10 Best Credit Card Offers For September

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Update: Many of these offers, including those for the Citi Prestige® Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ are expired. Learn more about the current offers 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.

Well, the last month has been especially exciting on the credit card front in terms of new offers. Below are what I consider to be the 10 best right now:

1. Chase Sapphire Reserve℠

Current offer: 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 within three months
Annual fee: $450

Why it’s a great offer: This card was launched late last month, and is possibly the hottest credit card offer we’ve ever seen. The card has a massive sign-up bonus, and on top of that has lots of perks that make it valuable long term.

Most notably, the card offers triple points on dining and travel, and also offers a $300 annual travel credit. The travel credit is issued per calendar year while the annual fee is charged per cardmember year, meaning you’ll potentially get $600 in travel credits before your second year’s annual fee is due.

I value Ultimate Rewards points at ~1.7 cents each, so to me the 100,000 points are worth $1,700. On top of that you can potentially come out $150 ahead on the travel credit in the first year (since you can get $600 and the annual fee is just $450), meaning I give this sign-up bonus a value of ~$1,850. That’s massive.

Redeem points earned on the card for 1.5 cents each towards the cost of a ticket

2. The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card

Current offer: Three complimentary nights at any Tier 1-4 Ritz-Carlton hotel after spending $5,000 within three months, plus 10,000 bonus points after adding an authorized user and having them make a purchase within the first three months
Annual fee: $450

Why it’s a great offer: This card has a fantastic increased sign-up bonus at the moment, which gives you three complimentary nights at any Tier 1-4 Ritz-Carlton property. The exact value of that bonus depends on what you plan on redeeming those nights for, but suffice to say that three nights at most Ritz-Carlton properties aren’t cheap, whether you’re looking to redeem within the US or internationally.

The card also comes with a $300 airline credit, Ritz-Carlton Gold status for the first year, and much more.

Also keep in mind that anecdotally this card will be easier to be approved for than the Sapphire Reserve, since it’s not subject to Chase’s “5/24” rule.

Redeem your three complimentary nights at the Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay

3. 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 ~$935.

Redeem Ultimate Rewards points for the Park Hyatt Maldives

4. Ink Plus® Business Credit Card

Current offer: 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $5,000 within three months from account opening
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. This is also a limited time sign-up bonus, and 20% higher than the usual sign-up bonus offered on the card.

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 ~1.7 cents each, so to me the sign-up bonus is worth ~$925 after subtracting the annual fee.

Redeem Ultimate Rewards points for travel in Korean Air first class

5. Citi Prestige® Card

Current offer: 40,000 ThankYou points after spending $4,000 within three months
Annual fee: $450

Why it’s a great offer: Despite the negative changes which were announced to this card, the sign-up bonus is still compelling. I value ThankYou points at ~1.7 cents each, so the 40,000 points are worth ~$510 to me. There’s a $450 annual fee on the card, though before the second year’s annual fee is due you’ll receive $500 in airline credits, which to me means there’s a net positive of $50 on the annual fee.

The card also has a great fourth night free benefit, which can potentially save you thousands of dollars per year.

Redeem Citi ThankYou points for travel in Singapore Suites class

6. Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card

Current offer: 80,000 Marriott Rewards points after spending $3,000 within three months, plus an additional 7,500 bonus points when you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first three months from account opening
Annual fee: $85

Why it’s a great offer: I value Marriott Rewards points at ~0.8 cents each, so to me 87,500 points are worth ~$700. Once you factor in the annual fee, that brings the value of the sign-up bonus to ~$615. 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.

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

7. Southwest Airlines® Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

Current offer: 50,000 point sign-up bonus after spending $2,000 within three months
Annual fee: $99

Why it’s a great offer: Southwest’s Rapid Rewards program is revenue based, so 50,000 points will get you quite a bit of credit towards travel on Southwest, as each point can be redeemed for ~1.4 cents towards the cost of a ticket on Southwest. That makes 50,000 points worth ~$700, so when you subtract the $99 annual fee, that brings the value of this bonus to ~$600.

While Rapid Rewards points aren’t the most aspirational currency, they are extremely practical. This sign-up bonus can be especially valuable if you’re going for Southwest Companion Pass. Furthermore, you receive 6,000 points each year upon your account anniversary.

Rapid Rewards points are extremely practical for domestic travel

8. British Airways Visa Signature® Card

Current offer: 50,000 bonus Avios after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months
Annual fee: $95

Why it’s a great offer: British Airways has a distance based award chart which is lucrative for shorthaul travel. 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 Avios at 1.3 cents each, so to me the sign-up bonus is worth ~$555 after you subtract the $95 annual fee.

British-Airways-First-Class - 10
Use your Travel Togehter ticket to redeem for British Airways first class

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

Current offer: Personal — 25,000 bonus Starpoints after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months; Business — 25,000 bonus Starpoints after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first three months
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. With the upcoming merger between Marriott and Starwood, who knows how much longer this card will be around.

Al-Maha-Resort-Dubai-Rooms - 23
Redeem Starpoints at Al Maha in Dubai

10. Citi® Hilton HHonors Reserve Card

Current offer: Two free weekend nights at most Hilton family properties after spending $2,500 within four months
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.

View from the Conrad Koh Samui

Anyway, those are my top credit cards based on sign-up bonuses this month. It’s kind of telling that eight of the 10 best bonuses are on Chase cards.

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. If I request to upgrade my CSP to the Sapphire Reserve, there will likely be a hard pull on my credit, right? I know that’s stupid because then no bonus, but I’m really needing to protect my credit right now. At the same time I’m spending quite a bit and would love to have the earning of the Reserve.

  2. @ Garrett — If you have at least a $10k credit line on your CSP they should be able to do a product change without a hard pull. You can have the rep confirm that for you when you call.

  3. Lucky, in these monthly posts, it would be incredibly helpful if you noted which of the cards offered by Chase are subject to 5/24. I know this information is generally elsewhere on your site, but for those of us strategically planning new cards, it would be helpful to have it noted on the top 10 lists.

  4. @Ben, that’s awesome! Thanks! I’m planning to stay at the Conrad Maldives with the Reserve weekend nights so free breakfast will save a lot! Glad I got that card.

  5. Lucky, do you have any sense how long the Ritz Carlton Rewards bonus offer will last? I’d like to get it but ideally would like to wait a few months.

  6. Nope…nope…nope. I love lists. But could you start creating “lists for newbies” and “lists for those sad individuals subject to the 5/24 rule?” I actually heart Chase almost as much as Target, but I will be talking to the hand for the foreseeable future.

  7. @Tiffany thanks! I’ll send them a message. If I can’t do it that way maybe I’ll just leave it for later 🙂

  8. I love your list but also would like info on the issuing bank for each card. I hit the 5/24 brick wall with chase earlier this year and am looking for other non-chase, non-amex cards with sign up bonuses. thanks!!

  9. @Rob – the smart money for Hilton is the CC for Gold. They have created a disincentive to actually stay enough to get a weak Diamond level, given the massive amount of nights needed yet weak benefits.

  10. Hey Ben – great stuff. Looks like Chase is dominating the CC world rn.

    Quick Q regarding Chase Ink Plus: Why would one choose to have the Ink Plus ($95 AF) over the Ink Cash ($0 AF) if you a) already have a UR earning card which can allow you to transfer Ink Cash to UR points b) same bonus cat. earnings rate 5x/5%?

    Seems like it would only make sense if you’re a business and want UR points and don’t have a combined card earning UR to transfer to. Also the sign-up bonus … But is there another possible reason why one would recommend Ink Plus over Ink Cash? Thanks!

  11. Does anyone have the correct number for Chase for a reconsideration? I got the dreaded 7-10 day review answer. Thanks!

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