Credit card bonus offers are probably the easiest way to accumulate miles and points for discounted travel. If you are new to this game or new to applying for credit cards, please read my post about credit health. It is very important to have and maintain good credit and the post will guide you in the right direction.
Below is a list of airline and hotel credit card signup bonuses in no particular order that I think are pretty lucrative right now. All these links are not my affiliate links and thus I feel like this is a good unbiased list. Just as an FYI, this list is current as of March 19, 2015 and could change at any time or become unavailable so make sure you also do your research to see if this is the best offer available out there. Also if you haven’t already done so, make sure you apply for the loyalty program first before applying for the related hotel or airline card. The major loyalty program links can be found here.
Bank of America Alaska Visa Signature – 25,000 miles upon approval and $100 statement credit after $1,000 in spend in the first 90 days after account opening. The card has a $75 annual fee but the statement credit offsets this for the first year. This also comes with an annual Companion Certificate which will cost $121 when redeemed.
Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select Master Card – 50,000 American Airline miles when you spend $3,000 within the first 3 months of account opening. The card also gives you free checked luggage, Group 1 boarding, 10% back in redeemed miles, and you get access to reduced mileage awards which I wrote about here.
Chase United Mileage Plus Explorer Visa Signature – The current offer on the Chase site is a 25k offer so I would wait to apply for this card but you can check out this link and enter in your United MileagePlus account to see if you are targeted for a 50,000 bonus offer after you spend $2,000 within the first 3 months after your account opening. You can also get 5k miles after adding an authorized user. The card comes with free check bag, priority boarding, 2 United Club passes, 10k mileage bonus after $25k spend during the year, and no foreign currency transaction fees. The $95 annual fee is waived the first year.
Chase Southwest Airlines Visa Premier Card – Get 50,000 bonus points after you spend 2,000 purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. These points put you closer to a Companion Pass, has no foreign currency transaction fees, and gives you 6k bonus points annually with the $99 annual fee.
Chase British Airways Visa Signature Card – You can get 50,000 avios after you spend 2,000 in purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. The card has no foreign currency transaction fees and the $95 annual fee is waived the first year.
Amex Delta – You can see if you are targeted for a 50,000 bonus point offer. I wouldn’t apply for this card unless you get at least this amount in bonus points.
Chase IHG Mastercard – Earn 70,000 bonus points after $1,000 spend on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. You get Platinum elite status for as long as you hold the card, no foreign currency transaction fees, and you get one annual night certificate when you renew your card. The $49 annual fee is waived the first year. To see how to use the annual free night certificate, check out my post here on how to use an IHG free night certificate.
Chase Hyatt Visa Signature – Use this link and sign into your Hyatt account: hyatt.com/gp/en/account/sign_in_chase.jsp?refererURL=/hyatt/chase/ICOffer.jsp.. Get 2 free night certificates valid at any Hyatt Property worldwide plus a $50 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in the first 2 months of account opening. You also receive Platinum status, no foreign currency transaction fees, and a free night certificate at a category 1-4 hotel annually for a $75 annual fee which is waived the first year. Here is a helpful post on how to redeem a Hyatt free night certificates.
Chase Marriott Visa Signature – Get 70,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. You also get a hotel certificate at a category 1-4 property after account approval and you get an annual certificate at a category 1-5 after you pay the annual fee of $85 which is waived the first year. Check out my post on how to use a Marriott free night certificate.
Chase Fairmont Visa Signature – Get 2 free nights with breakfast for 2 when you spend $3,000 within the first 3 months of account opening. Get Premier Status and earn an additional free night certificate upon your anniversary when you make $12,000 in purchases during the year. The card has a $95 annual fee.
Amex SPG – Get 25,000 bonus starpoints when you spend $5,000 within the first 6 months of account opening. They often have a 30k bonus offer but it comes around a few times a year. Starpoints are great because they can be transferred to a variety of airlines which you can see here. Also if you transfer 20k points to an airline, you get a 5k bonus. The $65 annual fee is waived the first year.
Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature – Receive 50,000 points after your first purchase plus 35,000 points once you spend $2,500 on your card within the first 90 days for a total of 85,000 points. This card is great because when you redeem 2 or more consecutive award nights, your last night is free. You also get Gold status and 40,000 bonus points annual with an annual fee of $75.
Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Visa Signature – Earn 2 weekend night certificates when you spend $2,500 in the first 4 months of account opening. The card also comes with Gold Status which gives you access to free room upgrades and free breakfasts. There are no foreign currency transaction fees and spending 10k in a year will earn you 1 free night weekend certificate. The annual fee is $95.
Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature – Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 in the first 4 months of account opening. These points might get you a free night depending on the hotel but it would be a card I would wait until I ran out of options. This card has no annual fee.
Amex Hilton HHonors Surpass – Earn 60,000 points after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months of account opening. The card comes with Gold Status and if you spend 40k within the calendar year, you can get Diamond Status. This card has a $75 annual fee.
Amex Hilton HHonors – Earn 40,000 points after you spend $750 in the first 3 months of account opening. This card comes with silver status. There is no annual fee.
If there are other airline or hotel credit cards you suggest or you like, please include in the comments.
I will include other point earning, cash back, and business credit cards in another post.