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Some credit card sign-up offers remain relatively stagnant for a long time….years even. However, almost all of them eventually change, or at the very least the value of the points they earn changes. There are several cards right now that will likely experience a change in the sign-up offer in the near future, or the points they earn will be worth a different amount (typically lower) in the near future, so it makes sense to consider if now is the time to pull the trigger and apply for one of them. Here are my top five to consider getting sooner rather than later due to likely or confirmed changes.
This is an absolutely killer offer for 100,000 American Airlines miles after you make $10,000 in purchases in the first three months. Yes, that is a ton of spending, but there are lots of ways to get it done. The card carries a hefty $450 annual fee, but it also comes with a $200 statement credit (earn $1 in statement credits for each $1 spent on purchases within the first 12 months of cardmembership) and it provides AAdmiral’s Club access. Even if you rarely or never use the club access, 100,000 miles is easily worth way more than the $250 this card effectively costs you in the first year. I do not know the end date for this offer, but I do not expect it to hang around forever. It is just too good. I hope to apply for it in a week or so myself.
Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard®
Update: Looks like the minimum spending requirement already went up for this one.
As I shared earlier this week, there is a strong
rumor that the minimum spending requirement will be going up on this card from $1,000 in three months to $3,000 in three months in order to get the 40,000 point sign-up bonus. The spending requirement already increased to $3,000 in the first three months. These points are worth $440 toward basically any travel expense you wish. The sign-up bonus spending requirement increase is not a huge deal, but if you were about to get it anyway, it make sense to do it sooner rather than later if the spending requirement might be an issue for you.
Just yesterday Club Carlson announced that they are adding a new 7th tier to their award chart that will make the top end properties moving to that tier 40% more expensive on points beginning March 15th. If you have this co-branded card you get the last award night free, so if you have Club Carlson points you want to burn at properties moving up the award chart, then I would get this card ASAP so you can stretch your points further with the last night free benefit by locking in reservations before March 15th.
This card is again offering a sign-up bonus increase tied to the number of medals the United States wins at the Olympics. In addition to the standard 20,000 points after spending $3,500 in the first four months, they are giving an additional 500 points per Gold, 250 per Silver, and 100 per Bronze medal wins at the Olympics. That puts the current total bonus at 25,850, but it could go even higher if the US wins a few more medals! To get the bonus points you must apply between 1/31/14 and 3/7/14, and make a purchase by 3/31/14
This may not sound like a huge sign-up bonus, but this card rarely increases the bonus, so it is a good time to consider it. The closer the amount gets to 30,000 points the better, as that amount of points can be used toward a $600 airline ticket! You can get more details here.
Southwest Airlines® Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card
Offer expired. Please go here for current offer.
The four different Southwest cards, such as the one above, often alternate between offering 25,000 and 50,000 sign-up bonus points every few months. Currently they are all offering 50,000 points after spending $2,000 in the first three months. Currently 50,000 points are worth at least $835 toward Wanna Get Away fares with Southwest, but starting on March 31st they will be worth 15% less due to a looming devaluation. It will be tight, but you might be able to get the points posted in time to use them before the March 31st deadline if you get the card and quickly hit the spending requirement. I can’t guarantee all of that would happen in time, but either way this is still the highest we typically see this sign-up bonus, and the points have still been counting toward the famous Southwest Companion Pass! This particular card does have a $99 annual fee that is not waived the first year.
Most of these aren’t worth stopping everything you are doing to apply right this second or forever hold your peace, but they are all offers that are absolutely worth considering to see if they align with your travel goals and points needs. A month or so from now I would not be shocked if many of them are worth a different amount than they are today. Good luck if you decide to apply for any of them!
Disclosure: I do receive a commission if you are approved for a credit card using one of my affiliate links. Some of the links in this post are my affiliate links, and some are not. All are to the best offers I am aware of for that card.