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The most efficient way to earn lots of miles and points for Big Travel is with credit card sign-up bonuses.
And readers often ask me, which cards they should sign-up for next.
5 Things to Do Before You Apply!
- Know the Dangers of Applying for Credit Cards – Know the risks before you get started.
- Start Out Slow – If you’re new to this hobby, start with 1 or 2 cards, until you get the hang of it.
- Determine Your Application Strategy – Some folks sign-up for multiple cards each quarter and others prefer to wait for the big sign-up bonuses.
- Set Your Travel Goals – Think about the kind of travel you’re looking for and apply for cards that will help you meet those goals. Otherwise, you may wind up with points that aren’t useful to you.
- Make Sure You Can Meet Minimum Spending Requirements – See my post on 40+ Ways to Meet Minimum Spending for tips.
- Chase Has New Rules – If you’ve opened 5 or more new credit cards (with any bank!) in the past 24 months, you likely won’t be approved for the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Ink Plus, Ink Cash, Freedom, or Slate cards.
So folks who are new to miles and points may want to get the Chase Sapphire Preferred first. Otherwise you might not be able to get it later.
4 of My Favorite New Credit Card Offers
Credit card sign-up bonuses come and go. Here’s a look at the best new offers.
We don’t earn a commission on these 4 cards, but we’ll always tell you about the best deals!
1. Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard
Link: My Review of the Citi American Airlines Executive
When you spend $7,500 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening a Citi American Airlines Executive card, you can earn 75,000 American Airlines miles.
That’s 25,000 more miles than the previous offer for this card!
This card comes with a $450 annual fee that’s NOT waived for the 1st year. However, it’s worth it if you’ll use the airport lounge access (~$500) and up to a $100 statement credit towards Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.
And you’ll save money because you get you you and up to 8 companions traveling on the same reservation get your 1st checked bag free on American Airlines and US Airways flights.
2. Bank of America Alaska Airlines
Link: Bank of America Alaska Airlines – 25,000 miles and $100 Credit
You’ll earn 25,000 Alaska Airlines miles when you’re approved for the Bank of America Alaska Airlines card. And with the latest increased offer, you can also earn a $100 statement credit when you spend $1,000 on purchases within the 1st 90 days of opening your account. (EXPIRED.)
The $100 statement credit more than covers the $75 annual fee. What’s great about this card is there are so many ways to use Alaska Airlines miles.
Note: You can no longer have more than 1 of the same Bank of America Alaska Airlines card at once.
3. Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve
You can usually earn 2 weekend nights (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) at almost any Hilton hotel when you spend $2,500 on purchases within the 1st 4 months of opening the Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve card.
And now the offer that includes a $100 statement credit after spending $100+ on your 1st stay at a Hilton hotel within the 1st 3 months of opening your account is back!
To get this deal, make a test booking (any hotel) on the Hilton site. And when you get to the payment page you’ll see an ad for the increased sign-up bonus.
This is my favorite Hilton card because you the statement credit more than covers the $95 annual fee. Plus, the 2 weekend night certificates you earn can save you a LOT of money on your next hotel stay.
4. Chase Hyatt
Link: Chase Hyatt Card 2 Nights, $50 Credit, and 5,000 Points
You can also earn 2 nights with the Chase Hyatt card, good on ANY night at ANY Hyatt hotel when you spend $1,000 on purchases within the 1st 3 months. And now you’ll earn:
- $50 statement credit after your 1st purchase
- 5,000 Hyatt points when you add an authorized user who makes a purchase within the 1st 3 months
You could use your 2 nights at expensive Hyatt hotels like the Park Hyatt New York.
4 Sign-Up Bonuses That Remain Fantastic Deals
These credit card offers aren’t new, but they’re still the best deals out there!
1. Chase Sapphire Preferred
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is still my favorite card! That’s because you can earn 2X Chase Ultimate Rewards points on travel and dining, which are the 2 categories where I do a lot of spending.
When you sign-up and spend $4,000 on purchases within the 1st 3 months of opening your account, you’ll earn 40,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points. The $95 annual fee is waived the 1st year.
I like Chase Ultimate Rewards points because they’re flexible and easy to use.
2. Citi ThankYou Premier
Link: Citi ThankYou Premier – 50,000 Citi ThankYou Points
You can earn 50,000 Citi ThankYou points when you spend $3,000 on purchases within the 1st 3 months of opening your Citi ThankYou Premier card. (EXPIRED.)
The $95 annual fee is waived for the 1st 12 months.
The 50,000 Citi ThankYou points is worth $625 in airfare booked through the Citi Travel Center.
Or you can transfer your points to partners like Virgin Atlantic for award flights to Hawaii or Flying Blue for good deals on award flights to Europe!
3. Citi Prestige
Link: Citi Prestige – $50,000 Citi ThankYou Points and $250 Airfare Credit
With the Citi Prestige card, you can earn 50,000 Citi ThankYou points when you spend $3,000 on purchases within the 1st 3 months of opening your account. (EXPIRED.)
And even though this card has a hefty annual fee of $450 that is NOT waived the 1st year, there are lots of perks that outweigh this expense such as:
- American Airlines lounge access through July 23, 2017
- Priority Pass lounge access
- $100 credit towards Global Entry
Plus, you can earn a $250 credit towards airfare every 12 months, for a total of up to $500 in statement credits before your 2nd annual fee is due.
There are no blackout dates and you’ll still earn miles for your flight!
4. AMEX SimplyCash
Link: AMEX SimplyCash – $250 Statement Credit
You can still earn a $250 sign-up bonus with the AMEX SimplyCash card. To get the bonus, spend $5,000 on purchases within the 1st 6 months of opening your account. (EXPIRED.)
What I like about this card is there’s NO annual fee and you can earn 5% cash back at US office supply stores (and on US cell phone service).
Office supply stores like Staples carry gift cards to other stores. So you can earn 5% cash back in even more categories!
Cards like the Bank of America Alaska Airlines, Citi American Airlines Executive, Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve, and Chase Hyatt all currently have terrific increased sign-up bonuses.
Emily and I don’t earn a commission on the above cards, but we’ll always tell you about the best offers!
And although the sign-up bonuses that come with the AMEX SimplyCash, Citi ThankYou Premier, Citi Prestige, and Chase Sapphire Preferred have been around for a while, they’re still some of my favorite deals.
You can find an updated list of all my favorite credit cards on the Hot Deals page.