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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. These days, though, 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 opening a new rewards card soon. That’s because these promotions are among the highest ever to be posted, and none of them is bound to last forever . . . or return.
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 three of the best travel credit cards with welcome offers of 100,000 points or more and why you might want to apply for each.
1. Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card
Current welcome offer: Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after spending $2,000 in the first three months of card membership. Terms apply.
Annual fee: $0 for the first year, then $95 (see rates and fees)
Earning: Keep on raking in Hilton points thanks to the following earning rates:
- 12 points per dollar on purchases at Hilton portfolio resorts and hotels
- Six points per dollar on dining at U.S. restaurants, including takeout and delivery
- Six points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets
- Six points per dollar at U.S. gas stations
- Three points per dollar on all other purchases
Why apply now? Cardholders can also count on automatic Hilton Honors Gold elite status, with perks like room upgrades and dining credits 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 pretty much any Hilton hotel around the world, including ultra-luxurious hotels like the Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam.
2. IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card
This third hotel card qualifies for our list on points alone, but an added perks make it even better.
Current welcome offer: Earn 140,000 bonus points and a free night after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.
Annual fee: $99
Earning: This card earns bonus points in the following categories:
- 26 points per dollar at IHG hotels and resorts
- Five points per dollar at travel, restaurants, and gas stations
- Three points per dollar on everything else
Why apply now? Cardholders also receive up to $100 in statement credits for a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee once every four years, a Reward Night after each account anniversary year at eligible IHG hotels worldwide, and will also enjoy a free night on award stays of three nights or more. The card bestows automatic IHG Rewards Platinum status, too, with perks like room upgrades and late checkout priority.
3. Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® and Chase Sapphire Reserve® tend to get more attention, but the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card is offering a relatively high bonus, too.
Current welcome offer: Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases within the first three months.
Annual fee: $95
Earning: 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:
- Travel (this includes flights and hotels, but also things like parking and rideshares)
- Shipping purchases
- Internet, cable, and phone services
- Advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines
It earns one point per dollar on everything else.
Why apply now? 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, although you can also transfer them to 11 airlines and three hotels, same as with the Chase Sapphire Preferred.
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.
There are almost too many excellent credit card welcome bonus offers to consider. Rather than getting overwhelmed by the numbers, though, think about which airlines or hotels you travel with the most, and then take a closer look at which of their cobranded credit cards are offering the most points or miles as part of their welcome offers. Take advantage of those first, and then think about what other cards might suit your near-term travel goals.
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. This article was originally published in 2021; it was updated on November 4, 2022, with current information.