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If you’re thinking of applying for credit cards this month, there are some limited time offers you may want to consider. Several cards are offering an increased sign-up bonus, but they won’t be around for long!
These cards are all from different banks, so you could get all of them if you want. But remember, if you’re new, it’s best to start slow and just apply for 1 or 2 cards to start with. That way you’ll see what the impact is on your credit score.
1. Starwood Preferred Guest AMEX up to 30,000 Point Offer
Link: Starwood Preferred Guest American Express (Personal)
Link: Starwood Preferred Guest American Express (Business)
The sign-up bonus on the Starwood Preferred Guest American Express card is usually up to 25,000 points after you spend $5,000 in the 1st 6 months. About once per year, American Express increases the bonus by 5,000 points (with the same minimum spending).
You have to apply before June 30, 2014 to get the increased bonus.
This card gives you:
- 10,000 points after your 1st purchase
- 20,000 points after you spend $5,000 in the 1st 6 months
- 2 points per $1 you spend at Starwood hotels (includes Aloft, Element, Four Points, Le Meredien, Sheraton, St Regis, The Luxury Collection, Westin and W brand hotels)
- 1 point per $1 you spend on everything else
- 2 stay or 5 night credit toward Starwood Elite Status
- $65 annual fee, waived for the 1st year
- Terms & Conditions apply
This isn’t a good card to use overseas because they charge a 2.7% foreign currency fee. And you’ll have to spend $5,000 in the 1st 6 months (but here are 40+ ways to do that!).
Here’s my series on what you can do with Starwood points. And if you already have this card, you can refer your friends and get 5,000 Starwood points when they sign-up! This offer ends on June 30, 2014.
2. Barclaycard Miles & More World Elite MasterCard 50,000 Mile Offer
Link: Barclaycard Miles & More World Elite MasterCard
Barclaycard increased the sign-up bonus on the Lufthansa card to 50,000 miles after spending $5,000 within 3 months. Normally, you only get 20,000 miles when you sign-up for this card, so this is more than double the regular offer. But you have to apply before June 30, 2014.
With this card, you’ll get:
- 50,000 miles after spending $5,000 within 3 months
- 2 miles per $1 you spend on any Miles & More airline
- 1 mile per $1 you spend on all other purchases
- No foreign currency fees
- $79 annual fee, NOT waived for the 1st year
Here are 18 ways you can use Lufthansa miles. But you’ll pay high fuel surcharges on most award tickets, so you should read my post on how to use Lufthansa miles without paying high fuel surcharges.
For folks in the US, you can redeem Lufthansa miles for flights on United Airlines, and you won’t pay fuel surcharges.
For example, you could use your 50,000 mile sign-up bonus (plus 5,000 miles from minimum spending) for:
- A round-trip coach class ticket within North America (30,000 miles)
- A round-trip coach class ticket to Central America or the Caribbean (35,000 miles)
- A round-trip coach class ticket to Hawaii (40,000 miles)
- A round-trip Business Class ticket within North America (55,000 miles)
3. Chase Freedom 20,000 Point ($200 Cash Back) Offer
Link: Chase Freedom
The sign-up bonus on the Chase Freedom card has increased to 20,000 points or $200 cash back. Normally, the bonus is only 10,000 points or $100 cash back, so this is a good deal!
You also get 2,500 extra points for adding an authorized user who makes a purchase in the 1st three months. I’m not exactly sure when this offer will end, but in the past it’s lasted for ~1 month.
This card will get you:
- 20,000 points ($200 cash back) after you spend $500 in the 1st 3 months
- 2,500 points for adding an authorized user who makes a purchase in the 1st 3 months
- 5X points (5% cash back) on up to $1,500 per quarter in rotating categories
- 1X points (1% cash back) on everything else
- No annual fee
The Chase Freedom is 1 of my favorite cards because it’s so easy to earn 5X points each quarter. You can earn an additional 30,000 Ultimate Rewards points per year ($300 cash back) by spending the maximum in bonus categories each quarter.
But it’s not good for travel abroad, because it charges a 3% foreign transaction fee.
Some folks prefer getting cash back with their Chase Freedom points, but I like transferring them to airlines and hotel partners by transferring them 1st to the Chase Sapphire Preferred, (no longer offered) Chase Ink Bold, or Chase Ink Plus card.
You can’t move points directly from the Chase Freedom to airlines and hotels, but here’s a step-by-step guide on how to transfer Ultimate Rewards points from the Chase Freedom to airlines and hotels!
4. Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve With $100 Statement Credit Offer
Link: Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Card
You’ll get a $100 statement credit when you spend at least $100 at a Hilton hotel within the 1st 3 months. Normally, this card doesn’t have a statement credit at all! And you’ll get 2 free nights at almost any Hilton after completing the minimum spending.
I’m not sure when this offer ends, but Citi says it’s only available for a limited time.
With this card, you’ll get:
- 2 free weekend (Friday, Saturday, or Sunday) nights at any Hilton (with some exclusions) after you spend $2,500 in the 1st 4 months
- $100 statement credit when you spend $100 or more at any Hilton hotel within the 1st 3 months
- Free Hilton Gold Elite status (free internet and breakfast!) for as long as you have the card
- Chip-and-signature technology (good for traveling overseas)
- No foreign currency fees
- Free weekend night certificate if you spend $10,000 on the card each year
- Annual fee of $95, not waived for the 1st year
The annual fee of $95 is worth it because you get free Gold Elite status. A couple of free breakfasts and internet alone, especially in expensive cities, can make up for the fee quickly.
You can use your 2 free weekend nights at almost any Hilton, including some of their top hotels, which can cost in excess of $500 or more a night. So depending on the hotels you choose, you can get over $1,000 in value from the sign-up bonus.
There are 4 limited time credit card offers that will end soon (some definitely at the end of June). And they’re from different banks, so you might be able to get all of them if you wanted (and could meet the minimum spending).
The sign-up bonuses are increased on:
- Starwood Preferred Guest American Express
- Barclaycard Miles & More World Elite MasterCard
- Chase Freedom
- Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Card
Which offer is your favorite and why?