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Best Credit Card Offers – November 2017

By: Bryce Conway – Founding Editor of 10xTravel.com

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Every month I share a post with what I believe are the top credit card offers on the market according to the 10xT staff. Today we are going to take a look at the best offers for November 2017.

There are quite a few changes this month as many cards have upped their bonuses for the upcoming holiday season.

I rank these offers by looking at their signup bonus, cardholder perks, ongoing value, and any fees they may charge. And while the best offer for you will vary depending on a number of factors, I am going to rank the top offers based on the order in which I think they should be chosen by the average person.

If you’ve ever watched the NFL Draft before, consider this list my version of “Todd’s Big Board”. It’s simply the best overall cards available without regard to a specific points/miles need.

I also divide these top credit offers in to two lists, one for those of you who are over 5/24 and one for those of you who are under.

(If you don’t know what the Chase 5/24 rule is you’re going to want to give this a read)

As always, feel free to email me with questions about your own situation and I would be happy to help you select the best card for you.

Here we go!

 

If you are under 5/24, here are the best cards available right now:

1) Chase Sapphire Preferred

Current Offer:

  • 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
  • 5,000 bonus points when you add an authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months
  • 2 points per $1 spent on dining and travel, 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
  • Trip delay and primary rental car insurance
  • $95 annual fee, waived the first year 

Commentary:

Once again, the Chase Sapphire Preferred comes in at #1 overall because of its incredible signup bonus, reasonable annual fee (that is also waived for the first year), and the amazing value of the points it earns.

Chase Ultimate Rewards points are widely considered to be among the best points in the industry thanks to their ability to be transferred to multiple airline and hotel partners. This gives you a ton of options for redeeming your points no matter where you want to travel.

You can also redeem Ultimate Rewards to book travel via the Chase travel portal at a value of 1.25 cents per point, meaning the 50,000 bonus points offered by this card are worth a minimum of $625 when redeemed to book travel.

Transferring them to Chase’s many transfer partners can provide the highest redemption values if you know where to look.

One of the best examples of this is round trip to Hawaii for just 25,000 Korean SKYPASS miles. Meaning that the 50,000 point signup bonus from this card could score you two round-trip flights to Hawaii.

Note that Chase has imposed new restrictions on the Chase Sapphire cards that limit your ability to get multiple versions of them. [More details on that here].

 

2) Chase Ink Business Preferred

Current Offer:

  • 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
  • 3 points per $1 spent on the first $150,000 spent on travel, shipping, internet, cable and phone services, and advertising purchases made with social media sites each account anniversary year.
  • $95 annual fee not waved first year

Commentary:

Chase Ink Business Preferred earns the exact same Chase Ultimate Rewards Points as the Chase Sapphire Preferred (discussed earlier) and the Chase Sapphire Reserve (that’s next). The 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and can be transferred to any of Chase’s hotel or airline partners, which include Southwest, United, Hyatt, Marriott, and more.

One of the best things about this card is that you can pool all of your points with those earned from your Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve, making for a seamless integration of points earned from your business and points earned from personal spending.

This is certainly the best business credit card on the market (we use it for all things 10xT) and also one of the best overall cards. If you’re not sure what you do qualifies as a business, let us help guide you through the process. Many people incorrectly assume that they are not able to qualify for business credit cards.

 

3) Chase Sapphire Reserve

Current Offer:

  • 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
  • 3 points per $1 spent on dining and travel, 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
  • $300 annual travel credit, good for any form of travel
  • Priority Pass Membership, giving you access to 900+ airline lounges worldwide
  • $100 Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit every 5 years
  • Trip delay and primary rental car insurance
  • $450 annual fee not waived first year 

Commentary:

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is widely regarded as the best premium travel credit card on the market thanks to its generous signup bonus and incredible perks. It’s got a lot of moving parts though so let’s take a look at how they work.

Let’s start with the bad news. It has a $450 fee that is not waived for the first year. Plan on it being charged to your card in the first month or so.

But that $450 gets you a ton of amazing perks.

For starters, you get 50,000 bonus Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months. See above for an overview of how these points work (they’re amazing).

Having Sapphire Reserve also makes your Chase points worth 1.5 cents each when redeemed via the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal to book travel, meaning your 50,000 point bonus is worth $750 of travel.

Next, you get a $300 annual travel credit that is good for any sort of travel expense. Even paid tickets. So unless you are spending less than $300 on travel per year (in which case, why are you reading this website?) your $450 annual fee is effectively $150 per year.

Finally, your Sapphire Reserves comes with complimentary membership to Priority Pass. Allowing you to access more than 900 airport lounges worldwide.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve also gives you a $100 credit every five years to cover your application fees for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, as well as some of the best trip interruption and rental car insurance coverage on the market. Personally, I think that TSA Precheck is the best $100 I have ever spent.

The fee is certainly not cheap but in this case it is absolutely worth it.

Note that Chase has imposed new restrictions on the Chase Sapphire cards that limit your ability to get multiple versions of them. [More details on that here].

 

4) Chase Southwest Airlines Business Credit Card

Current Offer:

  • 60,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
  • 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest, 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
  • 6,000 bonus points on your cardmember anniversary
  • $99 fee not waived first year

Commentary:

This 60,000 bonus point offer is the highest I have ever seen on this particular card.

The best way to fully utilize this card bonus is to use it to work toward a Southwest Companion Pass, which is widely considered to be one of the best airline perks in the industry. To earn the pass you need to earn 110,000 qualifying Southwest points in the same calendar year, so be careful with the timing.

Consider pairing this card with one of the Southwest personal cards (ideally when their bonus is at 50,000 or 60,000 points) to earn the pass.

 

5) United MileagePlus Explorer Business Card

Current Offer:

  • 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
  • 10,000 additional bonus miles after you spend $25,000 each calendar year
  • 2 miles per $1 spent on United purchases and other select categories, 1 mile per $1 on everything else
  • Free checked bag for the primary cardmember and one companion traveling on the same reservation
  • 2 United Club passes each year on your cardmember anniversary
  • $95 fee waived for the first year

Commentary:

50,000 bonus points is the highest public offer I have ever seen on this card so now is a good time to grab it. To put things in perspective, you can fly round trip to Europe on a Saver Level ticket for 60,000 United miles so this one card will just about earn you a free international flight.

You can also transfer points from Chase Ultimate Rewards to United to top off your account if needed.

The 2 United Club passes are also a nice perk for anyone who doesn’t have a card that offers lounge access. Once you try the lounge life there really is no going back.

 

6) Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card

Current Offer:

  • 80,000 Marriott points after $3,000 spend in the first 3 months
  • 7,500 bonus points for adding an authorized user and making a purchase in the first 3 months
  • 5 points per $1 spent at Starwood and Marriott properties, 2 points per $1 spent on airfare purchased directly from the airline, rental car agencies, and restaurants plus 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
  • One free night at a Marriott Category 1-5 hotel each year after your account anniversary
  • $85 annual fee, not waived first year 

Commentary:

The Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card is one of the best hotel cards on the market thanks to the generous 80,000 point sign-up bonus, the ability to transfer those points to and from Starwood (which gives you access to airline transfer partners), and the annual free night at a Category 1-5 Marriott hotel just for being a cardholder.

I recently combined my 80,000 point bonus with some leftover Starpoints to book a 5 night stay at the Rome Marriott Grand Hotel Flora, which typically goes for ~$250 a night.

Rome Marriott Hotel

The Rome Marriott Grand Hotel Flora, image compliments of Marriott.com

 

7) Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card

Current Offer:

  • $300 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchase in the first
  • 5% cash back at office supply stores, internet, cable and phone services
  • 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent at gas stations and restaurants each year
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • $0 annual fee

Commentary:

The real play with Ink Cash is to pair with another Chase Ultimate Rewards earning card (Sapphire Reserve, Chase Ink, Sapphire Preferred) and transfer points earned from the Ink Cash to your Chase Ultimate Rewards account.

This effectively gives you a way to earn 5x Chase Ultimate Rewards points on purchases made at office supply stores, internet, cable and phone services.

The $300 cash back comes in the form of 30,000 points, which can become $375+ of travel if redeemed via the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.

 

8) United MileagePlus Explorer Card

Current Offer:

  • 40,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
  • 5,000 bonus points when you add an authorized user
  • The personal version earns 2x miles on United purchases and 1x on everything else
  • $95 annual fee not waived first year

Commentary:

Be sure to check your United MileagePlus account, as many people are being targeted for a 60,000 bonus point offer for the personal card. Personally I would not grab it at 40,000 bonus points unless you are desperate for United miles.

These cards also come with the usual airline card perks such as free checked bags and priority boarding. You’ll also receive two United Club passes after approval and every 12 months as long as you hold the card.

 

9) Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Card (Premier or Plus)

Current Offer:

  • 40,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
  • 6,000 bonus points on your cardmember anniversary (3,000 bonus points on the plus card)
  • 2x points on all Southwest Purchases, 1 point per $1 on everything else
  • $95 annual fee not waived first year ($69 fee not waived for the plus card)

Commentary:

These cards often offer bonuses of 50,000 and 60,000 points so the 40,000 is not ideal but still not bad. The real play with these cards is to use them to earn a Southwest Companion Pass, which is discussed above in the Southwest Business credit card section.

Personally I would wait and keep an eye out for a higher bonus on these cards.

 

If you are over 5/24, here are the best cards available right now:

1) The Business Platinum Card from American Express

Current Offer:

  • 50,000 bonus American Express Membership Rewards Points after you spend $10,000 in the first 3 months.
  • 25,000 additional bonus points after you spend an additional $10,000 in the first 3 months
  • 5x points on flights and prepaid hotels book on amextravel.com
  • Priority Pass Select membership
  • $200 annual airline fee credit
  • $450 annual fee, not waived

Commentary:

Like Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards are incredibly valuable because of their ability to be transferred to 17 airline partners and 3 hotel partners or use to book with Amex Travel.

The spend required to earn the bonus on this card is one of the highest on the market but the 5x on travel bookings with Amex is a great perk for business owners who need to book a significant amount of travel.

Amex Business Platinum cardholders also get complimentary access to the Amex Centurion Lounges, which are some of the best airport lounges in the US.

Cardholders also receive Gold status with Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) and Hilton. When you link your SPG and Marriott accounts, you will then have Gold status with Marriott as well.

And lastly, American Express just upgraded this card to a new metal version. Not exactly a travel perk, but it certainly beats a plastic card.

 

2) Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express

Current Offer:

  • 50,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
  • 3x points per $1 in a category of your choice, 2 points per $1 on other bonus categories, 1 point per $1 on everything else.
  • $175 annual fee, waived first year

Commentary:

The real benefit of the Business Gold card is the ability to choose your 3x points category. You can choose from airfare, advertising, gas stations, shipping, and computer hardware and software.

And of course you are earning 2x points on all the categories that you did not choose.

See the Business Platinum card commentary above for details on why Membership Rewards points are so valuable. Personally these are a close second in my book behind Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Another great perk of this card is the fact that the fee is waived for the first year. A rare feature for premium cards like this.

 

3) The Platinum Card from American Express

Current Offer:

  • 60,000 American Express Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 in the first three months
  • $200 in annual Uber credits
  • $200 in annual airline incidental fees with one airline
  • Priority Pass + Centurion Lounge access
  • $100 TSA Precheck/Global Entry fee credit
  • $550 annual fee, not waived first year

Commentary:

Like the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Platinum Card from American Express is another example of a high-annual fee card that comes with a ton of great benefits.

Many people can’t get past the $550 fee, but the benefits more than make up for it.

The 60,000 bonus points can be transferred to 17 hotel and 3 airline partners or redeemed to book travel directly with American Express for a minimum of $600 of travel. You’ll get the most value by transferring to airline partners.

Throw in the $200 annual Uber credits ($15 per month and $35 in December). Simply add your Platinum Card to your Uber account and its automatic. Note that this also currently works for orders with Uber eats.

Like the Business Platinum from American Express, you will also receive Gold status with SPG and Hilton, an annual $200 airline fee credit, Priority Pass Select and Centurion Lounge access, and you’ll earn 5x points per dollar on hotel and airfare bookings via Amex Travel.

One key difference is that you can also earn 5x points per dollar on airfare when booking directly with an airline.

 

4a) Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite MasterCard (And CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select Card)

Current Offer:

  • 60,000 American Airlines miles after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months.
  • First checked bag free on domestic AA itinerates
  • 2x AA miles per $1 spent on AA, 1 mile per $1 on everything else
  • Earn 10% of your redeemed AAdvantage miles back, up to 10,000 miles per calendar year
  • $95 annual fee, waived first year

Commentary:

60,000 is the highest public offer I have ever seen for this card, making it one of the better cobranded cards on the market right now. For perspective, you can fly round trip to Europe for 60,000 or less AA miles at Saver Level. Or one-way in business class.

This card doesn’t have fantastic ancillary perks but the signup bonus offer makes it worth pursuing for just about anyone over 5/24.

 

4b) AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard

Current Offer:

  • 60,000 American Airlines miles when you make your first purchase and pay the annual fee
  • 2x points on American Airlines purchases, 1x on everything else
  • 10% of your redeemed miles back, up to 10,000 per year
  • $95 annual fee not waived

Commentary:

This card is basically the same offer as the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select card above, with the only exception being that you get the 60,000 bonus miles after your first purchase.

The tradeoff for this is that the $95 fee is not waived first year.

Ideally get both options to quickly stockpile 120,000 American Airlines miles, which can get you just about anywhere on the planet.

 

5) Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card

Current Offer:

  • 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months
  • 10,000 additional bonus miles after you spend an additional $1,000 in the first 6 months
  • $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new card in the first 3 months
  • $95 annual fee, waived first year

Commentary:

Delta SkyMiles are widely panned in the points community because Delta does not publish an award chart, meaning you have no idea what your 60,000 bonus miles could be worth. Though there are some general trends that you can follow.

For example, I have seen a number of 10xT Readers book round-trip flights to Asia for as few as 55,000 Delta SkyMiles. You can also find one-way awards within the U.S. for as little as 5,000 miles.

You certainly cannot depend on Delta miles if they are the only points you have, but they are a great option to have in your portfolio of points/miles. Particularly when you can earn 60,000 of them with one single card.

 

6) Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card

Current Offer:

  • 70,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months
  • $100 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new card in the first 3 months
  • $195 annual fee, not waived first year

Commentary:

Note that this offer ends on 11/8/2017, so don’t delay.

Similar deal to the Gold Delta SkyMiles card above, with a 10,000 point higher bonus and a $195 annual fee that is not waived.

Ideally get both cards (yes, this is allowed) if you can. Note that Amex does restrict you to one card bonus per card per lifetime.

The 10,000 MQMs are also a great perk for anyone chasing Delta status.

 

7) Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express

Current Offer:

  • 25,000 bonus Starpoints after $3,000 spend in the first 3 months
  • 2 points per $1 spent at Starwood and Marriott properties l, 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
  • $95 annual fee, waived first year

Commentary:

The Starwood card is another card that is often overlooked by casual points and miles enthusiasts because it “only” offers 25,000 bonus points.

(Note that some people have reported being targeted for a 30,000 bonus point offer on this card)

What many fail to see is just how valuable these Starpoints can be.

For starters, you can use Starpoints to book Starwood hotels for as little as 3,000 points per night. Personally I used 25,000 Starpoints to book 6 nights at the beautiful Le Meridien Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Le Meridien Chiang Mai Pool

I booked Le Meridien Chiang Mai for just 3,833 Starpoints per night

With the Marriott merger now taking place you can also transfer your Starpoints to Marriott (and vice versa) at a rate of 1 Starpoint to 3 Marriott Rewards points.

You can also transfer Starpoints to more than 30 airline partners, receiving a 5,000-mile bonus when you transfer 20,000 Starpoints.

Many people I talk to are hesitant to give Starpoint a try, but often end up emailing me a month or two later asking how they can earn even more of this valuable rewards currency.

Note that there is also a business version of this card that offers 25,000 bonus Starpoints after $5,000 spend in the first 3 months.

There have also been rumors circulating of a discontinuation of the Starpoints program so who knows how long this offer will be around.

 

8) Venture From Capital One

Current Offer:

  • 50,000 bonus miles once you spend $3,000 in the first 3m onths
  • 2 points per $1 on all purchase
  • $95 annual fee, waived first year

Commentary:

This is the easiest travel credit card on the market because the miles do one thing and one thing only; they erase any travel purchase at a value of 1 cent each.

Meaning the 50,000 bonus miles are worth $500 in free travel. Airline tickets, hotels, rental cars, Uber, taxis, you name it.  Simply pay with your Venture card and use your points to erase the charge later.

This card has only offered 40,000 bonus miles for a long time now so the 50,000 is a good deal.

Personally I use this card to fill in the “gaps” created by other points, such as boutique hotels, train tickets, and Ubers while I am traveling.

 

9) Chase IHG Rewards Club Credit Card

Current Offer:

  • 60,000 IHG points after $1,000 spend in the first 3 months
  • 5,000 bonus points for adding an authorized user and making a purchase in the first 3 months
  • 5 points per $1 spent at IHG hotels, 2 points per $1 at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants, 1 point per $1 on all else.
  • One free night at any IHG hotel after your account anniversary each year.
  • IHG Platinum Status for as long as you hold the card.
  • 10% points rebate up to 100,000 points per year.
  • $49 annual fee, waived first year

Commentary:

This card was recently offering an 80,000 point bonus so we had to drop it in the rankings this month. 60,000 is still worth considering in my book.

The IHG card confuses a lot of people because you have probably never seen an “IHG Hotel” along the side of the road. IHG hotels include Intercontinental, Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, Candlewood Suites, and more. There are more than 5,000 of them to choose from worldwide.

Many IHG properties go for as little as 10,000 points per night, with occasional offers as low as 5,000 points per night via their Pointbreaks program.

And with a 10% rebate on any points spent you’ll be able to stretch this 80,000 point bonus even farther.

The annual free night is also a great perk that makes this card worth keeping long term.

 

Other cards to consider:

Bank of America Premium Rewards Credit Card: 50,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months. $95 annual fee not waived first year. $100 annual travel credit for airline incidentals. The points can be redeemed at 1 cent each for statement credits so 50,000 = $500 in value.

Chase British Airways Visa Signature Card: 50,000 bonus Avios after $3,000 spend in 3 months, 25,000 more Avios after $10,000 in spend in the first year. Note that this card is not subject to the 5/24 rule.

Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard: 40,000 bonus miles, worth up to $400 in travel credits, after $3,000 spend in the first 3 months. $89 fee waived first year. Points work just like the Capital One Venture card above.

JetBlue Plus Card: 30,000 bonus points after $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days. $99 annual fee not waived. This card is issued by Barclays and is a good grab for anyone living near an airport serviced by JetBlue.

 

As always, feel free to email me (Bryce[at]10xtravel[dot]com) with any questions!

Happy Travels,

Bryce

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