Save Money on Travel (or Earn Cash Back) With Any of These 10 Best Credit Card Bonuses

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Save Money on Travel (or Earn Cash Back) With Any of These 10 Best Credit Card Bonuses

KeithSave Money on Travel (or Earn Cash Back) With Any of These 10 Best Credit Card BonusesMillion Mile Secrets Team

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Best Credit Card Bonus Offers

Whether you have big travel plans or just want to boost your bank account balance, taking advantage of a lucrative credit card signup bonus is an easy way to earn valuable rewards!

Best Credit Card Signup Bonus
Get to Destinations on Your Bucket List (Like Cape Town) by Earning Top Credit Card Signup Bonuses!

Rewards credit cards offer an 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 every day, it can still be worthwhile to apply for a new card.  For example, by earning just one new card signup bonus worth $800 in cash back or $1,000+ in travel.  There are many other fantastic deals, too!

Read These Tips Before Applying for Top Rewards Credit Cards

Link:   The 5 Dangers of Applying for Credit Cards

Link:   11 Credit Card Myths That Could Be Holding You Back From Big Travel

For folks just learning about the world of miles & points and travel credit cards, there are a few things you should know!

First, check out our post with the 5 Dangers of Applying for Credit Cards.  Rewards credit cards are NOT for everyone.  I only recommend this hobby if you:

As long as you can manage your money and use your cards responsibly, you’ll do well in this hobby!  One of the little-known secrets of this hobby is having several open credit cards can actually help improve your credit score.  I have 12 open credit card accounts and a credit score above 800!

Best Credit Card Signup Bonus
The Big Secret in the Miles & Points Hobby Is Having Lots of Credit Cards Doesn’t Negatively Impact Your Credit Score! I Have a Dozen Cards and an 800+ FICO!

The fastest way to earn valuable cash back or travel rewards is by earning credit card welcome bonuses.  To earn these bonuses, you typically must spend a certain amount in a given timeframe.  For example, spend $4,000 in 3 months and earn 50,000 miles or points.  If you fail to meet the spending, you’re out of luck and won’t earn the bonus!

So you should only take advantage of offers if you can meet the spending requirements and unlock the bonus.  That’s why some folks time their card applications before making a large purchase to ensure they’ll meet the spending requirements.  Be sure to read my post with 40+ powerful ways to meet minimum spending requirements.

Best Signup Bonus for Flexible Rewards (Travel or Cash Back):  Chase Sapphire Preferred 

Link:   Apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred

Link:   Our Review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred

Who Should Get This Card?

We think the Chase Sapphire Preferred is the best card for beginners in the miles & points hobby!

According to readers and reports online, you must have a good credit score to get this card.  And if you’ve opened 5 or more credit cards from ANY bank in the past 24 months (excluding certain small business cards and Chase business cards), you’re not likely to be approved.

Sign-Up Bonus Details

When you sign-up for the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you’ll earn 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.  This sign-up bonus is worth $500 in cash back.  But you can get more value by redeeming points for travel.

For example, points linked to this card are worth 1.25 cents each when you book airfare, hotels, or car rentals through the Chase travel portal.  Using points this way can get you $625 worth of travel!  And it’s really easy to book through the Chase portal.  It’s just like booking through an online travel agency, such as Priceline!

Folks looking to get even more value for each point usually prefer to transfer points directly to Chase travel partners, which include Hyatt, Marriott, Southwest, United Airlines, and many others!  This way, you can book award nights or flights through your loyalty account.  Many Million Mile Secrets readers and team members use points this way because you can get travel experiences that might otherwise be too expensive, like a Business Class flight or 5-star hotel accommodation!

Best Credit Card Signup Bonus
Transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards Points to Airline or Hotel Partners Can Get You Unbelievable Travel Experiences, Like a Comfortable Business Class Flight!

Annual Fee

The $95 annual fee is waived for the first year, so you can try out the card at no cost for the first ~11 months.  This card is ideal for folks looking to upgrade their wallet from cash back or store credit cards to one that earns valuable travel rewards points!

Best Bonus for Travel:  AMEX Platinum

Link:   The Platinum Card® from American Express

Link:   Our Review of The Platinum Card® from American Express

Who Should Get This Card?

The AMEX Platinum is a fantastic premium card for folks looking to earn valuable and transferable points to save on travel.  AMEX only lets you earn the welcome bonus on each card once per lifetime.  So it’s a good idea to take advantage of lucrative AMEX credit card offers when they’re available.

Welcome Bonus Details

With The Platinum Card® from American Expressyou can earn 60,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening your account.  You’ll also get:

You can redeem these points to get $600 worth of gift cards through the AMEX portal.  But the best way to maximize the value of the bonus is by transferring points directly to any of the 19 AMEX airline and hotel partners to book award travel.  For example, you can transfer AMEX Membership Rewards points to JetBlue or Singapore Airlines to book award flights.

Best Credit Card Signup Bonus
You Can Transfer AMEX Membership Rewards Points to JetBlue and Book Flights to New York City!

Keep in mind, airline alliances and partnerships make it possible to use one airline’s miles for a flight on another.  For example, you can transfer AMEX Membership Rewards points to Singapore Airlines to book an award flight on United Airlines, a Star Alliance partner airline.

Annual Fee

The card has a $550 annual fee, which is NOT waived the first year.  But you can offset this fee with perks like:

That said, if you don’t travel or won’t use the benefits, this card might not be a great fit.  Also, be sure to check if you’re targeted for an increased bonus offer through CardMatch.

Best Bonus for Big Spenders:  AMEX Business Platinum

Link:   Apply for the AMEX Business Platinum

Link:   Our Review of the AMEX Business Platinum Card

Who Should Get This Card?

There’s a large minimum spending requirement to earn the total welcome bonus on the AMEX Business Platinum card   So it’s ideal for folks with large upcoming purchases.  Keep in mind, you must have a business in order to be eligible for this card.  I qualified for the AMEX Business Platinum thanks to my eBay drop shipping side hustle!

Welcome Bonus Details

There’s a very lucrative welcome offer for the AMEX Business Platinum card.  When you apply for the AMEX Business Platinum card, you’ll earn:

So between the intro bonus and points you earn from minimum spending, you’ll have at least 95,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points (75,000 point total intro bonus + at least 20,000 minimum spending points).

You can redeem these points to get up to $950 worth of gift cards through the AMEX portal.

Best Credit Card Signup Bonus
You Can Use the Bonus You Earn With the AMEX Business Platinum Card to Fly Just About Anywhere!

And AMEX Membership Rewards points can potentially be even more valuable if you transfer them directly to any of the 19 AMEX airline and hotel partners to book award travel.  For example, you can transfer AMEX Membership Rewards points to Delta to book award flights to fantastic destinations within the US, Europe, and beyond!

Annual Fee

This card has a $450 annual fee, which is NOT waived the first year.  But $200 in statement credits each calendar year for airline incidental purchases, airport lounge access, and savings from AMEX Offers can easily offset the fee.  I gladly pay the annual fee to keep this card because I come out ahead with the fantastic perks.  You can read our full review of the card to see all of the benefits you can enjoy as a cardholder!

Best Credit Card Signup Bonus for Small Business Owners:  Chase Ink Business Preferred

Link:   Apply for the Chase Ink Business Preferred

Link:   Our Review of the Chase Ink Business Preferred

Who Should Get This Card?

Small business owners looking to get Big Travel with Small Money can do really well with the Chase Ink Business Preferred card.  This card earns valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards points like the Chase Sapphire Preferred.  So you have the flexibility to redeem points for cash back, through the Chase travel portal, or by transferring them to Chase airline and hotel partners.

Sign-Up Bonus Details

When you open the Chase Ink Business Preferred card, you’ll earn 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.  You’ll 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

Points on this card are 1.25 cents each when you book airfare, hotels, or car rentals through the Chase travel portal.  Using points this way can get you $1,000 worth of travel!  Or you can get even more value by transferring points directly to airline and hotel partners.

Best Credit Card Signup Bonus
Splurge on a Vacation to Sydney! You Could Transfer 30,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points to Hyatt and Book a Completely Free Night at the Park Hyatt Sydney Where Room Rates Are Usually $900+!

Annual Fee

The card’s $95 annual fee is NOT waived the first year.  But the value of the sign-up bonus alone easily offsets several years worth of annual fee payments.  And consider the card has several other useful perks, like cell phone insurance that actually works!  This perk saved me $85 on a screen repair for my iPhone.

Best Credit Card Signup Bonus No Annual Fee for Small Business Owners:  Chase Ink Cash 

Link:   Our Review of the Ink Business Cash

Who Should Get This Card?

Do you shy away from annual fee cards?  You can still earn valuable rewards!  The no-annual-fee Ink Business Cash has an unbelievable offer!  You must have a small business to qualify for this card.  That said, my friend was recently approved for this card and he only has $100 in annual business revenue from a side hustle.

If you’ve opened 5+ cards from any bank (NOT counting Chase business cards and these other business cards) in the past 24 months, it’s unlikely you’ll be approved for the Ink Business Cash.

Sign-Up Bonus Details

When you sign-up, you can earn $500 cash back (50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points!) after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening.  For a no-annual-fee card, this is a ridiculous deal!

It’s simple to redeem your rewards for cash back and there’s no minimum redemption amount!

And if you have cards like the Chase Sapphire PreferredChase Sapphire Reserve, or Ink Business Preferred, the points you earn can be worth a LOT more than $500.  That’s because you can combine points and transfer them to airline and hotel partners.

Best Credit Card Signup Bonus
Put $500 Cash in Your Pocket by Earning the Unbelievable Sign-Up Bonus on the Ink Business Cash Card

Annual Fee

None!

Best Credit Card Signup Bonus for Simple Travel Rewards: Capital One Venture

Link:   Apply for the Capital One Venture Card

Link:   Our Review of the Capital One Venture 

Who Should Get This Card?

When I was just starting in the miles & points hobby, I got the Capital One Venture Card.  Looking back, I likely would have decided on the Chase Sapphire Preferred.  But getting the Capital One Venture helped me build up my confidence when it comes to using rewards credit cards.

Many readers love the Capital One Venture card because you don’t have to fuss with complicated airline award charts or spend hours searching for First Class award seats.  Instead, just pay for travel with your card.  Then, redeem miles to offset the purchase!

Capital One suggests you only apply for the Capital One Venture card if you have “excellent credit” which usually means you have a credit score of 720 or higher.

Sign-Up Bonus Details

This card has a lucrative sign-up bonus that’s easy to redeem.  The Capital One Venture card comes with 50,000 Venture miles (worth $500 in travel) after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months.

And you’ll get:

Each mile is worth 1 cent toward travel.  And there’s NO minimum redemption increment when redeeming miles, unless you’re using miles to partially pay for a travel purchase.  In that case, the minimum is 2,500 miles ($25).  After you use your card to pay for a travel purchase, you have 90 days to “erase” it using your miles!

Best Credit Card Signup Bonus
Use Venture Miles to Offset the Cost of an Airbnb Stay, Like This One in Nashville!

Annual Fee

The card has a $95 annual fee, which is waived the first year.  As long as you spend $4,750 per year, the rewards you’ll earn will offset the annual fee.  Because this card earns 2 Venture miles per $1.  So spending $4,750 means you’ll earn 9,500 Venture miles, which you can then redeem for $95 in travel rewards!

Best Credit Card Signup Bonus for Restaurant Lovers: Chase Sapphire Reserve

Link:   Apply for the Chase Sapphire Reserve

Link:   Our Review of the Chase Sapphire Reserve

Who Should Get This Card?

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is one of the most popular premium credit cards.  The card has a $450 annual fee, but the Sapphire Reserve‘s sign-up bonus is worth at least $750 in travel.  And you also get up to a $300 annual credit for travel purchases every cardmember anniversary.  That’s $1,050 in value in the first year, which doesn’t consider other money saving perks you enjoy as a cardholder.

Sign-Up Bonus Details

When you sign-up for 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.  

This card is always at the top of my wallet because you earn 3X Chase Ultimate Rewards points on travel & dining worldwide.  That’s why it’s a fantastic card for restaurant lovers!

Best Credit Card Signup Bonus
Pay for Delicious Pizza With the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Earn 3X Chase Ultimate Rewards Points!

Annual Fee

The Chase Sapphire Reserve has a $450 annual fee, which is NOT waived the first year.

If you’re deciding between the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve be sure to do the math.  For example, you’re effectively paying a $150 annual fee with the Chase Sapphire Reserve ($450 annual fee – $300 travel credit).  After the first year with the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you’ll pay a $95 annual fee.  So you’ll effectively pay $55 more each year ($150 – $95) to get many extra perks, like lounge access, more bonus points on travel & dining purchases, rental car discounts, and much more!

Best Credit Card Signup Bonus Airline Miles Credit Card:  British Airways Visa Signature® Card

Link:   Apply for the British Airways Visa Signature® Card

Link:   Our Review of the Chase British Airways Card

Who Should Get This Card?

Even if you never fly British Airways, earning their frequent flyer currency can come in handy!  British Airways is part of the oneworld alliance.  This means you can redeem British Airways Avios points for award flights on partner airlines like American Airlines.

Based on data points from Million Mile Secrets team members and readers, most folks who are approved for travel cards like this have a credit score of at least 700.

The Chase British Airways is NOT affected by the Chase “5/24” rule!  So if you’ve opened ~5 or more credit cards (from any bank) in the past 24 months (excluding Chase business cards and certain other business cards) you could still qualify.

Sign-Up Bonus Details

You can earn British Airways Avios points directly with the Chase British Airways Visa Signature card, which currently has a 100,000-point offer!  When you sign-up, you’ll earn:

  • 50,000 British Airways Avios points when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of opening your account
  • 25,000 more British Airways Avios points when you spend $10,000 total on purchases in the first year of opening your account
  • 25,000 more British Airways Avios points when you spend $20,000 total on purchases in the first year of opening your account

So you’ll need to put $20,000 in spending on your card during the first year to earn all 100,000 British Airways Avios points.  That’s enough points for 4 round-trip award flights from the West Coast to Hawaii!

Best Credit Card Signup Bonus
Using British Airways Avios Points Is One of the Cheapest Ways to Reach Hawaii From the West Coast

Annual Fee

The card’s $95 annual fee is NOT waived for the first year.  But I think it’s definitely worth it for 100,000 British Airways Avios points!

Best Credit Card Bonus No Annual Fee:  AMEX Blue Cash Everyday

Link:   Apply for the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Link:   Our Review of the AMEX Blue Cash Everyday Card

Who Should Get This Card?

The no-annual-fee AMEX Blue Cash Everyday is a great choice for folks looking to earn straightforward cash back, especially if you make a lot of purchases at grocery stores.

With this card, you’ll earn:

  • 3% cash back at US supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year; then 1%)
  • 2% cash back at US gas stations and select US department stores (includes Macy’s, Nordstrom, and Sears)
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • Terms apply
Best Credit Card Signup Bonus
With the AMEX Blue Cash Everyday, You’ll Get 6% Cash Back at US Supermarkets on Up to $6,000 in Purchases per Year, Then 1% for Additional Purchases in the Bonus Category.

Welcome Bonus Details

When you apply for the AMEX Blue Cash Everyday card, you’ll earn $150 back (as a statement credit) after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of opening your account.

Annual Fee

None!

Best Credit Card Signup Bonus No Annual Fee for Travelers:  Capital One VentureOne

Link:   Apply for the Capital One® VentureOne®

Link:   Our Review of Capital One VentureOne

Who Should Get This Card?

If you’re looking to build credit history with a no-annual-fee travel rewards card, the Capital One VentureOne could be a great option!

Sign-Up Bonus Details

The Capital One VentureOne comes with 20,000 Venture miles (worth $200 in travel) after spending $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months.

You’ll also get:

Each mile is worth 1 cent toward travel.  And there’s NO minimum redemption increment when redeeming miles, unless you’re using miles to partially pay for a travel purchase.  In that case, the minimum is 2,500 miles ($25).  After you use your card to pay for a travel purchase, you have 90 days to “erase” it using your miles!

Annual Fee

None!

Bottom Line

These are the best credit card signup bonuses:

Certain cards made the list because there are fantastic offers available.  For example, when you apply for the AMEX Business Platinum card you can earn 75,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points after meeting tiered minimum spending requirements.

If you liked this post, why don’t you join the 25,000+ readers who have signed-up to receive free blog posts via email (only 1 email per day!) or in an RSS reader …because then you’ll never miss another update!

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® named a 'Best Travel Credit Card' by MONEY® Magazine, 2016-2017
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards

More Info

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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In need of a Sapphire card as I have booked a hotel and car rental with my Freedom. And despite being 5/24 I recently got the CIC. Will definitely be 4/24 in a few weeks. Just not sure if I should hold out for a better Sapphire signup bonus or go with what’s out there.

There is an 80,000-point bonus on the Chase Sapphire Preferred right now. That’s the biggest I’ve ever seen it. But it does have a HUGE minimum spending requirement, so keep that in mind.

https://millionmilesecrets.com/2018/05/04/big-chase-sapphire-preferred-increase-up-to-80000-chase-ultimate-rewards-points-worth-at-least-1000-in-travel/