10 Best Credit Card Offers For January

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

Update: This offer for Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® 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.

While we’ve seen some great sign-up bonuses over the past few months, some of the best bonuses have recently been discontinued, so the list is a bit different than it has been the past couple of months.

With that in mind, below are what I consider to be the 10 best right now:

1. Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

Current offer: 80,000 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. This card is new, and offers 3x points on the first $150,000 spent annually in combined purchases on travel, shipping purchases, internet, cable and phone services, advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines each account anniversary year.

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 ~$1,265 after subtracting the annual fee.

korean-air-747-first-class-4
Redeem Ultimate Rewards points for travel in Korean Air first class

2. 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.

Park-Hyatt-Maldives-2
Redeem Ultimate Rewards points for the Park Hyatt Maldives

3. The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN 

Sign-up bonus: Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 within the first three months
Annual fee: $175, waived the first year

Why you should consider applying: This is one of the best small business cards out there in terms of the bonus points it offers, given that you earn bonus points in the following five categories:

  • Airfare purchased directly from airlines
  • U.S. purchases for advertising in select media
  • U.S. purchases at gas stations
  • U.S. purchases for shipping
  • U.S. computer hardware, software, and cloud computing purchases made directly from select providers

You can pick in which category you want to earn 3x points, and then in the other four categories you earn 2x points.

On top of that, this is a fantastic sign-up bonus for a card that doesn’t have an annual fee the first year. I value Membership Rewards points at ~1.7 cents each, so to me the sign-up bonus is worth ~$850.

ana-first-class-777-1
Redeem your Amex points for ANA first class

4. Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® and CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®

Sign-up bonus: Earn 50,000 American AAdvantage miles after spending $3,000 within the first three months
Annual fee: $95 (waived the first year)

Why you should consider applying: This is a fantastic sign-up bonus for a card with an annual fee waived the first year. I value American miles at ~1.5 cents each, so to me the sign-up bonus is worth ~$750.

Furthermore, both cards come with several perks that could make them worth holding onto, including free checked bags, priority boarding, etc. The personal version of the card offers a 10% refund on redeemed points, which is an opportunity to get up to 10,000 miles refunded per year. That more than justifies the annual fee, in my opinion. You can potentially get approved for both the personal and business version of the card, for a total of up to 100,000 bonus miles.

Qatar-Airways-787-Business-1
Redeem your American miles for Qatar Airways business class

5. Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite Mastercard®

Current offer: Earn 50,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days — that’s enough to redeem for a $500 travel statement credit; get 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption, every time you redeem for travel statement credits
Annual fee: $89 annual fee waived for the first year

Why it’s a great offer: This sign-up bonus is 25% bigger than usual, and it’s the best offer we’ve ever seen on this card. This is one of the best travel cashback credit cards, as you essentially earn the equivalent of a ~2.1% return on everyday spend, which can be applied towards travel purchases. Add in the great sign-up bonus, and this is a very compelling card.

Sapsan-Train-Business-Class - 4
You can even redeem your Barclaycard Arrival Plus miles towards train tickets

6. Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

Current offer: Earn 50,000 points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open
Annual fee: $69

Why it’s a great offer: It’s rare to see a sign-up bonus this big on Southwest’s “Plus” product, so this is a special offer. The 50,000 points can be redeemed for up to ~$700 worth of airfare, or otherwise you can even redeem your 50,000 points for $500 worth of Amazon gift cards. This is a great bonus even for those who aren’t otherwise Southwest loyalists.

flying-to-havana-10
50,000 points will get you a lot of travel on Southwest!

7. 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-Activities - 30
Redeem Starpoints at Al Maha in Dubai

8. 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.

conrad-bora-bora
Use your free weekend nights at the new Conrad Bora Bora

9. LifeMiles Avianca Vuela Visa Card

Current offer: 60,000 Avianca LifeMiles after first card use when using promotion code AVSPWE at the time of application
Annual fee: $149

Why it’s a great offer: This is a brand new card offer, and interestingly the card is issued by Banco Popular, which is otherwise a fairly unknown issuer in the U.S. mainland. LifeMiles are great for premium cabin redemptions on Star Alliance airlines, so this is a great card to pick up.

Avianca-Business-Class-787 - 9
Redeem LifeMiles for Avianca 787 business class

10. The Hyatt Credit Card

Current offer: Two free nights at any Hyatt property after spending $2,000 within three months
Annual fee: $75

Why it’s a great offer: These two free nights can be redeemed at any Hyatt in the world, giving you some pretty great options in terms of where you can stay. The card also offers an annual free night certificate valid at a Category 1-4 property, making this a great card to hold onto long term.

Park-Hyatt-Sydney
Redeem your two free nights at the Park Hyatt Sydney

Anyway, those are my top credit cards based on sign-up bonuses this month. The only other thing I’d mention is that the Chase Sapphire Reserve still has a 100,000 point sign-up bonus, but only if you apply in a Chase branch. So it’s something to be aware of, though obviously not something I can link to online.

If you have any questions or other cards you think have great sign-up bonuses, let me know in the comments section!

Comments

  1. @Lucky

    What good are these cards if Trump is shutting down travel to anyone to large swath of people’s in the world?

  2. Matt, it’s just a temporary ban so the our administration can come up with guidelines to determine who we should allow in this country.

    You appear to come off as the type of person who wants to let anyone in no matter what their purpose is.

    That’s a destructive mindset. Look at what’s happened to Europe.

  3. @Matt

    Trump’s policy is sane. Just think about it broadly.

    Next time there is a gun massacre and the perpeterator happens to be white (which almost always they are), I have it on good authority that Trump plans to put all whites in jail till they prove they are mentally sane. Imagine how many rednecks we will get rid of like this.

    #fightwhiteterrorists

  4. @Matt the travel ban is for NON US Citizen’s, so if you happen to be a Non US Citizen then yes, these CC aren’t going to help you!

    BTW, Chase Sapphire Reserve card still has a 100K sign up offer if you go into a Branch.

  5. matt,
    there is nothing to worry.
    i promise you an islamoterrorist sitting in mogadishu will never be approved for any of the forementioned cards regardless of President Trump’s patriotic executive order.

  6. If terrorists are not approved for credit cards how will they pay for their flight lessons. The 9/11 attackers were such douchebags they used credit cards to pay for their flight lessons and never paid off the bill. Yay to handing out cards to anyone with a pulse.

  7. @ Ben — I am not eligible for the SPG AMEX bonuses since I have received them before. However, would I still be eligible for the $0 introductory annual fee and receive 10 elite qualifying nights (5 each for he personal and business cards) for 2017 if I simply signed up for these cards now and spent nothing on them?

  8. @ Gene — Yep, you should still be eligible for approval, just not the welcome bonus, and would be able to get those nights.

  9. Hi Ben,
    Any info on the life miles card, approval process and has anyone gotten the bonus? Did you apply for it?

  10. I’d say the Amex Personal Platinum should be on here! Only 3K spend for 70K miles is just pretty incredible. The $100 Delta credit technically brings the annual fee down to only $95 after purchasing a Delta $100 egift card (never expires)
    It’s going away on Wednesday so get your app in ASAP! http://tinyurl.com/gpjwf84
    I was approved immediately despite having high application count the past few months. I’d say it trumps the CSP offer which is only 50K miles. If anything get the Amex now and the CSP in several months.

  11. @Ricardo: I have received my 60K bonus Lifemiles bonus. Just noticed yesterday. I was wondering since there was nothing in the info I got after I signed up that said how much I would receive. I also just got my first bill with the $149 fee.
    .

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