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The world of rewards credit cards and their sign-up bonuses is ever changing, and since a good long while has passed since I last did a round-up of some of my favorite credit card sign-up bonuses, here is an updated list of some bonuses that are worth an extra look either because they have recently increased, they are a new card, or they are a limited time offering.
HILTON AMEX OFFER REFERENCED BELOW IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE!
The Hilton Honors™ Surpass® Card from American Express has a limited time offer that will be winding down soon on May 31st. This is the highest I have seen this offer as it awards 100,000 bonus Hilton Honors points after you spend $3,000 in the first three months, provides Hilton Gold status, and on your first cardmember anniversary you get a weekend award night valid at most Hilton properties around the world. The card does come with a $75 annual fee, but it isn’t hard to get way more value out of the card than that with the 100,000 point sign-up bonus plus the weekend award night at the start of your second cardmember year.
Hilton may not be my primary loyalty program, but there are Hiltons everywhere and you can use the points for high end tropical getaways, at popular family vacation destinations, all-inclusive resorts, or stretch the points and stay at properties starting at just 5,000 points per night at places like the Hilton Hurghada Resort in Egypt shown below.
HILTON AMEX OFFER REFERENCED BELOW IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE!
If you want Hilton points but hate annual fees, then the Hilton Honors™ Card from American Express and its limited time offer of 80,000 Hilton Honors points after you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months may be a better fit. This can also be better choice if you have already had the Surpass card and thus are ineligible for getting that particular sign-up bonus again. This is also the highest I have ever seen the bonus for this card and frankly getting 80,000 points with no annual fee is pretty outstanding, even if Hilton points aren’t the most valuable type of point out there. This offer also is set to run through May 31, 2017.
Earn 30,000 Miles + a Companion Ticket + a $100 Statement Credit on Alaska Airlines
This is another really cool limited time offer that I have personally never seen before with the Bank of America Alaska Airlines card. Right now they are sweetening the regular sign-up bonus and you get not only 30,000 Alaska bonus miles after you make $1,000 or more in purchases in the first 90 days, but you also get a companion certificate that comes with a $0 base fare and a $100 statement credit (direct link listed here)! Not an affiliate link, information not supplied by Bank of America.
Normally you have to pay $99 + taxes/fees to use this companion certificate, but via this offer, all you pay on your first companion certificate is approximately $22 in taxes and fees! Your companion can then fly on your paid Alaska or Virgin America flight with you to the Lower 48, Alaska, Hawaii, Mexico, and beyond for very little out of pocket expense. The certificates you get in subsequent years charge the regular $99 + taxes/fees. This card comes with a $75 annual fee.
Get 60,000 Membership Reward Points + Lounge Access + $200 Uber Credit + $200 Airline Fee Credit
This isn’t marketed as a limited time offer, but it is a new increased sign-up bonus offer for The Platinum Card® from American Express. The 60,000 Membership Rewards points are awarded after $5,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. This is a 20,000 point increase over the previous standard offer of 40,000 points after hitting the spending requirement. This card also just introduced a new perk of $200 per year in Uber credits to go along with the $200 annual airline fee credit and extensive lounge access perks. If you aren’t super familiar with this card, I encourage you to read all about the perks in more detail in order to learn how to maximize them since the card does carry a $550 annual fee that is easily worth it for many travelers, at least the first full year, but only if they understand how the card works.
Earn up to 100,000 Points Referring Friends to the 80,000 Point Ink Business Preferred Card
The still relatively new Ink Business Preferred card offers 80,000 sign-up bonus points after you spend $5,000 on the card in the first 3 months, but what is very new is that you can earn 20,000 points per approved referral to this card, up to 100,000 total points this year. Many people (self included) are even eligible to make referrals even without having this exact Ink card, so it is worth checking to see if you can do the same. As to whether or not you can successfully refer yourself and score a total of 100,000 points, I’m not sure, but I know folks do have that experiment in process. Remember that this card will be subject to 5/24 rules.
Brand New U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Offers $750 Towards Flights
Last but not least, a brand new premium rewards credit card was just released by U.S. Bank called the Altitude Reserve Card. This card offers a sign-up bonus of 50,000 points after you spend $4,500 in the first 90 days. These 50,000 points can then be used at a value of 1.5 cents each towards flights for a $750 sign-up bonus value if used in that manner. The card also provides a $325 per membership year travel credit which dramatically reduces the pain of the $400 annual fee assuming you use it.
The Altitude Reserve is also unique in that it pays out 3x points on mobile wallet payments, which will be interesting to some. There are some quirks about getting this card, including that you need to be an existing US Bank customer, so I recommend heading to Doctor of Credit for more information on the perks and quirks of this one.
Are any of these cards and their sign-up bonuses on your May application short list? What rewards card do you hope to get next?
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.