10 Best Credit Card Offers For September

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Update: Many of these offers are expired or outdated.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

With that in mind, below are what I consider to be the best credit card sign-up bonuses for this month. I should say upfront that there were several great offers which ended earlier in the month, so the second half of this month isn’t looking all that exciting on the credit card front.

1. 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: I would argue these are the all around best business credit cards out there. 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.

It’s worth noting that Chase is running a promotional sign-up bonus on the Ink Plus Card, but only if you apply directly at a Chase branch. They’re offering 70,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $5,000, though the $95 annual fee isn’t waived the first year. So if you have access to a Chase branch, that’s going to be a better offer.

Redeem Ultimate Rewards points for standard rooms and suites at Park Hyatt New York

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.

American business class snack bar on the 777-300ER

3. 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.

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 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 ~$550 after accounting for the annual fee.

5. Citi Executive AAdvantage World Elite Mastercard

Current offer: 50,000 AAdvantage miles after spending $7,500 within three months
Annual fee: $450

Why it’s a great offer: In absolute terms this offer is still good, though not as good as before. For nearly six months this card offered a 100,000 mile sign-up bonus after spending $10,000 within three months. Then the best sign-up bonus on the card was 75,000 miles, and then down to 60,000, and now 50,000.

However, 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.

If you’re valuing American miles at ~1.8 cents each, this sign-up bonus is worth ~$450 to me after you factor in the annual fee, but there’s still some value to the lounge access and ability to earn elite qualifying miles. However, unlike many of the other offers, you’re actually paying quite a bit in “cash” to pick up the miles.

6. 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.

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.

Redeem 12,000 points per night for the Sheraton Edinburgh 

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. 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. This is 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.

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 credit 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!

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  1. May want to actually update yourself on the relevant threads on Citi before posting misinformation. a) The AA Executive card is down to 50k miles as the best available offer, no statement credit. The 60k offer has been dead for weeks. b) The Platinum AA Select is no longer on the aggressive churning schedule as some other Citi cards are (looking at you, Hilton & AA Executive); that has nothing to do with whether you have to close your previous card before applying for a new one. The rule, and only pertinent rule, is that you need to wait somewhere between 12-24 months for the system to “forget” you’ve applied for ANY of the Citi AA personal cards before, including the AA executive card. I believe the usual recommended number is 18 months. And of course when applying to adhere to the usual applicable Citi rules (no more than 1/day, 2/60 days, etc, etc).

  2. can those two Hilton free nights for the reserve card be redeemed for an over the water bungalow somewhere?

  3. Umm, Lucky, you might want to actually, ya know, TRY the links you’re posting before posting them? Especially when you’re ostensibly making these monthly posts to be ‘up-to-date’ it really makes it look like you’re just phoning it in for affiliate bucks when some of the links you post haven’t worked for WEEKS.

  4. Please stop hocking the Hilton card… The redemption rates suck now! Hyatt card seems far better.

    Just added the sapphire card to the portfolio. Thanks.

  5. @ E: I second your opinion regarding redemption. I wanted to use two nights at Maui, but was disapointed to know 10 months in advance that this is not going to happen.

  6. Lucky – you said I can’t get the bonus on the Citi Platinum Select AAdvantage Mastercard if I have another version of this card. Can you list the other versions please in your post or here? I took advantage of the Citi Executive Advantage World Elite Mastercard 100k bonus and I’m not sure if I can get this other bonus too.

  7. @caveman -Can the free nights be used at Waldorf Properties for Hilton? If yes whats the issue with redeeming? Would like to know more before potentially applying for one.

  8. @Joe S- Waldorf Astoria is fine. I had been planing for Grand Wailea Waldorf Astoria Resort for which I applied for Hilton Reserve. First you need to complete the minimum spend, then wait for the billing cycle to end, then you get the two free weekend night certificates in the mail. (For others it might be possible to book without those certificates but I was unable to do that as they asked for certificate numbers.) Then I was told that these certificates can be applied to basic rooms only and all those rooms are booked so good luck. This I am talking about May 29, 2015 reservation (about 10 months in advance). I was planing on 5 day vacation but since these are limited to weekend nights only so I could not benefit much. In contrast I consider 2 Hyatt nights much more useful as they are not limited to weekends only.

  9. @caveman – I also agree with E that the Hilton program is gutted now, but think that the 2 nights withe the Reserve card are still a good deal (as is the Hyatt bonus). However, I found it odd that a hotel would be sold out of their standard rooms that far in advance (unless there was some major event) so I double checked and I see weekend availability (Fri-Sun) for a standard room every single weekend of May 2015. The “standard” room at that property seems to be “TERRACE VIEW – 2 QUEEN BEDS.”

    I would try calling the hotel again.

  10. Just a heads up, the US Airways Dividend Miles World Mastercard has a targeted offer for 50,000 instead of the normal 40,000. I just got it in the mail today/yesterday. Ironically, this happened right after I decided to get the card after the third offer that was mailed to me. I figure they are persistent, might as well, only one purchase is needed.

    I shot them a message and I am waiting to see if they will up me to the 50,000 since my card activation and updated offer were done on the same day.

  11. Here is Barclay’s response.

    “Thank you for contacting us regarding your US Airways Dividend Miles World Mastercard. We can certainly address your inquiry regarding the Welcome bonus promotion on your account.

    Please understand that you received the Welcome Bonus promotion that was available at the time of application. We are unable to change or match any new promotions that were offered after you applied for the card. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

    If you have any other questions or concerns, please reply to this message.


    Customer Service”

    Here is my disappointment. :/

    Maybe their transformation in to an AAdvantage card will make it all worthwhile although the AA Executive Card works like a charm.

    Well, time to buy a pack of gum…I can’t complain about getting 40,000 points for gum.

    Maybe I will get Tic-Tacs instead. #fwp

  12. @ Lantean — I don’t believe Hilton has any properties where overwater bungalows are the standard rooms. There is the Conrad Koh Samui, where you get a villa/bungalow, though it’s not technically quite overwater. 😉

  13. @ E — I agree the redemption rates aren’t great for high end properties, though the free night certificates as such are just as (if not more) valuable as ever.

  14. @ wjj — It’s a fantastic credit card for everyday spend, but the sign-up bonus itself isn’t that great, in my opinion.

  15. @ JC — With Citi it seems to be a case of “YMMV.” My understanding is that you technically wouldn’t qualify for the Citi Platinum if you have the Citi Executive.

  16. @JC No, you can’t get another Plat AA card in the near future.

    But if you haven’t applied for another Citi card of any type in the last 8 days, or more than one Citi card of any type in the past 65 days, you can apply for another AA EXEC card right away. At the moment you can have as many EXEC cards as your wallet can hold. 🙂

  17. Ben, do you know if the US Airways Mastercard is still churnable? My husband and I both had it and cancelled it about three months ago after completing the spend.

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