Top 7 Credit Cards to Get Big Travel With Small Money – April 2017

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Update:   One or more card offers in this post are no longer available.  Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers. 

It’s an exciting time for folks in the miles & points hobby, because banks continue to offer some of the highest sign-up bonuses ever on great travel rewards credit cards!

Earning just one sign-up bonus on certain cards can help you make your dream trip a reality.  Million Mile Secrets readers have used our tips to help them take trips for nearly free to spots like Mexico, Hawaii, Europe, Disney World, and more!

Best Travel Credit Cards April 2017

You Can Use the Chase Ultimate Rewards Points You Earn With Cards Like the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Sapphire Preferred to Enjoy a Tropical Caribbean Vacation!

I’ll share my top 7 travel credit cards that get you Big Travel with Small Money.

Best Travel Credit Cards April 2017

Link:   Hot Deals

Whether you’re new to miles & points or have been in the hobby a while, these 7 credit cards will help you achieve your travel goals!

Some offers are only available for a limited time.  So act quickly if you’ve been thinking about adding a new card to your wallet. 😉

1.   Chase Sapphire Reserve

Link:   Chase Sapphire Reserve

Link:   My Review of the Chase Sapphire Reserve

With the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, you’ll earn 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

That’s worth at least $750 when you redeem 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal.  Because when you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth 1.5 cents each toward travel booked through Chase!

If you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Ink Business Preferred, Chase Ink Plus (no longer available), or Chase Ink Bold (no longer available), you’ll  get a value of 1.25 cents per point.

Plus, you can get even bigger travel from your points by transferring them to airline and hotel partners, like Singapore Airlines or Hyatt.  I used Chase Ultimate Rewards points for a free night at the Park Hyatt Sydney and thoroughly enjoyed it!

Best Travel Credit Cards April 2017

The Park Hyatt Sydney’s Location Makes It Extra Special

Other perks of the card include:

  • 3X Chase Ultimate Rewards points on travel & dining
  • $300 statement credit for travel purchases (like airfare, Airbnb, hotels, car rental, Uber, etc.) each calendar year
  • Priority Pass Select for access to airport lounges
  • $100 statement credit for Global Entry
  • No foreign transaction fees

The $450 annual fee is NOT waived the first year.  But you can offset this fee with perks like the $300 statement credit and airport lounge access.

Just remember, Chase will NOT approve you for any of their Chase Ultimate Rewards points earning cards if you’ve opened 5 or more credit card accounts from any bank in the past 24 months (with the exception of certain small business cards).

We don’t earn a commission on this deal, but we’ll always tell you about the best offers.

2.   Chase Ink Business Preferred

Link:   Chase Ink Business Preferred

Link:   My Review of the Chase Ink Business Preferred

The Chase Ink Business Preferred offers an 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards point sign-up bonus after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Because Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth 1.25 cents each when you redeem for travel through the Chase portal, the sign-up bonus is worth at least $1,000!

The card also comes with:

Best Travel Credit Cards April 2017

With Chase Ultimate Rewards Points, You Can Stay for Free at All-Inclusive Hotels, Like the Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos

Chase Ultimate Rewards points are my favorite kind of points because they’re flexible and easy to use.  You can also transfer them to travel partners, like Hyatt or United Airlines, where they can be worth even more!

But remember, this card falls under Chase’s “5/24” rule.  So if you’ve opened 5 or more credit card accounts (from any bank) in the past 24 months (with the exception of certain small business cards), you’ll likely NOT be approved for this card.

3.   Chase Sapphire Preferred

Link:   Chase Sapphire Preferred

Link:   My Review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred

You can earn 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of opening a Chase Sapphire Preferred card.  That’s worth $625 in travel booked through the Chase’s Travel Portal.  And possibly more if you transfer your points to travel partners like Hyatt, United Airlines, Korean Air, and more.

Emily and I used Chase Ultimate Rewards points for free 6 free nights at the Grand Hyatt Kauai, where rooms can easily cost $500+ per night!

Best Travel Credit Cards April 2017

You Can Use the Ultimate Rewards Points You Earn With the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card for Free Nights at the Beautiful Grand Hyatt Kauai, Like Emily and I Did!

With the Chase Sapphire Preferredyou’ll also earn:

  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases worldwide
  • 5,000 bonus Chase Ultimate Rewards points when you add an authorized user and make a purchase within the first 3 months
  • Primary car rental insurance – Covers damage or theft to your rental car, when you pay for the rental with your card
  • Trip delay reimbursement – Get up to $500 back per ticket when your trip is delayed more than 12 hours
  • NO foreign transaction fees

Plus, the $95 annual fee is waived the first year.  So you can use the card for free for 11 months, and decide if you like it enough to pay the annual fee.

Again, it’s highly unlikely that Chase will approve you for their Chase Ultimate Rewards points earning cards if you’ve opened 5 or more credit card accounts (from any bank) in the past 24 months (with the exception of these small business cards).

4.   The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN

Link:   The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN

Link:   My Review of the AMEX Business Platinum Card

With The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN, you can earn a total of 75,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points after meeting tiered minimum spending requirements.

You’ll earn 50,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points after you spend $10,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening.  And another 25,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points after you spend an additional $10,000 on qualifying purchases within the same timeframe.

75,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points are worth $1,500+ in Business and First Class airfare on ANY airline, or coach tickets on your selected airline.

Because AMEX Membership Rewards points are effectively worth 2 cents per point when you use Pay With Points to buy any flight with your selected airline through the AMEX travel portal.  And 2 cents per point for Business or First Class tickets on ANY airline booked through the portal.

Best Travel Credit Cards April 2017

Complete the Tiered Spending Requirements on the AMEX Business Platinum Card and You’ll Have Enough Points for 2 Round-Trip Tickets From the US Mainland to Hawaii!

Or, you can get Big Travel by transferring your AMEX Membership Rewards to airline partners, like Delta or Air Canada!

You’ll also get:

The card has a hefty $450 annual fee that’s NOT waived the first year.  But you can offset that fee by using the sign-up bonus for Big Travel, and taking advantage of the card’s perks, like the $200 airline incidental fee statement credit and access to airport lounges.

And the good news is, AMEX small business cards will NOT hurt your chances of being approved for Chase cards.  Plus, it’s not too difficult to get approved even if you’re just starting a business or aren’t making millions in business income.  I applied and was instantly approved!

Just remember, American Express only allows folks to get the sign-up bonus ONCE per person, per lifetime on ALL their cards.  So if you’ve had this card before, you will NOT be eligible to earn the sign-up bonus again.

5.   Chase Marriott Rewards Card

Link:   Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card

Link:   My Review of the 100,000 Marriott Point Offer on the Chase Marriott Card

The Chase Marriott card is offering 100,000 Marriott points after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening your account.  Plus an additional 7,500 Marriott points when you add an authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months of account opening.

So you’d have (at least) 112,500 Marriott points after you complete minimum spending requirements!

You’ll also get:

  • 5X Marriott points at Marriott hotels
  • 2X Marriott points on restaurants, car rentals, airline tickets purchased directly from airlines, office supply stores, internet, cable, and phone
  • Free night each card anniversary at Marriott category 1 to 5 hotels
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $85 annual fee, NOT waived the first year

The sign-up bonus is enough points for a night at a luxurious Tier 5 Ritz-Carlton hotel, like the The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park.  Or 2 free nights at a Category 9 Marriott hotel, like the Cotton House Hotel, Autograph Collection in Barcelona.

Best Travel Credit Cards April 2017

You’ll Save Nearly ~$1,300 When You Redeem 90,000 Marriott Points for 2 Free Nights at the Cotton House in Barcelona

And don’t forget, you can use Marriott points at Starwood hotels because of the merger between the 2 chains.  So if you don’t want to use your Marriott points at a Marriott hotel, you can transfer your Marriott points to Starwood at a 3:1 ratio.

6.   Hilton Honors Credit Cards from American Express

Link:   Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express

Link:   Hilton Honors™ Card from American Express

Link:   AMEX Hilton Cards Offering Highest Sign-Up Bonuses Ever

Until May 31, 2017, the Hilton Honors™ Card from American Express and the Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express have increased sign-up bonuses.  These are the highest bonuses ever offered on these cards!

You’ll earn 80,000 Hilton points after you make $2,000 in purchases within 3 months of opening the AMEX Hilton Honors card.  And 100,000 Hilton points after you make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of opening the AMEX Hilton Honors Surpass card.

Plus, the AMEX Hilton Honors Surpass card comes with a free weekend night certificate after the first anniversary date of card approval!

Best Travel Credit Cards April 2017

Emily by the Pool at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, Where We Used Hilton Points for a Free Stay

The sign-up bonus from either of these cards is more than enough for a stay at upscale Hilton hotels, like the Hilton Auckland.

And the free weekend night certificate you’ll get after the first anniversary date of card approval with the AMEX Hilton Surpass card can be used at expensive Conrad or Waldorf Astoria resorts (with a few exceptions), like the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island.  Nights here can easily cost $1,000+!

But don’t forget, Hilton no longer has an award chart (yuck!), so you’ll have to check each hotel for the going rate.

The no-annual-fee AMEX Hilton card comes with:

  • 7 Hilton points per $1 spent at most Hilton hotels
  • 5 Hilton points per $1 spent at US gas stations, US restaurants, and US supermarkets
  • 3 Hilton points per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Free Hilton Silver elite status (late check-out, 2 free bottles of water, and 15% points bonus on Hilton points earned)
  • Free Hilton Gold elite status (free breakfast and better upgrades) after spending $20,000 in a calendar year
  • Terms & limitations apply

And the AMEX Hilton Surpass card comes with:

  • Free Hilton Gold Elite status (free breakfast at certain hotels, upgrades when available)
  • Free Hilton Diamond Elite status when you spend more than $40,000 in a calendar year (better upgrades)
  • 12 points for every $1 you spend at Hilton hotels
  • 6 points per $1 you spend at US restaurants, US supermarkets, and US gas stations
  • 3 points per $1 you spend on everything else
  • Terms and limitations apply

If you haven’t received the bonus before on these cards, these are great deals to consider!  Because the bonuses have never been this high.  So this is a good opportunity to earn a lot of Hilton points!

7.   Citi Prestige

Link:   Citi Prestige

Link:   My Review of the Citi Prestige

While the Citi Prestige credit card offer used to be a lot better, it’s still an incredible travel credit card!

You’ll earn 40,000 points when you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.  That’s worth at least $500, but can be worth much more depending on how you use it!

For example, you can transfer your points to partners like Cathay Pacific or Flying Blue (the frequent flyer program of KLM and Air France) for free airfare.

Best Travel Credit Cards April 2017

The Citi Prestige Comes With a Priority Pass Membership, So You Can Access 900+ Airport Lounges Around the World

The card comes with a $450 annual fee, which can be offset by amazing perks like:

  • $250 statement credit for travel expenses like airfare and baggage fees appearing on your statement from December to the following December
  • $100 statement credit for Global Entry application fee
  • Priority Pass Select Lounge access for primary cardholder and immediate family or up to 2 guests (additional guests $27 per person, per visit)
  • 4th night free when you book 4 consecutive nights at any hotel (must be booked through Citi Travel Concierge and paid in full with your card)

You’ll also get:

  • 3 points per $1 you spend at airlines, hotels, and travel agencies
  • 2 point per $1 you spend at restaurants and select entertainment (includes movie theaters, amusement parks, tourist attractions)
  • No foreign transaction fees

You can read my full review of the Citi Prestige card here.

We don’t earn commission on this card, but we’ll always tell our readers about the best deals!

Bottom Line

My top 7 travel credit cards for April 2017 are:

These cards come with excellent sign-up bonuses and will help you get lots of Big Travel with Small Money!

For example, 75,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points with the AMEX Business Platinum Card is worth $1,500 when you use Pay With Points.  Or you could redeem the Chase Ultimate Rewards points you earn with the Chase Ink Business Preferred card for $1,000+ in travel through Chase’s travel portal!

Not all of these cards earn us a commission, but we’ll always tell you about the best offers.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Neither the responses below nor the editorial content on this page are provided or commissioned by the bank advertisers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertisers. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the bank advertisers. It is not the bank advertisers’ responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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468 responses to “Top 7 Credit Cards to Get Big Travel With Small Money – April 2017

  1. The Chase Sapphire Preferred

  2. Chase ink business

  3. Chase Southwest card

  4. Marriott Rewards Premier. 100K points!

  5. Plan on using the Barclay Arrival to pay our taxes. The 2% points back more than covers the fee for using a credit card and will hit the spend for the bonus. Eases the drag of owing a bit!

  6. I will go after the citi prestige…

  7. Chase ink business

  8. AA advantage Business Platinum Select card!

  9. US Bank FlexPerks Gold. I just make my appointment for my free TSA Precheck.

  10. I cannot pass up the Marriott 100,000 points!

  11. Chase Sapphire Preferred

  12. Considering the Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card. 100K points!!

  13. Chase sapphire preferred

  14. I want to earn the Chase Sapphire Reserve

  15. Chase ink business!

  16. Chase Marriott Rewards Visa

  17. Considering quite seriously the new TravElite card just out by FNBO.

  18. Hawaiian airlines card for 50,000 miles after spending $1,000 within the first 90 days!

  19. Leslie Johnson

    I’m planning for the chase ink biz preferred,I have a very large expense coming up with my 2 rental properties.
    I am keeping my fingers crossed as I am over the 5/24 rule, but was told in branch i would be approved.

  20. Chase Marriott Visa

  21. Chase Sapphire Preferred

  22. Chase sapphire preferred

  23. Chase Sapphire Reserve

  24. I am going to get the Marriott Rewards Premier 100,000 points credit card offer. This is sweet! Thanks for the information that helps me earn points and rewards!

  25. Delta Am Ex

  26. Chase Saphire preferred. Like how you can try it out for 11 months before paying the $95 annual fee!

  27. The Chase Sapphire Preferred

  28. Amex personal Starwood

  29. Good question! Biding my time for a new Chase card, already have all of the best ones and don’t want to hit 5/24 yet. But maybe I will try the Citi Prestige 🙂

  30. another Southwest after 1 Jan 2018. CP expires on 12-31-2017.

  31. United MileagePlus Explorer Card

  32. Marriott Rewards Premier

  33. Brandon Sparks

    Chase Southwest for sure…

  34. shannon fowler

    The chase marriott card sounds perfect for us. we almost always stay at a marriott hotel.

  35. I plan on opening the amex platinum card next.

  36. Amex hilton

  37. I will be applying for the Chase Sapphire Preferred next for the flexibility of the points.

  38. Just completed marriott and got southwest companion. I am looking for the next opportunity.

  39. Chase Sapphire Reserve!

  40. United Plus Explorer 70k bonus if possiable.

  41. Hilton AMEX no annual fee

  42. Leanne Robinson

    citi prestige card is what i would sign up for

  43. AMEX Business Platinum for the Centurion lounges!

  44. Dina Lindquist

    I’d choose Chase Sapphire Preferred!

  45. I would probably go for the Citi Prestige card next.

  46. Hey there. I always fly on Delta so I’m planning on getting the Delta Reserve credit card!

  47. No new apps and min spend for awhile. I’ll get back in the game in a while.

  48. Christina Langley

    CSR

  49. SPG personal card

  50. Leanne Passafonti

    Chase Freedom as have the Reserve and Freedom Unlimited. Just to get the 5x points on the quarterly bonus categories to maximise Chase Ultimate Rewards points.

  51. Chase Southwest

  52. Starwood Preferred Business credit card

  53. Next card I’m planning on opening is the chase southwest card! My husband and I have the companion pass so I’m working towards all of the southwest points I can get!

  54. chase marriott!

  55. I will go for Chase British Airways Card 🙂

  56. Chase Sapphire Preferred or maybe Alaska Air Card- looking at my best options to get to Hawaii next year.

  57. Frank Escalera

    Chase sapphire reserve.

  58. AA AAdvantage Business Platinum Select card!

  59. The Hilton Honors Surpass card. The sign up bonus is too good to pass up.

  60. Am Ex Hilton Honors

  61. Chase Sapphire Preferred!

  62. American Express Starwood for the hotel points to visit family in California.

  63. Marriott Rewards Premier. 100K points

  64. Hilton Honors™ Card from American Express