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Here at the end of the year we have seen a small flurry of limited time credit card offers pop up. We have also seen some changes to cards, and new cards added to the miles and points space. Some of them I have already mentioned, and some I haven’t yet gotten around to. So, here is a quick summary of some of the changes we have seen in the world of rewards credit card offers in recent weeks. While some of these sign-up bonuses are clearly limited time offers, others have more ambiguous expiration dates and may or may not stick around for the foreseeable future.
- Ink Bold Business Card or Ink Plus Business Card decreased spending requirement: In November we saw the minimum spending requirement go from $10,000 in the first three months to $5,000 in the first three months. This makes the bonus much more attainable for some folks. I don’t know how long this decreased spending requirement will stick around, but it would not shock me if it went back up at some point. This is especially true since the 50,000 point sign-up bonus from its competitor, the Amex Business Gold Rewards card, has now gone back to 0 sign-up bonus points (unless you are targeted or another one-day offer turns up).
- Southwest 50,000 point sign-up bonus: November also brought us the return of the 50,000 point sign-up bonuses for the four different Southwest cards (two business and two personal). These sign-up bonuses seem to come and go. The minimum spending requirement is now $2,000 in the first three months as opposed to the old $1,000, but it is still a tremendous deal. You can leverage getting two of the cards into almost enough points for a Companion Pass. Even if you just get one card, over $800 in Southwest “Wanna Get Away” travel is tremendous. I do expect these sign-up bonuses to drop back to the 25,000 point level at some point, as that has been their pattern in the past. The annual fees are not waived the first year for these cards.
- British Airways Visa 100,000 point sign-up bonus just returned a few days ago: 100,000 points is always enough to catch my attention, but this offer does require some fairly hefty spending to get the full bonus. You are awarded 50,000 points after $1,000 in spending in the first three months, 25,000 additional points after $10,000 additional spending in the first 12 months, and the final 25,000 bonus points after another $10,000 in spending in the first 12 months. Counting the points you earn from meeting the spending requirement, that comes to over 126,000 Avios in the first year. Not everyone can put that much spending on one card, but even without the second 50,000, the first 50,000 with $1,000 in spending isn’t half bad. This is a limited time offer and the $95 annual fee is not waived the first year. This post provides a summary of how I like to spend my BA Avios points.
- Citi AAdvantage Visa – up to 50,000 miles: I believe this one popped up in November as well. This card offers 40,000 AAdvantage miles after spending $3,000 in the first three months, and then an additional 10,000 miles after spending $10,000 in the first 12 months. It also comes with some other perks for AA flyers including 10% of redeemed miles back each calendar year (up to 10,000 miles), so you can still take advantage of that for the 2012 calendar year and get it again in 2013. If you feel comfortable applying for the unofficial Citi offers, then ignore this offer. However, if you prefer to view an offer page before you apply, then this is a pretty good limited time offer that expires 12/13.
- Citi Thank You Preferred – to 40,000 bonus points (expired): This is another limited time offer that came about last month. With this one you get 20,000 bonus Thank You points after you make $3,000 in purchases within the first 6 months after account opening, and an additional 20,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the next 6 months. This card has no annual fee and you can maximize the value of this card’s points by also having the Thank You Premier card and using the points at a value of 1.33 cents each toward airfare.
- Chase Freedom 2013 bonus categories announced: Sadly this isn’t a limited time increased sign-up offer, but it is a good time to decide if this card is right for your family in 2013 since the bonus categories are spelled out for all of next year. You can read more details in the linked post, but here are the highlights of the 5x quarterly bonuses. Q1: gas stations, drugstores, Starbucks. Q2: restaurants, movie theaters. Q3: gas stations, theme parks, Kohls. Q4: select department stores, Amazon. There is a $1,500 quarterly cap on the 5x, but it is an easy way to pick up 30,000 Ultimate Reward points each year – assuming the bonus categories work for your family.
- New Club Carlson 85,000 point card: This is not a limited time offer (as far as I know), but since I was covering recent changes in the credit card space, I wanted to include it. I think this card is being under-hyped given it is essentially a BOGO on two night award stays. For those who have a stash of Club Carlson points (or want to acquire them), this card is fantastic.
Did I leave out any recent changes or other limited time offers you know of? If so, let me know and I will get them added!
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