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Aside from tons of points, some of these credit cards come with free nights you can redeem at some of the world's nicest hotels.
Whether you want airline miles or hotel points, the deals right now are off the charts.
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Not so long ago, 100,000-point credit card offers were a novelty that might come around only every few years. But these days some of the best travel credit cards are regularly posting bonuses that high. While such deals might not be for everyone, if you are thinking of getting into the points game, or want to stock up on rewards for your next trip, you should seriously consider your next moves now. That’s because these promotions are bound not to last forever, and they might not come around again.
While the value of travel rewards varies widely from program to program, if a credit card is offering more than 100,000 points or miles as part of its introductory offer, you should at least give it a second look. Here are seven of the best travel credit cards currently offering welcome bonuses of 100,000 points or more and why you might want to apply for each.
Business credit cards might not have been on your radar, but it would be a mistake to miss out on this one.
Earn 100,000 Amex Membership Rewards points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with your card in the first three months (terms apply). That’s 25,000 more points than the personal Platinum Card® from American Express is currently offering (though you only have to spend $5,000 in the first six months for that card - terms apply).
$595 (see rates and fees)
This card accrues:
The Business Platinum Amex usually only offers around 60,000–75,000 bonus points, so this is a substantial premium. It comes with a similar array of perks as the personal version, including access to Amex Centurion Lounges, Delta Sky Clubs and Priority Pass lounges at airports around the world (enrollment required), and the ability to register for both Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy Gold elite status (enrollment required) so you can enjoy perks like room upgrades on stays. If you regularly make expensive purchases for work, this card’s $5,000-plus purchase bonus can send your earning into the stratosphere.
Another point of difference from the personal Platinum Amex? If you carry this card, you get a 35 percent rebate on Pay With Points redemptions through Amex for business- and first-class flights or any class of service on a specific U.S. airline that you designate each year (the same one for which you receive up to $200 in incidental fee statement credits for things like checked bags - enrollment required). That bumps your per-point value on flight redemptions up from one cent to 1.54 cents, which can save you tens of thousands of points even on a single flight.
This all-new credit card from Chase and United launched with an attention-grabbing bonus.
Earn up to 100,000 bonus miles: 80,000 after spending $5,000 in the first three months and an additional 20,000 miles after spending a total of $10,000 in the first six months.
The card’s earning rates are as follows:
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The United Quest is offering significantly more miles as part of its introductory bonus than either the United℠ Explorer Card and the more premium United Club℠ Infinite Card, but only for a limited time. (We do not yet know the promotion’s end date.) Thanks to all those bonus earning categories, you can keep on racking up United miles after scoring its bonus, which should put free flights within reach faster.
The $250 annual fee is something to keep in mind, but cardholders receive up to $125 in United purchases statement credits per year, and up to $100 toward a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application once every four years, plus money-saving day-of-travel perks like two free checked bags on United flights and 25 percent back on United in-flight purchases of food, beverages, and Wi-Fi paid for with the card.
It might not be offering as many bonus points as its higher-end sibling the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card, but it doesn’t charge the Aspire’s higher annual fee, either.
Earn 130,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases within the first three months (terms apply).
$95 (see rates and fees)
Gain Hilton points thanks to the following earning rates:
This card’s welcome offer is relatively easy to earn, with just a $2,000 spending requirement in the first three months. For that, cardholders can expect automatic Hilton Honors Gold elite status, with perks like room upgrades and complimentary breakfast at most Hilton properties. Plus, those who spend $15,000 or more in a calendar year get a free weekend night reward that can be redeemed at nearly any Hilton hotel around the world, including ultra-luxurious hotels like the Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam.
All information about the Hilton Honors Surpass American Express Card has been collected independently by AFAR. The Hilton Honors Surpass is no longer available through AFAR.
More bonus points than usual plus hundreds of dollars in statement credits make now the time to apply for this high-end hotel card.
Now through May 12, 2021, earn 125,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership (terms apply). You’ll also earn up to $200 in statement credits on charges at U.S. restaurants within the first six months.
$450 (see rates and fees)
Keep the points coming with these earning rates:
This is the best introductory offer the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant has ever extended, and it’s only available for less than another month. Worried about that high annual fee? Don’t forget that cardholders get up to $300 in statement credits each year toward purchase at Marriott hotels, which offsets a lot of the annual fee. The card also confers a free night award each year worth up to 50,000 points, which can save you hundreds of dollars at hotels like the Westin Hapuna Beach Resort on the Island of Hawaii. Among the other perks are the ability to register for Priority Pass Select airport lounge access (enrollment required) and a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application statement credit every four years (4.5 for PreCheck).
Keep in mind, the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card, with a $125 annual fee (see rates and fees), is currently offering 100,000 points after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first three months, plus up to $150 back in statement credits on purchases within the same time, which might be a better option for some (terms apply).
This third hotel card qualifies for our list on points alone, but an added perk included with the introductory offer makes it even better.
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Earn 125,000 bonus points plus a reward night worth up to 40,000 points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. Taken together, the two introductory perks can be worth up to 165,000 points.
This card earns bonus points in the following categories:
Although this card has offered more points outright before, the fact that you can earn both bonus points plus a reward night that’s worth up to 40,000 more points is rare. Cardholders receive another free reward night each year that’s also worth up to 40,000 points. The card bestows automatic IHG Rewards Platinum status, too, with perks like room upgrades and late checkout priority.
We’ve only seen a bonus this high once before—late in 2020.
Earn 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, or earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months.
This card earns two miles per dollar on all purchases, with no caps.
The Capital One Venture’s current welcome offer is about twice as high as usual right now, and if last time this happened is anything to judge by, it won’t be available for more than a few months. The 100,000 Capital One miles are worth $1,000 toward travel, though you can also transfer them to airline partners like JetBlue and Air Canada as well as hotel programs like Wyndham Rewards. The card includes a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application statement credit worth up to $100 once every four years, which can come in handy for when you’re ready to start speeding through airport security again.
Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases within the first three months. That’s 20,000 more points than the Chase Sapphire Preferred is currently offering, and a whopping 40,000 more points than the Chase Sapphire Reserve (although their spending requirements are just $4,000 within three months).
This card is a great all-round earner, especially on work-related purchases. It accumulates three points per dollar on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases in the following categories each account anniversary year:
It earns one point per dollar on everything else.
If you already have either the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve, opening the Ink Business Preferred is a great way to keep accumulating valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards points, not just with that outsize sign-up offer, but also thanks to its many bonus purchase categories. The initial 100,000 points alone are worth $1,250 toward travel, though you can also transfer them to 10 airlines and three hotels, including Southwest, United, Hyatt, and Marriott.
Getting a business card is also a good idea for folks who want to keep personal and work purchases separate. This card is one of only a handful that extends cell phone protection when you use it to pay your monthly bill. You can file claims of up to $600 against theft or damage, with a maximum of three claims per 12-month period, and a $100 deductible per occurrence.
Travel bookings within the U.S. and to nearby international destinations are already picking up due to a quickening vaccine rollout, and things are only going to get busier. By signing up for a new travel rewards credit card now and taking full advantage of limited-time bonus offers, you can start saving up points you will need for any trips you might be planning in the rest of 2021 and beyond . . . before these promotions disappear.
While the offers mentioned above are accurate at the time of publication, they are subject to change at any time, and may have changed or may no longer be available.
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