. There is a Citi Reserve card right now that gives a $100 statement credit with Hilton in the first 3 months of card ownership.

  2. Hi Lucky,

    New to your blog, but have really enjoyed it so far.

    Wouldn’t mind opening an Ink Bold card through your link, but would I qualify if I already have an Ink Plus card and should I?

  3. Could you care to elaborate in a future posting how you calculate the value per mile for the different airlines?, perhaps including a comparison chart. It would be really helpful.

  4. Lucky,

    Your SPG links takes you to your Credit Card offers page, and then the SPGs link on that page just reopens another one of your Credit Card pages (it appears to be a loop). Just FYI

  5. how can AA occupy the top 2 spots after the recent devaluation massacre???

    it’s obvious Douggie will make sure these miles are worthless very soon. Suzanne will be probably surprised by that too.

  6. @ Lantean — The only part of the change that was truly a “massacre” was the lack of advance notice. With American miles they eliminated Explorer awards and stopovers, but you can still redeem 67.5K American miles for one-way first class on Cathay Pacific between the US and Asia, which is a heck of a deal.

  7. you don’t think that complete elimination of the best award option is a massacre? let’s agree to disagree then.

    also, you must know very well that this is just a warm-up… much more destruction is yet to come to AA miles.

  8. @ Lantean — Best award option with American miles or US Airways miles? Best award option with American miles hasn’t change, in my opinion.

    And of course it’s just a warm up, but I value miles based on their award chart’s today and not based on their value at some point in the future.

  9. How soon can you reapply for the Hyatt card? The terms say one sign up bonus per lifetime but is that really enforced?

  10. You have the AA cards in the wrong order. If one has not applied for any type of AA card in the last 18 months or so, they can apply for the 50K cc first, then the 100K cc 8 days later. If they apply for the 100K card first, they will then not be approved for the 50K cc anytime in the near future.

  11. With vanilla reload option gone, what other way to meet minimum spend requirement for 10k besides amazon, thanks

  12. The Chase Hyatt card comes with Platinum (mid level) status.

    Ink is great because Chase keeps coming up with new products. I’m on my fifth. Old Ink Bold, New Ink Bold, Ink Plus, Business # 2 New Ink Bold and Ink Plus. Now they are Visa cards! That should be good for another of each.

  13. @Lantean “this is just a warm-up…”

    +1

    Gary, and to a certain extent Lucky, have a so what attitude, since Cathay to Asia is their favored award and is unchanged at this moment.

    Preview of coming attractions:

    One way FC LAX to NRT or HKG on AA metal this July is 170K to 220K. What are the odds that Dougie will keep Cathay priced at 1/3 of the price of AA?

    One fine morning quite soon, Gary and Lucky will wake up to find that Cathay FC is now 350K each way. With no notice and no grace period for booking. Then they will finally understand how those of us who intended to fly AA to Europe on a FC award feel today. 🙁

  14. It is clear that hoarding miles is a losing proposition. Get your miles in a chunk, book those award trips, and then move on to the next plan.

    Just meeting the minimum spend on the Citi World Exec is a RT ticket to HK in J. This is amazing value for a single hard pull.

  15. @ rich — The card isn’t churnable as far as I know. Some report being able to get a bonus after more than 36 months, but even that isn’t a guarantee.

  16. @ TK — Yeah, no doubt there are fewer ways to “manufacture” spend nowadays. You can always send money via Paypal to someone and swallow the fee, which may still be worth it in the grand scheme of things.

  17. @ Lantean — And while it sounded nice in theory and I always wanted to book one, in practice I never did. And I think that’s the case for a vast majority of people. Really the biggest challenge with them is that you can’t make any routing changes whatsoever after booking, which was so limiting.

  18. @ Robert Hanson — Not a “so what?” attitude at all, I’ve explained that I think the upcoming changes will be much worse. But if you really think Cathay first class will cost anywhere close to 350K one-way I’ll gladly take a challenge put my miles where my mouth is. You name the over/under and wager, and I’ll take it!

  19. There is a US airways offer for 30k miles with the annual fee waived, you get 10k miles for the anniversary bonus and these miles post before the annual fee hits.

    You’re basically paying an $89 premium by going for the 40k upfront offer.

  20. Maybe I am missing something here but why would Rui N.(Post No. 1) think that his is a better offer than what you posted? I would think the two weekend nights in a Cat. 10 would be worth more than the $100 credit with the offer he mentioned.

  21. I closed my SPG card in 8/12, and I have an amex plat card. Will I still get the 25K if I apply before 5/1?

  22. Lucky Obviously you have the miles to put at risk. After the DevAAuation, I do not. 🙁

    If you read my comment carefully, I said Gary had a so what attitude ie “awards you never use anyway”. Yes, I do use them, we have taken 5 Saver FC TATL in the past 4 years. The cheapest summer flights on AA metal we can find now are 3x the miles, or more, than we spent last year.

    So yes, you do seem to have, but only to “a certain extent”, a similar attitude to Gary when you say “The only part of the change that was truly a “massacre” was the lack of advance notice”.

    We had to forget about the Thanksgiving trip to Cancun we were considering, when the Anytime one way rate went from 35K to 65K overnight. If charging as much this year for Economy to Cancun as they charged us last year for FC Saver TATL isn’t a massacre, what would be????

    Obviously I don’t know the exact level that Dougie will set for Cathay to Asia. But if he follows the United example of charging double for partner awards as for United metal, that AA award of @200K could easily become 350K for Cathay.

    If you think AA will continue to charge far less for Cathay flights as they now do for AA metal, you are really a dreamer.

    Just to be clear, I’m not taking you up on your bet for the same reason I won’t play no limit poker with Warren Buffet. I haven’t got the chips to play at that level. 😉

  23. Applied through your link for the Ink Bold card like I said I would yesterday. Says decision pending and to wait. Should I wait or is there a reconsideration phone # I should call?

    Thanks.

  24. Do you have a comparison article to Sapphire preferred and Barclaycard Arrival? If I already have sapphire and get 2.14x on travel, do I really need Barclays 2.2x? Seems like a wash to me? Thanks for the explanation if I’m missing something.

  25. Just an FYI on the Ink Bold application from a few days ago. Never called the reconsideration line, but got the approval today.

    Reconfirming that you can get both Ink Plus and Ink Bold.

    Hope this supports your blog a tiny bit.

  26. Hi,
    Does the 2x on travel by Chase Sapphire Preferred include airline tickets purchased thru Expedia or Orbitz, etc ? Thanks.

  27. Hi,

    I applied for the Alaska card using your link but got a “cannot provide an instant decision at this time” message. Should I wait or try to call?

    Thanks.

  28. @ Lucky — you were spot on. I checked my app status online through the BofA portal and found out I was approved! Thank you.

Leave a Reply

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