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Best Current Deals

 

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Want professional advice on exactly what card you should get for your specific situation (income level, current cards, travel destination, etc.)?  Fill out the short Credit Card Consultation form and I’ll give you my personal recommendations…completely free!

1. Chase Sapphire Preferred

Sign up bonus:  40,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $3,000 in 3 months + 5k for adding an authorized user.

Minimum Spend:  $3,000 in 3 months.

Annual Fee:  Waived for the first year, $95 each year after.

Foreign Transaction Fees:  None

Mileage Earning:  2x per $1 on travel and dining.  1x on all other categories.

Why I like this deal:  Chase points are very valuable because they can be transferred to a host of partners, including United, Southwest, and Hyatt.  Also, no foreign transaction fees and a waived first year fee are huge.

Chase also has amazing customer service, which includes a real person picking up the phone each time you call with no automated prompts to wade through.

 Cons:  None, really.  I wish the sign up bonus was a higher and the minimum spend lower, but isn’t that always how it is?

Overall:  This card is a great card to use for everyday spending and is highly recommended.  Chase points give you great flexibility, the 2x points on travel and dining is nice and the customer service is first rate should you ever need to use it.

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2.  CITI® PLATINUM SELECT® / AADVANTAGE® WORLD MASTERCARD®

citi-aa-visa

 

CITI® PLATINUM SELECT® / AADVANTAGE® WORLD MASTERCARD® application Link

Sign up bonus:  50,000 American Airlines miles after spending $3,000 in 3 months

Minimum Spend:  $3,000 in 3 months

Annual Fee:  No annual fee for the first year, then $95 each year after.

Foreign Transaction Fee:  3%

Mileage Earning:  2x per $1 spent on AA purchases, 1x per $1 spent across all categories.

Why I like this deal:  This is the biggest sign up bonus to get AA miles at the moment, which are great miles to have because they rarely have fuel surcharges.

Cons:  There is a foreign transaction fee.

Overall:  This is still the best way to get AA miles quickly, and since AA miles are so valuable, I’d highly recommend getting this card.

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The Ink Bold and the Ink Plus are listed as 3A and 3B because they almost identical.  The ONLY difference is that the Ink Bold is a charge card and the Ink Plus a credit card.  

3A.  Chase Ink Bold Business Card

For a full breakdown of this card, and how to really maximize its value, read my love letter to the Chase Ink Bold.

Signup Bonus:  50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $5,000 in 3 months.

 Minimum Spend:  $5,000 in 3 months.

Annual Fee:  Waived for the first year, $95 each year after.

Foreign Transaction Fees:  None

Mileage Earning: 

  • Earn 5X points per $1 on the first $50,000 spent annually at office supply stores, and on cellular phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services.
  • Earn 2X points per $1 on the first $50,000 spent annually at gas stations and for hotel accommodations when purchased directly with the hotel.
  • Earn 1X point per $1 on all other purchases, with no limits on how much you can earn.

 Why I like this deal:  This deal gives you a great value with Chase points, has no foreign transaction fees, a waived first year fee, and great customer service.  Also, you can earn 5x on your cell phone, cable and internet and 2x on gas.

 Cons:  The minimum spend is fairly hefty for some people.

Overall:  If you have a business and can meet the minimum spend, then this is a great card that allows you to earn TONS of Chase points.  I personally use it for most of my spending.

3B.  Chase Ink Plus Business card

For a full breakdown of this card and why I love it so much, read my full review of the Ink Plus here.

Signup Bonus:  50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points after spending $5,000 in 3 months.

 Minimum Spend:  $5,000 in 3 months.

Annual Fee:  Waived for the first year, $95 each year after.

Foreign Transaction Fees:  None

Mileage Earning: 

  • Earn 5X points per $1 on the first $50,000 spent annually at office supply stores, and on cellular phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services.
  • Earn 2X points per $1 on the first $50,000 spent annually at gas stations and for hotel accommodations when purchased directly with the hotel.
  • Earn 1X point per $1 on all other purchases, with no limits on how much you can earn.

 Why I like this deal:  This deal gives you a great value with Chase points, has no foreign transaction fees, a waived first year fee, and great customer service.  Also, you can earn 5x on your cell phone, cable and internet and 2x on gas.

 Cons:  The minimum spend is fairly hefty for some people.

Overall:  If you have a business and can meet the minimum spend, then this is a great card that allows you to earn TONS of Chase points.  I personally use it for most of my spending.

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4.  Barclays USAir Mastercard

US-Airways-MasterCard

Barclays USAir Mastercard Application Link

  • Earn 40,000 bonus miles after your first purchase and payment of the $89 annual fee*
  • First checked bag free on eligible bags for you and up to four companions on domestic US Airways operated flights
  • One companion certificate good for up to 2 guests to travel with you on a US Airways operated flight at $99 each, plus taxes and fees
  • Priority boarding Zone 2 on US Airways operated flights
  • Redeem miles for award travel on US Airways and American Airlines booked through usairways.com or US Airways Reservations
  • Earn miles on every purchase with 2 miles for every $1 you spend on US Airways purchases and 1 mile for every $1 on purchases everywhere else
  • Please see terms and conditions for complete details

Trav’s Take:  This is a great card because there is no minimum spend, so it’s an easy 40k.  Plus, you’ll get ton of extra perks, like a $99 companion pass.

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5. Barclaycard Arrival(TM) World MasterCard®

barclays-arrival-card

Barclays Arrival Application Link

Signup Bonus:  40,000 bonus miles ($440 towards travel) when you spend $3,000 in 3 months.

Minimum Spend:  $3,000 in 3 months.

 Annual Fee:  $89 WAIVED the first year.

Foreign Transaction Fees:  None

Mileage Earning: 2x per $1 spent on all purchases.

Why I like this deal:  2x on all purchases means you are getting 2.2% back when you redeem your points for travel, which is great.

Points can be used for any flights with no blackout dates.

And there is no annual fee the first year OR foreign transaction fee.

Cons:  None.

 Overall:  This is the best cash back earning card for travel out there, and is a really, really good card for most people.

The points you earn are super easy to use, the first year fee is waived, and there is no foreign transaction fee.

Plus, you earn 2x on EVERY PURCHASE.

This is definitely a card to add to your arsenal!

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6.  Barclays Frontier Airlines World Mastercard®>

Barclays-Frontier-Airlines

Barclays Frontier Airlines World Mastercard® application link

  • Earn 40,000 bonus miles after spending $500 in purchases in the first 90 days
  • Earn up to 10,000 bonus miles on balance transfers (1 mile per $1 transferred) in the first 90 days
  • Earn DOUBLE miles on purchases at FlyFrontier.com and 1 mile per $1 on all other purchases
  • No blackout dates! Book any roundtrip award flight on Frontier starting at 20,000 miles (subject to fees/taxes from $5)
  • Cardmember Exclusive! Redeem roundtrip companion award tickets for 5,000 less miles (from 15,000 miles plus taxes/fees from $5)
  • 0% Introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 months after account opening. After that, a variable APR, currently 15.99% or 24.99% based on your creditworthiness
  • $69 Annual Fee

Trav’s Take:  A roundtrip domestic ticket costs just 20k, so this is good for 2 domestic flights and all you have to do is spend $500 in 3 months.

I HIGHLY recommend this deal for anyone who travels domestically.

You can read my full review here.

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7. Chase United MileagePlus® Explorer

Sign up bonus:  30,000 United miles after spending $1,000 in 3 months.  5,000 more after adding an authorized user.

Minimum Spend:  $1,000 in 3 months.

Annual Fee:  Waived for the first year, $95 each year after.

Foreign Transaction Fees:  None.

Mileage Earning:  2x per $1 on United purchases.  1x on everything else.

Why I like this deal:  United miles are super valuable because you’ll never pay a fuel surcharge and you can book one-way tickets with United.

You also receive 2 free United club passes each year and your first bag is checked for free, two nice perks that shouldn’t be overlooked, especially if you fly United a fair bit.

 Cons:  The 35,000 mile sign up is pretty small.

Overall:  I wouldn’t use this as an everyday spend card, but the sign up deal is worth it if you looking to build up your United balance.

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8. Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

Starwood-Preferred-Guest-Credit-Card

Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express application link

The business version of this card can be found on the Business Credit Cards page.

  • Starpoints® bonus: earn up to 25,000 bonus points: 10,000 after your first purchase and another 15,000 after you spend $5,000 within the first 6 months of Cardmembership
  • That’s enough for a weekend getaway to a Category 4 Hotel.
  • Free Hotel Nights: redeem Starpoints at over 1,100 hotels in nearly 100 countries worldwide – with no blackout dates. Some hotels may have mandatory service and resort charges.
  • Free Flights: redeem Starpoints on over 350 airlines with SPG Flights – with no blackout dates
  • No limits on the number of Starpoints you can earn
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $65
  • Terms and Restrictions apply.

Overall:  The SPG is a frequent flyer favorite because it allows you to transfer to tons of different airlines (especially AA) and gives you a 25% bonus (20k SPG points=25k AA miles).

Solely as a hotel card, it also has really good value because the 5th free night and the Cash and Points option are perks that allow you really stretch your points.

This card is great to use as an everyday spend card because SPG points are extremely flexible and also more valuable than any other type of points.

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9.  US Bank Club Carlson™ Premier Rewards Visa Signature

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US Bank Club Carlson™ Premier Rewards Visa Signature application link (personal card)

  • Earn up to 50,000 Gold Points after your first purchase
  • Plus 35,000 points once you spend $2,500 on your card within the first 90 days – that’s up to 9 Free Award Nights at Category 1 hotels
  • 10 points per $1 spent in eligible net purchases at participating Carlson Rezidor hotels worldwide
  • 5 points per $1 spent in eligible net purchases everywhere else
  • Bonus Award Night – When you redeem Gold Points for 2 or more consecutive Award Nights, your last night is free. Exclusively for cardmembers!
  • Club Carlson Gold Status is yours after you activate and use your card
  • Please see terms and conditions for complete details
  • Net purchases are purchases minus credits and returns

My Take:  The perks for this card are incredible, and that’s why it is one of my favorite hotel credit cards.  You can read the entire review here, including how to use the card to get Buy 1, Get 1 free for hotel nights.

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10.  Chase Hyatt credit card

Sign up bonus:  2 free nights at any Hyatt after spending $1,000 in 3 months.

Minimum Spend:  $1,000 in 3 months.

Annual Fee:  $75 annual fee.  1 free night in a category 1-4 hotel every year as an anniversary bonus.

Foreign Transaction Fees:  None

Mileage Earning:  3 x per $1 on purchases at all Hyatt properties, 2x on dining or airline tickets, and  1x on everything else.

Why I like this deal:  Hyatt has some very amazing top-notch properties, so 2 nights at any Hyatt in the world is nothing to sneeze at.  Also, the free stay every year as an anniversary bonus negates the annual fee.

 Cons:  Annual fee not waived the first year is a bummer.

The card does not the flexibility of points;  your 2 free nights is 2 free nights, whether you stay at a $100 Hyatt or a $1,000 Hyatt.  With points, if you stay at a worse property, you don’t pay as much, meaning you can squeeze out more than just 2 nights.

Overall:  I like the sign up bonus and the chance to stay at some awesome properties.  I’d definitely suggest this for anyone looking to spoil themselves at an upscale location for a night or two.

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11.  Chase British Airways credit card

Signup Bonus:  50k British Airway Avios points after spending $2,000 in 3 months.

Minimum Spend:  $2,000 in 3 months.

 Annual Fee:  $95

Foreign Transaction Fees:  None.

Mileage Earning: 2.5x per $1 spent on British Airways purchases, 1.25x on everything else.

Why I like this deal:  BA Avios points can have great value in very specific situations (The Top 5 Ways to Use Avios Points), and so getting 50k is a nice chunk if you have a specific use for them.  The card also has SmartChip technology and no foreign transaction fee, meaning it is a great card to use when traveling Europe.

Cons:  The annual fee is not waived and Avios points are only valuable in certain situations.

 Overall:  If you know that you’ll be able to maximize Avios points, then the 50k Avios points upon signup definitely makes the $95 annual fee worth it.  If you aren’t planning on taking those types of trips than 50k Avios points are pretty useless.

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12.  Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Visa

Sign up bonus:  70,000 Marriot Points after spending $1,000 in 3 months + 1 free night stay (category 1-4) after account approval.

Minimum Spend:  $1,000 in 3 months.

Annual Fee:  Waived for the first year, $85 each year after.  Each year, you’ll receive 1 free night stay at any Marriot (category 1-5).

Foreign Transaction Fees:  None

Mileage Earning:  5x per $1 spent on Marriot purchases, 2x on dining, airline, and rental cars, and 1x on all other categories.

Extra Perks:  See all extra perks here.

Why I like this deal:  70k is a great sign up bonus since stays at Marriots can range from 6,000-40,000 a night.  You are getting 10+ nights at a low end hotel or 2 free nights at a pretty nice hotel. ($300+/night).

Plus you’ll get an additional night at any category 1-4, making the signup bonus one of the best hotel ones.  Also, you get a free night stay each year, which cancels out the annual fee and a $75 credit your first year.

 Cons:  None.

Overall:  If you are looking to add hotel points, this is a great card to get because it has a really nice sign up bonus, small minimum spend, and a waived annual fee.

The free night each year negates the annual fee, so it is also a good card to keep open year after year.

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Want professional advice on exactly what card you should get for your specific situation (income level, current cards, travel destination, etc.)?  Fill out the short Credit Card Consultation form and I’ll give you my personal recommendations…completely free!

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Page last updated 6/1/14- Changed Ink Bonus back to be 50k.