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Best Credit Cards: October 2018

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

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 credit card offers for October 2018.

I rank these offers by looking at their signup bonuses, 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.

Best credit cards september 2018

Not quite as many changes this month as we had in September, but a few key ones that you will want to be aware of.

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) 

And finally, I added a list of the cards to the beginning of the post for easier reading. You can simply click on “the list” or “the details” below to read more about each card.

As always, feel free to email me with questions (Bryce@10xTravel.com) about your own situation and I would be happy to help you select the best card for you.

Under 5/24:

The List

The Details

Over 5/24:

The List

The Details

Best Credit Cards Under 5/24

 

 

Best Credit Cards Over 5/24

The Details: Best CardsUnder 5/24

 

1) Chase Sapphire Preferred (50,000 – Learn More)

Image result for chase sapphire preferred

Current Offer:

  • 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases 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

(Full offer details here: Learn More)

Commentary:

Chase Sapphire Preferred maintains its #1 overall ranking 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.

Note however that the Sapphire Preferred no longer offers a 5,000 point bonus for adding an authorized user. This benefit was removed in mid August.

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.

The 50,000 bonus points on the Chase Sapphire Preferred are worth $625+ of travel

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

Check out our recent article on why this should be the first card you start with for more information.

We also recently published an article on how the 10xT Staff would use the ~60,000 bonus points from Chase Sapphire Preferred.

You can also read more information about the Chase Sapphire Preferred card offer here.

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) Ink Business Preferred 

Image result for chase ink 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.

(Full offer details available here: Learn More)

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.

I use this card for almost all of our business expenses here at 10xT, mainly because of the 3x points on advertising purchases and the fact that all of the points can be combined with my Chase Sapphire card.

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.

You can read more about the Chase Ink Preferred offer here: Learn More

3) Chase Sapphire Reserve

Image result for 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 4 years
  • Trip delay and primary rental car insurance

(Full offer details here: Learn More)

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 sizeable fee that is not waived for the first year. Plan on it being charged to your card in the first month or so.

Most people don’t get past that fee. But read on…that fee 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).

You can also check out what the 10xT Staff would do with these points.

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?) the annual fee becomes more manageable.

image1

The swipe marks say it all; Chase Sapphire Reserve is one of my personal favorites

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 four 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.

10xT Writer Caroline Lupini wrote a fantastic review of all things Chase Sapphire Reserve, check it out here.

You can also read more about the card offer here: Learn More

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].

4a) Ink Business Cash

Image result for chase ink cash

Current Offer:

  • $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchase in the first 3 months
  • 5% cash back at office supply stores, internet, cable and phone services on up to $25,000 of spend per year
  • 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent at gas stations and restaurants each year
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases

(Full offer details here: Learn More)

Commentary:

This $500 (50,000 Ultimate Rewards Points) offer was launched a few months ago and is the highest public offer I have ever seen for this card. I am not sure how long this will last.

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 allows your $500 “cash” signup bonus to be used for higher value travel redemptions.

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

You can read more about the Chase Ink Cash card here: Learn More

4b) Ink Business Unlimited

Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card

Current Offer:

  • $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchase in the first 3 months
  • 1.5% cash back on every purchase

(Full offer details here: Learn More)

Commentary:

The new Chase Ink Unlimited just launched in the spting to the excitement of everyone in the points/miles community!

This $500 (50,000 Ultimate Rewards Points) is the same bonus that is being offered by Ink Cash and overall a great value, particularly for anyone who has Sapphire Reserve, Sapphire Preferred, or Chase Ink Preferred. This allows your $500 “cash” signup bonus to be used for higher value travel redemptions.

Ink Unlimited also earns an unlimited 1.5x points on every purchase. Making this a great card for any business owners who do a substantial amount of non-category spend.

You can read more about the Chase Ink Unlimited card here: Learn More

5) Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card

Image result for marriott premier plus

Current Offer:

  • 75,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
  • Free Night Award (up to 35,000 points) every year on your account anniversary
  • 6 points per $1 spent at Marriott and SPG hotels, 2 points per $1 on everything else
  • Automatic Silver Elite Status

(Full offer details can be found here. Learn More)

Commentary:

This is a relatively new credit card to the points/miles world! It just launched in the spring and there is a lot to love about it.

For starters, the 75,000 point bonus. This is even higher than the bonus offered on the old Marriott card and the recent Starwood/Marriott integration opens up a LOT of ways to use these points. Remember that this 75,000 point bonus is the equivalent 25,000 Starwood points, which many readers value quite highly.

I used 75,000 Marriott points to book a multi-night stay at the Rome Marriott Flora

You can use them to book award nights at hundreds of Marriott or Starwood properties or transfer them to more than a dozen airline programs.

This card also gives you an annual free night on your account anniversary each year, able to be used at any Marriott hotel that costs up to 35,000 points per night. Which covers most Marriott properties in their portfolio and makes the card worth keeping indefinitely for many people.

Personally, I just used this benefit to book a free night at the Houston Airport Marriott for an upcoming trip to Japan. A savings of about $120.

And finally, the Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit card offers 6x points per $1 spent at any Marriott/SPG properties and 2x points per $1 on everything else. Making it a decent choice for everyday spend for anyone looking to earn points to be used with the more than one dozen airline transfer partners of Marriott.

I have confirmed (being my own data point) that you do need to be below 5/24 to get this card. We also know that you are not eligible to receive this 75,000 point bonus if you have received another Marriott personal card bonus in the last 24 months.

You also are not eligible to receive this bonus if you have received a bonus on the Starwood Preferred Luxury card or Starwood Preferred Guest Business Card in the past 24 months.

You can read more about the Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card here. Learn More.

6a) 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 (3,000 for personal plus) bonus points on your cardmember anniversary

(You can read the full offer details by visiting our credit cards page)

Commentary:

The Southwest Business credit card remains at 60,000 points, the highest among all the Southwest cards.

The best way to fully utilize these card bonuses is 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.

Be aware though that Chase recently changed their rules to prevent anyone from getting two personal Southwest card bonuses in less than 24 months.

6b) Chase Southwest Airlines Plus and Premier Credit Card

Image result for southwest credit cards

Current Offer:

  • 40,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months (both versions)
  • 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest, 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
  • 6,000 (3,000 for personal plus) bonus points on your cardmember anniversary

(You can read the full offer details by visiting our credit cards page)

Commentary:

The Southwest personal cards remain at 40,000 bonus each.

The best way to fully utilize these card bonuses is to work toward a Southwest Companion Pass, which can be had by earning 110,000 qualifying Southwest points in the same calendar year.

Be aware though that Chase recently changed their rules to prevent anyone from getting two personal Southwest card bonuses in less than 24 months.

6c) Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority

Current Offer:

  • 40,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
  • 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest, 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
  • $75 annual Southwest Airlines credit
  • 4 upgraded boarding positions per year
  • 7,500 bonus points on your cardmember anniversary

(Full offer details can be found here. Learn More)

Commentary:

This is a brand new card that just launched this past summer. Unfortunately the signup bonus has already dropped from its initial offer, causing this card to slip in the monthly rankings.

This card is best used in conjunction with a Southwest Business Credit card to earn the Southwest Companion Pass. Though the timing on trying to earn this is about as bad as it could be right now. Probably better to hold off until very late 2018/early 2019.

Note that you are not eligible for this card if you have received a bonus on another Southwest personal card in the last 24 months.

7) United  Explorer 

Current Offer:

  • 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
  • 2 miles per $1 spent on United purchases, 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

(Full offer details can be found here. Learn More)

Commentary:

50,000 bonus points is a decent offer on the business card but the 40,000 personal card offer is lower than it has been in recent months. 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.

You will occasionally see targeted 60k offers on these cards, so be sure check your United account for one before hopping on the 50k offer.

Our own Julie Szpira wrote a recent article on why you should get the United MileagePlus explorer card. Worth a read for anyone considering getting this card.

Other cards to consider:

Image result for chase freedom

Chase Freedom: $150 bonus after $500 spend, rotating 5% back categories and 1% back on everything else. Can transfer your points to another Chase Ultimate Rewards card (such as Sapphire Reserve, Sapphire Preferred, or Ink) to be used at a higher value for travel. Chase Freedom: Learn More

Image result for chase freedom

Chase Freedom Unlimited: $150 bonus after $500 spend, 1.5% cash back on all purchases. Can transfer points as described in Chase Freedom above. Chase Freedom Unlimited: Learn More

 

The Details: Best Cards Over 5/24

1) Citi ThankYou Premier 

Current Offer:

  • 60,000 bonus ThankYou Points after you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months
  • 3x points on Travel, which includes gas stations
  • 2x points on Dining and Entertainment, 1x on everything else.
  • No foreign transaction fees

(More details available on our credit cards page)

Commentary:

The Citi ThankYou Premier moves back to the #1 slot on the “over 5/24” list thanks to an elevated offer of 60,000 bonus points. The 60,000 bonus point offer is the highest public offer I have ever seen on this card and it does not come around very often.

The Citi ThankYou Premier is basically Citi’s version of the Chase Sapphire Preferred. The ThankYou Points can either be used to book travel (airfare, hotels, etc.) via the Citi Travel Center at a value of 1.25 cents per point or transferred to any of Citi’s transfer partners, which include Cathay Pacific, Air France, Etihad, Hilton, and more. Many, but not all, of the transfer rates are 1:1.

You can transfer Citi ThankYou Points to Cathay Pacific

At a value of 1.25 cents via the Citi Travel Center this 60,000 point bonus is worth $750 of travel, with the potential to fetch even higher values via a partner transfer.

I put this card at #1 because 1) the signup bonus represents a great value and 2) you don’t see the 60,000 bonus offer very often.

If you are over 5/24 and eligible to receive this card bonus, I think this card is a must get for any traveler.

You’ll want to be aware of Citi’s bonus and application rules before applying for this card.

Also check out what the 10xT Staff would do with this bonus.

2) The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express Open

Current Offer:

  • Limited time offer of 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.

(Full offer details here: Learn More)

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. Making this one of the best go-to spending cards for business owners.

See the Business Platinum card commentary below 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.

Here is what the 10xT Staff would do with a bonus of Amex points.

3) The Business Platinum Card from American Express Open

Current Offer:

  • Limited time offer of 50,000 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 incidental credit

(Full offer details here: Learn More)

Commentary:

Business Platinum by American Express falls to #3 this month due to the limited time offer dropping to 75,000 points.

Don’t get me wrong, 75,000 points is still a great value. But a higher offer was available just last month.

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.

Amex Centurion Lounge, image courtesy of thecenturionlounge.com

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 has upgraded this card to a new metal version. Not exactly a travel perk, but it certainly beats a plastic card.

Here is a detailed overview of what the 10xT staff would each do with the bonus points on this card.

4) The Platinum Card from American Express

Current Offer:

  • Limited time offer of 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

(Full offer details available here: Learn More)

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. You will also want to check the Card Match tool to see if you are targeted for a higher offer. Some readers have been able to find limited time offers of 100,000 bonus points.

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

The 60,000 bonus points can be transferred to 17 airline and 3 hotel 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.

Not sure what you would do with these points? Here’s a quick look at how each member of the 10xT staff would spend them.

5) Amex Starwood Preferred Guest Luxury Card (100k)

Current Offer:

  • 100,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months
  • $300 annual credit at participating Marriott and SPG properties
  • Annual free night award (up to 50,000 points per night)
  • 6x points at Marriott/SPG properties, 3x on dining and travel booked directly with airlines, 2x on everything else
  • Automatic gold status

Commentary:

This brand new card just launched last month in connection with the SPG/Marriott Merger.

First things first, note that the 100k bonus points are not the old Starpoints that you are used to. They are Marriott points now, which are significantly less valuable. Though 100,000 of them still makes for a very appealing offer.

These points can be used to book Marrriott/Starwood stays or transferred to 20+ airlines at a rate of 3:1, with a 5,000 point bonus for every 60,000 miles transferred. This is effectively the same as the old SPG > Airline transfer rate.

This card comes with a hefty annual fee but also a ton of perks. The biggest perk being the $300 annual credit at participating Marriott and SPG properties. This credit should work on just about any expense (room rate, on site expenses, etc.) so it would be difficult not to take full advantage of it each year.

The SPG Luxury card also comes with an annual free night award after your cardmember anniversary, good for a free night up to 50,000 points per night. Which covers just about any SPG/Marriott property you would like to visit.

Finally, the SPG Luxury card comes with a $100 Global Entry/$85 TSA PreCheck Credit that is similar to what is offered by many other premium credit cards on the market.

Note that you are not eligible to receive this card if you have received an upgrade or welcome offer on the Chase Marriott personal or business credit card in the past 24 months.

6) Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express

Current Offer:

  • 100,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months
  • Annual free night award (up to 35,000 points per night)
  • 6x points at Marriott/SPG properties, 4x on gas, wireless phones, and shipping, 2x on everything else
  • Automatic silver elite status

(Full offer details available here: Learn More)

Commentary:

The Amex Starwood Business card features the same limited time offer (100,000 points) and type of points as the aforementioned SPG Luxury card with a significantly lower annual fee. This card, however, does not have many of the same premium perks as the SPG Luxury card.

This card is an excellent choice because 1) it does not add to your 5/24 count 2) you can get both it AND the SPG Luxury card and 3) it has a much lower annual fee.

Note that you will not be eligble for this card bonus if you have received an upgrade or welcome offer on the Marriott personal card in the past 24 months.

7) Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express

Current Offer:

  • 75,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months
  • Annual free night award (up to 35,000 points per night)
  • 6x points at Marriott/SPG properties, 2x on everything else
  • Automatic silver status

Commentary:

Rounding out the SPG family is the Amex SPG personal card, offering a limited time offer of 75,000 bonus points.

I won’t go over the value of these points a third time. Take a look at the SPG Luxury Card overview to see how they work.

Note that you are not eligible for this card if you have received a bonus on a Marriott personal card from Chase in the past 24 months.

8) The World of Hyatt Credit Card 

Current Offer:

  • 40,000 bonus points after $3,000 spend in the first 3 months, an additional 20,000 bonus points (60,000 total) after $6,000 total spend in the first 6 months
  • 4x on purchases made with Hyatt, 2x on restaurants, airline tickets (purchased directly with the airline) and fitness memberships. 1x on everything else
  • 1 free night (category 1-4) each year on your card member anniversary, 1 additional free night when you spend $15,000 on the card in a year
  • Discoverist Status with Hyatt as long as the card is open

(Full offer details here: Learn More)

Commentary:

There is a LOT to be excited about with this new Hyatt card, starting with the massive 60,000 point bonus. 60,000 bonus points can score you 3 free nights at highest tier Hyatt properties in the world or as many as 12 free nights in lower tier properties.

(Here is a full card review by 10xT Contributor Julie S)

Personally I just got this card and used the 60,000 bonus points to book 2 free nights at the world-renowned Park Hyatt Tokyo (from Lost in Translation) for my upcoming trip to Japan this fall. I had my wife do the same with the goal of covering our entire 4 night stay there.

Park Hyatt Tokyo, image courtesy of Hyatt.com

This card is currently exempt fromt he Chase 5/24 rule (for now anyway) though there is no guarantee it will remain that way.

The annual free night perk also makes this card worth keeping long term for many travelers, though the category 1-4 restriction is less than ideal.

You’ll get better spending rewards on either of the Chase Sapphire products (particularly because Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer 1:1 to Hyatt) but this card is still a good grab for the bonus and ongoing perks.

9a) Citibusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite MasterCard 

Current Offer:

  • 70,000 American Airlines miles after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
  • First checked bag free on domestic AA itineraries
  • 2x AA miles per $1 spent on AA and in select business categories, 1 mile per $1 on everything else
  • 10% of your redeemed miles back, up to 10,000 per year

(Full offer details can be found on our credit cards page)

Commentary:

70,000 isthe highest public offers 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.

9b) Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite MasterCard 

Current Offer:

  • 50,000 American Airlines miles after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
  • First checked bag free on domestic AA itineraries
  • 2x AA miles per $1 spent on AA and in select business categories, 1 mile per $1 on everything else
  • 10% of your redeemed miles back, up to 10,000 per year

(Full offer details can be found on our credit cards page)

Commentary:

Same points and basically the same card as the business version above (with a lower bonus). Yes, you can get both.

10) AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite MasterCard (Personal & Business)

Current Offer:

  • 60,000 American Airlines miles when you make your first purchase and pay the annual fee (both personal and business)
  • 2x points on American Airlines purchases, 1x on everything else
  • 10% of your redeemed miles back, up to 10,000 per year

Commentary:

This card is pretty straightforward, make one purchase and pay the $95 fee to earn 60,000 American Airlines miles. No minimum spend required.

Ideally get both this and the Citi AAdvantage cards to quickly stockpile 120,000+ American Airlines miles, which can get you just about anywhere on the planet. Possibly in business/first class.

You can quickly earn 100,000+ American Airlines miles with these 2 cards

11) Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express 

Current Offer:

  • 125,000 Hilton Points after $2,000 spend in the first 3 months
  • Complimentary gold status with Hilton
  • 12x points on Hilton purchases, 6x at restaurants, supermarkets, and gas stations. 3x on everything else.

(Full offer details here: Learn More)

Commentary:

The 125,000 bonus on this card is a slight upgrade over it’s past bonus of 100,000 points. Overall this card is great when compared to other Hilton offers but in the middle of the pack in the world of hotel cards. Remember, these are Hilton points we are talking about so don’t get too excited by the large number. Most consider Hilton points to be worth about 0.5 cents per point.

This card is worth getting if you are well over 5/24 and value Hilton points and Hilton Gold Status. Otherwise consider other options.

I recently was able to use Hilton points to book a 2 night stay at the iconic Hotel del Coronado in San Diego. Which is about as good a use of Hilton points as you will find.

Note that there is also a business version of this card that offers 125,000 bonus points. You can learn more about that card here.

12) Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

Current Offer:

  • 150,000 Hilton Points after $4,000 spend in the first 3 months
  • Complimentary Diamond status with Hilton
  • 14x points on Hilton purchases, 7x at restaurants, flights booked with airlines, and select car rentals. 3x on everything else.

Commentary:

150,000 is as high a bonus as I have ever seen publicly on a Hilton card. Watch out though, this card has a large annual fee that is not waived for the first year.

Overall a decent card for Hilton fanatics, but not a great choice for the average person.

13) IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

Current Offer:

  • 100,000 IHG points after $3,000 spend in the first 3 months
  • 10 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 an IHG hotel after your account anniversary each year*
  • IHG Platinum Status for as long as you hold the card.

*Restrictions apply

(Full offer details available here: Learn More)

Commentary:

The IHG Card has jumped back to its 100,000 bonus, the highest I have seen it in quite some time. Reasonable people could debate as to whether this card should be ranked ahead of the Hilton offers above it. All I’ll say is that it’s close.

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

14) Marriott Rewards Premier Business Credit Card

Current Offer:

  • 75,000 Marriott Points after $3,000 spend in the first 3 months
  • 6x points per $1 spent at Marriott and SPG hotels
  • 4x points on dining, gas, shipping, internet and phone providers
  • 2x points on everything else

Commentary:

Note that despite being issued by Chase, this card is not subject to the 5/24 rule. You are eligible to be approved for the card even if over 5/24. It also does not add to your 5/24 count because it is a business card.

See the commentary under the Marriott Personal Card (under 5/24 section above) for more information on how Marriott points work.

Note that you are not eligible for this card if you have received an upgrade or welcome offer on the SPG Luxury or SPG Personal card in the last 24 months.

 

15) British Airways Visa Signature Card

Current Offer:

  • 50,000 bonus Avios after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months
  • Additional 25,000 Avios after you spend $10,000 in the first year
  • Another 25,000 Avios after spending $20,000 in the first year
  • 3 Avios per $1 spent with British Airways, 1x Avios per $1 on everything else
  • Earn a Travel Together Ticket, good for 2 years, when you spend $30,000 in a year

(British Airways Card: Learn More)

Commentary:

The British Airways card bonus offer recently jumped to 100,000 total bonus avios after you spend $20,000 in the first year (tiered bonuses, see above). This is the highest bonus I can recall seeing on this card.

Note also that Chase does not enforce the 5/24 rule on this card.

The play with British Airways miles is to use them for short distance flights on American Airlines and other OneWorld carriers. British Airways uses a distance-based award chart, meaning you can find some flights for as little as 7,500 miles each way.

Note that Chase also recently launched similar offers for the Air Lingus Card and Iberia Plus card, which also earn Avios.

(British Airways Card: Learn More)

 

16) Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard (It’s Back!)

Current Offer:

  • 60,000 bonus miles after $5,000 spend in the first 90 days
  • Unlimited 2x miles on every purchase
  • Get 5% of your redeemed miles back

(Learn more by visiting our credit cards page)

Commentary:

Arrival Plus is back! After a short hiatus, then a modified re-launch, Arrival Plus is back to basically its original form.

Like the Capital One Venture (mentioned in a bit) these miles can only be used to erase any travel purchase at a value of 1 cent per mile. Meaning the 60,000 mile bonus is worth $600 toward any type of travel.

One catch though, there is a $100 (10,000 point) minimum redemption amount. So don’t plan on using this to cover small travel expenses such as Ubers or taxis.

Overall a great card for the bonus, but your long term spend is better put on a card such as Chase Sapphire Preferred.

 

17) Capital One Savor Card (New Card!)

Current Offer:

  • $500 cash back once you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months
  • Unlimited 4% back on dining, 2% on groceries, 1% on everything else

(Full offer details here: Learn more)

Commentary:

This is a brand new card from Capital One that just launched last month!

The $500 bonus on this card is the best cash back bonus on the market to my knowledge. This card also earns 4% back on dining and entertainment, making it a great long-term option for anyone who prefers cash back over travel.

(Capital One Savor: Learn more)

18) Venture From Capital One

Current Offer:

  • 50,000 bonus miles once you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months
  • 2 miles per $1 on all purchases

(Full offer details here: Learn more)

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.

You can check out our full review of the card here.

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.

You can read more about the Venture Card here: Learn More.

 

18B) Capital One Spark Cash for Business

Image result for capital one spark business

Current Offer:

  • $500 cash back you spend $4,500 in the first 3 months
  • 2 points per $1 on all purchases

(Full offer details here: Learn more)

Commentary:

Spark Cash is basically just a 2% cash back business card that comes with a $500 bonus after you spend $4,500 in the first 3 months.

Note that while this is a business credit card, Capital One will still report it to your personal credit. Meaning it will add to your 5/24 number.

There is also a Spark Miles card that features a bonus of 50,000 miles after $4,500 spend in the first 3 months. These 50,000 miles are wroth $500 in travel credits, making it virtually the same offer as this card.

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.

JetBlue Plus Card: 40,000 bonus points after $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days. This card is issued by Barclays and is a good grab for anyone living near an airport serviced by JetBlue.

Alaska Airlines Card: 30,000 bonus miles after $1,000 spend in the first 3 months. Annual free companion fare, paying just taxes and fees.

As always, feel free to email me (Bryce@10xtravel.com) with any questions or if you need help choosing a card!

Happy Travels,

Bryce

Editors Note: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

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