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!
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
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!
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!
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 cardmember 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).
2. Chase Ink Business Preferred
The card also comes with:
- 3X Chase Ultimate Rewards points for every $1 you spend on travel, shipping purchases, internet, cable and phone services, advertising purchases made with social media sites, and search engines (up to a maximum of $150,000 in combined purchases per account anniversary year)
- 1X Chase Ultimate Rewards point on all other purchases
- Up to $600 in cell phone insurance when you pay your cell phone bill with the card
- 25% bonus when you redeem points through the Chase travel portal
- Primary auto rental insurance (CDW) when renting for business purposes, plus purchase and extended warranty protection
- $95 annual fee
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
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!
With the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you’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 Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN
With The 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.
Or, you can get Big Travel by transferring your AMEX Membership Rewards to airline partners, like Delta or Air Canada!
You’ll also get:
- 1.5X AMEX Membership Rewards points on single purchases of $5,000+
- 50% of your points back for ALL First Class or Business Class flights booked through the AMEX travel portal using Pay With Points
- 50% of your points back for all flights, including coach tickets, booked with your selected airline through the AMEX travel portal using Pay With Points
- $200 in statement credits per calendar year for airline incidentals with your selected airline luggage fees, in-flight food & drink, etc.)
- Access to airport lounges (Delta, Priority Pass, Airspace, and American Express Centurion Lounges)
- Statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
- Free Hilton HHonors Gold elite status (free breakfast and upgrades when available)
- Free Starwood Gold status, that you can match to Marriott Gold status (late check-outs, room upgrades, and extra bonus points)
- Terms & limitations apply
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
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.
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
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!
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
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.
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
My top 7 travel credit cards for April 2017 are:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase Ink Business Preferred
- Chase Sapphire Preferred
- AMEX Business Platinum
- Chase Marriott Rewards Premier
- AMEX Hilton Honors Cards
- Citi Prestige
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!