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We are in the last month of this first quarter of 2018, and coincidentally or not (I say not), there are many legitimately increased credit card sign-up bonuses available from a variety of banks and for a variety of award programs. The more strategy you use in selecting your credit cards and related welcome bonuses, the happier and larger your miles and points balances will likely become. If you are first starting out, you probably want to get a card and bonus that aligns with a trip you are actively planning, but if you have been at this a while and know you will get good value from the points, then simply picking up the increased bonuses that don’t peak very frequently is also a solid strategy.
Here are eleven very good rewards credit card sign-up bonuses for families that are looking to travel more for less.
Earn 35,000 Starwood Preferred Guest Points
Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card: Earn 35,000 bonus Starpoints after you make $7,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. $0 introductory annual fee, then $95. Offer ends 3/28/18. Terms apply.
This temporary offer tops my list even though it is for ‘just’ 35,000 bonus points as the usual bonus is 25,000 points and the future of this card is very unclear in light of the Marriott and SPG merger. SPG points are worth more than just about any other type of mile or point at north of 2 cents each as they can be used for SPG hotel stays starting at 2,000 points per night, or transferred to many airline programs at a ratio of 20,000 SPG points = 25,000 airline miles. This is a large spending requirement, but if you have some upcoming tax payments or other large expenses you can put on the card then I would try to make this one a priority.
Earn 60,000 – 80,000 Bonus Chase Ultimate Rewards Points
Chase Sapphire Preferred: Earn 60,000 bonus Ultimate Reward points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. $95 annual fee. Not an affiliate link, information not provided by Chase.
The sign-up bonus for this card has been at 40,000 – 50,000 points for years, so to see it spike up to the 60,000 point mark is pretty exciting, especially since Ultimate Reward points are transferrable to hotels and airlines such as United, Hyatt, Southwest, Singapore, British Airways, and more. You do have to be under the Chase 5/24 rule to get this card, and you can’t have any Sapphire card or have received a welcome bonus from a Sapphire card in the last 24 months.
Ink Business Preferred: Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. $95 annual fee. This is my refer-a-friend link, information not furnished by Chase.
The Ink Business Preferred bonus is not a temporarily increased offer, but I am still including it on this list of big bonuses for family travel as 80,000 Ultimate Reward points are worth a lot of travel. Even if you just used the points at 1.25 cents each instead of transferring them to Ultimate Reward travel partners, that is still $1,000 in travel from one credit card. The Ink Business Preferred awards 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 per year spent in combined purchases on travel (including airfare, hotels, rental cars, train tickets, and taxis), shipping, Internet, cable and phone services, and advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines.
If you pay your monthly cell phone bill with this card, it also provides up to $600 per claim in cell phone protection against covered theft or damage for you and your employees listed on your monthly cell phone bill for a maximum of 3 claims in a 12 month period with a $100 deductible per claim.
Earn 60,000 – 70,000 Delta SkyMiles from the Delta SkyMiles Amex Cards
Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express: 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months + additional 10,000 bonus miles after you spend an additional $1,000 in first 6 months + $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase in the first 3 months. $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95. Terms apply.
Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express: 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months + additional 10,000 bonus miles after you spend an additional $1,000 in first 6 months + $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase in the first 3 months. $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95. Terms apply.
Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express: 70,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. $100 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase in the first 3 months. Terms apply.
Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express: 70,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. $100 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase in the first 3 months. Terms apply.
These increased bonuses run until April 11, 2018, and they make my ‘best of’ list because Delta SkyMiles have become an invaluable tool in our travel toolbox. The Delta SkyMiles monthly flash sales, solid onboard service and on-time record, and oftentimes fair economy pricing levels make me always want to have a decent stash of SkyMiles in my account. We have had several of these Delta Amex cards and haven’t ever regretted grabbing one during an increased bonus period.
Earn $481.50 Towards Travel Via FlexPerks
US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa: 25,000 points after spending $2,000 in the first four months + 7,100 bonus points if you use the card by April 6, 2018. These 32,100 points are worth $481.50 in travel. $0 introductory annual fee, $49 in subsequent years. Not an affiliate link.
This credit card just became much more interesting when they dramatically improved the way you can redeem FlexPerks points. Now you can just book travel directly with the hotels and airlines and then redeem your FlexPerks points at a 1.5 cents per point value against those charges after the fact instead of having to go through US Bank to book your travels. This Team USA Olympics related bonus is coming to an end very soon on March 10, 2018, so this is your last call to grab a higher-than-normal sign-up bonus on this card.
Earn 100,000 Amex Membership Reward Points (Targeted)
Sadly this offer isn’t available to everyone, but I just verified today (March 7, 2018), that the 100,000 point Amex Platinum offer after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months is still available to some lucky folks in CardMatch™! The standard offer for this card is 60,000 points after hitting the spending requirement, so 100k is something to get pretty excited about if you are targeted. This card does have a $550 annual fee, but the $200 airline fee credits per calendar year, $200 in annual Uber credits, lounge access, and more make that fee worth it for many family travelers, at least in the first year.
Earn 100,000 Hilton Honors Points and Weekend Award Nights
Hilton Honors Ascend Card: Earn up to 100,000 Hilton Honors bonus points. 75,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 in purchases in the first 3 months + an additional 25,000 bonus points after you make an additional $1,000 in purchases in the first 6 months. Terms apply.
Hilton Honors American Express Business Card: Earn up to 100,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points. Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 in purchases on the card in the first 3 months + an additional 25,000 bonus points after you make another $1,000 in purchases in your first 6 months. Terms apply.
These new Hilton cards both launched with up to 100,000 point sign-up bonuses, and while they don’t have a published end date for these offers, I doubt that they stay at that level forever. Both of these cards award Hilton Gold elite status and a Hilton weekend night award once you put $15,000 in purchases on the respective cards each year. You can use the weekend night somewhere on the higher end of the (unpublished) Hilton award chart that goes as high as 95,000 points per night including the beautiful Grand Wailea Resort in Hawaii. The business version of the card awards a second weekend anniversary night each calendar year with an additional $45,000 in purchases on the card.
The terms indicate that the welcome bonus offer is not available to applicants who have or have had this product. This is the standard language for most American Express card offers, but I want to point out that even though the Ascend is ‘new’, Amex may be treating it as just a new version of the old Surpass Card and disqualifying previous Amex Surpass Cardholders from getting the bonus on the Ascend.
There is no one perfect credit card for all family travelers, but all eleven of these cards are top contenders right now for me because of their large, or at least larger than normal, sign-up bonuses. I would love to hear which cards and bonuses are next up on your family’s radar!
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.