I love credit cards and how aggressively they compete with one another for our business. If you aren’t carrying any credit card debt and have a pretty good credit score, you can be taking advantage of the cut-throat competition and researching a credit card that will reward you for your business.
Even with travel coming to a standstill because of the Coronavirus, some credit card companies are still offering aggressive bonuses but extending the time in which you can meet those minimum spends. Some companies, like Chase, are adding tools to help you know how much you need to spend to reach a bonus – a nice addition that helps you avoid missing out on a bonus.
Your mix of optimal credit cards will vary from ours. If you routinely fly a certain airline, that airline’s card should be higher on your list because you are more likely to use those points or miles. We don’t list every loyalty program’s credit card, that wouldn’t be feasible, so we tried to list the most aggressive offers with the broadest appeal.
If you always fly with an airline or have status with a hotel, you should always check those first and compare it with a card that offers a broader rewards structure, like Chase Ultimate Rewards, to see which is best.
Finally, remember Chase has a 5/24 rule. If you’ve been approved for 5 cards in the last 24 months, they will decline you automatically.
Below is a list of the best credit card bonus offers, updated for this month:
Table of Contents
- What’s New?
- 1. The Capital One® Venture® X Rewards Card – 100,000 miles
- 2. Chase Sapphire Preferred Card – 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points 💰
- 3. Chase Sapphire Reserve – 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points
- 4. U.S. Bank Altitude Connect Visa Signature Card – 50,000 bonus points (worth $500)
- 5. Chase Freedom Flex – $200
- 6. Blue Cash Preferred – $300 statement credit
- 7. Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card – $200 Cash Back
- 8. Marriott Bonvoy Boundless – 3 Free Nights (up to 50,000 points each)
- 9. Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card – 60,000 miles
- 10. Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card – 130,000 Hilton Honors Points
- 11. Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card – 40,000
- Business Credit Cards
With the economic strain on many American families, there hasn’t been a lot of activity in the bonus market at the beginning of the year but that may be changing? The last few months have been better as the Delta variant wanes and more vaccines get into arms (especially kids!).
💰 The Capital One® Venture® X Rewards Card remains at the top spot with their welcome bonus – 100,000 miles after you spend $10,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. There is a $395 annual fee but the card comes with a $200 vacation rental credit and a $300 annual travel credit to help offset it.
💰 The Chase Sapphire Preferred card remains locked into the #2 spot with a bonus of 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first three months! This is still a good bonus for a card with an annual fee of just $95. If you aren’t subject to the Chase 5/24 rule then this card is very attractive.
🚨 The Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card got bumped to the bottom because they lowered to bonus. It’s now only 40,000 when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months.
1. The Capital One® Venture® X Rewards Card – 100,000 miles
The leader in the clubhouse is the Capital One® Venture® X Rewards Card offering a 100,000 miles after you spend $10,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
As for cashback, you earn 2X miles on all other purchases plus 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
This is a premium travel credit card because you also get a $200 vacation rental credit in the first year as well as a $300 annual travel credit when booking through Capital One Travel. This card also offers up to a $100 credit towards TSA PreCheck and Global Entry’s application fee. These perks offset the $395 annual fee.
Why We Love It: If you travel a lot, premium travel cards offer great perks and The Capital One® Venture® X Rewards Card delivers with its benefits.
2. Chase Sapphire Preferred Card – 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points 💰
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card has a good bonus right now – get 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first three months.
This is for a card where you also earn 5x points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3x points on other travel, 1x on everything else (plus a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit) and with a very reasonable annual fee of $95.
The points are Chase Ultimate Rewards, which is one of the best reward programs out there with a ton of transfer partners, and that versatility makes it a more valuable point to have.
Why We Love It: Chase Sapphire Preferred has a solid welcome bonus offer that is hard to pass up, plus the annual fee is low for a bonus of this size.
3. Chase Sapphire Reserve – 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points
Chase often leads the pack because of their generous Chase Ultimate Rewards program. With this card, you will get 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first three months. You also earn 5x points on air travel and 10x on hotels and car rentals purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3x points on other travel, 1x on everything else.
For reference, 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth approximately $750 on the Chase Ultimate Rewards platform.
This card is for travelers because you also get $300 in travel credit, 50% more value when you redeem points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, and you get up to $100 application reimbursement for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. There’s a sizable $550 annual fee – offset by all the bonuses. It’s a direct competitor to the Platinum Card from American Express.
Why We Love It: Chase Sapphire Reserve has a great welcome bonus offer with a reasonable spend requirement plus a generous travel credit and the best rewards program in Chase Ultimate Rewards.
4. U.S. Bank Altitude Connect Visa Signature Card – 50,000 bonus points (worth $500)
What if I told you that the U.S. Bank Altitude Connect Visa Signature Card, will give you 50,000 bonus points (worth $500) when you spend $2,000 in the first 120 days. The points are redeemable for a lot of things, from merchandise to gift cards to cash back, travel, and more. You can even just get it as a statement credit, so it’s as good as cash, and they never expire.
$0 annual for the first year, then $95 per year afterwards.
5. Chase Freedom Flex – $200
The Chase Freedom Flex card will give you $200 after $500 in purchases in the first 3 months. You can also earn 1% on all other purchases.
It also offers 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter (must be activated), and 5% on Chase travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards, 3% on dining and drugstores.
All this is available to you with $0 annual fee.
Why We Love It: A low spend required to get a $200 welcome bonus. Plus a higher cash back rate for rotating categories means you can really get solid cash back with this card.
Chase Freedom Unlimited is the cousin to the Chase Freedom Flex Card and one key difference is that you earn 5% on travel purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% at drug stores and dining, plus 1.5% cash back on all other purchases. $0 annual fee. Here’s a comparison between the Chase Freedom Flex and Chase Freedom Unlimited.
6. Blue Cash Preferred – $300 statement credit
The Blue Cash Preferred from American Express offers $300 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases in the first 6 months.
It’s cashback rewards are solid – 6% on supermarkets, 3% at gas stations with no limit and 1% on everything else. There is a $95, $0 introductory annual fee for one year. (See Rates and Fees)
Why We Love It: If you want an American Express, this one offers one of the easiest welcome offers to get. When you consider that the cashback rates are good and that American Express has some solid credit card perks out there (especially for travelers), it makes this card very appealing.
7. Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card – $200 Cash Back
The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card will give you a $200 Cash Back after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening. This is on top of an unlimited 1.5% cashback on every purchase, which are great perks for a cashback card with no annual fee. There are no rotating categories to worry about, no juggling cards, just a simple high rate for everything.
If you’re in the market for a 0% offer, this card also has a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months. $0 annual fee.
Why We Love It: A low spend is required to get the welcome bonus of $200 Cash Back and a simple 1.5% cash reward on all purchases. For simplicity, you really can’t beat it. Plus $0 annual fee!
8. Marriott Bonvoy Boundless – 3 Free Nights (up to 50,000 points each)
The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card from Chase has a great bonus of 3 Free Nights (up to 50,000 points each) after you spend $3,000 in the first three months from account opening.
You get 6X points on spending at Marriott Bonvoy hotels, 2X on all purchases, and you even get a free night award each year. The annual fee is $95.
9. Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card – 60,000 miles
The Capital One Venture Rewards card will give you 60,000 miles when you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening the account, equal to $600 in travel. You can transfer those miles to 12 travel loyalty programs.
One of the nice perks about this card is that you can get a $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.
The annual fee is $95.
10. Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card – 130,000 Hilton Honors Points
The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card will give you 130,000 Hilton Honors Points after you spend $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership, plus earn a $150 statement credit after your first purchase on the Hilton Surpass Card within your first 3 months.. You also earn a free Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend $15,000 on the card in the calendar year.
On your spend, you earn 12X points per dollar spent at a hotel or resort in the Hilton Portfolio, 6X at restaurants, supermarkets and gas stations in the United States; and 3X on all other eligible purchases.
Lastly, when you spend $40,000 in a calendar year, you get Hilton Honors Diamond status through the end of the next calendar year. Diamond status comes with complimentary breakfast, upgrades, lounge access, premium internet, late check-out, 100% bonus on base points and a fifth night free when booking with points.
$95 annual fee. (See Rates and Fees)
11. Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card – 40,000
If you fly a lot of Southwest Airlines, you should look at this card. You can get 40,000, worth hundreds in Southwest flights, when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months.
You also earn 2X points on Southwest purchases; 2X points on local transit and commuting, including rideshare; and 2X points on internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming.
The best part about this is that the points count towards Companion Pass, one of the best airline perks, and one of the ways I initially got CP for me and my wife.
There is a $69 annual fee and you get 3,000 bonus points after your Cardmember anniversary, which helps defray the cost.
Why We Love It: This one is personal because we live near Baltimore Washington International, a major airport for Southwest, so we fly them a lot. If you do too, this is a crucial step in getting Companion Pass.
Business Credit Cards
I listed these cards last because they’re business credit cards and not everyone owns a business, but the rewards for these cards are incredible.
There are actually two Chase Ink cards I want to highlight – the Ink Business Cash and the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card. The big difference is that the Ink Business Cash Credit Card has no annual fee and a small bonus.
Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card – $750
You also earn $5 cash back on the first $25,000 spent at office supply stores, internet, cable, and phone services; 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent at gas stations and restaurants; 1% cash back on all other purchases.
Best of all, the annual fee is $0.
Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card – 100,000 bonus points
The Ink Business Preferred Credit Card gives you 100,000 bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening in the .. You also earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and elect business categories plus 1 point per $1 on all other purchases with no limit.
There’s just a $95 annual fee.
Capital One Spark Cash – $500
The Capital One Spark Cash card has a bonus of $500 after you spend $4,500 in the first 3 months from account opening. It’s a business card with unlimited 2% cash back on every purchase but the welcome offer is solid.
This is on top of the great perks of the card which include free employee cards, convenient year-end summary reports, no foreign transaction fees and the ability to download transactions into Quicken, Quickbooks, and Excel.
The annual fee is $0 intro for the first year and then $95 after that.
Capital One Spark Miles Business Card – 50,000 miles
The Capital One Spark Miles is the miles version of the Capital One Spark Cash card. For a limited time, you can get 50,000 miles after you spend $4,500 in the first 3 months from account opening.
This card also features a lot of useful options for business owners including free employee cards, summary reports, no foreign transaction fees, and the ability to download transactions into Quicken, Quickbooks, and Excel.
The annual fee is $0 intro for the first year and then $95 after that.
To see the rates and fees for the American Express cards featured, please visit the following links: Blue Cash Preferred(R) Card from American Express: See Rates and Fees. Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card: See Rates and Fees.