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Update: Many of these offers are expired or outdated.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

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

1. Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

Current limited time offer: Earn 30,000 bonus Starpoints after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. Plus complimentary, unlimited Boingo Wi-Fi on up to four devices at more than 1,000,000 Boingo hotspots worldwide. (Enrollment required).
Annual fee: $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95

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 $660 to me. This isn’t the biggest bonus on this list, but is the highest offer we’ve seen on this card. Terms and Conditions Apply.

2. Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express

Current limited time offer: Earn 30,000 bonus Starpoints after you use your Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. Offer expires 9/14/2015. Plus complimentary, unlimited Boingo Wi-Fi on up to four devices at more than 1,000,000 Boingo hotspots worldwide. (Enrollment required). Holders of the SPG Business Amex also receive access to Sheraton club lounges when staying at those hotels.
Annual fee: $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95

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 $660 to me. This isn’t the biggest bonus on this list, but is the highest offer we’ve seen on this card. Terms and Conditions Apply.

Hotel-Des-Indes-Hague-27
Use Starpoints at the Hotel de Indes in the Netherlands

3. Citi Prestige® Card

Current offer: 50,000 ThankYou points after spending $3,000 within the first three months of cardmembership
Annual fee: $450

Why it’s a great offer: I’d argue this is the single most compelling credit card out there right now. Not only does the card offer a 50,000 point sign-up bonus, but it offers a ton of perks which more than offset the annual fee. This includes a $250 per calendar year airline credit (with your first year’s annual fee you get two of those $250 credits),Admirals Club access, a Priority Pass Select membership, a fourth night free benefit on hotels, a Global Entry fee credit, and much more.

Points can either be transferred to one of the ThankYou airline transfer partners, or otherwise redeemed for travel on American/US Airways at a rate of 1.6 cents each. Personally I value the sign-up bonus at ~$1,350 in rewards the first year.

American-Business-Class
Redeem Citi Prestige points for 1.6 cents each towards the cost of an American ticket

4. Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard

Current offer: 75,000 American AAdvantage miles after spending $7,500 within the first three months of cardmembership
Annual fee: $450

Why it’s a great offer: This card has a limited time increased sign-up bonus. I consider American AAdvantage miles to be among the most valuable out there, as I value them at 1.8 cents each. That makes the 75,000 mile sign-up bonus worth $1,350. Once you deduct the $450 annual fee, that makes this sign-up bonus worth ~$900 to me.

Cathay-Pacific-First-Class-777-54
Redeem American AAdvantage miles for travel in Cathay Pacific first class

5. Citi ThankYou® Premier Card 

Current offer: 50,000 ThankYou points after spending $3,000 within the first three months of cardmembership
Annual fee: $0 annual fee for the first 12 months, then $95

Why it’s a great offer: This card has an improved sign-up bonus at the moment, and goes very well with the Citi Prestige® Card, given that points can be pooled. If you have both cards then you can redeem points for 1.6 cents towards the cost of an American/US Airways ticket, or points can be transferred to one of the ThankYou Rewards transfer partners. If you want to get both cards, you’ll want to apply for them at least eight days apart, as Citi generally won’t approve more than one application per person within a window of eight days.

Singapore-Suites-Class-2
Transfer Citi ThankYou points to Singapore KrisFlyer, for travel in Singapore Suites Class

6. Ink Plus® Business Credit Card

Current offer: 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $5,000 within three months
Annual fee: Introductory annual fee of $0 the first year, then $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 $750 to me.

7. 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.

Park-Hyatt-Maldives-25
Redeem Ultimate Rewards points for the Park Hyatt Maldives

8. 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 to me.

Alaska Airlines 737 SeaTac Airport
Redeem Avios efficiently for shorthaul travel on Alaska Airlines

9. Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card

Current offer: 80,000 Marriott Rewards points spending $3,000 within first three months
Annual fee: $85

Why it’s a great offer: I value Marriott Rewards points at 0.8 cents each, so to me 80,000 points are worth $640. Once you factor in the annual fee, that brings the value of the sign-up bonus to $555. Furthermore, the card offers an annual free night certificate valid at Category 1-5 properties, which more than justifies the $85 annual fee. So it’s not only a great sign-up bonus, but a card worth holding onto long term.

Marriott-GRU-Airport
Redeem your annual free night certificate at the Marriott Sao Paulo Airport

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 5% refund of redeemed miles, making each point worth 1.05 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 $420, and you can earn a pretty great 2.1% cash back towards travel for every dollar spent on the card.

TGV-Train-Brussels-Paris-06
Redeem Barclaycard Arrival miles for train tickets

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. One of my favorite cards right now is the SPG Amex. It’s always been a good card to have but now with the newest additions to zero foreign fees, etc it’s a big value and step for the card. As I’ve been doing over 10 booking for properties in different destinations around the world it’s refreshing that I won’t see a foreign fee charge on my bill while collecting some star points as well! Chase sapphire has always been a favorite too and with AA travels and being my Primay airline of choice I use my AA card for my flights too. Cheers Ben. Great post.

  2. You mentioned the policy of citi with having to wait 8 days after an app to get another card (and of course there is the wait 65 days recommendation before going for third app). What is your source for this info? I have seen it on FT threads as well, but is this based upon the experience of people apping or has there been some sort of official word from citi on this topic. I’m not doubting it but I know people who refuse to believe there is a general policy on this subject and was hoping to be able to point out to them solid evidence.

  3. The flexibility of the SPG points is nice, but unless you’re staying often at Starwood properties, how is this card so popular??? It’s hard to accrue points, so for regular spending it seems much more preferrable to use cards like the Sapphire, Citi Premiere, etc. It feels like what’s often used to compare different programs is the $/points, but it’s not entirely accurate because you need to reach certain thresholds, right?

  4. @Lucky said: “Starpoints remain the most valuable points currency out there to me” and I applaud him for saying “TO ME” because he spends a lot of money on this hobby. By the same token, no one who does not already spend a lot of money should ever get the SPG AMEX card because he or she will end up with the most touted and talked about but least rewarding card in the business.

    The claim is that because starpoints can be transferred favorably to air miles that makes them “the most valuable points currency out there.” But what good does it do anyone if @ 1/$ one cannot earn enough starpoints to start with? If one needs air miles, the smart thing to do is to get get a card that gets more air miles/$ rather than to depend on spending $20K on the SPG AMEX to get JUST 25K miles — good for a domestic economy ticket!

    Now, look how easy it is to understand that one can do infinitely better with the Chase United Club card. If you spend $20K on the Chase UC visa card @ 1.5 miles/$ you will earn 30K United miles that you can redeem to fly on any of the 27 Star Alliance carriers without transferring anything. The savings that one gets easily cover the UC card’s AF but you will also have the UC membership that gets you access to *A lounges while traveling with *A carriers, so the benefits easily outshine those of “the most valuable points currency out there.” Heck, just spending $25K on the Chase UA Explorer to earn 1 mi/$ on general spend gets one 35K miles, which are still more than what one’d get by earning “the most valuable points currency out there” on the SPG AMEX and then transferring it to air miles. Note that all I needed to do to debunk the claim about the universal supremacy of starpoints that we hear about ad nauseam was to provide a counter example where the earning of starpoints is NOT the best strategy. I just provided of two of many possible counter examples, so QED.

    The math is simple. Anyone who falls for @Lucky’s outdated and demonstrably bogus claim that starpoints are “the most valuable points currency out there” needs to have their head examined. Fall for it and you’ll end up with one of the least rewarding cards out there, while @Lucky laughs all the way to the bank with his commission!

  5. Note that in the examples above I gave the SPG AMEX a break by assuming that one spends only for general purchases on the two Chase UA cards. If one spends on UA-related purchases, one earns 2mi/$ on either cards, which clearly leaves the SPG AMEX in the dust…

  6. @Dan — I am as light as can be. Just setting the record straight…from Milan, the 2015 World Expo city. How much lighter can one get in such a heady environment? 😉

  7. @Jerry – ” so for regular spending it seems much more preferrable to use cards like the Sapphire, Citi Premiere, etc.”

    You may be able to earn more points with CSP or TYP, but if you want to transfer points to a program that’s not a partner of either, you’re out of luck.

    “you need to reach certain thresholds, right?”

    Which many people can/do.

    @DCS – “claim about the universal supremacy”

    What claim about universal supremacy? You yourself acknowledge that Lucky included the qualifier “to me.”

    “Anyone who falls for @Lucky’s outdated and demonstrably bogus claim that starpoints are “the most valuable points currency out there” needs to have their head examined.”

    Or perhaps they’ve come to the conclusion that the SPG card is the one that best meets their needs.

    “If one spends on UA-related purchases, one earns 2mi/$ on either cards, which clearly leaves the SPG AMEX in the dust…”

    If you spend that much on airline purchases, you could get the AmEx PRG and earn 3 points per $, which would leave the 2 miles per $ from the UA cards in the dust.

  8. @Dan – Don’t bother. He’s a religious zealot about the Chase/UA cards, and cannot comprehend the fact that his preferences aren’t right for everyone.

  9. dcs,
    your argument would make perfect sense if SPG has just one transfer partner, united.
    but in the real world, spg has 34 airline partners and that makes starpoints exponentially more valuable than united miles.

  10. @steven k — My argument isn’t predicated at all on UA being a Starwood transfer partner because it is one of the airlines to which the transfer of starpoints is awful @ 2 UA miles per 1 starpoint, and the reason for this is that UA is in bed with Chase. The argument is that if it is airline miles that one desires, one would do a lot better by getting a card that earns more miles/$ than the SPG AMEX. I provided the example of the UA cards because I happen to have them, but there are other better cards out there.

    LOL! What a coincidence! I just got the following in an email from United just moments ago, as if the “gods” wanted to assist me in making my point 😉
    __________________________________________________________________________________
    Keep using your Card — you’re almost there.
    With your MileagePlus Explorer Card, you receive 10,000 bonus award miles after you spend $25,000 on the Card during a calendar year.* You’re close to reaching your goal — just keep using your Card for all your purchases. This exclusive benefit is just one way your Card helps you earn award travel faster. See how your miles add up when you use your Card:

    Your MileagePlus accountat a glance:
    MileagePlus # XXXXX873
    Premier® 1K®

    Your Card activity at a glance:
    1 mile per $1 spent earned on all purchases: 22,901
    Additional 1 mile earned on United tickets: 8,018
    Total miles earned with your Card: 30,919

    Activity calculated from statements billed between January 1, 2015, and August 24, 2015. If you have multiple MileagePlus Explorer Cards, your activity includes all your accounts. For more up-to-date activity, view your MileagePlus statement at united.com.
    _________________________________________________________________________________

    With a combination of general purchases and UA purchases, I have now spent $22,901 on my UA explorer. Just about $2K more to go and I will earn close to 45K bonus miles! How much would you earn with the SPG AMEX with the same spend?

    QED.

  11. @BrianL Of course there are transfer partner preferences, but what if you’re only considering the ends and not the means? I’m debating about the SPG card, but I think its long-term viability is not as good as something like CSP. If my end goal is to get 25K miles for a domestic ticket, I would be much better off with the CSP than the SPG, right? I keep analyzing it, and it seems to me that the only way the SPG comes out ahead is if I stay at a lot of Starwoods properties OR if I had a specific transfer partner/fancy class redemption in mind (which, I think, is rather moot since you can get pretty similar outcomes due to the alliances and overlap in programs). Just my two cents.

  12. @Brian L — I wish there were an “ignore” feature here but there ain’t. You have never said anything that is worth addressing so I have tried to ignore your posts but you do not even seem to have noticed. Why don’t you just ignore my mine or at least make an effort to address them in away that I can actually respond substantively rather than derisively?

    G’day!

  13. Oops! I got that backwards. The transfer rate is 2 starpoints per 1 UA mile, which is awful considering how tough it is to earn starpoints in the first place!

  14. dcs,
    i was touting the benefit of starpoints being able to transfer to 34 airlines, not the transfer ratio.

  15. @DCS To be fair, you could transfer 1:1 to Singapore and piggyback onto United rewards. But to your point, I can earn the points faster with other currencies than SPG, which is why its popularity confuses me.

    @BrianL I realize that if you are doing no bonus spend, SPG comes out ahead (due to the 25K transfer payout with 20K SPG points). But that’s with absolutely no bonus spend, so if you’re traveling and dining out, it’s hard for SPG to beat out the other cards.

  16. @steven k — Hilton has as many transfer partners as if not more than SPG (see list below), but their transfer rate is not as favorable as SPG’s. Therefore, you are touting something that is not an exclusive advantage of starpoints.

    HHonors transfer rates, taking into account that one earns 6 times as many HH points as one earns starpoints, are in the range of about 1:1 (AA) to typically 1 HH:1.5 Partner. However, considering how easy HH points are to earn, I would not hesitate to dip into my stash if I need just a few miles to have enough to book an award ticket.

    HHonors’ Participating Airline/Rail Partners (the complete list):
    Aeroflot Russian Airlines
    Aeromexico
    Aeroplan (Air Canada)
    Air Berlin
    Air China
    Air New Zealand
    Alaska Airlines
    All Nippon Airways
    American Airlines
    Amtrak
    British Airways
    Cathay Pacific Airways
    China Southern
    CSA Czech Airlines
    Delta Air Lines®
    Etihad
    Frontier Airlines
    Gulf Air
    Hawaiian Airlines®
    Icelandair
    Japan Airlines
    Jet Airways
    JetBlue
    LAN**(kms)
    Kingfisher Airlines
    KLM/Air France (Flying Blue)**
    Malaysia Airlines®
    Mexicana Airlines (kms)
    Miles & More (Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines)
    Olympic Air
    Qantas Airways
    Qatar Airways
    Saudi Arabian Airlines
    Singapore Airlines
    South African Airways
    TACA
    THAI Airways International
    United Airlines®
    US Airways®
    Virgin America
    Virgin Atlantic Airways

  17. @ Jerry said: “… I can earn the points faster with other currencies than SPG, which is why its popularity confuses me.”

    Me too, but I have done the math again and again against various currencies and starpoints come up short most of the time because they are too hard to earn for any advantage that they might have to be felt unless one spends a bundle, which defies the whole purpose of the mile/point game!…

  18. dcs,
    are you sure you want to go there? hilton to airline miles transfer ratio in most cases is 10 to 1 where as spg to airline miles is 1 to 1~1.25.
    don’t get me wrong. i have come around to think that hilton award redemption rates aren’t as bad as i initially thought.
    but for non bonus spend, nothing beats starpoints.

  19. Amex Premier Rewards Gold Card offered 50k points after spending $1k within in 3month.
    Was it just a random special offer thing?

  20. @steven k — I have already gone “there” repeatedly before. In order to be able to compare the relative rates of transferring starpoints or HHonors points to corresponding airline partners, the relative earn rates of the two currencies — 1 starpoints vs. 6 HH points a pop — must be taken into account and adjusted for, so that 1:10 in terms of HH points is about 1: (10/6) = 1:1.67 😉

    The transfer rate of HH points to Aeroflot Russian Airlines, American Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Gulf Air, Hawaiian Airlines®, Mexicana Airlines, Qantas Airways, South African Airways, and Virgin Atlantic Airways miles is

    10,000:1,500

    …in terms of HH points.

    In terms of starpoints that transfer rate would be

    (10,000/6): 1,500

    = 1,667:1,500

    = 1.1:1

    that’s the best transfer rate of HHonors to airline partners that one achieves, and it ain’t that bad. Where startpoints do better, if you can earn enough of them, if when one transfers them in multiples of 20K and gets the 5K bonus.

    Again, much of this is balanced out by the ease with which HHonors can be earned in huge quantities!

  21. dcs,
    on which card can you get 6 hh points on non bonus spend? i would love to know so i can apply for one.
    with amex surpass, you get 3x, not 6x.

  22. I luv fuzzy math, it’s like reaganomics….I agree for the most part with lucky. Until recently SPG was a great churnable card with excellent versatility for spg awards at superior hotels as well as favorable trade ratios with the main airlines…I even got a car award, when they first started including them, that wound up being 2.5 cents/pp value. My wife still has 100k and spouses points combine….so we will probably sign up and get 60k more from the business cards, get the points and cancel them to start the 12 month clock again. That’s the way Amex plays nowadays, I can adapt….as far as usage we find airline miles too easy to obtain, and other than the car rental, always use the points for hotel awards….5th night free with points in Hawaii provides the best redemption value for us.

    Points are somewhat a subjective matter, so math doesn’t do well for points…but SPG points are good for versatility and if you haven’t had the business card in a year, it’s time to get another while the bonus is high.

  23. @steven k surpass gives 6x at grocery stores which besides hotels is the highest pp$ category with HH…other HH cards offer less…but you can get 10k worth of giftcards for $120 that give 60k HH points making HH points some of the easiest to collect with surpass, you also earn diamond after a while and 60k is enough for 2 people at one of Hiltons all inclusive resorts for a night, which I think is their best value.

  24. wise2u,
    i wouldn’t use my spg amex at supermarkets so why even bring that up? i am talking about non bonus spend.
    obviously, you are trying to obfuscate the issue.

  25. @DCS – “I have tried to ignore your posts”

    Unsuccessfully, obviously.

    “but you do not even seem to have noticed.”

    I don’t care if people ignore me or not.

    “Why don’t you just ignore my mine”

    Why do you care if other people ignore you?

    “actually respond substantively rather than derisively?”

    You, of all people, are calling someone else out for responding derisively? Really? LOL!

    @Jerry – “so if you’re traveling and dining out, it’s hard for SPG to beat out the other cards.”

    Depends on the program you want to transfer to. Some programs are only partners with one of the three transferable currencies.

  26. @steven k —

    It does not matter, whether it be on credit card spend or on hotel revenue spend, HHonors awards about 6 times more points than SPG.

    For cards, comparing apples and apples:

    HH AMEX Surpass awards:
    12 HH/$ for hotel spend
    6 HH/$ for gas, supermarket, restaurant spend
    3 HH/$ for all else

    SPG AMEX awards
    2 points for hotel spend (not by accident)
    1 SPG point for everything else

    For hotel spend it is clearly 6:1
    For gas, supermarket, restaurant spend it is clearlt 6:1.

    Because the categories do not match since the Surpass has 3 and SPG has 2, the median is about 5.5:1. I would never use my Surpass for everything else so that makes my non-hotel spend 6:1

    For hotel stays
    A HH Diamond earns 32 HH/$ charged to the surpass
    A SPG Pure Plat earns 3/$ + 2/$ (AMEX) = 5/$

    32/5 = 6.4

    It is always around 6:1

    The bloggers value starpoints at 2.2 cents each and HH points at 0.4 cent each.
    Adjusting for the earn rate difference:
    0.4 * 6 = 2.4 cents
    is how much HHonors points are worth in terms of starpoints, which is not different from the bloggers’ touted value of 2.2 cents that purportedly makes starpoints the single most valuable points currency there is. LOL…
    As you can see, starpoints and HH points are worth exactly the same when adjusted for differences in earn rates.

    A fluke?

    Hyatt GP points are valued at 1.4 cents each. One earns 3 times more HH points than GP points.
    0.4 *3 = 1.2; no difference from the bloggers’ 1.4 estimate

    IHG to HH relative earn rate is 1.0:1.5
    Blogger value each IHG point at 0.7 cent.
    0.4 * 1.5 = 0.6 no difference from the bloggers’s 0.7

    All loyalty currencies are worth exactly the same when adjusted for the relative earn rates.

    So that is where you start if you are going to compare loyalty points. Got to include the spend and earn sides of the mile/point equation or the points cannot be compared.

    QED.

  27. I am actually now in Milan in my complimentary junior suite upgrade at Hilton Milan. It is 6:30am here and I have been up all night because I am jet-lagged. Got get some sleep now!

    G’day!

  28. Why isn’t lucky blogging about the 100,000 mile offer AMEX Platinum is currently having. I wonder, I wonder do these “bloggers” don’t want potential commission cash down the drain in the future.

  29. Ben, what about the new 60k offer for the Citi ThankYou Premier Credit Card? You have always been at the front end of any changes, especially for cards you recommend, and I was surprised you didn’t catch it yet. You have always been my #1 go-to for credit card offers. Did I miss anything from your blog?

  30. Offering $20 to anyone with an app that will delete this pompous know-it-all, dcs. I try to avoid him, but he insists on spreading his annoying piety everywhere. Please, DCS, go enjoy the fair or start your own damn blog. No one wants to hear from you.
    (I’d point out the errors in your “reasoning” but others have tried and you insist on ignoring them, so I won’t waste my time.)

  31. @mbh — Promises, promises, promises! Point out the errors. Still have 30 min before my flight. Go on.

    BTW, I am considering to just become the stealth commenter. Say my piece and leave it at that…

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