10 Best Credit Card Offers For October

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Update: Many of these offers are expired or outdated.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

With that in mind, below are what I consider to be the best credit card sign-up bonuses for this month.

1. Ink Plus® Business Credit Card 

Current offer: 70,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $5,000 within three months
Annual fee: $95

Why it’s a great offer: I would argue this is the all around best business credit card out there. The Ink cards have extremely 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 the sign-up bonus is worth $955 to me ($1,050 minus the $95 annual fee).

2. 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: Unlike the Ink Plus, the Ink Bold is a business charge card, meaning you have to pay the balance in full every month. Otherwise it has the same category bonuses, and both cards accrue Ultimate Rewards points, which I find incredibly valuable due to their extensive transfer partners.

It’s rumored that the Ink Bold will be closing soon to new applicants, so if you don’t have this card and are looking for a business charge card this might be your last chance.

Korean-First-Class
Ultimate Rewards points can be transferred to Korean Air at a 1:1 ratio

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: 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.

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 ~$550 after accounting for the annual fee.

6. 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: 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. Miles & More is also the only points currency that gives you access to Lufthansa first class more than 15 days prior to departure.

Lufthansa-First-Class-9

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: 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.

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.

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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Comments

  1. Lucky – can you give us more details on the Citi Platinum Select AAdvantage MasterCard? I know there are tons of people out there that took advantage of the 100K Executive Platinum Card (myself included), do you know of any “loopholes” to get a bonus with the Platinum Select card?

  2. @ JC — The good thing about the Citi Platinum Select is that it doesn’t have an annual fee the first year. Some report still qualifying for the bonus on this card when they’ve had the Citi Executive Card, while others don’t. Unfortunately don’t know what the criteria for eligibility is. Sorry.

  3. Whew! Thank you for not mentioning the Diners Club card, I like how it’s kept low profile so the deal isn’t ruined.

  4. For the 3. Citi Platinum Select AAdvantage MasterCard card

    Do you have to wait 24 months or 12 months to get the bonus again if you have had it before

  5. @ danny — With Citi it really seems to vary person to person. I’d say 24 months for most, though some have reported getting the bonus again more quickly.

  6. Ben,

    How do you value the HHonors card from American Express with 40,000 Bonus Points w/ $750 purchase in 3 months and NO ANNUAL FEE?

  7. @ John DELTA — I value HHonors points at 0.4 cents each, so that sign up bonus is worth ~$160 to me. Not an especially good sign-up bonus in my book. But if you have most of the other good cards out there, it’s not necessarily horrible.

  8. lucky — is it possible to churn the lufty M&M card and get the bonus again? and by that I mean get a 2nd CC, with the 1st one still open? dont mind closing the 1st one, and I just might do that to get the 2nd one. but if I dont have to, rather keep it open and let the history along with a nice CL on the 1st one stay on my CR.

    and if it makes a diff, only got #1 about 3-4 months ago. and currently have 2 barclay’s products (along with US Air CC) … I’d appreciate the heads up regarding if I can get the bonus again and/or if its too soon to apply for another barclay’s product. thanks!

  9. @ Adam — Don’t have any firsthand experience, but I don’t believe so. You should be able to qualify for another Barclaycard product, but not exactly the same one.

  10. Lucky- I assume the rankings are in order ? If so, I’m surprised you have the Barclay’s Arrival plus at the tail end- I thought you highly recommended it ?

    My big dilemma right now is between the Sapphire Preferred and the Starwood Amex, and may be then, Arrival.

    Over the next year a significant amount of my travel will be work related, i.e., I will be earning rather than needing to redeem miles. Should that tilt the preference? I know that both Starwood Amex and Sapphire allow you to deposit miles into accounts- but it seems that Starwood has a broader range of options with airlines than Chase Ultimate Rewards.

  11. @ Adi-T — I do highly recommend it. Keep in mind these posts are specifically about the best sign-up bonuses, and not necessarily the best cards for everyday spend. The Barclaycard Arrival is a perfect example of a card with a very good sign-up bonus that’s also excellent for everyday spend. If I had a list of best all around credit cards, it would definitely rank higher.

    SPG does indeed have a ton of options, so might not be a bad choice in your situation. Then again, you can’t beat cash if you’re already earning a lot of miles, so I’d also consider the Barclaycard Arrival.

  12. @ Lucky,

    Just applied online for the Chase Ink Plus & called the reconsideration line. I was denied because of $0 in revenue. The agent said applicant MUST have a legit business with business history. I called 3 times & all 3 agents said same thing 🙁 , I can’t believe how others got approved for the business card without having a legit business. Should I call again tomorrow to try my luck? I am so upset. Please give some advise.

    Thanks.

  13. Hi Ben,

    Does Starwood Preferred Guest AE usually offer bigger sign up bonuses than 25,000 points? What have you seen & how often? Thank you, michelle

  14. @ Michelle — Historically seem to offer a 30,000 point sign-up bonus once per month, though that’s as high as it gets.

  15. @Nick, stop, slow down and take a deep breath. Chase is under no obligation to give you a card. And repeatedly calling back likely isn’t going to get you anywhere. Getting denied for Chase business cards is nothing new – I was denied almost 2 years ago for the reasons you were denied. But guess what – since then I’ve gotten plenty of other cards from other lenders. Move on and consider it a lesson learned.

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