Please note this site has financial relationships with American Express and this post may contain affiliate links. Read my Advertiser Disclosure policy here to learn more about my partners.
There is no denying that the fastest and easiest way to pick up a nice shot of miles and points is through rewards credit cards and their sometimes large sign-up bonuses. Recently we have seen several rewards credit cards introduce some temporarily increased or unique sign-up bonuses, so I thought it was time to summarize a few of my favorites all in one spot.
I’ll divide the cards into three categories: those with temporarily increased sign-up bonuses, those where the bonus is more or less normal but still a solid option in my view, and mention one that just has a pretty unique sign-up bonus that may make sense for some.
As always, be careful when deciding if now is the right time to pull the trigger on a new card or two. Go slowly, align the cards you choose with your travel goals, and feel free to let me know if you have any questions.
Check for Targeted Offers:
Before deciding an offer below might be right for you, I highly encourage you to check to see if you have any special targeted offers available to you via the CardMatch Tool from creditcards.com. I have seen some special sign-up bonuses there as high as 100,000 points that you won’t find publicly available elsewhere. Also pay attention to what comes into your mailbox and email inbox as sometimes there are higher than normal offers specially available to you that you won’t find on a public list like this.
Temporarily Increased Sign-Up Bonuses:
This offer has expired.
United MileagePlus® Explorer Card: 50,000 miles after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first three months + 5,000 additional miles if you add an authorized user who makes a purchase in the first 3 months. This offer is advertised to run through June 2nd.
The regular public offer for this card is just 30,000 miles, so this is a solid increase from that level. There is also a version of this offer that includes a $50 statement credit that is available to many customers on United’s website, so read this post for details on that version of the offer.
IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card: 70,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first three months.
This offer has expired.
The normal public offer on this card is 60,000 points, though there are targeted offers that go as high as 80,000 points. I don’t see a current end date advertised for this increased offer, though it has already been extended once past its original end date.
Ink Cash® Business Credit Card: Earn 30,000 bonus points (or $300 cash back) after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months. ( THIS OFFER IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE.)
The normal sign-up bonus for this card is 20,000 points (or $200 cash back), but it has been temporarily increased through 5/25/15. If you also have the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Ink Plus then the points earned by the Ink Cash can be transferred to Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline partners like United, Hyatt, Southwest, Singapore, British Airways, and more.
Ink Plus® Business Credit Card: Speaking of the Ink Plus, ( THIS OFFER IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE) it has also upped its sign-up bonus through 5/25/15 to 60,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months.
The $95 annual fee is not waived the first year with this offer, though reportedly it might be if you apply in a Chase branch. You can also get 5,000 Ultimate Reward points for yourself if you refer your friends to this offer.
Normal Bonuses, but Still Very Good Options:
British Airways Visa Signature® Card: 50,000 bonus Avios after you make $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
The British Airways award chart just changed a bit, but it didn’t impact using Avios on partners like American, Alaska, and US Airways to fly in economy on short to medium haul routes for fewer points than via other programs. For example, it doesn’t get much sweeter in my view than going from the West Coast or Phoenix to Hawaii for just 12,500 Avios one-way!
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card This card stays on my favorites list because it awards 2x on travel and dining and the points can transfer 1:1 to Ultimate Reward partners including United, Hyatt, Southwest, Singapore, British Airways, Korean, Virgin Atlantic, IHG Rewards, Marriott, and more.
Citi ThankYou® Premier Card: 50,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after $3,000 in spending in 3 months.
This card just underwent a benefits makeover, and the sign-up bonus improved in the process. I’m not 100% sure if it is a “new normal” offer for this card or not, but it is one that is high on my list as my next potential card as it now awards 3x on travel, 2x on dining and entertainment, 1x on other purchases. You can read full details on the card here.
Most Unique Sign-Up Bonus:
Discover it® Miles: 3x miles on all purchases for the first year
This pretty new card normally awards 1.5x miles on all purchases with no annual fee, but instead of a sign-up points bonus they are currently offering double miles for the first year. This means you are effectively earning 3x on purchases the first year. Just be aware that the double miles bonus isn’t paid out until the 13th billing cycle. You can learn more about this card here.
What credit cards and related sign-up bonuses does your family have on their current “wish list”?
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.