The Best 50,000 (or More!) Miles and Points Credit Cards
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One of the easiest ways to get a lot of miles and points quickly is by applying for credit cards with large sign-up bonuses. We’ve seen lots of great sign-up bonuses over the last few weeks!
But the Marriott 70,000 point offer ends later today, so I’ve made a list of my favorite current offers with big (50,000 or more) miles and point sign-up bonuses. Some of these are increased offers that are only available for a limited time!
Limited Time Cards With Bonuses of 50,000 or More
1. Chase United MileagePlus Explorer
Link: Chase United MileagePlus Explorer
The sign-up bonus on the Chase United Explorer card is increased to 50,000 miles after you spend $2,000 in the 1st 3 months, but you have to apply by September 2, 2014. You’ll get an extra 5,000 miles after you add an authorized user and they make a purchase in the 1st 3 months. And some folks may be able to get a version which includes a $50 statement credit!
- Free 1st checked bag (saves up to $100 per round-trip)
- Priority boarding
- 2 United Club lounge passes per year
- 10,000 bonus United Airlines miles when you spend more than $25,000 on the card each year
- No foreign currency fees
- Primary rental car insurance coverage
- Access to award seats not available to non-cardholders
The annual fee of $95 is waived for the 1st year. Here’s my review of the increased sign-up bonus offer.
2. American Express Gold Delta SkyMiles
Link: American Express Gold Delta SkyMiles (Personal)
Link: American Express Gold Delta SkyMiles (Business)
For a limited time, the sign-up bonus on the American Express Gold Delta SkyMiles personal and business cards has increased to 50,000 miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new card in the 1st 3 months. Plus, you get a $50 statement credit if you make a Delta purchase in the 1st 3 months of having the card.
Usually, the sign-up bonus on these cards is 30,000 miles, so this is a great deal! But you have to apply by September 8, 2014.
Delta miles can be used on Delta, partners like Hawaiian Airlines and Alaska Airlines, and SkyTeam alliance airlines.
And 50,000 Delta miles is enough for:
- 2 round-trip coach class tickets to anywhere in the continental US, Alaska, and Canada for 50,000 miles
- A round-trip coach class ticket to Hawaii for 45,000 miles
- A round-trip coach class ticket to the Caribbean, Mexico, or Central America for 35,000 miles
- A round-trip Business Class or First Class ticket to anywhere in the continental US, Alaska, and Canada for 50,000 miles
These cards also get you a free checked bag, priority boarding, and other perks. Here’s my review of the increased sign-up bonus.
3. American Express Platinum Delta SkyMiles
Link: American Express Platinum Delta SkyMiles
The sign-up bonus on the American Express Platinum Delta SkyMiles card has also increased to 50,000 miles plus 15,000 elite-qualifying miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new card in the 1st 3 months. And you’ll get a $100 statement credit if you make a Delta purchase within the 1st 3 months of having the card.
The annual fee of $195 is NOT waived. And this offer also expires on September 8, 2014.
While the annual fee isn’t waived, the $100 statement credit offsets some of the cost. And if you’re trying to get elite status on Delta, the 15,000 elite-qualifying mile bonus might be interesting to you.
The card also comes with a yearly companion certificate, which could save you a lot of money.
4. Hilton Honors Card from American Express and Hilton Honors Surpass Card from American Express
According to folks on FlyerTalk, you can get an increased sign-up bonus offer on the American Express Hilton Honors card. You’ll get 50,000 points after you spend $750 in the 1st 3 months, with NO annual fee. And you get free Silver Elite status. But you must apply by September 15, 2014.
Readers on FlyerTalk also report an increased 60,000 point offer on the American Express Hilton Honors Surpass card after you spend $3,000 in the 1st 3 months. The $75 annual fee is NOT waived, but you do get free Gold Elite status (free internet and breakfast!) which can save you a lot of money!
5. Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Card
Link: Chase Marriott Rewards PremierUp to later today, the sign-up bonus on the Chase Marriott Rewards Premier card
The annual fee of $85 is waived for the 1st year. But because you get a free night each year, you’ll more than make up the annual fee.
Marriott brands include AC Hotels by Marriott, Autograph Collection Hotels, Courtyard by Marriott, EDITION, Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott, Gaylord Hotels, JW Marriott, Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Marriott Vacation Club, Renaissance Hotels, Residence Inn by Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, SpringHill Suites by Marriott, and TownePlace Suites by Marriott.
6. Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Business Card
Link: Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Business Card
The sign-up bonus on the Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Business Card has also increased to 70,000 points after you spend $2,000 in the 1st 3 months. The $99 annual fee is waived for the 1st year.
One major difference between this card and the personal version of the card is that you get 2 points per $1 you spend at office supply stores and on cable, internet, and phone services.
You’ll still get a free in a category
1 to 4 Marriott after your account is approved, and a free night in a category 1 to 5 Marriott each year on your account anniversary. That makes up for the annual fee!
Here’s my review of the card.
Airline Cards With Bonuses of 50,000 Miles or More
Link: Airline Cards
1. Chase British Airways Visa Signature Card
Link: Chase British Airways Visa Signature Card
You’ll get 50,000 British Airways points (Avios) after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months with the Chase British Airways Visa Signature card. The annual fee of $95 is NOT waived for the first year.
One of the best uses of Avios points is for short-haul American Airlines award tickets. For flights under 650 miles, you only need 4,500 Avios points for a 1-way coach class ticket. So the 50,000 point bonus is good for 11 1-way short haul coach class tickets! And there are no fuel surcharges.
You could also use 50,000 British Airways Avios for 2 round-trip tickets from the west coast to Hawaii. Or get 2 round-trip tickets from Boston to Dublin on partner airline Aer Lingus.
That’s a lot of travel from 1 credit card!
2. Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard
The sign-up bonus on the Citi Platinum Select AAdvantage World Mastercard is 50,000 American Airlines miles after you spend $3,000 in the 1st 3 months. The $95 annual fee is waived for the 1st year. The information for the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select card has been collected independently by Million Mile Secrets. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
American Airlines miles can be used for award tickets on American Airlines or their airline partners. And 50,000 miles is enough for:
- 2 round-trip coach class tickets within the US and Canada (not Hawaii)
- 1 round-trip coach class ticket from North America to Hawaii during peak season (with 5,000 miles left over)
- A low-level round-trip coach class ticket to Europe (with 10,000 miles left over)
- A low-level round-trip coach class ticket to Japan or Korea (or 1-way in Business Class)
Here’s my review of the card.
3. Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard
After spending $5,000 in the 1st 3 months, you’ll get 50,000 American Airlines miles with the Citi Executive AAdvantage World Elite Mastercard. The annual fee of $450 is NOT waived for the 1st year, but you do get lots of extra perks, including:
- Admirals Club lounge membership (worth $500)
- 25% discount on in-flight purchases
- Free checked bag
- Priority boarding, check-in, and airport screening
- No foreign currency fees
- 10,000 elite-qualifying miles when you spend more than $40,000 in a calendar year
- Access to American Airlines reduced mileage awards
In the past, the sign-up bonus for this card has been as high as 100,000 miles, but I don’t know if that offer will come around again.
4. Bank of America Virgin Atlantic
Link: Bank of America Virgin Atlantic
You’ll get 45,000 miles (20,000 miles after your 1st purchase, and 25,000 after you spend $2,500 in the 1st 3 months) plus an additional 5,000 miles for adding 2 authorized users. The annual fee of $90 is NOT waived for the 1st year.
Virgin Atlantic charges high fuel surcharges on their own flights. But you can use Virgin Atlantic miles on their partner airlines, a few of which (like Hawaiian Airlines) won’t have fuel surcharges added.
Some folks like to transfer Virgin Atlantic miles to Hilton hotels because they transfer at a 2:3 ratio. So 50,000 Virgin Atlantic miles would get you 75,000 Hilton hotel points.
Hotel Cards With Bonuses of 50,000 Points or More
Link: Hotel Cards
1. Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature Card
Link: Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature Card
You’ll earn 60,000 Hilton points after you spend $1,000 in the 1st 4 months with the Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature card (not my link). Plus, you’ll get a $25 statement credit after spending $200 at participating National, Alamo, or Enterprise car rental locations. This offer is only good until August 31, 2014.
This card has NO annual fee. You’ll also get:
- 6 points for every $1 you spend at Hilton hotels
- 3 points for every $1 you spend at supermarkets, drug stores, and gas stations
- 2 points for every $1 you spend on everything else
- Free Hilton Silver Elite status (15% points bonus on Hilton points earned, 2 free bottles of water, late check-out)
- Free Hilton Gold Elite status (free breakfast and internet) after staying at a Hilton 4 times in the 1st 3 months
2. US Bank Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature Card
The Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature card gets you 85,000 points after you spend $2,500 in the 1st 3 months. The annual fee of $75 is NOT waived for the 1st year.
You’ll also get free Gold elite status (free internet, upgrades when available, late check-out) and your last night is free when you book an award stay of 2 more consecutive nights with the card. That’s a great perk!
Plus, you get 40,000 points each year on your card anniversary.
3. Chase IHG Rewards Card
Link: Chase IHG Rewards
This post on FlyerTalk reports an 80,000 point offer for the Chase IHG Rewards card. You’ll get the bonus after you spend $1,000 in the 1st 3 months. The annual fee of $49 is waived for the 1st year.
This card also gets you:
- A free night on your card anniversary each year (which more than makes up for the annual fee)
- Platinum elite status (upgrades when available, priority check-in) and all IHG members get free internet
And 1 of the best uses of IHG points is for PointBreaks rooms, which only cost 5,000 points per night. The 80,000 point sign-up bonus could get you 16 nights total, although you can only book 2 nights at any 1 PointBreaks hotel.
4. Chase Ritz-Carlton Rewards Card
Link: Chase Ritz-Carlton Rewards
With the Chase Ritz-Carlton Rewards card, you’ll get 70,000 Ritz-Carlton points after you spend $2,000 in the 1st 3 months, plus a $200 Ritz-Carlton gift card after your 1st purchase. The annual fee of $395 is NOT waived.
The landing page says the sign-up bonus is “A Complimentary Night Stay at the Ritz-Carlton”, but you actually get 70,000 points. That’s enough for 1 night in a top-tier Ritz-Carlton hotel, like the Ritz-Carlton Tokyo, which normally costs over $500 per night.
While the $395 annual fee seems quite steep, you also get a $200 airline statement credit, plus the $200 Ritz-Carlton gift card. So you could easily recoup the annual fee.
Plus, you can use Ritz-Carlton points at Marriott hotels. So if you want to stretch them out, you can!
Business Cards With Bonuses of 50,000 Points or More
Link: Business Cards
1. Chase Ink Bold and Chase Ink Plus Cards
Link: Chase Ink Bold
Link: Chase Ink PlusUpdate: The Chase Ink Bold card is no longer available for new sign-ups.
You’ll get 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points with the Chase Ink Bold and Chase Ink Plus cards after you spend $5,000 in the 1st 3 months. The $95 annual fee is waived for the 1st year.
However, there’s a new offer for 70,000 points on the Chase Ink Plus – but you have to apply in a Chase branch! It’s not available online.
There are some of my favorite cards, because they have great category spending bonuses. For example:
- Earn 5X points per $1 you spend at office supply stores, and on cable, internet, and wireless purchases
- Earn 2X points per $1 you spend at gas stations and hotel accommodations (purchased directly through the hotel)
- Access many other bonus points earning opportunities through the Chase Ultimate Rewards shopping portal
2. CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Mastercard
Like the personal Citi Platinum Select AAdvantage card, the CitiBusiness AAdvantage World Mastercard has a sign-up bonus of 50,000 miles after you spend $3,000 in the 1st 3 months. The $95 annual fee is waived for the 1st year.
You also get:
- A free checked bag
- Group 1 boarding
- A $99 coach class companion certificate if you spend more than $30,000 on the card in a year
However, you don’t get the 10% of your redeemed American Airlines miles back like you do with the personal American Airlines card.
3. US Bank Club Carlson Business Rewards Card
Like the personal version of the card, the US Bank Club Carlson Business Rewards has an 85,000 point bonus after you spend $2,500 in the 1st 3 months. The annual fee of $60 is NOT waived for the 1st year.
You’ll also get free Gold elite status (upgrades when available, late check-out) and your last night is free when you use Club Carlson points for a stay of 2 or more nights. And all Club Carlson members get free internet.
Because it’s a business card, you can also get Visa SavingsEdge discounts such as a 1% back as a statement credit on purchases of $200 or more at Staples.
Bank Points Cards With Bonuses of 50,000 Points or More
Link: Bank Points Cards
1. Citi Thank You Premier
Link: Citi ThankYou® Premier Card
With the Citi ThankYou Premier card, you’ll get 20,000 points after you spend $2,000 in the 1st 3 months, and another 30,000 points after you spend $3,000 in the 1st 3 months of the 2nd year you have the card. The $125 annual fee is waived for the 1st year.
Each Citi Thank You point is worth 1.25 cents towards airfare, so 50,000 points gets you $625 in free flights. But because you pay the annual fee in the 2nd year, your net benefit is $500 in free flights ($625 in flights – $125 annual fee for the 2nd year).
But recently, Citi changed its program and you can now transfer ThankYou points to airline partners, including:
- Asia Miles
- EVA Air
- Etihad Guest
- Garuda Indonesia
- Qatar Airways
- Singapore Airlines
- Thai Airways
So you could transfer the 50,000 Citi ThankYou points to Singapore Airlines. Then you’d have enough Singapore Airlines miles to book flights on Star Alliance partner United Airlines. This includes:
- 2 round-trip flights anywhere in the US & Canada (except Hawaii)
- 1 round-trip flight to Hawaii, Mexico, the Caribbean, or Central America (with 15,000 miles remaining)
And if you count the 5,000 Citi ThankYou points you’ll earn from completing the minimum spending, you’d have enough miles for a round-trip flight to Europe. (That’s because a round-trip ticket to Europe in coach is 55,000 Singapore Airlines miles and you’ll get 50,000 Citi ThankYou points from the sign-up bonus + 5,000 points from spending $5,000 over 2 years to earn the bonus.)
Because a coach ticket to Europe can easily be $1,000 or more, you can see how this card might be worth the annual fee in the 2nd year.
There are lots of cards with sign-up bonuses of 50,000 or more miles and points. Applying for these cards is a great way to get lots of miles and points quickly.
Some of these are limited-time offers, and won’t be around for much longer.
That said, the banks often increase sign-up bonuses on certain cards, so if miss out on a limited-time offer now, something better might come along again!
Which of these are your favorite big bonus offers?
Chase Sapphire Preferred® CardAPPLY NOW
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash’s subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
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! :)