10 Best Credit Card Offers For January

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: This offer for the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard® is expired. Learn more about the current offer here.

Update: This offer for the Citi Prestige® Card is expired. Learn more about the current offer here.

Update: This offer for the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card is expired. Learn more about the current offer here.

Update: These offers change frequently, and many of the offers below are expired. You can find the best current offer details here.

Update: This offer for the Barclaycard Arrival Plus(TM) World Elite Mastercard® is expired. Learn more about the current offer here.


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 who 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 December.

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

1. 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 creditAdmirals Club access, a Priority Pass Select membership, a fourth night free hotel benefit, 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 at a rate of 1.6 cents each. Personally I value the sign-up bonus at ~$1,350 in rewards the first year.

American-A321-Business
Redeem Citi Prestige points for 1.6 cents each towards the cost of an American ticket

2. Ink Plus® Business Credit Card

Current offer: 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $5,000 within three months
Annual fee: $95

Why it’s a great offer: 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 ~1.6 cents each, so the sign-up bonus is worth ~$960 to me.

Korean-Air-First-Class
Redeem Ultimate Rewards points for travel in Korean Air first class

3. CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®

Current offer: 50,000 American AAdvantage miles after spending $3,000 within the first three months of cardmembership
Annual fee: Introductory annual fee of $0 the first year, then $95

Why it’s a great offer: This card has a limited time increased sign-up bonus. American is devaluing their award chart as of March 22, 2016, though over the next couple of months I still consider them to be worth ~1.8 cents each. There’s no better time to get this card since you can still redeem AAdvantage miles at the “old,” pre-devalued rates. To me the sign-up bonus is worth $900, assuming you can redeem the miles before the devaluation. If you want a chance of having the miles before the devaluation, be sure you sign-up as soon as possible.

Etihad-A380
Redeem American AAdvantage miles for travel in the Etihad First Class Apartment

4. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Current offer: 50,000 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 $880.

Park-Hyatt-Maldives-16
Redeem Ultimate Rewards points for the Park Hyatt Maldives

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 sign-up bonus will be changing in less than 24 hours, so this is your last chance to take advantage of this offer. This card 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 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-1
Transfer Citi ThankYou points to Singapore KrisFlyer, for travel in Singapore Suites Class

6. British Airways Visa Signature® Card

Current offer: 50,000 bonus Avios after you spend $2,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. Plus earn an additional 25,000 bonus Avios when you spend $10,000 on purchases or 50,000 bonus Avios when you spend a total of $20,000 on purchases within your first year.
Annual fee: $95

Why it’s a great offer: British Airways has a distance based award chart which is lucrative for shorthaul travel (though it will get a bit less lucrative as of next week). 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.

Alaska-Seattle
Redeem Avios efficiently for shorthaul travel on Alaska Airlines

7. Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express and Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Card from American Express

Current offer: Personal — earn 25,000 bonus Starpoints after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months; Business — earn 25,000 bonus Starpoints after you use your Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. Terms apply.
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 $550 to me. American Express also recently improved the terms of the sign-up bonus on the personal card, requiring less spend to earn the sign-up bonus. With the upcoming merger between Marriott and Starwood, who knows how much longer this card will be around.

Al-Maha-Resort-Dubai - 2
Redeem Starpoints at Al Maha in Dubai

8. 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

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/or club lounge access. As far as I’m concerned that’s the most useful hotel elite benefit there is. That’s a great deal just for paying the very reasonable annual fee.

Conrad-Koh-Samui
View from the Conrad Koh Samui

10. The Hyatt Credit Card

Current offer: Two free nights at any Hyatt worldwide after spending $1,000 within three months of account opening
Annual fee: $75, waived the first year

Why it’s a great offer: This is one of my favorite hotel credit cards, as those two free nights can be redeemed at any Hyatt in the world, including properties like the Park Hyatt Sydney. Those properties otherwise go for up to 30,000 points per night, so that sign-up bonus is potentially worth 60,000 points.

On top of that, you earn a free night certificate valid at a Category 1-4 property upon your account anniversary each year, which more than offsets the annual fee.

Sydney
View from the Park Hyatt Sydney

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. Overall agree. I’d rank the IHG card up ahead of the starwood cards for sure (in fact I think its better than the hilton card).

  2. how many times per year or what is the restriction on applying for these credit cards as it appears you are always recommending these cards (referral fee obtained) and appear to regularly accumulate sign up points this way, surely you must be max’ed out or capped from applying again ?

  3. I have the Barclay card. You get two points for mile. So, the rewards are 2% plus and additional
    5% if applied against travel for a total reward of 2.05%.

    It was 10% up to last year for 2.10%

    Doesn’t everyone love this column.

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