If you have big travel plans in 2018 or just want to boost your bank account balance, it might be time to consider one of these top credit card offers!
|Card Name||Sign-Up Bonus|
|Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card||80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points (worth $800 in cash back or $1,000 in travel) after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card||50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points (worth $500 in cash back or $625 in travel) after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening|
|The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN||Up to 75,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points
Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $10,000 and an extra 25,000 points after you spend an additional $10,000 in the first 3 months from account opening
|Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card||50,000 Capital One Venture miles (worth $500 in travel) after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening|
|Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business||50,000 Capital One Spark miles (worth $500 in travel) after you spend $4,500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening|
|Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business||$500 cash back after you spend $4,500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
|Chase Sapphire Reserve||50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points (worth $500 in cash back or $750 in travel) after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening|
For many folks, rewards credit cards are a surprisingly easy way to earn valuable cash back or miles & points to save money on travel.
Even if you’re happy with the credit card you use everyday, it can still be worthwhile to apply for a new card. For example, earning a sign-up bonus worth $800 in cash back or $1,000+ in travel is a no-brainer for many folks!
Best Travel Credit Cards January 2018
Lots of Million Mile Secrets readers apply for top travel credit cards to enjoy Big Travel with Small Money.
There are many myths associated with applying for new cards. But the truth is you can take advantage of great offers while still keeping an excellent credit score! The key is to be responsible with card applications and always pay your balances in full each month!
Whether you’re looking to travel or just want to earn some easy cash, these are the best cards to consider!
1. Chase Ink Business Preferred (#1 Pick for Small Business Owners!)
When you sign-up for the Ink Business Preferred, you’ll earn 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after opening your account. The sign-up bonus is worth:
- $800 in cash back OR $1,000 in travel by booking airfare, hotel stays, or car rentals through the Chase’s travel portal (no blackout dates) or
- Potentially even more value by transferring points directly to airline and hotel partners, like Hyatt or Southwest (watch this step-by-step video guide to learn how!)
With the Ink Business Preferred, you also get:
- 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 points on all other purchases
- Up to $600 in cell phone insurance when you pay your cell phone bill with the card
- Primary auto rental insurance (CDW) when renting for business purposes, plus purchase and extended warranty protection
The $95 annual fee is NOT waived the first year.
Even though this is a small business card, you might qualify without realizing it! You can apply by just entering your Social Security Number.
Just keep in mind, Chase will NOT approve you for their Ultimate Rewards points earning cards if you’ve opened 5 or more credit card accounts (from any bank) in the past 24 months (NOT counting Chase business cards and these other business cards).
2. Chase Sapphire Preferred (#1 Pick for Beginners!)
Link: Chase Sapphire Preferred
When you sign-up, you’ll earn 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of opening your account.
You can redeem the sign-up bonus for $500 in cash back or $625 in travel when you book through the Chase portal. And potentially more value if you transfer points directly to airline and hotel partners like Singapore Airlines.
With the Sapphire Preferred card, you also get:
- 2X Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1 on travel and dining
- 5,000 bonus Chase Ultimate Rewards points (worth $50 in cash back) 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
Million Mile Secrets team member Scott loves earning 2X points on dining purchases in Europe while saving money on foreign transaction fees at the same time!
The card’s $95 annual fee is waived the first year, which means you can use the card for free for ~10 or ~11 months. Then, decide if you like the benefits enough to pay the annual fee. You also have the option of downgrading to a no-annual-fee card.
This card is impacted by the same application rules mentioned earlier for the Ink Business Preferred.
3. AMEX Business Platinum
If you’re a small business owner planning large purchases to kick-off the new year, the AMEX Business Platinum offer is definitely worth considering.
When you sign-up for the AMEX Business Platinum card, you’ll earn:
- 50,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points after you spend $10,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening.
- 25,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points after you spend an additional $10,000 on qualifying purchases within the same timeframe
So after meeting the tiered minimum spending requirements, you’ll have at least 95,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points (75,000 points from sign-up bonus + at least 20,000 points from minimum spending).
You can redeem these points to get $950 worth of gift cards through the AMEX portal. But they’re much more valuable if you book award travel by transferring points directly to any of the 20 AMEX airline or hotel partners like Delta, JetBlue, or Singapore Airlines.
AMEX Business Platinum cardholders also get these terrific perks:
- 1.5X AMEX Membership Rewards points on single purchases of $5,000+
- 5X AMEX Membership Rewards points when you book airfare and hotels through the AMEX travel portal
- 35% of your points back for ALL First Class or Business Class flights booked through the AMEX travel portal using Pay With Points
- 35% of your points back for all flights, including coach tickets, booked with your selected airline through the AMEX travel portal using Pay With Points
- Up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for airline incidentals with your selected airline (luggage fees, in-flight food & drink, etc.)
- Ability to book hotel stays through AMEX Fine Hotels & Resorts
- AMEX Premium Roadside Assistance
- Access to airport lounges (Delta, Priority Pass, Airspace, and American Express Centurion Lounges)
- Bonus points or statement credits when taking advantage of an AMEX Offer
- Elite car rental status with Avis, Executive status with National Car Rental, and Gold Plus Rewards with Hertz
- Free Hilton HHonors Gold elite status (free breakfast and upgrades when available)
- Free Starwood Gold elite status, which you can use to instantly match to Marriott Gold elite status
- 10 free Gogo in-flight Wi-Fi passes each calendar year
- Statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
- Terms & limitations apply
This card has a $450 annual fee, which is NOT waived. But the statement credits, airport lounge access, and savings from AMEX Offers can easily offset the fee.
4. Capital One Venture (#1 Card for Earning Easy to Redeem Rewards)
You can earn 50,000 Venture miles (worth $500 in travel) by signing up for the Capital One Venture card and spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months.
Capital One has a straightforward rewards program, which means their miles are easy to redeem! All you have to do is pay for travel expenses (like airfare, hotel stays, parking, and much more) with your credit card. Then, log-in to your account and “erase” the charge by redeeming your miles.
In addition to the card’s valuable sign-up bonus, you’ll get:
- 2 Venture miles per $1 you spend on all purchases
- No foreign transaction fees
The card also comes with Visa Signature Benefits, which include:
- Rental car insurance – Secondary protection against collision or theft
- Travel accident insurance – Up to $250,000 insurance for accidental loss of life, limb, sight, speech, or hearing
- Lost luggage insurance – Up to $3,000 per trip, provided the luggage was lost from theft or misdirection by the airline, cruise, etc.
And the card’s $95 annual fee is waived the first year!
While this card is worth considering, I typically recommend folks get Chase cards first. Because Chase makes it harder to get their valuable cards if you sign-up for lots of cards with other banks.
5. Capital One Spark Miles
Similar to the Capital One Venture, you can earn simple rewards with the Capital One Spark Miles. When you sign-up, you’ll earn 50,000 Spark miles (worth $500 in travel) after spending $4,500 on purchases within the first 3 months.
You can use your miles to offset travel purchases you make on your card, such as airfare, Airbnb, seat upgrades, baggage fees, and much more! Million Mile Secrets reader Susan says UPS shipping purchases code as travel. You can check out our post with other outside the box ways to redeem the miles you earn with this card.
Remember this is a small business card , but you can qualify with many types of side activities, like hosting on Airbnb, driving for Uber, or selling items for a profit on eBay.
Just keep in mind, if you’re new to miles & points, you might consider waiting to get this card after applying for valuable Chase cards.
6. Capital One Spark Cash
The Capital One Spark Cash card is great for folks who prefer to earn straightforward cash back.
When you sign-up for the Capital One Spark Cash card, you’ll earn a $500 cash sign-up bonus after spending $4,500 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. You’ll also earn unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases!
To redeem your cash back, simply request a check or statement credit, any time, with no minimum redemption amount. The $500 bonus could help pay for some holiday purchases!
7. Chase Sapphire Reserve
Link: Chase Sapphire Reserve
You can earn my favorite flexible Chase Ultimate Rewards points by applying for the Chase Sapphire Reserve card.
When you sign-up, you’ll earn 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
You can redeem the sign-up bonus for $500 in cash back or $750 in travel by booking airfare, hotel stays, or car rentals through Chase’s travel portal (no blackout dates).
You get 1.5 cents per point (instead of 1 or 1.25 cents per point) on travel booked through the Chase portal with the Chase Sapphire Reserve. So you can move points to your Sapphire Reserve account from no annual fee cards like the Chase Freedom or Chase Freedom Unlimited to increase the value of all your points!
With the Sapphire Reserve card, you’ll also get:
- 3X Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1 on travel and dining
- $300 statement credit for travel purchases (like airfare, Airbnb, hotels, car rental, Uber, etc.) each account anniversary year
- Priority Pass Select for access to airport lounges
- $100 statement credit for Global Entry
- No foreign transaction fees
Team member Keith says this is the #1 card he uses. Because he loves to earn easy and valuable bonus points for dining out!
This card also comes with amazing trip protection benefits, like primary rental car coverage. You can read how the Sapphire Reserve’s primary rental car coverage saved team member Harlan nearly $700!
The card has a $450 annual fee, which is NOT waived the first year. But for many folks, the annual fee is worth paying because the $300
credit each account anniversary year for travel purchases effectively makes the annual fee $150 ($450 annual fee – $300 travel credit).
My favorite credit card offers for January 2018 are:
- Chase Ink Business Preferred
- Chase Sapphire Preferred
- AMEX Business Platinum
- Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
- Capital One Spark Miles for Business
- Capital One Spark Cash for Business
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
The value of the sign-up bonuses on these cards can be significant. For example, you can earn $800 in cash back or get $1,000 worth of travel after meeting minimum spending requirements on the Ink Business Preferred card.
Which of these great offers do you plan to apply for in 2018?