10 Best Credit Card Offers For February

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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.

We’ve seen some great sign-up bonuses over the past few months, including new offers being added, and others being discontinued.

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 was only introduced last year, and offers 3x points on the first $150,000 spent annually in combined purchases on travel, shipping, 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.


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.


Redeem Ultimate Rewards points for the Park Hyatt Vienna

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.


Redeem Amex points for travel in ANA first class

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

Sign-up bonus: Earn 60,000 American AAdvantage miles after spending $3,000 within the first three months
Annual fee: $95 (waived the first year)

Why you should consider applying: We’ve never seen bigger publicly available sign-up bonuses on this card, and it’s only available for a limited time. I value American miles at ~1.3 cents each, so to me the sign-up bonus is worth ~$780.

Furthermore, the card comes with several perks that could make it worth holding onto, including free checked bags, priority boarding, etc.


Redeem American AAdvantage miles for travel in the Etihad A380 Apartment

5. Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Current offer: 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 within three months
Annual fee: $450

Why it’s a great offer: While the card has a $450 annual fee, it offers a $300 annual travel credit, which I more or less consider to be worth face value. So the way I see it, the card has an “out of pocket” of about $150 per year, and for that you get triple points on dining and travel, a Priority Pass membership, a Global Entry fee credit, great travel protection, and much more. I value Ultimate Rewards points at ~1.7 cents each, meaning that 50,000 points are worth $850. If you subtract the $150 “out of pocket” on the card (as I see it), that makes the sign-up bonus worth $700 to me.


Redeem Ultimate Rewards points for the Park Hyatt Maldives

6. British Airways Visa Signature® Card

Current offer: Earn 50,000 bonus Avios after spending $3,000 within three months, plus an additional 25,000 Avios after spending $10,000 within the first year
Annual fee: $95

Why it’s a great offer: This sign-up bonus is great, regardless of whether you’re looking to just earn the entry level bonus of 50,000 Avios, or want to spend $10,000 on the card within the first year to earn a total of 75,000 Avios. On top of that, keep in mind that if you spend $30,000 on the card in a year you’ll earn a companion certificate, which means that a companion can fly with you for just the cost of taxes and fees on British Airways. This card also isn’t subjected to the 5/24 rule.

I value Avios at ~1.3 cents each, so assuming you earn 50,000 Avios, the sign-up bonus is worth $555 to me. Meanwhile if you earn 75,000 Avios, the sign-up bonus is worth ~$880 to me.


Redeem your British Airways Avios for travel on Aer Lingus

7. AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard

Sign-up bonus: Earn 50,000 AAdvantage miles after the first purchase
Annual fee: $95

Why you should consider applying: I value American miles at ~1.3 cents each, so to me the sign-up bonus is worth $555 (after subtracting the annual fee).

The cards comes with several perks like a first checked bag for free, 10% of your redeemed miles back (up to 10,000 back per year), up to 3,000 elite qualifying dollars for spending $25,000, and more.


Redeem American AAdvantage miles for travel in Japan Airlines business class

8. 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.


Redeem Starpoints at the St. Regis Dubai Polo Club

9. The Hyatt Credit Card

Current offer: 40,000 World of Hyatt points after spending $2,000 within three months, plus an additional 5,000 points when you add an authorized user to the card that makes a purchase within three months
Annual fee: $75

Why it’s a great offer: Not only does this card offer a generous sign-up bonus, but it also offers lots of long term perks that make the card a keeper, including an annual free night certificate valid at a Category 1-4 World of Hyatt property, Discoverist status for as long you have the card, Explorist status when you spend $50,000 or more on the card in a calendar year, and access to World of Hyatt promotions that are sometimes targeted at those with the card.

I value Hyatt points at ~1.5 cents each, so to me the sign-up bonus is worth ~$525.


Redeem World of Hyatt points at the Grand Hyatt Chengdu

10. Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Current offer: 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 within three months
Annual fee: $95, waived the first year

Why it’s a great offer: This is a great cash back travel credit card, which offers double miles on all purchases. In reality miles can be redeemed for one cent towards the cost of a travel purchase, meaning that this card earns the equivalent of 2% back towards travel. On top of that the card has a great sign-up bonus, a waived annual fee the first year, and other valuable perks. To me the sign-up bonus is worth ~$500.


You can redeem your rewards towards the cost of virtually any travel purchase

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. @Lucky or anyone else in the know, could you suggest credit cards for EU based customers (specifically Neitherlands) in order to accumulate miles? We spend hundreds of thousands of dollars each year with our company but our company and personal business cards offer NOTHING! A shame when we could collect millions of miles

  2. Quite surprise that didn’t see any AMEX Hilton card here, especially Aspire card.
    Or do you think that bonus for all AMEX Hilton card is not worth it?
    Also, I remember that you said you plan to apply for Aspire card, when will you apply? Since, I am thinking about this card too.
    Thanks

  3. @Kittipong — There is little doubt that AMEX decided to maintain tight control over the promotion of their new portfolio of co-branded Hilton Honors card, and issued guidelines to bloggers about when/what/how they can write about these cards, especially with respect to posts designed to earn commission fees. Generally more cautious and “conservative”, AMEX likely learned from the launch of the CSR and decided that a more low-key launch and promotion of their co-branded HH cards might be better than the big splash and “irrational exuberance” that characterized the launch of the CSR.

    How can a signup bonus of 100K HH points not be worth it when one can easily fetch a $1000+/night room at, e.g., Conrad Maldives Rangali for “just” 95K HH points; or use the 100K HH points to book a 5-night award stay (with the 5th night free) at a $200/night hotel for a monetary value of $1000?

    Travel bloggers will write about the Aspire card when AMEX says they can and signals it by releasing a commission-earning link that bloggers can display on their sites.

  4. Any ideas on how quickly the MR points post after completing min spend on the AMEX Business Gold Rewards? I’ve crossed the $5K and my second billing cycle just closed. Want to see those points post before I churn something new.

  5. I enjoy reading this blog and think Ben is usually a stand up guy but, yeah, the BS on what cards are best, and the avoidance of talking about the Hilton cards is pretty sad. There are other less flashy blogs that don’t bring their owner the big bucks, but are better at being straightforward with card recs pros and cons.

    For example I have the BA card but it isn’t worth keeping and with all of the down grades of BA and AA miles, I sure don’t think it is a top card.

  6. @Rich — I am certain that it is not because of bias that bloggers are not writing about the AMEX HH cards that just launched. They will write about any card that has a decent signup bonus, and did so every time the prior AMEX HH cards had a decent offer. The reason they are not writing about the new AMEX HH cards, despite most of them offering a100K signup bonus, is as I’d speculated immediately after the cards launched and there was a single blog post on the roll-out: AMEX had “embargoed” all news/blog posts about their HH cards, and has been progressively lifting the embargo at the same time as it released commission-earning links for the de-embargoed cards, but likely with strict terms about how the cards can be promoted.

  7. Here’s is a typical example of why one must take @Lucky’s (or any other blogger’s) estimates of the monetary values of credit card signup bonuses with a huge grain of salt.

    For instance, in the post above, we have:
    9. The Hyatt Credit Card
    Current offer: 40,000 World of Hyatt points after spending $2,000 within three months.

    Based on his estimate of the value of a WoH point of 1.5cpp, @Lucky estimated that the 40K WOH points are worth about ~$525 for HIM

    Now check out what a much higher monetary value I routinely get out of “just” 30K WoH points.

    Last month (and about the same time of the year the 4 prior years), I spent a 3-night stay at Park Hyatt Siem Reap (Cat 4 hotel), paying for 1 night with my annual free night certificate on the Chase Hyatt visa and using points to pay for 2 nights at 15K/night or 30K WoH points total.

    This was the standard room I booked:
    1 King Bed: Unwind in 35 sq m (376 sq ft) of space in contemporary Khmer art décor. Pamper yourself in an elegant bathroom in Italian white marble.

    The rate in cash for that room? $500/night (it will still be the same rate around the same time next year [Jan 5-8, 2019]; check it out yourself).

    So, for “just” 30K WoH points I paid for two nights in a standard room that would have cost $1,000, excluding taxes [i.e., ~2x @Lucky’s estimate]! I could have paid “just” 37.5K by doing 2 points-only nights (30K) and one C+P night (7.5K + $100) for a monetary value of $1500-$100 = $1400 [i.e., ~3x @Lucky’s estimate]

    So:
    30k for $1000 or 37.5K for $1500
    vs.
    40K for ~$525
    How would ypu prefer to spend your points;

    As I said before, anyone who can manage to get ONLY ~$500 out of 40K WoH points is not playing the game with a “full deck” and should hang it up.

    G’day!

  8. Don’t you recommend waiting on the Starpoints card given that we’ve seen 30k bonuses instead of the “usual” 25k?

  9. DCS

    l will sell all my Hyatt points to you for 2c/ point. And the one night certificate for $300.

    You should jump at this offer.

  10. @DCS I am new to the points game. Can you expand on your comment about the “irrational exuberance” when the CSR offer we rolled out? I guess it’s not clear to me why AMEX wouldn’t want the bloggers to promote their card.

  11. @DLK — The AMEX HH cards are designed to attract and retain members in the Hilton Honors program, based on the company’s philosophy that that “if you give them status they will come”. The cards’ benefits are most lucrative, not as general spend cards, but as cards that one uses to pay for stays at Hilton properties and patronize Hilton Honors. Therefore, AMEX likely wanted to keep the roll-out and promotion of the cards low-key to ensure that only people who truly see the benefits of the cards would bother to apply. I think they may have an algorithm that gives them a sense of who potential loyal long-term patrons, because, as I detailed here: https://goo.gl/3PURPZ , my experience applying for the Aspire card was so smooth (even enjoyable), it gave me the impression that AMEX knew I was the type of cardmember would make the most of my card (they were right!). Promotion by bloggers, on the other hand, would focus mostly on the signup bonuses and not necessarily on the cards’ very strong benefits that are designed to attract and retain those that would get them and are likely to become loyal HH members…

    Having a large number of people applying for the HH AMEX cards, as those who applied for CSR (the big splash and “irrational exuberance” I referred to), does not appear to be what AMEX was after. They just wanted to get solid and dependable card members who would become loyal HH members and repeat guests of Hilton hotels, in parts, because of the AMEX HH cards benefits. A feature of these cards, as I said when they were first announced, is that they would be unremarkable for people who do not or would not patronize Hilton Honors. What good would the fact that the Aspire card comes with the Hilton Honors Diamond status and awards 14HH points/$ do anyone who does not stay at Hilton hotels? Not very much…

  12. @Lucky. When someone asks the credit company to “downgrade” a particular card to a different and “no-fee” card, does that add to the “new cards opened” list and affect Chase’s 5/24 rule?

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