We've curated a list of the best welcome bonus rewards for credit cards.
I remember a time when the best welcome bonuses were 50,000 points. Whether it was miles, points, or some other reward – fifty thousand was the gold standard.
The regular cards offered like twenty or thirty, while the best ones offered fifty.
Nowadays, the best have outdone themselves by offering six-figure bonuses. There's something magical about getting a 100,000 influx into your account and seeing how much that can get you in hotel stays and flights. Heck, turn it into cash or gift cards and enjoy a staycation.
These are some of the best offers because they are from companies and cards that are useful. These aren't 100,000 points to some obscure hotel chain or an airline that services a limited market, these are Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Hilton, and others – you know these names and you visit places where you can save money by using points.
Some of these offers are for a limited time only, so snatch them up and bank the points if you want them. (also peek the perks that come with the card, which often include complimentary status upgrades, travel credits, and more)
Hilton Honors American Express Business Card
This card offers the higher numerical bonus – 125,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your card in the first three months of card membership. We don't list it first because these are Hilton Honors points, rather than more broadly useful Membership Rewards, but you can't beat 100,000.
The rewards structure is a fairly standard 12X at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio, 6X on Select Business & Travel Purchases, and 3X Everywhere Else. Terms & Limitations Apply.
In addition to the bonus, you get complimentary Gold status, a Weekend Night Reward after you spend $15,000 in purchases in a calendar year (a second Weekend Night Reward when you spend an additional $45,000), plus 10 free airport lounge visits each year once you enroll in Priority Pass Select (1,000 lounges in over 120 countries).
This card has a $95 annual fee.
British Airways Visa Signature Card
The British Airways Visa Signature Card offers 50,000 bonus Avios after spending $3,000 within the first three months. You can earn an additional 50,000 bonus Avios after spending $20,000 within the first year of account opening. It is one of the most generous I've seen. That's a total of 100,000 bonus Avios for spending $23,000 – that's a nice bonus!
This travel card lets you earn 3 Avios for every dollar spent on British Airways purchases and 1 Avios on all other purchases. There are no foreign transaction fees and you get a Travel Together Ticket if you spend $30,000 each year. The Travel Together Ticket is good for two years and it lets someone fly with you (they just pay taxes, fees and carrier charges) when you redeem Avios for a flight on British Airways.
This card has an annual fee of $95 and no foreign transaction fees.
Aer Lingus Visa Signature Card
Aer Lingus is another card that offers 100,000 in bonus Avios and has the same bonus earning structure as the previously mentioned British Airways Visa Signature Card. You can earn up to 100,000 bonus Avios if you spend $20,000 total on purchases within your first year. It has a $95 annual fee.
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card
The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card is a new credit card tied to the brand new Marriott Bonvoy program. You can get 75,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 in purchases within in the first three months of opening the account. This card is appealing especially after Marriott and Starwood combined, thus increasing the number of places you can use the points (6,500+ hotels in 110+ countries!).
You are given automatic Silver Elite status every year you have the card and you get an upgrade to Gold Status when you spend $35,000 on purchases each year. There are no foreign transaction fees on this card.
Other perks of the card include a Free Night Reward every year as well as 6 points per dollar spent at Marriott Bonvoy hotels. You earn 2 points per dollar spent on all other purchases.
There is a $95 annual fee.
Hilton Honors Surpass Card from American Express
The Hilton Honors Surpass Card from American Express has a limited time offer of 125,000 Hilton Honors Bonus points after you spend just $2,000 in purchases within your first four months of card membership.
The card offers 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for every dollar you spend directly with a hotel or resort in the Hilton Portfolio. You get 6X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases spent on your card at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations. Finally, you get 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases you make with the card.
You get complimentary Gold status with the card and you can get it upgraded to Hilton Honors Diamond status when you spend $40,000 on eligible purchases with the card in a calendar year. As is the case with many cards on this list, there are no foreign transaction fees. If that wasn't enough, this card also offers you a free weekend night award after your first anniversary.
This card has a $95 annual fee.
Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express
The Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express offers 100,000 Hilton Honors Bonus points after you spend $4,000 in purchases on the card within your first three months of card membership.
The reward structure is a little different than the Hilton Honors Ascend Card:
- 14X Hilton Honors Bonus Points per dollar for each eligible purchase on your Card made directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton portfolio.
- 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for eligible purchases on flights booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com, on car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies, and at U.S. restaurants.
- 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.
You also get a $250 airline free credit, two weekend night rewards, Hilton Honors Diamond Status, as well as $250 Hilton Resort Statement credit. All those perks are not without a higher cost as this card has an annual fee of $450.
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card was named the Best Travel Credit Card by Money Magazine in part because they will give you 60,000 bonus points after you spend just $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of opening an account. It's not a six-figure bonus but Chase Ultimate Rewards points are one of the most versatile points out there, consistently rated as one of the most valuable. You can convert to cash, gift cards, or get a bonus for booking travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
You earn 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants and 1 point per dollar spent everywhere else. There are no foreign transaction fees and the annual fee is $95.
IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card
The InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) Club Premier Credit card is a Chase branded card that offers 140,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of opening your account.
There's also a Free Night perk after each account anniversary at an eligible IHG hotel as well as a free reward night when you redeem points for any stay of 4+ nights. The card gives you 10 points per $1 spent when you stay at an IGH hotel as well as 2 points per $1 spent at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants. 1 point per dollar spent elsewhere.
Cardmembers are given Platinum Elite status too as well as a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit of up to $100 every four years.
Business Platinum® Card from American Express
The Business Platinum® Card from American Express has an offer of 75,000 Membership Reward points when you meet certain spending requirements.
The bonus rewards are awarded based on spend and very straightforward You earn 75,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $15,000 in your first three months of card membership.
This card also offers 5X Membership Rewards points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com as well as 50% more points on Purchases of $5,000 or more and 1X points for each dollar spent on eligible purchases. There's also a 35% airline bonus when you use Membership Rewards Pay with Points for all or part of a flight with your selected qualifying airline, you get 35% of the points back, up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year when you book on amextravel.com.
This card offers a lot of travel perks:
- You get access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection, which includes 1,100+ airport lounges in 500+ airports (The Centurion® Lounge, The International American Express Lounges, Delta SkyClub, Priority Pass Select, Airspace Lounge, and Escape Lounges).
- You get complimentary upgrades at Fine Hotels & Resorts.
- Complimentary upgrade to Starwood Preferred Guest Gold status
- Complimentary upgrade to Hilton Honors Gold status.
- No foreign transaction fees
- Fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck (every four years, which is when they are renewed)
- Complimentary Wi-Fi on Boingo American Express Preferred Plan
- $200 Airline Fee credit, up to $200 a calendar year in baggage fees and more at one airline.
This card has an annual fee.
So where will you go with your points today? 🙂