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Update: This offer for the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express is expired. The current offer allows you to earn 2 Free Nights at participating SPG® Category 1-5 hotels & resorts worldwide after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months Learn more about the special offer here.
In terms of lesser known US credit cards, Bank of America issues the Asiana Visa Signature Card, and it has an increased sign-up bonus at the moment. The card usually has a rather sad sign-up bonus of 10,000 miles, though at the moment you can earn 30,000 bonus miles after making $3,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of account opening.
The card has a $99 annual fee, which isn’t waived the first year.
The card also offers some spend bonus categories, including double points on gas and groceries. That still wouldn’t be my go to card for those purchases, as I’d rather use the Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card (which offers up to 4.5x points at U.S. supermarkets and up to 3x points at U.S. gas stations) or Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express (which offers 2x points at U.S. supermarkets and gas stations).
However, there are a couple of things that may make this card worth considering.
First of all, the card is issued by Bank of America, which is historically one of the easiest issuers to get approved through. They even often let people have multiple versions of the same card. Probably the most popular card for miles & points people from Bank of America is the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card, which offers a sign-up bonus of 30,000 miles plus a $100 statement credit upon completing minimum spend.
What really makes Asiana’s frequent flyer program interesting is their award chart. Below is their award chart for roundtrip flights, with one-ways costing half as much:
As you can see, there are some fantastic values to be had here, including booking one-way first class tickets between the US and Europe for just 50,000 miles. Do keep in mind that the process of booking an Asiana award ticket can be a bit cumbersome, and also that they impose fuel surcharges on award tickets.
Still, 50,000 miles for a one-way Lufthansa first class ticket between the US and Europe is a lot cheaper than the 110,000 miles that United MileagePlus charges.
Also keep in mind that Asiana’s program is a Starwood transfer partner, so you can top off your Asiana mileage balance using points earned on the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express or Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express at a 1:1 ratio (with a 5,000 point bonus for every 20,000 points transferred).
The increased sign-up bonus on the Asiana Visa Card isn’t for everyone, but if you’re someone who has had many cards, this might be worth considering, especially since Bank of America cards are historically pretty easy to get approved for. While this isn’t a mega sign-up bonus, it is the best offer I ever recall seeing on this card.
(Tip of the hat to Doctor of Credit)